Remembering the gift of the Frick Research Farm

In September 2023, K-State gave approval to sell 104 acres of property in Riley County near Pillsbury Crossing. The property, once known as Frick Research Farm, was gifted to the university in 1966, but is no longer utilized by the College of Veterinary Medicine. Sale of the property occurred in March 2024 and proceeds will go to support a student training laboratory for diagnostic testing.

Frick Research Farm - Dr. E.J. Frick

The entrance to the Frick Research Farm. Dr. E.J. Frick donated this land for the use of the college.

Dr. E.J. Frick was one of the founders of Sunset Zoo in Manhattan. He volunteered to acquire, provide care for and display animals for 43 years. The first exhibit featured two mules, which had worked on a government-funded project for the city of Manhattan and had been abandoned. The city of Manhattan secured additional funding and labor from the Works Projects Administration, or WPA, to develop the zoo and to construct exhibit space for animals.

"Animals are living artwork no man can reproduce," Dr. Frick said.

In the 1950s Dr. Frick donated land for the zoo’s original animal clinic, which has since been renovated and in 2013, was named in honor of longtime K-State veterinarian, Dr. James. W. Carpenter.

Dr. Frick was born May 13, 1896, at New York City. Dr. Edwin J. Frick received his DVM degree from the New York State College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in 1918. After brief service in the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps during World War I, he joined the faculty at Kansas State Agricultural College as an instructor in 1919.

Frick Auditorium - Sunset Zoo Plaque
Left: Frick Auditorium was the traditional lecture room for third-year students until the creation of the Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Auditorium in 2021. Right: A plaque at Sunset Zoo of Manhattan commemorates Dr. Frick's 43 years of service.

Dr. Frick became a professor in 1926 and was named head of the Department of Surgery and Medicine in 1936. He served twenty-six years as head of the Department of Surgery and Medicine, retiring in 1966, serving KSU for forty-seven years. Dr. Frick was the first president of the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians. He also served on the Manhattan Park Board for many years and was president from 1968 to 1973.

The former auditorium in Mosier Hall was named Frick Auditorium in honor of Dr. Frick. The college has also created the Edwin J. Frick Chair in Veterinary Medicine that recognizes a faculty member with a national and international reputation in veterinary medicine, for which Dr. Michael Apley currently holds the professorship. A street in Manhattan is also named for Dr. Frick.

He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Manhattan. He passed away Aug. 10, 1993. He was survived at the time by his wife, June; a son, Forris Bradley, then of Milwaukie, Oregon; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Frick Research Farm

Frick Research Farm
Inside the Frick Research Farm