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Neil Baird Thompson Papers, 1862-1977

Ms. Collection No. 752



Ruth Baird, born in 1899, in Watseka, Illinois, was the sixth of eight children born to George and Edna Baird. Her family moved to Hunter, Kansas, where she received her education. This is also where she met her husband, Jesse Laird Thompson, the son of Fannie Laird and Edwin Carlin Thompson. Even after marriage, both Jesse and Ruth stayed in close contact with their extended family members through frequent postal correspondence to brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles (see 1, folders 2 subseries a-b).

During their marriage, Jesse and Ruth had two boys, Neil and Jule. They also had an estimated twenty-two different residences. Jesse served in WWI and was, for many years a self-employed barber and dry-cleaner (see box 1, folder 2 subseries a-b).

The Thompson's oldest son, Neil served in World War II in the European Theatre, where he carried the rank of a lieutenant (see box 1, folder 5, subseries a). His distinguished activites during the war earned him the bronze star. State-side, Thompson later earned his Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota. He also received degrees from Kansas State University (see box 1, folder 1, subseries a). He taught American Studies at Moorhead State University and was head of the American Studies Department at St. Cloud University until 1974, when he retired.

In 1947, Neil married Wava (Skip) Tiers in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1953, the Thompsons adopted two girls, Sherry and Jeanette.

In 1977, at the age 55, Neil Baird Thompson died. He was preceded in death by his father, Jesse Laird Thompson (1895-1962) and is survived by his wife, two daughters and his mother Ruth Baird Thompson.

Scope and Content

This collection contains primarily the papers of Neil Baird Thompson (1921-1977) including, but not limited to a map of Mitchell County, Kansas, audio tape reels, photographs, as well as several other items that have been placed in oversized folders or have been photocopied for their safety, and stored in other sections within the Kansas State Historical Society. In the container list, papers are of Neil Baird Thompson unless otherwise specified.

The collection contains one 5 inch container box including birth and death records, military papers pertaining to induction into the armed forces and discharge, and various forms of correspondence by professional and business associates.

The audio reels that are a part of this collection chronicle particular family events embarked upon by Ruth Baird Thompson and her husband, Jesse Laird Thompson, such as their marriage; the selling of their barber shop; and their attempt to move westward to California with their young son, Neil Baird Thompson (see box 1, folder 2, subseries b).

Contents List

Folder Description

1   Academic Papers, 1915-1974.
    Thesis correspondence, Transcripts, Transfer
    Papers, Program objectives, Thesis drafts/abstracts.
    Correspondence to/from NBT, Professors, and Faculty.
    Primary/Secondary report cards and diplomas. Scholarship
    awards and aptitude scores.
1a: 1915-1962 Report cards thru Thesis.
2a: 1941-1962 Thesis correspondence.
2   Correspondence: 1866-1976.
    Between Thompson and Baird families. Notes from
    Jesse L. and Neil B. Thompson.
2a:   1866-1944 Personal
2b:   1944-1976 Personal
2c:   1958-1976 Professional
2d:   No date Correspondence
3   Family Papers: 1868-1977.
    Birth, death records; head stone photographs,
    marriage licenses, naturalization papers, adoption
    receipts, obituaries (published and non), Newspaper
    column (NBT), jobs, VITAE, articles published.
4   Legal Papers: 1880-1972.
    Testimony of witness documents, escrow papers,
    oil/gas leases, pension papers, mortgage/release notices,
    Corp. deed, probate/will petitions, and bank statement.
5   Military Papers: 1862-1953.
    Infantry reports, payroll, reserve officer casualty
    sheets survey. Correspondence to/from J. L. Thompson, N.
    B. Thompson and the U.S. military.
    Promotions, discharge papers, medal citation,
    infantry school graduation booklet.
5a:   1862-1944 Muster Roll-Extract
5b:   1944-1953 Assignment claims-discharge
6   Political Records: 1908-1940.
    Certificates of appointment to Marshall County,
    Kansas political office. Correspondence To/From G.A.
    Board; Frank Soper; J. K. Thompson.
7   Notes: 1914-1945.
    from Jesse Baird Thompson and Neil Baird Thompson.
7a:   1914-1945, Jesse Laird and Neil Baird Thompson.
7b:   1945, NBT on WWII
7c:   1945, NBT of WWII cont.
8   Miscellaneous: ?-1974.
    Blank cards, newspaper article from Tennessee,
    Stationary, Ph.D. announcement (of a before unmentioned
    party), abstract of letter, speeding ticket, home
    remedies, club memberships, driver's and hunting
    licenses, Genealogy seminar papers (attended by NBT)
    Mitchell County, KS Map: 1968

Additional Information for Researchers


1 five inch document case.


This manuscript collection was acquired by the Kansas State Historical Society through a donation from the family of Neil Baird Thompson.


Citations refering to this collection should include the Library and Archives Division, Kansas State Historical Society, Neil Baird Thompson Papers, 1862-1977, and the appropriate box and folder numbers.

Copyright Notice

This material may be protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights are derived from the principal of common law, affirmed in the 1976 copyright act, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof for the duration of the copyright. Unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right, the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of the author or his or her publisher to secure permission of the owner of literary property rights in unpublished writing.

Processed by

Jennifer Tombs, Lela Barnes Intern

Date of processing