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Samuel Plantz Presidential Papers

Identifier: LU-RG03-003
This collection is composed of materials that document the presidency of Samuel Plantz, president of Lawrence University from 1894-1924. Biographical materials include photographs, articles written about Plantz, and a death mask of Plantz that was created following his death in November 1924. Most of the correspondence of Plantz is arranged according to a numbering system that he created. Correspondence used by William Raney for his book, The History of Lawrence University, 1847-1925, is also included. Letters regarding the Student Army Training Corps program at Lawrence are also contained in the collection, as well as materials on the Wisconsin Colleges Associated, of which Lawrence was a member. Plantz's writings, including his inaugural address, are also included.


  • 1894-1998


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Property rights and copyright reside with Lawrence University. For uses beyond those allowed for fair use under U. S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.), please contact the University Archivist.


16.40 Linear Feet (18 boxes and 1 oversize folder)

Biographical or Historical Information

Samuel Plantz, president of Lawrence University from 1894 to his death in 1924, was born in 1859 in New York. He grew up in Emerald Green, Wisconsin, and graduated from Lawrence University in 1880. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and Ph.D. from the Theological School of Boston University. During his tenure as president of Lawrence University, the number of students increased from 200 to 1200 and seven new buildings were built, including Memorial Chapel, the Carnegie Library, and Peabody Conservatory of Music. The faculty also grew from nine to 68 members. The Conservatory of Music became a separate part of the university and a building was erected exclusively for musical instruction. Funds for a Y.M.C.A. were gathered during Plantz’s presidency. Plantz also proposed the idea of offering college courses on the chemistry of paper making that would be advantageous to the paper mills in the area. He first proposed this idea in his annual report to the Board of Trustees in June 1915. This idea evolved into the Institute of Paper Chemistry. Outside of Lawrence, Plantz was elected president of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters in February 1909. He was also voted one of the recipients of “Who’s Who in American Methodism” in April 1913. Plantz was also a trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for the Advancement of Teaching when it was founded in 1906 until his death in 1924. He planned to travel to the annual meeting in November 1924 but died suddenly of a heart attack on November 13, 1924. He had traveled to Sturgeon Bay that day  to speak at the Men's Forum of the Methodist Church. Plantz stayed in a hotel in Sturgeon Bay and died during the night. His death marked the end of an era at Lawrence.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged in 6 series. Series 1.  Biographical materials, 1900-1998.  0.2 linear ft. Series 2.  Correspondence used by William Raney, 1908-1961.  0.2 linear ft. Series 3.  Samuel Plantz correspondence, 1900-1924.  4 linear ft. Series 4.  Correspondence arranged by a numbering system by Plantz, 1915-1926.  7 linear ft. Series 5.  Student Army Training Corps (S.A.T.C.) correspondence, 1918-1919.  0.4 linear ft. Series 6.  Wisconsin Colleges Associated correspondence, 1915-1924.  0.2 linear ft. Series 7.  Writings and publications, 1894-1925 Materials are arranged chronologically at the file level.

Method of Acquisition

The donor and date of transfer for materials in series 1-6 are unknown. Materials in series 7 (writings and publications) were donated to Archives by Thomas P. Remley, 2013-2014.

Processing Information

Preliminary processing done prior to 2005, date and processor unknown. Processed by Julia Stringfellow, 2007-2008.
Archon Finding Aid Title
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Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2014: Revised to incorporate donation of writings and publications

Repository Details

Part of the Lawrence University Archives Repository

Seeley G. Mudd Library
113 South Lawe Street
Appleton WI 54911 US
(920) 832-6753