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Rayner Wickersham Kelsey memorial book

Identifier: HCS-001-002

Scope and Contents

The first two pages display Kelsey's lifespan and his biographical sketch. On the following pages, there are 16 published records of Kelsey's death from sources including: “Philadelphia Inquirer”, “Philadelphia Record”, “Evening Public Ledger (Phila.)”, “The Evening Bulletin (Phila.)", “New York Times”, “Philadelphia Inquirer”, “Haverford News”, “Friends Intelligencer”, “The Friend (Phila.)”, “The American Friend”, “The Friend (London)”, “Bulletin of Friends’ Historical Association”, “Minutes of the Central Offices of the Society of Friends Friends House, Euston Rob, London, N.W.I.”, “The Middle States Association of History Teachers”, “The Meeting”, and the “Minutes of the Board of Managers of Haverford College".

After the obituaries, there is a transcription of different remarks made at Kelsey's funeral from speakers including: J. Henry Bartlett, Thomas B. Harvey, Frank D. Watson, J. Henry Scattergood, Walter L. Moore, E.M. Wilson, Frederick A. McCord, George A. Barton, J. Passmore Elkinton, and Agnes L. Tierney.

The final pages are occupied by obituaries for Rayner Kelsey's mother, father, and grandfather dating 1911, 1929, and 1861 respectively.


  • Creation: 1934-1935


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical Note

Rayner Wickersham Kelsey was born in Western Springs, Illinois, on January 29, 1879, to Asa and Sarah Kelsey. He was the youngest of five children. Kelsey married Naomi Harrison Binford of Westland, Indiana, on February 23, 1901, with whom he had a son, R. Wilfred Kelsey (Haverford College class of 1933). He graduated from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, in 1900, and received a Ph.D. from the University of California in 1909. Early in his career, he served as professor of history at Pacific College in Newberg, Oregon, and at Whittier College in California, from 1901 to 1909. Following the completion of his doctorate, Kelsey served as instructor of history at Haverford College from 1909 to 1912, associate professor of history from 1912 to 1920, and full professor from 1920 to 1934. During his time at Haverford, Kelsey was also curator of Quaker Collections at Haverford College from 1922 to 1934, and oversaw the Charles Roberts Collection of Autographs. Kelsey was also a prolific author, writing “The Centennial History of Moses Brown School” (located in Providence, Rhode Island); “Friends and the Indians,1655-1917”; a biography of William Penn for the Dictionary of American Biographies; “U.S. Consulate in California”; “Prohibition”; “The Tariff”; “Farm Relief”; “Political Parties”; “Handbooks of Citizenship”; and “Internationalism and the United States”. Outside of books and pamphalets, Kelsey edited the "Cazenove Journal” for Haverford Studies and Quakeriana Notes. Outside of his career and publications, Kelsey was a Minister in the Society of Friends and a member of the History Teachers' Association of the Middle States and Maryland (serving as Secretary and President at points), the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, and the American Historical Association. He was involved with the Friends’ Historical Association, serving as President from 1913 to 1915, Vice-President from 1928 to 1931, Editor of the Bulletin from 1922 to 1932, and a member of the Board of Directors from 1923 to 1934. He also served as a member and Chairman of the Associated Executive Committee on Indian Affairs. Rayner Kelsey died of heart ailment on October 29, 1934.


.125 linear ft. (1 box)

Language of Materials



This binder contains different published obituaries and recognitions of the death of Rayner Wickersham Kelsey. It also contains a transcription of remarks made at his funeral and obituaries for his mother, father, and grandfather.


Materials are arranged by the compiler.

Processing Information

Processed by David Canada; completed February, 2017.

Genre / Form


Rayner Wickersham Kelsey memorial book
David Canada
February, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 9/21/23: Revised September 2023 by George Allan.

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting or requesting repoductions from Haverford College Quaker & Special Collections Library

370 Lancaster Ave
Haverford PA 19041 USA US