Edwin Ladd

North Dakota State University Walking Tour

Edwin Ladd

Fargo, North Dakota 58105, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University

Point of Interest Details

Edwin F. Ladd was not always a man of the North Dakota prairies. He was born in Starks, Maine on December 13, 1859. There he attended public school and eventually graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 1884 with a degree in chemistry. He began his career as chemist working at New York State Experiment Station from 1884-1890. In 1890, he was chosen by H. E. Stockbridge to become the Professor of Chemistry at the newly founded North Dakota Agricultural College. Ladd accepted, and became the first chemistry professor at the university. Besides working as a professor for the university, Ladd also used his chemistry degree to work for the Agricultural Experiment Station in Fargo. Throughout his career at NDAC, Ladd worked his way up the professional ladder. He started as a professor and through hard work and dedication, eventually found himself as the Dean of the School of Chemistry and Pharmacy. In 1916, he gained his most important title as president of the college. However, Ladd was far from done. In 1921, he was elected to serve North Dakota in the United States Senate. Over his lengthy and assorted career, Ladd worked on topics such as food adulteration and pure food laws. His work and expertise in these areas helped him attain an impressive nationwide reputation.

Among all of his success, Ladd remarkably found the time to get married and raise a family as well. He married Rizpah Sprogle and together they had eight children. Ladd was also involved in various chemistry and agricultural societies over the years such as, American Chemical Society, Society of Chemical Industries, and the Society for the Promotion of Agricultural Science. He was editor of the North Dakota Farmer from 1899-1904 and wrote numerous publications. Edwin Ladd passed away on June 22, 1925 and is buried in the Glenwood, Maryland cemetery. In 1952, the university rededicated the new chemistry building and named it Ladd Hall after him. A select few of his papers and works can be found in the North Dakota State University Archives.


  1. North Dakota State University Archives, Finding Aid: Edwin F. Ladd Collection (Institute For Regional Studies and University Archives, North Dakota State Libraries, 2009) http://library.ndsu.edu/tools/dspace/load/?file=/repository/bitstream/handle/10365/231/Mss0090.pdf?sequence=6
  2. Photograph of Edwin Ladd, NDSU Archive https://flic.kr/p/8oZxVG

This point of interest is part of the tour: North Dakota State University Walking Tour


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