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John B. Niles papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: L116

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection consists of photostatic copies of John B. Niles’ correspondence ranging from 1837 to 1902, regarding his legal practice. There is some correspondence regarding the Indiana Medical College and a number of letters between Niles and his father-in-law, William Polke. There are also several original papers and pamphlets included in the collection.


  • 1837-1902


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 Barron Niles was born on September 13, 1808, in West Fairlee, Vermont. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1830 and then studied law in New York. Niles was admitted to the bar and moved to LaPorte, Indiana, in 1833. On December 16, 1834, he married Mary Polke, daughter of Judge William Polke, with whom he had five children. He served as prosecuting attorney (1838) and president judge (1843) for the 9th circuit. Niles was also a delegate to Indiana’s second Constitutional Convention (1850-1851). From 1851 to 1879, he was the attorney for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. In addition to his law career, Niles was also a professor of chemistry at the Indiana Medical College (LaPorte) from 1840 to 1852. He served two terms in the Indiana Senate (1865 and 1867). He died on July 6, 1879.


Shepherd, Rebecca A., Charles W. Calhoun, Elizabeth Shanahan-Shoemaker, and Alan F. January, comp. A Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, Vol. 1, 1816-1899. Indianapolis: The Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly, 1980.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 half manuscript box)

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.

Related Archival Material

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

L333: William Polke papers

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed by Christina Baich during April 2006. EAD finding aid revised 2015/11/12 by Laura Eliason; 2024/05/23 by Brittany Kropf.
John B. Niles papers
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.