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DSU Archives: The "Halls"

Beadle Hall

In 1886, only three months after completion, the Normal School building burned to the ground in total destruction. The City of Madison issued bonds for $25,000 to build a dormitory and classroom buildings. The Legislature appropriated $35,000 to repay $25,000 in bonds bought by Madison citizens and the balance to finish the building. During the rebuilding process, classes were held in various buildings downtown.

Beadle Hall Past
West Wing (Beadle Hall), 1952

The new building was rebuilt of granite and named West Wing, which later became Beadle Hall. Constructed of Dell Rapids Granite, Milwaukee pressed brick and LaCrosse white-cut stone, West Wing housed four levels, including the basement. The 76' x 84' interior was finished in oak and Georgia pine. West Wing was opened in September of 1886, housing the library and the Model School, which was set-up in the basement. There were three grades in the Model School: Primary, Intermediate and Grammar. The new building had 124 students and 8 faculty members.

Beadle Hall Present
Beadle Hall, 1970

West Wing has gone through a few changes. In 1935 a new roof was put on. In 1952 renovation took place, making it a modern, fire-resistant structure. Finally in 1970, West Wing’s name changed to Beadle Hall in honor of General William Henry Harrison Beadle, the college’s third president. Beadle Hall is now the oldest building in South Dakota that is still used for its original purpose.

Emry Hall

June Emry Hall is a women’s dormitory located between Richardson Hall and Heston Hall and is within easy walking distance of the Trojan Center. The building was opened in the fall of 1968 at a construction cost of $508,205.61. It became home to 168 female students living in double occupancy rooms. The structure uses the “center-core” design and features a central lounge on each floor along with kitchen facilities and a computer lab. A completely furnished, two-bedroom apartment is provided to the hall’s housemother (Residence Director).

Emry Hall
Emry Hall, 1969

The hall was dedicated Thursday, October 2, 1969 to Dr. June Emry, a longtime educator serving as principal and superintendent of local schools and Supervisor of Higher Education, dean, and registrar at Eastern State Normal School. The ceremony began with the unveiling of a portrait of Emry painted by Mrs. Jean Tommeraasen.

Heston Hall

Heston hall
Madison Hospital (Heston Hall), 1936

Originally the Madison Community Hospital, this 35-bed hospital building opened to the public on August 1, 1920 at a total building cost of $175,000.  In 1962 Madison’s present hospital replaced the original and the original building was left vacant except for two doctors until January 19, 1963 when the Campus Training School burned to the ground. "The school board met that very night and voted to rent the hospital to house the 210 grade school students, using the basement, second, and third floors.” The building failed as a schoolhouse; two-patient rooms could not practically serve the needs of a thirty-student classroom. The building, still in good condition, was purchased by the State of South Dakota in April 1966. However, at the time no one knew what the building would be used for.

Fate dictated that the building would be used for Dakota State College administration. The administration building was readied in 1971 at a total project cost of $477.702.38. The building was named after President John W. Heston, whose greatest achievement was the building of the Campus Training School in 1916. At its 1971 opening, the building contained seventeen offices, six executive suites, three conference rooms, a data processing center, a post office, and a printing center. The offices were those of the president, academic dean, institutional development, business manager, registrar, dean of men, nurse, and admissions and records.

Higbie Hall

Higbie Hall
Higbie Hall, 1966

Higbie hall, built in 1965, was an addition to the growing school. Named after Edgar C. Higbie, the hall located next to the Trojan Center was originally built to house 150 men.

Lowry Hall

Lowry Hall was built in 1958 as a dormitory for 70 male students. It was named after Vayne Arnold Lowry, the president of the University from 1933-1962. In 1974 it was closed because enrollment at the University had decreased. With no sign of needing the extra space Lowry Hall was rented out to Interlakes Community Action to be used for offices from 1978 until 1995.

Lowry Hall
Lowry Hall, 1964

Between 1995 and 1998 Lowry Hall was remodeled twice for the express purpose of housing new businesses that have an emphasis on technology. The first time it was rented out to BH Gold Insurance Company and the second time in 1998 by a computer company. The last face lift came to Lowry Hall in 2000 when the Business & Education Institute (BEI) and Computing Services moved in.

