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The Farm

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In 1874 the University of Nebraska purchased a 320 acre farm from Moses Culver for the establishment of a model farm. Located several miles from the University campus in downtown Lincoln, the farm included a collection of small utility buildings and a modest stone house. Shortly after, the University constructed a frame house that was intended to be used as a dormitory, although enrollment in the Agriculture program was minimal. The frame house provided inexpensive housing to students who were expected to work on the farm. All classes were taught on the main campus downtown.

Eventually the frame house was improved and Senator Perin was hired to serve as Superintendent of the farm. Perin added a porch to the frame house so that his wife and children could enjoy summer evenings after a hard day’s work.

The original stone house was used for several decades as a research facility for faculty working with animals, or as additional living space for single professors. Other small frame and brick buildings were located on the farm--barns, sheds and an animal research building used by Frank Billings, a notorious professor who claimed he could cure hog cholera.

Nearly all of the early farm buildings were located near the area where the Perin Porch is now located. Most of the buildings were oriented to the south, toward Holdrege, an unpaved dirt road.

The first academic building constructed on the farm was the Dairy Building, erected in 1896, directly east of the stone house and the frame house. As the campus emerged from the original farm, the need for the stone and frame houses diminished. The frame house was raised in 1933 after the Perin’s relocated to a nearby neighborhood.

Source Information:
Growing up with the Nebraska School of Agriculture, by Hazel Perin Reeder. 1971.