Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5 v. (lvi, 2731 p., [228] leaves of plates) : ill., maps (some fold.), ports. ; 27 cm.

1918 KANSAS AND KANSANS Educational Instutions Part 2



Dean, Division of General Science, Kansas State Agricultural College

War with all of its waste, license, and horror, and in spite of its untoward effect upon some of the higher and finer fields of human thought and activity, is accompanied by a loosening of the bonds of the past, a subversion of the merely conventional, a revival of the most fundamental virtues, and a bringing to the front of strong men and women to meet great emergencies. Such violent disturbances of existing conditions, if not prerequisite to progress, often constitute all opportunity for reform and constructive advancement of the highest order. Weaknesses are disclosed, and the social structure strengthened or rebuilt, and progress achieved that would be slowly attained, if at all, without the jar of war.


During the war between the states, when our Nation was fighting for its life, under the farseeing guidance, and through the persistent effort of Justin S. Morrill of Vermont a system of colleges was established that has become one of the most influential factors in our national life. By the act of Congress approved by Abraham Lincoln July 2, 1862, there was offered to each state in the Union a grant from the public lands for "the endowment, support and maintenance of at least one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts, in such manner as the legislatures of the states may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions of life."

The specific requirement of instruction in military tactics reflects the recognition of the national unpreparedness of 1860. The present advantage to the nation from the military training provided for by this far-reaching legislation is incalculable.

The founder of the land-grant system of colleges, however great his vision, could not have foreseen fully the development of the scope and service of these institutions. Because of their federal origin and endowment, they have been the channels through which national movements in education and research have found expression. On the other hand, through the Association of American Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations, these institutions have become the most influential educational force in America.

The Kansas State Agricultural College located at Manhattan, is the sole beneficiary in Kansas of the land-grant act of July 2, 1862, and of subsequent supplementary federal legislation. The provisions of the Morrill Act were accepted by the state, February 3, 1863, and the state obligated itself to comply with all of the provisions of said act. February 16, 1863, Manhattan was designated as the location of the new college.


Manhattan had been settled by a high class of people, one group of which brought with them a determination to found a college in their new home. This determination was carried out in the establishment, under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of Bluemont Central College, which was chartered February 9, 1858, The charter authorized the college "to establish in addition to the literary departments of arts and sciences, an agricultural department, with separate professors, to test soils, experiment in the raising of crops, the cultivation of trees, etc.. upon a farm set apart for the purpose." The foundation for agricultural education and research in Kansas was thus laid four years before the passage of the Morrill Act. The corner-stone of the new college was laid May 10, 1859, and instruction began about a year later.

When the national endowment became available Bluemont College with its land, library, apparatus and other property was offered to the state on condition that it should be made the state agricultural college. This offer was accepted in the location of the college at Manhattan and the state thus obtained a very valuable nucleus for future growth. The institution in its new status opened September 2, 1863, only fourteen months after the passage of the Morrill Act. As the institution was at first only Bluemont College re-christened and nation-endowed, retaining President Denison and part of the old faculty, it continued with its old ideals to a large extent. It is important to recognize, however, that the old ideal included an agricultural department.


No great enterprise can be conducted without adequate capital. This truth applies to an educational institution as fully as to any other organization. The Congress voted to each state accepting the terms of the grant, 30,000 acres of land for each member of the house and the Senate to which the state was entitled. Kansas having two senators and one representative at that time thus received 90,000 acres. While this seemed a splendid endowment, and has since yielded about one-half million dollars, it was not money nor income, and the college under its new name was in as straitened financial circumstances as before. For nearly a decade its trustees struggled for state recognition in order to obtain funds to enlarge the scope of the institution, and to purchase land and agricultural and scientific equipment. The legislature refused to appropriate funds for these purposes, but voted money for running expenses as a loan which was to be repaid after the income from the endowment was available. By 1870 the advances amounted to $29,134 and interest, and the state voted this debt to the development of the agricultural department. As this was not money the college was no more able than before to enter upon its natural destiny.

In April, 1871, Manhattan township voted $12,000 to buy land for farming. With this and some money from the interest fund, the present campus of 160 acres northwest of the city was purchased, and also a tract of 160 acres on Wild Cat Creek. The latter seems not to have been retained, perhaps was never wholly paid for. From this time on the interest arising from the endowment began to be more significant in amount and the college began its growth.

