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Hibben family papers

Identifier: L069

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence; typed documents; social invitations and calling cards; hand-drawn menus; accounts; photographs of people and places; glass slides; stamps; newspaper clippings; membership cards: a piece of underwear cuff; and legal documents from members of the Hibben and related families and local government in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, and Europe ranging from 1850 to 1937 regarding family, military, legal and social matters. One item of special note is a May 5, 1850 slave sale document. The sale occurred between James Barbarin and Thomas Saux of New Orleans, Louisiana and was notarized by Felix Grima. The four slaves listed on the document are a woman of about 40 years named Mammy, her daughter Lena who was about 18, a man named Sampson who was about 30, and a man around 25 years old named Red.


  • 1850-1937


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

James Samuel Hibben was born to Thomas and Nancy (McFadden) Hibben September 27, 1820 in Wilmington, Ohio. He was the second child of nine, including George; Ethelbert Campbell and Thomas William, who died at birth. Nancy died in 1825, after which Thomas married Ruth Gaddis, with whom he had James' half-siblings; Sarah Gaddis and Elizabeth Allen. Ruth died in 1845, after which Thomas married Lydia Crain Searl, with whom he had James Hibben's other half-siblings; Stacy Barcroft, Amelia Barcroft, and Harry Cobb.

James Hibben graduated from Miami University with collegiate honors but went into business with his brother George and others. He married Sarah Ann Pattison August 29, 1853 in Rush County, Indiana and they had three children: Harold Barcroft, Thomas E., and Louise. Hibben served very briefly in the Civil War; he was mustered in July 7, 1863 and mustered out July 15, 1863. Hibben moved to Indianapolis in 1866, where he worked tirelessly to increase his business success. James Hibben died October 17, 1877 in Indianapolis and is buried in East Hill Cemetery, Rushville, Indiana.

Thomas Entrekin Hibben, Sr. was born October 22, 1860 in Rushville, Indiana to James Samuel and Sarah Ann (Pattison) Hibben. He was the middle child of three, including Harold Barcroft and Louise. Hibben married Jane Merrill Ketcham on July 26, 1879, in Jackson, Michigan and they had six children; an infant child who died very young; Paxton Pattison; Helen Louise; Priscilla Paxton; Thomas Entriken, Jr.; and James Herbert.

Thomas Hibben was a successful businessman who produced etchings and enjoyed photography and improving the process. He was also an acknowledged patron of the arts besides being an artist. Hibben died July 6, 1915 in New York and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Paxton Pattison Hibben was born December 5, 1880 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Thomas Entriken and Jane Merrill Ketcham Hibben. He was one of six children, including Priscilla Hazen and James Herbert Hibben. He was graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in 1903 and finished a master's at Harvard in 1904. He married Cecile Craik, with whom he had a daughter, Jean Constantine, on October 17, 1916 in Athens, Greece. He was a lawyer, journalist, author, and diplomat. He served in the United States Army during World War I, advancing to captain. He died December 5, 1928 and is buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery, in Moscow.

Priscilla Hazen Hibben was born December 20, 1890 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Thomas Entriken and Jane Merrill Ketcham Hibben. She was one of six children, including Paxton Pattison and James Herbert Hibben. Hibben was a teacher and taught in Indianapolis, Indiana and in Florida. She died in Florida on June 16, 1978.

Thomas Entrekin Hibben, Jr. was the fourth child of Thomas Entrekin and Jane Merrill (Ketcham) Hibben. He was born October 22, 1893 (on his father's 33rd birthday) in Indianapolis, Indiana and had 5 siblings; one who died as an infant, Paxton Pattison, Helen Louise, Priscilla Hazen; and James Herbert. Hibben served in the U. S. Army, 1st artillery, first as a sergeant, then 2nd lieutenant, then 1st lieutenant, from 1917 to 1918. Thomas Hibben married Mary [Carmella] Carmela Koening July 5,1938 in London, England and adopted her son, Roderick. He studied architecture and engineering at Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and schools in London and Paris, France.

Thomas Hibben designed buildings at Butler University in Indianapolis; was involved in the first phase of the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial; worked on New Deal projects for the federal government; worked in the Bureau of Economic Warfare and served in the military (1st Lieutenant, Co. H, 5th Infantry, 17th Div. USA) in several foreign countries during World War II. Hibben advised the federal government on economic issued from 1946 to 1950, authored a number of reports and was appointed by Secretary General Trygve Lie of the U.N. in 1950 as resident representative with the rank of an ambassador to Pakistan, where he died suddenly on March 19, 1952. Thomas Hibben is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Sources: "Pricilla Hazen Hibben." Florida Death Index. Accessed June 19, 2015. "Sarah Ann Pattison." Indiana, Marriage Index, 1800-1941. Accessed April 6, 2016. "Thomas E. Hibben." Michigan, Marriage Records, 1857-1952. Accessed April 6, 2016. "Thomas E. Hibben." U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962. Accessed April 6, 2016. "Thomas E. Hibben." U.S. Select Military Registers, 1862-1985. Accessed April 6, 2016. "James Samuel Hibben." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed April 6, 2016. "Nancy McFadden Hibben." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed April 6, 2016. "Paxton Pattison Hibben." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed June 17, 2015. "Thomas Entrekin Hibben, Jr." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed April 6, 2016. "Thomas E. Hibben." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed April 6, 2016

"Hibben, James S." ICPR Digital Archives. Accessed April 6, 2016.

"Hibben, Paxton Pattison." Rootsweb. Accessed March 14, 2008/03/14.

"Hibben, Priscilla Hazen." Rootsweb. Accessed March 15, 2008.


0.6 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Hazen Hibben on 1964/07/19 and 1964/09.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1998 by Cristella Bond. EAD finding aid created 2015/06/19 by Edythe Huffman.
Hibben family papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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