The Practice House, first established at Withycombe House in 1916, was used for instruction in Home Economics. The curriculum included "Practice Housekeeping" and work with "Practice Babies" - local infants used to teach the basics of caring for a baby.
Born in Portland, Oregon, in August of 1887, Samuel H. Graf entered the Oregon Agricultural College in 1903 to study engineering. He received five engineering degrees from the college - B.S., Electrical Engineering (1907); E.E., Electrical Engineering (1908); B.S., Mechanical Engineering (1908); M.E., Mechanical Engineering (1909); and M.S., Electrical Engineering (1909). Between 1909 and 1954 Graf held several faculty positions in engineering at Oregon State. From 1909-1912 he was an instructor in mechanical engineering; from 1912-1920 he was the head of experimental engineering; head of the Department of Mechanics and Materials (1920-1934) and of the Department of Mechanical Engineering (1934-1954); director of engineering research (1928-1944); and director of the Engineering Experiment Station (1944-1954).