By the terms of the federal law all buildings must be furnished by the state. The first step in fulfillment of this obligation was taken by the legislature of 1872 when an appropriation of $15,000 was made for one wing of a barn, and the construction of a stone fence around the farm. The building erected was used as a barn until 1875, when it was taken over for college class-work. It has since served in many capacities and is now used as farm machinery hall.

Under the administration of President Anderson, 1873-1878, the state became more liberal in its provision of buildings, and a carpenter shop, chemical laboratory, horticulture hall and barn were erected. Since that time the obligation of the state to furnish buildings has been well recognized and at the present time (1917) the college is housed in twenty-one stone buildings and a considerable number of wooden buildings and smaller structures used for livestock and feed.

Under the provisions of an act approved March 2, 1887, which is commonly known as the Hatch Act, Congress provided an appropriation of $15,000 to the land-grant colleges "to aid in acquiring and diffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects connected with agriculture, and to promote scientific investigation and experiment respecting the principles and practice of agricultural science." This appropriation has been renewed annually since that time, and was the fundamental support of the agricultural experiment stations that have played so large a part in the development and improvement of agriculture during the past thirty years.

August 30, 1890, President Harrison approved a second Morrill act setting aside "a portion of the proceeds of the public lands to the more complete endowment and support of the colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the mechanic arts established under the provisions of an act of Congress approved July 2, 1862." Under the provisions of this act there was appropriated $15,000 for the year ending June 30, 1890, and amounts for succeeding years increasing annually by $1,000 until the total became $25,000. This sum is annually appropriated, and is available only for "instruction in agriculture, mechanic arts, the English language, and the various branches of mathematics, physical, natural and economic science with special reference to the industries of life, and to the facilities for such instruction."

The Congress, in an act approved March 16, 1906, by President Roosevelt, provided "for the more complete endowment and maintenance of agricultural experiment stations." This measure, known as the Adams Act, provided $5,000 the first year and amounts increasing by $2,000 annually subsequently until the appropriations thereunder reached $15,000 a year, where it still remains. This fund is used strictly for "paying the necessary expenses of conducting original researches or experiments bearing directly on the agricultural industry of the United States." This fund is used for work of a more strictly scientific and research character than is insisted upon for the Hatch funds.

Still another provisions from federal resources, which was approved March 4, 1907, is the Nelson amendment to the agricultural appropriation bill of that year. Under the terms of this amendment $5,000 addition were appropriated and amounts increasing annually by $5,000 for four years succeeding, making the final limit under this law $25,000. The law especially provides that a portion of this money may be used "for providing courses for the special preparation of instructors for teaching the elements of agriculture and the mechanic arts." In general, however, the provision is "for the more complete endowment and maintenance of agricultural colleges now established, or which may hereafter be established, in accordance with the act of Congress approved July 2, 1862."

May 8, 1914, marks the date of a new departure in federal support to education in that President Wilson then approved "an act to provide for cooperative agricultural extension work between the agricultural colleges in the several states receiving the benefits of an act of Congress approved July 2, 1862, and of acts supplementary thereto, and the United States Department of Agriculture." This act appropriated $480,000 for the year ending June 30, 1914, and $600,000 for the succeeding fiscal year and provided for an annual increase for each year thereafter for seven years of $500,000 above the amount appropriated for each preceding year, and for each year thereafter there is to be permanently appropriated the sum of $4,580,000. The availability of these funds, however, is contingent upon their acceptance by the several states and upon the appropriation by the Legislature of an equal sum, or the provision of such a sum by state, county, college, local or individual contributions from within the state, for the maintenance of the co-operative agricultural extension work provided for by the act. This law is known as the Smith-Lever Act, and the federal appropriations are allotted annually to each state by the Secretary of Agriculture, and paid in the proportion which the rural population of each state bears to the total rural population of all the states. The state appropriation to the Agricultural College on this account for the year ending June 30, 1919, was $50,946.

The scope and purpose of the Smith-Lever Act is stated in section two, which reads: "Cooperative agricultural extension work shall consist of the giving of instruction and practical demonstrations in agriculture and home economics to persons not attending or resident in said Colleges in the several communities, and imparting to such persons information on said subjects through field demonstrations, publications, and otherwise, and this work shall be carried on in such manner as may be mutually agreed upon by the Secretary of Agriculture and the state agricultural college or colleges receiving the benefits of this Act."

