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Women’s History, Individual and Family, U-Z

VAWTER, JENNIE. Diary, 1868-1879. SC 2444. Two folders. Collection guide online. Jennie Vawter was born in 1846 and lived in Ripley County, ca. 1860 to 1880. She married John M. Vawter, also of Ripley County, in 1868. The diary in this collection mentions church, social activities and family.

WALHEISER, MARY SUSAN. Papers, ca. 1938. SC 2305. One folder. Collection guide online. Mary Susan Walheiser, born 1891 in Bedford, attended Western College in Oxford, Ohio, Purdue University, and Bedford Business College. During World War I, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a yeoman 3rd and 2nd class in the Navy Department. This collection consists of a card mounted with two photographs of Walheiser, one in mufti and one in uniform, and a typed biographical sketch.

WALKER, BERNICE. Collection, 1931-1984. M 0541. Six boxes. Collection guide in library. Bernice Walker (1905- ), a resident of Indianapolis, was born in Anderson. She attended Bookwood College in New York, majoring in industrial relations and psychology. Walker worked for Wainwright Music Camp, the Fort Benjamin Harrison Army Finance Center and the Internal Revenue Service. The collection contains biographical material; correspondence; and materials related to the Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Indianapolis, women’s missionary societies, Alpha Pi Chi sorority (a national service organization), the Phyllis Wheatley YWCA and other organizations. Part of the Black Women in the Middle West Project.

WALKER, MADAM C.J. Collection, 1910-1980. M 0399, OMB 0022, BV 2667-2678. One hundred twenty-six boxes, twelve volumes. Collection guide online. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-390. Businesswoman Madam C.J. (Sarah Breedlove) Walker was a laundress in St. Louis (1880s-1890s); and manufacturer and seller of hair products for black women in St. Louis, Denver, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis. Her business was incorporated as the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company in Indianapolis (1911). She was an owner of a factory in Indianapolis, director of a nationwide network of agents and beauty schools, and a prominent black philanthropist. The collection consists of records and correspondence of the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company and its principal officers. The collection also includes the correspondence and business papers of Madam Walker and A’Lelia Walker Robinson.

WALLACE, LEW. Collection, 1799-1972. M 0292, OMB 0023, F 0370-0380, F 0643-0654, F 0805-0809, F 1123-1124. Twenty-six boxes, thirty microfilm reels. Collection guide online. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-391. Included in the collection are the letters of Susan Elston Wallace (1830-1907), wife of Lew Wallace, a Civil War general, diplomat and author, consisting of family correspondence, letters to her son from Europe, Turkey and Egypt, and correspondence with publishers regarding her own writings.

WALSER, ETTA. Diary, 1900. SC 2629.One item. Collection guide online. Walser was probably a young girl who lived near Bluffton, Wells County; her family rented rooms to boarders. The diary kept by Etta Walser for the year 1900 contains references to a W.A. and William Ley. The diary describes school and church events, daily family activities and visitors. Following the diary are treatments for bee stings, burns and consumption.

WALTERS, JOANN. Papers, 1972-1993. M 0150. One box. Collection guide online. Joann Walters grew up in Orange County. After 1975 she moved to Indianapolis. The collection contains a wide variety of correspondence, dealing with issues faced by women in the last quarter of the 20th century.

WATERS, PHYLLIS WHEATLEY. Collection, 1910-1971. M 0589. Two boxes. Collection guide in library. Phyllis Wheatley Waters (ca. 1898-1973) was a native of West Virginia who lived most of her life in Indiana. She received a bachelor’s degree in French from the University of Michigan in 1917. Following graduation, she headed up the Language Department at West Virginia State University. One year later, she began employment with the Indianapolis Public Schools. She received a master’s degree from Butler University and taught at Crispus Attucks High School and School #17, retiring in 1968 after 48 years. Waters was a precinct committeewoman and ward chairman, who ran unsuccessfully for the state legislature in 1960. Active in Republican Party politics, she served out an unexpired term on the Indianapolis City Council in 1967. The collection includes biographical information about Waters and correspondence dating from 1910 to 1971. Much of the correspondence is written between Waters and family members, most notably Phil Waters, her father. There are about a dozen letters (dated from 1910 to 1922) addressed to Phyllis W. Waters from journalist T. Thomas Fortune. Signing his letters “Uncle Tim,” Fortune offers advice to Waters, often writing from the offices of the Washington Eagle and Nolfolk Journal and Guide.

WEATHERFORD, RUBY M. Papers, 1904-1970. M 0791, OM 0403. Four document cases, one folder negatives, eight cellulose acetate negatives. Collection guide online. Ruby Mae (Buchanan) Weatherford (1889-1970) was born in Hicks, near Madison, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Jane Means Buchanan. She married Ira V.J.T. Weatherford (d. 1968) on Aug. 17, 1907, and the union bore 12 children. Ruby Weatherford was a homemaker, and also sold farm products and taught music to supplement the family income. In the late 1920s, she wrote advertising jingles for local businesses. She began writing poetry around 1925. A number of her works were published in local newspapers over the years. The collection primarily consists of typescripts and drafts of original poems, fiction and lyrics. The material is arranged in three series: Series 1: Poetry, Lyrics, and Fiction; Series 2: Buchanan and Weatherford Families; and Series 3: Pendleton and Anderson.

WEATHERS, MARGARET R. Papers, 1945. OM 0200. One folder. No collection guide available. Document certifying Weathers as a probation officer, dated Nov. 29, 1945.

WEBB FAMILY. Correspondence, 1861-1878. SC 2639. Two folders. Collection guide online. This collection consists of correspondence written or received by members of the Webb family, who were residents of Orange County and Washington County. The majority is between Mary Ann Webb and Thomas S.W. Hawkins, a soldier in the 38th Indiana Regiment. Mary Ann Webb (fl. 1861-1878) was a resident of Saltilloville (Washington Co.) for a time. She was the daughter of Isaac H. and Elizabeth (Lawrence) Webb. She married Dr. T. Volney Gifford at an undetermined date. Dr. Gifford operated a sanitarium in New London (Howard Co.).

WEDDLE, NOAH S. Papers. 18641923, 1995. M 0678, OM 0361. One box, two folders. Collection guide online. The collection includes four letters written between Weddle and his wife, Cordelia Ann Brown, between January and June 1865.

WELLER FAMILY. Papers, 18611979. M 0713, OM 0380. Two boxes, one folder. Collection guide online. Weller family records contained in the collection include correspondence, records and general items of the Weller family, including Mary Emswiler Weller. Also included in the papers is an 1880 diary kept by Cora L. Pearce of Williamsburg (Wayne County) and Mary Weller’s real estate-related receipts and financial records (1909-1919.)

WERLE, AUDREY C., Research notes on Indiana African-American History, 1980-1990. M 0792. Two document cases. Collection guide online. Audrey Lucking Werle (Oct. 29, 1926- ), was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated from Ursuline Academy in 1945 and in 1951, married William C. Werle. Werle first became interested in African-American history while helping her son, José, with a school assignment about the Underground Railroad. During the early 1970s, her interest was further cultivated by the Human Relations Council in Jefferson County and a cross-culture course she took at Spalding College. Using her genealogical skills, she was commissioned the Indiana State Library Genealogy Division during the 1980s to develop a name index of Indiana blacks and mulattoes appearing in the 1870 federal census. She developed a card index that was placed at the Indiana State Library and microfilmed by the Church of the Latter Day Saints. The collection consists of Werle’s research notes on the history of African-Americans in Indiana. The materials reflect Werle’s experience as a family history researcher.  From her use of various research tools (census and cemetery records, deed books, photographs and secondary sources), she identified family names, institutions and geographical areas that relate to the history of African-Americans in this state.

WESTBAY, DOROTHY. Papers, 1934-1937. OMB 0040. One box. Collection guide online. The collection consists of one scrapbook containing clippings, programs, notes and other memorabilia from Westbay’s student years, 1934-37, at Arsenal Technical High School, Indianapolis.

WHITE-PETTIJOHN FAMILY Papers, 1858-1988. SC 2379. Seven folders. Collection guide online. The Whites were early Quaker settlers in Westfield, Hamilton County. The collection includes family correspondence primarily of Jose White (1858-1859) and Alpha White (1899-1900) and a booklet of family reminiscences.

WHITESIDE, BIRDIE L. Collection, 1944-1986. M 0658. Four boxes. Collection guide online. Birdie Mary Lee Whiteside, a native of Kentucky, was educated at Simmons University in Louisville. In 1953, she founded the Guiding Light Christian Service, a tape ministry designed to provide recordings of sermons to the sick and shut-in. The collection, part of the Black Women in the Middle West Project, includes nine scrapbooks filled with correspondence, photographs, programs and other materials pertaining to her work with Guiding Light Christian Service Inc.

WILDER, ELOISE. Short story, 1878. SC 1756. One folder. No collection guide available. This collection contains a humorous short story, “The Weepin’ Widder,” written by Eloise Wilder in 1878.

WILDHACK, MARGARET JAMESON. Papers, 1965. OM 0319. One folder. Collection guide online. Margaret J. Wildhack was born in Indianapolis, the daughter of Donald and Margaret Jameson. During World War II, she served in the WAVES. After the war she married William Wildhack, a reporter for the Indianapolis News. During the 1960s, Wildhack wrote a column, “Society and How It Grew,” for the Indianapolis News. Copies of the articles Wildhack wrote for the Indianapolis News form this collection.

WILLIAMS, GAAR-BLANCHE STILLSON. Letters, 1920-1935. SC 2294. Three folders. Collection guide in library. Gaar Williams (1881-1935), cartoonist and illustrator, was born in Richmond, Wayne County, the son of George R. Williams. He attended Cincinnati Art Academy and the Chicago Art Institute. He married Magdalena (Lena) Englebert. Blanche Stillson (1889-1977), artist, author and cultural leader, was born in Indianapolis, graduated from DePauw University, 1911, and attended the John Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. She taught art and painting at Herron-IU-Indianapolis (now IUPUI), Butler University and Shortridge High School. This collection contains letters written to Blanche Stillson by Gaar and Lena Williams.

WILLIAMS, HERBERT. Collection, 1826-1893. SC 1581, BV 0087a-c. Two folders, three volumes. No collection guide available. Described in Pumroy and Brockman, Guide to Manuscript Collections of the Indiana Historical Society and Indiana State Library, A-398. Williams (1795-1867) was a farmer in Brooklyn, Conn., and Michigan City, La Porte County, Ind. In this collection is an account, “Glimpses of My Mother’s Life"” (1893), by Williams’s daughter, Ellen, giving an account of her mother’s life in Massachusetts and Connecticut prior to relocating to Indiana in 1836.

WILLIAMS, LUCILLE LUCAS. Collection, 1915-1982. M 0449. Nine boxes. Collection guide in library. Williams, a longtime resident of Muncie, Delaware County, was a businesswoman and social services director. The collection materials relate to her many and varied personal and professional activities. Some of the organizations for which materials may be found are the Shafer African Methodist Episcopal Church; Church Women United; National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs; Order of Eastern Star; Munsyana Day Nursery; and Action Inc. Black Women in the Middle West Project.

WILLIAMS, MARY DEAN. Papers, 1850-1986. M 0460, OM 0181. One box, one folder. Collection guide online. Mary Dean Williams (ca. 1902-1990) was born in Geneva, Shelby County. She graduated from business college and held several related jobs. After her marriage in 1925, she was also a homemaker and mother. The collection includes correspondence, memoirs and a scrapbook.

WILLSON, LAURA V. Letter, 1837. SC 1588. One folder. No collection guide available. Laura Willson wrote from Crawfordsville, Montgomery County, July 2, 1837, to Jane B. Shirley in Louisville, Ky., describing religious and educational aspects of life in Crawfordsville.

WILSON, FLORABELLE WILLIAMS. Collection, 1910-1995. M 0731. One-and-a-half boxes. Collection guide online. Florabelle Williams Wilson, educator and librarian, was born in Indianapolis in 1927. She attended Crispus Attucks High School and received a bachelor’s degree in Education from Indiana Central University (now University of Indianapolis) in 1949. She taught at Indianapolis Public School #23 for eight years. In 1961, she received an MLS from Indiana University. She married John A. Wilson in 1964. From 1957 to 1971, Wilson worked as an assistant librarian at Indiana Central University, then as director of the library from 1971 until her retirement in 1982. The first full-time African-American faculty member at Indiana Central University, she was also the first black director of an academic library in Indiana. This collection includes material that she collected from various sources over a period of time. Much of the collection pertains to Indianapolis African American individuals and families, churches and organizations.

WILSON, LIZZIE. Poems, 1852-1853. SC 1589. One folder. No collection guide available. This collection contains a number of poems written by Lizzie Wilson, probably a resident of Hendricks County.

WILSON, PHOEBE SNAVELLY. Papers, ca. 1926-1930. SC 2649. Six folders, one folder of visual material. Collection guide in library. Phoebe Snavelly Wilson (fl. 1926-1950) was a resident of Wabash. She was an officer of the Wabash province of the Tri Kappa Kappa sorority. Wilson also lived in Birmingham, Alabama (ca. 1930-1931) and Mansfield, Ohio. She was married to Donald Frank Wilson. This collection consists of two poetry notebooks (ca. 1926-1950) kept by Phoebe Wilson. They contain typescript and manuscript copies of poems; correspondence from Mary Chase Cornelius of Birmingham, Alabama, and Edith Mirick, editor of Star-dust, A Journal of Poetry (Washington, D.C.); academic notes on poetry; newspaper clippings; and Wilson’s business pamphlets.

