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C. Y. Thomas collection

 Collection
Call Number: RH MS 539

Overview

Christopher Yancy (C.Y.) Thomas was an industrialist who worked very closely with Kenneth and Helen Spencer. He also served one term in the Kansas State Senate from 1969-1972. This collection includes speeches, photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, programs, diaries, scrapbooks, awards, and articles relating to Thomas' time with the Spencer Chemical Company and the Kansas State Senate, as well as materials related to family history and other charities and interests throughout Thomas' life.

Dates

  • 1887 - 1981 (bulk 1940s-1970s)

Creator

Language of Materials

Materials primarily in English, with some in German and Greek.

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

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

Biography of C. Y. Thomas

Christopher Yancy Thomas was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1900 and moved to Topeka, Kansas with his family when he was a child. Thomas attended Purdue University and earned a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. He married Dorothea Engel in 1922.

Thomas began working for the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company in the 1930s, eventually becoming chief engineer of the company. In 1941 he helped Kenneth Spencer establish Jayhawk Ordinance Works, also in Pittsburg, Kansas, which Spencer later bought in order to begin the Spencer Chemical Company. Thomas would go on to be Chairman of the Board of Spencer Chemical Company and would continue to serve in high-level positions with the company after Spencer was purchased by Gulf Oil Company in the 1960s.

Thomas was also involved with many civic and fraternal organizations, including United Way, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), the Freemasons, and the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri.

Thomas was also deeply involved in politics in Mission Hills, Johnson County, KS, serving as mayor, chairman of the Republican Party in Mission Hills, and Kansas State Senator from 1969-1972. Thomas participated in the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging, the Advisory Council on Energy Policy, Baker University's Board of Regents, and the University of Kansas.

Thomas was deeply interested in history and compiled materials about his family history, including their family history dating back to Colonial America, and the family of his wife, Dorothea Engel. He also gathered information about his brother, Thomas C. Thomas, and Thomas' time at the United States Naval Academy and subsequent career in the United States Navy.

C. Y. Thomas died in 1981.Christopher Yancy Thomas was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1900 and moved to Topeka, Kansas with his family when he was a child. Thomas attended Purdue University and earned a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. He married Dorothea Engel in 1922.

Thomas began working for the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company in the 1930s, eventually becoming chief engineer of the company. In 1941 he helped Kenneth Spencer establish Jayhawk Ordinance Works, also in Pittsburg, Kansas, which Spencer later bought in order to begin the Spencer Chemical Company. Thomas would go on to be Chairman of the Board of Spencer Chemical Company and would continue to serve in high-level positions with the company after Spencer was purchased by Gulf Oil Company in the 1960s.

Thomas was also involved with many civic and fraternal organizations, including United Way, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), the Freemasons, and the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri.

Thomas was also deeply involved in politics in Mission Hills, Johnson County, KS, serving as mayor, chairman of the Republican Party in Mission Hills, and Kansas State Senator from 1969-1972. Thomas participated in the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging, the Advisory Council on Energy Policy, Baker University's Board of Regents, and the University of Kansas.

Thomas was deeply interested in history and compiled materials about his family history, including their family history dating back to Colonial America, and the family of his wife, Dorothea Engel. He also gathered information about his brother, Thomas C. Thomas, and Thomas' time at the United States Naval Academy and subsequent career in the United States Navy.

C. Y. Thomas died in 1981.Christopher Yancy Thomas was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1900 and moved to Topeka, Kansas with his family when he was a child. Thomas attended Purdue University and earned a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. He married Dorothea Engel in 1922.

Thomas began working for the Pittsburg and Midway Coal Mining Company in the 1930s, eventually becoming chief engineer of the company. In 1941 he helped Kenneth Spencer establish Jayhawk Ordinance Works, also in Pittsburg, Kansas, which Spencer later bought in order to begin the Spencer Chemical Company. Thomas would go on to be Chairman of the Board of Spencer Chemical Company and would continue to serve in high-level positions with the company after Spencer was purchased by Gulf Oil Company in the 1960s.