It is thus seen that the Agricultural College, in addition to the original endowment, which yields about $25,000 per annum, receives annually from the Federal Government, $50,000 for college purposes, $30,000 for agricultural experimentation and research, and also a large sum for agricultural extension work in co-operation with the United States Department of Agriculture, which is balanced by an equal amount from the state. The expenditures from all of these funds are subject to a federal supervision which is rigid in holding the institution to the lines laid down in the several acts.

For many years the state appropriated little money to the Agricultural College, aside from that devoted to buildings. It was considered to a large extent as a federal institution, and with President Fairchild, 1879-1897, it was almost a matter of honor not to ask for any contribution toward general maintenance. However, with the growth in attendance and enlargement of the scope of instruction, in spite of increased income from the general Government, the college fell behind in meeting its obligations, and in 1897 the Legislature appropriated $10,000 for 1896-97 to meet the existing deficiency, and $5,000 for each of the two succeeding years. This period covered the presidency of Thomas E. Will and at its end, 1899, the college was about $15,000 in debt. The Legislature of 1899 had appropriated $10,000 for each of the years 1899-1900 and 1900-01, and the Legislature of 1901 made an appropriation to absorb the deficit of 1899, and an additional one of $55,000 toward current expenses for the biennium 1901-03, thus entering definitely upon a policy of significant support to the college, not only in buildings but in equipment and general maintenance.

By the end of the administration of President Nichols, 1899-1909, the biennial appropriations for equipment and general maintenance had reached $295,000, but this period was especially characterized by liberality in provision of buildings. No less than eight large buildings were erected, besides several smaller ones and enlargements of others. Considerably more than one-half of the present floor space of the college dates from that time.

While the administration of President Waters, beginning in 1909 and still in progress, is marked by the erection of certain buildings, notably the east wing of a splendid hall for agriculture, the strongest feature of its financial history is the great increase in the biennial appropriations for salaries and general maintenance. For the biennial period 1917-19 these amount to $534,500. If to this be added the federal appropriations, the interest on the endowment, the very moderate fees received from students, the receipts from sales of stock, dairy products, grain, fruit, etc., and appropriations under the Smith-Lever Law, and for vocational education, the total funds expended under direction of the college are found to amount to more than $1,000,000 per annum. For a state which has no large cities to tax, this generous support must be regarded as a magnificent tribute to the service that the institution is giving to the people.

The history and present status of the service of the college to the state and the nation cannot be presented in detail here. Such consideration as space permits may be conveniently given under four chief heads, viz.: (1) The intramural educational work, (2) the organized researches, (3) the extra-mural educational activities, and (4) regulatory and inspection service.


From the first the college attempted to carry out the purposes of the organic act, but from lack of funds for some years little progress was made in the specialization that should characterize such an institution.

Military drill was given the first term and instruction of this character has continued almost uninterruptedly. At present the college is ranked by the War Department among the "distinguished institutions" in its class for the excellence and range of its military work.

College instruction during the first ten years was for the most part not very different from that of the ordinary classical college of that period, but as early as 1866-67 agricultural and scientific and military curricula were organized. J. S. Hougham was appointed professor of agricultural science in 1866, Fred E. Miller professor of practical agriculture in 1870, E. Gale professor of botany and horticulture in 1870, and H. J. Detmers professor of veterinary science and animal husbandry in 1872. Experimental plantings of orchards and forest trees on a considerable scale were made in 1867 and 1868. Elementary instruction in mechanic arts was also given.

At first the lands on the college farms were cultivated in the ordinary way, but gradually more and more systematically, trials were made of special crops, methods of soil preparation, methods of planting, etc. The annual report for 1872 includes about twenty pages devoted to reporting the results of agricultural operations. Although persistent and even importunate efforts were made, the legislature made no appropriation for agriculture until 1870, and even then an ineffective one, and an appropriation for a barn was not made until 1872. Taking all things together, the administration of President Denison, 1863-73, was an arduous and an honorable work. Those were pioneer times, and the state could not afford to appropriate much money. Many young people of the state obtained sound education that fitted them for teaching and other responsible work. Everywhere at that time education in agriculture was but an experiment at best, and the faculty of the first decade should be commended for what it did rather than criticized for what it did not do.

