Student, Elmhurst College, 1929-1930; Bachelor of Science, Central Missouri State University, 1934; Master of Arts, University Missouri, 1940; Doctor of Philosophy, University Missouri, 1948; Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), University Missouri, 1985.
Teacher Public school, Missouri, 1930-1931, 34-39; graduate assistant, instructor, U. Missouri, 1939-1942; assistant professor of history, U. North Dakota, 1946-1955; associate professor, U. North Dakota, 1955-1958; professor, U. North Dakota, 1958-1960; professor of history, department chairman, Colorado College, 1960-1970; professor, Colorado College, 1971-1972; professor of history, Iowa State University, Ames, 1972-1979; professor emeritus, Iowa State University, since 1979; department chairman, Iowa State University, 1972-1977. Visiting professor U. Missouri, 1960, Jadavpur U., 1963-1964, Miami University, Ohio, 1967, Arizona State University, 1970-1971, Fulbright lecturer U. Leningrad, 1978-1979, U. Helsinki, 1954-1955. Chairman North Dakota Committee Social Science Curricular Revision, 1959-1960.
Served to 1st lieutenant Army of the United States, 1942-1946. Member Western Social Science Association (vice president 1965-1966, vice president 68-69), North Dakota Social Science Association (president 1959-1960), American Association of University Professors, American History Association, American Studies Association, History Education Society, Agriculture History Society, Organization American Historians. Clubs: Rotary.
Married Helen Margery Watson, December 20, 1946 (deceased January 1993). 1 child, Mark Watson.