The papers of Thomas Elmer Will (1861-1937), professor of Political Economy and President of Kansas State Agricultural College, were donated to the University by Lawrence E. Will, the son of the late Thomas E. Will.
The papers, consisting of approximately 430 items, are housed in one document box. They are arranged according to form of material in seven series: l) correspondence, 2) minutes, 3) legal documents, 4) reports, 5) printed material, 6) financial records, and 7) notes and drafts.
The processing of the papers was completed by Cindy Schneider in March of 1984. The collection is accessioned as PC 96, (revised number, UA 1988.43) and cataloged as MS 2.
1861 Born in Stones Prairie, Illinois, November 11 1880 Country School teacher 1885 Graduated from Illinois State Normal 1886-1888 Principal Edwards Grammar School, Springfield, IL 1888-1889 Student, University of Michigan 1890 Entered senior class at Harvard and graduated 1891 Married Marie Van Velsor, July 1; Accepted chair of History and Political Science, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI 1893 Helped organize the Union for Practical Progress at Boston; Delivered courses of Lectures on Economics at Boston; Wrote a series of sociological articles for the "Arena", Boston 1894 Accepted chair of Political Economy Kansas State Agricultural College 1897 Elected President of Kansas State Agricultural College; Head of State Experimental Station 1899 Resigned as President of KSAC 1900-1903 Educational, literary and administrative work at Ruskin College, Trenton, MO 1903-1905 Lived in Wichita, KS, editor of newspaper; President of New Socialist College; Delegate to National Convention 1905 Appointed to position in United States Census Office; Member, American Forestry Association, Washington, DC 1910 Moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Editor of magazine, "Conservation"; Delivered lectures for American Forestry Association 1914 Started first settlement, Okeelanta, Palm Beach County, Florida Everglades 1915-1930 Involved in the development of the Everglades and highway projects 1930 Mrs. Will passed away, March 5; Moved to Belle Glede, FL 1931 Spent 3 months in Tallahassee, FL at legislative sessions 1932 Spent 6 months in Washington, DC lobbying for the Everglades 1937 Died March 5 1941 Opening of Thomas Will Memorial Highway, connecting Lake Okeechobee with Miami and Fort Lauderdale
Walters, J.D., History of the Kansas State Agricultural College, 1909 (LD/2668/W3)
Willard, Julius T., History of the Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, 1940. (LD/2668/W4935)
Who's Who In America, Volume 4, 1961-1968. (E/663/W55/V.4)
The Thomas E. Will papers contain business correspondence, printed material, Board of Regents minutes, reports, legal documents, notes and drafts, and newspaper clippings. There are approximately 430 items in the collection, which is housed in one document box.
The papers are divided into seven series: l) correspondence, 2) minutes, 3) legal documents, 4) reports, 5) printed material, 6) financial records, and 7) notes and drafts.
Correspondence with Regents, Kansas State Agricultural College executive department members, KSAC faculty and staff and the governor of Kansas, make up a large portion of the collection. Also among correspondence is letters between J.D. Walters and Thomas E. Will.
Many of the letters deal with normal procedures at KSAC, however, some of the correspondence concerns the resignation of President Thomas E. Will. The series is contained in five folders.
Board of Regents minutes make up the second series and they are contained in a single folder. Among the minutes are reactions of Regents to the dismissal of Thomas E. Will and other college professors, Regents Carl Vrooman and Susan St. John, in particular.
Legal documents are filed in one folder. The documents are contracts written up by the Board of Regents for college faculty and staff. Some of the contracts are actually signed by the Regents, but many of them are blank forms. Other legal records consist of statements of college debts owed and changes within the Board of Regents.
Reports concern the political controversies that caused outrage in Manhattan, as well as the college. These reports are just written papers that explain the happenings at this time of political dissension. This information is contained in the fourth series, entitled reports.
Printed material makes up a large portion of the collection. Such items as programs and articles concerning KSAC, articles written by Thomas E. Will, a Kansas Supreme Court brief by G.C. Clemons, and newspaper clippings are included in this series. The series is contained in five folders.
Financial documents include statements and expenditures concerning the treasury department of KSAC Also included in this series are copies of the college deficits for the fiscal years 1886-1899.
Notes and drafts make up the final series of this collection. The authorship of many of these handwritten items is unknown and they are difficult to read.
Box Folder Correspondence 1 01 1896-1898 02 1899 03 1900 04 1901 05 J.D. Walters (1908-1909) Board of Regents Minutes 06 1897-1899, n.d. Legal Documents 07 1899, n.d. Reports 08 n.d. Printed Material 09 Programs and Articles 10 Programs and Articles 11 Articles by Will 12 Supreme Court Brief by G.C. Clemons 13 Newspaper clippings Financial Records 14 1886-1900, n.d. Notes and Drafts 15 n.d.