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Society of Friends Church history collection

Identifier: L190

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence and completed survey forms from various individuals in Indiana and elsewhere in 1932 regarding the history of the Society of Friends education in Indiana and the Society of Friends church records in Indiana ranging from 1865 to 1944 regarding church history and memberships.


  • 1865-1944


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

Ethel Reece Hittle McDaniel was born about 1900 in Hancock County, Indiana to Marshall Nicholis and Anna Reece Hittle, with an older brother, Orris E. She grew up in the Friends tradition, as did her husband, Russell Lowell McDaniel, whom she married on August 12, 1920 in Hancock County and with whom she had two sons, Marvin J. and Marlin R. McDaniel wrote a master's thesis entitled, "The Contribution of the Friends' Church to Education in Indiana" at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana (where she had obtained a bachelor's degree in 1925). She was a teacher in 1940, at one time working at the Oaklandon High School. She later lived in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1952 and published a book of genealogical research about her mother's family in 1954. McDaniel died in St. Petersburg in 1955.


Information found within the collection. "Hittle, Ethel R." 1910 United States Federal Census. Accessed November 9, 2015. "Hittle, Ethel R." Indiana, Index to Select Marriages, 1780-1992. Accessed November 9, 2015.

McDaniel, Ethel H. "The Contribution of the Friends' Church to Education in Indiana." MA thesis, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, pp. i-v, 166. Accessed October 26, 2015.

"McDaniel, Russell Lowell." Political Graveyard. Accessed November 9, 2015.

Thompson, Donald Eugene, and R.E. Banta. "McDaniel, Ethel Reece Hittle." In, Indiana Authors and Their Books, 1967-1980, 244-245. Crawfordsville, IN: Wabash College, 1981.

Historical Note

It is believed that the Society of Friends, often known as Quakers, in Indiana Territory first commenced holding religious meetings regularly, in an nascent settlement near the Whitewater River, in the summer of 1807. The first Monthly Meeting, called Whitewater, was established in 1809, in the cabin belonging to Jeremiah Cox.

The first meeting of what is now Western Yearly Meeting had its beginning in Orange County, Indiana near Paoli as the result of a settlement of Friends in 1823.

Also in Indiana, Blue River Quarterly Meeting was approved in 1819. In 1820, an Indiana Yearly Meeting was authorized to be opened at Richmond, Indiana in 1821 and was held October 8, 1821; it included Ohio Friends. Other locations for Quarterly Meetings were added in later years.

The Friends had schools organized while Indiana was still a territory and they later developed a system of schools which set a standard for the system of public education established later. In 1850, an attempt was made to organize a high school in Evansville, Indiana, by which time the Friends had twelve well-organized schools in Indiana doing advanced work, comparable to modern high schools. The Friends opened Earlham College as a denomination college, in 1847.


Information found within the collection.

Bulletin of Friend's Historical Society of Philadelphia (Spring 1923): 3-16.

"Early Schools." Indianapolis News, July 8, 1939.

Harlow, Lindley. Centennial Celebration of Indiana Yearly Meeting, October 15, 1921.

"Indiana Historical Society Publishes Book on Friends' Aid to State Education." Indianapolis Star, July 9, 1939.

McDaniel, Ethel H. "The Contribution of the Friends' Church to Education in Indiana." MA thesis, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, i-v,166 pp. Accessed October 26, 2015.

"Plainfield Friends Marks a Century, 1851-1951." Plainfield, IN: Plainfield Monthly Meeting of Friends, 1951.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Elizabeth Bryant on 1964/10/27.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/11/09 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid created 2015/11/09 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding revised 2015/12/08 by Brittany Kropf.
Society of Friends Church history collection
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.