Lou Herndon papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US US kmk 2019-20.005

Level of description



Lou Herndon papers


  • 1925-2013 (Creation)


5.00 Boxes, 17.5 Linear Feet

Post-Fire Oversize Extent:
Boxes 2-4 (19x25): 509S: 19/10/5
Box 5 (19x25); 509S: 19/11/5

Name of creator


Biographical history

Mary Louise (Lou) Wilkins Herndon Was born February 26, 1924, to Loren and Ruth Wilkins in Liberal, Kansas. Her father was a jeweler, a watchmaker and later an optometrist. Her mother was a concert pianist. They moved to Wichita Kansas when Lou was in about sixth grade. Herndon attended Allison Junior High in Wichita and then graduated from Wichita High School North in 1941. On June 27, 1943, she married Billy Bob Herndon who was originally from Anson, Texas. They were married at West Side United Presbyterian Church, Wichita, Kansas. They had one daughter and three sons, all of whom have made their homes in Sedgwick County.

Herndon was very active in the Wichita and Goddard communities. She was a 4-H project leader and a community leader of the Rolling Hills 4-H Club for many years. She was a lifetime member of the Prairie Gem Home Extension Unit from the time the unit was started until it was disbanded (for lack of members). Herndon also served on the county extension council for several years and was a treasurer for Attica Township. At the same time, she was the caretaker of the Pleasant Ridge cemetery in Goddard, Kansas.

In about 1963, Herndon began china painting and was a member of the Sunflower China Painters in Sedgwick county. She was the state president of the Federated China Painters Association of Kansas for two years. Herndon was passionate about encouraging all the painters in Kansas to exhibit their work at the Kansas State Fair.

More than anything else, Herndon enjoyed her 15 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. She passed away November 11, 2018, and a Memorial headstone is in Pleasant Ridge Cemetary, Goddard, Kansas.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

Records relating to the history of Cooperative Extension work in Sedgwick County Kansas and focusing particularly on the Prairie Gem unit of which Lou Herndon and her mother, Ruth Wilkins, were charter/lifetime members.

System of arrangement

This collection is arranged in five boxes. Box one consists of documents and boxes two through five are made up of scrapbooks.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

All materials are open for research.

Physical access

Original materials are available during open hours of repository and any digitized materials that are online are available with the Internet.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

The researcher assumes full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

The collection was donated to Kansas State University by Lou Herndon and her daughter, Sherry Elder in November 2017. It was housed in the Department of Special Collections until it was processed. It received the accession number 2019-20.005.

When processed, boxes were missing, therefore, the whole collection did not get processed. Boxes 6 and 7 need processing.

Immediate source of acquisition

Lou Herndon and her daughter, Sherry Elder, donated these materials in November 2017.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information

These documents represent the life of a member of the Prairie Gem Homemakers Extension Unit in Sedgwick County, Kansas.


Related materials elements

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

Kansas Association for Family and Community Education accrual.

Specialized notes

  • Citation: [Item title], [item date], Lou Herndon papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.

Alternative identifier(s)

Description control element

Rules or conventions

Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Sources used

Archivist's note

Cynthia A. Harris, Library Assistant III/Manuscripts/Collections Processor processed and described materials and curator David B. Allen reviewed the finding aid in October 2019.

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Accession area