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Ralph and Kate Lickley papers

Identifier: UA-10.3.434

Scope and Contents

Lickley's work and inventions were directed toward the improvement of railroad locomotives. Included in the papers are blueprints, U.S. Patent Office papers and related correspondence, and interoffice correspondence and machine specifications from the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company.

The collection also includes a mimeographed history of Wright Township, Hillsdale County, Michigan, written by Lickley in 1935; a mimeographed letter (May 12, 1938) describing the Potawatomi Indians in Hillsdale County; and pamphlets concerning the St. Louis Exposition, 1904.

Also, the collection contains images from the civil war in Georgia and Tennessee and of the 9th Michigan Infantry Regiment. These have been scanned and placed online at


  • Creation: circa 1860s-1939, Undated


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Ralph Meeks Lickley (son of William Lickly and Malvinia Barber) was born August 17, 1876 in Hillsdale, Michigan. Lickley graduated from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) in 1901 with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. While at college, he was the class president (sophomore year), football manager (1899), athletic editor for the yearbook (Wolverine), and a member of the Hesperian Society and Tau Beta Pi Fraternity.

Circa 1911, he was a draftsman for the New York, New Haven and Hartford railroad and living in West Haven, Connecticut. In 1930, he is noted as residing in Pittsford, Michigan.

Lickley was a mechanical engineer and inventor working for the Talmage Manufacturing Company, Cleveland, Ohio. His work and inventions were directed toward the improvement of railroad locomotives.

Lickley married Kate Nichols on October 11, 1905. They had three children. He died May 18, 1958 in Wright, Hillsdale County, Michigan.

Kate Nichols Lickley attended MSU from 1896 to 1901 and was enrolled in the Women's Course.

Note: The last name in earlier documents is spelled Lickly, and in later documents Lickley.


0.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of Mrs. Ralph M. Lickley, 1960-08-25. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum.

Related Archival Materials

See also collection c.00434, Lickly family papers.

Legal Status

Donor(s) have transferred any applicable copyright to Michigan State University but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright was not transferred. Copyright restrictions may apply. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Processing Information

Changed record group from c.00388 to UA 10.3.434 to reflect Lickley's connection to Michigan State University.

Ralph M. Lickley Papers
3 Ready For Cataloging
July 1967
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US