Skip to main content

Minus Gentry Collection of Sheldon Kindergarten photographs

Call Number: RH PH 96


The Minus Gentry Collection pictorially records activities at the Sheldon Kindergarten, which Reverend Charles Sheldon and the Central Congregational Church in the Tennesseetown area of Topeka, Kansas operated from 1893 to 1908.


  • Creation: 1898-approximately 1908


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

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

History of Sheldon Kindergarten

In 1892, the Reverend Charles Sheldon of Central Congregational Church made a study of the social and economic problems of Topeka, Kansas' Tennesseetown district, which was an area settled by Exodusters. Convinced that education was key to social improvement, Sheldon and the Church started a kindergarten for the Tennesseetown children; it was the first African American kindergarten west of the Mississippi River. The Sheldon Kindergarten first opened in 1893 in a rented Tennesseetown building and, in 1895, the school moved to the Central Congregational Church. During that time, the kindergarten served a total of 210 children, with an average daily attendance of 28 children. An auxiliary of forty African American female residents instructed mothers in child care, health, and hygiene. In 1908 the Sheldon Kindergarten became part of the Topeka city school system.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Minus Gentry Collection consists of fourteen photographs of Sheldon Kindergarten activities. The images are copies from the original prints, which Minus Gentry originally collected together.

Physical Location

RH PH 96

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Loaned for reproduction by Minus Gentry, 1987

Processing Information

Photographs are copies of originals

Guide to the Minus E. Gentry Collection
Minus Gentry Collection of Sheldon Kindergarten photographs
Finding aid prepared by nb, 1988; Finding aid encoded by rw, 2008; revised by mbw, 2010.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Minus E. Gentry Collection, Kansas Collection, RH PH 96, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas Libraries

Repository Details

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

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States