Range Rider, Volume 15, Number 3, February, 1961 Page: 4
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Anna Hall Served Well
Anna Hall, the oldest building on the Hardin-Simmons Uni\vcrsiv campus.
was demolished to make way for the new student center. A lot of alumni
may not recall the building by that name because it served several different
purposes during its lifetime.
A contract for the construction of Anna Hall was awarded to Winters &
Russell, Contractors, on April 28, 1903. The contract price was $7,212. It
was built as a 21.2 story girls' dormitory.
Anna Hall was named for Sarah Anna Simmons, the granddaughter of Dr.
James B. Simmons, for whom Simmons College was named. Miss Simmons
came to Abilene and served as Instructor of Art for the 1915-1916 school
year. She still lives in New York City. Recently she told Dr. Evan Allard
Reiff, H-SU President, that she had no objections to the building being torn
down. She was delighted to learn of the progress being made by the univer-
Some of the brick from the structure, together with
its cornerstone, will go into a permanent memorial.
Dr. Rupert N. Richardson, now president emeritus of
H-SU, recalls that Anna Hall was serving as a girls'
dormitory when he entered Simmons College. About
1906, he said, Dr. O. H. Cooper, the young college's
fifth president, moved ith his family into an apartment
in the building.
Dining facilities had been added and even the men
on the campus took their meals in Anna Hall, Dr.
Richardson says. Boys at that time were housed in a
cluster of cottages on the campus.
Anna Simmons Dr. Cooper's successor, Dr. J. D. Sandefer. also lived
1915-16 in Anna Hall for a few years after he became president
in 1909. Dr. Sandefer was to hold the college and university presidency for
31 years, and be saw Anna Hall in a variety of roles.
In about 1915 or 1916, Dr. Richardson remembers a new girls dormitory.
Mary Frances Hall, was built and the coeds moved out of Anna Hall. The
building then became an office building, with living quarters maintained
in the ton floor for a few faculty members and other college employees.
Anna Hall got a pretty thorough remodeling job in 1925. At that time it
was converted to a library buildin. at a cost of $20,000, almost three times
more than the price it was built for in 1903.
The building served that purpose until 1949. when Sandefer Memorial
was completed. The library was moved to the top two floors of Sandefer
Memorial and Anna Hall again underwent a facelifting. This time it was
converted to a student center. It served this purpose until the demolition
crews began their work on August 21.
Condemned several years ago after several cracks appeared in its outer
walls, the building lived outs its usefulness with only limited loads allowed
on the top floor. Some time ago, heavy steel rods were strung from wall to
wall in an effort to hold the structure together.
Anna Simmons' father, Robert S. Simmons, and her grandparents, Dr. and
Mrs. James B. Simmons, are buried in The Triangle, just across the street
from Anna Hall. In recent years she has considered visiting the campus,
but has been unable to do so.
Without the financial support of the Simmons family, Simmons College
might have never opened its doors, or if it had been able to do so, might have
died during its first few years. The H-SU library contains several thousand
books which were given by the Simmons family.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Hardin-Simmons University. Range Rider, Volume 15, Number 3, February, 1961, periodical, September 1961; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth116945/m1/4/: accessed May 24, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hardin-Simmons University Library.