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Austin H. Brown papers

Identifier: L019

Scope and Contents

This collection contains Austin H. Brown’s personal and business correspondence, as well as documents of political appointments, indentures, checks, receipts, clippings, and compositions, programs and other ephemera from social and political activities such as membership to the Democratic Party and Masons organizations. The correspondence includes letters from his father, William J. Brown, his brother, George, and cousin, John Ferguson.

There are also a Independent Relief Fire Co., No. 1 honorary membership certificate, circa 1830-1901 (OBC217) and a scrapbook of theatrical programs and announcements for the Metropolitan Theater, and Masonic and Democratic Party programs, 1856-1905 (V443).

Other correspondents include Thomas A. Hendricks, James Whitcomb, Richard Wigginton Thompson, and Jesse Bright. There are also letters to President Grover Cleveland recommending Brown for a federal appointment, a report on fraudulent claims in the Horse Claims division, and a scrapbook of theatrical programs and announcements for the Metropolitan Theater.


  • 1830-1901


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Austin H. Brown was born at Milroy, Rush County, Indiana on March 19, 1828. He was the son of Susan Tompkins Brown and William J. Brown, who served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Brown moved to Indianapolis in 1837 and worked for a printer and was a carrier for the Indiana Democrat. In 1844, he entered Asbury University but left the following year to go to Washington, D.C. and work as a clerk in the office of the sixth auditor. Brown rose to become the assistant chief clerk and distributing officer and was the United States post office inspector.

Brown married Margaret E. Russell in 1855 and together they had two children. He returned to Indianapolis and took over proprietorship of the Indianapolis Sentinel. In 1855, Brown was elected auditor of Marion County. He was assistant adjutant general of Indiana during the U.S. Civil War. Brown became collector of internal revenue for Indianapolis in 1866. In 1874, he became clerk of Marion County and served as city councilman and on the school commission. Brown was a member of the National Democratic Committee. Austin H. Brown died January 1, 1903.


Items in the collection.

Dunn, Jacob Piatt. Indiana and Indianans. Chicago: The America Historical Society, 1919.


1 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize folder, 1 volume)

Language of Materials



Arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1844-1901

Series 2: Legal and financial papers, 1830-1901

Series 3: Social and political papers, 1846-1901

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Gavin M. Brown on 1931/05/02; Austin H. Brown care of Eli Lilly Corporation on 1931/07/22, and Austin Brown on 1944/03/30.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

OBC217: Austin H. Brown oversize certificate

V443: Austin H. Brown scrapbook

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2007/03 by Barbara Hilderbrand. EAD finding aid created 2007/03 by Barbara Hilderbrand. Collection reprocessed and EAD finding aid revised 2015/10/16 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid revised 2021/11/19 by Lauren Patton.
Austin H. Brown papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.