Beginning in 1958, with assistance from the federal government, the University began the four-phase development of the South 40. The buildings that make up the residential college of Rubelmann/Umrath were women's dormitories built during this first phase of construction in 1958 (along with the Liggett and Koenig halls, which were for men and have subsequently been replaced). Originally called "C" and "D," in 1960 the buildings were dedicated and named after Helen F. Umrath and Maurie Rubelmann.
Helen Umrath was the wife of Karl D. Umrath, for whom the building next to the Mallinckrodt Student Center is named. Together, the Umraths gave $1.5 million to Washington University. The University erected and dedicated the Umrath House in Mrs. Umrath's name and Karl D. Umrath Hall on the Danforth Campus in honor of her husband.
Due to the generous gifts of the Umraths, Rubelmann House was dedicated in honor of Helen (Rubelmann) Umrath's sister, Maurie Rubelmann.