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Drew County Native to Donate Book Proceeds to Local Museum

May 13th, 2012 by

The Drew County Museum and Archives have recently been offered an opportunity to gain some much-needed income from the proceeds of a book written by Dr. James William Willis, who was inducted into the Drew Central Hall of Fame, last week.

Willis is a native of Drew County, who grew up in the White Hall Community south of Monticello and graduated from Drew Central. He was the son of Earl and Lela McKinstry Willis, local educators, who were both native Drew County residents. Willis’ father was a long-time superintendent of the Drew Central schools, and his mother was an English teacher at both Drew Central and Arkansas A & M College. Later, they moved to Little Rock to work with the state department of education before they retired in Monticello.

Willis also was a graduate of Arkansas A & M after serving in the United States Army. Later, he received both his masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. During his educational career, Willis was a high school history teacher, principal, and college professor in many states across the country. Presently, he is a retired professor emeritus of Murray State University and lives in Little Rock.

Entitled What Almost Did Not Happen, the book is a story of a boy coming of age in Drew County, AR, in the 1940’s, and in it, Willis tells of his many endeavors and the various people and encounters he experienced in life. Willis recounts how much our prior knowledge is influenced by our environment and how this influences our future learning. His style shows a very unique way of expressing how decisions in a person’s life are like two forks in a road: had different paths been chosen or one not been at a particular place at a particular time, one’s life might not have happened anything as it did.

Willis is also the author of two previous books: a nonfiction history, The Arkansas Confederates in the Western Theater, and a fictional history, The Other Side of Silence. Both were award-winning successes.

If you are not a reader and have no interest in reading a very entertaining account of a local Drew County youth and his interesting life encounters, it is the hope of the Society that you might make a donation to the Museum and Archives. As a local resident, the Society is banking on your wanting these institutions to prosper and continue to help history come alive as well as providing great research materials for genealogists, historians, and local students. For all of these previously stated reasons, the Drew County Historical Society hopes that you will place an order for one of these interesting books about a Drew County boy and his life experiences. If not interested in the purchase of a book, we would really appreciate a donation of any denomination. Your donations are tax deductible. If you are not a member of the Historical Society, we invite you to become one as your dues go to the support of the Museum and Archives.

Very cordially yours,
Drew County Historical Society
404 S. Main
Monticello, AR 71655

Lots of Photos: Hard Cover Price: 35.95 Soft Cover Price: 23.01

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