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Kansas State Agricultural College Records, 1869-1899


The records of Kansas State Agricultural College (1869-1899) deal primarily with land issues. The sale or purchase of land, some cases requiring litigation and college improvements to the land are the predominate issues dealt with.

The records, consisting of approximately 350 items, are housed in one document box. They are arranged into eight series: 1) Correspondence, 1870-1877; 2) land agents reports, 1872- 1888; 3) State auditor and treasurer's receipts, 1878-1889; 4) land and college improvement contracts, 1869-1899; 5) bonds, 1871-1886; 6) legislative acts, 1895-1896; 7) ledger sheets, 1873-1879, 1882-1884; and 8) printed material, 1869, 1875.

This collection was originally accessioned as number 40 (revised number UA 84.40). Processing was completed by Cynthia L. Hayden in 1984.

Scope and Content Note

This collection, consisting of approximately 350 items was organized into one document box by Cynthia L. Hayden in 1984.

The collection is arranged into eight series: 1) correspondence, 1870-1877; 2) land agents reports, November 1872-February 1888; 3) State auditor and treasurer's receipts, October 1878- June 1889; 4) land and college improvement contracts, July 1869-March 1899; 5) bonds, July 1871-June 1886; 6) legislative acts, May 1895-April 1896; 7) ledger sheets, 1873-1879, 1882- 1884; and 8) printed material, 1869, 1875.

The correspondence deals mainly with the sale or purchase of lands for the Kansas State Agricultural College (KSAC). The primary correspondents are L. R. Elliot (land agent), E. B. Purcell (KSAC treasurer), and John W. Berks (Realtor for Kansas Central Land Agency). The two mortgage disputes most frequently mentioned are Harriet Strickland and H. F. Wooley.

By far the largest series with six folders is the land agents' reports. Two agents are represented: L. R. Elliot and John B. Gifford. Aside from monthly listings of lands sold or purchased for KSAC there are quarterly and annual reports as well. There are also special reports to the Board of Regents concerning cases that required litigation. The F. E. Thompson case is the most notable court case involving considerable correspondence with the final report coming on September 30, 1884.

State auditor and treasurers' receipts, series 3, is contained in four folders. The bulk of these receipts relate to land sales, land patents or the redemption of tax certificates.

Land and college improvement contracts, series 4, is contained in 3 folders. Some of the college improvements contracted for were: a stone fence from the George W. Higinbotham Company in 1872; new roofing by E. T. Carr in 1881; steam heating from the firm of McCarthy and Sheahan in 1884; and in 1885 the erection of the President's House by the firm of Hulse and Moses. Hulse and Moses also received a contract for the building of an experimental barn. There are two insurance policies from the AETNA Insurance Company of Hartford Connecticut, for lands deeded to KSAC through Sheriff's sales. The last transaction on March 1, 1899, involves the leasing by KSAC of the lands belonging to Thomas E. Will, deceased.

Bonds, series 5, is subdivided into 2 subseries: 1) those bonds dealing exclusively with Stafford County, December 1880-June 1886; and 2) Surety Bonds, July 1871-July 1888. The folder containing the Stafford County bonds deals particularly with School Districts 41 and 43, formerly of Barton County and indebted to KSAC. The Surety Bonds are for those contractors hired to effect improvements at KSAC, such as the contractor hired to build the President's House. There is also one surety bond in 1871 for Elbridge Gale as Loan Commissioner for the purpose of investing the College Endowment Fund.

Legislative Acts, series 6, is contained in 1 folder. The agreement of May 15, 1895, which sets aside college land for the continued experimentation of forestry is one of three acts contained in this series. The agreement for April 2, 1896, concerns the Board of Irrigation and its attempt to cultivate college land by means of irrigation. There is also one undated legislative act that entitles the Board of Regents to lease for a term not to exceed 15 years, all unsold lands which had been granted to the state of Kansas by an act of Congress for the benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts.

Ledger sheets, series 7, is contained in one folder and has entries for land sales by KSAC, School District bond sales, and listings for amounts overdue on contracts. Undated is a listing of delinquent interest on school bonds by name of county.

Printed material, series 8, is contained in 1 folder and includes a map of Kansas showing the county lines as well as railroads that traverse the state. This map was printed in 1869 and on the reverse it has a listing of available farming lands. It is interesting to note that Junction City is presently located in Geary County but in 169 it was called Davis County. The only other item of printed material is a newspaper clipping dated January 4, 1875, giving notice of lands and town lots that are in arrears for taxes and the date they must be redeemed in Holton, Jackson County, Kansas.

Container List

Box  Folder
 01    01      Correspondence, 1870-1877
               Land Agents Reports
       02           November 1872-July 1878
       03           April 1879-March 1880
       04           April 1880-December 1882
       05           January 1883-June 1883
       06           July 1883-December 1883
       07           January 1884-February 1888
               State Auditor and Treasurer's Receipts
       08           October 1871-December 1878
       09           April 1879-December 1880
       10           October 1882-November 1885
       11           December 1885-June 1889
               Land and College Improvement Contracts
       12           July 1869-March 1878
       13           November 1880-May 1885
       14           June 1885-March 1889
       15           Stafford County, December 1880-June 1886
       16           Surety, July 11871-July 1888
       17      Legislative Acts, May 1895-April 1896
       18      Ledger Sheets, 1873-1879, 1882-1884, ND
       19      Printed Material, 1869, 1875