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Feldman, Jim (Writer) / The buildings of the University of Wisconsin

H.L. Russell house,   p. 89

Page 89

Fig. 1. The H. L. Russell
house at 424 Farm Place, c.
1954, a comer of the home
of Professor King, from
whom Russell bought the
land, can be seen at the far
right. [Muere photo M51-7]
arry Luman Russell graduated from the UW in 1888, returned to Madison as an assistant
professor in bacteriology in 1893, and embarked on a career at the university during which he
was dean of the College of Agriculture, director of the state hygiene lab, and director of
WARF (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation). Russell died in 1954, age 88.
In 1895 Russell bought a small parcel of land in the area now [1993] occupied by Babcock
Hall, from colleague professor F. H. King, who had built a house in that area in 1889. The deed
requires that Russell build a $2500 house by January 1, 1898 or forfeit title back to King.1
Russell lived in the house on Farm Place until 1907 when Dean Henry vacated the dean's
house at 10 North Babcock Drive. Russell became the new dean and moved down the street into the
dean's house, where he stayed until he resigned to become president of WARF in 19312. The univer-
sity rented the old house from dean Russell for $85 per month and used it for space for the depart-
ment of economic entomology. After the university purchased the property in August 1928 for
$15,500, Aldo Leopold's department of Forestry and Wildlife had offices in the house during this
period 3. In the middle 1960s the railroad tracks between the house and University Avenue were
moved to the north to make way for the construction of Campus Drive and in the fall of 1964 the
house was demolished.
1) Farm Place runs west just north of University Avenue, behind the current location of Babcock Hall, turns north just
east of the Stock Pavilion and connected with Linden Drive. Russell to Bumpus, July 26, 1911, series 24/1/1 (Russell
2) The Capital Times, September 9, 1964.
3) Regent's Minutes, August 1, 1928 p. 42. The story is that Leopold's students moved his belongings from cramped
basement quarters in horticulture into the abandoned house at night and that they were never evicted. [Meine, Curt,
Aldo Leopold, p. 381.].

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