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Manhattan Fire Insurance Company collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S2302

Scope and Contents

This collection contains two policies issued by the Manhattan Fire Insurance Company to William Schneider of St. Wendel, Indiana for his two-story brick building that was to be used as a grocery, saloon, and dwelling. Signed June 27, 1878 and June 28, 1879, the policies were prepared by Samuel I. Loewenstein, an agent for the insurance company in Evansville, Indiana.

This collection also includes a January 27, 1820 letter written by Ohio Governor Ethan A. Brown and sent to Indiana Governor Jonathan Jennings regarding the artificial navigation of the Falls of the Ohio by the building of a canal; a June 19, 1839 receipt for $1,260 payable to C. J. Meeks for work done on Section No. 133 of the Whitewater Canal; and a document with the preprinted date of January 27, 1840 on three receipts for payments made by the Indiana Fund commissioners to three individuals with claims upon King and McCoy and Co. for Section No. 69 of the Whitewater Canal.

Other miscellaneous items in the collection include John Schmidt's pocket size account book for the John G. Beckmann store (Ferdinand, Ind.) containing entries ranging from 1881 to 1884; a receipt made out to the Charles G. Armstrong estate dated August 12, 1901 from the M.A. Chestnut Real Estate, Loans and Insurance Company of Kokomo, Indiana regarding payment made by A. F. Armstrong; a receipt book with only one entry, dated August 24, 1901, for a payment received by A.F. Armstrong for the heirs of the C.G. Armstrong estate regarding work on the Cook ditch; and a typewritten copy of “Bear Wallow Hill,” a poem by Lewis Bradford Richardson that was published in the May 31, 1910 Indianapolis Star that he claimed to be the "second example of the Spencerian stanza ever written in the western hemisphere, and only one written since 1794." The poem has a handwritten note at the bottom of the page regarding the traditional belief that an Indian Chief had come to Brown County, Indiana and lived on Bear Wallow Hill and "Timothy Dwight 1794" written on the side of the page, possibly referring to the other Spencerian writer.


  • 1820-1910

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

The Manhattan Fire Insurance Company was incorporated in 1821 and was one of the earliest fire insurance companies in America. For many years its offices were located at No. 68, Wall Street, New York, New York. Following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, a petition was filed in 1872 to force the company into bankrupcy on the allegation that it failed to meet its responsibilities. The petition was withdrawn and the company was reorganized. Over the next two decades the company had other legal issues and went into the hands of a receiver in May 1901.


"Manhattan Fire Insurance Company." New York Times, May 16, 1864.

"Reinsuring Its Risks: The Manhattan Fire Insurance Company Going Out of Business." New York Times, October 21, 1882.

"The Courts: United States District Court - In Bankruptcy: Petitions Against Insurance Companies Withdrawn." New York Daily Herald, May 16, 1864.

"To Extradite W.H. Hahn: Ohio Governor Signs Papers for Man Wanted Here." New York Times, June 27, 1902.


0.02 Cubic Feet (2 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2022/04/08 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2022/04/08 by Laura Eliason.
Manhattan Fire Insurance Company 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.