Skip to main content

Gilleylen-Eley-Stokes Family Papers

Identifier: MC 1653

Scope and Content Note

Materials in the collection primarily pertain to Alvis W. and Clarice Stokes as well as their daughter Margaret and her husband Lanny. A large portion of the correspondence was written by Alvis to Clarice and his father during his deployment in World War II. Beyond correspondence, items pertain to Alvis’s service in World War II; his tenure in the General Assembly and as Pike County judge; and the Stokes farm, especially materials related to poultry and cattle. In addition to correspondence, the majority of materials related to Margaret consist of items dating from her time in public schools, especially several textbooks and materials related to extracurricular activities, most notably the Future Homemakers of America. Eley family materials are related primarily to Clarice’s parents. Gilleylen family materials date from the latter nineteenth century.

Beyond materials related to the Gilleylen-Eley-Stokes family, the collection includes items related to Arkansas state organizations, including the Future Homemakers of America, the Parent Teacher Association, and the United Methodist Church. Also included is a large collection of recipes, many written down by hand. In addition, the collection includes materials related to World War II, including civilian ration books and items related to the Seabees and U.S. Navy. Other materials pertain to Delight and Pike County.

Materials include correspondence and other paper documents; scrapbooks; newspapers; photographs; and artifacts. The correspondence includes two phonograph letters sent by Alvis to Clarice and his father during World War II. Photographs include family photos as well as images of Alvis’s wartime deployment overseas. The majority of the scrapbooks belonged to “Mama" Eley, most likely Stella Eley. Newspapers include Pike County and other titles, most notably the Nashville Diamond and Pike County Courier. Artifacts consist of mementoes belonging to different members of the Gilleylen-Eley-Stokes family.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1885-2000


Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

Fragile items in mylar should not be removed from protective sleeves.

"Mama" Eley scrapbooks are very fragile; patrons wanting to view these items must make arrangements with Special Collections prior to their visit.

Use user copy of phonograph letters.

No Interlibrary Loan.

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

Biographical Note

The Gilleylen, Eley, and Stokes families were united by the marriage of Alvis William Stokes (1908-1986) and Clarice Margaret Eley (1909-1998) on December 7, 1927. The couple settled permanently in Delight, Pike County, Arkansas. Alvis was the son of William R. and Eunice Gilleylen Stokes, while Clarice was the daughter of Henry B. and Stella McCaskill Eley. Clarice was a teacher, who in the early years of their marriage worked in several different schools. For the majority of his life Alvis worked as a famer, raising cattle and poultry. However, his career included notable diversions. During World War II he served in the Pacific theater with the U.S. Navy's 61st Battalion, a “Seabee” construction unit. In 1958 he was elected Pike County’s representative in the Arkansas General Assembly. Then in 1964 he was elected Pike County judge, serving through 1968. Alvis and Clarice had one daughter, Margaret.

Educated in Delight schools, Margaret was involved in numerous activities in high school. Most notably she was a member of the Future Homemakers of America, in which she served as Delight High School president as well as an Arkansas state officer and delegate to the national convention. She married W. Lanny Bateman, the son of Marion and Connie Bowen Bateman. Together Margaret and Lanny had two sons, John and Thomas; they later divorced.


35 Linear Feet (34 boxes)


This collection consists of materials related to the Gillylen, Eley, and Stokes families of Pike County, Arkansas.

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged in three series:

  1. Series I. Correspondence
  2. Series II. Family and Subject Files
  3. Series III. Scrapbooks, Newspapers, and Artifacts

Acquisition Information

The Gilleylen-Eley-Stokes Family Papers were donated to the Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries, on June 27, 2011, by Margaret Stokes Bateman of Starkville, Mississippi. An additional item (Box 12, Folder 40) was donated by Margaret Stokes Bateman's son, John Bateman of Starkville, Mississippi, on January 12, 2021.

Processing Information

Processed by Todd E. Lewis; completed in September 2019. Updated by Todd Lewis and Katrina Windon in February 2020 to include an additional donation (Box 12, Folder 40).

Gilleylen-Eley-Stokes Family Papers
Todd E. Lewis
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Department Repository

University of Arkansas Libraries
365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville AR 72701 United States
(479) 575-8444