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E. A. Richardson correspondence

 Collection — Folder: S852
Identifier: S0852

Scope and Contents

This collection includes typed, signed letters from E. A. Richardson and the Indiana State Library director in Evansville, Indiana and Indianapolis, Indiana ranging from 1929/02/25-1934/12/17 regarding orders and payments for E. A. Richardson's books.


  • 1929/02/25-1934/12/17


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

Embra Richardson was born in Clay township, Pike County, Indiana to James and Martha Cat Richardson. He was the youngest of at least seven children, two of whom died in infancy. His older siblings were Luther, Stella, Perry and/or Terry and Bertha. When he was twelve, the family moved to Arkansas, on the advice of an acquaintance, Dr. Russell, hoping for a more abundant existence. When he was thirteen in Arkansas, he changed his name to Emory and added Aaron as his middle name. His father, Emory, Luther and Bertha returned to Indiana after a year, leaving Mrs. Richardson, Stella and Perry to run the farm for a few years. Within a short time of returning to Indiana, Mr. Richardson died of catarrh. The children moved from their aunt's home in Vincennes, Indiana to Oakland City, Indiana, where Emery boarded, first with the Coleman family by 1900, then with his cousins, the Minnis, by 1910.

He attended Oakland City College and played sports, earning the nickname "Big Rich", and writing poetry. He was graduated from the college in 1912, with high honors. He and Lucy Wilson were married on April 30, 1916 and moved to Evansville in 1918, where she taught and they lived for many years. He worked for the Evansville Journal as a court reporter in 1918. Emory received the LL. B. degree from La Salle Extension, University of Chicago and practiced law for a few years. His professions of choice were lecturer, entertainer, and humorist and he used the pseudonym "Big Rich." His motto was "let's trade grins - then be frien's". Richardson was chosen unofficial poet laureate of Indiana (a title previously held by James Whitcomb Riley) by the state legislature, on Feb. 12, 1929, largely because of his poem 'Lincoln, the Hoosier.' He wrote eight books of poetry and a number of lyrics for songs. Emory died Sept. 18, 1965 and is buried in Alexander Memorial Park Cemetery in Evansville, Indiana, next to Lucy, who died in 1970.

"Indiana - State Poet Laureate". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2015/09/02.

"Indiana's Poet laureate dies in Evansville home". Evansville (IN) Courier". Sept. 19, 1965:Pg. 1, cols. 2-4. Print.

"Richardson, [Emery]". 1900 United States Federal Census. Retrieved 2015/09/02.

"Richardson, Emory A.". Find a Grave Memorial. Retrieved 2015/09/02.

"Richardson, Emory Aaron". (1974). In Indiana authors and their books, 1917-1966 (pp. 510-511). Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College. Print. ISLI 016.810 B219I SUPP. 1917-66

"Richardson, Emory Aaron". Indiana Biography Index Pre 1990. Retrieved 2015/09/02. - "Richardson, Emory [W].". 1920 United States Federal Census. Retrieved 2015/09/02.

"Richardson, [Emry]". 1910 United States Federal Census. Retrieved 2015/09/02.

Wallbaum, Amanda. "Big Rich, Hoosier poet: Biography of Emory Aaron Richardson. Ferdinand, IN: Sisters of St. Benedict. Print. ISLO 928 R522 No. 5


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 records transfer from the Director's Office.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed during November 2014 by Bethany Fiechter. EAD finding aid created 2015/09/02 by Edythe Huffman.
E. A. Richardson correspondence
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.