Valedictorian of the Class of 1893 left lasting mark on NC State

January 26, 2013
By Chris Saunders

The winter issue of NC State magazine that will be arriving in mailboxes soon is a celebration of the university’s 125th anniversary, and we hope it offers a rich array of stories about NC State’s origins and growth.

In the issue, we took a look at that first class of 72 students who came to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1889. Nineteen of those men would go on to graduate four years later in 1893. Some would become engineers, work for the railroad, start their own business or even sell shoes. But one of those first freshmen and graduates carved out a very prodigious career in research here at NC State.

Charles Burgess Williams, whom we mention in the article about the first freshmen, graduated first in that class. He became a chemistry instructor at the college and later the first head of the Department of Agronomy and the first dean of agriculture. In our research, we found some interesting artifacts concerning Williams, and we weren’t able to include them all in the article.

So we’ve included them below for you to see:

C.B. Williams was quite frequently written about in newspapers and journals for his research in agriculture and soil science. He was known as "Mr. Soybean" for his work in finding uses for that species of legume.

C.B. Williams, center, was quite frequently written about in newspapers and journals for his research in agriculture and soil science. He was known as "Mr. Soybean" for his work in finding uses for that species of legume.

A certificate recognizing Williams as a member of the National Geographic Society.

A certificate recognizing Williams as a member of the National Geographic Society.

A certificate of two shares of stock awarded to Williams by the North Carolina State College Agricultural Fair Inc.

A certificate of two shares of stock awarded to Williams by the North Carolina State College Agricultural Fair Inc.

Look familiar? This is the house that Williams built around 1909 on Hillsborough Street (by the IHOP). Call the Williams-Park House, it now holds offices.

Look familiar? This is the house that Williams built around 1909 on Hillsborough Street (by the IHOP) in Raleigh. Called the Williams-Park House, it now holds offices.

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