Lyman B. Kellogg

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Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives
Kellogg, Lyman Beecher, 1841-1918.
Lyman B. Kellogg
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Lyman B. Kellogg

Lyman Beecher Kellogg was born on September 28, 1841, in Lorain County, Ohio. His parents were Hiram Kellogg and Delia Beecher. His older brother was Hiram Delaney Kellogg. The Kellogg family moved to Illinois when Lyman was a youth. Lyman Beecher Kellogg graduated from the Illinois State Normal University in Bloomington in 1864, and soon after his graduation he was recruited to become the founding principal of the Kansas State Normal School in Emporia.

Kellogg arrived in Emporia in January, 1865, and made preparations to start the new school. The Kansas State Normal School opened for its first day of class on February 15, 1865, with eighteen students and Kellogg as the only teacher. The school was operating in a temporary location with borrowed furniture and very limited resources. Kellogg brought the only two books the school had on that first day: a Bible and a dictionary. Kellogg led the early development of the school by expanding the faculty, moving the school into its own building, and attracting more students. Kellogg recruited Henry Brace Norton as the school’s second faculty member in the Fall of 1865, and in 1867 Kellogg and Norton became the publishers of the Educational Journal, a teachers’ paper which was published from 1864 to 1874. Kellogg also contributed to the work of education in Kansas by serving three terms as president of the State Teachers’ Association. By the time Kellogg resigned from the presidency of Kansas State Normal School in June of 1871, the school had five teachers and about 150 students.

During Kellogg’s time at the Kansas State Normal School, he married Abbie G. Homer on December 19, 1866. The children from that marriage were Vernon Lyman Kellogg, born on December 1, 1867, and Fred Homer Kellogg, born on November 1, 1869.

In 1870 Kellogg became a member of the Cresswell Town Company, which was involved in the establishment of Arkansas City in Cowley County, Kansas. After Kellogg resigned from teaching in 1871, he moved to Arkansas City to pursue his business interests there, and also began his study and practice of law. Kellogg’s various activities in Arkansas City included serving as United States Commissioner in Cowley County, serving on the school board, publishing and editing the Arkansas City Traveler newspaper, and helping the Congregational Church to get started.

Kellogg’s wife Abbie became ill with consumption, and although they went to Colorado in hopes that the climate would help Abbie’s condition, she died in Golden, Colorado, on May 15, 1873. Kellogg returned to Arkansas City and continued his law practice there until 1875.

In April, 1875, Kellogg moved back to Emporia, living at 803 Mechanic Street, and continued the practice of law. He became active in politics during that time and held several elected offices. In the Fall of 1876 he was elected to the state legislature as representative for Lyon County. In 1878 Kellogg was elected probate judge of Lyon County, and was re-elected in 1880 and 1882. He served several terms on the Emporia Board of Education in the 1880s. In 1884 he was elected to the state senate.

During that same time period Kellogg entered a second marriage. He married Mary Virginia Mitchell Arthur on June 11, 1878. Mary Virginia Mitchell, generally known as “Jennie,” was born March 4, 1850, and was the daughter of the Reverend Daniel Patrick Mitchell and Anna Eliza Baker Mitchell. At the time Kellogg met Jennie she was already a widow, having been previously married to Benton Arthur. In this second marriage for both of them, the Kelloggs had three children. Charles Mitchell Kellogg was born in 1879, Mary Virginia Kellogg was born in 1883, and Joseph Mitchell Kellogg was born in 1885.

Kellogg instructed Jennie in her study of law, and she became the first woman lawyer in Kansas, being admitted to the Lyon County Bar on December 6, 1880, and being admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Kansas on February 3, 1881. The Kelloggs worked together in private legal practice under the firm name L. B. and J. M. Kellogg.

Kellogg’s career in politics continued after his term in the state senate. In 1888 he was elected Attorney General of Kansas. His wife Jennie worked with him as Assistant Attorney General of Kansas. Kellogg was defeated when he sought re-election in 1890. When Kellogg’s term as Attorney General ended, he had completed 14 years of continuously holding some public office. Later in his life Kellogg was twice a candidate for judge of a district court, but was defeated in both elections.

Kellogg’s interest in the Kansas State Normal School continued throughout his lifetime, and he served two terms on the school’s Board of Regents from 1900 to 1907. Kellogg was absent from the Board meeting on June 4, 1907, during which the Regents decided to honor Kellogg’s work as first president of the school by naming the newly constructed library the Kellogg Library.

Kellogg’s wife Jennie died on May 9, 1911, and not long after that Kellogg moved into the Emporia home of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Eckdall at 727 Rural Street. (Mrs. Eckdall was Jennie’s sister.)

During those later years of his life, Kellogg participated in the Kansas State Normal School’s annual celebrations of Founder’s Day on February 15, and was also accustomed to make a special visit to the school on his birthday, September 28. Kellogg was especially remembered and honored by the Kansas State Normal School during its 50th anniversary in 1915. Kellogg delivered speeches for both the Founder’s Day events and for the commencement in June. He was presented with a special honorary diploma at the commencement, and the 1915 Sunflower yearbook was dedicated to him. On his 77th birthday, September 28, 1918, Kellogg was too ill to make his accustomed visit to the campus of the Normal School, so the entire faculty and student body marched over to the Eckdall residence to greet Kellogg there. Kellogg was able to come out onto the porch to greet his well-wishers. Kellogg died ten days later on the evening of October 8, 1918, and was buried in Maplewood Cemetery in Emporia.

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Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives

1200 Commercial St
Campus Box 4051
Emporia, KS, 66801
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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Kansas State Normal School -- Presidents.

Personal Name(s)

  • Kellogg, Lyman Beecher, 1841-1918.

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