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George Stockton Wills (1866-1956) Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-2009-2

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of George Stockton Wills’ handwritten notes detailing the history of Western Maryland College, including information about college periodicals, James T. Ward (the college’s first president), the Board of Trustees, and courses of study (mostly taken from the college catalog). Also included are items of a more personal nature: diaries, scrapbooks, individual and family photographs, and personal papers. The scrapbooks and scrapbook pages feature newspaper clippings of personal, local, and national interest as well as a collection of personal correspondence, including wedding invitations, Christmas cards, and invitations from WMC alumni. Wills’ diaries, which range from 1911 to 1956 with the exception of several omitted years, mostly discuss daily appointments and the weather. Later diaries (1946-1956) are more detailed as Wills comments not only on daily activities but also on his declining health. The collection also contains several books as well as a photocopy and a digital copy of the book of tribute that was dedicated to Wills in May 1941 by students and colleagues. Upon arrival, the papers were divided into a series of folders and boxes. The folders were loosely arranged according to subject, while the boxes were arranged neither chronologically nor categorically. The diaries, scrapbooks, and books were boxed together without an apparent organizational scheme. A survey of the papers showed a logical organization would be by subject, genre, and then chronological order.


  • 1854-1956
  • Majority of material found in 1944-1954
  • Other: Date acquired: 06/01/2009


Conditions Governing Use

Copyright: McDaniel College holds copyright to sections of this material. McDaniel College makes no representation that it is the owner of any copyright or other literary property in the materials contained in its archives and special collections, (b) that in providing access to or permitting the reproduction of any such materials, McDaniel Archives does not assume any responsibility for obtaining or granting any permission to publish or use the same, and (c) that the responsibility 9i) for determining the nature of any rights, and the ownership or interest therein, and for obtaining the appropriate permissions to publish or use and (ii) for determining the nature of any liabilities (including liabilities for defamation and invasion of privacy or publicity) that may arise from any publication or use, rest entirely with the researcher. Copying: Papers may be copied in accordance with the Archives' usual procedures.

Biographical or Historical Information

George Stockton Wills was born on April 3, 1866 in Halifax County, North Carolina to Richard Henry Wills and Anna Louisa Norman Wills. From 1885 to 1889, he attended the University of North Carolina for his undergraduate years, where he obtained his Bachelor’s degree. He returned to the University of North Carolina for his Doctor of Philosophy degree (1894-1896) and then attended Harvard University (1896-1898), where he earned his Master of Arts degree. After completing his education, Wills began a teaching career that would last almost fifty years. He taught English at the University of North Carolina as well as at North Carolina’s Oakridge Military Institute and Greensboro Women’s College. He also taught at Battle Ground Academy in Tennessee and at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in Maryland. The majority of his career, however, was spent as a professor of English at Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in Westminster, Maryland. He remained at WMC from 1898 to 1900, 1901 to 1904, and from 1922 -1944. He was eventually named head of the English Department and, in 1935, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Literature from WMC. He was named Professor Emeritus in 1945 upon his retirement. Throughout his life, he maintained an interest not only in literature, but in history, particularly the history of WMC. He wrote the History of Western Maryland College (1949, 1954) as well as the “Sketch of the Life of Sydney Lanier” and various papers on the literature and history of the American South. He had two children, a son and a daughter, with his wife, Mary Georgia M. Chridester Wills. She died in 1943. In 1956, Wills suffered a stroke and was hospitalized in Baltimore’s Union Memorial Hospital. He died on February 27, 1956 in Kenswick Home, Baltimore.

Note written by Melissa Atkinson


4.60 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection contains the papers of George Stockton Wills, professor of English at Western Maryland College 1922-1944, including notes on the history of Western Maryland College, scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, scrapbooks of cards and invitations,  and day books (diaries).

Arrangement Note

Arranged in 4 series: (1) Notes on the History of Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College), 5 document cases (2) Personal Papers, Books, and Photographs, 2 document cases (3) 35 Diaries (1911-1956) (4) Scrapbooks of Newspaper Clippings (1854-1955), one record carton.

Source of Acquisition

Will, George Stockton

Accruals and Additions

2013.08 - donated by the Historical Society of Carroll County, Maryland

Related Materials

"George Stockton Wills 1866-1956 Papers"
Melissa Atkinson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the McDaniel College Repository