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The History of Elliott Hall

The Women of Stoddard Hall


Stoddard Hall was built in 1836 at a cost of $9000. It was majorly renovated in 1899, 1912 ($15,000), 1936 ($83,000) and 1963.

It has been continually used as a residence hall, and has the distinction of being the second oldest hall on Miami University's Oxford campus. At 9136 square feet, its 29 room can house 29 residents.

Originally, "Southeast Building" was made to house junior and senior men (recall that Miami was not largely coeducational until after the turn of the 20th century). Later, the hall took on the name "South Dorm" or simply "Old South" up until 1912.

Around 1900, the university provided boarding quarters at Old South for $2 a week. Subsequently, the quarters became known as the "University Inn". Old South was used as a boarding facility until 1911, when remodeling of the building commenced. It was replaced by the "University Commons" which was opened up in "Old Main"/the Main Building (the original Harrison Hall) as a dining facility. In 1912 following the renovation, the hall was rededicated. The building was divided into three: the middle section was named "McFarland", the south section was "Stoddard" and the north section was called "Swing".

See Old Main below. Notice Old North and Old South in the background and Lewis Place in the foreground. This image is among the oldest known depicting the university.

In 1937, a Public Works Administration project of the Federal Government helped to finance a joint renovation of both Old North and Old South to help make them appear more as a pair, and to transform them into the new Miami architectural style, Neo-Georgian Mansion. With this remodeling, the entire structure was gutted to remove the bricked-up fireplaces and old stove-pipe openings.  The hallways and stairwells were also rearranged. In 1937, the modifications were complete and the Board of Trustees voted to designate the building "Stoddard Hall" in honor of the beloved professor from the Old Miami period. As evidenced below, Stoddard's modifications were complete before Old North's main exterior work had started.

This renovation brought Stoddard to its current condition, and made is look much more like Elliott Hall. The pitch of the roof was corrected to mirror Elliott's, and it is still evident today based on the color difference.

Coincidentally, the name of "Swing" was transferred to the "New Freshman Dormitory" recently completed across High Street.

For a time, Stoddard also housed the YMCA and was used along with Elliott Hall for temporary classroom during the repair and remodeling of the Old Main in 1869 and 1885.

Orange Nash Stoddard received his A.B. degree from Union College in 1834. His A.M. and LL.D. degrees were from Monmouth in 1865. Stoddard was a professor of natural science at Miami from 1845-1870 and served as acting president of the university in 1854, between the terms of Former Presidents Anderson and Hall. Stoddard was affectionately called "Stoddy" and "the Little Wizard" by his students. He gained the name of "the Little Wizard" primarily from the Oxford College women who were impressed by his chemisty and megnetism skills. Stoddard left Miami in 1870 to pursue a career at the new Wooster University and remained there until his death on February 10, 1892. Ironically, Stoddard was a member of Phi Delta Theta, the fraternity founded on the second floor of Old North.

It is interesting and unfortunate to note that long before Old South was built (in 1812), an Indian mound located on its site was leveled. Ladies, keep on your toes.


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