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Levi Taft and Thacker family collection

Identifier: UA-17.381

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of items from three members of the Levi Taft family. Included is a brief history of the descendants of the Levi Taft family and a history of Thomas Thacker's ROTC summer stories. Related to Levi Taft, there are numerous photos of him, his wife, and life on the campus of Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) at the turn of the century. Also included are minutes, a constitution, articles of incorporation and bylaws, treasurer's reports, a letter, and envelopes from the Eveline Fruit and Land Company. There are also some articles about Levi Taft and his work. Included are paper and digital version of images and captions of views of the Eveline Orchard.

In this collection as well are books written by Taft relatives and MSU alumni. The books are "College Characters and Essays" (about MSU) and "The Community" written by Eduard C. Lindemann. There are also two books by Thomas L. Thacker. His books are "Life on a Michigan Farm: Between the Great Wars" and "My Life with the 52 Fighter Group; Stories from WWII."


  • Creation: 1899-1921, circa 1920-1930, 2007, 2012, 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.


This collection consists of items that are related to numerous members of the Levi Taft family. Levi Rawson Taft was born on August 22, 1859 in Mendon, Massachusetts. He received his B.S. from Amherst College in 1882 and a M.S. from the University of Missouri. Levi Taft moved to East Lansing in August 1888 and was Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening and Superintendent of the Horticulture Department from 1888 to 1902. He resigned from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) to become the State Superintendent of the State Farmers’ Institute and State Inspector of Orchards and Nurseries. In 1910, Taft organized and became president of the Eveline Fruit and Land Company north of East Jordan, Michigan. Taft wrote several books, filed a patent for a sour cherry, and developed various ways of spraying for diseases in orchards. A plaque on MSU’s campus commemorates his work in spraying orchards. He married Ella Maynard on June 10, 1883. Together, Levi and Ella had six children, four girls and two boys. All six children graduated from M.A.C. Levi Taft died on February 12, 1941 in Petoskey, Michigan.

Eduard Christian Lindemann was a son-in-law of Levi Taft. Lindemann married one of Levi’s daughters, Hazel, on August 29, 1912. Together, they had four children. He graduated from M.A.C. in 1911 and was involved in numerous activities, such as football, baseball, a Holcad editor, Hort. Club, and more. Lindemann went on to be a poet, writer, educator, and social reformer. He became a professor of Social Philosophy at the New York School of Social Work in 1924 and stayed there until his retirement in 1950. He died on April 13, 1953.

Thomas Leonard Thacker married Margaret Taft, who was a granddaughter of Levi Taft, on April 4, 1942. Thomas Thacker graduated from Michigan State in 1939 with a B.S. in agriculture. He was teaching agriculture at the East Jordan High School when he met his wife. They were married after Thacker enlisted in the Army Air Force, but before he was deployed to Europe. Together, they had four children.

Brian Taft Thacker is a son of Thomas Thacker and a great-grandson of Levi Taft.


0.6 Cubic Feet (28 folders and 1 small box)

Language of Materials


Preservica Public URL|94bff5ac-ba25-43dc-a7b3-6457be26d525/

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Levi Taft and Thacker Family Collection
4 Published And Cataloged
February 9, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
  • TypeCollection

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

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