Boyd Hall: Maggie’s Legacy

Ed note: This post continues our series about Margaret Boyd, Ohio University’s first alumna. Over the winter and spring quarters in 2012, we are tweeting entries from Boyd’s diary @MaggieBoyd1873, and PACE students Karah Finan and Matt Wesley are writing blog posts about Boyd’s life and legacy

 After Maggie’s death in 1905, Ohio University began the construction of her namesake dormitory, Boyd Hall. Boyd Hall was completed in 1907 and was located on Park Place across from the still-standing Gordy Hall. The hall was designed by Frank Packard, a renowned architect who also designed Ellis, Gordy and Tupper (new) halls (“Boyd Hall (Old)…”).

Before the construction of Boyd Hall, Howard Hall, built in 1896, offered housing for women. However, the rising enrollment of women in the teacher training program in Ellis Hall and questionable off-campus living arrangements indicated the need for a new women’s dorm. Boyd Hall was constructed to house 88 women. The hall was funded by money procured from the state legislature by President Ellis (Hollow). Early in 1906, $45,000 was appropriated for the construction of Boyd Hall. On October 18, 1906, the hall was officially named Boyd Hall, after Margaret Boyd (Hoover).This map shows what College Green was like in 1911.

There were strict rules for the first class of women residing in Boyd Hall. The students were under strict curfew of 7 pm, with lights out by 10 pm. The 88 women were served their daily meals by freshman men at the university, who did service jobs to help pay for their own room and board. Women in Boyd Hall in the early 1900s were only allowed to receive male “callers,” or visitors, at certain times and under strict supervision. Boyd Hall was dubbed “The Hennery” because of its entirely female population. Dancing and movies were becoming popular and accepted at this time, though things like smoking and fraternizing were still forbidden (Hollow).

The original Boyd Hall was demolished in 1966, along with the women’s gymnasium and Tupper Hall (old) to make room for the construction of Alden Library, finished in 1969 (Thompson). In 1967, a new 112,506 square foot dormitory was constructed on West Green, along Richland Avenue, which was dubbed Boyd Hall. The current Boyd Hall is built in a Neo-Georgian style and features classical columns at the front entrance, facing south (Thompson).

To see a gallery of demolished buildings on Ohio University’s campus please visit Digital Initiatives Pinterest page. Please follow Maggie’s Twitter account, @MaggieBoyd1873 – we will be chronicling her day-to-day entries from her pocket diary. Also, keep following the Library Blog, the @AldenLibrary Twitter account or the Alden Library Facebook pageto read more about the university’s history during Maggie’s time and other aspects of Victorian life.

 Works Cited

Hollow, Betty. Ohio University, 1804-2004: History of a Singular Place. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2003. Print.

Hoover, Thomas. The History of Ohio University. Athens: Ohio University Press, 1954. Web. 22 Feb 2012.

“Boyd Hall (Old) color postcard description.” University Archives. Ohio University Libraries. Web. 3 Apr 2012.

Thompson, Brian. Email to Jessica Hagman. 3 Mar 2012. Web. 3 Apr 2012.