Richardson Hall

Richardson Hall

Richardson Hall, 1970

Richardson Hall is the largest of the dorms on the University campus. Construction of the hall completed during the summer of 1970 at a cost of $654,385.40. The building was named after Charles S. Richardson, the first President of Dakota State University, known then as Dakota Normal School.

Home of the “Rowdies from Richardson,” as the men were called, this 35,000 square foot four-story men’s residence hall accommodates 202 male students in double occupancy rooms. Central television lounges and bathroom facilities are provided on each floor along with a laundry in the basement, computer lab on the second floor, and a kitchen on the third floor. Because it is air conditioned, Richardson Hall was used during summer sessions for both men and women.

Student in front of Richardson Hall
Student Standing in Front of Richardson Hall, 1970

During the summer sessions, men and women cohabitated Richardson Hall as an economical way to get the most use from the college’s one air-conditioned dorm. According to the Eastern, “It is quite a life they live together; women on third and fourth floors (closer to the heavens). The men inhabit floor No. 1. Second floor is said to symbolize the Great Wall of China, protecting the girls from invasion."

Zimmerman Hall

Zimmerman Hall, dedicated in 1964, was originally designed to be a dormitory for women. This three story brick building measuring 32 x 263 ft. could house 128 women. These students would stay two to a room in rooms measuring 16 x 14 ft. This building was designed to be the women's "best home away from home."

Zimmerman Hall Inside of ZImmerman Hall
Zimmerman Hall, Exterior & Interior, 1964

Zimmerman Hall also held the campus cafeteria in the south corner of the first floor. In addition,  Zimmerman Hall's first floor contained an information center, lounge, and the house-mother's apartment. Each of the student floors contained a kitchenette and a lounge for study groups or student get-togethers.

Currently Zimmerman Hall houses both men and women. The exterior of the hall has also seen some changes. In 1996 the Trojan Center or TC was expanded and renovated. This expansion caused the TC to be directly attached to Zimmerman Hall.

General William Henry Harrison Beadle

General William Henry Harrison Beadle President Beadle was born in Liberty Township, Parke County, Indiana on January 1, 1838. Beadle attended Rockville

and later entered University of Michigan in 1857 specializing in civil engineering. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1861, received his master's in 1864, an L.L.B. in 1867, and an LL.D. in 1902. He was married to Ellen S. Chapman and had one daughter.

In 1861, Beadle enlisted in the militia organized in Parke County, Indiana and was mustered in the Union Army as First Lieutenant of Co. A, 31st Indiana Volunteer Infantry, the Wabash Riflemen. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the First Michigan Sharp Shooters. He was promoted to Captain on Nov. 9, 1861. In 1865 he was honored with an award of Brevet Col. & Brigadier General of Volunteer "for gallant & meritorious service during the war." He was discharged in 1866. He was a personal friend of President Lincoln and was an honor guard in bringing the President's remains across the country.

After receiving his law degree at the University of Michigan, he practiced law in Evansville, Indiana in 1867, and in Boscobel, Wisconsin from 1868-1869. In 1869, President Grant appointed him Surveyor General of Dakota Territory. He served until 1873 when he resigned.

Dr. June Emry

Dr. June EmryJune Emry was born in Brighton, Iowa in 1886 as the youngest of six. She achieved all of her education in Iowa and graduated from the Iowa State Teacher’s College in 1907. After receiving her baccalaureate degree she pursued her quest for higher education by achieving her masters degree from the University of Chicago in 1911. She then became the principal of Pannia High School in Colorado and shortly thereafter became the superintendent. After her stay in Colorado she decided to venture to Madison, South Dakota where she became the high school's principal which was next door to then State Normal School. 

