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James H. Luther collection

Identifier: L094

Scope and Contents

The collection primarily contains Luther family correspondence, including Civil War letters from James H. Luther's three sons while in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Tennessee. Also included are letters from Luther's children working in Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, and California, as well as letters written to James’ wife while attempting to establish a business in San Francisco, California (1869–1870). Additional correspondence includes letters from John E. Luther to his father while visiting family, including Abraham Smith, and letters from grandchildren in California and Colorado.


  • 1861-1889


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 H. Luther was a farmer and businessman in Crown Point, Lake County, Indiana from 1849 to 1893. Luther also worked as the Lake County Auditor from 1860 to 1868, while active in the Spiritualist movement. James Luther had three sons: John E. Luther, Amos Origen Luther, and Albert W. Luther.

John Luther fought as a private and lieutenant in the 20th Indiana Regiment during the U.S. Civil War, serving in Virginia from 1861 to 1864. Following the war, he Luther worked for McCormick Reaper Company in Galesburg, Illinois and Indianapolis from 1868 to 1879.

Amos Origen Luther served as a corporal in the 20th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War with his brother John. After the war, Amos worked as agent and engineer for railroad companies in Kokomo, Indiana, St. Louis, Missouri, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and in Colorado.

Albert W. Luther served as a musician in the 20th Indiana Regiment, and with the 151st Indiana Regiment, serving in Tennessee. Following the war, Albert worked as a laborer in Chicago, Illinois, and as a printer in Lincoln, Winchester, and Springfield, Illinois; St. Louis, Missouri; and Modesto, California.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from George W. Frederich on 1931/05/11.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Brent Abercrombie during June 2011.
James H. Luther 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.