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Western and Northern Europeans


Gilles, John Francis Civil War Diaries, 1861-1865. SC 2392. One folder. Collection guide online. Gilles, a native of Antwerp, Belgium, served in the 33rd Indiana Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War. Gilles enlisted from Knox County and saw action in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia. The collection contains two small diaries kept by Gilles during his entire four years of service in Company B, 33rd Indiana Volunteer Regiment. The entries, in pencil and pen, are very small and badly faded.


Barkhimer, Dorothy Olsen Photograph Collection, Ca. 1918, 1919. P 0050. Two photograph folders. Collection guide online. Dorothy Olsen Barkhimer married Robert Barkhimer in August 1938. The 1940 census records show the couple living with her parents; he was an inspector for a fire insurance company and Dorothy was working as a clerk in a department store. Dorothy was born about 1914 to Edwin L. and Freda D. Olsen. Edwin’s father, Jens J. Olsen was born in Denmark in July 1858. He immigrated to the United States in 1880 and settled in Indianapolis. By 1900 census records show him married to Mary H. Olsen and the couple had three children, Rudolph O., Edwin L. and Alma M. Olsen. By 1910 Edwin was the only one found living in the Indianapolis area. Census records record him as seventeen and living with his aunt and uncle, Edward and Helena W. Olsen. By 1920, Edwin was married to Freda D. Olsen and the couple had two daughters, Dorothy and Helen. The collection contains early cartes de visite and photographs of men in military uniforms that were made at photographic studios in Denmark. There are also World War I era black and-white snapshots of unidentified American soldiers and postcard photographs of soldiers taken in Denmark. There are also crowd scenes on Monument Circle celebrating Armistice Day November 11, 1918, Welcome Home Day celebrations, and aerial views of Indianapolis. Finally there is an undated group portrait of the Indianapolis Newsboys Band.


Baird, Emily J. Letter, June 21, 1859. SC 2410. One folder. Collection guide online. The collection contains a letter from Baird in Cloverdale to William J. Koons, Bethel, Kentucky. Topics include Baird’s garden and farm, visitors, bigotry and the intermarriage of Dutch and Irish.

Ten Brook, Andrew Autobiography, 1888-1889. SC 2162. One folder. Typed transcript. No collection guide available. The autobiography of Andrew Ten Brook written in 1888-1889 in Rockville. 


Badollet, John Papers, 1768-1901. F 0032-0033. Two reels of microfilm. No collection guide available. Though Badollet was born in Switzerland the collection includes letters of Louis Salomon, 1807-1835. 

Berthier, Alexandre (1753–1815) Papers, 1800. BV 2578. One bound volume. No collection guide available.  Berthier was an officer in the French army (1770–1814) who fought in the American Revolution with Lafayette. He was chief of staff under Napoleon Bonaparte (1795–1814), and Ambassador Extraordinary to Spain, responsible for negotiating the retrocession of Louisiana from Spain to France (1800). The collection consists of Berthier's papers relating to his negotiations with Spain for the return of Louisiana to France (August–October 1800). Included are retained copies of Berthier's letters to Napoleon, Prince Talleyrand, General Menou, and the Spanish Secretary of State, the Chevalier Urquijo; Berthier's copies of his instructions from Talleyrand. A copy of a letter sent to Urquijo by French ambassador Alquier outlining the French argument for retrocession, and preliminary drafts of a treaty written by Berthier and Urquijo, as well as letters of Urquijo explaining the Spanish position are also present.

Coupin, Claude Antoine Gabriel Papers, 1790-1805. M 0416. One manuscript box. Collection guide in library. Coupin came to America from Sevres, France, in 1790. The collection contains legal documents, letters, and bills. 

Edwards, Abraham of Detroit, Account Books, 1817-1823. F 0005. One reel of microfilm. Collection guide in library. General store of Abraham Edwards used by residents of Michigan, Northern Indiana and elsewhere.

Fretageot Family Records. F 0242. One partial reel of microfilm.  Collection guide in library.  This collection comprises a portion of the New Harmony materials collection on microfilm.  Achilles Emery Fretageot was born in France in 1813.  He moved to New Harmony in 1826 and lived there until his death in 1873.  The collection contains one day book and one account book but also materaisl related to his sons Alexander and Achilles H. Fretageot.

Haldimand, Frederick Papers. SC 0667. One folder. Photocopies. No collection guide available. Ten documents, 1766-1774, longhand copies from Public Archives of Canada.

Julian Family Papers, 1861-circa 1971. SC 3037. Four folders, one folder photographs. Collection guide online. The Julians are among the more historically prominent families in eastern Indiana. The first Julians, then known as St. Juliens, arrived in the Carolinas from France in the seventeenth century, and made their way to Indiana in the early nineteenth century. A number of them were Quakers and abolitionists, and several were involved in Henry County’s initial organization in 1821. Rene Julian was elected as the first County Clerk and Recorder in 1822, and his name appears repeatedly in local histories. Another individual active in Henry County’s founding was Shubal Julian, on whose land Prairie Township’s first schoolhouse was built in 1824 or 1825. Other notable individuals include J.B. Julian, listed as Circuit Prosecutor for the year 1844, and Emsley Julian, who served as Treasurer for the county in the 1860s. The Julians are also associated with Wayne County, where Isaac Julian served as the area’s first schoolteacher in 1808-1809. The same Isaac Julian won a seat in the Indiana State House of Representatives in 1822. This short collection is devoted to Julian family history.

Lasselle, Hyacinth Accounts List, 1816. SC 0958. One folder. No collection guide available. List of debts due to A. Marchall’s estate recovered by Lasselle as administrator.

Lasselle, Hyacinth Collection Transcripts and Translations, 1713-1908. M 0435. Three manuscript boxes. Collection guide online. Hyacinth Lasselle was a French trader and officer in the Indiana militia. He married Julia Bosseron, the daughter of a Vincennes fur trader. The couple’s children were Charles B., a lawyer and politician of Cass County; Stanislaus, a dry goods merchant and newspaper publisher; Hyacinth Jr., a merchant, lawyer, and newspaper publisher; and Jacques Magloire, a Cass County lawyer and judge. The collection contains transcripts and translations of about 800 French language documents from the Lasselle Collection of the Indiana State Library. The documents are the personal and business papers of the family and deal with French traders, the early military history of the state, and the business and political activities of Lasselle’s sons.

New Harmony, Indiana Collection, 1814–1884, 1920, 1964. M 0219. Three manuscript boxes, three photograph folders, three OVA graphics boxes, one oversize graphics folder. Collection guide online. New Harmony, in Posey County in southwestern Indiana, was the site of two utopian experiments in the early nineteenth century. The first, the Harmony Society, was a group of German Pietists who had come to Pennsylvania in 1804 and founded a communist society. Led by George Rapp and his adopted son Frederick, they settled at New Harmony from 1815 to 1825, but then moved again, to Economy, Pennsylvania, on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh. In 1825 the New Harmony settlement was sold to the British industrialist and philanthropist, Robert Owen. There Owen attempted to put into effect his theories of socialism and human betterment. These were based on absolute equality of property, labor, and opportunity, combined with freedom of speech and action. The Owenite community failed within two years, but Owen and his family continued both their ownership of the land at New Harmony and their interest in social reform. Many who believed in the ideals of these communities came to New Harmony. Charles Alexandre LeSueur was born in LeHavre, France. He came to America in 1816 and moved to New Harmony in 1826 staying until 1837. His niece, Virginia DuPalais married William Augustus Twigg in 1828. An account of a flatboat trip to New Orleans in 1833-1834 made by Achilles Fretageot who was born in France in 1813 is also present in the collection.

Northwest Territory Papers and Documents, 1721-1802 (bulk 1780-1801). M 0367. Three manuscript boxes, ten oversize folders. Collection guide online. The Northwest Territory was created by the Ordinance of 1787 and consisted of land between the Ohio River, the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. In 1800, the Indiana Territory was separated from the Northwest Territory and two years later, the present state of Michigan was added to the Indiana Territory. In 1803, the Northwest Territory ceased to exist with the admission of Ohio as a state. The collection contains miscellaneous papers in English, German and French; some French materials have been translated into English. The papers relate to the exploration, settlement and administration of the Northwest Territory. Topics include the U.S. Army in the west; the campaigns against Native Americans by Harmar, St. Clair, and Wayne; the Ohio Company and land settlement; the French and British in the Northwest Territory and in the American Revolution; territorial court records; territorial politics and government; French fur trading expeditions; government relations and treaties with Native Americans; Clark’s expeditions against Vincennes and Kaskaskia; and military actions in the west during the American Revolution.

