The Ralph Foster Museum grew from the humble beginnings in the 1920?s. It became one of the midwest?s foremost institutions of historical preservation. It occupies the space in the basement of Abernathy Hall which was a boy?s dormitory. Later on, the dorm was vacated and the entire building was converted into a museum. Originally named as the Museum of the Ozarks, it was also named as the Good Museum because of the generosity of Dr. Good. Among its first and earliest exhibits are a mounted bird collection and a butterfly collection.
In the 1960?s, Mr. Ralph Foster became interested in the Museum. He donated an extensive collection containing Western and Native American artifacts. Due to the increasing size of the collection, a new wing was added to the building as well as a new entrance. The Museum then changes its name to the Ralph Foster Museum.