K E Y F I G U R E S
N O R T H C A R O L I N A
A G R I C U L T U R A L H I S T O R Y
Battle, Kemp P. (Kemp Plummer), 1831-1919
Kemp P. Battle is sometimes called the "father of the experiment station." He served as President of the University of North Carolina and was interested in agricultural improvement. After visiting the first Agricultural Experiment Station in Connecticut, he advocated the establishment of a similar station in North Carolina, going so far as to offer the laboratory facilities at the University of North Carolina.
Battle, H. B. (Herbert Bemerton), 1862-1929
H. B. Battle is the son of Kemp. P. Battle. He served as Director of the Experiment Station from 1887 to 1897. He began work at the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station under the direction of Dr. Dabney. During his tenure, the Experiment Station conducted its first tests on methods of curing tobacco.
Butler, James A.
James Butler served as the first county agent in North Carolina. He arranged with J. F. Eagles, a farmer in Statesville, North Carolina, to be the first farmer in North Carolina to undertake a demonstration under the supervision of a county agent.
Dabney, Charles W.
Charles W. Dabney was the second Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. He served from 1880 to 1887. During his tenure, the Experiment Station was moved from Chapel Hill to the Department of Agriculture building in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Eagles, J. F.
J. F. Eagles was the first farmer to undertake a demonstration under the supervision of a county agent. He agreed to grow 2 ½ acres of corn and 2 acres of cotton according to the recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Holladay, Alexander Quarles, 1839 - 1909
Alexander Q. Holladay was the first President of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts upon its opening in 1889. His tenure as president lasted ten years.
Jeter, F. H. (Frank Hamilton), 1891-1955
In 1915, F. H. Jeter took the position of Extension editor in the fledgling Cooperative Extension Service at North Carolina State College. At the time, there was no precedent for this type of work, so Jeter made contacts at the local papers and the Associated Press to create interest in stories related to farms and farming. Working with the newly established American Association of Agricultural College Editors, he began to publish The Extension Farm News, a weekly newspaper.
Kerr, W. C.
W. C. Kerr traveled to Connecticut with Kemp P. Battle to visit the first Agricultural Experiment Station in the United States. He served as state geologist and professor of geology at the University of North Carolina. He estimated that North Carolina farmers spent more than $2 million for fertilizers and that half of this was lost through fraud.
Kilgore, B. W.
B. W. Kilgore served as Director of the Experiment Station from 1901 to 1907 and from 1913 to 1925. During his first tenure, the Extension Service expanded its research program and increased the staff at the Experiment Station, including agriculturalist, veterinarian, biologist, and entomologist. He also combined the work of the College and the Experiment Station. During his tenure, the Experiment Station started soil survey work. On Kilgore's recommendation, in 1903, the State purchased a 201-acre farm near Kingsboro. Kilgore believed it would be better for the station to own the land and have larger acreages at its disposal for testing.
Leazar, Augustus, 1843 - 1905
Augustus Leazar fought for appropriations for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He worked with Charles W. Dabney to introduce legislation for the creation of an industrial school. This bill failed, but a second bill included agriculture and was compatible with federal Land-Grant college legislation. This bill led to the creation of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.
Ledoux, Albert R.
Albert Ledoux was the first Director of the Agricultural Experiment Station. He served from 1877 to 1880. During his tenure, he conducted the first tests at the Experiment Station. He also arranged for several farmers in the Chapel Hill area to assist with the first field tests.
Massey, W. F. (Wilbur Fisk), 1839-1923
W. F. Massey served as one of the first faculty members at North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts from 1889 to 1901. He wrote extensively, preparing articles for newspapers, farm magazines, and the Extension Bulletin.
Patterson, S. L.
S. L. Patterson was Commissioner of Agriculture from 1895 to 1897. He fought for the construction of an Agricultural building, which he wanted built downtown, not on the campus of the College. The building, called Agricultural Hall was built west of the buildings on campus during the 1904 - 1905 school year. The name was later changed to Patterson Hall.
Polk, L. L. (Leonidas La Fayette), 1837-1892
L. L. Polk was a North Carolina government official who supported educational institutions and agricultural development. He organized the state's farmers to lobby for an agricultural school, which led to the founding of North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. He is also the founder of the Progressive Farmer.
Schaub, I. O. (Ira Obed), 1880 - 1971
Schaub was one of the first graduates of North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. After serving in several roles related to agriculture in and out of North Carolina, he returned in 1924 as director of Agricultural Extension. In 1926, he became Dean of the School of Agriculture and North Carolina State College. He was an unofficial North Carolina State University historian and wrote several items on the history of the Experiment Station
Scott, Robert W.
Robert W. Scott was a leader in the North Carolina General Assembly from Alamance County. He argued the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts focused too much on mechanic arts, ignoring the agricultural side of the institution. He argued for the construction of an agricultural building on the campus.
Weaver, David Stathem, 1896 - 1966
Weaver was an agricultural leader and educator in North Carolina from 1923 to 1966. He served on the faculty at North Carolina State College while earning his Masters degree in agricultural engineering. In 1937, he was appointed head of the Agricultural Engineering Department. Weaver was known as the"father of rural electrification."
Milton Whitney served as the first superintendent of the Agricultural Experiment Station farm.
Williams, Charles Burgess, 1871 - 1947
Williams was a member of the first class at North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts and he graduated in 1893 with highest honors and a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture. He was hired as an instructor of Chemistry at the school and assistant chemist for the Agricultural Experiment Station. He later served as the first head of the college's Agronomy Department.