Edwin Willits reference collection

Summary Information

Eastern Michigan University Archives
Willits, Edwin
Edwin Willits reference collection
Date [inclusive]
0.2 Linear feet 1 halfsize archive box
The Edwin Willits papers document the seventh president at Michigan State Normal College, who served from 1883 to 1885. His papers include such materials as biographies, clippings, and a copy of his Baccalaureate address.

Preferred Citation note

Please cite materials from the University Archives in the following manner: Item. Collection Title. Eastern Michigan University Archives.

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Biographical Note

Edwin Willits was born on April 24, 1830 in Otto, Cattaragus County, New York; his family relocated to Michigan in 1836. Willits attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, graduating in 1855. Willits settled in Monroe, Michigan, where he served as the editor of the Monroe Commercial from 1856 to 1861; he studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1857, serving as Monroe County prosecuting attorney from 1860 through 1872. President Lincoln appointed Willits as Postmaster of Monroe in 1863, a position he held through the administration of President Andrew Johnson, in 1866. Willits was a member of the Republican party and was elected to the forty-fifth, forty-sixth, and forty-seventh Congresses (1877 through 1883). Willits was appointed as the President of Michigan State Normal College in 1883, a position he held through 1885, when he became the President of the Michigan Agricultural College (later Michigan State University), where he remained through 1889. Willits died in Washington D.C. on October 22, 1896.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Eastern Michigan University Archives 2013 February 14

Halle Library, Room 310
Ypsilanti, Michigan, 48197

Conditions Governing Access note

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

For more information on Edward Willits, please see the Biographical and Photograph files in the University Archives file collection; see also the Presidential Correspondence records.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • College presidents
  • Michigan State Normal College

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Baccalaureate Address 1885 June 21 

1 1

Biographies 1927-2003 

1 2

Clippings 1882-1983 

1 3