Name and location of repository
Level of description
Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers
- 1930s-1987 (Creation)
49 cubic feet (91 boxes)
Name of creator
Dr. Mavis Parrott Kelsey, founder and senior partner of the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, P.A., was born in Deport, Texas on October 7, 1912. In 1932 he received his Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M College. Inspired by his grandfather, country doctor Dr. Joseph Benson Kelsey, he attended the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, earning his MD in 1936. Dr. Kelsey served a rotating internship at New York City's Bellevue Hospital before returning to UTMB for a year as an Instructor in Pathology. From 1938 to 1939 he served on the Junior staff of Scott and White Clinic in Temple, Texas. On September 17, 1939, Dr. Mavis P. Kelsey married Mary Randolph Wilson. In that same year he accepted a three-year fellowship in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, where he befriended Dr. William Dempesey Seybold, whom he had first met at UTMB. Dr. Kelsey's stint at the Mayo Clinic was interrupted by his service in the U.S. Army Air Force, Medical Corps from 1941-1945. His assignments a included Certified Flight Surgeon's rating; Surgeon of the 11th Fighter Command in Alaska, 1942-1943; Editor-in-Chief of the Air Surgeon's Bulletin. Dr. Kelsey attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1945. For awhile during the war, the Kelseys were stationed in Dayton, Ohio, where Dr. Kelsey worked at the Aero Medical Research Laboratory, Wright Field Air Force Base.
After the War, Dr. Kelsey completed his training at the Mayo Clinic receiving a Masters of Science in Internal Medicine from the University of Minnesota, Mayo Foundation, in 1947. He was appointed to the Mayo Clinic staff as an Instructor in Medicine. After some deliberation, the Kelseys returned to Houston on January 15, 1949. Dr. Kelsey leased office space in the new Hermann Professional building with the intent to practice internal medicine with an emphasis on endocrinology. Unfortunately, construction was running behind and the office was not ready, so Dr. E.W. Bertner and Dr. George Waldron each offered free office space. Dr. Kelsey divided his time between the two offices until May. In 1950 Dr. Kelsey encouraged Drs. Leary and Seybold to reconsider the prospect of establishing a clinic in Houston, and idea they had discussed while working together at the Mayo Clinic, Leary in chest diseases and Seybold in surgery. Seybold moved to Houston in October of 1950 and Leary in January of 1951 and the three physicians founded the Kelsey-Leary-Seybold Clinic. The Clinic first resided on the fourteenth and eighth floors of the Hermann Professional Building.
In addition to his clinic practice, Dr. Kelsey held many teaching and administrative posts. Among them were: Instructor of Medicine, Mayo Foundation in the University of Minnesota; Acting Dean, the University of Texas Postgraduate School of Medicine; Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Texas School of Biomedical Sciences; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. Kelsey also served on the staff of St. Luke's Hospital (Consulting Staff and Vice Chief of Staff), Methodist Hospital and M.D. Anderson Hospital for Cancer Research. Dr. Kelsey also acted as Medical Advisor for many corporations including the Pennzoil Corporation, Roy M. Huffington, Inc. and United Energy Resources. Over the years Dr. Kelsey has been an active member in many professional associations and organizations. They include: Alpha Omega Alpha, Alpha Kappa Kappa, Sigma Xi, he was elected to the Philosophical Society of Texas, Fellowship in the American College of Physicians, Aerospace Medical Association, American Thyroid Association, Harris County Medical Association, Texas Medical Association, The Endocrine Society, American Medical Association, Mayo Alumni Association, American and Texas Diabetes & Endocrine Association, American Cancer Society (Board of Directors, Harris County Unit), Yearbook of Cancer (Editorial Consultant), Kelsey-Seybold Foundation member of the Board of Trustees and Grants Committee, Member of the President's Council for Texas A&M Medical College and the Sterling C. Evans Library, First City National BankMedical Center (Board of Directors), Development Board of University of Texas Medical School-Galveston. Dr. Kelsey's participation in civic and social organizations reflect his interest in the fine arts, history and genealogy and nature. He has devoted time and resources to the Houston Country Club, A&M Association of Former Students, Friends of the A&M University Library, University of Texas Health Science Center-Presidents Club, Allegro, UT Alumni Association, Texas Nurseryman's Association, Texas Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, ASIA Society, Friends of Bayou Bend, American Book Collector's Society, Beaumont Art Museum, Harris County Heritage Society, Southwestern Cattleman's Association, and the Houston Committee on Foreign Relations, a charter member of the American Historical Print Society. Dr. Kelsey is a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A & M and an Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus of the U.T. Medical School in Galveston.
