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William Steele Holman papers

Identifier: L073

Scope and Contents

The collection, the bulk of which dates from 1870 to 1894, includes documents from William Steele Holman’s career as a politician as well as those from the Holman family. The documents are divided into correspondence and papers and newspaper clippings. They are then arranged chronologically with the other assorted materials.

Materials include correspondence from constituents, telegrams, election results, family letters, newspaper clippings, a correspondence journal, an account book, and a volume of mailing lists. Correspondence and papers make up the bulk of the collection.

Other topics discussed include the U.S. Mint (1876), floods in Aurora (1885), government appointments, Dearborn County politics, the Chicago World’s Fair (1893), and related family topics. Among the papers is a copy of the 1876 constitution of the Dearborn County Historical Society.

Correspondents include William Anderson, Henry Beeny, John Beggs, Lily Brink, W. W. Browing, D. K. Bruce, Charles W. Burckhardt, J. H. Burkam, Bart Burke, C. R. Camphill, John Francis Cheek, S. K. Cofield, William Cunningham, S. Davis, James Donahoe, William Dunlap, C. Fisk, E. H. Green, J. V. Hayden, Benjamin Headley, William R. Henderson, David Henry, S. K. Holman, William Steele Holman, Smith Jones, A. J. Lashley, T. W. Lawrence, J. F. Lindsay, August Marmer, A. H. Merkel, Edward Nudd, W. T. Pate, James Roberts, Lida Rousseau, J. H. Shadday, Thomas Sherlock, Richard Smith, S. Stansifer, George W. Steinmetz, Dr. S. S. Stewart, Christian Tolley, Emilie M. Unger, Thomas S. Vawter, William G. Williams, and George H. Ziegler. The majority of these writers have only one item in the collection.


  • 1837-1936


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 Steele Holman was born on September 6, 1822, near Aurora, Indiana in Dearborn County. His parents were Judge Jesse Lynch Holman and Elizabeth (Masterson) Holman. He attended Franklin College from 1840 to 1842. Holman married Abigail Knapp in 1842 with whom he had a son, William S. Holman, Jr.

Holman had his own successful career in both law and politics. He was admitted to the Dearborn County bar in 1843 and was elected probate judge (1843-1846). He then served a two-year term as prosecuting attorney (1847-1849). From 1852 to 1856, Holman served as Judge for the Court of Common Pleas.

Holman’s involvement in Democratic politics began when he was chosen as a member of the State constitutional convention in 1850. He was then elected to the State House of Representatives in 1851 and 1852. Holman served as a U.S. Representative from 1859 to 1865, 1867 to 1877, 1881 to 1895, and 1897, taking part in 16 Congresses. He both chaired and served on a number of committees during his tenure as a Representative. Holman died on April 22, 1897, in Washington, D.C., a little over a month after his last election. He is buried in Veraestau Cemetery in Aurora.


United States Congress. "Holman, William Steele (1822-1897)."


0.6 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Margaret H. Wagenhals during 1941.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collection in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

S0676: Jesse Lynch Holman collection

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Christina Baich during September 2005. Finding aid revised by Brittany Kropf on 2015/11/06.
William Steele Holman 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.