With the administration of President Anderson, 1873-78, the curricula underwent a revolution. The president was radical in his ideas and forceful in their presentation. The college catalogue for 1874 sets forth his views and aims at great length. This quotation will suffice to show his general attitude: "The difference between our line and that of other agricultural colleges seems to be this: They take as an objective point the graduation of agricultural experts, who shall act as missionaries to working farmers. We take as an objective point the graduation of a capable farmer, able to make a living by farming. Their theory is that of the normal school, training teachers who shall instruct scholars; our theory is that of training the scholar. Along the mechanical branch, they seek to graduate master builders or superintendents of machine shops; we seek to graduate intelligent and skillful carpenters, masons, or blacksmiths. They strike directly for those industries considered the highest, and believe that in reaching them they include all below; we strike for the industries most commonly followed in this State, and by successfully mastering them expect to climb up to the very rarest."

The catalogue for 1874 was called a "Handbook of the Kansas State Agricultural College," and sixty-one of its 124 pages were occupied by President Anderson in setting forth his ideas upon liberal and practical education. There can be little doubt, looking at matters in the perspective of forty years, that he was extreme; that he was ultra-practical, and failed to see the real value of much of what is too lightly stigmatized as theoretical. Nevertheless, the times required his iconoclastic work to tear the college completely loose from the bonds of traditional education, and to place it squarely in a new setting where it has since remained. All instruction in Latin and Greek was soon abolished, and they have never been restored to the curriculum. Practical and theoretical study of agriculture was greatly extended, and daily work at some industry was required of every student. These "industrials" were a distinctive feature of the institution for twenty years or more, but they have been to a large extent gradually replaced by systematic laboratory exercises carried out for the most part in connection with theoretical instruction. Instruction in farm and nursery work and music was continued and extended, and industrials were established in sewing, cooking, printing, telegraphy, stenography, and photography. The shop work was much amplified, the previous facilities having been very meager. Science teaching was improved by specializing slightly. Chemistry was notably strengthened by the energy and ability of Professor Kedzie, through whose efforts a building for instruction in that science was erected. Three other buildings were erected, for horticulture, agriculture, and mechanic arts. The building for agriculture is now the north wing of Anderson Hall.

Agricultural facilities, equipment, and experimentation were advanced greatly, being under the administration of one of the ablest and most forceful men ever connected with the college, Prof. Edward M. Shelton, a graduate of the Michigan Agricultural College.

President Anderson, and his faculty were by no means a unit in view, and his abandonment of the college, and entry into the field of politics, in which he was distinguished by the same bold practicality, was probably to a certain extent due to his inability to carry the faculty completely with him. The work that he did roused great opposition from friends of the old educational methods, and the friends of the faculty of the previous administration, but it is generally recognized today that it was work that needed doing, and that though be went too far, his excess was easily corrected.

It has always been a guiding principle with the responsible officers of the Agricultural College to keep the college connected with the rural schools. This principle led to low standards of admission, which were only gradually increased during the administration of President Fairchild, 1879-97, and classes in preparatory subjects were conducted for those unable to enter the college curricula.

Throughout the administration of President Fairchild but one curriculum was offered, embodying, however, some differences required in meeting the needs of young men and young women, respectively. The dominant point of view was to develop strong, high-minded, capable manhood and womanhood through a thorough general education in the English language, the natural and physical sciences, history and economics. A certain amount of systematic training in agriculture, manual training, and engineering was required of every young man and a certain amount of work in home economics was required of every young woman, but the courses offered in these special lines at that time must be regarded only as preparing the way for later developments. It is, however, significant that from that broad general curriculum, embodying a limited amount of specialization, have come the men and women who, up to within a few years, created the high reputation which the Agricultural College sustains throughout the country. The attitude of President Fairchild may be illustrated by his epigrammatic statement that "The purpose of the College is not merely to make men farmers, but to make farmers men."

With the inauguration of President Will, 1897, the college entered upon the policy of a greater diversity in curricula and a marked increase in the number of individual courses offered. The continuance and enlargement of this policy has been possible only because of the larger resources available, and without doubt the acceptance of the policy has made it possible to obtain larger appropriations. Four curricula were offered in 1898, namely: General, agricultural, engineering, and household economics. The last was received with much favor and for many years most of the young women of the college have elected it or its successors rather than the general science course.

