Picture This: Daisy Hall

This post is part of our ongoing series featuring photographs from our collection. Explore more of our digitized photos (and other items) over on Digital Commons @ ACU

As students arrive on campus this fall, we’re taking a look back at dorm life through the years at Abilene Christian University, starting off with Daisy Hall. Don’t recognize that name from a recent walk around campus? That’s because Daisy Hall was located at the Childers Classical Institute (and then in 1917 the newly renamed Abilene Christian College) campus on North 1st street near the center of Abilene.

Daisy Hall on the Abilene Christian College campus, circa 1914-1915. The new sidewalk pictured was built by the Zellner Literary Society as a memorial at the end of the 1914-1915 school year. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Named in honor of President Jesse P. Sewell’s wife Daisy Sewell, Daisy Hall served many purposes on the growing campus. The 1915-1916 Catalog of Abilene Christian College described Daisy Hall:

This is a three story brick structure, modern and first class in every respect. It is heated with steam and lighted with electricity. There are baths, with hot and cold water on each floor. Each floor has completely equipped toilet rooms. Each room has individual clothes closets and a lavatory with running water. Most of the rooms are furnished with single beds, and all of them with nice dressers, tables, chairs, etc. The reception parlor, library and dining room are decorated with Sister Sewell’s beautiful oil, pastel and water color pictures, and hand painted china. The library contains Brother Sewell’s excellent collection of more than six hundred books. 

Brother and Sister Sewell live in the building, with other members of the faculty, and give their very best thoughts and efforts to making it a pleasant and wholesome home for all girls who are trusted to their care.

Photograph of a student reading in a Daisy Hall bedroom, circa 1915-1916. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Daisy Hall bathroom, circa 1915-1916. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Daisy Hall bedroom, circa 1915-1916. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

According to the 1919-1920 Catalog of Abilene Christian College, board in Daisy Hall ranged from $59-$75 per semester, depending on the term and if you preferred a north room or a south room. For comparison, tuition for the same academic year ranged from $22.50 for the winter term all the way up to $27.50 for the fall term.

The administration office in Daisy Hall, circa 1915-1916. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

Parlor of Daisy Hall, circa 1919. The photograph was taken from Carrie Acuff Brasher’s scrapbook and is part of the Sewell Photograph Collection.

The Library in Daisy Hall, circa 1915-1916. President Jesse Sewell is pictured reading a book. From the Sewell Photograph Collection.

The same 1919-1920 catalog provides a glimpse into the daily schedule of the residents of Daisy Hall:

6:30-7:00__ Arise and arrange rooms.

7:00-8:00__Breakfast.

8:00-10:00__Study and recitations.

10:00-10:30__Chapel.

10:30-12:30__Study and recitations.

12:30-1:30__Lunch.

1:30-3:30__Study and recitations.

3:30-6:00__Exercise.

6:00-7:00__Dinner.

7:00-10:30__Study.

Daisy Hall was used until the ACC campus moved to its current location in 1929.

Are you interested in the history of a particular ACC or ACU dormitory? If so, find us on Twitter (@DISCAatACU) and let us know! 

Can you identify this preacher?

Special Collections received an early Christmas present yesterday. Just before the morning service started Tom Milholland handed me this photo of a very young preacher in knee-breeches. Can you guess his identity? Check back tomorrow at noon for the answer! Here is one hint: taken when he just began preaching (at about age 15 or 16) this young man would be one of the most recognizable preachers among Churches of Christ in the 20th century.

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Big Spring, Texas, Church of Christ, ca. 1935

Here is the meetinghouse of the Church of Christ in Big Spring, Texas, 1935, as it appeared during the ministry of Forrest R. Waldrop.

In my experience, interior photographs are rarer than exterior shots.  At least in the archival contexts in which I have worked contained far more snapshots of the church building than the inside.  Usually we do not think to photograph our most sacred places (unless a classroom wing is added or it was time for a new directory).

Interior views capture a sense of the space in which congregations met for worship, for instruction, for inspiration.  In these spaces they performed their most sacred rituals, read from their most sacred texts, oriented and reoriented their lives.  Worship, marriage ceremonies, funeral services, passing on their faith to their children and engaging and serving their neighbors: all of this and more occurred weekly at meetinghouses across the US and the globe.

How does the space in which you worship shape your worship?  How does your worship shape the space you create in which to assemble, or teach, or serve?

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