Jimmy M. Skaggs

LEIDIGH, ARTHUR HENRY (1880–1955). Arthur Henry Leidigh, agronomist, the son of Theodore F. and Elizabeth (Reed) Leidigh, was born on August 14, 1880, at Hutchinson, Kansas. He received a B.S. in agriculture from Kansas State College in 1902, and from 1903 to 1908 he was employed as superintendent of the United States Department of Agriculture experiment stations at Channing and Amarillo, Texas. In that position he developed several strains of grain sorghums, including dwarf kafir and sunrise kafir, both of which are widely grown on the South Plains (see SORGHUM CULTURE). In 1911 he became professor of agronomy at Kansas State College and two years later joined the faculty of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (later Texas A&M University) as agronomist of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station (see AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION SYSTEM). He became assistant director of the experiment station in 1923 and earned an M.S. degree from Texas A&M before he left in 1925 to become the first dean of agriculture at the newly established Texas Technological College (later Texas Tech University). He resigned from this post in 1945 but continued to teach in the agronomy department until 1950, when he retired as dean emeritus. Leidigh was active in the First Presbyterian Church of Lubbock, which was the subject of his book, The First Fifty Years (1954). He was a member of the Governor's Cotton Committee of Texas, the Texas Committee on Electricity in Relation to Agriculture, the Texas State Planning Board, the American Society of Agronomy, and Phi Kappa Phi. In 1947 he was elected a fellow of the Texas Academy of Scienceqv. Leidigh married Mary Josephine Edwards on June 28, 1911; they had three children. He died in Lubbock on April 30, 1955, and was interred there in Tech Memorial Park.


Seymour V. Connor, ed., Builders of the Southwest (Lubbock: Southwest Collection, Texas Technological College, 1959).

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Handbook of Texas Online, Jimmy M. Skaggs, "LEIDIGH, ARTHUR HENRY," accessed March 23, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fle27.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on September 29, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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