THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LXII APRIL, 1959 No. 4
/.!tal o ec as
WALTER E. LONG
EW CAMPUS INSTITUTIONS have become as intricately inter-
woven into the sentimental and emotional fabric of the
University of Texas as the old building that was known as
B Hall. During its sixty-one years of eventful history from Jan-
uary, 1891, to 1952, B Hall served a variety of functions, each of
which contributed to the growing legend that began during the
building's initial and most colorful period when it served as the
first men's dormitory on the campus.
The unexpected always happened in and around B Hall. Most
of the boys were quite poor, and there was little they could not
originate to inject some humor into a social life that was sharply
limited by a general lack of money. This poverty is rather difficult
for a present-day student to grasp because the American economy
has gone so far so fast that the expression "poor boy" is no longer
in the jargon of college campuses.
The reader must entirely forget present-day economy and
project his mind back to the Southern agricultural depression of
the late 188o's and the national industrial depression of the early
1890o's. He must put his thinking back to those two periods of
severe economic dislocation when nearly 90 per cent of the
population of Texas was classified as rural. Prices then?
A fat steer brought five to eight dollars; cotton, four cents per
pound; eggs, two cents per dozen; butter, ten cents per pound;
labor, from fifty cents to one dollar per day. At least from $ioo
to $150 was necessary for a year at the University of Texas. In
addition, a boy needed only a pair of shoes, a suit, a shirt, and a
pair of balbriggans.
'Texas Almanac, 1958-959 (Dallas, 1957), 96.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 62, July 1958 - April, 1959. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101173/. Accessed May 26, 2015.