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S.H. Thompson family papers

Call Number: RH MS 510


Dr. S.H. Thompson, Sr. was a founder of Douglass Hospital, a facility in Kansas City, Kansas that practiced equal access and care to all patients and hired medical personnel without regard to race or ethnicity. His son, S.H. Thompson, Jr., served as principal of Sumner High School (Kansas City, Kansas) from 1951-1972. The collection includes papers and photographs of both S.H. Thompson, Jr. and Sr., as well as material from other family members.


  • Creation: 1900 - 1979


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

History of the S.H. Thompson family

S.H. Thompson (1870-1950), a West Virginia native and 1892 graduate of Howard University in Washington D.C., settled in Kansas City, Kansas in 1898, where he along with other colleagues opened a pharmacy. This effort lead to his participation in the opening of Douglass Hospital, a facility dedicated to the care of all patients, no matter their ethnicity, in 1899. Thompson served for a time as the hospital's superintendent, and was affiliated with the hospital for over fifty years.

S. H. Thompson, Sr. married Belle Jane Armstrong in 1898; he died on December 11, 1950.

Thompson's son, S.H. Thompson, Jr. (1904-1989), served as the supervisor of African American elementary schools in Kansas City, Kansas from 1938-1951. He was later the principal of Sumner High School from 1951-1972, a school from which he had been a 1922 graduate. Thompson, Jr. graduated from Hampton (Virginia) Institute in 1925, and earned his Masters degree in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He attended the University of Kansas, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He was a member for Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi fraternities.

S. H. Thompson, Jr., married Lucille Raymond in 1928; together they had two children, Henry Raymond Thompson and Suzanne Marie (Thompson) Knowles. He died in 1989.


1 linear foot (3 document cases + 2 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into four series: Dr. S.H. Thompson Sr. papers, Dr. S.H. Thompson Jr. papers, Family papers, and Photographs. All material within the collection, except for the oversize items (which are listed at the end of each series), is sorted chronologically.

Physical Location

RH MS 510

Physical Location

RH MS-P 510

Physical Location

RH MS-P 510 (f)

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Solomon Thompson, Jr, 1986, 1990; Suzanne Knowles, 1989, 1990.

Guide to the S.H. Thompson Family Collection
S.H. Thompson family papers
Finding aid prepared by bkm, 2006. Finding aid encoded by bkm, 2006. Finding aid revised by skt, 2010; eear, 2014; eh, 2017; mwh, 2020, 2021.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
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
S.H. Thompson family papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 510, 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