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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Russell, Harry Luman 1866 - 1954

Definition:

professor, agricultural bacteriologist, dean of the college of agriculture, b. Poynette. He graduated from the Univ. of Wisconsin (B.S., 1888, M.S., 1890), and after studying in Paris and Naples, returned to the U.S. and graduated from Johns Hopkins Univ. (Ph.D. 1892). In 1893 he was appointed professor at the Univ. of Wisconsin, serving in this capacity from 1893 to 1907, and during this time was instrumental in organizing the department of bacteriology, the first of its kind in any major American university. In 1907 Russell was appointed dean of the College of Agriculture and director of the Agricultural Experiment Station, serving in these capacities until his retirement in 1931. As an agricultural scientist, Russell was instrumental in improving the milk pasteurization process, was instrumental in experiments leading to the eradication of bovine tuberculosis, and with Stephen M. Babcock (q.v.) did pioneer work in developing the cold curing process for cheese. During his years as dean of the College of Agriculture, Russell built up a faculty which made the Univ. of Wisconsin's agriculture program one of the most highly regarded in the nation, and during his administration he also inaugurated the departments of agricultural economics, agricultural education, agricultural journalism, home economics, and rural sociology within the Agricultural College. After retiring as dean emeritus in 1931, Russell continued to serve the University as director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (1931-1939), and from 1939 until his death traveled widely, but continued to make his home in Wisconsin. M. Curti and V. Carstensen, Univ. of Wis. (2 vols., Madison, 1949); W.H. Glover, Farm and College (Madison, 1952); Madison Wis. State Journal, Apr. 12, 1954; Univ. of Wis. Faculty Memorial, Document 1131, May 3, 1954 (on file in office of secretary of the faculty).

View a related article at Wisconsin Magazine of History Archives.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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