5.83 linear feet (33 volumes)
Secretary to the Illinois State Board of Agriculture (1889-1907), Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners for the Columbian Exposition (1891-1893), and Northern Illinois State Normal School Board of Trustees (1895-1901).
Minutes (including minutes of the Illinois State Agricultural Society), ledgers, State Fair cash books, stud books, and letterpress books of the Illinois State Board of Agriculture; minutes, accounts, and visitors registers relating to the Illinois State Exhibit at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago; and a letterpress book containing records concerning the opening of Northern Illinois State Normal School at DeKalb.
Access: Open for search
Acc. No.: 70-70
Processed by: Merleen Dibert, May 1981
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Wilson Coburn Garrard, Secretary to the Illinois State Board of Agriculture (1889-1907), Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners for the Columbian Exposition (1891-1893), and Northern Illinois State Normal School Board of Trustees (1895-1901), was born in 1849 at Maysville (MasonCounty), Kentucky. He was the grandson of Col. James Garrard, former Governor of Kentucky.Wilson’s father, W.W. Garrard, moved the family from Kentucky to Lawrenceville (Lawrence County), Illinois, where young Wilson attended public school.
As an adult, Garrard served as deputy sheriff for Lawrence County and later County Clerk. In 1870, he was appointed the second assistant secretary to the Illinois Constitutional Convention. For a number of years, he was the private secretary to Congressman John E. Eden inWashington,D.C.
Following his governmental service, Garrard moved to Cincinnati,Ohio, and accepted a position as assistant auditor of the Baltimore and Ohio Southwestern Railroad. He was slated to become he railroad’s chief auditor but resigned to move to Springfield,Illinois. In 1885, Garrard became the chief clerk (assistant to the secretary) of the Illinois State Board of Agriculture. On February 19, 1889, he was elected secretary to the Board. In that position, he kept records concerning the operation of the annual state fair and the fat stock show, issued licenses for the sale of commercial fertilizer and certificates for Illinois-registered studs, and arranged for the publication of agricultural and horticultural statistics and reports. Garrard worked for the Board for twenty-five years.
In July 1891, Garrard became secretary to the Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners, which plannedIllinois’ participation in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. He was also on the Springfield Board of Education. When the Northern Illinois State Normal Schoolat DeKalb was established in 1895, Garrard became secretary to the first Board of Trustees. He served in this post until 1901. Garrard was married and the father of two daughters – Caroline and Coburn. The family’s Springfield home was located at Washington Street and Douglas Avenue.
Poor Health forced Garrard to resign from the State Board of Agriculture on October 23, 1907. He died on July 21, 1908, at the age of fifty-nine. Following funeral services at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, he was buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.
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Scope and Content
The Wilson C. Garrard Papers, 1865-1916, consists of 33 volumes of minutes, letterpress books, ledgers, cash books, visitor’s registers, and stud books. The collection dates primarily from 1891 to 1907. Most of the volumes are records of the State Board of Agriculture, but there are also records of the Illinois Board of Agriculture, but there are also records of the Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners and Northern Illinois State Normal School. The collection documents the functions and activities of these three groups during Garrard’s tenure as secretary.
The collection has been arranged into three series: Illinois State Board of Agriculture Records, 1865-1916; Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners Records, 1891-1893; and Northern Illinois State Normal School Records, 1895-1901.
The Illinois State Board of Agriculture Records, 1865-1916 (Volumes 1-25), date primarily from 1887 to 1907 and contain minutes of the State Board (1889-1915), general ledgers (1895-1916) and cash books (1898-1913), State Fair cash books (1895 and 1897-1901), stud books (1888-1893 and 1902-1910), and letterpress books (1903-1907). Minutes (1865-1875) of the Illinois State Agriculture Society, predecessor of the State Board of Agriculture, are also included. A few records date before and after Garrard’s tenure as secretary to the Board.
The Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners Records, 1891-1893 (Volumes 26-32), contain the minutes and accounts of the board that planned theIllinois state exhibit at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The visitor’s registers for the Illinois State Building (and a special register for Illinois soldiers and sailors) are also included.
The Northern Illinois State Normal School Records, 1895-1901, (Volume 33), is a letterpress book of the Board of Trustees containing correspondence, voucher records, faculty applications, and information about the opening of the DeKalb School.
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Illinois State Board of Agriculture Records, 1865-1916 [1887-1907]
1 IllinoisState Agricultural Society Minutes, 1865-1875
2 [Record of Proceedings]: A, 1889-1907
3 Record of Proceedings: B, 1907-1915
4 Auditor’s Voucher Register, 1887-1889
5 Ledger, 1895-1898
6 Ledger, 1898-1906
7 Ledger 1, 1906-1912
8 Ledger 2, 1913-1916
9 Cash Book: State Fair, 1895
10 Cash Book: State Fair, 1897-1901
11 Check Book: November 1897
12 Cash Book 2, 1898-1906
13 Cash Book 1, 1907-1913
14 Shipping Register, 1876-1884
15 Stud Book, 1888-1893 (letterpress)
16 Stud Book, 1902-1907 (letterpress)
17 Stud Book, [1908-1910] (letterpress)
18 Fertilizer Licenses, 1907-1909 (letterpress)
19 Letterbook, August 1903-September 1904
20 Letterbook, January 1905-January 1906
21 Letterbook, December 1906-October 1907
22 Letterbook, May 1905-September 1906
23 Letterbook, September 1906-August 1907
24 Letterbook, September 1905-July 1906
25 Letterbook, July 1906-June 1907
Illinois Board of World’s Fair Commissioners Records, 1891-1893
26 Records of Proceedings, 1891-1893
27 Accounts (Ledger and Voucher Register), 1891-1892
28 Distribution of Accounts by Committees, November 1892-April 1894
29 World’s Columbian Exposition: Visitors Register – Illinois State Building (Volume 1), May 8-September 4, 1893
30 World’s Columbian Exposition: Visitors Register – Illinois State Building (Volume 2), September 5-October 31, 1893
31 World’s Columbian Exposition: Register of Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Visiting the Illinois StateBuilding, 1893
32 World’s Columbian Exposition: Register, September 8-October 25 
Northern Illinois State Normal School Records, 1895-1901
33 Letterbook, 1895-1901