Saturday, September 19, 2015

Irvington--A College Town

From 1875 until 1928, Irvington hosted Butler University. For thousands of students, the neighborhood became an important part of their lives. Butler employed women as professors from its founding and was an early leader in coeducation among U.S. colleges. The campus provided very little housing with only one dorm so most students dwelled in boarding, fraternity, or sorority houses throughout the community. Many local residents earned an extra income by leasing out a bedroom to a Butler student. In 1912, the only dorm on campus was for out-of-town women. Decorum between men and women was tightly regulated in those days although campus officials frequently had meetings with the students to review the rules and infractions.

Two of the images below show the women's dorm on campus. The photos were taken between 1912 and 1919. The third image shows the bedroom of two Butler students. It was likely taken in a private home as the young women were members of the Kappa Kappa Kappa Sorority, but it might have been taken in the dorm. Note all of the interesting items in that photo!

Women's Dorm on Butler campus c1919 (demolished)

Women's Dorm on Butler campus in 1912 (demolished)

Two Butler women study and work in their room somewhere on or near the Butler campus in 1912
The historic images are courtesy of Nancy Ostrander.  

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