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Katharine Kennedy Brown Collection, Lenz Addition

Identifier: MS-404

Scope and Contents

This collection contains documents, correspondence, photographs, and materials relating to Katharine Kennedy Brown’s personal life and to her position as the Republican National Committeewoman for Ohio from 1932 to 1968. The collection also contains papers of Katharine Kennedy Brown’s close family members as well, including her grandmother, father, mother, brother, husband, and mother-in-law.

Series I, Family History and Genealogy Papers, 1856-1959, contains genealogy records, personal receipts, notes, and lists, and a handwritten household inventory. It also includes schoolwork and University programs that belonged to Mrs. Brown while attending Dayton Public Schools and Dana Hall at Wellesley, as well as her brother, Grafton Sherwood Kennedy’s papers from Yale and M.I.T. There are also numerous newspaper clippings regarding social events which feature Mrs. Brown, members of her family, and friends. A large volume of genealogy material is also available in this series. The genealogy research was begun by Katharine Kennedy Brown’s mother, Louise A. Kennedy, and continued by Mrs. Brown. Several items from this series have been placed in the oversized drawers, particularly a large family tree, certificates of academic merit and diplomas, and a collection of newspapers and newspaper clippings collected by Mrs. Brown.

Series II, Correspondence, 1861-1977, includes personal letters, Christmas cards, invitations, and greeting cards written or received by Mrs. Brown, her mother, Louise Achey Kennedy, and brother, Grafton Sherwood Kennedy. This series also contains some correspondence from Katharine’s grandmother, Frances “Fanny” Sherwood Achey, and husband, Kleon Thaw Brown. Also included are calling cards, mailed announcements, postcards, and Katharine Kennedy Brown’s address book.

Series III, Political Papers, 1920-1972, consists of documents, speeches, pamphlets, and correspondences pertaining to Mrs. Brown’s career in politics. Of note are letters exchanged between Mrs. Brown and Walter F. Brown, National Republican Committee Chairman for Ohio. Items include papers from her work with various Republican women’s clubs and Republican committee positions, her attendance at national conventions, and the election campaigns of John Bricker and Robert Taft. This series contains a large volume of Ohio Federation of Republican Women Conference materials from 1940-1960, including Spring, Fall Biennial, and National conferences. Political correspondence includes materials relating to the Taft Memorial Foundation, of which Mrs. Brown was a member, Senate Republican Memos from 1965, and Republican National Committee Press Releases from 1965 to 1967.The series also contains a large assortment of G.O.P. campaign song materials and correspondence regarding political appointments. See Series VII for political campaign memorabilia.

Series IV, Civic Organizations, 1898-1967, consists of documentation, correspondence, and magazines pertaining to several local community and local and national civic organizations of which Katharine Kennedy Brown was a member. Of note is a file of early planning materials for the Junior League of Dayton dating 1923-1929. The collection includes published magazines from the Junior League ranging in date from 1922-1941. These magazines are water damaged and stained. Care should be taken if handling these materials. Also in this series are documents pertaining to the Colonial Dames Society of America and the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, to which both Mrs. Brown and her mother, Mrs. G.C. Kennedy, belonged. Additional documents refer to the Visiting Nurses Association of Dayton and the Fresh Air Farm Society, of which Mrs. Brown was the first vice president. It includes 1956 Articles of Incorporation for the Old Courthouse Memorial Chapel Committee, whose mission was to preserve land at Third and Main in Dayton, for a memorial chapel for war veterans.

Series V, Photographs, Scrapbooks, and Artwork, 1870-1963, contains both personal and politically related photographs and scrapbooks, including one very short roll of 8 mm film titled ‘Woody’, dated 1975. Of note are political scrapbooks commemorating Republican National Conventions, as well as local and state election campaign meetings and conventions. Scrapbooks contain both photographs as well as newspaper clippings which pertain to local, state and national political activities, including the Ohio Federation of Republican Women Organization. Personal photographs include miscellaneous, unidentified vacation photos. Several items from this series have been placed in the oversize drawers.

Series VI, Books, 1854-1968, contains books collected from Duncarrick House which were of personal interest to members of the Kennedy and Brown families. Several books contain name plates of Katharine Kennedy Brown, her mother Louise Kennedy, her father Grafton C. Kennedy, and her brother Grafton Sherwood Kennedy, and her husband, Kleon Thaw Brown, as well as personal inscriptions. Subjects range from religion to political topics. Of particular note are two in memoriam books, one for Westanna Brown Robinson (1919) and one for William Thaw (1889). Also included in this series are academic books and school notebooks of both Katharine Kennedy Brown and Grafton C. Kennedy.

