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Daniel H. Prunk papers

 Collection — Folder: S1921
Identifier: S1921

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photocopies of correspondence ranging from 1866 to 1869 regarding the settling of accounts between Dr. Daniel H. Prunk and his supplier of coffins, caskets, coffin tops, and funeral accessories. Correspondence includes letters sent by Parish & Wood (later Hooke & Wood) Wholesale and Retail Furniture Dealers and Hon. T.R. Stanley of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The collection also includes photocopies of Dr. Prunk's day book that he used to record orders to be filled, burial arrangements desired, and various charges for his embalming business. The day book lists deceased soldiers and rank with only occasional references to military units. Entries in the day book range from 1864 to 1869, but there are 3 pages written in Indianapolis and dated May 9, 1883.


  • 1864-1883


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

Daniel H. Prunk was born on November 3, 1829 near Fincastle, Botetourt County, Virginia. His family moved to Illinois and he later attended the College of Mt. Palatine and the Rock River Seminary before studying medicine at the Eclectic Medical Institute at Cincinnati, Ohio and graduating in 1856. He married Harriet Augusta Smith on March 30, 1858 and they had three sons. He practiced medicine in Cincinnati, Rockford Illinois, and Princeton, Illinois before moving to Indianapolis in April 1861. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Prunk was commissioned assistant surgeon with the 19th Regiment Indiana Volunteers. He later served as assistant surgeon with the 20th Indiana, worked at the 3rd Corps Hospital in New York, and was acting assistant surgeon at the 2nd Division Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He became a specialist in the embalming and returning of deceased Union soldiers to their homes and operated several private embalming centers in Tennessee and Georgia until the end of the war. Prunk returned to Indianapolis in 1866 and resumed his medical practice. He received an additional medical degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Indiana in 1876 and continued practicing medicine until his death at the age of 93 on August 2, 1923.

Sources: "Daniel H. Prunk." Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929. Accessed August 17, 2018.

"Dr. Daniel Prunk Dies of Pneumonia." Indianapolis Star (IN), August 3, 1923.

Wan Beck, Todd W. "The Life and Times of Dr. Daniel H. Prunk: Civil War Embalming-Surgeon." Accessed August 17, 2018.


0.02 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 donation from Clifford Blancett on 1976/02/19.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1998 by Philip N. Williams. EAD finding aid created in 1998 by Philip N. Williams. EAD finding aid revised 2018/08/24 by Laura Eliason.
Daniel H. Prunk papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.