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Walter E. Barton oral history

Identifier: OH017

Scope and Contents

The collection contains 3 copies of a transcript, 5 cassette tapes, and a reel-to-reel audiotape of interviews conducted with Walter E. Barton by Jerry Handfield as part of the Indiana State Library Oral History Project on November 6 and December 21, 1978 and June 4, 1981. There are also clippings and papers from 1965 to 1982.

During the first interview, Barton discusses his family heritage and Kentucky; childhood and chores; education and travel in the West; law practice, taxes, and publications; Washington, D.C. and Vice-President Thomas Riley Marshall; World War I in France; marriage and Evansville; and being a tax lawyer in Washington, D.C. In the second interview, Barton discusses World War I, moving his law practice from Evansville to Washington, D.C., and the Posey County gas field. In the third interview, he discusses Texas, tax books, and the U.S. Supreme Court as well as the cases he argued before the Supreme Court.


  • 1978;1981


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

Walter Elbert Barton was born on November 7, 1886, in Wadesville, Posey County, Indiana. His parents were Anson and Sophia Ann (Blackburn) Barton. In 1914, Barton received his LL.B. degree from George Washington University. He was admitted to the Indiana bar the following year and practiced law in Evansville, Indiana. On December 6, 1917, he married Martha R. Browning with whom he had three daughters, Eleanor, Martha, and Mary Ellen.

During World War I, Barton served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army and was stationed in France. In 1920, he moved to Washington, D.C. to practice tax law before the federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. On April 1, 1955, he married his second wife, Isabelle Stockett Nixon. Barton wrote numerous articles and books on tax law. Late in his life, he wrote two historical memoirs, The Lost Heritage and In the Twilight of My Memory. He died on October 21, 1983, in Washington, D.C.


Thompson, Donald E., comp. Indiana Authors and their Books, 1917-1966. Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, 1974.


0.01 Cubic Feet (3 transcripts, 1 folder, 1 reel-to-reel audiotape, 5 cassette tapes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received as a donation from the Indiana State Library Oral History Project.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

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

L252: Walter E. Barton papers, 1912-1981

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Christina Baich during April 2006. Finding aid revised by Edythe Huffman on 2015/11/13. EAD finding aid created by Bethany Fiechter on 2019/07/01. Collection reprocessing completed 2020/03/05 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid revised 2020/03/05 by Brittany Kropf.


Walter E. Barton oral history
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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