Harrison Family Papers, ca. 1930-1990

Held by The Filson Historical Society

Creator: Harrison Family

Title: Papers, ca. 1930s – 1990 (bulk 1941-1945)

Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Curator of Special Collections.

Size of Collection: 1 cubic foot

Locator Number: Mss./A/ H318

Biographical Note

William B. Harrison (1889-1948) was mayor of Louisville, Kentucky from 1927 until 1933. He was elected to a two-year term as mayor after the Kentucky Court of Appeals threw out the election of Republican Arthur A. Will. When his term as mayor ended, Harrison became president of the Louisville Industrial Foundation. Harrison married Margaret W. Allis in 1912. Together they had five children: William H. Harrison (1913-1990), Winston P. Harrison (1914-?), Margaret Harrison (1921- ), Penelope Harrison (?), and Dorothy Harrison (1925- ).

Both Winston and William H. Harrison served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War. William H. “Bill” Harrison, a graduate of Princeton University, served as Battery Commander of Battery C of the 27 th Field Artillery Battalion. He was deployed to the European theatre in May of 1942, and achieved the rank of Captain while overseas. On December 6, 1942, Harrison and 33 other men were captured by the Germans near Tabouba, Tunisia. Harrison was taken to German prison camp #21 at Chieti, Italy. He escaped in the fall of 1943, as the Germans were moving prisoners to Germany. In May of 1945, Harrison was again sent overseas to India where he served through the remainder of the war.

William H. Harrison married Louise Taylor with whom he had four children. Louise T. Harrison (1940- ), William H. Harrison, Jr. (1946- ), Phillip T. Harrison (1948- ), and David W. Harrison (1958- ).

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists primarily of correspondence between members of the Harrison family of Louisville, Kentucky. Most of the correspondence is between William H. Harrison (“Bill”) and his wife Louise Taylor Harrison (“Wege”) during William’s deployment overseas during World War II. The collection also includes correspondence with other members of the Harrison and Taylor families. The majority of the collection concerns the periods of Bill’s deployment overseas between 1942 and 1945. Letters describe Bill’s training period in Northern Ireland, his capture by the Germans in Tunisia in December of 1942, and his internment in a prison camp in Italy between December of 1942 and the fall of 1943. Later correspondence concerns his deployment to India in 1945.

Folder List

Folder 1: Correspondence, ca.1930s – 1941

Folder 2: Correspondence, April 1 – 15, 1942

Folder 3: Correspondence, April 16-30, 1942

Folder 4: Correspondence, May 1-20, 1942

Folder 5: Correspondence, May 21-31, 1942

Folder 6: Correspondence, June 1-10, 1942

Folder 7: Correspondence, June 11-20, 1942

Folder 8: Correspondence, June 21-30, 1942

Folder 9: Correspondence, July 1-15, 1942

Folder 10: Correspondence, July 16-31, 1942

Folder 11: Correspondence, August 1-10, 1942

Folder 12: Correspondence, August 11-19, 1942

Folder 13: Correspondence, August 20-31, 1942

Folder 14: Correspondence, September 1942

Folder 15: Correspondence, October 1942-March 1943

Folder 16: Correspondence, April – October 1943

Folder 17: Correspondence, November – December 1943

Folder 18: Correspondence, 1944

Folder 19: Correspondence, May – June 1945

Folder 20: Correspondence, July 1-20, 1945

Folder 21: Correspondence, July 21 – September 1945

Folder 22: Correspondence, ca. 1940s -1990; undated

Folder 23: Newspaper clippings

Folder 24: Misc.

Subject Headings

Fort Dix (N.J.)

Harrison family

Louisiana – Description and travel

Louisville (Ky.) – Social life and customs

Michigan, Lake – Description and travel

United States. Army – Military life

United States. Army. Artillery Regiment, 27th


World War, 1939-1945 – India

World War, 1939-1945 – Italy

World War, 1939-1945 – Northern Ireland

World War, 1939-1945 – Prisoners and prisons

World War, 1939-1945 – Women – United States