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Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.- Miscellaneous records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS-274

Scope and Contents

In this collection, there are budget and finance papers, company letters, deeds of sales, legal papers, meeting minutes, property deeds and titles, stock certificates, documents form corporations and companies, and tax receipts from Willys-Overland Inc. The budget and finance papers include balance sheets, claims deposited with creditors, and real estate assets. Letters include those to the president of the Willys administration. Most of the documents from corporations and companies are of branches in Delaware from 1922 to 1924 and from Missouri branches from 1921 to 1931. The rest of the documents from the corporations and companies are from Euclid-Sterns Realty Cooperation from 1930 to 1933 and Euclid Lakeviews Cooperation in 1930. The legal papers include insurance policies, agreements, and leases dating from 1916 to 1944. Finally, some of the property deeds refer to properties in Toledo, Minneapolis, Burleson County, TX, and San Francisco.

For a more detailed description, see the box and folder list.


  • Creation: 1920 - 1940

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials may be accessed by request at the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections on the fifth floor of the William S. Carlson Library on the main campus of the University of Toledo. Materials do not circulate.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Canaday Center does not own the copyright and literary rights to items in its collections; it is the responsibility of the researcher to adhere to U.S. Copyright and Fair Use laws, including seeking permission from the copyright holder and payment of any royalty fees, in the reproduction and use of archival materials. Providing copies or scans does not constitute a license to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.

Biographical / Historical

In 1908, John North Willys formed a portion of the Overland Automotive Division from the Standard Wheel Company in Toledo, Ohio, which he later changed to Willys-Overland Motor Company 1912. From 1914 through 1919 Willy’s-Overland Motor Company added the Electric Auto-lite Company and the Russel Motor Car Company in Canada, then John Willys founded the Willys Corporation as a holding company. While the company struggled financially during the first decades of its business and had to file for bankruptcy during the Great Depression, the company managed to survive by Willys adjusting his model program. He did this by producing only two models, which were the four-cylinder Willys 77 and the six-cylinder Willys 99, but later to try and avoid bankruptcy he decided to have only the four-cylinder Willys 77 to be produced. But unfortunately, he had to sell the the Canadian subsidiary was soon the only main plant in Toledo with a few others after the rest was sold to a newly established real estate company in order for the company to be able to stay afloat during difficult times.

During World War II Willy’s-Overland became famous for its Jeeps and in 1940 when the United States army asked multiple companies to submit plans for a vehicle that would be able to travel different types of terrain, Willys was one of the two companies that submitted designs. Soon after, the Army awarded a government contract to the company for their vehicle, and Willys-Overland also provided the Ford Motor Company with its specifications so they could manufacture addition Jeeps for the U.S. Army. Once the war was over, the company continued to make Jeeps for the civilian population that was similar to the one that was used in the armed forces and made other vehicles that were based on the Jeep. Some of these vehicles became known as the Jeep Wagon, the Jeep CJ-2A, and the Jeep Truck. By 1953 the company was bought by the Kaiser Motor company and then in 1961, the company changed its name to Kaiser-Jeep Corporation. The Willys name continued with Brazilian operations until the 1980s.

Sources Cited: “Willys-Overland Company.” Willys-Overland Company - Ohio History Central, “Willys-Overland Motors History (1908).” Motor Car,


3 lin. ft. Linear Feet


Accession Number: 13-20

Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. - Miscellaneous Records 1920s-1940s
Guide to Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. - Miscellaneous Records (ID: MSS-274)
Sarah " Nicky" Rhymes
August 28, 2020
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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First Edition

Repository Details

Part of the Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections Repository

2801 West Bancroft Street
William S. Carlson Library, Fifth Floor
Toledo Ohio 43606 United States