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Altsheler (Yancey) Papers, 1911-1975

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Karin Strohbeck


Altsheler (Yancey) Papers




University Archives and Records CenterLouisville, Kentucky 40292

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to researchers

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Yancey Altsheler Papers, 1911-1975, University Archives and Records Center, University of Louisville, Louisville.



Married to Kathryn Barnhisel Altsheler (no children)

Member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church

Member of the following organizations:

Yancey Altsheler, primarily known for his work to improve secondary education in Louisville, was born in that city on September 19, 1894 and died there on August 9, 1975. He was married to Kathryn Barnhisel Altsheler. The Yancey Altsheler collection focuses primarily on his professional and social organizations and span the years 1911 to 1975. It includes business and financial reports of the organizations, as well as their correspondence, minutes, and by-laws. His personal research notes cover such topics as religion, public education in Kentucky, and the black youngster in America and Africa.

What is known about him personally is deduced through a small amount of confidential correspondence and biographical sketches from public sources. Aspects of his private life include memberships in the following business and professional organizations: Louisville Public School Board, Hindman Settlement School, Audubon Society, Beckham Bird Club, Bernheim Forest Foundation, Conversation Club, Filson Club, Louisville Country Club, Pendennis Club, Phi Kappa Sigma (college honor society), Rotary Club, and the Wranglers. He was a member and lay reader of St. Andrews Episcopal Church.

The provenance of the Altsheler material dealt with chronological and subjectmatter catagories. The entire collection is housed in 10.25 linear feet.

The Yancey Altsheler papers consist of eight general series. These series cover the years from 1911 to 1975 and pertain primarily to the business aspects of his life.

Series I, Business and Financial 1943-1975, is divided into 5 folders. The majority of these folders contain tax information of Mr. Altsheler's various business holdings. However, the second folder pertains specifically to the sale of the Madrid Building located on 3rd and Guthrie Streets in Louisville from 1929 to the present. Mr. Altsheler sold the Madrid in 1967 to the Hillard Corporation and includes a historical and financial report on the property.

Series II includes boxes 2 and 3 and pertain to the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Kentucky. Mr. Altsheler was on the board of directors for this school for decades. Box 2 contains primarily Hindman tax information. The third box includes correspondence of all kinds concerning the Hindman School. Personal, business, social, and general information exchanged between Hindman board members covers the years 1967-1972. School status reports and minutes of meetings are also enclosed from 1953-1975. Mr. McLain, patriarch of the McLain Family Singers, was executive director of the Hindman School for several years.

Series III and IV are boxes 4 through 8, titled Louisville Public Schools and span 1923 to 1969. Boxes 4, 6, and 7 primarily contain miscellaneous Louisville School Board minutes from 1952 to 1963. The fifth and eighth boxes deal with manuals, reports, studies, and letters involving the issue of Louisville's public school integration controversy during the 1950's and 1960's. Also studies conducted on the feasibility of merging the Louisville and Jefferson County Public Schools during these same years are located in box 5.

Series V, "Organizations," are contained in boxes 9 and 10. They show Mr. Altsheler's religious, professional and social involvements in the Louisville area. While the ninth box is comprised of club manuals, brochures, and booklets,the tenth box is a little more defined. It contains personal letters and invitations to at least nine separate clubs as well as a smattering of pamphlets, newsletters, and annual reports similar to those in the eighth box.

Series VI includes Mr. Altsheler's research notes, papers, speeches, and correspondence from 1915 to 1974 and are in boxes 11 through 13. Box 11 primarily deals with religious themes in America mostly historical in content. Paul Revere is the main topic, on handwritten index cards, in box 12. Number 13 contains personal correspondence plus many notes on his personal research, late in life, of the "Negro in Africa and America."

Series VII, box 14 only, encompasses his public papers, lecture notes and oral history material. The school bond issue of the 1920's is explored here in great detail, financially, economically, and socially. Three folders also house the letters leading up to Mr. Altsheler's 1972 oral history interview with University of Louisville professor Dr. Ryant. Transcripts of the interview are held in folder 9.

Series VIII consists of magazines and newspaper clippings covering 1941-1974. Most of the clippings cover an assortment of topics such as education in Louisville, popular nationwide events, and his hobby interests.

1894 Yancey Altsheler born in Louisville
1913 Graduated from Louisville Male High School
1917 Graduated from University of Michigan
1924-1925 President of Rotary Club
1924-1975 Member of Board of Trustees of the Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, Kentucky
1926 Chairman of the Citizen's Committee which campaigned for the successful passage of a five million dollar school bond issue
1927-1939 Trustee of University of Louisville
1933-1934 Member of the State Commission to survey public education in Kentucky
1935 New school code adopted to strengthen Kentucky public education system as a result of the 1933 survey
1935-1966 President of Altsheler and Company, Inc.
1940-1948 Member of the Executive Committee of the Community Chest
1945 Appointed to fill vacancy on Louisville Board of Education
1946-1958 Elected to Board of Education and served as president several times; Louisville schools integrated during his term on the board
1975 Yancey Altsheler dies

Scope and Content

The Yancey Altsheler papers span the years from 1911 to 1975. The papers are contained in 21 boxes and each series arranged chronologically. The last 8 boxes are comprised of newspaper clippings. Mr. Altsheler was involved in many activities. He was a prominent member of the Louisville School Board and a champion of education well into his later years.

