Libbey House as owned by Daniel Libbey, late 1880s
Libbey House, buitl ca. 1872, demolished 1927, used as Domestic science buildingAd for Libbey's sash and door company

The Libbey House was built between 1872 and 1873 by Daniel L. Libbey, a prominent Oshkosh resident and businessman. Libbey was President of Union National Bank and the lumber firms Williamson, Libbey and Co. (established in 1860) and Campbell, Libbey and Co.

In November of 1911, Oshkosh State Normal School acquired the Libbey House as one of its first expansion efforts. The property was just north of campus and extended from Algoma Street to Elm Street (present day Elmwood Avenue). The building housed the Industrial Education Department until 1912 when a new building was erected on a portion of the home’s lot for the department’s use. The Libbey House was renovated for use by the Domestic Science Department. During that time, the first floor included a living room, dining room, office and kitchen. The second floor housed several sewing rooms.

 

Domestic science students work in a retrofitted Libbey House, circa 1915


The Domestic Science Department offered classes in the domestic arts for women as well as a homelike space used for small parties and banquets. Classes were designed to “promote the proper proportioning of time, the dexterous handling of utensils and measures of supplies, includes experimental study of the composition of foods, the preparation of foods for the table in ways best suited to facilitate digestion and assimilation, the planning and serving of meals and the preparation of school lunches.”

 

Libbey House with attached "barracks", 1924
As early as 1923, the Libbey House was described by state chief insurance inspector as being a “menace to health”. In his report to the Board of Normal School Regents, President Brown said that the Libbey House was “in the last stages of dilapidation and decay” and “unsafe, unsanitary, and uncomfortable”. It was determined that repairing the house would be more costly than relocating the Domestic Science Department to the basement of the Rose C. Swart building which was under construction at the time. The Libbey House was demolished in 1928.
Notice to Contractor to bid on removing Libbey House
Rose C. Swart Campus School under construction, 1929
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