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Edwin Willits reference collection

Identifier: 02.EW


The Edwin Willits reference collection 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.


  • Creation: 1882 - 2007


Conditions Governing Access

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

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.


0.2 Linear Feet (1 halfsize archive box)

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Related Materials

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

Edwin Willits reference collection
Natalie Morath
2013 February 14
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Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197