Marcell Moser Collection

TITLE: Marcell Moser Collection

DATE RANGE: 1890 - 1987 


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:  8 linear feet (14 boxes)


COPYRIGHT:  Unknown  

RESTRICTIONS: This collection is unrestricted.   

CREDIT LINE: Marcell Moser Collection, Y-MS 40, Yuma County Library District

PROCESSED BY: Benjamin Findley, July 2014


Marcell Moser was a banker for the Yuma branch of the First National Bank of Arizona. She was born in Los Angeles, California to James and Ethel Moser on August 4, 1919. In 1920, the

Moser Family moved to Yuma, Arizona where James worked as a railroad fireman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1931 a passenger train carrying a Hollywood film crew and actors was derailed 20 miles east of Yuma killing the engineer and James Moser. A few years later Ethel married Elmer Marable, a locomotive engineer. 

In 1937, Marcell graduated from Yuma High School as valedictorian of her class. She went on to study business and teaching at Arizona State College (now known as Arizona State University). After graduation in 1943, Marcell applied as a secretary to the War Administration Board and received postings at Luke Army Airfield and Yuma Army Airfield. The Army closed the Yuma Airfield in 1944 and Marcell found a position in the Yuma branch of the First National Bank of Arizona where she worked for nearly 40 years. 

In addition to her work in the banking industry, Marcell was also a well-known local artist, and was the first president of the Desert Artists Society. She was also involved in a number of other interests including designing and modeling clothing and earning several county fair awards for mineral specimens. Marcell was also a member of the Soroptimists club and an exemplar member of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority. In her later years she became interested in history and wrote several articles on the history of banking in Yuma. She died February 16, 2000. A number of memorial awards have been created in her name including a Yuma county fair art award and an Arizona State University scholarship.


This collection consists of materials concerning Marcell Moser and her immediate family. There are a variety of personal and business documents representing a long period of time including school records, awards and publications. In addition to the documents there are a large number of family photos spanning more than a century of Marcell’s family history. The majority of the photos are black and white images on photo paper. However there are also a few photos in older photographic mediums such as tintypes and an ambrotype. Other materials include a scrapbook from Marcell’s time at college and assorted memorabilia.

The collection is arranged into 16 series:

Series I – Biographical: This series contains general information about about Marcell Moser as well as a number of other people with whom she was familiar.

Series II – Clubs/Memberships: This series contains materials from various clubs and other organizations that Marcell was involved in. The materials are primarily limited to printed event information and yearbooks.

Series III – Correspondence: This series contains material sent to and from Marcell as well as a few letters between other members of her family, primarily her mother Ethel.

Series IV – Government Papers: This series contains materials about various governmental organizations such as the Yuma City Council.

Series V – Legal Papers: This series contains legal papers concerning a court case involving the estate of Trevah Duwe, in which Marcell was a defendant.

Series VI – Military Papers: This series contains materials from World War II during which time Marcell worked as a secretary in several military bases.

Series VII – Professional: This series contains papers concerning Marcell’s banking career. This includes a number of extended educational courses that Marcell took through the American Institute of Banking.

Series VIII – School Papers: This series contains materials from Marcell’s time in various schools. The bulk of this material consists of semester report cards but also includes a few graded assignments and arts and crafts projects.

Series IX – Publications: This series contains a variety of published material. This collection holds copies of The Mesquite and The Thermometer which were the school newspapers for her junior high and high school respectively. Also in this series is a fortune telling magazine and a book of military and civilian flight procedures published for children by the military.

Series X – Writings: This series contains writing and research done by Marcell on the history of banking in Yuma. There is also a typed monologue written to accompany a slide presentation and a notebook detailing a trip that Marcell and her mother took to the Chicago World’s Fair in 1933.

Series XI – Artwork: This series contains a signed self-portrait by Marcell Moser as well as a copy of a drawing of a bank executive originally drawn by W. M. Hunt.

Series XII – Postcards: This series contains a collection of Postcards covering a variety of subjects. 

Series XIII – Photographs: This series contains a large amount of family photographs. The photographs are primarily focused on the maternal side of the family including the Mellus, Castionette, and Jones families. Also included in this series are pictures of the Marable family that her step father was a member of.

Series XIV – Photo Albums: this series contains a number of photo albums. Some of these albums were made by Marcell’s mother and contain photos dating back as early as the 1890s others were made by Marcell and detail various portions of her adult life. Many of the photos in these albums are dated and identified.

Series XVMemorabilia: This series contains an assortment of materials covering a wide variety of topics, including business cards from various prominent Yuma businesses and pamphlets concerning a number of events. This series also contains a certificate of insurance for the Yuma branch of the First National Bank of Arizona. Also included in this series is a scrapbook from Marcell’s freshman year at Arizona State College. The scrapbook contains promotional material from various dances and events as well as photographs, invitations and other assorted material.

Series XVI  – Oversize: This series contains items too large to fit easily into a document box. These materials include a large hand colored photo of Marcel and Ethel, as well as several awards and certificates given to Marcell. Another item in this box is a hollowed ouy faux book containing a variety of memorabilia including dance cards, place holders, and James Moser’s fireman shoulder badge. Also in this series are several coin banks, a deck of cards in a leather case, a pocket watch belonging to Marcell’s step-father and a plate belonging to Marcell’s great grandmother.


