Burlison, W. L. (1882-1958) | University of Illinois Archives
WILLIAM L. BURLSION (1882-1958)
William L. Burlison (1882-1958) was a professor of agronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC ) from 1915 to 1951 and head of department from 1920 to 1951. He was a researcher of crop production, soybeans, and soil conservation.
William Leonidas Burlison (1882-1958) was born in Harrison, Arkansas, on September 3, 1882 to William Washington and Amanda Ercila (Pettit) Burlison. After earning a BS at Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College in 1905, Burlison received his Master's degree in 1908 and his PhD in 1915, both in Agronomy at UIUC. Burlison was hired as associate professor in the Agronomy Department at UIUC in 1915. In 1918, he advanced to full professor and served as the Head of the Agronomy Department from 1920 until his retirement in 1951. He married Miss Flossy B. Lewis in 1909 and they had four children.
His classes and research focused on topics such as crop production, soybeans, soil conservation, cereal crops, corn, soil surveys, and wartime crop production. Burlison published bulletins, circulars, and scientific and popular articles, including one book, Farm Crop Projects (1930).
Burlison served on professional and government organizations such as the American Society of Agronomy (President, 1927; Fellow, 1936), American Soybean Processors Association (1930), Board of Governors - National Farm Chemurgic Council (Vice President, ca. 1935), Illinois War Board (World War I), Civilian Defense - University of Illinois (Commander, World War II), the American Association for Advancement of Science, and on the board of the campus YMCA. He received several honors and awards, including the Service Plaque from the Illinois Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (1947) and the Holbert Medal from the Funk Bros. Seed Company (1950).
After his retirement in 1951, Burlison served as an Honorary Member of the Illinois Crop Improvement Association.
William Burlison died on December 25, 1958.
Biography of Dr. William Leonidas Burlison (as of June 1, 1951), W. L. Burlison Papers, Box 3, Folder 14
http://www.maburlison.com/TNG/histories/leonidas_bio.htm (accessed November 2, 2016)