Rivet, Adrian Papers, 1840-1864. M 1032. One manuscript box, two oversized folders. Collection guide online. Adrian Rivet was born in France around 1822 and came to the United States where he became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1844 at Greenfield, Hancock County, Indiana. He became prominent businessman in Hancock and Marion Counties, Indiana in the 1850s living in Cumberland in Hancock County. In 1855, he was named to the Indiana delegation for the Paris Exposition. Rivet was listed as living in Rensselaer, Jasper County, in 1860. The bulk of the collection consists of Rivet’s business records including receipts, indentures, and two pocket journal account books relating to Rivet’s various business ventures in Hancock, Marion and Jasper counties, 1840-1864. Also included are letters to Rivet in French from friends primarily in the Cincinnati, Ohio region, 1848-1860. Additional items include Rivet’s naturalization paper in Greenfield, Hancock County, September 18, 1844, his appointment as a delegate from Indiana to the Paris Exposition, 1855, handwritten poetry in French and English and documents regarding his membership in the Masonic Lodge.

Vacelet, Jean Désiré Passport. OM 0211. One oversize folder. No collection guide available. Passport from 21 February 1865 (in French) written in French for Vacelet who lived in Vincennes.


A.D. Cook, Inc. Records, 1890–1955. M 0393. Eight manuscript boxes, 28 bound volumes, one photograph. Collection guide online. August D. Cook was born near Bremen, Germany, on November 18, 1847, and immigrated to the United States with his family who settled in Lawrenceburg, Dearborn County, Indiana. He founded the A.D. Cook Company in 1881 to manufacture tube well supplies and steam pumps.

Baum, Bernard Recollections, 1903. SC 1745. One folder. Collection Guide online. Bernard Baum was born on November 7, 1822, in Simmern under Dhaun, Germany. He was married on May 15, 1850. Baum immigrated to the United States in 1852, where he became a traveling merchant in Louisville, Kentucky, In 1854, Baum opened his first store. In 1856, Baum and his family moved to Henderson, where he set up a second dry goods store. In 1863, Baum moved his family to Evansville in order to escape the danger that Civil War fighting presented. He kept the store in Henderson, opening another in Evansville. In 1873, business was bad and Baum sold his store in Henderson. On May 10, 1888, Bernard and his wife moved to San Francisco. This collection is contained in one legal-sized manuscript folder, which contains a typed transcript titled “Recollection of Bernard Baum.” This manuscript is written as a letter by Bernard Baum addressed to his children. Written from Oct. 15, 1902, to Jan. 18, 1903, this letter covers all of the main events of Bernard Baum’s life up to 1903.

Bieberich, Heinrich Papers, 1841-1904. SC 2324. Three folders. Collection guide online. Born in Germany, Bieberich served in the Bavarian army. In 1843, he immigrated to the United States with his family and settled in Adams County. Living in Preble Township, he married and had nine children. This collection includes genealogical materials; a Bavarian army discharge; a notebook with birth and death records of Bieberich’s children; and deeds concerning three generations of the family. Materials are in German.

Bohlen Architectural Firm Records, Ca. 1867-1978. M 1204. Fifty-six manuscript boxes, two oversized manuscript boxes, one photo negative folder, 98 architecture file folders. Collection guide online. Diedrich August Bohlen was born January 17, 1827, in Cadenberge, Germany; he studied in Holzminden, most likely at the University of Applied Sciences and Art. Faced with service in the Hanoverian army of King George V, Bohlen decided to travel to the U.S., probably leaving from Hamburg in 1851. After arriving in New Orleans, he traveled to Cincinnati where he stayed for a short time before traveling onward to Indianapolis. Once there he joined the architectural firm of Francis Costigan, who while also new to the state, soon became a well-known and respected architect in the capital city. Bohlen remained with Costigan for about a year before establishing his own architectural firm in 1853. Materials are organized by the individual project then ordered chronologically. This was done so that projects on the same building or campus over a span of years were grouped together, instead of imposing a chronological-only order. A few projects span a wide range of time but are listed in the order of their earliest date.

Breitwieser Family Papers, 1848-1981. M 0059, OM 0284. One manuscript box, one oversize folder, two folders of photographs, artifacts. Collection guide online. The Breitwieser family immigrated to the United States about 1836 from the Grand Duchy of Hessen (Germany) and settled in Dubois County. Thomas J. Breitwieser (1886-1970) attended Central Normal College, Danville, Indiana, and Indiana University, and was a teacher in Indiana. The collection contains records and correspondence of the Breitwieser, Baitz and Hotmanns families. Included is a passport from the Grand Duchy of Hessen for Kunigunde Hotmanns (1848), naturalization papers for Valentine Baitz from Ohio (1851), a copy of a letter in German from Valentine Baitz to his daughter (1890) and the marriage certificate of John C. Breitwieser and Katherine E. Baitz (1882). There is also a typed history of the Breitwieser family and a genealogical chart as well as Breitwieser family correspondence from 1944-1970. Also included are papers and photographs regarding Thomas J. Breitwieser’s education and teaching. Additional items include Edna Ruth Breitwieser’s (1918-) school photographs and a report card from the Muncie Public Schools, 1923-1926.

Brucker, Magnus Papers, 1861-1868. M 0324. One manuscript box. Collection guide online. A native of Germany, Brucker studied medicine before immigrating to the U.S. in 1849. He settled in Troy, Perry County. Brucker was elected to the Indiana House in 1860 and 1866, and served as a surgeon with the 23rd Indiana Volunteer Regiment during the Civil War. The collection consists primarily of letters written (in German) by Brucker to his wife during the Civil War, and 12 letters written while he was serving in the state legislature. Topics include the Battle of Shiloh, the siege of Vicksburg and the Georgia campaign. The donor of the collection compiled supplementary materials to the letters, and these are included. Supplementary material includes typed transcripts and translations of letter extracts; photostats of correspondence relating to the 23rd Indiana Regiment held by the Indiana State Archives; biographical information about Brucker; and photostats of his military records from the National Archives. 

Evansville Medical Record Book. M 0075. One half-size manuscript box. No collection guide available. Medical record book with illnesses and treatments, partially in German.

Feil, Catharina Schulte Letters, 1861-1893. SC 2227. One folder. Photocopy. No collection guide available. Born in Germany, Feil immigrated to U.S. and settled in Indianapolis where she worked in a bakery. Letters from Feil to family in Germany describe everyday life and family experiences.

Fetty,  Arnold H., JR. And SR. Collection, 1897-1926. SC 3011. One folder. Collection guide online. Arnold Henry Fetty Sr. was born on December 13, 1838 in Bloomberg, Germany. As a resident of Indiana, he enlisted with Company K of the 47th Indiana Regiment on December 13, 1861. During the 1862 New Madrid Campaign on the Mississippi River, he took ill and, after returning to Indianapolis, was discharged on disability that same year. His son, Arnold Henry Fetty Jr. was born on August 18, 1864 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He enlisted as a Private in Company C of the 27th Battery Indiana Light Artillery on June 13, 1898 at age 33, serving honorably in the Spanish-American War until being discharged on November 25, 1898. After his service, he joined the Indiana Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars organization. This collection includes papers relating to Arnold H. Fetty Jr. and Sr.’s respective military services.

Fleming, Mary Lou Robson Research notes about Jacob Schnee, 1807-1984. SC 1951. Four folders. No collection guide available. Fleming was Schnee’s great-granddaughter. See entry for Schnee, Jacob for additional information.

Foerster, Charles Papers. SC 0584. Four folders. No collection guide available. A native of Germany and manager of the German Literary Bureau, Foerster was also a Democratic Party politician and Consul General to Calcutta. The collection contains citizenship papers, biographical news clippings and material regarding the German Literary Bureau.

Folk, Christian Letter, July 28, 1849. SC 2225. One folder. Photocopy. No collection guide available. Folk was born in Württemberg, Germany, and settled in Clinton County. The letter to Folk is from an immigrant group in Wheeling, West Virginia., asking him to come and pick up his sister whom he had asked to come to U.S. The letter is in German with an English translation.

