Under the university’s first president, Henry Solomon Lehr, athletics were not extensively supported. His successor, President Belt, in contrast, purchased the former Tri-county Fair Grounds in 1903 on the southeast corner of the village.
The northern end of the grounds was sold for building lots and the balance was made into an athletic facility called Alumni Field. Not only did this provide new area offer playing fields, but it also allowed students in the military department to drill off campus. Their constant marching had reduced the lawn fronting
In the spring of 1911 the university established a
With the demise of the
Use of the west campus area for athletic purposes ceased at war’s end. The G.I. Bill allowed many students to attend college, and enrollment at Northern soared. To house these new students, many of them married, several trailer parks were established on campus, including one on the athletic fields. Fortunately at this time, the citizens of Ada were considering ways to memorialize their local servicemen. Their decision was the current