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McIlroy Family Papers

Identifier: MC 790

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content Note

The papers consist of correspondence, photographs, and business records and have been grouped into four series; Powell-Rhea, Rhea-McIlroy, Lincoln land records, and Photographs.


  • 1846-1968


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

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

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

Biographical Note

The McIlroy papers pertain to three Washington County, Arkansas, pioneer merchant families--Powell, Rhea, and McIlroy. Dr. Samuel Powell (1810-1898) and his wife, Sarah Burns (1811-1904), migrated from Tennessee to Arkansas around 1829 and settled in western Washington County near Prairie Grove, where Dr. Powell practiced medicine. Their daughter, Elizabeth Cornelia (1836-1929), married William Husband Rhea (1825-1884) in 1854. Mr. Rhea also migrated from Tennessee and settled in western Washington County around 1836 in what became known as Rhea's Mill. In addition to operating a general store at Rhea's Mill, the Rhea family also operated stores in Cincinnati and Maysville.

Mr. and Mrs Rhea had several children, one of whom was Sarah Ann (1868-1953). She married James Hayden McIlroy (1868-1939) in 1889. He was the son of William McIlroy (1812-1886), the founder of McIlroy Bank and Trust Company (Fayetteville). In addition to establishing one of the oldest banks in Arkansas, the McIlroy family established the first wholesale grocery company and owned and operated the first water company. Sarah A. McIlroy was a member of the Idle Hour Club, one of the oldest women's clubs in Fayetteville. James H. and Sarah A. McIlroy had three children; Hayden McIlroy (1891-1961), Cornelia Stuart (1894-1962), and Mertye Bagby (1896-1977).


3.5 Linear Feet (6 Boxes, 1 Volume)

Arrangement of the Papers

Contents of the Collection
  1. Series 1. Powell-Rhea Family. Box 1.
  2. Series 2. Rhea-McIlroy Family. Boxes 2-3.
  3. Series 3. Lincoln Land Records. Box 4.
  4. Series 4. Photographs. Boxes 5-6.

Acquisition Information

Hayden McIlroy of Fayetteville, Arkansas, donated the McIlroy family papers to Special Collections on August 1, 1986.

Related Materials

Processing Information

Processed by Anthony J. Wappel, Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, Arkansas, in October 1988.



McIlroy Family Papers
Anthony J. Wappel
October 1988
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