Dr. Kelsey and his wife, Mary had a great love for American art and Americana. They donated their collections to several museums and university libraries. The Mavis and Mary Kelsey Collection of Winslow Homer Prints is housed in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Dr. Kelsey wrote the catalog for this Collection, named "Wilson Homer Graphics", which is an authoritative reference work used by Homer scholars nationwide. The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland received their collection of Naval Prints. The Kelsey Collection of Thomas Nast Illustrations was donated to Pepperdine University. The University of Houston was given a collection of wood engravings on Social Life and War. The Kelseys’ collection of the letters of John Quincy Adams was given to Bryan Mawr College. Dr. and Mrs. Kelsey gave to the Sterling C.-Evans Library of Texas A&M University their Collection of Americana. Several thousand books, art works and prints make up this outstanding collection. He and his wife traveled extensively and studied their respective family histories. They wrote six books of genealogy.
Dr. Kelsey was an active farmer and rancher for many years and participated in a number of other business activities including oil exploration and apartment building. After his retirement he Mary devoted their time in writing genealogy; cataloging and writing about their extensive collection of historical and art prints, painting and rare books, investing and philanthropy. In 1985, Dr. Kelsey retired from the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic after thirty-seven years. He died November 12, 2103.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
MS 050 Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers consists of correspondence, reports, office files, government contracts, legal agreements, accounting records and a large set of medical reprints.
Aspects of his education, career and personal life are also documented. A unique highlight of the collection is his materials on military medicine. Dr. Kelsey saved numerous clippings, reports, and photographs from World War II and his assignment in Alaska. The collection also contains the tuxedo given that Dr. Ernst W. Bertner gave to Dr. Kelsey in 1949.
Dr. Mavis P. Kelsey made contributions to medicine and his community. His dedication and efforts to establish a clinic providing comprehensive health care are clearly reflected in his collection. The documents trace the momentous growth of the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. The collection, for the most part, consists of correspondence, reports, office files, government contracts, legal agreements, accounting records and a large set of medical reprints.
Subjects: Internal Medicine.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Open for research. Restrictions may apply.
Materials are in good condition.
Conditions governing reproduction
Copyright restrictions may apply. Textile materials are fragile.
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Legacy finding aid and inventory of photographs are available.
Uploaded finding aid
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
Mavis P. Kelsey 1986, Bill Kellar 2016. In 1986, Dr. Kelsey donated his papers to the Harris County Medical Archive. This collection is open to researchers. There are however folders where restrictions may apply. Accommodations to use these documents can be arranged with prior approval. August 2016, Bill Kellar donated an autographed framed portrait of Dr. E. W. Bertner. The portrait was inscribed and presented to Dr. Kelsey by Dr. Bertner. Dr. Kelsey give the portrait to Bill Kellar. It is in its original frame and matting. The portrait was inventoried and stored in the vertical storage (GAF) section with other framed objects.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
No accruals are expected.
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
The Houston Metropolitan Research Center at the Houston Public Library has a 2007 oral history with Dr. Kelsey, OH-E-0256 (https://cdm17006.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/oralhistory/id/26/rec/1).
- Citation: Mavis P. Kelsey, MD papers; MS 050; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.
- Processing information: Box of photographs placed with collection on 7.06. In the 1980s, 204 photographs were removed and placed in the Historical Research Center Photograph Collection. These photographs have been inventoried and reincorporated into the collection, and the box of photographs is stored with the collection. A separate list of these photographs is available. Duplicate copies of material in the Collection or in existing institutional collections were discarded.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Finding aid prepared by Margaret A. Irwin, May 1990
Photograph inventory prepared by Sandra Yates, 2019