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Smithers family photograph album

 Collection — Volume: 1
Identifier: P036

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a photograph album containing photographs and photographic postcards of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad construction in Mier, Indiana; construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad in Medford, Blountsville and Muncie, including a photograph of the Delaware County Courthouse and passenger station; and construction of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in Winchester, Indiana.

Also included are family photographs of the Smithers family at their Kentucky homestead and travel to Virginia, specifically Shenandoah County at Orkney Springs. Several photographs include their dogs, Lady and Speck.


  • circa 1900-1910s


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

William Kennedy Smithers was born on December 9, 1868 to Ewell J. Smithers and Sarah Elizabeth (Jones) Smithers in Pickett County, Tennesee. He married Josie Ella (Gunnels) Smithers. William died on November 18, 1943 and was buried at the Locust Grove Cemetery in Clinton County, Kentucky.

Source: "William Kennedy Smithers." Find A Grave Memorial. Accessed July 12, 2021.

Historical Note

In 1910, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad was built from the southwest corner through the northwest corner of Indiana to connect Ohio to the hub of Chicago. The Chesapeake and Ohio's history traces back to the early 19th century when Virginia was first building railroads. Dubbed "Chessie" it grew as a coal-hauling rail and became a gateway between Chicago and Virginia. The railray is now in operation by CSX Transportation.


"History of the C and O Railway." C and O Historical Society. Accessed August 08, 2019.

"Chesapeake and Ohio Railway." American. Accessed August 08, 2019.

in 1881, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad began extending its Lebanon Branch (in Kentucky) across the Tennessee state line to Jellico. In 1891, a line was extended to Norton, Virginia, and another to Atlanta, Georgia. Between 1879 and 1881, through the purchase of track in Kentucky,Tennessee, Indiana and Illinois, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad gained access to the coal fields of western Kentucky. In 1883, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad completed a 170-mile rail link from Pensacola to Chattahoochee, Florida. In all, 56 railroads were acquired, leased, or constructed during the 1880s and 1890s, as the Louisville and Nashville Railroad system began to take its final form.


"History of the L and N Railway." L and N Historical Society. Accessed August 08, 2019.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 photograph album)

Language of Materials



This collection includes one photograph album.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Erica Sgroi during April 2013. EAD finding aid completed by Bethany Fiechter on 2019/08/08. EAD finding aid revised 2021/07/12 by Brittany Kropf.
Smithers family photograph album
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.