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Finding Aid

MS 91-2

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Size: 9.0 linear feet

Literary rights:
Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Restrictions: None

Content note:
The Isely Collection contains the manuscripts, research notes and correspondence of two Wichita writers, Bliss Isely and his wife, Flora Isely. (She wrote under the pseudonym, Kunigunde Duncan.) Although the majority of the collection consists of materials related to their work, there are some personal documents that contain biographical information. The documents in the collection roughly span the time 1904 to 1963.

Biographical note:
Flora (Kunigunde Duncan) Isely, b. 1886, wrote and published a great deal of poetry during the early 1900s and later wrote a number of books. She graduated from Wichita High School in 1904 where she later taught three years. In 1911 she married author Bliss Isely, and during most of their married lived on a farm near El Dorado, Kansas. They had three sons, Malcolm, Kenneth and David, who died in childhood. In 1938 she published the book Blue Star, a book based on the life of Corabelle Fellows Campbell Tillman, and during the 1940s she co-authored a book with D.F. Nichols on Mentor Graham. She wrote a number of articles dealing with the Dust Bowl and Wichita history for local and national newspapers. Her books include a book of poems, The Land of the Little Boys, and Mentor Graham: The Man Who Taught Lincoln (1944).

Bliss Isely (1881-1963), a native Kansan, was a well known publicist and historian. He wrote several textbooks for elementary and secondary public schools on Kansas history, among them Early Days in Kansas (1927) and Four Centuries in Kansas (1936). Mr. Isely graduated from Fairmount College in 1906 and remained involved with Wichita University throughout his life. He was employed by several newspapers; the St. Louis Star, The Kansas City Star, and The Wichita Beacon, as a feature writer at different times during his career. In 1916 he joined Fairmount College as a field secretary or fund raiser. He later served as the Publicity Manager of the Wichita Chamber of Commerce. In 1955 he retired on his farm southeast of El Dorado.

His books include Sunbonnet Days (1935), Blazing the Way West (1939), Presidents Men of Faith (1953), and The Horseman of Shenandoah (1962) , in addition he wrote numerous articles for local and national newspapers and magazines.

Acquisition: Gift from Kenneth Isely

Processed by: KFS, 10-24-1990; JEF, 4-1-1998


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