Kerr, Robert F. (Robert Floyd), 1850-1921

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Kerr, Robert F. (Robert Floyd), 1850-1921

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Robert Floyd Kerr was born April 12, 1850 at Sugar Grove, Indiana. He attended Wabash College and later DePauw University, where he graduated in 1877. After teaching in Indiana for 2 years, he taught English and Mathematics at Hirosaki, Japan in 1879. Upon his return to the United States in 1880, Kerr taught again throughout the Midwest, settling finally in Brookings in 1885, where he was professor of political economy and Principal of the Preparatory Department. In 1892, he was ousted from the college and went to Illinois to work but he returned to Brookings in 1898, this time as Librarian and Principal of the Preparatory Department. / In addition to these roles, he also served as steward and manager of a boarding club, ran the men's dormitory and acted as advisor to the Dakota Agricultural Cadets, the military organization on campus. In addition to his work on the SDSU campus, Kerr was also active in Brookings. He was instrumental in founding the Forum, a men's association in town, and he was active with the Masons. In 1905, Kerr accepted a position as private Secretary to Governor Elrod. In 1911 and 1913, he served on the South Dakota legislature. In his later years, he lived in Brookings, edited a farm paper and remained active in many community organizations. He died October 16, 1921.


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