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Turley family correspondence

 Collection — Folder: S2250
Identifier: S2250

Scope and Contents

This collection includes photocopies of five letters written by George Donaldson from his home in Spring Hill, Alabama and sent to Jonathan Turley from 1878 to 1893 and one sent to Eliza Turley in July 1897. In Donaldson's correspondence with Jonathan Turley, he discusses his property, "Shawnee," in Lawrence County, Indiana, land he would like to sell, and the burlarization and burning of his cabin. The correspondence sent to Miss Turley was in response to her letter informing him that her father and a Sarah Lynn had died.

The collection also includes photocopies of seven letters sent to Eliza and Jennie Turley from Emma E. Currie of Boston, Massachusetts, a cousin of George Donaldson. Ranging from 1901 to 1911, Currie's corrrespondence mentions Donaldson's death in Scotland, the stories of his being a "banished lord" from Scotland being false, and the deliberate burning of Donaldson's cottage. She also discusses the state of Indiana's claim on the Shawnee property (now part of Spring Mill State Park) and her June 28, 1906 letter to the editor of the Mitchell Tribune in response to inaccurate statements about Donaldson and his "Beautiful Shawnee" made in an article sent to her by the Turleys.


  • 1878-1911


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.

Historical Note

Jonathan Turley was born May 2, 1827 in Marion Township, Lawrence County, Indiana to Benjamin and Parmelia (Wright) Turley. He married Julia A. Hall in December 1849 and they had six children, four of whom lived to adulthood: Mary F., Sarah J., Robert B., and Eliza A. In 1872, Turley purchased Spring Mill and changed the name to Daisy Spring Mill. He also began the distillation of brandy and some whisky in 1879. He was known to have the best brandy in the Midwest, but his operation failed to make adequate profits, and he closed the mill in 1892 and the distillery in 1896. Turley died on August 1, 1896. His daughters Sarah (1853-1926) and Eliza (1859-1934) never married and continued to reside on the family's homestead until their deaths.


Strange, Nathan D. The Complete Guide to Indiana State Parks. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2018.

History of Lawrence, Orange, and Washington Counties, Indiana: From the Earliest Time to the Present, Together with Interesting Biographical Sketches, Reminiscences, Notes, Etc. Chicago: Goodspeed Bros. and Co., 1884.


0.01 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 Imogene W. Fiscus on 1965/11/30.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/12/16 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2021/12/16 by Laura Eliason.
Turley family correspondence
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.