William L. Carpenter Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator - Donor
Buesser, Frederick
Carpenter, William Leland, 1854-1936
William L. Carpenter papers
Date [inclusive]
0.66 Cubic feet , 1 volume on shelf

Preferred Citation note

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

Return to Table of Contents »

Biographical Note

William Leland Carpenter was born in 1854, graduated Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) in 1875, and from the University Law School in 1878. After practicing law for fifteen years he became a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge in 1894. In September 1902, he was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He resigned in September 1908, resuming the Detroit law practice which he maintained until his death in January 1936.

[Source: Detroit Free Press]

Return to Table of Contents »

Scope and Contents note

The bulk of the collection is composed of letters Carpenter received and duplicates of many of those that he sent. Many of them are of an essentially personal nature. In later life he became particularly interested in family genealogy and many letters were written and received on this subject.

Included in the collection are a number of writings by Carpenter relating his experiences as a lawyer and judge. References to Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) appear throughout the collection as Carpenter had two brothers and two sisters who also attended school there. There are letters from Europe written during World War I by his son, Rolla, and a diary kept by his son-in-law, Dr. Frederick Buesser. This diary is particularly valuable for its day to day accounts of life in the medical corps. The diary includes a particularly good description of Armistice Day in 1918.

Carpenter's correspondence includes letters from several prominent persons including Woodbridge Ferris, Charles Evans Hughes, John Basset Moore, Elihu Root, and William Howard Taft.

Return to Table of Contents »

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

 updated biographical note. January 2018

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use note

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Frederick Buesser, 1961-06-16.

Return to Table of Contents »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan Agricultural College.
  • Michigan State University. Class of 1875.
  • Oakland County Bar Association (Mich.).
  • United States. Army -- Military life -- History.

Family Name(s)

  • Carpenter family, (William Leland Carpenter, 1854-1936)


  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Speeches

Geographic Name(s)

  • Michigan -- History

Personal Name(s)

  • Carpenter, Paul
  • Hughes, Charles Evans, 1862-1948
  • Moore, John Basset, 1860-1947
  • Root, Elihu, 1845-1937
  • Taft, William H., (William Howard), 1857-1930


  • Armistice Day
  • World War, 1914-1918

Return to Table of Contents »

Collection Inventory



One Letterpress Volume of Correspondence February-July, 1908 


Return to Table of Contents »



People. Carpenter, William L. 

Return to Table of Contents »



Korea. Seoul. Chosen Hotel 

Virginia. Fredericksburg. Brompton, Marye Mansion 1925 

Return to Table of Contents »