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First ONU college building

David Devier, Ph.D., attended ONU, taught there for 15 years, and lived in and around Ada for 45 years. In the following column he provides an item of "town and gown" history that fits with the theme of Founders Day, celebrated this year on April 6.

By David Devier

This is a plate from the 1902 publication "Ada and the O.N.U. The New and the Old" photo book. This plate shows H. S. Lehr standing in front of the house at 122 West Monford St, which still stands (see photo attached), that served as his first college building.

The other photo is of the Union School, which was built with the help of the citizens of Ada for the college. It was later torn down and the new Lehr Building replaced it. It is amazing to reflect that from these humble beginnings an amazing university arose.

Editor's note: The Library of Congress provides electronic access to this volume of 33 photogravures  at

The book is in a collection in the public domain.