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John Taylor Bregger papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-10.3.74

Scope and Content

John T. Bregger papers include biographical information; personal and professional correspondence; notes, papers, records and memorabilia from his elementary and high school education in Bangor, Michigan, (1903-1913) from his studies at Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) (1913-1923; 1954-1967), and from his graduate studies at Cornell University (1921-1922) includes his Masters Thesis on Pomology; news clippings written by Bregger or collected for his personal interests (1922-1977); manuscripts by Bregger on agricultural topics; and miscellaneous directories, membership cards, and programs.


  • Creation: 1903 - 1981


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

John Taylor Bregger was born in Illinois on January 14, 1896. In 1900 his family moved to Bangor, Michigan. He entered Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) in 1913 to major in Horticulture. He was a member of the Horticulture Club, the Students' Citizenship League, and the Sem-Bot Honorary Society, and a founding member of the Dorian Literary Society. He also worked on the Holcad reportorial staff, and played in the M.A.C. Military Band. He graduated with a B.S. in 1917.

Bregger attended graduate school at Oregon State College during the year 1917-1918. Then, after a short tour of duty in the Army, he worked at various jobs in Oregon, California and Alaska. He received his M.S. in Agriculture from Cornell in 1922, following which he was employed by Stark Brothers Nurseries, in Louisiana, first as head of their Special Service and Orchard Research Department (1923-27), and then as Superintendent of the Luther Burbank Experimental Farms in Sebastopol, California (1927-29). After appointments by Washington State College (1929-32) and Cornell (1932-33) and an editorship with American Fruit Grower magazine (1933-35), he began his career with the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. During this career he made his home first in Pennsylvania, and later in Clemson, South Carolina. His work in the SCS was concerned with soil conservation in peach orchards, and he published many articles and delivered several speeches on this and related topics. He also wrote a horticultural column, "Problems in Fruit Production," for the New York Packer from 1941 until 1951, and served as president of the American Pomological Society for the years 1949 and 1950. Bregger was married to Myra Potter in 1932, and was the father of three children. He died in 1981. His father was Louis A. Bregger, an 1888 graduate of M.A.C., whose papers (UA 10.3.93) contain more information about the family, as well as descriptions of M.A.C. during the period 1884-1888.

For more detailed information regarding John T. Bregger's life and career, please refer to the material in the first series.


2.4 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Series Descriptions

(1) Biographical. 1947, 1981. 1 folder This series contains three items. The first is a birth announcement for John Bregger in The Union Lit, posted by his parents. The second is a pair of Federal application forms which detail the life and career of John T. Bregger. The last is an obituary which describes many of his activities in the community of Clemson, South Carolina.

(2) Correspondence. 1901-1971, Undated. 14 folders This series contains, in two sub-series, some of the correspondence of John T. Bregger. Personal Correspondence sub-series contains correspondence between Bregger and his relatives and friends. Some of the later correspondence (1950-19710 is concerned with Bregger's activities as an M.A.C. alumnus.) Professional Correspondence sub-series includes correspondence (1924-1954) from the U.S. Army; letters of appointment to Washington State College and Cornell; and correspondence with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

(3) Academic Career. 1903-1967, Undated. 34 folders This series is divided into three sub-series containing notes, papers and memorabilia from Bregger's elementary and high school education in Bangor, Michigan; his undergraduate studies at M.A.C.; and his graduate studies at Cornell University. The Bangor, Michigan Schools sub-series contains report cards, a high school entrance examination, drafts of a high school oration, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia from Bregger's elementary and high school education (1903-1913). The M.A.C. sub-series contains lecture notes and lab notes from a variety of classes, and three papers written by Bregger while at M.A.C. There are also newspaper clippings, diaries, personal financial records, a dance card, commencement programs, and a Michigan State Horticultural Society membership certificate. While the above materials all fall within the dates 1913-1917, there are also some later materials included. They are: correspondence of the Dorian Literary Society (1919-1923); a Class of '17 directory (1922); and alumni correspondence (1954-1967). Bregger's M.A.C. scrapbook, containing photographs, postcards and memorabilia of his days at the college, is included with the collection (Scrapbook #302). Cornell University sub-series (1921-1922) includes Bregger's M.S. Thesis; a term paper; and lecture notes and references for several courses (mainly relating to Pomology).

(4) Publications. 1922-1977, Undated. 36 folders plus oversized material. This series includes clippings, reprints, and pamphlets which Bregger collected. It is divided into two sub-series: the first contains articles collected by Bregger for their historical and personal interest; the second contains articles written by Bregger himself. Collected Publications sub-series are arranged according to subject and title. The major topics are agriculture, soil erosion and conservation, and the history of Bangor, Michigan. Of particular interest is the collection of articles by and about M.A.C. faculty and alumni. There are other articles on the Bregger family, the home of Luther Burbank, the USDA centennial, and the first inaugural at Clemson University. Bregger Publications sub-series contains articles (1928- 1951) written by Bregger, or which summarize speeches he delivered. The topics treated are soil and moisture conservation (especially in orchards), pomology, fruit production and fruit variety research.

(5) Manuscripts. 1933-1953, Undated. 48 folders plus oversized material. These are manuscripts written by John Bregger on the topics of fruit variety research, fruit production, and soil and moisture conservation practices - contour planting, terracing, and cover crops - in orchards. Many of the folders also include pertinent correspondence and/or routing cards used by the Soil Conservation Service in approving the manuscripts for publication or presentation. The Papers sub-series includes manuscripts (1937-1953) that were intended primarily for publication. The Speeches sub-series includes manuscripts (1933-1950) that were intended primarily for delivery as speeches. The Research Materials sub-series materials (1942-1948) were not intended for publication. They include reports on Bregger's SCS research project miscellaneous materials for conservation and fruit variety research, and a series of photographs of leaves indicating fruit variety differences.

(6) Miscellaneous. 1917-1980, Undated. 5 folders. This series includes an announcement of an essay contest which Bregger sponsored; a M.A.C. commencement program from 1926 (when his younger brother graduated); memorabilia such as membership cards and meeting programs; and directories of the Soil Conservation Service.

(7) Scrapbooks and Photographs

Related Archival Materials

See also Louis A. Bregger papers (UA 10.3.93), who was John Taylor Bregger's father. The collection contains more information about the family, as well as descriptions of M.A.C. during the period 1884-1888 when Louis A. Bregger was a student.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

John Taylor Bregger Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
C. Williams
December 1985
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