In 1973, Mrs. Ruth Kellett donated her four-story Georgian style home to the Board of Regents of Southwest Missouri State University (SMSU) "as a part of the institution’s Residence Center." Her donation was a memorial to her late husband, Howard Kellett. The Kellett's had lived in the home since 1929.
M.B. Clarke, the builder and first-owner of the home, was vice-president of the first SMSU Board of Regents.
The Kellett residence was the first permanent home for the West Plains campus. Until this time, the Residence Center had used facilities at the West Plains High School. The new facility allowed the campus to offer classes during the day. No longer were classes limited to the late afternoon and evening hours.
A dedication ceremony was held on July 5, 1974.
In 1977, the Missouri General Assembly appropriated funding which, along with private donations, made a 4,200-square-foot addition to Kellett Hall possible. The addition was completed in 1980.
SMSU-West Plains was authorized $150,000 from the Fourth State Building Fund in 1995 and $268,210 from State Capital Appropriations in 1996 to renovate space to house the nursing program and to add an elevator to meet ADA requirements. During the renovation process, Kellett Hall sustained heavy damage by a fire in February 1996. The roof and third floor of Kellett Hall were extensively damaged by the fire, with water and smoke damage throughout the rest of the brick and stone three-story building.
Restoration of the building, along with the renovation project, was completed in March 1997