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Benjamin Wilson Smith collection

Identifier: L146

Scope and Contents

This collection includes writings and papers from Benjamin WIlson Smith in Indiana and the United States, ranging from 1858 to 1949, regarding the history of Warrick, Spencer, and White counties, Indiana; Harrison County, West Virginia; Manchester Academy; and the postal system. Also included are his accounts of a trip from Virginia to White County, Indiana in 1846 and an autobiography. Also, his scrapbook of clippings and notes on politics, his advice to students in Dearborn County, Daughters of the American Revolution applications for his family, correspondence with his daughter regarding family history, and papers regarding the Civil War service of his brother-in-law Oliver Smith Rankin.


  • 1858-1949


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

Benjamin Wilson Smith was born January 19, 1830 in Harrison County, Virginia. He graduated from Indiana Asbury, now DePauw, University, in 1855 and married Ruth Anne Rankin that same year. Smith moved to White County, Indiana in 1846 where he worked as a teacher, college professor, and merchant. He was a professor of ancient languages at Cornell College in Iowa (1855-1857). Smith worked at public schools in Manchester, Aurora, Valparaiso, Knightstown, and Porter County, Indiana. He served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1872. Smith later served in the Indiana House of Representatives from 1883 to 1887. He was the postmaster of Lafayette, Tippecanoe County (1889-1893) and the state examiner of public schools in 1909. Benjamin Wilson Smith died October 13, 1921.


Shepherd, Rebecca A. et al., eds. A Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, vol. 1. Indianapolis: Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana.


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 William M. Reser on 1934/09/15 and the Tippecanoe County Historical Society on 1952.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2007 January by Barbara Hilderbrand. EAD finding aid created 2007 January by Barbara Hilderbrand. EAD finding aid revised 2015/10/30 by Bethany Fiechter.
Benjamin Wilson Smith collection
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.