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Patterson family papers

Call Number: RH MS 476


Roy and Clara Patterson were longtime Coffeyville, Kansas residents and the owners of Patterson Funeral Home. Roy Patterson served as Mayor of Coffeyville, Kansas during the 1970s. the collection is comprised of family papers and business records of the funeral home, and includes photographs.


  • Creation: 1950 - 1979


Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of Patterson Family

Roy Patterson was born 10 February 1913 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma to Frank and Naomi (Dade) Patterson. He later married Clara Dyer of Oklahoma. From 1938-1946 he worked as personnel manager for the Tulsa, Okla. S.H. Kress Store. Patterson's father-in-law, T.C. Dyer, owned funeral homes in Okmulgee, Sapulpa, and Tulsa, Okla; Dyer urged Patterson to become involved in the Sapulpa home. In 1946, Patterson attended the Mortuary Science College in Atlanta, Georgia; he became a licensed embalmer and funeral director in Georgia, Oklahoma, and Kansas. In November 1948, Patterson moved to Coffeyville, Kansas as owner and manager of Dyer-Patterson Funeral Home; after closing her Tulsa beauty shop, Clara joined him in February 1949. From 1951-53, Patterson served in Korea as a Civilian Identification Specialist. After returning from Korea Patterson operated a T.V. and radio shop, in addition to the funeral home; in 1966 he phased the shop out and served as Manager-Secretary-Treasurer for the 3-C Credit Union. In 1969, Patterson was elected to the Coffeyville City Commission, becoming the city's first black city commissioner. In 1971 he became Mayor; he was elected to the position for four terms. Patterson died, however, before starting his fourth term. Patterson was an active community member. He participated in numerous organizations including: the Amity Lodge No. 236 F&Am, the Kansas Credit Union League (also serving as a board member), the Coffeyville American Red Cross chapter (also a board member), and he served as president of the Human Relations Commission and the Citizens Advisory Committee for urban renewal. After moving to Coffeyville, Clara Patterson held a teaching job in Oklahoma from 1950-51; she then operated the family funeral home while Patterson was in Korea. In 1966, she took a teaching position with the Coffeyville School system. She again operated the funeral home after Patterson's death. Mrs. Patterson was a very active member of the local C.M.E. church. The Patterson's had one daughter, Regina. Roy T. Patterson died 24 April 1974.


2 Linear Feet (5 boxes, + 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection includes personal papers of the Patterson family, as well as business records of the Patterson Funeral Home; material is arranged first alphabetically by origin, and within each origin alphabetically by document type. Photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject, and are located at RH MS-P 476. Some newspaper clippings are oversize and are housed at RH MS R168 material.

Physical Location

RH MS 476

Physical Location

RH MS-P 476

Physical Location

RH MS R168

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Clara Patterson, 1988

Guide to the Patterson Family Collection
Patterson family papers
Finding aid prepared by bkm,2006; revised by, cl 2010 ; Finding aid encoded by bkm, 2006
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Patterson Family Collection, Kansas Collection, RH MS 476, 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