Under the administration of President Nichols, 1899-1909, the work was differentiated still more and four-year college courses were given in agronomy, animal husbandry, horticulture and forestry, poultry husbandry, veterinary science, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, architecture, printing, domestic science and art, and general science. Certain fundamental subjects were embodied in all of these; some of the curricula differed from others in but few subjects, and by means of one or another the legitimate needs of students were supplied. The progress made in developing the pedagogy of agriculture made it possible to offer a fund of systematized knowledge that was unavailable ten years earlier.

In the educational field the administration of President Waters, beginning in 1909, has been marked by still greater diversification in the number of subjects offered. Although the number of formulated curricula has been reduced, great flexibility has been attained by permitting a large range of choice of electives in agriculture, by means of which one curriculum in agriculture is made to serve the needs of the most exacting.

The entrance requirements were raised in 1910 from six units to eight units of high school work, and in 1912 were made fifteen units, thus bringing the college in this respect up to the recognized standards of first-class institutions. New curricula were formulated, based on these entrance requirements, from which the first class was graduated in 1917. The following curricula are now offered: Agriculture, veterinary medicine, agricultural engineering, architecture, civil engineering, electrical engineering, flour mill engineering, mechanical engineering, home economics, general science, and industrial journalism. Incorporated in all of these curricula is a fundamental basis of training in the English language and natural, physical and political sciences. All young men have required training in military science, and young women receive physical training. Each curriculum, in addition to the foregoing, includes courses which give it its specific characteristics. In addition most of the curricula give opportunity for free election of courses, and those in general science and industrial journalism have large opportunities in this respect. This enables the student to follow his bent and tastes in any direction of study available in the institution. The college offers not only the work indicated in the foregoing, but education, music, public speaking, modern languages and advanced work in history, economics, all of the sciences, and in agricultural, industrial and household arts. Graduates of the college who receive the required work in education are eligible to receive state teachers' certificates.

The college is well prepared to give graduate work in agriculture and sciences closely related thereto, such as bacteriology, botany, chemistry, entomology and zoology, and to a certain extent in any department of the institution. The research work constantly in progress in the experiment stations gives unusual opportunities for students. The graduate work is being constantly developed and strengthened.

Coincident with placing the college on the four-year high school basis there was the organization of a School of Agriculture with three-year courses in agriculture, mechanic arts, and home economics, to which students are admitted from grammar and common schools. These courses are independent and are not to prepare for college entrance, but to provide definite vocational courses of instruction for students who in the present development of secondary education are unable to get such training in their own localities.

In connection with the college the following shorter courses are offered to those who from lack of time, means or preparation are not able to come for more extended study: Farmers' short course, two eight-week terms; creamery short course, eight weeks; short course in traction engines, eight weeks; short course in shop work, eight weeks; short course in road building, eight weeks; housekeepers' course, one semester; course in lunch room management, one year.

From the preceding presentation it will be seen that the scope of the Agricultural College is very broad. In fulfilling their mission to the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions of life the landgrant colleges have accepted the responsibility and offered four-year curricula not only in agriculture, but in engineering. This broad interpretation of the term "mechanic arts" has received the unqualified sanction of the United States Government in approving expenditures of federal funds. It has also been sanctioned by the practice of most of the landgrant colleges of the country. In the Kansas college the engineering instruction is especially directed toward problems and activities of rural importance, but is not restricted to that field. Courses in home economics, thus providing for the technical training of women, have also been by common consent and official action recognized as belonging to the field of the land-grant college. The advantage to the people accruing from offering courses of sub-college grade is such that state support has been readily given to them for nearly every college in the country.


Agricultural experimentation has been a feature of the college almost from its inception. Its influence on the development of the farming practice of the state cannot be estimated. It has been especially serviceable in the testing and introduction of new crops or varieties, among the most important being alfalfa, Kafir-corn, milo maize and Sudan grass. Improved seed of staple crops has been extensively distributed, with marked results on the yield and quality of wheat, corn, sorghums and other crops.

The chief research activity of the college is in connection with the agricultural experiment stations. In addition to the organization at Manhattan there is the Fort Hays branch station at Hays, and other branches at Garden City and Colby. Other points have also been occupied for a limited time. State support only, sustains the branch stations. For the year 1918-19 the Fort Hays station receives $10,000; Garden City, $5,000, and Colby, $2,500. The Hatch and Adams federal funds, $30,000, are expended at Manhattan together with a considerable amount from the general funds of the college through salaries of officers. A total of more than seventy men are partly or entirely occupied by this investigational work.

