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Davis Hall/Brazos House – Remembered

Farewell to an old friend and unforgettable memories. While there are many memories recounted in our CCAC website, what some of us thought would never happen is actually going to happen—Davis Hall/Brazos House will be a thing of the past. The building was historically a military dorm, and many a soldier had some formative years before going off to serve our country. The building was unique, both in structure and well as one of the oldest buildings on campus. The inside was very military in looks—bunk beds metal desks, and even sinks that sprung back to the off position to avoid wasting water.

Only a couple of the old inhabitants of Davis Hall, CCAC members Col. (Ret) Tal Anderson and John (Hendew) Henderson showed up at the farewell party, 28 April 2018, but still an appropriate send off. They found that many of the former Brazos House residents had no knowledge of its military history. To help remedy that situation, Tal wrote the following shared it with the CCAC. It is a nice addition to our military heritage at UTA. Thanks Tal!

“There were only two of us at Saturday’s farewell to Brazos House who had lived there when it was Davis Hall which was the military dorm for ROTC cadets. Each ramp had a senior cadet who was “Ramp Commander”. There were rooms on all floors of each ramp except for A ramp where there was “day room/office” in the first room on the right on first floor. Rooms had metal bunk beds and THIN mattresses, one wooden table for studying, and a metal dresser. The single closet was very small and we filled it with mostly military uniforms. There was little room for civilian clothes. Our military shoes and boots, and civilian shoes had to be “spit-shined and aligned” underneath the bunk bed. Senior cadets could do unannounced inspections of freshmen cadets to ensure our rooms, clothing, and shoes were kept orderly and clean. Freshmen had “study hours” from 7 pm or 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm where we were required to be at our study table.

“At 9:30 pm (2130 hours military time), we were free to do personal things if we didn’t need additional study time. At 2300 hours (11:00 pm), a military bugle played TAPS and lights had to be turned off, unless a cadet requested and got approval for “late lights” for the purpose of continued studying. We learned discipline, respect for authority, and how to have an organized lifestyle.

Those of you who didn’t experience this likely think we were all crazy to tolerate this kind of regimentation in college. The result of this regimentation was that the majority of us who lived in Davis Hall went on to have highly successful military or civilian careers, OR BOTH. I served on Active Duty for 28 plus years and retired as a Colonel, as did many of my Davis Hall peers.

This is long but I thought that those of you who loved Brazos House needed to know the history of the old building before it was Brazos House. I made lifelong friends there just as many of you did. I met my wife of 54 years at a homecoming float building party behind Davis Hall. I too have lots of great memories just as you former Brazos residents do. Best wishes to all who occupied the old dorm, regardless of when….” Col (Ret) Tal Anderson.


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