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Francis A. Harvey Diaries

Identifier: SFHL-RG5-246

Scope and Contents

Contains an autobiographical essay by Francis and Elsie Harvey and the diaries of Francis A. Harvey which detail his everyday life beginning in 1928 at the age of 23. Of interest are the travel diaries, particularly the trip to Japan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia and Africa the winter of 1970-1971 which included visits to missionary friends.

Organized in two series:

  1. Biographical
  2. Diaries: Eighteen diaries, arranged chronologically


  • Creation: 1928-1942, 1962-2001


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce items in this collection beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder or their heirs/assigns. See

Biographical / Historical

Francis A. Harvey was born March 10, 1905 in Wichita, Kansas. A birthright Quaker, he was the son of Adolphus E. and Lydia Rachel (also known as Lyra) Tregelles. His mother died when he was sixteen days old, and his father later married Eva Barnard. The family moved to Texas.

Francis attended Westtown School and then Pennsylvania State College where he earned a degree in agricultural economics. While a student at Westtown, he met Elsie Brackbill, a Mennonite, while working at a farm that her brother managed. After their marriage on June 20, 1928, Francis was employed by the S.S. Kresge Co. (now K-mart) for 41 years, a job which required many moves for the family. Francis and Elsie had three children, Doris, Ann and Bruce, and raised the twin sons, Ken and Ray Milhous, of Francis's half-sister, Alice, who died in 1943.

After retirement in 1969, they moved to Malvern, PA. Francis served three four-year terms on the Malvern Borough Council and ten years as a Republican committeeman. In 1980, the Harveys moved to the Landis Homes Retirement Community in Lititz, PA. There they organized the Resident Assistance Program to help residents at the Landis Home with the costs of assisted living and health care services. The fund was created in the in the memory of Francis' brother-in-law, Milton Brackbill. In 2005, Francis celebrated his 100th birthday; his wife Elsie turned 100 the previous October. In later years, they became American Baptists. Francis died on December 5, 2005.


1 linear ft. (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains 18 diaries/daybooks kept by Francis A. Harvey, a birthright Quaker. Harvey lived in many parts of the United States as part of his work for the S.S. Kresge Company. The diaries detail the lives and travels of Francis Harvey and his Mennonite wife, Elsie Harvey.

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Ann H. Bigelow, 2/18/2004 (Acc. 2004-009)

Related Materials

Harvey Family Papers, RG 5/245. Especially Ser. 1, Correspondence and Biographical concerning Francis and Elsie Harvey

Processing Information

Processed as an RG5, 2005.

Finding aid for Francis A. Harvey Diaries, 1928-1942, 1962-2001
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