Skip to main content
Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
University Archives & Manuscripts - K-State Women
Abby Lillian Marlatt (1869-1943)

Abby Lillian Marlatt was born in Manhattan, KS, on March 7, 1869. She graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College with a Bachelor's degree in Domestic Science in 1888, and earned her Master's degree in Chemistry and Domestic Economy in 1890. Her thesis was entitled: "The Relative Digestibility, as Shown by Artificial Digestion of Meat Cooked at High and at Low Oven Temperature." Marlatt worked as a part-time sewing instructor at KSAC, 1888-1890, and also taught home economics in Randolph, KS, 1889-1890. She organized the department and served as a professor of Domestic Economy and Sewing at Utah Agricultural College, 1890-1894, and taught Domestic Economy at the Manual Training High School in Providence, RI, 1894-1909, before joining the staff of the College of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin in 1909, where she organized their Department of Domestic Economy. In 1917, Herbert Hoover as wartime Food Administrator requested she make the plan for the cooperation of the states in the food conservation work during WWII. She was Secretary of the Women's Division of the Wisconsin Council of Defense, and Committee Chairman at President Hoover's Housing Conference. KSAC conferred upon her the honorary degree of Doctor of Science in 1925. Herbert Hoover appointed her chairman of the Committee on Kitchens and Other Work Centers of the President's Conference on Home Building and Home Ownership, 1930. She received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Utah State College, 1938. Marlatt retired as head of Home Economics at the University of Wisconsin in 1939. She was an active member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Delta Epsilon, Omicron Nu, Phi Upsilon Omicron, American Chemical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She died on June 23, 1943 and her niece donated her library of 5000 books, 600 of which were cookbooks, to Kansas State College. The cookbooks are housed in the Rare Books Department of K-State Libraries.

Sources of information:

Vertical File. Marlatt, Abby Lillian
Alumni Record, 1914