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Kedzie family papers

Identifier: UA-28.6

Scope and Contents

The Kedzie family papers consists of genealogies, correspondence, and books published by members of the family. Also included are photographs of Robert Mark Kedzie, Ester Hawley Kedzie, A. S. Kedzie, and unidentified men. Additionally, there are items relating to Michigan Agricultural College/Michigan State College (now Michigan State University), such as a 1907 Alumni luncheon program, a commencement program, and a brochure which seeks donations for various buildings titled "For the Veterans of World War II."

Also included in the collection are letters to and from Robert Clark Kedzie, dating from 1860 to 1898. Many of these letters date from his time serving as a surgeon in the Civil War.


  • Creation: 1850 - 1976


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

Adam Stewart (A. S.) Kedzie was born August 23, 1814 in Stamford, New York, to William (1781-1828) and Margaret (1792-1874) Kedzie. He married Elizabeth Dewey in 1844, and Henrietta G. Hixson on November 15, 1855. He received degrees from Western Reserve College (1839) and Western Reserve Theological Seminary (1842). In addition to being a clergyman, A. S. Kedzie authored religious texts and family genealogies. With his son, Donald, he served as editor of the Grand Haven Herald. He fathered four children with Elizabeth (Mary Bel, James Dewey, Charles Stewart, and Anna Woodward), and four children with Henrietta (Donald Hixson, Mary Alice, Katherine Janet, and Robert Mark).

Donald Hixson Kedzie was born October 28, 1857 in Clinton, Michigan to A. S. and Henrietta Kedzie. Donald graduated from Michigan Agricultural College in 1876. He served as editor of the Grand Haven Herald and the Lake Shore News.

Robert Mark Kedzie was born February 17, 1871 in Dexter, Michigan to A. S. and Henrietta Kedzie. He married Ester Hawley (1874-1957). He died in October 1941 in Los Angeles, California.

Robert Clark Kedzie was born to William and Margaret Kedzie on January 28, 1823, in Delhi, New York, and moved to Michigan in 1826 with his family. Graduating from Oberlin College in 1846, he was in charge of the Rochester Academy, Michigan, for the next two years. After the death of his first wife, Mary J. Knowlton, in 1848, he entered the University of Michigan Medical College, receiving his M.D. in 1851. Now married to Harriet Eliza Fairchild, he practiced medicine in Kalamazoo and Vermontville for eleven years. Following the outbreak of the Civil War, Kedzie, an abolitionist, joined the 12th Michigan Infantry as a surgeon. He was captured by the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862 and was released in poor health a few months later.

This illness led him to abandon his medical practice and to accept the position of Professor of Chemistry at Michigan Agricultural College in February 1863, where he taught until his death on November 7, 1902. During his forty years at M.A.C., Kedzie also served as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives (1867), as president of the Michigan Medical Society (1874), the Michigan State Board of Health (1877-1881), the American Public Health Association (1882), and the Society for the Promotion of Agricultural Science (1887-1889), and in other positions as well. In 1898, M.A.C. conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Science while the University of Michigan awarded him a Doctorate of Law in 1901.

Kedzie did much for Michigan through his study of medicine and chemistry. He assisted in securing the passage of an act which established a state food and dairy commission, and he was appointed its first state analyst. He secured the passage of a law providing for the inspection of commercial fertilizers. Upon discovering the hazards of arsenic-laced pigments used in wallpaper and other items, he fought to make such pigments illegal. Kedzie also ascertained that southern Michigan was well adapted for growing sugar beets and thus has been called "the father of the beet sugar industry in Michigan."

Kedzie's wife and two of his sons, William K. and Robert F., died before him. His third son, Frank S., survived him to eventually become president of M.A.C.


2.25 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials


Related Archival Materials

See also: Robert Clark Kedzie papers (UA 17.109), Frank Stewart Kedzie papers (UA 2.1.8), Faith Kedzie Dutton publication (UA 28.12), Jean Hebert Brown collection (UA 28.5)

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

Record group changed from 00244 to UA 28.6 to reflect the Kedzie family's connection to Michigan State University. M. Badgley Malone, January 2020.

Kedzie Family Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
M. Badgley Malone
December 2014
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