On March 22, 1858, Governor of Iowa Ralph P. Lowe signed the legislative bill establishing the State Agricultural College and Model Farm. The bill provided for a board of trustees to manage the model farm and college to be developed. Residents of Story and Boone counties presented an attractive proposal to locate the new institution at a site west of Squaw Creek and downtown Ames. The proposal included significant gifts of land and funding to assist in developing the College site. The Story County site was selected by the trustees on June 21, 1859.
The first concern was establishing the model farm specified in the legislation. Priority was given to two buildings. A farmhouse and livestock barn were both considered essential as a beginning, and construction of these two started in 1860.
Iowa State University
Ewing, Solon A., "Historic Barns of Iowa State" (2001). Swine Research Report, 2000. 15.