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Byrnina Ann Dustin Willey collection of photographs of Edison Willey World War I scrapbook

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS 8280

Scope and Contents

Collection contains photographs of a scrapbook about Edison Willey's experiences in World War I (the Great War), as collected by his mother, Byrnina Ann Dustin Willey. Includes the unit photograph before they left Ft. Lewis, Washington, heading to France. Dated approximately 1918-1920.

The collection also contains a CD of the photographs of the scrapbook.


  • approximately 1918-1920


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Byrnina Ann Dustin Willey collection of photographs of Edison Willey World War I scrapbook must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical History

Edison Willey (1895-1977) was a Latter-day Saint serviceman during World War I and the owner of a dry cleaner in Utah and Washington.

Edison Willey was born September 29, 1895, in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah to Jeremiah Willey (1879-1944) and Byrnina Ann Dustin Willey (1871-1951). Edison was the third of ten children born to Jeremiah and Byrnina. Three of the ten children passed away in infancy, which left Edison to grow up as the oldest boy in the family. He was raised on a farm in Bountiful, Utah, and attended grade school at the Stoker School in Bountiful. He completed only one year of high school. Edison was named after the inventor Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931), and often went by simply Ed to those who knew him. He is the great-grandson of Mormon Battalion member Jeremiah Willey (1804-1868) and Samantha Call (1814-1905) through their son David Orson Willey (1849-1929). The Mormon pioneer family settled in the Bountiful area after crossing the plains with the Mormons in the John G. Smith Company in 1851.

Edison was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and in his youth was taught farming and truck gardening by his father and grandfather. He also worked in the wholesale fruit and produce business before being drafted into the Army into active service in 1918. He served in the Great War, which we know today as World War I, in Battery E of the 348th Field Artillery in the 91st Army Division, which was also known as the Wild West Division, of the Unites States Army. He left for training in Camp Lewis, Washington, on April 27, 1918. The 91st Divison landed in France on July 22, 1918. Edison reports that he was on active duty in Europe for nine months, but spent an entire year in the Army.

After the war, Edison again returned to working in the wholesale fruit and produce business and for a short time in the dairy business, but really found success working in the dry cleaning business. He married Rose Christina Kjar on April 14, 1920, in Provo, Utah, and they resided in Buntiful, Utah for the first five years of their marriage. Rose is the daughter of Danish Latter-day Saint immigrants Peter Waldemar Kjar of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Annie Christina Johansen of Soderup, Denmark. Rose was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1925, Ed and Rose moved to Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington for a few months, but returned to Utah to live in Salt Lake City in the LDS Six-Seventh Ward. They were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on September 10, 1925. While in Salt Lake, Edison worked as the Sunday School Superintendent. Their only son, Kjar Gale Willey (1926-2010); (known by Kaye to most) was born while they were in Salt Lake.

In 1934, the family moved back to Bremerton, Washington, where they were involved in the little mission Sunday School, MIA, and Sacrament meeting that was organized. The Bremerton Branch of the Church wasn't organized until 1937 when Ed was called as the Assistant Sunday School Superintendent and for a time served as a Counselor in the Branch Presidency until Seattle became a Stake on July 31, 1938. He then served as First Counselor in the Bremerton Ward Bishopric on July 31, 1938, under Bishop Fry for eight years. During these years, Ed worded for Pacific Cleaners in Bremerton, Washington, as a driver delivering and picking up dry cleaning. He was released from the Bishopric when they moved to take a job in Olympia, Washington, in 1946. Edison became the Bishop of the Olympia Ward in the Seattle Stake in March, 1947, and served as bishop until June 17, 1950, when he and Rose moved back to Bremerton for another business opportunity with the Society Cleaners. Their son, Kjar, was serving a full-time mission in the Eastern States when they returned to Bremerton.

While in Bremerton, Edison served on the Seattle Stake Aaronic Priesthood Committee and Seattle Stake High Council. He worked as a driver and secretary treasurer for the Society Cleaners and later became the owner of the business. The Church was growing and he was called to the Stake High Council in the newly organized Tacoma Stake on September 28, 1952. From 1956 to 1960, he and wife, Rose, served as Stake Missionaries in the Tacoma Stake. He held several other positions in the church, including Ward Teaching Supervisor, General Secretary, Aaronic Priesthood Adult, and High Priest Group Leader, but was called as the Stake Patriarch of the Puget Sound Stake on January 14, 1968, and was the Stake Patriarch until he passed away quietly in his sleep on November 9, 1977. In his later years, Ed sold the dry cleaning business and drove again for the new owner for a few years, sold Fuller brushes door to door, and he was the full-time custodian at the Bremerton Chapel at the time of his death. His funeral was held on November 14, 1977, at the Bremerton Chapel and he is buried at the Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery in Bremerton, Kitsap County, Washington.

Biographical History

Byrnina Ann Dustin Willey (1872-1951) was a homemaker who lived in Salt Lake City.

Byrnina Ann Dustin was born July 17, 1872 in Bountiful, Davis County, Utah to Seth Dustin (1825-1903) and Ann Reed Everington (1826-1910). Her parents immigrated to Utah in 1862 after joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1851, and Willey grew up as a member. Willey's step-brother was B. H. Roberts through her mother's first husband.

Willey married Jeremiah Willey (1870-1944) of Bountiful, Utah on June 17, 1891 in Logan, Cache County, Utah. Jeremiah and Byrnina had ten children; all were born in Bountiful, and three died in infancy. The children were Byrnina Ann (1892-1971), Jeremiah (1894-1894), Edison (1895-1977), David Ferris (1898-1979), Orba May (1901-1901), Charles Lamar (1902-1903), Reed Everington (1904-1968), Mary DeLena (1907-2003), Florence (1911-1987), and Douglas Dustin (1911-1987).

Willey died in Salt Lake City, Utah on September 23, 1951.


2 folders (0.2 linear ft.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Donated by Kayla Willey, granddaughter of Edison Willey, in 2013.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Kayla Willey; November 2013.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Processing Information

Processed: Margaret Weddle, student manuscript processor; and John M. Murphy, curator; 2013.

Register of Byrnina Ann Dustin Willey collection of photographs of Edison Willey World War I scrapbook
Margaret Weddle, student manuscript processor, and John M. Murphy, curator
2013 November 8
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States