Biography of Leslie Arthur Fitz

Leslie Arthur Fitz. When the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan called in March 1910, an expert from the agricultural department of the United States Government to take the chair of professor of milling industry, it was a happy choice that fell upon Leslie Arthur Fitz, who is not only an expert in his line but is also a native of Kansas and represents some of the old and prominent families of the state.

His grandfather, George W. Fitz, came to Kansas Territory in 1855, being one of the pioneers in Douglas County. Two years later another settler of that county was James DuMars, maternal grandfather of Professor Fitz. Mr. DuMars came from Pennsylvania, where the mother of Professor Fitz was born. The Fitz family came out of Massachusetts. George Thompson Fitz, father of Professor Fitz, was born in that state and came to Kansas in 1859, four years after the arrival of George W. Fitz. He also settled in Douglas County and a little later enlisted from that county for service in the Civil war. He was a brave and efficient soldier and his service covered three years and six months with the Second and Ninth Kansas regiments. At the close of the war he married Laura Etta DuMars, and then settled down on a farm in Douglas County. His death occurred there in 1908 at the age of sixty-five. Mrs. George T. Fitz is still living, had passed her sixty-ninth birthday, and was the mother of eight children, three of whom are still living.

Born at Vinland, Douglas County, Kansas, October 2, 1875, Leslie Arthur Fitz was reared a farmer’s son. The country district schools gave him his primary education, and in the fall of 1894 he entered the Kansas State Agricultural College. He did not follow up his course consecutively, and spent the greater part of the next eight years in teaching, from which source he acquired most of the means necessary to complete a college education. In 1902 he was graduated Bachelor of Science.

His early experience and natural inclination led him to take up some of the technical phases of agricultural work. On May 1, 1902, he became an employee of the United States Department of Agriculture in charge of field experiment with small grains. He was stationed at Halstead, Kansas, but the winters were spent in Washington and one year in California. In the fall of 1906 he was transferred to the office of grain standardization, and subsequently was located at Baltimore, Maryland, Duluth and Minneapolis, Minnesota, Chicago, Illinois, and Fargo, North Dakota.

In March, 1910, he resigned his position in the Department of Agriculture to become professor of milling industry at Manhattan. The work of this department, which Professor Fitz had given an enviable reputation among agricultural schools throughout the country, consists in the building and equipping of a hundred barrel capacity model mill, the problems of marketing and exportation of grain, the study of manufacturing grain products, wheat and flour analysis, experimental milling and experimental baking. The course is one of great value not only to students who choose the technical business of milling but also to all interested in the grain raising side of farming. The student is taught all technical phases of milling and the course now covers four years in milling and engineering.

As a recognized authority on his special branch of agricultural industry, Professor Fitz had published a pamphlet on “Handling Wheat from Field to Mill,” and is joint author of two bulletins on “Kansas Flours.” He is a member of the American Society of Milling and Baking Technology; of the American Society of Agronomy; of the Feed Control Official Association; and also belongs to the Alpha Zeta and Phi Kappa Phi fraternities. In 1904 Mr. Fitz married Nellie Hemmant of Halstead, Kansas.



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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