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William L. Carpenter papers

Identifier: UA-10.3.411

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection is composed of letters Carpenter received and duplicates of many of those that he sent. Many of them are of an essentially personal nature. In later life he became particularly interested in family genealogy and many letters were written and received on this subject.

Included in the collection are a number of writings by Carpenter relating his experiences as a lawyer and judge. References to Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) appear throughout the collection as Carpenter had two brothers and two sisters who also attended M.A.C.

There are letters from Europe written during World War I by his son, Rolla, and a diary kept by his son-in-law, Dr. Frederick Buesser (1881-1950). This diary is valuable for its day-to-day accounts of life in the medical corps. The diary includes a good description of Armistice Day in 1918.

Carpenter's correspondence includes letters from several prominent people including Woodbridge Ferris, Charles Evans Hughes, John Bassett Moore, Elihu Root, and William Howard Taft.


  • Creation: 1851 - 1950


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

William Leland Carpenter was born in 1854, graduated Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) in 1875, and from the University of Michigan Law School in 1878. After practicing law for fifteen years he became a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge in 1894. In September 1902, he was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He resigned in September 1908, resuming the Detroit law practice which he maintained until his death in January 1936.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]


0.66 Cubic Feet (2 boxes, 1 volume on shelf, postcards and photographs)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of Frederick Buesser, 1961-06-16.

Legal Status

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

Processing Information

Changed record group from 00015 to UA 10.3.411 to reflect Carpenter's connection to Michigan State University. S. Roberts, December 2019.

William L. Carpenter Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
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