Frauer, Hermann E. Apothecary Records, 1875-1901. SC 2373. Three folders. Collection guide online. Born in Germany, Frauer came to Indianapolis with his father in 1855. In 1869, the senior Frauer took over an apothecary shop founded by Charles Roesch; Herman Frauer took over the business in 1876. The apothecary was still operating in 1905 on East Washington Street in Indianapolis. The collection contains two notebook formularies and two folders of loose apothecary formulae. Many of the formulae are in German, with the remainder in English and Latin, most items are undated.

Fried, Frederick G. Civil War Memoir, 1862-1865. SC 2034. One folder. Photocopy of typewritten memoir. No collection guide available. Born in Württemberg, Germany, Fried immigrated to America in 1854 and settled in Noble County. He served in 74th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War.

Gardeners Benefit Society Of Indianapolis Photographs, 1901–1962. P 0136. Four oversize composite photographs, two panoramic photographs. Collection guide online. The Gardeners Benefit Society of Indianapolis was founded by a group of German immigrants on July 6, 1867. Originally called “Deutscher Gartner Unterstutzungs Verein zu Indianapolis,” it was one of many cultural and economic organizations that sprang up among immigrants to Indianapolis in the nineteenth century. By 1900 Indianapolis had over 50 “vereins” or clubs. These clubs provided social, cultural and, educational opportunities. In the case of the gardeners there was financial support for its members as well. The club was made up of Germans who settled close to the White River on the southwest side of Indianapolis in the area bounded by Raymond, Banta, Madison, and Harding streets. The collection contains four composite photographs and two panoramic photographs of members of the Gardners Benefit Society of Indianapolis. The images span the years from 1901 to 1962.

Gehring, Beatus Papers, 1850s-1860s. SC 2017. Two folders. Photocopy. No collection guide available. Born in Baden, Germany, Gehring immigrated to Oldenburg, Indiana. Materials in the collection include Gehring’s soldier’s question-and-answer book from the Badish Army. He discusses the role of the military in society. An account of the Oldenburg brick yard is also included. The materials are in German.

Geiger, Gottlob Papers, 1885-1914. SC 3057. One folder. Collection guide online. Gottlob Geiger was born in Germany in 1863. It is unclear what his town of origin was, but he embarked from Battenberg in 1883, landing in New York and eventually settling in Indianapolis. In 1885, he applied for United States citizenship, and in the following year enlisted in the U.S. Army for a period of five years. He served as part of an ordnance detachment, and spent at least part of his enlistment at the Indianapolis Arsenal. This short collection comprises six documents relating to Gottlob Geiger after his migration to Indianapolis from Germany: naturalization and citizenship documents; military furlough, discharge, and pension documents; and a purchase contract. They trace the life and career of a working class German immigrant in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries

German-American Boating Club (Indianapolis, Ind) Letter and Title Receipt, 1938. SC 1936. One folder. No collection guide available. The collection contains a letter and title receipt from 1938 related to the German American Boating Club in Indianapolis.

German-American Collections Materials, 1873-2000. M 1061. One manuscript box, one oversized manuscript folder. Collection guide online. The Indianapolis Liederkranz is a singing society that was formed in 1872 and is still in existence today. The society was initially only for men, but a Damenchor (women’s choir) was added in 1997. The organization puts on concerts, hosts dances, and has its own building near the Holy Cross neighborhood. The Germanistic Society of Indianapolis was founded January 21, 1916 to promote the study of German civilization by arranging public lectures and publishing literature for distribution. The Verband Deutscher Vereine (Federation of German Societies) of Indianapolis was organized on November 13, 1899 as an umbrella organization for other German cultural and social organizations in the city. The organization is still present today and is run out of German Park, a property the organization purchased in 1934. The Evangelical Brotherhood Bowling League in Indianapolis was formed in 1921 in order to promote fellowship between the members of the Brotherhoods of the Evangelical Churches in the city. The German-American Klub has been at their Indianapolis Southside location since 1979, where they operate the Edelweiss Restaurant and host a variety of cultural events and festivals for their members. The Klub is still active today with annual Oktoberfest events, picnics, Volksmarch, and other activities to preserve and promote German culture. The Indianapolis Saenger-Chor was founded in 1885 by 10 men who had recently immigrated to the United States from Germany to celebrate through song the freedoms of America and the labor movement. The Saenger-Chor is still active today and is headquartered in Old Northside neighborhood in Indianapolis.

Gerresheimer Glass, Inc. Materials Ca. 1946-1972. SC 2863. Five folders. Collection guide online. Gerresheimer Glass Inc., an international company based in Dusseldorf, Germany, specializes in pharma and life sciences glass and plastic ware. They have 42 locations with plants in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The company was founded in 1864 by Ferdinand Heye and began becoming more specialized in the 1980s. This company acquired the Kimble-Kontes Company from Owens-Illinois, Inc. in 1997. This collection contains information about the purchase of land from Mr. and Mrs. Boggs in Warsaw, Indiana by Owens-Illinois, Inc. for a manufacturing plant that would make containers. Included in this collection are: warranty deeds and corporate deeds for the purchase, correspondence that took place before the purchase dealing with issues of building a bridge, zoning, and availability of utilities, as well as purchasing agreements. Also, two oversized surveyor drawings are included that show the Industrial Park as well as the specific property being sold.

Gloesslein, George Michael Papers, 1839-1850. SC 0630, F 0205. Two folders, one reel of microfilm. Collection guide in library. Gloesslein was a German native who settled in Jackson and Lawrence counties. The collection contains nine letters from relatives in Germany as well as typed transcripts and translations.

Gotsch, Clemens Iren Papers, 1861-2004. SC 3002. One folder. Collection guide online. Clemens Iren Gotsch was born March 29, 1836 in Muhlau, Saxony. At the age of 16, he immigrated with his family in 1852 to America and was naturalized in 1858. Sometime before the war, he and his family were living in Olean, Indiana and on May 12, 1861, Iren enlisted as a Private in Company “D” of the 17th Indiana Infantry. Known as the Grand Old 17th, the 17th Indiana participated in many harrowing battles throughout the war, including Elkwater and Greenbrier in Virginia, Corinth in Mississippi, Thompson’s Cove, McMinnville, Farmington and Hoover’s Gap in Tennessee, and Chickamauga, Coosaville and Flat Rock in Georgia. Iren and his comrades were among the few Union cavalry units equipped with the Spencer Carbine in May 1863, and the unit’s speed and stopping power earned them much renown. After engaging in several battles, Iren was wounded in Cleveland, Tennessee on November 27, 1863 and died a month later on December 24 in a Chattanooga hospital. This collection contains a short biographical sketch of Gotsch and the 17th Indiana Infantry compiled by Cheryl Ratz Gross in 2004.

Guedelhoefer, John Wagon Company (Indianapolis, Ind.) Records, 1925-1935. M 0122. One manuscript box, three boxes of photographs, one box of OVA photographs, one Cirkut photograph. Collection guide online. The John Guedelhoefer Wagon Company was founded in 1873 by John Guedelhoefer.  John was born in Germany on December 26, 1832, to John and Anna Guedelhoefer. He was trained in carriage-making from about the age of seventeen. In 1869, he came to Indianapolis. His first shop was opened in 1873 on South Street. In 1886, he bought a triangular lot at the corner of West Georgia Street and Kentucky Avenue, and there built a factory of considerable size. By 1893, he had added an additional building to his blacksmith shop, wagon factory and paint & finish shop. All operations were conducted under John’s personal supervision. John married Magdalina Schmidt and together they had 7 children: William, Julius, August, Mary, Paulina, Otto and Bernard. He died in 1905 in Indianapolis. John’s son August became owner and president of the wagon company after his father's death. Bernard was treasurer. August and his wife Ella had four children: Bertha, John O., Marie and Loretta. John O. Guedelhoefer became owner of the company after his father died, retiring in 1962. The company specialized in delivery wagons. By the 1930s, they were building special truck bodies to suit various customers and then mounting them on chassis supplied by manufacturers like General Motors. Control of the company remained in family hands through the third generation. Finally in 1970, when surviving family members were in their 70s, the company went out of business. The collection pertains primarily to the John Guedelhoefer Wagon Company, though there are some family photographs included as well.

Hagerstown, Indiana Collection, Ca. 1900–Ca. 1920, n.d. P 0226. One half-size box of copy photographs, one box of 4x5 Glass Plates, four boxes of 5x7 Glass Plates, four boxes of 7x9 Glass Plates, two 5x7 Acetate Negatives in cold storage. Collection guide online. Hagerstown, Indiana, is located in the far eastern portion of the state in Wayne County. The town was platted in 1832 and has a population in 2015 of 1,787. Early on religious groups organized in the area, the Salem Baptists being the first in 1816. By 1820, the German Baptists, also called Dunkards, settled near Hagerstown. They came from Germany to escape religious persecution and wore distinctive dark clothing similar to the Quakers. They farmed, built mills and started businesses. The Teetor family was part of this group.

Harwarth, Alfred E. Papers, 1866–1955. M 1082. One half-sized manuscript box, one oversized folder, one box of photographs, seven tintype photographs. Collection guide online. Alfred E. Harwarth (1895–1968) was born in Newark, New Jersey, son of German immigrants, Alfred F. and Emma Kuhn Harwarth. After studying mechanical engineering and mathematics at the Technical University, Charlottenburg (Berlin) Germany he returned to the United States where he was employed as an engineer and draftsman in Florida, Georgia and Virginia before coming to Indianapolis in the early 1950s. He also sold real estate and had several business connections with firms in Germany. He died while visiting in Germany and is buried there. The collection contains Harwarth's family and professional records along with a large number of photographs, 1866–1955.

Hellekson, Ruth Scrapbooks. BV 0575-0576. Two bound volumes. No collection guide available. The collection contains a copy of the 1908 Saengerfest Program, Indianapolis.

Heppner, Ernest G. Collection Ca. 1962-2001. M 0978. One manuscript box, one oversized manuscript box, two folders of black and white images, two folders of color photographs, and ten VHS videos. Collection guide online. Ernest Heppner was born in Breslau, Germany in 1921. In 1939, amidst persecution of the Jewish people in Germany, he and his mother fled to Shanghai, China. He was interned in the Shanghai Ghetto by Japanese armed forces after Pearl Harbor and liberated by U.S. troops at the end of WWII. From 1945 to 1947 Heppner was a civilian employee of the U.S. Advisory Group to the Chinese Armed Forces. Then, in 1947 he came to the U.S. and settled in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1954.

Heuring, Frederick A. Papers, 1861-1907 (bulk, 1861-1864). M 0590, F 1290. One manuscript box, one reel of microfilm. Collection guide online. Born in Germany, Heuring was living in Rockport by 1861. He enlisted with the 25th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War as a chaplain, and served mainly in Missouri and Arkansas. Thirty years later, he seems to have been living in Oklahoma, and he died sometime after 1907. The collection contains a journal (1861-1864), discharge and G.A.R. papers, and clippings. The journal, kept during Heuring’s Civil War service, deals with his duties as chaplain and his concerns about getting wounded soldiers home to recuperate instead of sending them to military hospitals. The journal, kept on a day-to-day basis, also gives Heuring’s personal feelings on a number of military topics.

Hoferer, Martin Letter, August 25, 1875. SC 0766. One folder. No collection guide available. One letter from Hoferer in Ripley County to Mr. Muller which contains agriculture-related news. The letter is in German with transcription and translation.

Hofmann, William Papers, 1840-1888. SC 1995. Three folders. Collection guide in library. Hofmann, a native of Kaiserlauten, Rhinepfalz, came to U.S. in 1850. He settled in Posey County. Hofman was a farmer and also operated a brewery. The collection contains letters to his parents describing the voyage across the Atlantic, life in America, and family information. The letters are in German with English translations.

Hotz, Joseph Civil War Letters, 1861-1865. M 0710, F 0079. One manuscript box, one reel of microfilm. Collection guide online. Joseph Hotz (1832-65) was born near Kinsing (Kinzig) Baden, Germany, and immigrated to Seymour, Jackson County, where he was a farmer. On Oct. 31, 1861, he enlisted in Company A of the 50th Indiana Regiment. Hotz was transferred to the 50th Reserved Battalion, Company E, on March 2, 1864, and was killed at Spanish Fort, Ala., on March 28, 1865. Hotz had a wife named Maria and daughter named Karolina. The collection is comprised of 25 letters written in German by Joseph Hotz while he served with the 50th Indiana Regiment to his wife, Maria, November 1861 to February 1865. These letters apparently are part of a larger collection of original letters. Also included in the collection are two sets of typed translations. The first set contains transcriptions and translations of 112 letters from Hotz to his wife. Written while serving as a private in the 50th Indiana, the letters were written from Bedford, Ind.; Kentucky; Tennessee; Camp Morton (Indianapolis), Arkansas; Louisiana and Alabama, November 1861 to March 1865. Hotz writes of his loneliness and is often disappointed with his wife’s lack of comfort and support. He also inquires about friends and family at home, the health of his daughter, and gives financial instructions regarding the running of the family farm as well as relating the regiment’s engagements and the death of friends. Also included are translations of three letters to Mrs. Hotz from Corporal V. Wicker of the 50th Indiana, Company E, in Mobile, Alabama. Wicker discusses Hotz’s death and his financial accounts with soldiers in the company. The collection also contains a reel of microfilm of approximately 108 of Hotz’s letters to his wife in German and a printed copy of a second set of typed translations of these letters.

Huckenbeck, Karl Heinz--Lee W. Dickey Correspondence, 1944–1947. SC 2996. One folder. Collection guide online. Lee W. Dickey (1919–2003) was born in Indiana and was living in South Bend in the mid- 1930s. He later moved to Indianapolis where he lived with his uncle and worked as a telephone and telegraph linesman. On May 12, 1941, he enlisted in the U. S. Army and was assigned to the Warrant Officers at Fort Benjamin Harrison. Dickey remained in Indianapolis for the remainder of his life. Karl-Heinz Huckenbeck (b. circa 1920) was from Krefeld, North Rhine Westphalia, Germany. He served in the German Afrika Korps during World War II and was taken prisoner by the Americans. He was sent to Fort Benjamin Harrison along with approximately 300 others to provide maintenance on the buildings and perform various other duties at the post. When Ft. Harrison became an Army Disciplinary Barracks for American prisoners in February 1945, Huckenbeck and the other Germans were sent to Fort Knox, Kentucky due to military regulations segregating POWs from American military prisoners. In February 1946, Huckenbeck was moved to a POW camp in England. He remained in England as a POW until at least September 1947. The collection consists of nine letters exchanged between Dickey and Huckenbeck from December 31, 1944 until February 2, 1947.

Iglehart, John E. Papers. M 0153. Nine manuscript boxes. Collection guide online. The papers contain a letter to Richard Barthold, St. Louis, 22 September 1916, expressing gratitude for his support of German-American rights.

Indiana Circuit Court (Marion County) Records, 1821-1868. M 0553. Four manuscript boxes. Collection guide in library. The collection includes suits and documents regarding naturalization, mainly of German and Irish immigrants.

Indianapolis German Freethinker Society, Translation of Minutes, 1870-1890. SC 2060. One folder. Photocopy. No collection guide available. The Freethinkers were members of a religious rationalist organization that attacked Biblical infallibility and advocated natural religion based on man’s moral freedom, this collection contains a translation of their minutes from 1870-1890.

Katterhenry, Christina Letter, November 25, 1861. SC 0896. One folder. No collection guide available. Letter contains lengthy comments about Civil War written from Huntingburg in German with typed translation. 

Kerz Family Photographs, 1895–Ca. 1910. P 0127. One OVA photograph box. Collection guide online. Nickolas Kerz (1845–1907) immigrated from Germany in 1869. He settled in Indianapolis and married another German immigrant, Philippina Bernd (1852–1919) in November 1874. The couple had seven children; Katie, Phillip, Annie, Sadie, the twins Lillie and Tillie, and the youngest Elvira. The collection is comprised of photographs of Kerz family and friends, and school groups.

