In 1912, Lawrence banker Jabez B. Watkins (1845-1921) built the three-story, 26-room house, designed by W.J. Mitchell, for himself and his wife, Elizabeth Miller Watkins. She lived in the home until her death in 1939, bequeathing it to the university as a chancellor’s residence. It replaced the original brick chancellor’s residence at 1345 Louisiana St.
Chancellor Deane W. Malott and his family were the first to live in the home. The first floor is used for receptions and other public functions; the upper stories are family living quarters.