Henry Jackson Waters, B. S. A., president of the Kansas State Agricultural College, is a worthy scion of old English ancestors and has demonstrated that the transplanted stock thrives upon the soil of the New World. The Waters family came from Middleham, Yorkshire, England, the first American ancestors settling in Jamestown, Va., in 1608, and the descendants are still prominent in Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri. The grandfather of President Waters was a member of Jackson's brigade in the war of 1812, participating in the battle of New Orleans. Shortly after the close of the war he removed to Pike county, Missouri, and later to Ralls county, in that state, where he later purchased a farm and established a home. He was a minister of the Christian church, and though a slave holder was a stanch Unionist to his death, voluntarily freeing his slaves some time before the Emancipation Proclamation. President Waters' father was educated as a civil engineer and was engaged in the survey of the State of Texas, just before the opening of the Civil war. This work was interrupted in 1861, and he engaged in farming in Missouri, becoming a well known breeder of Shorthorn cattle and Shropshire sheep. For over twenty years he was prominently identified with agricultural education, being an extensive writer upon agricultural topics and a welcome lecturer before the farmers' institutes of Missouri and the adjoining states. For some years he was the editor of the "St. Louis Journal of Agriculture." He died in 1908, and his death was a loss to all interested in agricultural pursuits.
President Waters was reared upon his father's farm, learned practical farming by work and observation during his boyhood, attended the public schools, and was fitted for college under the private tutelage of his father. He was graduated in the department of agriculture of the Missouri State University, in 1886, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Science of Agriculture. He was a graduate student in agricultural chemistry and assistant secretary of the Missouri State Board of Agriculture from 1886 to 1888, and was then made assistant in agriculture to the Missouri Experiment Station, which position he held two years, being placed in charge of the experimental work in crops and live stock. He was then elected professor of agriculture in the Pennsylvania Slate College, the first man specializing in agriculture to be called from the West to an Eastern institution. From 1892 to 1895 he was agriculturist at the Pennsylvania Experiment Station, but in the fall of that year returned to his native state to become Dean of the College of Agriculture and director of the Missouri Experiment Station. During the preparations for the World's Fair at St. Louis, Dean Waters, who was director of the exhibit, one of the largest and most striking displays of agricultural products and resources ever made at any exposition in this country, was called upon to collect most of the exhibits, in addition to his other duties. In 1902 he was instructor in nutrition at the Graduate School of Agriculture, University of Ohio. At the close of the exhibition at St. Louis he was granted a leave of absence for a year and a half to study in Europe, the time being spent in studying nutrition at the Universities of Leipzig and Zurich. Upon his return he was instructor in animal nutrition at the Graduate School of Agriculture, University of Illinois, in 1906, and instructor in the Graduate School of the Iowa State Agricultural College in 1910. His position as Dean of the College of Agriculture in Missouri also made him a member of the State Board of Agriculture, of which he was president in 1908 and 1909. When President Waters went to the Missouri College of Agriculture it was not in touch with the farmers, having just passed through a struggle for separation from the State University. Every agricultural organization in the state had passed resolutions unfriendly to the institution, and no state appropriations, with the exception of minor ones, years before, had been made for its support. During his administration the number of students in agriculture increased to a larger proportion than in any other department of the university; practically all of the buildings that were given the university by the legislature while President Waters was there, were for the College of Agriculture, and with the exception of the dairy barn, every building of the agricultural department was built after he took charge of the college, in 1895. Shortly after he returned from Europe President Waters was elected Dean of the College of Agriculture and director of the experiment station at the University of California, at a considerable increase of salary, but he declined to ask his own college to release him from his contract. Shortly after this he was elected president of the Colorado Agricultural College, but again declined. For some twelve or fourteen years, while in Missouri, President Waters conducted elaborate experiments in feeding cattle and hogs, covering practically every phase of growing, wintering, and fattening these classes of live stock. He has made a survey of the methods and underlying principles employed by feeders in the Mississippi and Missouri valleys in fattening cattle for the market, and published the result of his studies in a handbook, which is now used as a text book in the agricultural colleges of the country. For some years, with the money provided by the Adams fund, he has been making research into how a beef animal grows, what conditions favor this and fattening, and the experiments have attracted attention all over the world. Dr. Zuntz, Professor of Physiology in the Royal Agricultural College of Berlin, when visiting America, traveled halfway across the continent to study President Waters' plan. Dr. Hoffman Bang, director of the Royal Experiment Station of Copenhagen, Denmark, made a similar trip to study the methods employed. President Waters' investigations and publications have taken wide range. While primarily a student of nutrition, his determination of the influence of the width of tire upon the draft of wagons is considered the authority the country over on the subject. In 1909 he was elected and accepted the position of president of the Kansas State Agricultural College, at Manhattan, where he has built up the college remarkably in the past three years. Since coming to the Sunflower State, President Waters has continued his studies in nutrition, with special reference to the Kansas products and food stuffs. His articles, published in the bulletins of the Agricultural College, are regarded by feeders and cattle raisers in this, one of the greatest cattle and agricultural states of the Union, as standard authority upon this important subject. President Waters is a member of the following honorary societies: Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, and Alpha Zeta.
In June, 1897, President Waters was married to Margaret Ward Watson, daughter of Dr. B. A. Watson, of Columbia, Mo., and they have one child, Henry Jackson, Jr., born June 3, 1900.Pages 574-576 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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