Klemm, Gerhard Oral History Interview, January 3, 2012. SC 3116. One folder, three DVDs. Collection guide online. Gerhard Klemm was born in Wüstenrot, Germany, in 1940. As a youth in post-World War II Germany, he learned the butchering trade. Then, in the late 1950s, he immigrated to the United States, where he worked for an uncle, Karl W. Klemm, who had already established a meat market known as Klemm’s Meats in Indianapolis, Indiana. Upon Karl W. Klemm’s death in 1967, Otto Straub, nephew of Karl’s wife, Mina, inherited Klemm’s Meats and operated the business until Gerhard Klemm bought this same business in 1969 and renamed it Klemm’s German Sausage and Meats. Gerhard Klemm produced Old Worldstyle sausages, which he sold at Indianapolis’s City Market and then at a shop on the city’s Near South Side until 2003, when he sold the business to Claus Muth and retired. In 1969, he married Evelin Stark. They have three children. Throughout his years in Indianapolis, he has been active in various organizations, several of which are associated with the city’s German community. This manuscript was transcribed from a digitally recorded interview conducted on January 3, 2012, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, by Kendra E. Clauser, Indiana Historical Society’s oral history archivist for the project from 2011 to 2013.

Kolyer, Silvia, Art History Term Paper. SC 0933. One folder. No collection guide available. The paper is on the German contribution to Indianapolis architecture.

Lange, Albert Autobiographical Letter, March 25, 1858. SC 0955. One folder. Photostat. No collection guide available. The letter contains a description of early life and coming to America from Germany in 1830 after five years of imprisonment for treason.

Law, William H. and John Papers. SC 0963. One folder. No collection guide available. Collection contains a letter of  November 5, 1838, from J.B. McCall to John Law concerning the hiring of immigrants to work on Wabash and Erie Canal through Lamasco.

Lieber, Meta Papers, 1896-1922. M 0183. Two manuscript boxes. Collection guide in library. The collection contains printed items such as programs from plays, concerts, etc., including many from German-related organizations and events.

Mayer, Charles Papers, 1838-1895. SC 1055. Five folders. Typed transcripts. Collection guide in library. The collection tells of the voyage to U.S. from Germany, coming to Indianapolis and going into business.

Mayer, Charles And Company, Ca. 1930. SC 2429. One folder. Collection guide online. This collection contains two short typed histories of Charles Mayer and Company, dating from about 1930; and an 11-page mimeographed account of reunions of the company's employees which began in 1923. It also gives a history of a number of employees, some going back to the 1880s.

Megganhoffer, Charles William Genealogy Notebook, ca. 1900-1975. SC 2021. One folder. No collection guide available. Charles Megganhoffer worked on the Monon Railroad.  He lived in Lafayette and Indianapolis in Indiana but he was a native of Chilicothe, Ohio. His father was born in Frankfort, Germany. 

Mueller Family Collection, 1900s-1980s. SC 3022. One folder, two PAA boxes, two PAB boxes. Collection guide online. The collection contains one folder of genealogical materials relating to the Mueller family (and its extended relations to the Vonnegut, Schnull, and Schramm families) and four photograph albums. The first photograph album is of unidentified people, presumably relatives of the Mueller family. The remaining three photograph albums pertain directly to the Mueller family. One photograph album features photographs of Clemens Otto Mueller and his immediate and extended family members from 1907-1910, and two photograph albums feature photographs of Clemens' daughter, Marjorie Jean Mueller: one album of her early childhood from 1918–1921 and the other album from 1935-1944. The later album of Marjorie Jean Mueller's life contains many photographs of her time at DePauw University and John Herron School of Arts. The photographs in albums directly pertaining to the Mueller family are generally well-labeled, which would allow identification of many family members via reference materials in the genealogical folder.

Orndorff, James Marriage License, June 2, 1880. OM 0184. One oversize folder. No collection guide available. The marriage license is in German.

Ostermeier-Buesking Family Papers, 1849-1979 (bulk 1885-1927). M 0665, OM 0335. One box, one oversize folder. Collection guide online. The papers in this collection center around Sophie Luise Eleanor (Ellen) Schwartz, Christian Ostermeier and Frederick Buesking. Sophie (Ellen) Schwartz (1849-1921) was born in Frille, Westphalia, Germany. She and her two siblings immigrated to the United States with their parents, Antoine and Caroline, around 1850 and planned to settle in Indianapolis. Two days after the family’s arrival in Indianapolis, Antoine was dead of typhoid. With the assistance of other family members who had arrived in the area earlier, Caroline and her children settled and farmed a plot of land in Buck Creek Township, Hancock County. In 1871, Ellen Schwartz married fellow German immigrant, Christian Friedrich Anton Ostermeier (1842-1874), and they had two children, Charles Gottlieb and William Henry. After Christian Ostermeier’s death, Ellen worked at the Anton Schildmeier farm where she met and married Frederick Buesking (1855-1936), originally from Neunknick, Germany, in 1878. They returned to farming on her homestead in Hancock County, which she had settled with her first husband. Frederick and Ellen Buesking produced four children, Albert, Edward, Caroline and Julia. The collection consists of letters sent to Frederick Buesking and his family from relatives in Neuenknick, Depenbrock and Seelenfeld, Germany, 1885-1927. Topics include family news, local happenings, farming information exchanges, the military draft in Germany and World War I. The tone of the letters are very religious and optimistic in nature. They included English translations by Ilse Edwards of Indianapolis. Also included are family documents such as birth certificates, wedding licenses, naturalization papers and certificates, 1849-1930. There is also a copy of the Ostermeier/Buesking family history by Jacqueline K. Johnson, 1979, and other related genealogical information. 

Palmer Family Papers, 1865; 1918–1948. M 1018. One manuscript box, two oversize folders, artifacts. Collection guide online. The collection contains papers relating to three individuals: Carl Klinefelt; Roy W. Palmer; and Roy M. Palmer. Carl Klinefelt was born in Germany in 1839 and was married to Roma Klinefelt and immigrated to LaPorte County, Indiana. He enlisted as private in the 21st Battery, Indiana Light Artillery in September 1862, and was mustered out in June 1865. Roy W. Palmer was born in Rochester, Fulton County, Indiana; in 1897, he was a farmer and a teacher in LaPorte County. In April 1918, he was drafted into the U. S. Army, promoted to corporal in July and discharged on November of the same year apparently due to health reasons. Roy M. Palmer, son of Roy W., was born in LaPorte County in 1921. He entered the Army Air Corps in 1943, was promoted to staff sergeant and served as a member of the 879th Bomb Group, 20th Air Force as a radio operator on a B-29 bomber in the Pacific, 1944-1945. After the war, Palmer returned to LaPorte County and married Noreen Mae Schultz (1924-2008) in 1947 and they had three sons and one daughter. Palmer died on April 19, 1997. Collection includes Carl Klinefelt's Civil War discharge, June 26, 1865.

Paul Harris Stores, Inc. Collection, 1971–2001. M 1021. One half-width manuscript box, one OMB box, one folder photographs, two folders color photographs, one bound volume, two cassette tapes, one OVA graphic. Collection guide online. Paul Harris Stores, Inc. was incorporated by the company’s co-founders, Gerald Paul and Earl Harris, on 8 April 1952. Born 28 September 1924, Paul and his family fled from Nazi Germany to Indianapolis in 1937, where his cousin was president of the Real Silk Hosiery Co. Here Paul spun and shaped stockings and established a store for employees that sold apparel that failed to meet quality standards. After this successful endeavor, Paul became merchandise manager at Real Silk, where he met Earl Harris, an employee of Huntington Manufacturing Co. After becoming friends, Paul and Harris established their first company, Packaged Apparel, in 1952. The company sold prepackaged merchandise to other manufacturers, but afforded the men little creativity, so in 1954 Paul and Harris opened their first store in a strip mall in Plainfield, Indiana. The store offered clothing for the entire family and gradually expanded. Paul and Harris opened a second location in a strip mall located in Indianapolis, eventually expanding within Indiana and adjacent states. The collection centers around the retail company, rather than its two owners.

Paul, Dorit Oral History Interview, 2011. SC 2930. Collection guide online. One folder, two DVDs. Dorit Paul (1928- ), nee Selig, was born in Mannheim, Germany to Bertha and Rudolph Ludwig Selig. In response to Hitler’s anti-Semitic campaign, her family moved to Switzerland and then to New York City in 1938. She attended public school until transferring to a private high school where she enjoyed studying history, math, English literature, and biology. She attended Radcliffe College and continued on to Columbia University to complete graduate studies in English Literature. Folder 1 contains the transcript of an oral history interview with Dorit Paul and a life history form. The DVDs contain a WAV file audio recording of Paul’s oral history interview.

