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Raymond family papers

Call Number: RH MS 190


The Raymond family papers contain personal papers of Joseph Murray and Hila (Bennitt) Raymond, as well as two generations of their descendants, including six diaries kept by Jospeh Murray Raymond concerning his Civil War service and materials related to Robert Scott Raymond, Jr.'s account of his service with the Royal Air Force during World War II.


  • Creation: 1862 - 1977


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

History of the Raymond Family

George and Hannah Read Raymond moved their family in 1823 from Steuben County, New York to Seneca County, Ohio. Their son William Raymond (1807-1883) married and had a son named Joseph Murray Raymond, born in 1839.

Raymond became a school teacher and became friends with another school teacher in the same rural Ohio schools, Hila Bennitt. Bennitt, the daughter of Abraham S. Bennitt of Steuben County, New York, came to Ohio in 1860 to teach near where her sister Mollie Bennitt Raymond lived.

During the Civil War, Joseph Murray Raymond enlisted and served in Company I of the Union Army's 101st Ohio Volunteer Infantry. He was captured and released through an exchange of prisoners.

In 1868, Raymond married Hila Bennitt. They immediately moved to Kansas after their marriage, where they farmed and operated a dairy. They had two sons: William Murray Raymond (1869-1908) and Frederick Newton Raymond (1873-1961). Frederick married Ida Gleason and was a professor at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

Elizabeth Raymond, daughter of Frederick and Ida Raymond, married Robert Scott Raymond, Jr. (1912-2002), her eighth cousin. Robert was born October 10, 1912 in Kansas City, Missouri to Robert Scott and Inez Raymond. In 1934, he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas at Lawrence. He joined the American Volunteer Ambulance Corps in France in May 1940 and in November of that year joined the Royal Air Force, serving as a bomber pilot until May 1943. As a Pilot Officer, he flew his "Flying Jayhawk" (Lancaster bomber) on many missions in 1942 and 1943. For his service he was awarded the British Distinguished Flying Cross.

Following the war, Raymond, Jr. re-enrolled at the University of Kansas, earning a graduate degree in 1951 and later a doctorate from Ohio University in Athens. He taught there from 1955 to 1978 and moved to Lawrence, Kansas with his wife after his retirement. From his aviation log book, diaries, and letters home, Robert compiled a book of his experiences titled A Yank in Bomber Command . He died January 14, 2002.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 document cases + 1 card file box, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Raymond family papers contain personal papers of Joseph Murray and Hila (Bennitt) Raymond, as well as two generations of their descendants. The material is mostly organized by family member.

Included are Joseph Murray Raymond's six diaries and military documents concerning his Civil War service, as well as a notebook dated 1889 through 1897 concerning construction finances of the Kanwaka Congregational Church.

The collection contains a short biography of Hila Raymond, several of her pencil sketches, a program of the Ladies Literary League of Lawrence, Kansas, of which Hila was a member, and an inkwell owned by her.

Papers of their sons include a childhood penmanship exercise completed by William, a copy of pencilled notes by their son Frederick concerning the history of Lecompton, Kansas, and two souvenir programs--one dated 1914 from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Papers of Robert Scott Raymond, Jr., include early versions of his book (A Yank in Bomber Command) titled "Ambulance Driver and Bomber Pilot" and "A Personal Detour Into the War," as well as excerpts from his diaries and patches and military awards that he received for military service in England.

Also in the collection are several letters dated 1966 to Inez Raymond (1888-1976), mother of Robert Scott Raymond, Jr. The letters are from or regarding Wamego, Kansas farmer Edward Welter and his book, Pioneer problems & present day perplexities.

At RH MS R54 are a number of oversize items, including a large pencil sketch by Hila Raymond, a certificate issued to her by the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle of Chautauqua, New York, and clippings and special editions concerning local and national history as reported in Kansas City newspapers and in one Wichita, Kansas edition.

Photographs of the Raymond family, a handful of mostly portraits, have also been physically separated from the main collection and are located at RH MS-P 190.

Physical Location

RH MS 190

Physical Location

RH MS-P 190

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Elizabeth Raymond, 1974, 1977, 1982, 1982, 1996

Related Materials

Elizabeth Murray Raymond Collection, RH MS 1125, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Ladies Literary League records, RH MS 620, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Raymond family collection, Manuscripts Collection 797, State Archives, Kansas Historical Society.

"A Personal Detour into the War," Bob Raymond collection, Microfilm reel MS 927, State Archives, Kansas Historical Society.

J. M. Raymond's diary, 1862-1865, Microfilm reel MS 739 no. 2, State Archives, Kansas Historical Society.

Raymond family, Local History Collections, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums.

Separated Materials

Raymond, Robert Scott. A Yank in Bomber Command. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1977. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH C3602 and Robert J. Dole Archives at D786 .R37 1998.

Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains. Volume 4 no. 3 (1981). Located at Spencer Research Library at RH Ref Ser D972.

Olney, J. A Practical System of Modern Georgraphy; or, a View of the Present State of the World, 34th ed. New York: RObinson, Pratt, & Co, 1841. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B2652.

Meeker, Ezra. Ventures and Adventures of Ezra Meeker; or, Sixty Years of Frontier Life; Fifty-Six Years of Pioneer Life in the Old Oregon Country. Seattle: Rainier Printing, [1909]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B1653 and B11005, located at Watson Library at F880 .M526.

The American-Hispano Pocket Guide of the World's Fair 1893. New York: E.M. Knox, [1893?]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B2650.

McGuffey, William Holmes. Second Eclectic Reader. Cincinnati: Winthrop B. Smith & Co, circa 1853. Located at Spencer Research Library at B2866.

Webster, Noah. The Elementary Spelling Book: Being an Improvement on the American Spelling Book, last revised ed. New York: G.F. Cooledge & Brother, [1848]. Located at Spencer Research Library at RH B2649.

Ladies' Repository. Volume 14 (1854: January-December). Located at Spencer Research Library at RH Ser D2948.

Guide to the Raymond Family Collection
Raymond family papers
Finding aid prepared by lgg 3/76, lgg, ll/77, lt 8/82, mh, 9/2006. Finding aid encoded by mh, 2006. Revised by mwh, 2017.
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Finding aid writtenin<language> English.</language>
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Preferred citation
Raymond family papers, Kansas Collection, RH MS 190, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States