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Hibben family papers

Identifier: L069

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, invitations and calling cards, accounts, stamps, newspaper clippings, membership cards, legal documents, and other papers, as well as photographs, negatives, lantern slides, artwork, textiles, and realia from members of the Hibben and Ketcham families in Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New York, and Europe ranging from circa 1840 to 1937 regarding family, military, legal, and social matters.

Much of the early correspondence belonged to Sarah "Sallie" Ann Pattison Hibben and her husband James Samuel Hibben, ranging from 1852 to 1856 and undated. There are also miscellaneous business papers from the Ketcham family (bulk 1857-1884); a ticket to the National Industrial Exposition in Louisville, Kentucky during September 2-October 11, 1873; four obituaries for Jane Merrill Ketcham (1911); and a "piece of underwear cuff" used for Priscilla Hazen Hibben's shirt as a baby. 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.

Papers of Thomas E. Hibben, Jr. include items from his World War I service such as a report on the geography of the Western Front (undated) and hand-drawn menus with illustrations by Hibben for the staff of the Observers School, Second Air Instructional Center in France during November 1918; correspondnece regarding the Indiana National Guard (1923); membership cards (1924-1926); and items from travels to Europe (1924-circa 1925), including a form authorizing James H. Hibben to paint or photograph the interior of historic monuments under the Administration des Beaux-Arts in France dated May 31, 1924. There are also 7 small and 1 oversize drawings and lithographs created by Hibben circa 1924, as well as stamps.

Photographs in the collection comprise a tintype portrait of Jane Merrill Ketcham Hibben (1854–1920); miscellaneous photographs of Hibben and Ketcham family members (1850s-1890s); contents from Jane M. Ketcham Hibben photograph album (1850s-1890s); 13 cartes de visite of British actress Mary Frances Scott-Siddons sent to Janie M. Ketcham (circa 1865-1879); four World War I photographs, which feature soldiers in front of planes and soldiers in a classroom setting, probably at the Observers School, Second Air Instructional Center in Tours, France; various photographs of Pleasant Run in Irvington (undated); and nine daguerreotypes and ambrotypes of unidentified people (1840s-1880s). There are also miscellaneous glass plate and film negatives and positives, as well as lantern slides, many created by Thomas E. Hibben, of Pleasnt Run in Irvington (1888 September; undated); a lake and fishing in Pulaski, Indiana (1889 June; undated); and a Hanover College vs. Butler College football game (undated).

The collection also contains artwork--several lithographs, a few drawings, and five paintings--from three Hibben artists: Thomas E. Hibben, Sr., Thomas E. Hibben, Jr., and Louise D. Hibben, ranging from 1883 to 1924 and undated. There is also a Houghton Ltd., London, "Empress" camera (circa 1900).


  • circa 1840-1937


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 (1793–1867) and Nancy (McFadden) Hibben (1793–1825) September 27, 1820 in Wilmington, Ohio. He was the second child of nine, who included George, Ethelbert Campbell, and Thomas William, who died at birth. His mother died in 1825, after which his father married Ruth Gaddis,and they had two daughters, Sarah Gaddis and Elizabeth Allen. Hibben's stepmother died in 1845, after which his father married Lydia Crain Searl and they had three children: Stacy Barcroft, Amelia Barcroft, and Harry Cobb.

Hibben graduated from Miami University in Ohio with collegiate honors but went into business with his brother George and others. He moved to Rushville, Indiana around 1842, where he worked as a partner of the firm of G. and J. S. Hibben; then as senior partner in the house of Hibben and Flinn; next with Poundstone and Co., and lastly with Hibben and Mauzy. Hibben married Sarah Ann Pattison (1835–1914) on August 29, 1853 in Rush County, Indiana and they had three children: Harold Barcroft (1855–1916), Thomas Entrekin (1860–1915), and Louise (1867–1951). He served very briefly in the U.S. Civil War during July 7-15, 1863. He moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1866, where he worked tirelessly to increase his business success. James S. Hibben died October 17, 1877 in Indianapolis and was buried in East Hill Cemetery, Rushville, Indiana.


Thomas Entrekin Hibben, Sr. was born October 22, 1860 in Rushville, Indiana to James Samuel (1820-1877) and Sarah Ann (Pattison) Hibben (1835–1914). He was the middle child of three, including Harold Barcroft and Louise. Hibben married Jane "Janie" Merrill Ketcham (1854–1920) on July 26, 1879, in Jackson, Michigan and they had six children: an infant child who died 1880, Paxton Pattison (1880–1928), Helene Louise (1882–1968), Priscilla Hazen (1890-1978), Thomas Entriken, Jr. (1893–1952), and James Herbert (1897–1959).

