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Ada Rice papers

  • Collection
  • 1896-1948

The Ada Rice papers include photocopied typescript and manuscript short stories of fiction and nonfiction, as well as digitized images from her life, between 1896 and 1948.  They are from the early twentieth century and cover subjects like children's literature, Filipino life and culture, genealogy, George Washington's first cabinet, gold mining, John Quincy Adams, King's College (now Columbia University), London (England) life and culture, and orphan trains.  The photographs include her portraits, her Manhattan home, the 1896 Mt. Pleasant (Kansas) school and students she taught, her international travels, and an American College Quill Club program.

Rice, Ada

Thomas E. Will papers

  • Collection
  • 1896-1909

The Thomas E. Will papers contain business correspondence, printed material, Board of Regents minutes, reports, legal documents, notes and drafts, and newspaper clippings from 1896 to 1909, some of which is connected to Will's time as president of Kansas State Agricultural College (KSAC) from 1899 to 1901. There are approximately 430 items in the collection, which is housed in one document box. The papers are divided into seven series: 1) correspondence, 2) minutes, 3) legal documents, 4) reports, 5) printed material, 6) financial records, and 7) notes and drafts.
Correspondence with Regents, KSAC executive department members, KSAC faculty and staff, and the governor of Kansas make up a large portion of the collection. Also among correspondence are letters between J. D. Walters and Will. Many of the letters deal with normal procedures at KSAC, however, some of the correspondence concerns the resignation of President Will. The series is contained in five folders.
Board of Regents minutes make up the second series and they are contained in a single folder. Among the minutes are reactions of Regents (especailly Carl Vrooman and Susan St. John) to the dismissal of President Will and other college professors. Legal documents are filed in one folder, and many of them are contracts written up by the Board of Regents for college faculty and staff. Some of the contracts are actually signed by the Regents, but many of them are blank forms. Other legal records consist of statements of college debts owed and changes within the Board of Regents.
Reports, the fourth series, concern the political controversies around populism that caused outrage in Manhattan and KSAC. The fifth series, printed material, makes up a large portion of the collection. Such items as programs and articles concerning KSAC, articles written by Will, a Kansas Supreme Court brief by G.C. Clemons, and newspaper clippings are included in this series. Financial documents include statements and expenditures concerning the treasury department of KSAC. Also included in this series are copies of the college deficits for the fiscal years 1886–1899. Notes and drafts make up the final series of this collection. The authorship of many of these handwritten items is unknown and they are difficult to read.

Will, Thomas E.

Ernest R. Nichols papers

  • Collection
  • 1900-1909

The Ernest R. Nichols Papers, 1900-1909, cover the years in which Nichols was president of the Kansas State Agricultural College. He had come to KSAC in 1890 as an instructor in the Department of Physics. When Thomas E. Will was removed from the presidency in 1899, Nichols was appointed acting president until 1900, when he was officially given the position. He was considered a strong administrator and was able to control the financial business of the college, which had been left to the individual departments before. Because of the financial losses and debts accumulated by the college, it became unfeasible for the practice to continue. Because of the firm grip on spending, and the increasingly authoritarian style of Nichols administration, some members of the faculty began to complain about their loss of effective control in college matters. The resentment increased through the years, and played a part in the resignation of Nichols. He resigned in 1908, effective July 1909, due to controversies and personality conflicts between himself and the faculty and Board of Regents.
The papers are organized in four series consisting of nine cubic feet. The papers are arranged chronologically within the series. The first series is incoming general correspondence, the second is outgoing correspondence, the third consists of materials concerning the Board of Regents, and the fourth series is secretary's office and miscellaneous. Within each chronological unit, the papers are arranged alphabetically with materials in the folders organized chronologically under each letter.
The papers in the collection consist primarily of general correspondence, including the following categories: advertisements, inquiries and applications by prospective students, letters concerning payment on the YMCA building fund for which Nichols was treasurer, and applications from teachers agencies and private individuals concerning college jobs. On several occasions, Booker T. Washington and staff members at Tuskegee Institute wrote Nichols, inquiring about candidates for openings at Tuskegee. Other areas included in the correspondence are Board of Regents, the Experiment Station at Hays, Farmers Institutes, discipline of students, pay raises, and letters from former faculty members, written in friendship, or occasionally in regards to payment delays.
The collection's strengths are limited to giving insight to student and faculty life at the turn of the century as well as a look at the material goods available at the time, evidenced by the many advertisements. Administrative paper work is included in one box, the material pertaining to the Board of Regents. Student and faculty grievances are interspersed throughout the collection, as are letters from minority students and graduates. The materials are not extensive concerning events, rather the papers tend to make short references to them.
Inconsistency is also a problem. The years 1905-1909 are nearly complete, however the early years of the collection, 1900-1904, are incomplete. The only major administrative problems documented in great detail are included in the Board of Regents materials. Prominent or recurring correspondence was received from Albert Teaching Agency, W. E. Blackburn, H. W. Calvin, Arthur Capper, M. A. Carelton, Wm. R. Carter, E. B. Cowgill, E. T. Fairchild, Harry Freese, J. G. Haney, Governor Hoch, H. G. Maxwell, J. S. McDowell, J. H. Miller, G. W. Owens, Capt. P. M. Shaffer, Governor Stubbs, A. M. Thurston, Dr. TenEyck, Albert Todd, J. O. Tulloss, Booker T. Washington, H. Z. Wilber, Davies Wilson.

Nichols, Ernest R.

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