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Franklin Public Library collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S2251

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photocopies of several histories related to Johnson County, Indiana, including "A History of Franklin, Indiana: Especially Jefferson Street" by Dr. Barnett Wallace (1923); "A History of the Johnson County Bar: State of Indiana" by Henry C. Barnett (1926); "One Hundred Years of Religious Development in the Hurrican Community, 1837-1937" by Nelson D. Jones; "A Historical Study of Lost Villages and Ghost Towns in Johnson County, Indiana" by William A. Bridges (1953); and "Notes on Needham Township" by Mrs. Louis O. Johnson (circa 1962). Other historical information compiled by Mrs. Johnson include "Christmas Day," a letter received from Neva Katharine Keener (undated); "The Johnson County Migration to Iowa"; a letter written by Mrs. Katherine Keener of Clarinda, Iowa (undated); "The Civil War and Three Grandfathers" written by Harry Magill of Johnson County (undated); and "Needham Township" (undated). The collection also includes photocopies of historical background information regarding the John Smiley family sent to Mrs. Johnson in 1962 by Lulie Davis of Salem, Indiana; biographical sketches of Thomas W. Bennett, Archibald Glenn, and Jacob Wetzel; an invitation to the third reunion of the students of Hartsville College in August 1918 and a poem titled "Welcome"; a typewritten transcription of the section of Mary McCoy's diary that she kept while traveling to Indiana in 1888; a list of officers and members of the Presbyterian Church of Franklin from February 1874; and a bulletin from the centennial pageant held at the First Baptist Church of Franklin on December 4, 1932.

This collection also contains photocopies of correspondence ranging from 1884 to 1890 that was sent to Sophronia Clarke of Mount Auburn (Shelby County) from her cousins Jennie Mullendore and Georgia DePue of Johnson County, and photocopies of a diary kept by (Ira) Elba Vandivier, a student at Union School in Ninevah Township, from February 1914 to July 1916.

The fifth folder in this collection contains photocopies of correspondence and documents related to Franklin County, Indiana, including a circular for the Springfield Academy at Mt. Carmel from 1852; two receipts from 1919 and an account sheet for work done by John Gill; letters written in 1918 by Harry Harvey and E.H. Osborn while serving in World War I; two Civil War documents regarding Squire Osborn's service from September 1865; correspondence and documents of James Osborn and John Harvey (1827-1869); George R. Osburn's (Osborn) license to teach school dated August 7, 1858; correspondence to George Dickson (or Dixon) from his brother John in Gillyholm (Ireland?) and his brother Robert in Mississippi; Francis Kirk's cemetery deed for Mt. Carmel dated January 3, 1874; a November 19, 1884 document signed by the county clerk certifying that John Dickson was elected a county commissioner; correspondence of the Blacker family (1843 and undated) and an August 6, 1865 survey of SE quarter of Section six and the NE quarter of Section seven in Township 7, Range 5 West that shows Blacker family land; accounting book entries from 1837 to 1839; county commissioner documents regarding an 1842 road petition and a petition signed by county residents requesting an additional township be established (undated); and documents related to the dividing of township 10, range 13 into two congressional districts by township trustees John Susman, James Jannings, and John Garrison (undated).


  • 1827-1962, undated

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

Johnson County, Indiana was formed in 1823 and Franklin was established as the county seat. In 1911, members of the women's clubs in Franklin raised $1,850 by subscription for a library. They filed the list of pledges with the clerk of the circuit court and the judge named trustees who would serve on the board of the new Franklin Public Library. The board rented an old armory room on the second floor of the old Hulsman Block building and formally opened the library on December 5, 1911. In 1916, a new library was built with the help of a grant from Andrew Carnegie. In 1977, the Franklin Public Library and the Johnson County Contractual Library merged and became the Franklin-Johnson County Library. A new library was built in Franklin in 1988, and as services continued to grow and expand across the county, the library system was renamed the Johnson County Public Library in 1989.


Branigin, Elba L. History of Johnson County, Indiana. Indianapolis, Ind.: B.F. Bowen and Co., 1913.

"Franklin's Public Library to Be Dedicated Next Friday." Indianapolis News (IN), April 25, 1916.

Johnson County Public Library. "Learn About JCPL: About JCPL." Accessed December 20, 2021.

"The Johnson County Public Library: A History and Trajectory. Viewing Library Events in the Context of County-wide Development." Accessed December 20, 2021.


0.06 Cubic Feet (5 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Franklin Public Library on 1967/04/15.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/12/20 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2021/12/20 by Laura Eliason.
Franklin Public Library 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.