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Harrell - Willey family papers

Call Number: RH MS 1522


This collection contains family memorobilia, including photographs, biographies, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and scrapbooks dating from the 19th through the early 21st centuries for the Harrell and Willey families, who settled in Kansas during the territorial era and early statehood.


  • Creation: 1803 - 2012


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 Harrell and Willey families

James "Andy" Marion Harrell, Jr. (1913-1997) was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, the son of James Marion Harrell, Sr. and Edith (Willey) Harrell. James, Jr. served in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, as well as working for a railway express company and flour mill. Later in life, James, Jr. was blinded in one eye and worked for many years as a crossing guard at 27th and Louisiana Streets in Lawrence.

On September 21, 1941, James, Jr. married Lois E. Bailey (1920-2018), who grew up in Kansas, graduating from DeSoto High School before attending Lawrence Business College. The couple had six children: Virginia, Joanna, Joyce, Pam, James, and Michael. After James, Jr. became disabled, Lois worked in the Classics Department at the University of Kansas for 15 years.

James Marion Harrell, Sr. (1862-1935) was born in Douglas County, Kansas, marrying Edith Edna Wright (Willey) Harrell (1875-1941) in 1906. He worked as a carpenter and was the son of John Hiram Harrell II (1805-1867), who had been born in South Carolina to John Hiram Harrell I (1772-about 1848), and Catherine A. (LeMasters) Harrell (1824-1901), who had been born in Ohio. The Harrells had five children: John Hiram, Sarah Jane (Harrell) Moore, Ruth Eveline (Harrell) Macy, David Benjamin, and James Marion, Jr.

Edith (Willey) Harrell's father was John Wesley Willey II (1836-1902), who had been born in Charles County, Indiana and who had married Nancy Wright Prather (1839-1902) in Franklin, Kansas in March 1862. Edith had been born in Virginia, and her family had moved to territorial Kansas in 1855. The couple had 9 children, who included Solon F., Amelia Charlotte, Arthur A., Silas Clinton, John Wesley, and Vance Athon, in addition to Edith Edna.

[Information retrieved from]


1.25 Linear Feet (2 boxes + 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 1522

Physical Location

RH MS Q475

Physical Location

RH MS R472

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Virginia Day, 2019.

Processing Information

Most scrapbooks in the collection have been disassembled by Spencer Research Library staff; items from the scrapbooks have been maintained in their original order and placed in folders to aid their long-term preservation.



Guide to the Harrell-Willey Family Collection
Harrell - Willey family papers
Finding aid prepared by bnd. Finding aid encoded by bnd.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Harrell-Willey family papers, RH MS 1522, 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