In 1921, Emry became the first women elected as the President of the South Dakota Education Association. While President she also became Dean and held that position for ten years.  After her first ten years, Emry decided to go back to school to earn her Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Oregon in 1936, and for a change of pace, she decided to open a bookstore. After some well deserved time off she returned to the Eastern State Teachers College as Dean. In addition to being an esteemed faculty member, Dr. Emery was known to be a devoted, intelligent, caring, woman and a strong advocate of women’s rights.

John W. Heston

John William Heston John William Heston, a native of Bellefonte, Center County, Pennsylvania, was born in 1854. Dr. Heston received scholastic degrees A.B., M.A., PhD., and LL.D. from Pennsylvania.

He married Mary Ellen Calder in 1881, and they had two sons, Charles Ellis who became an electrical engineer and Edward who became a physician. He taught 3 years in the county schools of PA, and then at Penn State Industrial University where he was elected Principal of the Department for 6 years. In the meantime, he studied history with a specialization in constitutional and institutional law at John Hopkins University and was admitted to the Penn Bar in 1890. In 1905, Heston became the President of the college here in Madison and held the position until his death in 1920.

His interest in industrial education in relation to teacher education moved him to build the Science Hall (now the Technology Classroom Building).  At that time it housed the chemistry and physics programs, as well as an extensive agricultural department. One of Dr. Heston's biggest achievements was building the Campus Training School in 1916. He had long envisioned the development of a laboratory school where teachers in training could be carefully supervised. The lab school included both elementary and secondary school students.  This training school burned to the ground in 1963.

Edgar C. Higbie

Edgar C. HigbieEdgar Creighton Higbie was born at Berlin, Wisconsin in 1875. He attended Ripon College Academy; taught school in Bluffton and Fairwater, Wisconsin; taught in a district in Mower County, Minnesota; was principal at Dexter and Clarkfield, Minnesota; and, superintendent of schools at Elmore, Minnesota. In the internals of teaching, he carried on his studies at the University of Minnesota, Carlton College, and the University of Chicago. He received the A.B. in 1907 and A.M. degrees in 1909 from the University of Minnesota, and his PhD. from Columbia University in 1921.

While superintendent of schools at Canby, Minnesota, he established the first high school agricultural department in the State. During WWI, he was employed by private philanthropists at New York in organizing agricultural work for the rehabilitation of soldiers and worked for the Federal Board of Vocational and Agricultural Rehabilitation on among soldiers in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. In 1920, he accepted the Presidency of State Normal School.

Dr. Higbie was married to Nellie May Leslie, and they had two sons. He was known throughout the nation for his profound study of the sociological elements and implications of Teacher Education and was noted for humanistic approach in the study of education and always emphasized the importance of setting up educational courses in scholarly sequence. Higbie died from a heart attack in 1944.

Vayne Arnold Lowry

Vayne Arnold Lowry Vayne A. Lowry was born in Hibbard, Indiana in 1896. He attended Purdue University prior to serving in the U.S Army in WWI,

returning to Purdue University to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in 1919. Post-graduate work was done at University of Iowa and he was awarded honorary doctorates by both Dakota State College and Dakota Wesleyan University. He married Daisy V. Easterday in 1919, and they raised four children, John, Robert (whom was killed in action in France during WWII), Nancy and Susanna.

Dr. Lowry served as an instructor at Des Moines, Iowa, in West High School in 1920; instructor and coach at Central High School from 1920-22; instructor and coach at Eastern State Normal School, Madison, SD from 1922-25; and Dean of Men at Eastern from 1925-32.

In 1933 he became the ninth President of Eastern State Normal School and held that position until his retirement in 1962. He then was in charge of the Smith-Zimmermann State Historical Museum from 1962-72. He actively supported the college and wrote a history of the school Forty Years at General Beadle 1922-1962. Lowry was always very active in the state and community. Memberships and awards included: Board of Trustees of the Madison Community Hospital, State WWI History Board, President SD Academy of Science, Director of the Madison Chamber of Commerce, President of the Sioux Council, American Legion, Rotary Club, Eminent Citizens Award, Distinguished Service Award and a member of the Masonic Lodge.

Vayne Arnold Lowry died at his home in 1980 at the age of 83.