At Manhattan the projects taken up are usually of a fundamental character, the results of which will be of general application. In so far as they have only local bearing they apply to Eastern Kansas, while the work at Hays is planned especially to meet the less humid climate of the western part of the state. Local conditions dominate the experiments Garden City and Colby.

Space may not be taken for even a list of the agricultural problems that have been, or are being, investigated by the stations. The geographical situation of Kansas is such as to give her considerable diversity in climate, even though this is not complicated by mountains, and there is scarcely a feature of agricultural science or practice that may not find application here. Among the principal lines that have received attention are: Animal breeding, animal nutrition, animal diseases, methods of cropping with relation to soil fertility and crop production, orchard practice, life history of insects, insect control, plant diseases and their control, soil moisture, soil survey, heredity, animal improvement, plant improvement, grain handling and milling, curing and ensiling of feeds, digestibility of feeds, milk production, blackleg vaccine, and hog-cholera serum.

Besides the formal, accurate work of the stations, the college co-operates with hundreds of farmers distributed through all parts of the state, the first appropriation for this work being made in 1911. Promising grain and forage crops are tried, fertilizer and seed-bed-preparation tests are made, and numerous grain-improvement projects carried on. The results obtained under the guidance of the college experts is highly appreciated by the farmers, and has had great immediate value in determining the crops best adapted to the different sections of the state. In this connection much service is rendered through bringing producers and consumers of high-grade seed into communication.

The results of the work of the Experiment Station are published in the form of bulletins, circulars, and scientific papers other than bulletins and circulars. These bulletins are of two classes, those which record the results of research work of a purely scientific character and those which present technical information in a simplified form, suitable for the general reader. The circulars are brief and condensed popular presentations of data which call for immediate application, as well as timely and useful information not necessarily new or original. The scientific papers are usually published as reprints of addresses given before scientific bodies. These reprints contain original information, or report definite steps in the progress of investigations under way.

All bulletins and other publications from the Experiment Station are sent without charge to citizens of the state. Any person in the state who so desires may have his name placed on the permanent mailing list of the station.

An Engineering Experiment Station was established in 1910 for the purpose of carrying on tests and research work of engineering and manufacturing value to the State of Kansas, and of collecting, preparing, and presenting technical information in a form readily available for the use of the various industries within the state, It is the intention to make all of the work of the Experiment Station of direct importance to Kansas.

All of the equipment of the various engineering and scientific laboratories and shops and of the college power plant are available for this work, while the personnel of the station staff is made up of professors and instructors from the various departments of the division of engineering and from the other scientific departments whose work is directly related to the work of this division.

Among the tests now being carried on are investigations of the effect of freezing before it has hardened, on the strength of concrete, the macadam-making properties of various Kansas stones, the correlation of the properties of lubricating oils with their special uses, relative economy of the use of gasoline and cheaper fuels in internalcombustion engines, the effect of compression on the explosion pressures of various gas-engine fuel mixtures, the comparative advantages of steam and oil traction engines, the use of bituminous coals in gas producers, power-plant economics, the use of gasoline-electric generating sets for isolated plants, as on the farm, the use of the windmill for driving electric generators for farm lighting, the losses in electric transmission lines, and in town and city distribution systems, the mechanical and electrical properties of commercial copper wire used in pole-line construction, and the effect of chemical composition on the durability and protective power of paints.

Various investigations are being carried on upon brick, concrete, fuels, pipe coverings, belt lacings, glued joints, blacksmith coals, foundry sands, centrifugal pumps, farm water supply, sewage disposal, and problems in farm architecture.

The results of the investigations are published as bulletins and circulars of the Engineering Experiment Station, which are sent free to any citizen of the state upon request.


The service of the college is not limited to giving instruction to the young men and women who seek the facilities within its walls, nor to the discovery of new truth relating to agriculture and other industries. By means of its division of college extension, it attempts to reach every inhabitant of the state, and succeeds annually in respect to over 300,000 directly, and most of the remainder indirectly. More than fifty men and women devote their time exclusively to this division of the college, and the limits set to this article might be consumed in an account of their activities.

