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John Walker Holcombe papers

Identifier: L072

Scope and Contents

This collection includes printed materials from school districts and other organizations in Indiana and other locations ranging from 1883 to 1886 regarding education.


  • 1885-1886

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

John Walker Holcombe was born to John Warwick and Harriett Bisbee Walker Holcombe on November 18, 1853 in La Porte, Indiana. He was graduated from Harvard University in 1875. He taught in the Northern Indiana Normal School at Valparaiso for several years, then studied law at the University of Iowa. Upon his return to Indiana, he was appointed chief clerk at the Department of Public Instruction, leaving at the beginning of 1882.

He was elected to the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction in late 1882, serving two terms. In 1887, Holcombe moved to Washington, D. C., working first for the bureau of Education and later for the Department of the Interior. He married Effie Burford McOuat [McQuat] on November 2, 1887 in Marion County, Indiana. They had two children. Holcombe was the author, editor or subject of several books. He died in Washington, D.C. on February 10, 1940 and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Sources: "John W. Holcombe." Indiana, Marriage Collection, 1800-1941. Accessed March 11, 2015. "Harriet Bisbee Walker Holcombe." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed March 11, 2015. "John Walker Holcombe." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed March 11, 2015.

"Holcombe, John Walker." In Biographical sketches of members of the Indiana stategovernment, 16. Indianapolis, IN: Indianapolis Sentinel Company, 1885.

"Holcombe, John Walker." In Indiana Authors and their books, 1816-1916: Biographical Sketches of Authors Who Published During the First Century of Indiana Statehood, with Lists of Their Books, 23. Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, 1949.

"Holcombe, John Walker." Indiana Biography Index Pre-1990. Accessed March 11, 2015.

"John Walker Holcombe." Indianapolis Star, February 13, 1940.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by format.

Custodial History

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


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/03/11 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2015/03/11 by Edythe Huffman.
John Walker Holcombe 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.