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Olive Boline Wills Collection

Processed by Tammy Wyatt

Biographical Note

Olive Daile Boline was born in Richmond County, Georgia on May 10, 1928. She was the daughter of Ensey and Gazena Visscher Boline. She lived in Wilkes County most of her life. Photographs in the collection reveal that she was an avid drum majorette for the Washington, Georgia High School Band before continuing her band performances in college with the Georgia Military College Band.

She came to Georgia State College for Women in the fall of 1945. She was active in many groups such as the Penguin Club, the International Relations Club, Phi Sigma, Future Teachers of America and Y.W.C.A., in which she was vice-president in 1948 and president in 1949. She also served as a sophomore and junior class officer. Some memorabilia from these activities are contained in her collection. Selected for 1948-1949 Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities, she is described in the 1949 Spectrum as "Quiet and efficient head of Y.W.C.A. . . bubbling with enthusiasm and has an infectious smile always . . . sold on sociology and student-in-industry projects." In 1949, she graduated from GSCW with an A.B. in Social Studies.

After she graduated, she returned to GSCW as Director of Voluntary Religious Activities on campus and continued involvement with Y.W.C.A. as Secretary.

Olive Boline married James Wills, also of Washington, Georgia, in April 1952 at the Washington First Baptist Church, where she was a member. She moved back to her hometown, but kept in touch with classmates as she sent updates on her life to the class secretary for The Alumnae Journal. She had three children, a son Ensey, a daughter Deana and a daughter Ann Visscher.

In 1965, she reconnected with her alma mater as president of the Alumni Association. She served for two years and saw the name of the college change yet again, from the Women's College of Georgia to Georgia College at Milledgeville.

From 1970-1990, Wills taught American History, World History, English and Social Studies at Wilkes Academy. She returned to Milledgeville again to teach at John Milledge Academy from 1991 to 1992.

Following her teaching career, she went home to Washington, Georgia to become the curator of the Callaway Plantation in June 1992. After three years, she transferred to the curator position of the Washington Historical Museum and remained there until her retirement in May 2001.

Olive Boline Wills died at her home in Washington, Georgia on July 17, 2001. She was buried at Resthaven Cemetery.

Scope and Content

The bulk of the collection is the notes and papers from courses Mrs. Wills took while at Georgia State College for Women. However, these papers do not represent her entire course load during her academic career; it appears that many of them come from her junior and senior years. Most of the materials are from her education, psychology and sociology courses, probably required for her major.

Date Unknown In addition to academics, it is possible to see some aspects of her college social life from photographs and programs from various campus events she may have attended. There is minimal correspondence to shed light on her life at school. However, her participation in numerous college activities can be traced through photos in Spectrum from 1945-1949. The photos in her collection indicate that she was close friends with Dot Kennedy, Betty Lane and Natalie Hines.

Her Alumni Association papers reveal issues and goings-on of the group from 1965-1967. A couple of her own draft letters are included in the correspondence, as are letters she received from the secretary. There are officers lists and meeting agenda also. Further information on the Alumni Association and her life after GSCW may be found in the University Archives Alumni Association Collection, The Alumnae Journal and Columns.

Provenance and Arrangement

The Olive Boline Wills Collection contains notes, papers, correspondence, textbooks, photographs and university publications from Olive Boline's academic life at Georgia State College for Women from 1945 to 1949. Also included in the collection are documents from her tenure as president of the Alumni Association from 1965 to 1967. Following Mrs. Wills' death, her daughter Deana Burgess and son Ensey Wills donated the documents in the collection to the university on Nov. 9, 2001. The processed collection spans one and three-quarter cubic feet of materials.

At the time Wills' papers arrived in Special Collections, they were mostly unorganized. Many class notes were found unbound and separated from assignments for that class. The papers may have been in chronological order at some point, but since not all the papers were dated, chronological arrangement proved difficult. The materials from her Alumni Association presidency were grouped together in two folders unordered.

All bound notes and papers were removed from the binders. Some of the papers contained illustrations that had been glued to the page. Since removal of the illustration would have damaged the page, leaflet pages were inserted to protect the surrounding pages. Some of the photographs were contained in a pocket-sized album. They were removed for preservation purposes and their location noted on a relocation sheet in the folder.

The papers were arranged by series to reflect her college course work, her personal GSCW memorabilia including student records, correspondence, photos, etc., and finally her Alumni Association materials from 1965-1967. Items too bulky to include in the series boxes, such as textbooks, were placed in box 3. All items within series are in alphabetical order.

Box 1, Course Notes and Papers
Box 2, GCSW Memorabilia
Box 3, Catalogs, Student Handbooks, Textbooks
Box 4, Alumni Association

Additional Information about the Olive Boline Wills Collection

Box List (pdf)

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