Series VII, Memorabilia, 1854-1968, is arranged into two subseries, each arranged chronologically within: Family and Community Pins/Medals, circa 1890-1968, and Political Memorabilia, 1854-1968. The first subseries contains family pins and memorabilia, including Kleon Thaw’s Dayton Commandery medal. The second subseries of political memorabilia is the bulk of the series consisting of a variety of Republican buttons, pins, convention delegate badges, jewelry, and other political convention and campaign materials at the national and state of Ohio level. Early items were likely Katharine Kennedy Brown’s mother and grandmother’s.


  • Creation: 1854-1977


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing the material in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biography of Katharine Kennedy Brown

Katharine Louise Kennedy Brown was a prominent and powerful figure in Ohio politics and Dayton society for over fifty years. She was born on July 16, 1891 in Dayton, Ohio, the eldest child of Grafton Claggett Kennedy (1859-1909) and Louise Achey Kennedy (1860-1945). Grafton Kennedy was an attorney in the Dayton law firm of Kennedy, Munger & Kennedy (the other partners were his half-brother, Eugene, and Warren and Harry Munger). Grafton was U.S. Commissioner at Dayton for the Southern District of Ohio from 1883-1894. He was a staunch Republican, who in 1892 organized the first Montgomery County Board of Elections. He was a member of the Montgomery County Republican Executive Committee in 1886, and served on the Dayton Board of Education for many years. Katharine’s mother, Louise Kennedy, was the only child of John Jacob Achey (1833-1866) and Frances “Fanny” Sherwood Achey (1839-1934). She was a charter member of the Jonathan Dayton Chapter of the DAR and a genealogical researcher. The family home was a mansion named Duncarrick (“Home of the Kennedy’s”) located at Keowee & Webster streets. Katharine died on November 10, 1986 at Kettering Convalescent Center. Katharine, her parents, maternal grandparents, and great-grandparents are buried at Woodland Cemetery in Dayton. The family’s first residence, 131 West Third Street, is the current home of the Dayton Bicycle Club. Her beloved Duncarrick still stands at 1000 Keowee Street.

Please refer to MS-146, Katharine Kennedy Brown Papers for additional biographical information regarding Katharine Kennedy Brown.


24.7 linear feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains documents, correspondence, photographs, and political materials related to Katharine Kennedy Brown’s personal and political life. Some documents and correspondence pertain to members of Brown’s family, including her mother Louise Achey Kennedy (1860-1945), father Grafton Claggett Kennedy (1859-1909), brother Grafton Sherwood “Duke” Kennedy (1893-1974), husband Kleon Thaw Brown (1886-1925), and mother-in-law Martha McClellan Brown (1838-1916). Documentation from Katharine Kennedy Brown’s political activities include correspondence generated during her tenure as National Republican Committeewoman for Ohio from 1932 to 1968, as well as correspondence received by Mrs. Brown pertaining to her position, and state and national Republican campaigns and conventions to which Mrs. Brown was a delegate.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 7 series:

  1. Series I: Family History and Genealogy Papers, 1856-1959
  2. Series II: Correspondence, 1861-1977
  3. Series III: Political Papers, 1920-1972
  4. Series IV: Civic Organizations, 1898-1967
  5. Series V: Photographs, Scrapbooks, and Artwork, 1870-1963
  6. Series VI: Books, 1854-1968
  7. Series VII: Memorabilia, 1854-1968
  8. Subseries VII.A.: Family and Community Pins/Medals, circa 1890-1968
  9. Subseries VII. B.: Political Memorabilia, 1854-1968

Custodial History

Items were collected by Katharine Kennedy Brown, and were acquired by John Lenz when he purchased Duncarrick, the Kennedy/Brown home.

Acquisition Information

The collection is on deposit from the owner, John L. Lenz, until Nov. 22, 2021. The contents of this collection were accessioned from Duncarrick, the former home of Katharine Kennedy Brown, on March 16-17, 2007, after the home was purchased by the Salvation Army from John L. Lenz.

Related Material

MS-146, Katharine Kennedy Brown Collection MS-281, Louise Kennedy Collection MS-147, Martha McClellan Brown Papers MS-244, National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR), Jonathan Dayton Chapter Scrapbooks MS-516 Junior League of Dayton Records

Guide to the Katharine Kennedy Brown Collection, Lenz Addition (MS-404)
Finding aid prepared by Lynley Dunham Culpepper and Angela Vanderbilt, Winter 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Revision Statements

  • 2022 August: Accessions 16-77 and 16-93 processed by Toni Vanden Bos.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA