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Stella "Del" Decil collection

 Collection — Folder: S0432
Identifier: S0432

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a one-page autobiographical sketch of Stella Decil (circa 2007); photocopies of clippings from Indianapolis and Arizona publications (1957-1997); a letter from the Hoosier Salon Patrons Association, Inc. (January 25, 1973); brochures for Decil's art exhibits (1979-2004); an Indianapolis News clipping regarding the Block family tree (December 26, 1980); a letter written by Decil to the Indiana State Library regarding the art department at Blocks (April 2007) and sent with three copies of the monthly employee periodical,Block's Booster, (1958, 1960) and a Socrates Honorable Award certificate for excellence in newspaper advertising (October 1, 1960); and promotional material for her art work and color copies of several of her paintings (undated).


  • 1957-2007


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

Stella Gertrude Smith was born on April 26, 1921 in Indianapolis, Indiana to William Calvin and Hazel Smith. Due to her mother's health, the family moved to Arizona in 1923. He mother died of tuberculosis in 1928 and Stella was later sent back to Indiana when she was 12 years old to live with a woman who became her "grandma". Around this time she acquired the nickname, "Del". She graduated from Madison High School in Madison, Indiana in 1938 and then attended the Indianapolis Academy of Commercial Art on scholarship and the John Herron Art Institute. Her first marriage was to John Walters in 1942. She started out as a freelance artist and part owner of Arts Inc., an art school and ad agency. She became a staff artist for the William H. Block Co. in Indianapolis in 1945 and work there until she left to become the art director for the Frank R. Jelleff Company in Washington, D.C. in 1950. She was with Jelleff for only a short time before moving to the Hecht Company. She returned to the William H. Block Company as the art director in 1952 and was named "Ad Woman of the Year" by the Indianapolis Advertising Club in 1958. In 1962, she was hired as the art director of Diamond's (now known as Dillards) Department Stores in Phoenix. After five years at Diamond's, she left to pursue freelancing and painting. She married her husband of 42 years, Casimir R. Decil (1920-2007), on February 6, 1965. Del Decil passed away at the age of 88 on July 28, 2009.


Information found within collection. "Stella G. Walters." California Marriage Index, 1960-1985. Accessed June 6, 2018. "Stella Walters Decil." Find a Grave memorial no. 42390669. Accessed June 6, 2018.


0.02 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 from Stella Walters "Del" Decil on 2007/06/29.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2018/06/08 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2018/06/08 by Laura Eliason.
Stella "Del" Decil 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.