Paul, Gerald Oral History Interview, 2011. SC 2929. One folder, two DVDs. Collection guide online. Gerald Paul was born on 28 September 1924 in Witten, Germany where he lived with his mother and father, Leopold and Selina Paul. Gerald Paul faced many challenges growing up a Jewish child in the 1930s Germany. While attending the Gymnasium, a classical, college-preparatory school, Paul was one of two Jewish students. His teachers constantly demanded he answer questions and then whipped him if he didn’t know the answers. When life for German Jews became increasingly difficult, Paul’s family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana because his father had family there. Folder 1 contains the transcript of an oral history interview with Gerald Paul and a life history form. The DVDs contain a WAV file audio recording of Mr. Paul’s oral history interview

Peppertown, Indiana Cemetery Records, 1986. SC 2139. Four folders. Photocopy. No collection guide available. The collection includes German Lutheran Cemetery records and burial records of German immigrants that were compiled by Helen Moore.

Pertuch Family Photographs, Ca. 1880–1884. P 0554. One folder photographs. Collection guide online. Richard Pertuch (pronounced per-too) was born October 24, 1855 in Saxony, Germany. He immigrated to the United States from Scotland in 1871. He worked as a clerk for various companies in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for a few years in the mid-1870s, and while there he became a U.S. citizen in 1876. Eventually he attended a school in Milwaukee for gymnastics instruction. He was then assigned to Evansville, Indiana, where he married Ella Lohse on August 31, 1879. This collection consists of photographs of members of the Richard Pertuch family, the Lockerbie Street house where they lived, and a souvenir booklet from the Lockerbie Street Fair.

Pleasant Run Children's Home (Indianapolis). 1867-1987. M 0227, OMB 0016, BV 1700-1708, BV 1884-1885, BV 1920-1922. Six boxes, fourteen bound volumes, two oversize boxes. Collection guide online. The Deutschen Allgemeinen Protestantischen Waisenvereins was founded in 1867 as an orphanage by a German-American fraternal organization. In 1918, the association changed its official language from German to English and its name to the General Protestant Orphan Association. In the 1960s, neglected and pre-delinquent children became the focus of the home. The name was changed to the Pleasant Run Children’s Home in 1971. In the 1980s, the focus changed to a group home setting. By 1993, there were five group homes serving children who were mostly wards of the court. Most records before 1918 are in German. The collection contains minutes of the board (1867-1985); historical and financial records; histories of the home; superintendent reports; tax reports and audits; records of the ladies’ auxiliary (1902-1918); and records of children in the home (1873-1952). There are also three 1948 photographs and two bronze plaques are stored in the Artifacts collection. There are materials in the collection that are restricted until all items in those folders and/or bound volumes are at least 75 years of age.

Pleasant Run Children's Home (Indianapolis) Records Addition, 1974-2001. M 1228, OMB 0016. Sixteen manuscript boxes, one half manuscript box, one oversize folder, one large framed item, two artifacts. Collection guide online. See previous entry for historical information on the organization. This collection represents an addition to the original Pleasant Run Children’s Home manuscript collection (M0227). It primarily consists of board and committee meeting minutes, correspondence, and related material. Some folder contents are in reverse chronological order, as this is how they were kept by the organization. There are materials in the collection that are restricted until all items in those folders are at least 75 years of age.

Rapp, Frederick Papers, 1816-1827. SC 2441. Two folders. Collection guide online. Frederick Rapp was the adopted son of George Rapp and founder of the Harmony Society, which left Germany in 1803, and settled in Pennsylvania before moving to 20,000 acres in southwest Indiana in 1814. He served as the society’s leader and spokesman, was a delegate to the 1816 Indiana Constitutional Convention and was a member of the 1820 commission to locate a new state capital. The collection consists mostly of letters written to Rapp from Shawneetown and Edwardsville, Ill., and Vincennes. Many are introductions for individuals visiting or passing through New Harmony. There is also an invoice of goods received, a cash account and letters regarding financial matters. Two letters are in German script.

Rauh, Samuel E. and Charles S. Papers, 1900-1948. M 0406. Two manuscript boxes. Collection guide online. Samuel E. Rauh immigrated from Germany to Dayton, Ohio, as a child. After working in the family business there, he moved to Indianapolis in 1874 and ran a number of businesses in the areas of tanning, fertilizer production, meat packing, railroads, stockyards, banking, realty and public utilities. His son Charles S. joined him in business and succeeded him upon his death. The collection includes personal and business correspondence and documents dealing with family businesses in Indianapolis and Dayton. Businesses include the Indianapolis Belt Railroad and Stock Yards Company, E. Rauh & Sons, Rauh Realty Company, Bedford Stone and Construction Company, Kahn Tailoring Company, Peoples Light and Heat Company, and the family’s hide business. Family papers contain correspondence, estate documents for Samuel Rauh’s brothers, home finances, Charles Rauh’s Christmas cards, clippings, cards from his wallet, insurance documents, and materials concerning donations to Jewish charities.

Recker Family Photographs, 1880s-1890s. P0433. One folder photographs. Collection guide online. Gottfried Recker was born ca. 1835 in Prussia. He was in the furniture business with Theodore Sander at their company, Sander & Recker, at 103-107 East Washington Street in Indianapolis in the 1880s. Gottfried’s wife, Lena, was born circa 1842 in Baden. In 1880 they lived in Indianapolis at 238 New Jersey St. This collection consists of two cartes-de-visite, three cabinet cards, and one panel card (8 ¼” x 4”) photograph of members of the Recker family of Indianapolis. The photographs date from the 1880s to the 1890s. The portraits included are of the following members of the Recker family: Armin W., Camilla, Gustav, and Max. Max is shown with a violin in two of the photographs.

Reichmann, Eberhard Papers, 1910-1988 (bulk, 1910-1928). M 0438. One manuscript box. Collection guide online. Born in Germany, Reichmann immigrated to the U.S. in 1953, took a doctorate in languages and taught German Studies at Indiana University from 1959-1989. He is the author of numerous books and articles on German immigration and Indiana German Americana. The collection contains musical and theatrical programs from Indianapolis theaters and other locations in Indiana and other states from the 1910s to the 1920s collected by Reichmann. Most of the programs are from the Murat Theatre and English’s Opera House, both in Indianapolis. Also included are programs from the Walther League Convention, a Lutheran singing society, 1916-1921. Many items deal with productions by German composers or German Americana. About 20 percent of the collection is in German.

Sahm, Louis (Ludwig) Diary, 1856-1858. SC 2341. One folder. Collection guide online. Born Ludwig Sahm in Germany, Louis immigrated with his wife to Texas in 1844; they moved to Indianapolis ca. 1848. Sahm assisted in the construction of Union Station and owned a grocery store from 1862 until his death. He also helped organize the first German Reformed Church in Indianapolis. The collection consists of a personal diary written in Indianapolis from October 9, 1856, to January 1, 1858. The entire volume is in German.

Saint Peter's German Reformed Church (Saint Peter, Ind.) Records, 1860-1926. SC 2010. One folder. No collection guide available. The collection contains a photocopy of records from the church for the years 1860-1926.

Salem Evangelical Church Register, 1869-1950. M 0341.  One manuscript box. Photostats. No collection guide available. The materials are for the Salem Evangelical Church in Wanatah, LaPorte County. Most of the records are in German.

Schliemann, Heinrich Papers, 1869-1960 (bulk 1869-1870). M 0378. One manuscript box. Photostats. Collection guide online. Born in Germany, Schliemann lived in several European countries and made his fortune working in international commerce and the export business. Schliemann had no formal training in archaeology, but he is best remembered for his excavations of Troy. In 1852, he married a Russian woman, Catherina Lishin, who later refused to leave St. Petersburg or to allow their three children to leave, to travel with Schliemann on business or archaeological pursuits. In 1869, he decided to divorce his wife and moved to Indianapolis to take advantage of Indiana’s lax divorce laws. The collection contains photostats of Schliemann’s letters in English, German, Greek, French and Russian, 1869-1870, written while he was in Indianapolis, and translations and notes made circa 1950-1960. The letters deal with business matters and the progress of Schliemann’s divorce.

