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Personal papers of William H. Carruth

Call Number: PP 60


Carruth taught German and English at the University of Kansas from 1879-1913. This collection contains research materials, correspondence, photographs, and an unfinished manuscript entitled The German Novel.


  • Creation: 1879 - 1913


Conditions Governing Access

These materials are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of William H. Carruth (1859-1924)

William Herbert Carruth was born April 5, 1859 near Osawatomie, Kansas to James H. and Jane (Grant) Carruth. His father had served as a missionary in the Presbyterian Church.

W. H. Carruth attended the University of Kansas, graduating with a bachelors in 1880. The fall of that year he began teaching at KU in modern languages and literature. He would continue teaching at KU, in 1882 being elected professor of modern languages and in 1884 heading up the German department, formed after a split between French and German in the modern languages department.

Carruth earned a masters from KU and also studied at Harvard University, earning another masters and his doctorate. He was a district vice-president of the American Dialect Society, helped organize and was president of the Central States Modern Language Conference, and served as president of the Kansas Academy of Language and Literature.

In addition to his studies in German, Carruth wrote on women's suffrage in Kansas with Franklin G. Adams, as well as publishing a book of poetry and two volumes on Kansas in literature. He held positions as a director of the Kansas State Historical Society, on the executive committee of the State Temperance Union, and was secretary of the Lawrence Civil Service Reform Club, in addition to serving on the Lawrence board of education.

Carruth continued teaching at KU until 1913, when he left to teach at Stanford University as a professor of comparative literature. He was married first to Frances Schlegal (1854-1908) in 1882. After her death, he married Katherine Kent Morton (1876-1973) in 1910. William H. Carruth died December 15, 1924.


1 Linear Feet (3 document cases)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 60

Physical Location

Annex (Contact Spencer Library Public Services)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Mrs. Katherine Carruth, 1957.

Separated Materials

Two scrapbooks of Carruth's are located with other oversize faculty scrapbooks in the University Archives.

Guide to the William H. Carruth Collection
Personal papers of William H. Carruth
Finding aid prepared by ad, 2005. Finding aid encoded by ad, 2005. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2017; mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of William H. Carruth, University Archives, PP 60, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States