Robert C. Kedzie


Robert C. Kedzie
Robert C. Kedzie
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Subjects: Faculty, Civil War
Description: Robert C. Kedzie, A.M., M.D., D.Sc., LL.D.
Entered service in 12th Infantry at organization as assistant surgeon, Jan. 15, 1862, at Vermontville for 3 years at age 37. Mustered Jan. 23, 1862. Commissioned surgeon April 25, 1862. Resigned, Oct. 8, 1862.
Died at Michigan Agricultural College on November 7, 1902.

Robert Clark Kedzie, was born in Delhi, New York, January 28, 1823 and died at Agricultural College Michigan, on November 7, 1902. He emigrated with his parents during the year 1826 to the valley of the Raisin in Lenawee County, MI. When seventeen, he entered Oberlin College, working his way through, and graduating in 1846. He then took charge of Rochester Academy, MI, for two years; entered the Medical College of the University of Michigan and received the degree of M.D. with the first class of that institution in 1851. He practiced medicine in Kalamazoo and Vermontville for eleven years, served as a surgeon in the 12th Michigan Infantry for one year, and then began his long career as professor of chemistry at Michigan Agricultural College on February 25, 1863. He held the professor position for over thirty-nine and a half years.

In 1898 the Michigan Agricultural College conferred upon him the degree of D.Sc, and in 1901, the University of Michigan conferred the degree of LL.D.
He was president of the Michigan State Board of Heath from 1877-81, and for some years was very active in the work of the society. He was the president of the Society for the Promotion of Agricultural Science from August 1887-1889 and an able contributor to the Proceedings.

He was a member of the house of representatives of Michigan in 1867, president of the Michigan Medical Society in 1874, president of the American Public Health Association in 1882, active in the Sanitary Council of the Mississippi Valley, vice-president of the American Medical Association, chairman of the Section of Chemistry in A.A.A.S. in 1891, and president of the Association of Agricultural Colleges and Experiment Stations in 1899.

Mr. Kedzie had many accomplishments. From 1888-1894, he experimented and ascertained that southern Michigan was well adapted growing sugar beets. In 1885 he secured the passage of a law providing for the inspection of commercial fertilizers. He also assisted in securing the passage of the act establishing a state food and dairy commission, and was the first appointed state analyst. He was a considered a favorite teacher by many. He also was very active in exposing any frauds in the sale of articles of food.

Dr. Victor C. Vaughan, in characterizing Kedzie's career said: "I know of no man who has done so much for the betterment of human life. He was the first to investigate the dangers of arsenical wall papers and to inaugurate legislation looking to the discontinuance of their manufacture. He also investigated the dangers of inferior illuminating oils, and legislation safeguarding the people against them was enacted. Dr. Kedzie has been justly called 'the father of the beet sugar industry in Michigan'. As a member of the State Board of Sanitation he was a leader. He accomplished things. The state of Louisiana, through his efforts, inaugurated a quarantine at New Orleans, the first thing of its kind in the world, and when Asiatic cholera appeared at the port of New York, it was largely because of his agitation that it was possible to say, 'Thus far shalt thou come and no farther'".
Format: Image/jpg
Original Format: Black and white photograph
Resource Identifier: 248.JPG
Language: English
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Relation: MSU Photograph Collection
Contributor: MSU Archives and Historical Collections
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