Erickson, T. A. (Theodore A.)

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T.A. (Dad) Erickson was a member of the University staff from 1912-1940. During that time, he organized and directed the Minnesota 4-H Club. Following his retirement from the University (1940), he was hired by General Mills to work on rural youth activities, largely with the 4-H. Erickson was the author of "The American Creed", a popular document which was printed and distributed by General Mills during WWII.

From the description of Theodore August Erickson papers, 1901-1956. (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis). WorldCat record id: 63313978

Theodore A Erickson, B.A. (1904), University of Minnesota; rural school specialist (1912), Department of Agricultural Education, University of Minnesota; director (1912-1940), Minnesota State 4-H Club. Known as the “father of 4-H” in Minnesota.

Theodore August “Dad” Erickson was born in Alexandria, Minnesota, September 2, 1871. He briefly attended Gustavus Adolphus College (1888), and served as chair of the Scandinavian Department and professor of French Language at Nebraska Wesleyan College from 1899-1900. After earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota, Erickson taught high school and served as principal of the Ward School in Alexandria, Minnesota and superintendent of schools in Douglas County, Minnesota. In 1912 he joined the University faculty and was named head of 4-H. He served as head of Minnesota’s 4-H organization until 1940. During his tenure as director, Minnesota 4-H grew to a membership of over 47,000. After retiring, he consulted with General Mills on services to rural communities with an emphasis on rural youth development. He retired a second time in 1954. Theodore Erickson died January 30, 1963.

From the guide to the Theodore August Erickson papers, 1900-1956, (University of Minnesota Libraries. University of Minnesota Archives [uarc])

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Erickson, T. A. (Theodore A.). Theodore August Erickson papers, 1901-1956. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn 4-H records, 1913-2003, (bulk 1940-1990) University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc]
creatorOf Theodore August Erickson papers, 1900-1956 University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc]
referencedIn University of Minnesota. General Extension Division. 4-H records, 1913-2003 (bulk 1940-1990). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Andrew Adin Stomberg Papers University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Future Farmers of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Stomberg, Andrew A. (Andrew Adin), 1871-1943. person
associatedWith University of Minnesota. General Extension Division. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
Agricultural education
Agricultural extension work
Rural youth
Rural youth
Rural youth
4-H Clubs
4-H Clubs


Birth 1871



Ark ID: w6f47vbq

SNAC ID: 9053239