Richards/McKinney Family Papers


Richards/McKinney Family Papers


The Richards Family Papers contains correspondence, photographs, genaology, legal documents, financial documents, and documents related to EKU. The collection follows Mary Frances McKinney Richards and R.R. "Dick" Richards for the length of their careers at Eastern Kentucky University. Dick began teaching at Eastern in 1929, while Mary Frances began teaching in 1924. Records indicate that they both retired from teaching in the summer of 1966, but they remained deeply involved in Alumni affairs until their deaths. Mary Frances and Dick stayed in contact with many of their students throughout the years, which is displayed in the large correspondence selection. Additionally, the McKinneys rented out rooms in their home to local boys attending Eastern, and Mary Frances remained close with many of them for years after. Although Mary Frances and Dick never had children of their own, they treated many of these students as their own. The Richards Family enjoyed traveling the globe, taking many interesting and beautiful photos which are represented in the collection. This collection contains a host of genealogical materials from many Madison and Clark County families, which reflects the interest that Mary Frances had in researching her family history. Mary Frances maintained very organized genealogical records, complete with identification numbers and photos. In addition to those records, Mary Frances documented her own family history through written stories. Mary Frances and Dick were also members of the First United Methodist Church in Richmond, Kentucky, so there are many documents related to the church itself as well as the history of the church.

It is important to note that most of the documents in this collection are related to Mary Frances rather than Dick. Born in 1900 to Leatha Griggs McKinney and David B. McKinney, Mary Frances remained unmarried until her early fifties. Therefore, much of the collection highlights her life prior to her marriage to Dick. The collection contains Mary Frances' diaries, beginning as early as 1917, and a variety of early correspondence only addressed to Mary Frances. Additionally, Mary Frances was involved in multiple organizations which are reflected in the collection. For example, Mary Frances' work with the Danforth Foundation in student outreach is represented in this collection, as is her involvement with YWCA and Alumni Affairs. While working as the Alumni secretary, Mary Frances appears in correspondence as opinionated on Eastern's affairs, as well as intelligent in her knowledge of campus politics. From Mary Frances' perspective, this collection also depicts WWII and the impact that the war had on Eastern and its student population.

Finally, due to their life-long involvement with Eastern, this collection illustrates the Eastern experience from the perspective of the Richards Family. Their perspective offers not only experience as faculty, but students as well. Included in this collection are many pieces of ephemera and memorbilia from Mary Frances and Dick's time at Eastern. Additionally, the collection contains many photos of Eastern through the years, including early photos from their time as students and expanding through the many homecoming events at Eastern. The Richardses lived near campus, on Lancaster, and their home at Lancaster is represented in the collection through photos as well.


Richards, Mary Francis




financial record
land record
estate record







Collection Tree

  • Richards/McKinney Family Papers