Will Selph's Legacy

Campbells of Nelson, PA

[Web version of a PowerPoint ® type presentation given at the Campbell Reunion of Nelson, PA on Aug. 6, 2016.

PowerPoint presentations consist of a series of slides -- which the audience sees. Each slide can be followed by notes -- which only the presenter sees.]

Slide 1

William Edward Selph, Jr.

(1871 – 1941)

The poor orphan who succeeded – & left us a legacy

Copyright © 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

Presenter's Notes:
Who he was.

Why we're recognizing his legacy.


Slide 2

Our Early Family Historians

  • Jane CAMPBELL Tubbs (1834 – 1916)

    Collected genealogy & stories, wrote histories, gave presentations at reunions, storyteller to children

  • Lucy DUNHAM Hazlett (1834 – 1902)

    Collected & recorded the story of the Campbell-Hazlett migration from Sam Hazlett's farm to Beecher's Island [Nelson] & the early days there.

  • James Blackwell (1838 – 1917)

    Wrote down the oral traditions of our Blackwells' adventures from England to Lycoming & Tioga Counties.

Copyright © 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

Presenter's Notes:
At our last reunion we had a presentation on Jane's legacy. Perhaps we'll talk about Lucy or James at a future one.

Will was adopted by Jane and preserved her legacy.

She was not only our first family historian -- but also the most comprehensive (at least in the pre-Internet days).


Slide 3

Will

Photo of a college age Will Selph, Jr.


Slide 4

How Will Fits In

Diagram of Will's family tree

Copyright © 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

Presenter's Notes:
Will was the 2nd of 3 children of Julia Campbell & Civil War veteran Wm. Edward Selph, Sr.


Slide 5

What He Did

  • Made & distributed photo albums of the 1922 Campbell Reunion, held at the “Owls Nest,” the home of Mark Owlett, Oregon Hill, Tioga Co., PA.
  • Created our 1st genealogy chart, "Descendants of Joseph and Ann Clinch Campbell."
  • Created the “Campbell Cousins Correspondence Club,” which produced 4 volumes of letters, 1923 -1926.

Copyright © 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

Will spent some of his elementary school years living with Julia's sister, Mary Ann (Campbell) Seely, but in his high school and college (Mansfield Normal School) years, who formally adopted him and his sister, Jennie (Selph) Cady.


Slide 6

His Early Life

  • He was born in poverty. His father was a disabled Civil War veteran whose pension was not enough to support the family and may have been an orphan himself.
  • They lived in MI, far away from family, and were dependent on charity. Julia's first child died in infancy. She came back to Osceola to give birth to Will, but returned to MI where she died giving birth to his sister Jennie.
  • After Julia died, her sister, Jane (Campbell) Tubbs traveled by train from Osceola, PA to MI and returned with toddler Will & infant Jennie.

Copyright © 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

Presenter's Notes:
Jane's train trip from Osceola, PA to Owasso, MI was at least 470 mi. At the time, trains had a top speed of 60 mph, but averaged about 30 mph. so the time while moving would have taken several days. Especially when you consider that she probably had to change trains in Knoxville, PA; Painted Post, NY; Buffalo, NY; (through Ontario to) Detroit, MI; and Flint, MI. Quite an experience for a middle aged, small town gal, with a 9 yr. old at home.

Will spent some of his elementary school years living with Julia's sister, Mary Ann (Campbell) Seely, but in his high school and college years ( Mansfield Normal School) lived with Jane who formally adopted him and Jennie.

For unknown reasons part of his school years were spent in Starkey, Yates Co., NY. Like his cousin, Anna (Bosard) Owlett, he attended the War Orphans School, in Mansfield, PA.


Slide 7

Will as an Adult

His good looks may have helped in his success. But his ability, perseverance & self-confidence were key.

Photo of Will as an adult

Copyright © 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.


Slide 8

His Success

He became one of the top salesmen for New England Mutual Life Ins. In the trade journals you see “Mr. Will Self, in the first 6 months of this year, sold twice as much insurance as for all of last year.” One year he sold “three times as much.”

When asked how he's set his company's record for sales he replied

“Confidence in myself and my goods and the buyer's confidence coupled with earnest enthusiasm and hard work are, of course, the prime factors which resulted in my success.”

He was persistent, very well organized, goal oriented, and probably had Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

E.g. Volume I of the Campbell Cousins Correspondence was sent with a ring binder and Will included a full page of detailed instructions on how to open a ring binder and insert pages.

Copyright © 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

Presenter's Notes:
His persistence annoyed some of his cousins. If someone was late in sending in their CCC letter he would send them 3 or 4 reminder letters. Sometimes he even nagged them via a telegram.


Slide 9

Will with Grandson Richard Drake

Photo of Will with grandson Richard Drake

Copyright © 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

Presenter's Notes:
Will's 1st wife died young. He and his 2nd wife, Edith, had one child, Doris (Selph) Drake. Who had just one child, Richard Drake.

We've been in touch with Richard, who now has grandchildren of his own.


Slide 10

Will's Legacy

"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots."

- Marcus Garvey

These were Will's gifts to us:

  • Preserving Jane CAMPBELL Tubbs' contributions (with help from Mary HUGHEY Prescott)
  • A vision of our responsibilities to the future.
  • Awareness of our extended family.

Copyright © 2016, 2018, 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

Presenter's Notes:
Thank you Will for all you did to preserve our heritage and for leaving a rich legacy.


Copyright © 2016, 2018. 2019 William B. Thompson. Commercial use prohibited.

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