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John Elder papers

 Collection — Folder: S417
Identifier: S0417

Scope and Contents

This collection includes newspaper excerpts from letters and diaries from Governor James Whitcomb, John Elder and James Elder in Indiana and California ranging from 1845/01/01 to 1850 regarding building construction, daily life and California during the Gold Rush.


  • 1845/01/01-1850 December

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 Elder was born September 2, 1796 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He had a brother, Alex Jim. He was the first professional architect to reside in Indianapolis in 1833. He submitted an unsuccessful design for the Indiana State House. He designed Hervey Bate's Washington Street retail building, Charles Mayer's original store building, Henry Ward Beecher's home, the Bank of Indiana building, the first Hospital for the Insane (later Central State Hospital) and the Palmer House, a hotel. He drew the original design for the Institute for the Blind and was a contractor for the Central Canal. He also designed courthouses in Clinton, Bartholomew and Rush County. He was severely in debt and left Indianapolis to join the Gold Rush in California, where he died November 3, 1857 in Sacramento, California and is buried in City Cemetery.

Information found within the collection.

"Elder, John". Web: Roots Web Cemetery Index, 1800-2010. Retrieved 2014/06/25.

Ziegler, Connie J. (1994). Elder, John In The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. (p. 535). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. ISLI 977.201 M341Ien


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

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


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2014/06/25 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2014/06/25 by Edythe Huffman.
John Elder 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.