Ide Peebles Trotter Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

TxAM-CRS 216

Name and location of repository

Level of description



Ide Peebles Trotter Papers


  • 1922-1964 (Creation)


4 boxes (20 linear inches)

Name of creator

Biographical history

Ide Peebles Trotter was born in Brownsville, Tenn. on 12 December 1895, the son of Isham Patten and Susie Eager Trotter. Most of his working career was devoted to education, mainly in Texas, though he also spent several years in Missouri.

Trotter received a B.A. from Mississippi College in 1915, and a B.S. (1918) and M.S. (1921) from Mississippi A & M. In 1933 the University of Wisconsin awarded him a Ph.D. in Agriculture. His dissertation topic was A Comparative Study of the Individual and Group Behavior of Farmers as Influenced by Certain Methods of Soils and Crops Extension Teaching Used in Missouri.

For one year following the receipt of his B.A., Trotter served as the Assistant Principal of the High School in Hernando, Miss. He then re-entered college. Immediately after receiving his B.S., he entered the military and served as Director of Agriculture for the military base hospitals at Camp Travis, Texas, and Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Upon being released from military duties, he entered graduate school. For slightly more than two years after receiving his M.S., Trotter worked at the Delta Branch Experiment Station in Stoneville, Miss., serving first as Foreman and later as Assistant to the Superintendent.

During 1923-1936, Trotter served as the Extension Agronomist at the Missouri College of Agriculture. While serving in this capacity, he was charged with several additional responsibilities, in 1933 he was placed in charge of the Federal Cotton Plow-up Program, and in 1934, the A.A.A. Program in eighteen counties in Southeastern Missouri. Trotter also represented the University of Missouri on the Bankhead Committee, and, from 1935 to 1936, served as Agronomy Advisor to the Administrator of the U.S.D.A., the A.A.A., and Soil Conservation Programs.

In 1936, Trotter came to Texas A & M University, then called the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, where he held several responsible positions before his retirement in 1960. Until 1944, he served as Head of the Department of Agronomy. From 1944 until 1949, he was Director of the Agricultural Extension Service. During these years, he made several changes, such as having regional directors reside in the regions in which they served rather than in College Station, and, to avoid duplication of effort, having subject specialists in the Extension Service work more closely with the people in their subject area in the School of Agriculture. Trotter also devoted a great deal of effort to the professional improvement of Extension personnel. Between 1949 and 1956, Trotter was Dean of the Graduate School and thereafter served as Associate Dean until his retirement in 1960. In addition, he was an Extension Consultant on Personnel and Professional Improvement during this time. He was particularly active in the training of African-American Extension personnel.

Twice during his long career, Trotter was engaged in activities that took him abroad for extended periods. Upon retiring from Texas A&M University, Trotter accepted a position on the faculty of the University of Missouri. He served on the U.S. AID team for India until 1964, during which time he helped organize the Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology on the Pattern of U.S. Land Grant colleges, where research, teaching, and extension are coordinated.

In 1948 Trotter also served as an International Commodity Specialist in cotton, and surveyed cotton activities in Japan, China, India, Pakistan, and Greece for the Office of Foreign Agricultural Relations.

Throughout his career, Trotter was committed to religious and civic involvement. His numerous early morning radio talks on various agricultural topics as well as New Year's and Thanksgiving greetings demonstrate this. He was largely responsible for the planning for and organization of the first Rural Church Conference in College Station in 1946. His speech on that occasion, "Soils and Souls," was reprinted several times in church and agricultural publications.

Trotter and his wife, Lena Ann Breeze Trotter, live in Bryan, Texas. They have two sons, Ide Peebles Trotter, Jr., and Benjamin Breeze Trotter, both of whom are graduates of Texas A&M University. Ide Peebles Trotter has also long been an active member of numerous societies and social and fraternal organizations.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection consist of correspondence, telegrams, notes, reports, speeches, newspaper clippings, and publications which span most of Trotter's career in Agricultural Education.

Some periods are much better documented than are others. Materials for the period before 1936 include some leaflets, a few letters, circulars and clippings, and one pamphlet. Trotter's move from Missouri to Texas is well documented in letters, bills, and telegrams, but his transfer to Agricultural Extension and then to the Graduate School at Texas A&M College in College Station, Texas are poorly covered. Most of the available information is in the newspaper clippings. Both moves were made during periods of controversy. Hopefully additional documentation can be found elsewhere in the records of Texas A&M University.

Trotter's activities as Director of Extension and Dean of the Graduate School at Texas A&M College should be fairly well covered in the records of those two offices. Unfortunately his personal papers conatain very little information on them. The only documentation on Trotter's two periods of foreign service is in the reports he wrote on his cotton surveys in 1948. Some special activities such as service on the Postwar Planning Committee and participation in Rural Church Conference are fairly well documented.

System of arrangement

This collection is arranged into the following 5 series:

  • Series 1. General Correspondence and Other Academic Materials, 1925-1968; Undated
  • Series 2, Rural Church Conferences, 1940-1958; Undated
  • Series 3, Postwar Committee on Planning and Policy, 1938-1960; Undated
  • Series 4, Speeches, Radio Talks, and Publications, 1922-1957; Undated
  • Series 5, Publications, and Speeches by Others, 1925-1964; Undated

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Conditions governing access

Physical access

These materials are housed offsite and require additional time for retrieval.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.

Languages of the material

  • English

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Uploaded finding aid

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Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Acquired during Fall 1971 and Spring 1972.


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