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History of 4-H House


The seed which has grown to be the large 4-H House Association was planted in 1934 by Miss Mary A. McKee.  Sixteen women from rural areas join their efforts in a cooperative house to create a lower-cost housing unit during the Depression.  The few country families who could afford to send their daughters to college did so because of scholarships and by working for room and board at private homes far from campus.  The house considerably reduced their living costs.  At the original house women were accepted based only on need.  The first house was Campbell Cottage, a University Cooperative.


In 1935, the women rented a slightly larger house at 602 South Matthews, across from the Chemistry Annex.  It accommodated eighteen women.  By 1936, demand had grown so much that a second house was established at 1202 W. Oregon.  The girls realized that their dreams for a permanent unified 4-H House couldn't come true while they lived in two separate groups, so the search for a larger home began.  The purchase of the next house, a large, white frame colonial on 202 E. Green was made possible by donations from several Home and Farm Bureaus and donations of furniture from the girls themselves. 


By 1950, the house at 202 E. Green was beginning to age, so plans began for the present house.  Once again, thanks to several Home and Farm Bureaus and fundraising efforts by the alums, the dream became feasible.  On June 5, 1960, the ground breaking ceremony was held at the site of the present 4-H House at 805 W. Ohio.  Many dreams of the future were realized in 1961 when the house was completed June 10, 1962.


In the fall of 1966, our numbers increased to 56 when space for 5 women was provided in the house at 801 W. Ohio, which was owned by Caroline (Farrar) Heinrichs, one of the original 16 girls who founded 4-H House.  These women were later able to move back into the house when four rooms were made into 'quads', making the house capacity 55 women.

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