Box Folder Title Dates
1 1 Biographical: Moser, Ethel 1918 – 1945, n.d.
  2 Biographical: Moser, James 1931
  3 Biographical: Moser, Marcell 1931 – 2001, n.d.
  4 Biographical: Moeller, Ted 1967 – 1968, n.d.
  5 Biographical: Various 1925 – 1969, n.d.
  6 Clubs/Memberships: Beta Sigma Pi 1946 – 1969, n.d.
  7 Clubs/Memberships: Desert Artists 1964 – 1970, n.d.
  8 Clubs/Memberships: Membership Cards 1933 – 1969, n.d.
2 1 Clubs/Memberships: Soroptimists 1961 – 1964


  2 Clubs/Memberships: Soroptimists 1964 – 1970, n.d.
  3 Clubs/Memberships: Various 1940 – 1969, n.d.
  4 Correspondence: Business 1948 – 1969, n.d.
  5 Correspondence: Cards 1935 – 1970, n.d.
  6 Correspondence: Cards n.d.
3 1 Correspondence: Clark, Herman 1939
  2 Correspondence: Laverna/Trevah Duwe Estate 1969 – 1970, n.d.
  3 Correspondence: Maloch, Cleo 1944 – 1945, n.d.
  4 Correspondence: Moeller, Ted 1960 – 1967
  5 Correspondence: Moser, Ethel 1916 – 1961, n.d.
  6 Correspondence: Moser Family  (possibly written in German)  1926, n.d.
  7 Correspondence: Moser, Marcell 1933 – 1969, n.d.
  8 Correspondence: Various 1908 – 1966, n.d.
  9 Government Papers 1931 – 1943, n.d.
  10 Legal Papers: Trevah Dune Estate 1969
  11 Military Papers 1942 – 1944, n.d.
  12 Professional: First National Bank of Arizona 1954 – 1970, n.d.
  13 Professional: American Institute of Banking 1960 – 1969, n.d.
  14 School Papers: 4th Avenue Grammar School 1927 – 1933, n.d.
  15 School Papers: Yuma Union High School 1932 – 1937
  16 School Papers: Arizona State College 1938 – 1964
  17 School Papers: School Projects n.d.
  18 Publications: Mesquit-o, The 1930 – 1933
  19 Publications: News Clippings 1955 – 1981, n.d.
4 1 Publications: Thermometer, The 1933 – 1937
  2 Publications: Shorthand Dictionary 1902
  3 Publications: Various 1917 – 1945
  4 Publications: Various 1946 1960, n.d.
  5 Writings: Banking History 1966 – 1972, n.d.
  6 Writings: Notebooks 1948 – 1952, n.d.
  7 Writings: Research n.d.
5 1 Writings: Trip Notes 1933 – 1987, n.d.
  2 Artwork 1939, n.d.
  3 Postcards: Movie Stars n.d.
  4 Postcards: Various n.d.
  5 Photographs: Animals 1906 – 1954, n.d.
  6 Photographs: First National Bank of Arizona 1944 – 1969, n.d.
  7 Photographs: People, Howley, Frank n.d.
  8 Photographs: People, Marable Family 1909 – 1973, n.d.
6 1 Photographs: People, Mellus Family 1887 – 1920
  2 Photographs: People, Mellus Family 1920 – 1950 
  3 Photographs: People, Mellus Family n.d.
  4 Photographs: People, Mellus Family n.d.
  5 Photographs: People, Moser, Marcell 1919 – 1937
7 1 Photographs: People, Moser, Marcell 1938 – 1973, n.d.
  2 Photographs: People, Moser, Marcell n.d.
  3 Photographs: People, Moser, Marcell n.d.
  4 Photographs: People, Moser, Marcell n.d.
  5 Photographs: People, Unidentified 1909 – 1966, n.d.
8 1 Photographs: People, Unidentified n.d.
  2 Photographs: People, Unidentified n.d.
  3 Photographs: People, Various 1908 – 1963, n.d.
  4 Photographs: People, Various n.d.
  5 Photographs: Places, San Francisco Earthquake 1906
  6 Photographs: Places, Various 1929 – 1965, n.d.
9 1 Photographs: Places, Various n.d.
  2 Photographs: Trips/Events 1935 – 1955
  3 Photographs: Trips/Events 1955 – 1987
  4 Photographs: Trips/Events 1987
  5 Photographs: Trips/Events n.d.
10 1 Photographs: Negatives n.d.
  2 Photographs: Slides 1958, n.d.
  3 Photo Albums: “# .1” 1908 – 1925
  4 Photo Albums: (Dark Leather cover) 1910 – 1937
  5 Photo Albums: “# .2” 1918 – 1924
  6 Photo Albums: “# .10” 1918 – 1937
11 1 Photo Albums: (Unmarked Black cover) 1923 – 1937
  2 Photo Albums: “# .9” 1937 – 1941
  3 Photo Albums: “# .8” 1941 – 1945
12 1 Photo Albums: (Leather cover with Cowboy) 1947 – 1948
  2 Photo Albums: “# .3” n.d.
  3 Photo Albums: (Green cover) n.d.
  4 Memorabilia: Bank Insurance Certificate 1937
  5 Memorabilia: Various 1925 – 1973, n.d.
  6 Memorabilia: Various n.d.
13 Oversize Memorabilia: Scrapbook 1939 – 1940
14 Oversize Oversize: Memorabilia n.d.
  Oversize Oversize: Photographs 1920


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