Wisconsin Historical Society
816 State Street
Madison, WI 53706-1417
78.8 c.f. (208 archives boxes); plus additions of 2.4 c.f, 238 photographs, and 193 lithographs.
Papers of Kellar, a historian, researcher in agricultural history, and curator for the McCormick Historical Association from 1915 to 1955. The papers consist of personal and professional correspondence; speeches, research notes, and bibliographies relating to Cyrus Hall McCormick, genealogy, the reaper, patent cases, and agriculture; correspondence and other materials documenting Kellar’s active membership in professional organizations; and the papers of Solon Robinson, agricultural journalist, and Everett E. Edwards, agricultural historian. As curator for the McCormick Collection, Kellar corresponded with numerous persons, particularly historian Ulrich B. Phillips, in his search for collateral papers relating to the McCormicks, the growth of industry, and the history of agriculture. Kellar gathered information preparatory to his supervision of the restorations at "Walnut Grove," the McCormick ancestral home in Virginia; made reports on the progress of the McCormick Historical Association; and in 1923 completed a three-volume manuscript called "The Life and Times of Mr. C. H. McCormick, 1835-1844" (unpublished). As an historian, Kellar became associated with many projects, organizations, and libraries interested in preserving historical records. A large portion of the papers demonstrates his work with these organizations, particularly with the Agricultural History Society of which he was president from 1922 to 1924; the American Association for State and Local History and its council; the American Council of Learned Societies; the American Historical Association; the national advisory committee of the Historical Records Survey under the Works Progress Administration, for which he was chairman of the national committee and adviser to the Illinois survey; and the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. As a collector, Kellar not only acquired documents and manuscripts for the McCormick Collection, but also accumulated materials in which he was himself professionally interested, especially those concerning Robinson, agricultural editor for Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune, and Edwards, senior agricultural historian for the United States Department of Agriculture, 1920-1945. The papers contain Edwards’ personal letters and those written as editor of the department’s publication, Agricultural History; and typewritten notes used by Lewis Cecil Gray in writing Gray’s two-volume History of Agriculture in the Southern States to 1860 (1941).