Episcopal Diocese of Kansas records
The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas was founded in 1859 and split in 1901 into the western half governed by Salina and the eastern half governed by Topeka. This collection contains the records of the entire Diocese prior to 1901 and of the eastern half of Kansas after 1901.
- Creation: 1850-2008, with single items dating to 1694 and 1768
- Episcopal Church. Diocese of Kansas (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
Records pertaining to candidates for ordination, postulants, and the clergy will not be open for access until 30 years beyond the death of the individual described in the records without written permission from the Diocese to the curator of the Kansas Collection. Contact staff at email@example.com or (785) 864-4334 for assistance.
Conditions Governing Use
Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.
History of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas
The Episcopal Diocese of Kansas had its origins in an 1859 convention in Wyandotte, Kansas, led by Bishop Jackson Kemper. Charles Calloway, an early pastor in Kansas, had already started a female student college, eventually called Bethany Place. Due to political uncertainties and the advent of the Civil War, the diocese did not elect its first bishop, Thomas Vail, until 1864.
By the 1880s the diocese had over 80 congregations across the state. Bishop Vail began the Kansas Theological School and Christ Hospital, located in Topeka. Also in the late 19th century, Bishop Elisha Smith Thomas began the Salina St. John's Military School. Frank Millspaugh, the first Kansas bishop consecrecated on Kansas soil, took over the bishopric after serving as the dean of Grace Cathedral in Topeka.
Due to the church's growth, the 1901 convention decided to split the diocese in two, creating the Missionary District of Salina (now the Diocese of Western Kansas). Due to economic troubles in Kansas after World War I and during the Great Depression, Bethany College was sold, some of its land going to the new Topeka High School. Christ Hospital, also in debt, was turned over to the city of Topeka in 1949 and, after merging with another hospital, was renamed as Stormont-Vail.
The diocese flourished post-World War II, building new churches. By 1970 women were allowed to attend conventions as deputies. Richard Grine became the first Kansas bishop in almost a century in 1981, ordaining the first woman and creating Venture House in Wichita, Kansas (now Episcopal Social Services). The Kansas School of Ministry was also created in the late 1980s.
The mission of the Episcopal Diocese is to gather, equip, and send disciples of Jesus Christ to witness to God's reconciling love.
[Information taken from the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas' website, http://www.episcopal-ks.org/about/, accessed 8 July 2019.]
231 Linear Feet (329 boxes + 2 oversize boxes, 61 volumes)
Language of Materials
RH MS 619
RH MS R121
RH MS 449
RH MS 1038
RH MS 1583
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Deposits, Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2007. Gift, Father Frank and Mary Cohoon family, 2016.
- Guide to the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas Collection
- Episcopal Diocese of Kansas records
- Finding aid prepared by mds/mab, 2005. Finding aid encoded by mds/mab, 2005. Finding aid revised by cl, 2010; skt, 2010; mwh, 2019; cmp and ks, 2023.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Finding aid written in English.
- Finding aid permalink
- Preferred citation
Episcopal Diocese of Kansas records, Kansas Collection, RH MS 619, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas