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25. Stoll Field

Photo of stoll
field

This photograph shows an early University of Kentucky football game between State University (S.U.), the University of Kentucky's name before the state legislature gave it the current moniker, and Purdue University. The football game was played in the year 1915.

The grounds were pasturage for President Patterson's cows until 1892 when the University began playing football regularly. Around that time, the grounds, located along Winslow Street (Euclid Avenue), were prepared for football. "Main Street businessmen and some faculty formed a stock company. From the stock sales, labor donated by engineering students, and with Patterson's cows evicted, the grounds were improved and enclosed by a fence, and wooden stands were erected on both sides of the field" (Cone, 1989).

Stoll Field was dedicated in 1916 at the first Kentucky-Vanderbilt football game which Vanderbilt won 45-0. In 1918, World War I soldiers were housed in "hastily constructed barracks ... at the east end of Stoll Field, but they were hardly in use when the war ended" (Cone, 1989). It was surrounded by a running track after the end of World War I. McLean Stadium was built around it in the 1924 season. This stadium lasted, modified with additional seating, through the 1972 season, when the old field and stadium were finally abandoned for Commonwealth Stadium. The destruction of the field and the stadium allowed a second addition to the Student Center and the Center for the Arts, later named after Singletary (Cone, 1989).

The field was named after Richard C. Stoll. Stoll was part of the University during its early days as State College, later as State University and, finally, the University of Kentucky. He served on the Board of Trustees after graduating in 1895 until his death in 1949, only missing one three-year interval (Cone, 1989).

INTERESTING NOTE

  • The University of Kentucky's early football games are documented in the old issues of the Kentucky Kernel on microfilm in the M.I. King Library PNM department.

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