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Feldman, Jim / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

First dairy building,   pp. 64-65

Page 65

Fig. 3. August 1949, the first
dairy building is demolished
to make way for Babcock
Hall, named for the man who
built this building. [9/3 First
Dairy School folderjf-13]
to attend the proceedings.6
Henry's lobbying paid off in 1891 when the state appropriated $40,000 for a permanent dairy
building. But in the two academic years before that building could be planned and constructed, the
dairy course was held in this frame building. The location is given as behind Dean Henry's house.7
Since Dean Henry first lived in the farm house by the horse barn, prior to the construction of his
house at 10 North Babcock, the first dairy building evidently stood near the site of the horse barn.
In 1909 the agriculture department moved the old dairy building to a new site just east of the
stock pavilion. The building was being used in the 1920s by the Dairy Records Office. Fig. 2 shows
the building after the move to the stock pavilion location. The oval plaque on the front of the building
reads: "The first Dairy School in America was held in this building during the Winter of 1890-91 as
an educational outgrowth of the invention of the Babcock Milk Test."'8
The old dairy building stood for about 60 years (remarkable for a cheap, heavily used and
amateur built woodframe building). Finally in August of 1949 near the beginning of the massive
postwar building boom it was demolished (see Fig. 3) to make way for Babcock Hall.9 Hiram Smith
Hall is often cited as the first Dairy School building in the country, or the world, but in fact was not
even the first on the UW campus. That honor belongs to the now departed first dairy building pic-
tured here.
1) Curti and Carstensen, The University of Wisconsin A History, vol. 2 p. 396.
2) Wisconsin Country Magazine, November 1919, p. 47.
3) Regents Report, 1889-1990 p. 46.
4) Glover, W. H., Farm & College, p. 137.
5) Glover, W. H., Farm & College, p. 119. Of this test governor William Dempster Hoard said "the Babcock test to the
farmer was a more potent factor for righteousness than the bible, because it showed up the culprit quicker."
6) Wisconsin Country Magazine, November 1919 p. 47.
7) Wisconsin Country Magazine, November 1919 p. 47.
8) This inscription incorrectly implies that the building was erected after the Babcock test was developed. The Report
of the Farm Committee of June 24, 1890 series 1/1/3 box 10, indicates that the building was already complete.
9) Daily Cardinal, August 5, 1949 p. 5, Regent's Minutes, July 14, 1949.

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