Schnee, Jacob Biography, 1784-1938. By Mary Lou Robson Fleming. SC 2052. One folder. No collection guide available. Schnee was a Lutheran Minister, utopian community pioneer, publisher and one of the earliest German printers in America. Founded communities in Pennsylvania, Maryland and leased 800 acres of land east of New Harmony in 1827. 

Schramm Family Papers, 1842-1930 (bulk 1851-1911). M 0248, BV 1736-1738, BV 2107-2108, F 0286-0292. Five manuscript boxes, five bound volumes, seven reels of microfilm. Collection guide online. Jacob Schramm came to the United States from Germany in 1835 and settled on a farm in Sugar Creek Township, Hancock County, in 1836. His son, Wilhelm August Schramm, farmed and was an insurance agent in Hancock and Marion counties. The collection contains August Schramm’s diaries (1851-1908); the early volumes are in German and the remainder are in English. Topics include family, farming, social life, travel, politics, business conditions and the German community in central Indiana. Also included are farm cashbooks in German kept by August and Gustav Schramm; Anna Schramm’s writing book; correspondence; a draft of An Account of the Journey of Jacob Schramm, translated by Emma Vonnegut; and The Life of Jacob Schramm, handwritten in German by August Schramm with an English translation.

Schramm-Schnull-Mueller Family Collection, 1868-1992. M 1085. Seven manuscript boxes, two photograph boxes, one color photograph folder. Collection guide online. Jakob (Jacob) Schramm was born in 1805 on a hops farm in Bavaria. In 1835 he left Germany and sailed to America with his wife, Johanna (Junghans) and daughter, having previously arranged the purchase of one hundred and sixty acres of land in Sugar Creek Township through a friend. The Schramm's proceeded from New York to Hancock County, Indiana. Mr. Schramm was a successful farmer and business man. He was the first man in Hancock County to engage in the manufacture of drain tile. Jacob's second daughter, Matilda, (1835-1902) married Henry Schnull on December 11, 1856 in Hancock County. Henry Schnull (1833-1905) was born in Hausberge, Porta Westphalica, Germany. Schnull began as a farm produce buyer and became a successful retail grocer. A & H Schnull (later named Severin, Schnull & Co.) was the first wholesale grocery on Meridian Street in Indianapolis. Henry Schnull was the founder and first President of Merchants National Bank, as well as one of the originators of The German House (Das Deutsche Haus) one of the leading German clubs in the west. Henry and Matilda had 4 children. Their two eldest daughters, Emma (1857-1939) and Nannie (1860-1929) married Clemens and Bernard Vonnegut, brothers from Indianapolis. Emma and Clemens were married on September 4, 1878 in Indianapolis. Clemens, of Clemens Vonnegut Hardware, was also the president of the Indianapolis Coffin Company. Nannie and Bernard Vonnegut were married on September 19, 1883. Bernard studied architecture in Hanover, Germany, and became a partner in the Vonnegut-Bohn Architecture Firm in Indianapolis. The firm designed such well known Indianapolis landmarks as the Athenaeum, The Fletcher Trust Bank Building, Shortridge High School, and both the L.S. Ayres and Wm. H. Block Store Buildings. Bernard was the father of architect Kurt Vonnegut Sr. and the grandfather of author Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Shambaugh, Adam, “Early Days on the Wabash River, Indiana.” SC 2152. One folder. Photostats.No collection guide available. Contains chapter on many of the United Brethren preachers active in Indiana.

Speyer, Hanswerner Papers, 1920-1956. M 0534. Three manuscript boxes. Collection guide online. A native of Freiberg, Germany, Speyer immigrated to the U.S. in 1921. Trained in mechanical engineering, he worked as a toolmaker for several companies, including the Ford Motor Company in Detroit (circa 1923-1928). Speyer came to Indianapolis as a representative of the Dual Duty Company, a truck transport firm, and in 1931, he acquired his own trucking business. Initially called Contract Carriers Inc., the company went through several name changes including: Transportation Fuel and Supplies Inc.; Cincinnati, Eastern Indiana, and Indianapolis Motor Express Company; and the AAA Transportation Inc. Company. The operation continued into the 1950s. The collection contains Speyer’s correspondence, business records, literary articles and translations. Personal correspondence is from family and friends in Germany (Freiberg, Berlin and Freital) and Forbach, France. Topics include family news and general conditions in Germany and France from 1920 until after World War II. There is also correspondence from family and friends in the U.S., including requests to help relatives in Germany obtain visas and advice to new immigrants. Also included is correspondence to U.S. officials concerning developments in post World War II Germany and efforts to locate his sister. Speyer’s business and financial papers include records from his trucking business; a legal suit against the Indiana Public Service Commission; and charges regarding the sale of coal below minimum price. Other items include his patent drawings, and his literary writings and translations for magazines. Most of the collection is in German, including some correspondence in Fraktur.

Stein, Theodore. SC 1404. One folder. No collection guide available. Clothing Account of German Co. A, 60th Indiana Regiment, December 20, 1862.

Verein Bavaria, 1888-1951. OM 0542, BV 2249-2250. One oversize folder, two bound volumes. Collection guide online. Verein Bavaria (the Bavarian Society) was one of the dozens of German cultural clubs that arose in nineteenth-century Indianapolis. Such societies provided support for immigrants, sought to preserve German culture and language, and served as general social clubs. They often even provided health and death benefits. While many were organized by trade, others like the Verein Bavaria were based on the region from which members or their ancestors had emigrated. Verein Bavaria disbanded in the latter half of the twentieth century and in 1994 was no longer listed among the clubs belonging to the Indianapolis Federation of German Societies. Included in this collection are two bound volumes, comprising the Verein Bavaria minutes for the years 1888 through 1950. All the minutes are written in German. Also included is a poster advertising the Cincinnati Bavarian Society’s “A Night in Munich” event, held July 14, 1951.

Voigt, Lucille Winkler Collection, circa 1897. P 0019. One box OVA photographs. Collection guide online. Frederick Fahnley was a German immigrant and milliner. Mr. Fahnley was president of the Fahnley & McCrea Millinery Company and was a leader in the wholesale millinery trade in Indianapolis for nearly half a century. Fahnley was a native of Wurttemberg, Germany, born in 1839; he immigrated to America in 1854 when he was 15 years old. He worked several years in Ohio and began an independent business career in 1860 with the opening of a general store. In 1865 he moved to Indianapolis and organized the wholesale millinery firm of Stiles, Fahnley & McCrea. The collection consists of 12 interior photographs of the Frederick Fahnley home at 350 North Meridian St., four portraits of the Fahnley family, and a note about an oral history interview with Mrs. Bowman Elder of Pike Township concerning the preservation of two fireplace mantels from the Fahnley home

Vonnegut And Bohn Architectural Renderings, 1896, 1911. P 0160. Two oversize folders. Collection guide online. Both Vonnegut and Bohn, acclaimed local architects, came from immigrant German families. Bernard Vonnegut (1855-1908) and Arthur Bohn (b. 1861) acquired their architectural training in Germany. They first worked together as teachers in 1884 at an industrial training school. By 1888 they formed their architectural firm and their first major project was Das Deutsche Haus (now the Athenaeum) constructed between 1893 and 1897. Bernard Vonnegut died in 1908 and his son Kurt joined the firm and the partnership continued. It was during this later period that the William H. Block Company building was designed and built. Over the years the firm was responsible for several outstanding buildings throughout the state. Arthur Bohn retired in the 1940s and since then the firm acquired new partners and changed its name. The collection contains two watercolor renderings of buildings designed by the architectural firm of Vonnegut and Bohn: the Athenaeum (Das Deutsche Haus) and the William H. Block Company. The renderings are in color and show the finished buildings as conceived by the architects.

Breidenbach, Heinrick Materials, 1828-1837. SC 0130. One folder. Collection guide in library. Photocopy. This collection contains a traveling journeyman’s book for papermaker Heinrick Breidenbach. Born in Germany, he lived in Orange and Dubois counties in Indiana. In addition to the book, the collection also contains a naturalization certificate, and a marriage record. 

Weber, Gottfried Autobiography, 1877. SC 2290. Two folders. Photocopy. No collection guide available. Born in Hanover, Germany, Weber worked on the canal in Ohio and Indiana.