WINANS, LILLY. Memoirs, 1922-1934. SC 1592. Two folders. Collection guide in library. “Our Sunday Trip(s) 1922-1934,” written by Lilly Winans, records weekly automobile jaunts taken by Ben and Lilly Winans and other Brookville, Franklin County, residents to surrounding Indiana and Ohio counties, Cincinnati and the Ohio River.

WINANT, ANN E. Letter, 1945. SC 1593 One folder. No collection guide available. Ann E. Winant, a captain, served as a nurse in the 9th F.D. Hospital during World War II. This collection contains one letter written by Winant on Feb. 2, 1945, in Belgium to Mary E. Woodhead and others in Richmond, Wayne County.

WINPENNY, ELLEN ELIZABETH. Scrapbook, 1861-1908. SC 1594. One folder. No collection guide available. Winpenny was an artist and inventor. Materials in the scrapbook include clippings, information on art exhibits, patent papers and genealogy.

WOLFOLK, LAURA J. Collection, 1918-1981. M 0535. One box. Collection guide online. Laura J. Wolfolk (1882-1977) was born in Greencastle, Putnam County, the daughter of Private Taylor and Rhoda Wolfolk. An educator, Wolfolk taught for 40 years in the Indianapolis Public School system. This collection contains materials relating to Wolfolk’s career and social activities.

WOOD, BARBARA. Collection, 1864-1900. SC 2333. One folder. Collection guide online. This collection consists of a 1916 Republican postcard, photographs and letters written to and from various family members (1864-1900). The letters include family (Arnold, Conan and Dicks) and local (Danville, Ill., and Richmond and Lafayette, Ind.) news.

WOODWARD, ALBERTA DAVIS. Papers, 1906-1929. M 0544, BV 2504, OM 0228. One box, one volume, one folder. Collection guide in library. Alberta Davis Woodward was born about 1906 and graduated, as Jean Davis, from Shortridge High School in 1925. Later she attended Columbia University. She was interested in journalism and wrote a murder mystery under the pseudonym of Davis Woodward. The collection contains Woodward’s senior graduation memory book; class papers and assignments; two diplomas; and a draft of a murder mystery “Murder in the Col.”

YACKLEY, RAY.Letters,1941-1945. M 0730. Two boxes. Collection guide in library. The collection includes wartime correspondence between Theola “Dodie” Werstler Yackley and her fiancé and later husband Ray Yackley. Topics include news of family and friends, and attempting to get married during a furlough. Other material includes letters to Ray from his sisters Mary and Elizabeth Yackley in Mishawaka and letters to Theola from Betty White, an army nurse stationed in Texas and Mississippi (1944-1945). Theola Yackley apparently grew up in Pierceton, Kosciusko County, and moved to South Bend prior to 1941. During World War II, she worked on an assembly line in a South Bend factory.

YORE, MARY D. Collection, 1918-1985. M 0542. One box. Collection guide online. Mary Donna Baker Blake Yore, the daughter of Franklin L. and Nellie Cook Baker, was born and grew up in Muncie, Delaware County. Yore, active in collecting her family history, has served as editor of the Baker-Cook family newsletter Family Lines. This collection, part of the Black Women in the Middle West Project, includes genealogical materials. documents, correspondence, newsletters and photographs of the Baker family.

YOUNTS, BEVERLY. Papers, 1872-1974. M 0602. One box. Collection guide online. This collection contains correspondence (1872-1974), most of it concerning Beverly and Charles Younts, material on Richmond city government and historical material about Centerville and Salisbury. Also included is a journal (1909-1945) of Minnie Stivers.

ZEIGLER, SARAH P. Scrapbook, ca. 1880-1996. M 0683. One box. Collection guide online. Sarah Parham Zeigler (1902-1996), the daughter of Charles and Lillie Alexander Parham, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1938, she married P. Hobson Zeigler. Zeigler received a bachelor of arts degree and a master’s of science from Butler University. She spent her professional life as an educator in the Indianapolis school system. Materials in this collection relate to Zeigler’s professional life and activities. Of note are materials relating to Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1953 visit to Indianapolis and correspondence Zeigler had with Roosevelt.

ZIMMER, BARBARA. Papers, 1969; 1980-81. M 0027. One box. Collection guide online. This collection includes correspondence, drafts and finished reports, memos and programs from the period 1969; 1980-1981, relating to activities of Barbara Zimmer, an Indianapolis educator, with the Indiana Board of Education and League of Women Voters.