Oklahoma Territorial Agricultural & Mechanical College was founded Christmas Eve 1890, but it wasn't until November 1891 that the location of the school was settled on in Stillwater. Classwork soon began thereafter, meeting in various structures in Stillwater while efforts were underway to build a permanent structure.
Finally, in time for the 1894 commencement weekend of June 15-17, the building was dedicated on June 15.
Known simply as the College Building, Old Central was the only permanent building on campus until 1900, when a building for the Chemistry Department was built to the west of it, and one for the Library to the east. These departments had formerly been housed in Old Central, with the Chemistry Department taking up most of the basement, and the library taking up half of the large room on the fist floor, the other half being shared by the English Department and map collection. This created very cramped conditions inside the building, and the choice of placing the chemistry department in the basement often meant that classes were canceled or ended early, as odors drifted up from below.