James Lawrence Kellogg was first and foremost a biologist. His name is starred in American Men of Science, an honor accorded to a limited number of people. Kellogg taught biology at Williams from 1899 to1934, to approximately 2,500 students. Students raved about the powerful influence Kellogg had on their lives. One student said that “No man did more for me.” Franklin Carter, president of Williams College from 1881 to 1901, referred to Kellogg as the “greatest authority on clams.” In 1931, the Williams Class of 1900, selecting him as a professor who maintained a high standard of teaching and scholarship, gave him an honorarium to augment his salary.
James Kellogg was born in Kevanee, Illinois on September 15, 1866. He received a B.S. from Olivet College in 1888, a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins in 1892, and an honorary M.A. from Williams in 1900. He was a member of the faculty at Olivet from 1892 to 1899 before teaching at Williams. He married Ida M. Archabeaul on June 16, 1892, and had four daughters: Emily, Louisa, Helena and Margaret. Professor Kellogg was involved with many organizations outside the college, including the U.S. Fish Commission, the American Society of Naturalists, the American Zoological Society, the American Trap Shooting Association, and various baseball leagues.
James Kellogg died on July 7, 1938 after a long illness. He was remembered by his close friend, Professor Henry Wild, as “the best shot ever seen.” Wild went on to say that Kellogg could both “teach discovered truth and himself discover new truth.” Kellogg House, his residence for many years, was probably named after him.
By Allison Jacobs (Williams Class of 2000)
“J. L. Kellogg,” Williams Alumni Review, April, 1934.
“J. L. Kellogg,” Williams Alumni Review, October, 1938.