William J. Rhees, by Unknown, c. 1860s, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, William J. Rhees (1830-1907) was hired in 1853 as a "general assistant" and private secretary to Joseph Henry, the first secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, and by 1855 he held the position of chief clerk. He left the Institution in 1870 to pursue the stationery business in Springfield (state unspecified) but was gone less than a year. He continued as chief clerk under Spencer F. Baird, the second secretary of the Smithsonian, and by a special act of Congress served as acting secretary of the Institution when Baird was absent. After Baird's death and Samuel P. Langley's appointment as third secretary of the Smithsonian, Rhees was asked to take the position of the first keeper of the Archives in 1891 which is when the Smithsonian Institution Archives had its real origins. Rhees served in that post until his death in 1907. He was also a member of the National Museum Building Committee..