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Bales family papers

Call Number: RH MS 952


The Bales family papers are those of native Kansans and University of Kansas graduates Orin Roland "Ron" Bales and his wife Katharine (Kufahl) Bales. They contain many photographs, personal papers, and business records of Ron and Katharine Bales, of their Alexander, Bales, Kufahl, and Kean family members who homesteaded in Douglas County, Pottawatomie County, and Leavenworth County, Kansas, and of their Fastenau family members of Nebraska City and Norfolk, Nebraska. Included are many letters written by Ron Bales while serving in World War II.


  • Creation: 1855 - 1989


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biographies of Ron and Katharine Bales

Orin Roland "Ron" Bales, Jr. was born April 4, 1919 in Douglas County, Kansas to Orin Roy and Florence (Alexander) Bales. His grandparents were Joseph and Evelyn (Cook) Bales and Albert John and Myra Elma (Kean) Alexander, who settled in Douglas County in the 1800s. The Alexanders owned a farm, "Hillhurst," in Douglas County's Clinton township, where Ron Bales' mother lived in childhood. Ron Bales lived in childhood on his parents dairy farm, "Valley Breeze," located south of the Lawrence community, and later lived in Emporia, where his father operated a grocery and market. Bales earned a bachelor's degree from the Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia in 1940, and a master's degree from the University of Kansas at Lawrence in 1942. He served in the Army from May 1942 to November 1945, and was stationed in the Philippines during World War II.

Katharine Kufahl Bales was born August 16, 1923 to Sylvester William and Bertha (Fastenau) Kufahl of Emporia, Kansas. Her grandparents were Pottawatomie County, Kansas homesteaders Robert and Maria Helena Kufahl, and Nebraska City, Nebraska homesteaders Henry and Catharina Fastenau. Mrs. Bales received a bachelor of Music degree from the University of Kansas in 1945, and graduated from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music in 1946. She and Ron Bales married on April 14, 1951, residing in Emporia, where their daughters Linda and Ann were born.


5.75 Linear Feet (12 boxes + 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials



Scope and Contents

This collection includes records of the Bales families of Douglas County and Emporia, Kansas; the Kufahl families of Emporia and Pottawatomie, Kansas; the Alexander family of Douglas County (Clinton Township) and Lawrence, Kansas, as well as Ipswich, England; the Kean family of Tonganoxie (Leavenworth County), Kansas; and the Fastenau family of Nebraska City and Norfolk, Nebraska.

Papers at RH MS 952 include genealogical records, personal and business correspondence, diplomas, obituaries, membership records, writings, account books, autograph books, and business records. In records of Bertha Kufahl are many membership records of the Emporia Garden Club, the Kansas Associated Garden Clubs, and the Kansas Council of Flower Show Judges.

Oversize items (a pedigree chart, family certificates, and several published items) are at RH MS R195. At RH MS-P 952 are many family photographs and photograph albums, as well as a small quantity of photographic negatives. Several oversize photographic prints are at RH MS-P 952 (f).

Physical Location

RH MS 952

Physical Location

RH MS R195

Physical Location

RH MS-P 952

Physical Location

RH MS-P 952(f)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Orin Roland and Katharine Kufahl Bales, 1990.

Related Materials

Bales, Orin Roland. "Recent developments in the marketing of quick frozen foods" (Thesis, M.B.A, University of Kansas). Located at Thesis 1942 Bales at University of Kansas Libraries.

Guide to the Bales Family Collection
Bales family papers
Finding aid prepared by mh, 2007. Finding aid encoded by mh, 2007. Finding aid revised by mnm, 2009.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Bales Family Papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 952, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

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

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States