Papers of Kenneth Aldred Spencer
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.
- 1918 - 1960
- Spencer, Kenneth Aldred, 1902-1960 (Person)
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:
- 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.
- Employed as junior engineer, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co.
- Graduated University of Kansas, Bachelor of Science.
- Married Helen Elizabeth Foresman on January 6.
- Promoted to chief engineer, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co.
- Promoted to general manager, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co.
- 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.
- Served as president, Military Chemical Works, Inc., Baxter Springs, Kansas, a Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co. subsidiary.
- Succeeded father as president, Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co. Jayhawk Ordinance Works, Pittsburg, Kansas completed.
- Production begins at Jayhawk Ordinance plant. Appointed member of the board, Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, Missouri.
- Secures lease of Jayhawk plant and Kansas Ordinance Works, Parson, Kansas. Name of Pittsburg and Midway Mining Co. changed to Spencer Chemical Co.
- Jayhawk plant purchased by Spencer Chemical Co.
- Diversification and expansion of Spencer Chemical Co.
- Member, Business Advisory Council, U.S. Dept. of Commerce.
- Chairman, Board of Trustees, Midwest Research Institute, Kansas City, Missouri.
- Initiated Charles F. Spencer Award, Amercian Chemical Society, in honor of his father. Recipient, Distinguished Service Award, National Association of Soil Conservation Districts.
- Recipient, Sam Casey Award, Society for the Advancement of Management.
- Recipient, Memorial Award, Chemical Market Research Association.
- Chairman of the board and chief executive officer, Spencer Chemical Co.
- Died, Miami, Florida, on February 19.
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.
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
- 1940-1959 -- including copies of prepared speeches, as well as drafts, reference material, and other related materials
- Appointment books
- circa 1902 - 1950s -- personal photographs and images of the Jayhawk Ordnance Works
RH MS VLT 157
RH MS-P 157
RH MS VLT C92
RH MS VLT E208
RH MS VLT G87
RH MS VLT H23
RH MS R436
RH MS S58
RH MS Q444
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift, Helen F. Spencer, 1966.
- Guide to the Kenneth Aldred Spencer Collection
- Papers of Kenneth Aldred Spencer
- 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.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Papers of Kenneth Aldred Spencer, RH MS Vlt 157, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.