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Joel Williams letter

 Collection — Folder: S1426
Identifier: S1426

Scope and Contents

These two xeroxed pages are a copy of the handwritten letter, dated July 6, 1875, by Joel Williams to his brother Dave and family. The letterhead is for the National Surgical Institute founded in 1860. Joel, who was a patient at the Institute, wrote: "I cannot see that I am any better yet. I have not suffered quite as bad as I did at home. I am very weak, not able to set up a great while at a time... but I am better today." He did not think much of the Institute because he believed patients were neglected. He wrote: "they only want to keep patients as long as they can for the Hotel to fleece them." Joel was treated by Dr. Allen, who "says my case is a bad one, a great deal worse then piles, but he can cure it." He added: "I would not advice any person to come for anything but piles or deformeties. For all other complaints they can do just as well with any common doctor." He gave the hotel cost as $7 in advance, and mentioned meeting two old friends who worked at the Institute, Andy Griggs in the machine shop, and Lucien Griggs in the blacksmith shop. He did "not like hotel life chiefly on account of the noise day and night."In closing, he mentions his brother's name Dave and the fact that the Surgical Institute is in Indianapolis.


  • 1875


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/Historical Note/Administrative History

Joel Williams was the son of Jackson and Sarah (Parr) Williams, who were living in Clark, Johnson County, Indiana, in 1860 with their six children: Maria (age 20), Joel (age 17), Claiborne (age 14), David (age 12), Caroline (age 9), and Elihu (age 4). Joel was 21 years old when he registered for the draft during the Civil War on July 1, 1863. In 1880, he was married to Mary Dobbins and had one child, Cora, age 2. On November 20, 1918, he died in Franklin, Johnson County.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Hobert Hawkins on 1964/08/03.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing and finding aid completed 2015/04/23 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Joel Williams letter
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.