Edwin Harrison Webster, M. S., director of the Agricultural Experimental Station and dean of agriculture in the Kansas State Agricultural College at Manhattan, is a native of Kansas and a descendant on his father's side of an old English family that became established in America in Colonial times. He was born on Feb. 25, 1871, in Woodson county, Kansas, and is the son of Rufus D. Webster and his wife, who before her marriage, was Miss Harriett L. Edwards, of Garrett, Kan. Rufus D. Webster was born in 1839 in New York, to which state his father had removed from New Hampshire, and remained at the parental home until fourteen years of age, when he came westward to the State of Illinois, then returned to New York, and in 1858 came to Kansas. He was located in Atchison for the first year. In 1860 he began farming, but the exceptional drought of that year caused him to give it up. He then became a freighter on the plains and was thus employed for eight years, or until freighting ceased upon the completion of the Union Pacific railroad to Cheyenne, when he went to Garnett, Kan., where he married. He then secured a homestead of 80 acres in Woodson county, as did his father, who also had come to Kansas, and was successfully engaged in farming and stock feeding until 1883. He was then in the mercantile business at Osage City until 1886; in the hardware business at Yates Center until 1890; and again in farming until 1905, the time of his retirement from active work and business cares, when he took up his residence in Washington, D. C., with his son, Edwin H. Webster, and resided there until his death at Fairfax, Va., Dec. 24, 1909. Rufus D. Webster was eminently successful in his business engagements and up to the time of his retirement had increased his real estate holdings from 80 acres to that of 320 acres. He was a man of exceptional probity and was especially interested in the development and success of the public school system. He served as county treasurer of Woodson county for two terms. He and his wife were the parents of four sons and two daughters, all of whom were born in Kansas, viz.: Edwin H., of this review; Henry R., a Methodist minister, who resides in Woodson county; Jessie E., now the wife of U. R. Watts, of Webb City, Mo.; Ellen, deceased; Rufus D., Jr., a Methodist minister, whose present pastorate (1911) is at Bluff City, Kan.; and Frederick R., who is now located in Washington, D. C. Prof. Webster spent his early boyhood amid quiet country scenes, and in the toilsome school of farm life learned the habits of steady and methodical industry. After finishing the usual course in the public schools, he entered the Kansas State Agricultural College at the age of eighteen and was graduated in 1896, having been out of school two years, however, between his matriculation and graduation. He was then successively a student at the Sedalia (Mo.) Central Business College in 1896-97; instructor in the private school for boys, at Denver, Col., in the year of 1897; machinist for the Aermotor Company of Chicago in 1898; a graduate student at the Kansas State Agricultural College, 1899-1900; assistant in dairying at the Iowa State College, 1900-1901; assistant professor of dairying in the Kansas State Agricultural College in 1901-02; professor of dairying in the same school in 1902-03; scientific expert in dairying, United States department of agriculture in 1903-04; general superintendent of the Beatrice Creamery Company at Denver in 1904-05; chief of dairy division, United States department of agriculture from 1905 to 1908, inclusive; and dean of agriculture and director of Agricultural Experiment Station, Kansas State Agricultural College, from Jan. 1, 1909, to the present time. He received the degree of B. S. in the Iowa State College in 1901, and the degree of M. S. in the Kansas State Agricultural College in the same year. Prof. Webster was married in 1900 to Miss Florence H. Fryhofer, daughter of William Fryhofer, of Randolph, Kan., and they have one daughter, Wilma Harriett, who was born in 1902. Prof. Webster is a Repubcan in his political views. He is a member of the time-honored Masonic fraternity and a member of the Alpha Zeta college fraternity. Both Prof. and Mrs. Webster are members of the Methodist church.Pages 147-149 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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