In 1939, President Frank L. McVey announced to the Board of Trustees that Margaret Voorhies Haggin had created a trust fund in memory of her late husband, James B. Haggin. Over the years, the gift has enriched the program of the University through the encouragement given to the artistic and intellectual life of the institution. The funds have not been used for regularly occurring expenses but for highly desirable equipment as a great organ, rare books, works of art, for lectureships, scholarships and for the publications of scholarly books.
In September of 1960 a new dormitory was dedicated by UK President Frank G. Dickey. He challenged the students who were to live there to use the knowledge gained at UK for the good of their fellow men. It was designed to promote the educational progress of the students while providing healthful surroundings for general living.
|Construction of Haggin Hall|
Fittingly, the new dorm was named in honor of the late James B. Haggin and his wife, Margaret V. Haggin. The 575 bed dormitory was the largest and newest on the campus. It was constructed at a cost of $1,800,000 under a bond issue financed by the Federal Housing and Home Finance Agency.
The dorm had central air conditioning and heating facilities with individual climate control units in each room; external stairwells to reduce internal noise; an intercom system from the central office to the corridors to make communication more effective and lounge and recreation areas placed so that fellow students wouldn’t disturb others.
Haggin Hall served the University well until May of 2013 when it was demolished to make room for new growth at the University.
|James Haggin. By Bradley & Rulofson, San Francisco (Online Archive of California) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons|
But who was James Ben Ali Haggin? Haggin was born around 1827 in Frankfort, Kentucky. His father was a native Kentuckian and his mother was Turkish. He followed the gold rush to California and owned numerous mines. Haggin sold his share of mines to purchase land in California, a single tract measuring 400,000 acres.
Haggin went from land owner to stock raiser, turfman, and raiser of thoroughbreds. He bought more land in the heart of the Bluegrass - 5,000 acres that he made famous under the name of Elmendorf. After the death of his son, Ben Ali, Haggin turned his attention to raising thoroughbred stock and horses at Elmendorf farm. Haggin was a successful and varied man who left a long lasting legacy, he passed away in 1914 at the age of 87.