Levi Taft and Thacker Family Collection

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Levi Taft and Thacker family collection
1899-1921, c.1920-1930, 2007, 2012 undated
0.6 Cubic feet 28 folders and 1 shoe box

Preferred Citation

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."

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This collection consists of various items that are related to numerous members of the Levi Taft family. Levi Rawson Taft was born on August 22, 1859 in Mendon, Massachusetts. He received his B.S. from Amherst College in 1882 and a M.S. from the University of Missouri. Levi Taft moved to East Lansing in August 1888 and was Professor of Horticulture and Landscape Gardening and Superintendent of the Horticulture Department from 1888 to 1902. He resigned from MAC (MSU) to become the State Superintendent of the State Farmers’ Institute and State Inspector of Orchards and Nurseries. In 1910, Taft organized and became president of the Eveline Fruit and Land Company north of East Jordan, Michigan. Taft wrote several books, filed a patent for a sour cherry, and developed various ways of spraying for diseases in orchards. A plaque on MSU’s campus commemorates his work in spraying orchards. He married Ella Maynard on June 10, 1883. Together, Levi and Ella had six children, four girls and two boys. All six children graduated from MAC. Levi Taft died on February 12, 1941 in Petoskey, Michigan.

Eduard Christian Lindemann was a son-in-law of Levi Taft. Lindemann married one of Levi’s daughters, Hazel, on August 29, 1912. Together, they had four children. He graduated from MAC in 1911 and was involved in numerous activities, such as football, baseball, a Holcad editor, Hort. Club, and more. Lindemann went on to be a poet, writer, educator, and social reformer. He became a professor of Social Philosophy at the New York School of Social Work in 1924 and stayed there until his retirement in 1950. He died on April 13, 1953.

Thomas Leonard Thacker married Margaret Taft, who was a granddaughter of Levi Taft, on April 4, 1942. Thomas Thacker graduated from MSC (MSU) in 1939 with a B.S. in Agriculture. He was teaching agriculture at the East Jordan High School when he met his wife. They were married after Thacker was activated in the Army Air Force, but before he was deployed to Europe. Together, they had four children.

Brian Taft Thacker is a son of Thomas Thacker and a great-grandson of Levi Taft.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection consists of items from three members of the Levi Taft family. Included is a brief history of the descendants of the Levi Taft family and a history of Thomas Thacker's ROTC summer stories. Related to Levi Taft, there are numerous photos of him, his wife, and life on the campus of MSU at the turn of the century. Also included are minutes, a constitution, articles of incorporation and bylaws, treasurer's reports, a letter, and envelopes from the Eveline Fruit and Land Company. There are also some articles about Levi Taft and his work. Included is a paper and pdf digital version of images and captions of the Eveline Orchard Views.

In this collection as well are books written by Taft relatives and MSU alumni. The books are "College Characters and Essays" (about MSU) and "The Community" written by Eduard C. Lindemann. There are also two books by Thomas L. Thacker. His books are "Life on a Michigan Farm: Between the Great Wars" and "My Life with the 52 Fighter Group; Stories from WWII."

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

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

Revision Description

 Added electronic resource October 2016

Legal Status

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

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Amherst College.
  • Eveline Orchard.
  • Michigan Agricultural College.


  • Annual reports
  • Autobiographies
  • Ephemera
  • Family histories
  • Photographs

Personal Name(s)

  • Taft, L. R., (Levi Rawson), 1859-
  • Thacker, Brian
  • Woodbury, C. G., (Charles Goodrich), 1884-1971


  • Agricultural colleges -- Michigan
  • Agriculture -- Experimentation
  • Armed Forces
  • Article
  • Students and war
  • Universities and colleges -- Massachusetts

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Collection Inventory


Box Folder

"The Art and Science of Horticulture" from the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Serial undated 

5730 1

"Levi Rawson Taft" by Marc Thomas from the Michigan History Magazine July/August 1990 

5730 2

"Two Great New U.S. Patent Cherries" from the Stark 125th Year Jubilee Book Circa 1933 

5730 3

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Box Folder

College Characters, Essays, and Verse by Eduard C. Lindemann Circa 1911 

5730 4

The Community by Eduard C. Lindeman 1921 

5730 5

Life on a Michigan Farm: Between the Great Wars by Thomas L. Thacker 2007 

5730 6

My Life with the 52nd Fighter Group; Stories from WWII by Col. Thomas L. Thacker (Ret) 2012 

5730 7

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Box Folder

East Jordan Fruit and Land Co. Inc. - Correspondence October 15, 1910 

5730 8

Eveline Fruit and Land Company. Meeting Minutes, Annual Reports, and Expenses 1910-1917 

5730 9

In Memoriam 

Box Folder

Taft, Ella Maynard undated 

5730 10

Taft, Levi Rawson February 12, 1941 

5730 11

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Box Folder

International Envelopes Addressed to Levi Taft 1905-1938 

5730 12

Levi R. Taft Family and Descendents: Brief History and Genealogy June 2016 

5730 13

Old Eveline Orchards Views - Photocopies of Photos with Scans undated 

5730 14

Thomas L. Thacker ROTC Summer Camp Stories undated 

5730 15


Box Folder

Amherst Graduating Class 1882 

5730 16

Amherst Reunion of the 1882 Class 1917, 1932 

5730 17

Descriptions of Prof. Levi Rawson Taft and Family Photos undated 

5730 18

Faculty of MAC 1888, 1890 

5730 19

Levi Taft and Family at MAC Campus Circa 1900 

5730 20

Lindemann, Eduard and Doris 1913 

5730 21

MSC Campus Scences Circa 1939 

5730 22

Taft, Ella Maynard undated 

5730 23

Taft, Hazel undated 

5730 24

Taft, Levi R. 1882-1930, undated 

5730 25

Taft, Levi and Ella undated 

5730 26

Thomas L. Thacker ROTC Summer Camp Circa 1938, undated 

5730 27

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American Pomological Society for Michigan Agricultural College South Haven Sub Station for Interesting Educational Exhibit 1899 

Exposition Universelle Internationale for Michigan Agricultural State Experiment Station 1900 

American Pomological Society for Michigan Agricultural College, Hort. Dept. Collection of Pears 1901 

Universale Exposition Commemorative Medal 1904 

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Electronic Resources 

Box Folder

Photo Scans of Levi R. Taft June 5, 2016 

5730 28

Old Eveline Orchard Views c.1920-1930 

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