Leon K. Hughes: African American Life in Wichita, Kansas


The Leon K. Hughes Photography Collection is a chronicle of African American family and community life in Wichita, KS from the late 1940s through the 1970s. Hughes (1913-1978) was the leading photographer of this community's family, church and civic events. A self-taught photographer, he established a home-based photography business in 1946 with the assistance of his wife, Mrs. Rosie Knight Hughes. After capturing the community's fond memories for three decades, Mr. and Mrs. Hughes retired their enterprise in 1976.

L.K. and Rosie Hughes, n.d.

A hand-tinted portrait of Leon K. and Rosie Hughes.

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Terry Hudggin's birthday, n.d.

A black-and-white photograph of a small boy wearing a birthday hat and holding a knife to cut a birthday cake topped with cowboys on bucking horses. The cake reads: "Happy Birthday Terry." At the bottom of the image is a typed caption that reads: "LITTLE MR. HUDGGIN, HAPPY BIRTHDAY."

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

John Bailey and Vera Hill wedding at Tabernacular Church, n.d.

A black-and-white photograph of groom John Bailey feeding a piece of wedding cake to his bride, Vera Hill. The couple stands behind a table that holds the wedding cake, a punch bowl and glasses, and two pairs of candlesticks.

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Lewis wedding, July 12, 1975.

A color photograph of a bride and groom standing outside between a birdbath and a statue of a lion. The shadow of the photographer is visible in the lower left corner of the image.

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Chris Holloway and Alma Grant wedding, December 14, 1974.

A color photograph of groom Chris Holloway and bride Alma Grant with members of their wedding party. Two women and three men stand in a row together; behind them the top of a Christmas tree is visible.

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Harry Carney Mighty Little Combo with Jo Jo Williams at the [drums], n.d.

A black-and-white photograph of a musical group. A woman stands behind a microphone singing. Behind her, a man sits at a piano, a second man is playing a stand-up bass, and a third man is playing a drum kit. The front of the bass drum reads: "Jo Jo Williams." At the bottom of the image, a typed caption reads: "Harry Carney Mighty Little Combo with Jo Jo Williams at the drumbs [sic]."

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Mrs. Halbrook directs a student (Mrs. Lorance) in giving a special hair style to a customer, n.d.

A black-and-white photograph of three women. One woman is sitting and wearing a cape draped over her front. A second woman stands beside her and is styling her hair. A third woman stands on the other side of the seated woman. At the bottom of the image, a typed caption reads: "Mrs. Halbrook directs a student (Mrs. Lorance) in giving a special hair style to a customer."

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Calvary Baptist Church 96th Anniversary, 1973.

A black-and-white photograph of a church choir. The choir is standing in three rows in front of a wall punctuated by stained glass windows; above the choir hangs a banner that reads: "Calvary Baptist Church 96th Anniversary." Members of the congregation seated in pews are visible at the bottom of the image.

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Mrs. Ruth Lorance and her daughter Vivian Lorance [at Wesley Hospital], n.d.

A black-and-white photograph of a woman lying in bed holding an infant. A vase of flowers stands on a nightstand beside the bed. At the bottom of the image is a typed caption that reads: "Mrs. Ruth Lorance & her daughter Vivian Lorance (Wesley Hosp.)."

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library

Child's birthday party, n.d.

A color photograph of a group of children at a birthday party. Seven boys and four girls stand behind a picnic table; a birthday cake with "Happy Birthday Sheila" written on top sits on the table. A Mickey Mouse table cloth is draped over the table.

More...

Finding aid for the L.K. Hughes Photography Collection
Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library