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Frank A. Theis papers

Call Number: RH MS 948


Throughout his lifetime, Frank Theis launched several grain trade endeavors and acted as administrator/director of many government programs. This collection of his papers includes correspondence, articles, clippings, and research data regarding Theis' involvement in the grain trade and its regulation by the United States government.


  • 1929 - 1954


Conditions Governing Access

These materials are stored in the KU Annex off-site storage area.

All researchers interested in reviewing this material must consult Spencer Research Library Public Services staff (785-864-4334 or, 9-5 M-F CST) no less than three days in advance of a planned visit. Be advised that drop-in requests for this material cannot be accommodated.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of Frank A. Theis

Frank Theis was born in Kansas City, Missouri in 1890 or 1891. His father worked in wheat but tried to steer his son to a law career, and Theis finished his law degree at the University of Kansas.

However, after finishing school, Theis began working at Simonds-Sheilds-Lonsdale of Kansas City, a firm that owned grain elevators and made money through buying wheat and selling it to millers. Eventually the company changed its name to Simonds-Sheilds-Theis, and Theis became its president in 1935.

In 1931, Theis became president of the Kansas City Board of Trade. He served as a special representative of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture in Argentina in 1934 as well as a grain marketing consultant for the government in 1933-1934 and became known by the nickname "Mr. Wheat."

Theis took an interest in local civic affairs, serving on the board of park commissioners for 15 years as well as on mnay local charitable boards. During World War II he served on the War Food administration committee.

Frank Theis married Rachael; they had two children, Mary (Theis) Kimball and William C., who followed his father into the grain industry. Frank Theis died in November 1965. Theis Park near the Country Club Plaza and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City is named after him.


14.25 Linear Feet (29 boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 948

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Willis C. Theis, 1966.

Processing Information

Previously shelved at RH MS 37.

Guide to the Frank A. Theis Collection
Frank A. Theis papers
Finding aid prepared by jtf, 2007.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Frank A. Theis papers, RH MS 948, 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