Oklahoma Panhandle State University
Campus History : Muller Hall and North Hall
A need for additional dormitory space was identified in 1935, and House Bill No. 436 provided for an expansion of the Panhandle Agricultural Institute (PAI). These two identical buildings were constructed in 1938 with funding granted by the Public Works Administration and with self-liquidating bonds. Panhandle politicians, Oklahoma Governor Leon C. Phillips, and PAI President Ed Morrison traveled to Washington, D.C. to secure the federal monies. The total cost of both buildings amounted to $130,000.
These residence halls were completely built by hand; cement and bricks were off-loaded from trains and placed in wagons pulled by mules and horses to the construction sites. Both dormitories, measuring 170 feet by 72 feet, had three stories with one story a “half” basement. The dormitories’ combined occupancy equaled 200 students. Inside, the buildings contained reception areas, recreation rooms, and air conditioning. The women’s dormitory, eventually named Muller Hall, featured a cafeteria. The men’s residence hall became North Hall. The original contract for the buildings did not include furniture, so students enrolled in industrial arts courses made the walnut furniture for the students’ rooms. Even after students moved in in September 1939, workmen had yet to finish the basements. Therefore, workers dug out the basement and poured the dirt outside through open basement windows and then mixed the concrete and poured it inside the building through the basement windows to complete the structure.
Both buildings were dedicated on October 2, 1939, during a BBQ sponsored by the No Man’s Land Museum. President Henry G. Bennett of Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College, now Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, offered the dedication speech.
- Sara Jane Richter, 2009