The beginning of this work is found in the first farmers' institute ever held, which was conducted at Manhattan, Kansas, November 14, 1868. Similar institutes were held in other towns immediately afterward, and this type of educational work has been continued to the present time. The farmers' institute opens the way for more serious and valuable work. Several hundred are held each year. District conferences assist in coordinating effort, and annually a "Farm and Home Week" series of meetings is held at the college to which over 1,000 gather from the local organizations.

Extension schools, running five days, carry to many localities more detailed instruction than is possible in the institute, and the subjects cover a considerable range of topics important on the farm or in the home.

Farm bureaus, county agents and district agents get still closer to the continuous educational and business needs of communities, and these are supported by local, college and federal funds. They are doing a great work which is destined to undergo large expansion. In addition to localized agents, the college does much similar work through specialists who make hundreds of visits to individual farmers, and advise with them upon these special problems.

A department of rural service presents the advantages of community control and promotion of economic, social and educational enterprises, and assists the people in initiating and conducting them.

A staff of experts advises individuals and communities in respect to engineering projects of the rural regions. These include roads, culverts, bridges, irrigation plans and drainage plans. Drawings, specifications and estimates are furnished, or the proposals of others are carefully investigated and reported upon.

Valuable results have been accomplished through the agency of boys' and girls' clubs. The college employs leaders in this work through whom the clubs are organized and conducted, each taking some definite project in crop growing, stock feeding, gardening, canning, sewing or other work connected with the farm or home. The total membership in these clubs runs into the thousands. State-wide extension work for women is vigorously prosecuted, several highly trained women giving it their entire time. The work includes lectures and demonstrations before farm and home institutes; organizing and furnishing programs and reference material for home-makers' clubs and girls' home economic clubs; visiting high schools and inspecting departments of domestic science and art to give assistance to teachers who desire help; assisting in making programs and in the study work of women's clubs already organized; teaching in county normal institutes for teachers; judging home economics products at fairs and exhibits; attending and addressing special meetings and Chautauquas; assisting the home-study service department in the correspondence work, and conducting extension schools in home economics of one to two weeks in length throughout the state, both independently and in connection with extension schools in agriculture.

A department of home study is conducted which includes not only a thoroughly organized system of study by correspondence for credit on college entrance or a college degree, but extensive free reading courses in which those registered are guided in the selection and understanding of the publications of the college and the United States Department of Agriculture, and also more comprehensive non-study courses based on standand[sic] textbooks. Hundreds are enrolled in the credit courses, and thousands in the others.

The scope and activity of the division of extension shows how modern educational institutions justify their support by public funds, and the possibilities in carrying scientific and practical training to masses of humanity who for one reason or another never enter colleges.


Besides the work of instruction, research and extension carried on by the college, the state has intrusted several lines of inspection and regulatory work to its administration. Most of these are in connection with the Agricultural Experiment Station.

The state dairy commissioner has his office at the agricultural college and is appointed by the board of administration "to inspect or cause to be inspected all the creameries, public dairies, butter, cheese and ice cream factories, or any place where milk or cream or their products are handled or stored within the state at least once a year or oftener." He has large power in respect to the operation of establishments handling dairy products and the products themselves.

The professor of entomology at the college is a member of the state entomological commission created to "suppress and eradicate San José scale and other dangerous insect pests and plant diseases throughout the State of Kansas." In accomplishing their purpose, officers of the commission may inspect private property and may treat or cause to be treated, trees, vines, shrubs, plants and grains, and under certain conditions may destroy them. No nursery stock may be admitted to the state without inspection.

The state live stock registry board consists of the dean of the division of agriculture, and the heads of the departments of animal husbandry and of veterinary medicine of the college, and have the duty of licensing stallions used for breeding purposes within the state and authority to verify their breeding, and to classify them. No animal not thus approved and licensed may be legally used for public breeding purposes.

The promotion of forestry in Kansas is, under the law, in charge of the state forester, who has general supervision of experimental and demonstrational work in forestry conducted by the experiment station. He promotes practical forestry in every possible way and is a member of the faculty of the agricultural college.

The state has also placed the experiment station in charge of the execution of acts concerning the manufacture and sale of live stock remedies, commercial feeding stuffs, and fertilizers. Every brand of these commodities held for sale, or sold, within the State of Kansas must be registered in the office of the directors of the Agricultural Experiment Station, with certain exceptions stated in the laws. Fees are collected under these acts which defray the expenses of carrying out their provisions. Inspectors, chemists and others are employed to see that the goods offered for sale are labeled and conform to the requirements of the laws.

