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Kersey Coates letter

 Collection — Folder: 1
Call Number: RH MS P9


This collection consists of a single letter, dated December 13, 1855, Cleveland, Ohio, to Hiram Hill, Esq., Philadelphia, Penn. Coates discusses his transacting business regarding real estates interests in Lawrence and Kansas City shared by Coates, Hill and others, who are unnamed. Their property in Lawrence is considered valuable and at Coates' direction was surveyed into town lots. Coates also alludes to the "trouble" in Lawrence which would probably "'fizzle out 'most ingloriously."


  • Creation: December 13, 1855


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Kersey Coats (1823-1887)

Kersey Coates was born September 15, 1823 in Pennslyvania. A Quaker with a background in both teaching and law, he arrived in Kansas City in 1854 as a land investor, developing the first upscale neighborhood in the city and calling it Quality Hill. He purchased the land on the west bluffs from Berenice Chouteau, which was not near the riverfront town of the time.

Coates wished to see the Kansas territory settled as a free state and helped settlers move to Kansas with the same cause. When the Civil War started, Coates volunteered as a colonel in the Missouri state militia, and his hotel located at 10th and Broadway served as a Union Calvary stable.

Coates and his wife Sarah remained in Kansas City after the war, and Coates remained a booster and investor in the city. He built the Hannibal Bridge, opening in 1869, along with Thaddeus Stevens and Charles E. Kearney. Coates also organized an agricultural and industrial fair, the first in Kansas City, in 1871, and was a founding member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Board of Trade. Kersey Coates died on April 24, 1887.

[Information retrieved from Magerl, Barbara, "Biography of Kersey Coates (1823-1887), Civic Leader," Kansas City Public Library,]


1 folder : 3 pages, holograph signed on Weddell House letterhead. ; 25 x 19 cm

Language of Materials


Physical Location


Guide to the Kersey Coates Collection
Kersey Coates letter
Finding aid prepared by lgg, 1972. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Kersey Coates letter, RH MS P9, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States