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Yancey Altsheler Papers

Identifier: 1976_068-UA

The Yancey Altsheler papers span the years from 1911 to 1975. The papers are contained in 21 boxes and each series is arranged chronologically. The last 8 boxes are comprised of newspaper clippings.

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. It also includes many social organizations' by-laws and rosters; there are a few private letters from friends.


  • 1911-1975


Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in the Yancey Altsheler Papers have not been transferred to the University of Louisville.


10.25 linear feet

Summary of Significant Events

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

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 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.


Yancey Altsheler Papers
Karin Strohbeck
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Louisville Archives and Special Collections Repository

Ekstrom Library, Lower Level Room 17
Louisville KY 40292
502 852-6752