Under the provisions of the state food and drugs law, the director of the chemical laboratory is designated as a food analyst for the state board of health, and the board of administration is required to employ "such additional chemists and assistants as are necessary to properly and expeditiously analyze such products as are sent to them by the state food inspectors." The University of Kansas shares in this responsibility.


The Agricultural College is situated on a tract of land somewhat elevated above the site of the City of Manhattan, which affords beautiful views of the Kansas River valley and the adjacent hills. The campus occupies the greater part of 160 acres, and is planted largely with a great variety of trees, shrubs and flowers which not only beautify the landscape, but constitute the field and laboratory material for instruction for forestry, floriculture and landscape gardening. Adjacent plats are used as testing grounds for smaller plantings of grains, fruits and vegetables.

The larger fields used by the college are adjacent to the campus, or from one to three miles distant. The total area of land at Manhattan, owned by the college June 30, 1917, was 748 acres, and over 500 acres in addition were leased. The Legislature of 1917 made an appropriation of $50,000 for the purpose of a much needed increase to the lands. With the new purchases, the land owned by the college near Manhattan will be worth about $250,000.

The college buildings are constructed of beautiful cream-white limestone, obtained from quarries in the vicinity, and, although of simple architecture for the most part, they constitute, with their setting of trees and shrubbery, one of the most effective groups of college buildings in America. In addition to the stone buildings there are a number of less important barns, feeding sheds, store houses, silos, etc., and the total value of the buildings is about $1,000,000.

The several departments of the college are well equipped with modern apparatus and illustrative material. The inventory of June, 1916, gives a classification and values as follows: Apparatus, $177,907; machinery and tools, $97,088; scientific collections, $27,735; furniture and fixtures, $112,637; live stock, $138,787; miscellaneous equipment, $167,350; books, $105,701; total, $827,205. The college is especially rich in its herds of live stock. The pure bred herds are among the very best in the country. Large groups of grade animals are used in far-reaching fundamental experimentation, and the advantage of these herds to the students of animal husbandry and dairying can scarcely be overestimated. The poultry flocks also afford every needed facility in this line.


The governing body of the State Agricultural College is the state board of administration, consisting of the Governor, ex-officio, and three others appointed by him. In 1917, these were Governor Arthur Capper, E. W. Hoch, C. W. Green and Wilbur M. Mason. The secretary of the board was Lee Harrison, and the business manager was James A. Kimball. The board of administration has charge of all the state institutions.

At the head of the Agricultural College is the president, Henry Jackson Waters, and in addition to the executive offices, under his immediate direction, the college is organized in five divisions, each under the general supervision of a dean, as follows: Division of Agriculture, Dean William Jardine; Division of Mechanic Arts, Dean A. A. Potter; Division of Home Economics, Dean Mary Pierce Van Zile; Division of General Science, Dean J. T. Willard; Division of College Extenson,[sic] Dean Edward C. Johnson. The principal of the school of agriculture is Prof. Harry L. Kent. These divisions are organized into thirty-five departments, each with its complement of officers, and the total number of regular employees of the college is over 350.

The number of students of all classes in 1917 was 3,340, of which 68 were graduate and 1,824 collegiate, the remainder being enrolled in short courses, in the school of agriculture, or as special students. The total number of graduates up to 1917 was 3,481. These graduates are scattered through every state of the Union and in many foreign lands. Of "the several pursuits and professions in life," theology, law and politics can claim but a small proportion. The college has not at its call an army of men ready of speech to plead its causes. It must rest its claims on the evidence that in the homes of the land, on the farms, in the shops, schools, scientific laboratories and business houses of our nation, its educational output is paying a handsome income on the investment made for the industrial classes, whether this income be in capacity for production, distribution, or service, or in individual satisfaction in life.

The land-grant colleges as a group have grown steadily in national recognition as shown by The enlargement of their scope and increased financial support. The Kansas unit in this great system has received generous treatment at the hands of its own people, and is unquestionably one of the greatest in the system, and in some features unequalled by any other.

1918 Kansas and Kansans Previous Section Next Section

A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans , written and compiled by William E. Connelley, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, 1998.