Thomas was also involved with many civic and fraternal organizations, including United Way, the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), the Freemasons, and the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Missouri.

Thomas was also deeply involved in politics in Mission Hills, Johnson County, KS, serving as mayor, chairman of the Republican Party in Mission Hills, and Kansas State Senator from 1969-1972. Thomas participated in the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging, the Advisory Council on Energy Policy, Baker University's Board of Regents, and the University of Kansas.

Thomas was deeply interested in history and compiled materials about his family history, including their family history dating back to Colonial America, and the family of his wife, Dorothea Engel. He also gathered information about his brother, Thomas C. Thomas, and Thomas' time at the United States Naval Academy and subsequent career in the United States Navy.

C. Y. Thomas died in 1981.

Extent

44.25 Linear Feet (49 boxes + 5 oversize boxes, 1 microfilm reel)

Scope and Contents

This collection includes speeches, photographs, newspaper clippings, correspondence, programs, diaries, scrapbooks, awards, and articles relating to Thomas' time with the Spencer Chemical Company and the Kansas State Senate, as well as materials related to family history and other charities and interests throughout Thomas' life. This collection also includes yearbooks, letters, and government documents relating to Thomas C. Thomas, Christopher's brother; scrapbooks, letters, family history, and materials from Dorothea Engel Thomas, Christopher's wife; and pamphlets and books written by, and other materials from Elmer F. Engel, Dorothea's father and a University of Kansas German Professor.

Materials have been broadly organized by format or topic, such as correspondence, speeches, diaries, and notes, or the American Revolution Bicentennial, the Kansas Department on Aging, Thomas and Engel family history, and politics. However, due to the sometimes haphazard organization of some of the collection, some materials may be in boxes associated with different categories and erroneously described with those categories.

Oversize materials have been physically separated from the rest of the colleciton and are located at RH MS Q437. A microfilm reel is stored at RH MF 192.

Physical Location

RH MS 539

Physical Location

RH MS Q437

Physical Location

RH MF 192

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Christopher Y. Thomas, Jr, Dorothea Dickey, and Elizabeth Dring, 1991; transfer from University Archives, 2019.

Separated Materials

Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company. Rules and instructions governing lubrication of locomotives and cars. Chicago, IL: Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway System, 1934. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B2752.
Kansas City Southern Railway Company. Rules of the Transportation Department: Taking Effect August 1st, 1923. Kansas City, MO: Kansas City Southern Railway Company, [1925?]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B2755.
Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad. Agreement with its Employees, Engineers, and Firemen, as to Rules, Regulations, and Rates of Pay. Harrison, AR: Missouri and North Arkansas Railway Company, 1930. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B2753.
Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad. Agreement with its Employees, Conductors, Brakemen, and Yardmen, as to Rules, Regulations, and Rates of Pay. Harrison, AR: Missouri and North Arkansas Railway Company, 1930. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B2754.
Missouri and North Arkansas Railroad. Rules of the Operating Department. Harrison, AR: Missouri and North Arkansas Railway Company, 1926. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B2751.
State of Kansas. Election Laws Pertaining to the Duties of Judges and Clerks. Atchison, KS: Lockwood Company, [1977?]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C12314.

Processing Information

Collection formerly located at RH MS 324 and RH Misc. 7. Materials in RH MS 539 box 49 were transferred from RG 17/30, Department of German Language & Literature records in the University Archives, in the fall of 2019.
Title
Guide to the C. Y. Thomas Collection
Subtitle
C. Y. Thomas collection
Author
Finding aid prepared by bd, mmm, 2018. Finding aid encoded by mnm, 2018. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2019.
Date
2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
http://hdl.handle.net/10407/3959044403
Preferred citation
C. Y. Thomas collection, RH MS 539, 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