The Smith, Bottomly, and Lill Family Papers, 1827-1984, document four generations of a family. The collection focuses primarily on George Smith between 1827-72, to a lesser extent on his children and grandchildren (the Bottomlys'), and then increases in volume with the next generation (the Lills'), especially between 1934-45.
In the first series, journals and diaries, there are four items. Included in one of the journals is an interesting account of George Smith's trip from Iowa to Nebraska by wagon in 1865.
Correspondence (1828-1984), the second series in the collection, is housed in three document boxes and comprises the largest series in the collection. Items within the series are organized chronologically. The bulk of the items are the incoming and outgoing correspondence from 1934-45 between Percy and Helen Lill and their seven children, most of whom were either attending Kansas State College, preparing for military duty, or actively fighting overseas in World War II. Correspondence among family and friends, while the Lill brothers were attending K-State, describes student life. Also included in the collection are some letters by their mother, Helen Bottomly Lill, when she attended K-State from 1900-05. Perhaps the most significant items in the collection, however, are the early Smith family correspondence from 1828-41 because of its description of life in Vermont and the settlement of the Midwest particularly Iowa.
Contained in the third series, literary works, are speeches and essays housed in five folders. Although some of the works are undated, most were, apparently, penned by George Smith.
In the next series, education, there are a variety of items including diplomas, school programs, teachers' certificates, and grade cards. These items are diverse and cover the period from 1927-1953 and are contained in two folders.
The fifth series, medicine, contains a single item, a 1921 handwritten cold remedy.
The sixth series, Booth Association, is housed in one folder. This organization was formed on November 15, 1854, in New York by descendants of the Booth family of England, who claim to be the lawful heirs of the Booth family estates. Included in the materials are the association's constitution and by-laws, a membership fee receipt, certificate, and newsletter made out to George Smith, and a broadside removed to a larger flat box because of its size.
In the seventh series, financial documents, there are many items dating from 1837-1953; ledgers, receipts, bank statements, tax information, and related pieces. These materials are organized chronologically with the ledgers filed separately at the end of the series.
Genealogy, the eighth series, is separated by surname. There are some original handwritten items placed at the beginning of the series but most of the materials are photocopied, typed, or handwritten reproductions of original documents. These materials, contained in eleven folders, provide biographical information about the families.
The ninth series, printed materials, consists of Christmas and greeting cards, advertising cards, certificates, and miscellaneous items. These are housed in five folders.
The last series, photographs, are separated by family surname, specifically, or more generally, as family and friends. All negatives and tintypes are identified. Unidentified photographs are filed at the end of the series. Photographs of locations in Kansas, particularly of the campus at K-State, have been removed and placed in the University Archives photograph collection.