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


Paxton Pattison Hibben was born December 5, 1880 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Thomas Entriken (1860-1915) and Jane Merrill (Ketcham) Hibben (1854–1920). He graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor's degree in 1903 and finished a master's at Harvard University in 1904. Hibben married Cecile Craik (1884–1964), with whom he had a daughter, Jean Constantine, on October 17, 1916 in Athens, Greece. He was a lawyer, journalist, author, and diplomat. Hibben served in the United States Army during World War I, advancing to captain. He died December 5, 1928 and was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery, in Moscow, Russia.


Helene Louise Hibben was born on November 18, 1881 to Thomas Entriken (1860-1915) and Jane Merrill (Ketcham) Hibben (1854–1920) in Indianapolis, Indiana. As a young woman, she studied art with Hoosier artist William Forsyth and sculpture with Lorado Taft in Chicago and Horace Frazier in New York. She founded Hibben School, a private nursery, kindergarten, and primary school, in 1916 or 1917 to teach children ages 3 to 6. Hibben worked as both a kindergarten teacher and the director of Hibben School. The school started in the Hibben family home at 5433 University Avenue in the neighborhood of Irvington in Indianapolis. The school moved to a new location in the neighborhood at 5237 Pleasant Run Parkway, South Drive after the new building was constructed by her brother Thomas in 1928. The school closed in the early 1960s due to Hibben's failing health. Hibben died on March 19, 1968 in Greenfield, Indiana and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.


(Priscilla) Hazen Hibben was born December 20, 1890 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Thomas Entriken (1860-1915) and Jane Merrill (Ketcham) Hibben (1854–1920). She studied domestic science, but became interested in joining her sister Helene in her work. Hibben later lived and worked with her sister Helene at Hibben School as a secretary and as a first grade teacher. She moved to Florida and worked as a teacher there later in life. Hibben died in Saint Petersburg, Florida on June 16, 1978.


Thomas Entrekin Hibben, Jr. was born to Thomas Entriken (1860-1915) and Jane Merrill (Ketcham) Hibben (1854–1920) on October 22, 1893 (on his father's 33rd birthday) in Indianapolis, Indiana. During World War I, Hibben served in the U.S. Army, 1st artillery, first as a sergeant, then 2nd lieutenant, then 1st lieutenant, from 1917 to 1918. He studied architecture and engineering at Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and schools in London and Paris, France. Hibben, like his father, was also an artist and used his skill as an architect. For a time between 1925 and the early 1930s, Hibben worked with Indianapolis architect Robert Frost Daggett, designing buildings at Butler University. He married Mary Carmella Koenig (1908–1961) on July 5, 1938 in London, England and adopted her son, Roderick.

Hibben was involved in the first phase of the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial; worked on New Deal projects for the federal government; and worked in the Bureau of Economic Warfare and served in the military as 1st lieutenant of Company H, 5th Infantry, 17th Division in the U.S. Army 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. Hibben was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia.

Sources: "Helene L. Hibben." 1920 United States Federal Census. Accessed April 7, 2022. "Helene L. Hibben." 1930 United States Federal Census. Accessed April 7, 2022. "Helene L. Hibben." 1940 United States Federal Census. Accessed April 7, 2022. "Helene L. Hibben." Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2011. Accessed April 7, 2022. "Helene L. Hibben." U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1942. Accessed April 7, 2022. "Pricilla Hazen Hibben." U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Accessed April 7, 2022. "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.

"Daggett Architectural Records Collections." [Finding aid.] Andrea Seager Archive of the Built Environment, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. Accessed April 6, 2022.

"Fairy-Like Beauty Attends Pageant of Hibben School." Indianapolis Star, June 19, 1926. Accessed April 7, 2022. ProQuest. "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 School Founder Says It's Better to Lead than Push." Indianapolis Star, December 31, 1941. Accessed April 7, 2022. ProQuest.

"Hibben School Founded to Care for Children in the Days of War." Indianapolis Star, August 23, 1931. Accessed April 7, 2022. ProQuest.

"Hibben School Plans 22nd Year." Indianapolis Star, August 20, 1939. Accessed April 7, 2022. ProQuest.

"House with a History." Indianapolis Star, May 26, 1991. Accessed April 7, 2022. ProQuest.

Indiana Archives and Records Administration. "Hibben, James S." Indiana Archives Digital Index Records. Accessed April 6, 2016.

Seager, Andrew R. "Robert Frost Daggett." Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. 1994. Accessed April 6, 2022.


3.7 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 1 small box, 2 oversize custom boxes, 7 oversize items)

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.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digitized artwork from the collection are available online in the ISL Digital Collections: .

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1998 by Cristella Bond. EAD finding aid created 2015/06/19 by Edythe Huffman. Collection reprocessing and 2020 collection addition processing completed 2022/04/07 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid revised 2022/04/07 by Brittany Kropf.
Hibben family papers
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.