Wills, Jesse Ely



  • Existence: 31 August 1899 - 4 March 1977


Jesse Ely Wills received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1922. While at Vanderbilt, he was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, Phi Delta Theta fraternity, the Blue Pencil Club, and the Calumet Literary Club. In 1922, he was invited to join the Fugitive literary group. After leaving Vanderbilt, he became an officer and executive of the National Life and Accident Insurance Company and was active in Vanderbilt University affairs as a member of the Board of Trust and chairman of the Board of the Joint University Libraries. He helped establish the Fugitive Room as a depository for Fugitive papers and manuscripts as part of the H. Fort Flowers wing of the Joint University Libraries building. He died in Nashville, Tennessee on March 4, 1977.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Fugitive and Agrarian Collection

Identifier: MSS.0160

This collection contains 1.67 linear feet of materials on the Fugitive Poets and the Nashville Agrarians. Most of the materials have to do with the years in the 1920’s when the Fugitive poet group was formed and the resulting poems, manuscripts, and correspondence. In addition there are a few items, mostly articles, that concern the Agrarian group.

Dates: 1922 - 1979

Jesse Ely Wills Papers

Identifier: MSS.0001

This collection contains literary correspondence, poems, and manuscripts of poet and businessman Jesse Ely Wills.

Dates: 1915 - 1977

Additional filters:

Agrarians (Group of writers) 1
Nashville (Tenn.)--History 1
Poetry 1
Vanderbilt University--Board of Trust 1


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.