Harvey Edward West, Sr. Collection Processing Completed

News item published on: 2024-05-15 14:54:40

Born in Wayne County in Mississippi, Harvey Edward West, Sr. was the chief of staff for Governor Paul B. Johnson, Jr. from 1964 to 1968. He co-founded West Brothers Motor Express, the largest Mississippi-owned and largest individually owned motor freight carrier in the state and was the founder and president of the Pascagoula Drayage Company. A collection of West’s materials was donated to University Libraries Special Collections by his son, Harvey Edward West, Jr.

The collection contains lists and correspondence between Paul B. Johnson, Jr. and his colonels and voting cards from the Young Mississippians for Paul Johnson group that highlight issues that were important to young voters. Campaign office files are also included, which contain receipts, general correspondence, and fundraising information. The collection also contains the draft of a speech that Paul B. Johnson, Jr. gave in Memphis, along with campaign newspaper clippings, magazines, and photographs.

West began his career at the age of 13, driving log trucks in Laurel, Miss. During the depression, he and his brother began hauling cotton, later general merchandise. In 1929, West Brothers got its name when he was informed of a city ordinance that required all trucks to be identified on both sides. When he founded Pascagoula Drayage, West turned the operation of West Brothers over to his son. Pascagoula Drayage served all points of the United States as an irregular route, special commodity motor carrier.

West was involved in civic and industry organizations, serving as president of the Mississippi Trucking Association, the American Trucking Association executive committee, and the American Trucking Association board of directors for Mississippi. West was chairman of the board of directors for the Mississippi State Penitentiary and a chairman of the Pat Harrison Waterways Committee in Mississippi.

The Harvey Edward West, Jr. collection was selected to be processed with support through a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The NHPRC is a statutory body affiliated with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) whose mission is promotion of the preservation and use of the country’s documentary heritage essential to understand the nation’s democracy, history, and culture.

Lorraine A. Stuart, Head of Special Collections and Curator of Historical Manuscripts and Archives, is leading the two-year grant project. The purpose of the grant is to increase access to collections and will support processing, digitization, and development of finding aids for existing collections significant to the history and culture of Mississippi. The grant is also providing multiple opportunities for hands-on materials preservation and presentation experiences for the University’s Library and Information Sciences and Humanities graduate students.