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Asa J. Smith oral history

Identifier: OH018

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a transcript and a reel-to-reel audiotape of an oral history interview with Asa J. Smith conducted by Thomas Krasean on March 20, 1969. During the interview, Smith discusses his experiences as a Marine during World War I, Indiana political campaigns, the League of Nations, Harry S. New, Tom Taggart, George Coffin, James E. Watson, and Sherman Minton. He also discusses his association with the Oberholtzer family, including his representation of the family during the D. C. Stephenson trial.


  • 1969/03/20


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

Asa Jessup Smith was born on January 20, 1894, in Wabash, Indiana. His parents were Andrew Jackson Smith, a Methodist and doctor, and Louisa Frances (Jessup) Smith, a Quaker. He graduated from DePauw University in 1915 and the Indiana University Law School in 1917. Though he came from a Quaker background, he enlisted in the Marines during World War I. He served as a Private from 1917 to 1919 and was wounded at the Battle of Belleau Wood (1918). On June 10, 1920, he married Lena Tweedy.

Smith was private secretary to U.S. Senator Harry S. New and Clerk of the Committee on Territories in the United States Senate (1919-1921). He also served as a State Representative (1923); U.S. Commissioner and Special Master of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana (1947-1950 and 1949-1954, respectively); and Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Marion County (1954-1958). During World War II, he reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (1940-1945). He died on February 12, 1973.


Hawkins, Hubert H. and Robert R. McClarren. Indiana Lives. Hopkinsville, KY: Historical Record Association, 1967.


0.02 Cubic Feet (1 transcript, 1 tape)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by format.


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:

L368: Asa J. Smith collection, 1901–1973

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Christina Baich during May 2006. Finding aid revised on 2015/11/09 by Bethany Fiechter. 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.


Asa J. Smith oral history
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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