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John W. Cravens, Indiana University essay

 Collection — Folder: S2317
Identifier: S2317

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a carbon copy of a typed essay written by John Cravens as part of a three-part series titled “Buildings on the Old and New Campuses of Indiana University.” The essay was the first part of the series and was published as an article in the January 1922 Indiana University Alumni Quarterly under the subheading “The Old Seminary Building.” The article relates the politics behind the selection of the site of the university first known as Indiana Seminary and gives details regarding the construction and floor plan of the school's first building. Cravens also notes the prominent men who attended the school prior to the "Old Seminary" building being sold in 1858, the students who served as officers during the Civil War, and the early professors at the school. On the back of the last page there is a handwritten note in pencil stating that the essay was presented to Louise and Juliette Maxwell. The Maxwells were the granddaughters of David H. Maxwell, president of the board of trustees 1820-1837 and 1841-1852.


  • 1922


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

John William Cravens was born October 1, 1864 in Central Valley, Hendricks County, Indiana to Willaim Reese and Sarah (Bray) Cravens. He attended Danville High School and graduated from the Central Normal College (also in Danville) in 1884. Following graduation, Cravens worked for a year as one of the editors of the Danville Gazetter, then became the superintendent of the Monroe County, Indiana schools in 1887, the youngest superintendent in the state at the time. Cravens was elected clerk of the Monroe Circuit Court in 1890 and while in this position, he and his brother Oscar founded the Bloomington World newspaper. He became the registrar of Indiana University (IU) in 1895 and secretary in 1915. In 1897, he earned a bachelor's degree from IU and later earned his masters from the university. He married Emma L. Kreuger in 1891 and they had one daughter, Ruth Ralston Cravens. Emma died in 1898 and he married Mellie P. Green in 1916. Cravens retired from IU in 1936 and passed away at the age of 72 on August 10, 1937.

Sources: " John William Caravens." U.S., School Yearbooks, 1900-1999. Accessed April 25, 2022. "John W.Cravens." Find a Grave Memorial ID 63363576. Accessed April 25, 2022.

"John W. Carvens, Indiana U. Official 41 Years, Dies After Long Illness." Indianapolis Star (IN), August 11, 1937.


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.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1998 by Philip N. Williams. EAD finding aid created 2022/04/25 by Laura Eliason.
John W. Cravens, Indiana University essay
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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