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Innovation and Inspiration: The Campaign for Kansas University
University Archives & Manuscripts - K-State Women
Smith Bottomly and Lill

The Smith, Bottomly, and Lill Family Papers (1827-1984) document four generations of a family, focusing primarily on George Smith between 1827-72, to a lesser extent on his children and grandchildren (Bottomly), and then increasing in volume with the next generation (Lill), especially between 1934-45. Jenny Lind Smith, George Smith's youngest child, 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. Jenny Smith 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 and taught school for a year in Cleburne, a country school north of Manhattan, KS. She then attended Kansas Wesleyan College in Salina the next year. On May 6, 1908 she married Percy Eugene Lill and lived on a farm near Mt. Hope for most of their lives, moving to Oxford in 1947. They had seven children: Marjorie Elizabeth, Eugene Michael, Volney Bottomly, Wayne Percy, Gordon Grigsby, Dean Thomas, and Richard Alan. All but one, Volney, received degrees at Kansas State College. Percy and Helen Lill have both passed away, he on July 28, 1967, and she on October 22, 1977.

The Smith, Bottomly, and Lill Family Papers 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 consists of incoming and outgoing correspondence from 1934-45 between Percy and Helen Lill and their seven children, most of whom were attending Kansas State College. Also included in the collection are some letters by Helen Bottomly Lill when she attended Kansas State Agricultural College from 1900-05.

6 document boxes and 1 flat box. Register. Acc. No. PC 87.10