The Smith, Bottomly, and Lill Family Papers were donated to the University Archive in June 1987 by Gordon G. Lill. Several family members studied and received degrees at Kansas State University and thus, K-State was chosen as a repository for the collection.
The papers are contained in six document boxes and one oversize flatbox (3.0 linear feet) spanning the years 1827-1984. They are divided into eleven series: 1) journals and diaries, 1865, 1877- 79; 2)correspondence, 1828-1984; 3) literary works, 1851-68, 1870's; 4) education, 1827-1953; 5) medicine, 1921; 6) Booth Association, 1854-63; 7) financial documents, 1837-1953; 8) genealogy; 9) legal documents, 1832-1942; 10) printed materials; and 11) photographs.
The bulk of the collection is the incoming and outgoing correspondence, between 1934-45, when five of the Lill brothers were attending Kansas State College, preparing for military duty, or fighting overseas during World War II.
There are also numerous resources in the collection from the period 1827-1872 including correspondence, journals and diaries, and legal and financial documents kept by George Smith. Of particular interest, is a diary kept by Smith while travelling by wagon from Iowa to Nebraska in 1865.
Photographs in the collection have been transferred to the photograph collection of the University Archives. Some materials, because of their size, were removed and placed in an oversized flatbox. There are no restrictions regarding access to the papers. Processing of the papers was completed by Pam Neuschafer in June 1988.
This collection's accession number is PC 60, (revised number, PC 1987.10).
George Smith was born January 15, 1809 in Burlington, Chittendon County, Vermont, the son of John and Mary Smith. In 1832, he began his law career in Vermont, Moved to Illinois, and eventually settled in the Iowa Territory. Mr. Smith served as a county judge from 1837-1841 in Tipton, Cedar County, Iowa and then resumed his law practice. On March 26, 1845, he married Elizabeth Davy Richards, whose family had recently immigrated from Devonshire, England. They had six children: Mary Eliza, Marcia Emma, Flora Ella, Frank Melville, Rollin George, and Jenny Lind. In 1871, George Smith set out alone to settle a homestead in smith County, Kansas. He died of suffocation on September 4, 1872 when the dug-out he was living in caved-in.
His youngest daughter, Jenny Lind Smith, was born December 26, 1856 in Tipton, Iowa. She taught school at Dubuque High School in Dubuque, Iowa from 1875-79 and then moved to Kansas with her mother and brother Frank in 1880. In Kansas, she met and married Volney Bottomly in November 1882. They had two children, Herbert Jefferson and Helen Elizabeth. Mrs. Bottomly died on March 20, 1950.
Helen Elizabeth Bottomly was born December 9, 1886 in Cedarville, Smith County, Kansas. She graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College in 1905. She taught school for a year in Cleburne, a country school north of Manhattan, Kansas. She then attended Kansas Wesleyan College in Salina the next year. On May 6, 1908 she married Percy Eugene Lill, son of Michael and Joanna Lill of rural Mt. Hope, Kansas. Percy had two brothers, Harry and Joe, and two sisters, Genevieve and Gertrude. Percy and Elizabeth Lill lived on a farm near Mt. Hope for most of their lives but moved to Oxford in 1947. They had seven children including Marjorie Elizabeth, Eugene Michael, Volney Bottomly, Wayne Percy, Gordon Grigsby, Dean Thomas, and Richard Alan. All but one, Volney, received degrees at Kansas State and he alone of the brothers did not fight in World War II. Dean Lill was killed in action in November 1944, in Germany and was buried in Holland. The rest of the family are all married and living in various locations in the U.S. Their parents, Percy and Helen Lill, have both passed away, he on July 28, 1967, and her on October 22, 1977.
The Smith, Bottomly, and Lill Family Papers, 1827-1984, document four generations of a family. The collection focuses primarily on George Smith between 1827-72, to a lesser extent on his children and grandchildren (the Bottomlys'), and then increases in volume with the next generation (the Lills'), especially between 1934-45.
The collection is organized according to the form of material and is contained in six document boxes and one oversize flatbox (3.0 linear feet) spanning the years 1827-1984. They are divided into eleven series: 1) journals and diaries, 1865, 1877- 79; 2)correspondence, 1828-1984; 3) literary works, 1851-68, 1870's; 4) education, 1827-1953; 5) medicine, 1921; 6) Booth Association, 1854-63; 7) financial documents, 1837-1953; 8) genealogy; 9) legal documents, 1832-1942; 10) printed materials; and 11) photographs.
In the first series, journals and diaries, there are four items. Included in one of the journals is an interesting account of George Smith's trip from Iowa to Nebraska by wagon in 1865.
Correspondence (1828-1984), the second series in the collection, is housed in three document boxes and comprises the largest series in the collection. Items within the series are organized chronologically. The bulk of the items are the incoming and outgoing correspondence from 1934-45 between Percy and Helen Lill and their seven children, most of whom were either attending Kansas State College, preparing for military duty, or actively fighting overseas in World War II. Correspondence among family and friends while the Lill brothers were attending K-State describes student life. Also included in the collection are some letters by their mother, Helen Bottomly Lill, when she attended K-State from 1900-05. Perhaps the most significant items in the collection, however, are the early Smith family correspondence from 1828-41 because of its description of life in Vermont and the settlement of the Midwest particularly Iowa.
