Skip to main content

Frank M. Hohenberger photograph collection

Identifier: P013

Scope and Contents

This collection includes black-and-white photographs and a few clippings and pamphlets from Frank M. Hohenberger in Indiana and Kentucky ranging from 1916 to 1935 and undated regarding landscapes, nature scenes in state parks and other locations, local buildings, houses of important figures, historic sites, and some people.


  • 1916-1935, undated

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

Frank Michael Hohenberger, noted photographer and newspaperman, was born to John and Louise (Kerchner) Hohenberger on January 4, 1876 in Defiance, Ohio. Raised by his grandparents, at the age of 13, he apprenticed to a printer, beginning his long newspaper and printing career. After 3 decades working around the Midwest, Hohenberger eventually came to work for the Indianapolis Star in Indiana. He lost his job at the Star in 1916 and took a job at H. Lieber's camera store in Indianapolis. There he encountered photographs of Nashville, Indiana and fell in love with the simplicity and beauty of Brown County. In 1917, he travelled by train and by foot to Nashville in search of stability and tranquility.

In Nashville, Hohenberger established his own photography shop and began capturing pastoral landscapes and pioneer architecture, but few portraits as the locals were wary of outsiders. His phtoographs were chiefly purchased by tourists and his career gained traction when several of his photographs were published in an Indianapolis newspaper. During the 1920s and 1930s, Hohenberger was selling prints internationally. He travelled around the state and farther abroad, recording sites of interest and landscapes.

By 1924, he had gained more acceptance among his neighbors and Brown County residents finally started coming to him to get their portraitst taken. Hohenberger also wrote a weekly column, "Down in the Hills o' Brown County" for the Indianapolis Star from 1923 to 1954, with a gap between 1932 and 1936.

Hohenberger was married and divorced twice, first to Maude Adell Chapman (1877-1968) on November 13, 1898 in Blackford County, Indiana and later, a widow named Kathryn B. Lewis on June 16, 1922 in Martinsville, Indiana.

Hohenberger died on November 15, 1963 in Connersville, Indiana and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

Sources: "Frank M. Hohenberger." 1900 United States Federal Census. Accessed April 28, 2021. "Frank M. Hohenberger." 1910 United States Federal Census. Accessed April 28, 2021. "Frank M. Hohenberger." 1930 United States Federal Census. Accessed April 28, 2021. [appears twice, once in Martinsville, once in Nashville] "Frank M. Hohenberger." 1940 United States Federal Census. Accessed April 28, 2021. "Frank M. Hohenberger." Indiana, U.S., Marriage Index, 1800-1941. Accessed April 28, 2021. "Frank M. Hohenberger." Indiana, U.S., Marriages, 1810-2001. Accessed April 28, 2021. "Kathryn B. Lewis." 1920 United States Federal Census. Accessed April 28, 2021. "Frank Michael Hohenberger." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed April 28, 2021.

Smith, Michael P. "Frank M. Hohenberger." Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame. 1976. Accessed April 28, 2021.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/05/07 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid created 2021/05/07 by Brittany Kropf.
Frank M. Hohenberger photograph collection
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.