Wied, Maximilian Prinz Von Letter And Portrait, 1832, 1837. SC 1675. One folder, one OVB graphic folder. Collection guide online. Prince Maximilian of Wied-Neuwied, German aristocrat, naturalist, ethnographer and explorer was born September 23, 1782. Wied, accompanied by two companions traveled to the United Sates and visited New Harmony, Indiana. It was there that his portrait was drawn by local artist Virginia Poullard Dupalais. The collection is comprised of one 3 page letter written by Maximilian Prinz von Wied and his portrait sketch. The letter was translated by Miss Florence Venn, Indiana Historical Society librarian 1934-1939. The letter is fragile so a handwritten translation and a typed version are available for patron use.

Williams, Mary Dean Papers, 1850-1986. M 0460, OM 0181. One manuscript box, one oversize folder. Collection guide online. Williams, born Mary Dean Whitmer, was born in Shelby County. She worked in Indianapolis and married businessman Russell Williams in 1925. The collection contains family correspondence, diary and letter excerpts, a scrapbook, memoirs, a list of heirlooms and a birth certificate. The 1850 birth certificate is of Maria Louisa Witmer, Shelby County, and is in German. The scrapbook contains clippings of a newspaper series about Indianapolis from 1836-1936. The correspondence is between Williams and Whitmer family members, 1922-1943. There are also photocopies of diary and letter excerpts of Williams and her female relatives (1901-1928), Williams’ memoirs, and an heirloom record. 

Wolter, Adolph Gustav Collection, Ca. 1900–1981. M 1112. Two manuscript boxes, one bound volume, one color photograph box, one photographs box, eight graphic boxes, one OVA graphic box, two oversize graphic folders, two photograph albums stored in one PAB size box, one bin of 35 mm acetate negatives, three artifacts. Collection guide online. Adolph Gustav Wolter von Ruemelin, transplanted sculptor in Hoosierland, was born on September 7, 1903, in Reutlingen (Baden-Württemberg), Germany, in the southern region of that country. The second of three sons, he was educated in the local schools and confirmed in the town’s Roman Catholic Church where his father Karl Wolter was chief sculptor. He graduated from the local school, and as a teenager attended the community’s technical school (a Gewerbeschule) serving a three-year sculpturing apprenticeship with his father where he studied architecture, stone and metal. In due course he matriculated to the Academy of Fine Arts (now called Die Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Kunste) in Stuttgart where students enjoyed a reputation for their self-motivation and initiative. Before his twentieth birthday Wolter immigrated (1922) to the United States and dropped the von Ruemelin following his arrival to this country. Wolter stopped first in Minneapolis, and later resided for varying lengths of time in Milwaukee and Chicago where he was commissioned to do stone carving and sculpture for churches and buildings in Milwaukee, Chicago, Cincinnati and Hew Haven, Connecticut. Finally settling in Indianapolis in 1933, when the Indiana State Library hired him to carve symbolic relief sculptures for the library exterior. The collection includes drawings, sketchbooks, photographs, slides, architectural drawings, photograph albums and manuscript material made and collected by Indiana sculptor Adolph Gustav Wolter.

Zur Oeveste, Johann Heinrich Papers, 1834-1939. SC 2042, OM 0188. Two folders, two oversize folders. Photocopies. No collection guide available. Zue Oeveste was a farmer in Bartholomew County and in Kansas.


Badollet, John Papers, 1768-1901. F 0032. One reel of microfilm. No collection guide available. John Badollet was born in Switzerland. The collection also includes three letters of L. Gex Obussier, 1836-1837.

DuFour, John James et al. SC 1687. One folder. No collection guide available. Covenant d’association pour l’etablissement des terres de Suisserland fur le fleuve de l’Ohio. January 20, 1803. The document outlines the establishment of a colony of Swiss vintners in what would become Switzerland County, Indiana. Translation printed in IHS Publications, vol. 13.

Gay, R. Henry Letters. SC 0617. One folder. No collection guide available. Two letters of R. Henry Gay, written from Cannelton, Indiana December 23, 1857, and January 9, 1858. It is noted in the letters that the Swiss Colonization Society is settling here, buying land and provides a description of land and location.

Heberhart Family Collection, 1874, Cs. 1890s–Cs. 1910, 1922. P 0445. One manuscript box, one bound volume. Collection guide online. Francis C. Heberhart Sr. was born in Switzerland and was married to a woman named Anna Elizabeth (b. March 25, 1797 in Switzerland, d. February 5, 1881), and had two daughters, Rosalie and Elizabeth, and a son, Francis C. Heberhart Jr. Francis “Frank” Heberhart Jr. married Matilda V. Childs. Frank was born in Ohio, and Matilda was born in Switzerland. According to the census, they lived in Madison, Indiana, in 1870 and 1880 and had four children living with them, all born in Indiana: Charles E., Mary, Emma H., and William G. Frank was working as a clerk in a brewery, and Charles was working as a clerk in a store. Charles E. Heberhart married Jennie McClure (b. October 28, 1855, d. May 15, 1893) on October 14, 1873 in Jefferson County, Indiana. By 1874, Charles was in partnership with Ben Abberger, running Heberhart and Abberger’s Drug Store on Mulberry Street in Madison. Charles’s younger brother, William, also worked at the store. This collection consists of 26 mounted black-and-white photographs, one diary, one small pharmacy log book, and one theater voucher.

Hirshbrunner, John Caspar Autobiography, 1900-1997. SC 1666. One folder. Collection guide online. A native of Berne, Switzerland, Hirshbrunner worked as a journeyman tanner until he immigrated to New York in 1851. In 1853, he married and moved to Indianapolis. The family moved to Terre Haute in 1856, then to Parke County in 1859, settling in Lusk Springs and then Rockville. The collection contains a photocopied 16-page typescript of Hirshbrunner’s 1900 autobiography, and a 1997 edited and bound version of the typescript, including photocopies of family photographs. There are also two pages of notes by Hirshbrunner’s great-granddaughter, Melita J. Campbell. Topics include Hirshbrunner’s childhood and youth in Switzerland; his years as a journeyman tanner; his immigration to the U.S.; and life in Indiana.

Martin, Jacques Coorespondence and Journal. M 0345. One manuscript box. No collection guide available. Translation of the book, Le Rendex-vous Americàin, Correspondence et Journal Inédits de Jacque Martin, 1853-1868. Swiss immigrant who owned a ferry in Spencer County and served in 6th Ohio Regiment during the Civil War, 1861-1864.

Obussier, Louis Gex Papers, 1803–1843. SC 0620. Four folders. Collection guide online. Louis Gex Obussier (1761–1845) was born in Canton de Vaud, Switzerland. He married his first wife, Lucille, sometime before 1790 and they produced six children. Gex Obussier came to the United States in the early 1800s on behalf of Swiss merchant Jean Mennet to manage land he had supposedly purchased in Virginia. The land proved non productive and Gex ended up joining John Dufour’s Swiss settlement at Vevay, Switzerland County in Indiana Territory where he was a farmer and wine maker. The papers primarily deal with Louis Gex Obussier’s business operations and are mainly in French, 1803-1843.

Perry County Microfilm. F 0180. One reel of microfilm. Swiss Colonization Society Papers, 1852-1859. Collection guide in library.

Scherrer, Adolph Papers, 1853–1928. M 0245. One manuscript box, two bound volumes, two OVB size photograph folders. Collection guide online. The architect Adolph Scherrer (1847-1925) designed many important public structures and residences in the city of Indianapolis during the late 19th century. He was born in Switzerland and studied in Vienna and Budapest before coming to the United States about 1870. Practicing first in New York City and Chicago he moved to Indianapolis about 1873. His first position here was as a draftsman for Indianapolis’ leading architect Edwin May. In 1878 May was commissioned to design the new state capitol but died in 1880 soon after the project began. The building was completed by Scherrer in 1888. By 1891, he was appointed to the first Indianapolis Board of Public Works. Scherrer’s sons, Anton and Herman, were also architects and worked in collaboration with their father and continued after his death as Adolph Scherrer and Sons.

 Zulauf, John Papers. M 0308, BV 1769-1772. One box, four bound volumes. Collection guide in library. Zulauf came from Thurgan, Switzerland, to Clark County. He operated a lace and silk importing store in Louisville, Ky., and employed Swiss heirs of John Fischli (d. 1838). The bulk of the letters are in German to Zulauf from family and employers in Switzerland, 1835-1866.