Minnesota Author Biographies.

William C. Edgar

William C. Edgar

From "Autumn in the Country" in Five Essays (1924) by William C. Edgar

Disregarding the calendar, which tells of the passing of summer days too ruthlessly and is therefore to be avoided after July, one prefers to let nature relate her serial of the seasons in her own gentle way, from day to day, in almost imperceptible changes which are felt rather than seen.

There comes a time, after the glory and exuberance of summer have been realized and every living thing, tree, bush, flower, bird, animal, fish and the human, has reveled in it, when there is a pause, as if it were a prelude to another and a different act in the beneficent and annually recurrent pageant.

Biographical Notes

Birth: December 21, 1856, LaCrosse, Wisconsin
Death: December 2, 1932, Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota

Editor, Author, and journalist William Crowell Edgar was born in Wisconsin and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. As a young man in St. Louis, he worked for the Democrat Lithograph and Printing Company and as a salesman for Snider and Holmes, a wholesale paper dealer and manufacturer. Edgar came to Minnesota in 1882 when the publisher of the Northwestern Miller, a weekly trade journal in Minneapolis, asked him to become the journal’s business manager. He became the editor in 1886 and held the position until 1924. He established The Bellman in 1906 and served as editor and manager until 1919, when it was discontinued. Edgar served as president of Miller Publishing Company until his retirement in 1924.

In 1891 he organized a movement through which American millers gave a shipload of flour for the relief of Russian peasants, personally superintending its collection, shipment, and distribution, and receiving a gold flagon from the emperor of Russia in recognition of his services. He also directed the Millers' Belgian Relief Movement in 1914. In 1917 he assisted Herbert Hoover, food administrator, in perfecting the organization, regulation, and control of the American milling industry during the war. In 1918 he went to work in Britain, writing articles concerning the war spirit of the northwestern region of the United States. He was named Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Couronne (Belgium) and Officier de l'Instruction Publique (France). Edgar received the bronze medallion from Le Comit National de Secours et d'Alimentation, Brussels, in recognition of relief work. He authored several books during his career.

Selected Works

The titles below link to the catalog record in MnPALS, the Minnesota Historical Society’s library catalog. Please click on your browser's back button to return.

The Bellman
Five Essays
The Medal of Gold, a Story of Industrial Achievement
The Northwestern Miller
Rhymes of a Doggerel Bard
The Story of a Grain of Wheat

Additional Resources

Minnesota Historical Society Links

• Search MNHS Library and Archives Catalog for author - Searches for works by this author in the Minnesota Historical Society’s library
Minnesota Historical Society Collections Online
The Life of William C. Edgar - Excerpts from issues of the Northwestern Miller
"Bread for the Russians by Harold F. Smith" - Article from Minnesota History magazine
William C. Edgar and Family Papers, 1832-1949

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