William Scully (1821-1906) migrated from County Tipperary to Illinois in 1850, and became one of the largest landowners in the American Midwest. He eventually owned a total of 211,000 acres in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, including 30,000 acres in Logan County, Ill. alone.
This collection contains nine letters in 1919 between Arthur C. Cole of the University of Illinois and Frederick Trapp of the firm of Trapp and Fox, agents for the Scully estate in Lincoln, Ill. The correspondence touches on disputed points in the summary of Scully's system of tenant farming that was incorporated into Ernest Ludlow Bogart and Charles Manfred Thompson, The Industrial State, 1870-1893, The Centennial History of Illinois, Vol. 4 (1920), 220-21.
Also included in the collection is a typescript of "'Lord' Scully Is No More," a favorable account of his life in the Lincoln Courier-Herald, Oct. 18, 1906, and several critical clippings, mostly undated. A clipping of Apr. 14, 1919, reports the protests of Scully tenants in Grundy County, Ill. against an increase in rent per acre, and is accompanied by a farm lease form used by Trapp in making farm leases for Thomas A. Scully.
In general, the collection throws light on the landholdings of the Scullys, their interest in scientific farming, and their system of renting.