Iowa State University

Inside Iowa State
February 19, 1999

Ask Inside

Welcome to another edition of Ask Inside. Send your questions about Iowa State sites, history, policies and "things" to Ask Inside, 217 Communications, e-mail:

Q: A lot has been written about the Farm House Museum. But how did we get two other "houses" on campus -- Osborn Cottage and Sloss House?

A: Both buildings were designed by the same architect, J. B. Ballenger, and completed in 1883. They were built as faculty/staff residences, as a convenient option to commuting to campus from Ames.

Botany professor Charles Bessey was the first Sloss House tenant, but the building is named for one of its later residents, Thomas Sloss. Sloss was superintendent of buildings and grounds and lived in the house from 1925 to 1936. His daughter, Margaret Sloss, was the first female graduate of Iowa State's veterinary medicine program and a faculty member from 1923 to 1972. (The women's center, now operating in Sloss House, is named for her.) Sloss House has been an office building since 1970.

Osborn Cottage is named for its first tenant, Herbert Osborn. From 1883 to 1898, Osborn chaired the department of zoology, entomology and geology, and lived in the house with his family. The house served as a residence until 1968. It has been home to the Honors Program since 1976.

Sources: For Whom It is Named andThe Iowa State University Campus and Its Buildings

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Revised 02/18/99