Julius T. Willard papers

Identity elements

Reference code

Level of description



Julius T. Willard papers


  • 1847–1947 (Creation)


16.00 Linear Feet, 19.00 Boxes

Name of creator


Biographical history

Julius T. Willard was a Kansas State graduate and chemistry professor, as well as the longtime college historian and vice president. After receiving his B.S. from K-State in 1883, Willard worked as assistant chemist at K-State until he received his M.S. in 1886, after which he studied for two years at Johns Hopkins University. In 1888, Willard returned to Kansas as assistant chemist of the Kansas Experiment Station, a position he held until 1897, and in 1890, he became an assistant professor of chemistry at K-State. From 1900 to 1901, Willard was promoted to Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Kansas Experiment Station, eventually becoming the Dean of the Division of General Science at K-State in 1909, a position he held until 1930. Willard also twice served as the acting president of K-State, in 1914 and 1918, and served as vice president from 1918 to 1935. From 1936 to 1950, Willard was the college historian for K-State, a position which led to his publishing of “History of the Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science” in 1940. Willard died in 1950.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Julius T. Willard papers include records related to his tenure at Kansas State University, personal records, the Students' Army Training Corps, financial documents, statistics related to the university, literary works, and various reports and printed materials. The correspondence series, 1894–1926, includes letters from the chief of the United States Department of Agriculture, the Riley County Treasurer, Kansas Attorney General Aretas Allen Gotard, professors at other universities, and many others. Correspondence also includes letters from the Agricultural Experiment Stations throughout Kansas, the United States, and Cuba, as well as correspondence related to reports of the Agricultural Experiment Stations. Subjects in the correspondence series relate to Willard’s travels abroad, personal purchases, character references, normal schools, articles by Willard submitted to Farm Life, subscriptions to various publications, chemistry coursework, etc. Correspondence relates both to Willard’s work at Kansas State College (KSC) as well as personal matters.

The subject file series includes both K-State and personal files. The K-State subject files are extensive, including academic calendars, applications for employment, correspondence about the selection of the official K-State college color, and information about various campus departments. The subject files also include information about various campus organizations, as well as biographical information about various faculty members, including Nellie Kedzie Jones and Mary Van Zile. Personal subject files contain financial documents pertaining to the Tacoma Company and the Portland Cement Company, as well as various organizations with which Willard was a member.

Materials in the estate series include correspondence related to the Willard farm and estate, expenditures, and receipts. The literary works series contains history of KSC in newspapers and in letters, drafts of works, and autobiographical reminiscences. The history of KSC in newspapers includes copies of articles printed in newspapers connected to K-State. The history of KSC in letters contains letters and newspaper correspondence pertaining to acts by the Board of Regents from 1897 to 1899. Additionally, there is a chapter omitted from Willard’s 1940 book, History of Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, titled “Discussion of the Controversy of the Seventies" [1870s]. The literary works series includes drafts of his 1940 book and Willard’s autobiographical reminiscences.

The military file series includes business files related to the Students' Army Training Corps and the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, as well as materials connected to training camp at Fort Sheridan. The bulk of the materials dates from 1918 and 1919. The financial documents series of Willard’s papers contains receipts, vouchers, and other materials related to K-State expenses including laboratory charges. The statistics series contains materials related to grade distribution, attendance, and enrollment. The report series includes reports for American Universities and Colleges, the Department of the Interior Bureau of Education, the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, as well as other reports such as the cost of attending K-State.

The final series includes a variety of printed materials including invitations, programs, a speech class syllabus, articles, and quotations. Also included are card files with lecture notes, names and positions of numerous faculty and students, and notes on various pieces of history related to K-State.

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged in nine series: Correspondence,  Subject Files: K-State and Personal, Estate Records, Literary Works, Speeches, Military Files, Financial Documents, Statistics, Reports, Printed Materials, Card Files. Subject files are arranged alphabetically.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

No access restriction: All materials are open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Generated finding aid

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Julius T. Willard is the likely donor.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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Existence and location of copies

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Related descriptions

Specialized notes

  • Citation: [Item title], [item date], Julius T. Willard papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

Archon Collection ID


Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Sources used

Archivist's note

The original finding aid author is unknown. Graduate research assistant Edward Nagurny revised the finding aid in April 2015 when moving content to a previous archival collection management system. Student assistant Natalie Smith rehoused and updated the container list in 2017, reducing the number of boxes from 25 to 21.

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