Willie Lee "Pat" Edwards


Willie Lee "Pat" Edwards


The collection features photographs taken by Wille Lee "Pat" Edwards.

Biography of Will Lee Edwards (provided by Lindrell Blackwell, grandson)

My grandfather is known as Willie Lee Edwards. Older family members would call him Cousin Willie. I learned from a man named Mr. Earl Jackson, deceased though his youngest son Loranzo is also deceased that his nickname was “Pat.”

My grandfather’s name is William Edwards, Jr. He was born on 9/29/1897 and died on 7/21/1947 at Massie Memorial Hospital. He was only 50. According to my family, he had a wreck coming back from a basketball game in Cynthiana and did not recover from his injuries.

His parents were William (Susie) Edwards, Sr. His wife was Estella Thomas Edwards. They had six children, Willie Mack, Gloria Edwards Parker, Loranzo Edwards, and Pheary Edwards are deceased. Talmeina Edwards Sharp and Leland and his last living children.

I have no actual date of when he started taking pictures. I know he wrote a letter to my grandmother on 6/20/1924 telling her he had to develop some film. I assume this was not a new process, and he was probably taking pictures for many years.

He was a janitor at Paris Western High School for 30 years. He was also a Master of Boy Scout Troup 180. I believe he was a self-taught photographer and magician.

I have been told he was coaching the basketball team. He did magic shows, according to Gloria, his oldest daughter, who told me this many years before he died. She said he would not do minstrel shows.

His obituary in the newspaper is below:
“Mr. Willie Lee Edwards, son of the late Willie and Susie Edwards of Bourbon County, died this morning at 2:30 a.m. at the Massie Memorial Hospital. A member of the St. Paul United Methodist church. He was employed by the Board of Education and worked for 30 years at the Western high school, Paris. He was a master of Boy Scout Troup 180."


Lindrell Blackwell, grandson of Willie Lee Edwards.


The Paris-Bourbon County Library and Hopewell Museum have been granted a non-exclusive license for the distribution to the public for non-commercial, educational purposes.

All copyright and literary property rights reside with the owner of the images.

Collection Items

Gloria Edwards
This picture was taken on 2nd Street in Paris, Kentucky. The brick wall is still standing.

Veteran Arrington Edwards Visits Home
Photo taken with Gloria and Leland Edwards

Likely Relative of Willie Lee "Pat" Edwards
There are numerous pictures of this woman.

1932 Western High School Graduating Class
Identified is longtime educator and coach, William "Chief" Reed.

1920s or 1930s Western High School Football Team
A Western High School football team from the 1920s or 1930s. Willie Mack Edwards, Snow Fields, and Arrington Edwards are identified.

The Families Gather
The families gather at the home of Simeon and Katie Thomas on Georgetown Street in Lexington, Kentucky.

Graduating Class of Western High School
Ms. Menerva Bedford can be identified.

Sunday Photo at Large Church
This church could be St. Paul. It was known to be the largest church in Paris, Kentucky.

Church Photo
This photo was likely taken between 1925 and 1930.

Susan Griggs Edwards
Ms. Edwards died in 1935. She is buried in the Cedar Heights Cemetery, then known as the Colored Cemetery.

The Church Family
It is believed that this church was on the corner of Hanson and Thomas Avenue in Paris, Kentucky. The photo was likely taken between 1925 and 1930.

Henderson P. Lewis
Henderson P. Lewis died at three days old. The funeral was in the family home. Per the death certificate, the photo was taken around July, 1923.
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