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Messler family letters

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S0946

Scope and Contents

The first half of this collection consists of letters written to Henry P. Messler in Oxford, Ohio from James and Mary Messler and Roxana Harper. The second half includes letters written to Charles L. Harper. There are a few letters in the second portion of the collection where the author and/or recipient are unknown.


  • 1858-1896


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

James W. Messler was born in Hamilton County, Ohio on June 10, 1830. In 1839 his family moved to Union County, Indiana. During his youth, Messler worked as a farm hand and later obtained employment with the Whitewater and Erie Canal. In 1853, he began flat boating along the Mississippi River and came upon an opportunity to travel to Australia. Messler worked in a mine for two years in the Castle Main Region. In 1855 he and J.B. Gray opened a mercantile in Wedderburn. Messler sold his interest in the store in 1858 and set off for the United States. In October of 1858 he purchased a farm in Clinton County, and served as a Private with Company I, 100th Infantry Indiana Regiment. He mustered out on June 8, 1865 and returned to Clinton County. Messler married Mary C. Leach in Clinton County on April 27, 1871. They had seven children together, James, Harry, Bertha, Daisy, Elsie, Bessie, and Robert. James W. Messler died in Frankfort, Indiana on March 14, 1894.


0.02 Cubic Feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was purchased by the Rare Books and Manuscripts from Howard Chatfield on 1936/12/31.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed during March 2006 by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson. EAD finding aid created 2014/12/17 by Bethany Fiechter.


Messler family letters
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.