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John Daniel Walters

Professor. Born: September 9, 1848, Solothurn, Solothurn, Switzerland. Died: September 30, 1929 Alma, Wabaunsee County, Kansas.

John Daniel Walters was born on September 9, 1848, in Solothurn, Switzerland, to parents Daniel and Verena (Sieber) Walters.

He received his education in German and French communal schools, and attended high school of the county of Bucheggberg. He continued his education at the cantonal college of Solothurn and graduated in August 1867. After taking a course in geodetic surveying at the University of Bern, he became an instructor in mathematical branches at the Klingenberg, Thurgovie.

After a year in this position he decided to immigrate to America, as his parents had.

He married Margaret Kienast on December 10, 1874.

Walters worked for as a decorative painter and architectural draftsman for several years before becoming an instructor of drawing at Kansas State Agricultural College in Manhattan (now Kansas State University) in 1877.

He received a master’s degree in 1883, and went on to become professor of the department of industrial art and designing in 1885. He became a senior member of the faculty in 1897.

Walters played an active role in the National Educational Association. At an NEA meeting in Topeka in 1886 he became acting secretary, at the Chicago meeting in 1887 he became regular secretary over the industrial section, and in Nashville in 1889 he served on two committees and presented a paper on industrial education.

He presented programs around the state and was chairman of the Kansas Horticultural Society’s landscape-gardening standing committee. Walters wrote a textbook on free-hand drawing for mature pupils, which was published in 1891, and 16 textbooks on industrial drawing in 1898.

He died on September 30, 1929, in Alma, Kansas.

Entry: Walters, John Daniel

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: July 2016

Date Modified: July 2016

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