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Papers of Kenneth Aldred Spencer

 Collection
Call Number: RH MS VLT 157

Overview

The papers of Kenneth A. Spencer, Kansas City-based business executive and industrialist, date from 1918 to 1960 and reflect Spencer's professional activities, as well as some aspects of his personal life and hobbies.

Dates

  • 1918 - 1960

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Xeroxing or other mechanical reproduction will be permitted for research purposes only.

Biography of Kenneth A. Spencer

Timeline for Kenneth Aldred Spencer's life:

1902
Born in Columbus, Kansas, January 25, son of Charles Favor and Clara Hughes Spencer.
approximately 1908-approximately 1920
Preparatory education at Kansas Normal School (later Emporia State University) Emporia, Kansas and Culver (Indiana) Military Academy.
1925
Employed as junior engineer, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co.
1926
Graduated University of Kansas, Bachelor of Science.
1927
Married Helen Elizabeth Foresman on January 6.
1936
Promoted to chief engineer, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co.
1938
Promoted to general manager, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co.
1940
Promoted to vice-president and treasurer, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co. Submitted proposal to U.S. War Dept. Office Program Management, calling for development of war plants in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
1941
Served as president, Military Chemical Works, Inc., Baxter Springs, Kansas, a Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co. subsidiary.
1942
Succeeded father as president, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co. Jayhawk Ordinance Works, Pittsburg, Kansas completed.
1943
Production begins at Jayhawk Ordinance plant. Appointed member of the board, Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, Missouri.
1946
Secures lease of Jayhawk plant and Kansas Ordinance Works, Parson, Kansas. Name of Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co. changed to Spencer Chemical Co.
1948
Jayhawk plant purchased by Spencer Chemical Co.
1949-1956
Diversification and expansion of Spencer Chemical Co.
1951-1960
Member, Business Advisory Council, U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
1954-1957
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, Missouri.
1955
Initiated Charles F. Spencer Award, Amercian Chemical Society, in honor of his father. Recipient, Distinguished Service Award, National Association of Soil Conservation Districts.
1956
Recipient, Sam Casey Award, Society for the Advancement of Management.
1957
Recipient, Memorial Award, Chemical Market Research Association.
1959
Chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Spencer Chemical Co.
1960
Died, Miami, Florida, on February 19.

Extent

19.25 Linear Feet (39 document cases + 48 volumes, 3 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Scope and Contents

The papers of Kenneth A. Spencer, Kansas City business executive and industrialist, were given to the Kansas Collection in 1966. The papers date from 1918 to 1960 and reflect Spencer's professional activities, particularly focusing on his corporation, the Spencer Chemical Company. The bulk of the collection is contained in 63 document cases. It includes outgoing and incoming correspondence; diaries and appointment books; scrapbooks and personal memorabilia; some records related to the Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Company, Jayhawk Ordnance Works, and Spencer Chemical Company, as well as other professional endeavors in which Spencer was involved; and speeches. Photographs are located at RH MS-P 157 and include both professional portraits of Spencer and commercially produced photographs of the Spencer Chemical Works and Pittsburg & Midway Mining Company, as well as candid shots and personal images of Spencer as a youth and adult, his wife Helen, and other family members. Personal items are also included in the manuscript materials. Oversize materials have been physically separated from the rest of the collection and are located at RH MS R436 and RH MS S58.

Arrangement

The Kenneth Spencer papers are arranged in 10 series:

Outgoing Correspondence
1918-1960 -- Chronologically arranged and consists primarily of carbon copies. Some original letters have been inserted in place of the carbon copies.
Incoming Correspondence
Alphabetically arranged according to correspondents' names. Consult the calendar of the Kenneth Spencer papers or Appendix A to the Spencer papers in the Kansas Collection Manuscript Catalog.
Memorabilia and personal papers
1918-1960 -- High school and college papers and records, personal scrapbooks, certificates and awards and other honors
Spencer Company Annual Reports and other professional records
approximately 1920-1960 -- includes records related not only to the SCC but also Pittsburg & Midway and other professional endeavors by Spencer.
National Defense and Wartime Planning
1940-1946 -- Arranged by subject, including records related to the Jayhawk Ordnance Works
Condolences, Memorials, Announcements and News Releases on Death of K.A. Spencer.
1960 -- Arranged alphabetically.
Newspaper and magazine articles
1920s-1960s -- regarding Spencer and wife Helen, his businesses, coal mining in Pittsburg, and other related topics
Speeches
1940-1959 -- including copies of prepared speeches, as well as drafts, reference material, and other related materials
Appointment books
1930-1960
Photographs
circa 1902 - 1950s -- personal photographs and images of the Jayhawk Ordnance Works

Physical Location

RH MS VLT 157

Physical Location

RH MS-P 157

Physical Location

RH MS VLT C92

Physical Location

RH MS VLT E208

Physical Location

RH MS VLT G87

Physical Location

RH MS VLT H23

Physical Location

RH MS R436

Physical Location

RH MS S58

Physical Location

RH MS Q444

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Helen F. Spencer, 1966.

Title
Guide to the Kenneth Aldred Spencer Collection
Subtitle
Papers of Kenneth Aldred Spencer
Author
Finding aid prepared by lgg (inventory), 10 August 1978; mg, 2004; revised by skt, 2010; aam, 2013. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004; revised by rw, 2009; skt, 2010; mwh, 2017, 2018.
Date
2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
http://hdl.handle.net/10407/4709897642
Preferred citation
Papers of Kenneth Aldred Spencer, RH MS Vlt 157, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States
785-864-4334