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William Stewart Culbertson collection

 Collection — Folder: S0326
Identifier: S0326

Scope and Contents

This 33-page typed manuscript is the property of Historic New Albany, Inc., whose president was Richard K. Stem. It was used to give a speech at some unknown occasion. The speaker and date are also unknown. All of the information for the speech was gathered from reading microfilm of old newspapers. The speaker stated: “What makes me most unhappy is that, with very few exceptions, I can only reveal Mr. Culbertson as he is interpreted by the press.” (Page 3)

The first two pages give Culbertson’s will as reported in the newspaper. His estate was extensive.

The writer/speaker mentions Col. Bennett H. Young, who fought for the Confederacy, on pages 19, 20, 23, and 24. Bennett and William were close friends. William’s third wife was the sister-in-law of Col. Young.

Pages 25-31 tell the scandalous story of youngest daughter Blanche marrying Leigh Hunt French, who “became intimate with Mrs. Nellie Monroe, a circus woman … The record as given by the Sentinel shows Leigh Hunt to be a scalawag of the first water.” (Page 28)


  • 1814-1948

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

In 1814, William Stewart Culbertson was born at New Market, Pennsylvania. His father William, a merchant, died when his son was 10 years old. Some time before her death in 1857, Julia Stewart Culbertson, mother of William Stewart and his brother John Craighead Culbertson, moved to New Albany to be near her sons.

In the spring of 1835, young William applied for a job in Louisville, Kentucky, but was refused, so he went across the Ohio River to New Albany and found employment at the largest dry goods store, owned by General Alexander S. Burnett. In 1840, William married his first wife, Eliza Vance, who was 17. Their children were: (1) William Arthur, 1841-1885; (2) Mary Julia, 1847-1868; (3) Charles, 1853-1901; (4) Joseph, 1856-1904; (5) Anna, born 1859, married Frank B. Semple of Cincinnati, Ohio; and (6) Samuel Alexander, born 1862.

Eliza died on January 3, 1865, and William married two years later. On January 11, 1867, W. S. and Cornelia Warner Eggleston (1833-1880) wed. They had two children, a son (1867-1868) who died of cholera, and a daughter, Blanche Warner, born in 1870, who married Leigh Hunt French in 1893.

After Cornelia died, William took a third wife, Rebecca, the widow of Keith Spears Young. From Paris, Kentucky, Rebecca was the sister-in-law of his friend, Col. Bennett H. Young, who fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. They were married on February 8, 1884.

William died on June 25, 1892. He was a prominent and wealthy citizen of New Albany.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection includes one item.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Jewell Allen on 1970/07/05.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Nikki Stoddard Schofield during September 2013.
William Stewart Culbertson collection
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.