Biography of Julius T. Willard

Julius T. Willard was reared on the home farm and there, in his youth learned valuable lessons through toil and perseverance which have influenced his whole career, and been potent factors in the success which had crowned his life of earnest effort. He attended the best school in the county, was studious and ambitious, and very early developed an interest in sciences. At the time there were fewer opportunities for schooling than at present, but he took advantage of all within his reach, and, in 1879, entered the Kansas State Agricultural College from which he was graduated in 1883 with the degree of Bachelor of Science, and had been identified with the institution almost continuously since. During his college course he gave much extra time to chemistry and spent the year 1887-88 in the study of that science in the Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Willard began teaching as a student assistant in 1881, and was made a regular assistant on gradustion. In 1888 he was elected assistant chemist of the agricultural experiment station, and in 1890 assistant professor of chemistry. He was promoted to the associate professorship in 1896. From 1897 to 1901 he was professor of applied chemistry. Since 1901 as professor of chemistry he had served the state not only as head of the department of chemistry of the college, but also as chemist of the State Board of Agriculture and, since 1906, as a food analyst for the State Board of Health. He is an unusually faithful and efficient worker, and had given mucli valuable service in each of these capacities. Since 1897 he had been chemist of the agricultural experiment station, and was its director from 1900 to 1906, and had been vice director since 1907.

As a classroom instructor Professor Willard had few equals in clearness of presentation and permanency of results. He prepared a textbook for class use in organic chemistry, and smaller publications for other classes. In his connection with the experiment station his work had been of marked and permanent value. He had written numerous scientific articles and had produced valuable bulletins for the experlment station. He had been most interested in plant improvement and animal nutrition. In Bulletin No. 115 he described a method which he devised for exactly calculating a ration of specified characteristics. Since 1910 he had been given the added duties of chemist of the engineering experiment station. In 1908 he was honored by his Alma Mater with the degree of Doctor of Science.

In 1909 Professor Willard’s faithful and efficient service for the college was recognized, and he was appointed to the newly created position of dean of the division of general science, a division of the college by which over one-half of the teaching is done. In this capacity Dean Willard had shown marked executive ability and strong leadership. He is recognized as having more deflnite information about the history and internal administration of the agricultaral college than any other member of the faculty. He is also recognized as one of the most faithful and efficient workers, being an example in this respect for all of the teachers as well as the students connected with the institution. He had for years been a leading member of most of the important faculty committees, and had done as much as any one man, excepting the president of the college, toward directing the educational and other activities of the college with which he had been so long connected.

In 1884 Professor Willard was united in marriage with Miss Lydia Pierce Gardiner of Wakarusa, Kansas. Her father was from Rhode Island, and her mother was a Buffington, and from Pennsylvanis. They have one son, Charles Julius, who was graduated in 1908 from the Kansas State Agricultural College, and in 1910 from the agricultural college of the University of Illinois. He is engaged in practical and scientifie agriculture.

Every Kansan is proud of the State Agricultural College and well he may be for seldom can be found a body of more thoroughly qualified instructors than is gathered here, and second to none is Professor Willard. Devoted as his life had been to the work of a teacher and student, research worker and administrator at the State Agricultural College and experiment station, Dean Willard had not been neglectful of his duties as a citizen and member of his community. Dean and Mrs. Willard have ever taken an active interest in the social and moral, as well as intellectual, welfare of the town and college. His life is not only an inspiration to thousands of young men and women of Kansas, but his labors and achievements are favorably known throughout many other states and even to the people of foreign nations.

Professor Willard is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the American Chemical Society and several other national scientific organizations. He is a member of the honorary scholarship society, Phi Kappa Phi, and is a master mason.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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