The material consists mainly of income tax records, minutes, and correspondence with various professional and social organizations. Some folders contain handwritten research notes spanning decades and covering a wide range of topics pertaining to his interests at that time.

The material is a good historical source as they contain old school board rules, regulations, and minutes of meetings. Also many social organizations by-laws and rosters are found in these papers. There are a few private letters from friends.

User Restrictions

The copyright interests in the Yancey Altsheler Papers, 1911-1975 have not been transferred to the University of Louisville. For further information, see the section on copyright in the regulations and Procedures of the Special Collections Library or consult a reference archivist.

Collection Inventory

I. Business and Financial
Audit Reports, 1943-1965
[box: 1]
Corporate Income Tax, 1964-1965
[box: 1]
Correspondence and Documents, 1966-1968
[box: 1]
Information - Miscellaneous Financial, 1969-1975
[box: 1]
II. Hindman Settlement School
Audit Reports, 1945-1969
[box: 2]
Historical Data and Information, 1911-1971
[box: 2]
Tax Exempt Status, 1970-1972
[box: 2]
Endowment Fund Reports, 1970-1975
[box: 2]
Correspondence, Minutes and Reports, 1953-1970
[box: 3]
Correspondence, Minutes and Reports, 1971-1972
[box: 3]
Correspondence, Minutes and Reports, 1971-1973
[box: 3]
Correspondence, Minutes and Reports, 1973-1975
[box: 3]
Correspondence - Personal, 1970-1973
[box: 3]
Correspondence - General, 1967-1972
[box: 3]
Reports - School Status, 1972-1975
[box: 3]
III. Louisville Public School - Minutes
Minutes - Board of Education, 1952-1955
[box: 4]
Minutes - Board of Education, 1955-1957
[box: 5]
Minutes - Board of Education, 1957-1963
[box: 6]
IV. Louisville Public Schools - Manuals and Reports
Manuals and Reports, 1956-1964
[box: 7]
Manuals and Reports, 1950-1955
[box: 7]
Manuals and Reports, 1923-1962
[box: 8]
Test Results, 1953-1954
[box: 8]
Letters - Miscellaneous, 1952-1955
[box: 8]
Court Action, 1948-1957
[box: 8]
Newsletter, 1957
[box: 8]
Retirement Ceremonies - Superintendent of Louisville Public Schools, 1969
[box: 8]
V. Organizations
Audubon Society, 1958-1967
[box: 9]
Manuals - Filson Club, 1973
[box: 9]
Manuals - Rotary Club of Louisville, 1937-1975
[box: 9]
Manuals - The Pendennis Club, 1952-1975
[box: 9]
The Spectator - Male High School, 1912
[box: 9]
University of Louisville, 1917-1945
[box: 10]
Professional and Social, 1947-1960
[box: 10]
Professional and Social, 1961-1975
[box: 10]
Professional and Social, 1961-1975
[box: 10]
Religious, 1970-1975
[box: 10]
VI. Research Notes, Papers and Speeches
Research Notes and Themes - Religion University of Michigan, 1915-1917
[box: 11]
Research Notes and Themes - Religion and French University of Michigan, 1915-1917
[box: 11]
Research Notes - Religion - Colonial Churches in America, 1961
[box: 11]
Research Notes - Martin Luther, 1962-1963
[box: 11]
Research Notes - Religion - Religion in America, undated
[box: 11]
"Man on Troublesome," paper on James Sill by Dean Cadle, 1967
[box: 11]
Research Notes - Paul Revere, undated
[box: 12]
Research Notes - Kentucky, undated
[box: 12]
Speech - Public Education in Kentucky, 1926
[box: 13]
Speech - Background of 1932, 1933
[box: 13]
Research Notes - Medicine - Hippocratic Oath, 1969
[box: 13]
Research Notes - Negro in America and Africa, 1970
[box: 13]
Research Notes - Violence, 1972
[box: 13]
Correspondence - Personal, 1925-1955
[box: 13]
Correspondence - Personal, 1966-1974
[box: 13]
Personal Library Index, undated
[box: 13]
VII. Public Papers, Lecture Notes and Oral History Material
Public Papers, Lecture Notes and Oral History Material, 1924-1974
[box: 14]
VIII. Newspaper Clippings
Newspaper Clippings - Miscellaneous, 1945-1970
[box: 15]
Newspaper Clippings - Miscellaneous, 1940-1974
[box: 16]
Newspaper Magazines - Miscellaneous, 1945-1968
[box: 18]
Newspaper Clippings - Miscellaneous, 1945-1955
[box: 19]
Newspaper Clippings - Miscellaneous, 1972-1974
[box: 20]
Newspaper Clippings - Miscellaneous, 1971-1972
[box: 21]

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