Contained in the third series, literary works, are speeches and essays housed in five folders. Although some of the works are undated, most were, apparently, penned by George Smith.
In the next series, education, there are a variety of items including: diplomas, school programs, teachers' certificates, and grade cards. These items are diverse and cover the period from 1927-1953 and are contained in two folders.
The fifth series, medicine, contains a single item, a 1921 handwritten cold remedy.
The sixth series, Booth Association, is housed in one folder. This organization was formed on November 15, 1854 in New York by descendants of the Booth family of England, who claim to be the lawful heirs of the Booth family estates. Included in the materials are the association's constitution and by-laws, a membership fee receipt, certificate, and newsletter made out to George Smith, and a broadside removed to a larger flatbox because of its size.
In the seventh series, financial documents, there are many items dating from 1837-1953; ledgers, receipts, bank statements, tax information, and related pieces. These materials are organized chronologically with the ledgers filed separately at the end of the series.
Genealogy, the eighth series, is separated by surname. There are some original handwritten items placed at the beginning of the series but most of the materials are photocopied, typed, or handwritten reproductions of original documents. These materials, contained in eleven folders, provide biographical information about the families.
The ninth series, printed materials, consists of Christmas and greeting cards, advertising cards, certificates, and miscellaneous items. These are housed in five folders.
The last series, photographs, is separated by family surname, specifically, or more generally, as family and friends. All negatives and tintypes are identified. Unidentified photographs are filed at the end of the series. Photographs of locations in Kansas, particularly of the campus at K-State, have been removed and placed in the University Archives photograph collection.
Box Folder Journals and Diaries 1 01 1865, 1877, and 1878 02 Birthday Book, 1879 Correspondence 03 1828 (March)-1940 (June) 04 1831 (October)-1941 (June) 05 1842 06 ca 1844 07 1851-1871 08 1872-1878 09 1880's 10 1883 11 1884 12 1886 13 1887 14 1888 15 1889 16 1890 17 1893-1897 18 1900-1906 19 1907 20 1908 2 01 1909-1912 02 1915-1919 03 1920-1921 04 1922-1926 05 1929-1933 06 1934 07 1935 (January-September) 08 1935 (October-December) 09 1936 (January-May) 10 1936 (June-August) 11 1936 (September-December) 12 1937-1938 13 1939 (September) 14 1939 (October-November) 15 1940 (January-February) 16 1940 (March-April) 17 1940 (May-December) 18 1941 (January-March) 19 1941 (April-May) 20 1942 (January-February) 21 1942 (March-December) 3 01 1943 (January-July) 02 1943 (August-September) 03 1943 (October) 04 1943 (November-December) 05 1944 (January-February) 06 1944 (March-May) 07 1944 (June-August) 08 1944 (September-December) 09 1945 (January-May) 10 1945 (June-December) 11 1946-1958 12 1960-1984 13 ND 14 Sympathy, 1944-45 (December-January) 15 Sympathy, 1944-45 (December-January) 16 Sympathy, 1944-45 (December-January) 17 Sympathy, 1944-45 (December-January) 18 Sympathy, 1944-45 (December-January) 19 Sympathy, 1944-45 (December-January) 20 Sympathy, 1944-45 (December-January) Literary Works 4 01 Speeches, ND 02 Speeches, ND 03 Speeches, 1870's? 04 Essays, ND 05 Essays, ca 1851-1868 Education 06 1827-1898 07 1900-1953 Medicine 08 Cold Remedy (1921?) Booth Association 09 ca 1854-1863 Financial Documents 10 1837-1849 11 1850-1857 12 1858-1859 13 1862-1878 14 1882-1918 15 1919-1921 16 1922-1953 17 Ledgers, 1902, 1921 18 Ledgers, 1905, 1914-1926, 1939-1945 Genealogy 5 01 Smith 02 Smith 03 Smith 04 Smith 05 Smith 06 Smith 07 Smith 08 Smith 09 Lill 10 Lill 11 Smith, Bottomly, and Lill 12 1832-1872 13 1873-1942 Printed Material 14 Christmas and Greeting Cards 15 Christmas and Greeting Cards 16 Advertising Cards 17 Certificates 18 Miscellaneous Photographs 6 01 Negatives 02 Smith? (tintype) 03 Smith? (tintype) 04 Smith (Yellowstone Park) 05 Smith 06 Smith 07 Smith 08 Smith 09 Smith 10 Smith 11 Smith 12 Smith 13 Smith 14 Smith 15 Smith 16 Smith 17 Bottomly 18 Bottomly 19 Bottomly 20 Bottomly 21 Bottomly 22 Bottomly 23 Bottomly 24 Bottomly 25 Lill 26 Lill 27 Lill 28 Lill 29 Lill 30 Lill 31 Family or Friends 32 Kidder Family and Friends (Roseburg, OR and West), 1930's-1940's 33 Kidder Family Album, 1930's-1940's 34 Unidentified 35 Unidentified 36 Unidentified 37 Unidentified 38 Unidentified