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Asa J. Smith essay

 Collection — Folder: S2417
Identifier: S2417

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a 29-page essay about Nikola Tesla written and read by Asa J. Smith before the Century Club of Indianapolis, Indiana on Tuesday, May 24, 1949. The essay was written as a "brief" review of a biography of Tesla authored by John J. O'Neill and Smith states that his paper was written from the "point of view of a layman in a field inscrutable even to many experts."


  • 1949/05/24


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

Asa Jessup Smith was born January 20, 1894 in Wabash, Indiana to Drs. Andrew J. and Louise F. (Jessup) Smith. He graduated from DePauw University in 1915 and from the Indiana University School of Law in 1917. He served in the United States Marine Corps during World War I and World War II and was discharged from the latter with the rank of lieutenant colonel. A Republican, he served as secretary to U.S. Senator Harry S. New from 1919 to 1921 and as a representative in the Indiana General Assembly in 1923. He practiced law in Indianapolis for many years and played a leading role in the prosecution of some of Indiana's most controversial cases. He served as commissioner of the Federal District Court for Southern Indiana from 1947 to 1950, then as special master of the same court from 1950 to 1954. He was a member of the Indianapolis, Indiana and American bar associations and was also a member of the American Legion, Masonic Lodge, Columbia Club and the Century Club. On June 10, 1920 he married Lena Tweedy and they were married for more than 50 years. Mr. Smith passed away at the age of 79 on February 12, 1973.

Sources: "Asa J. Smith." Indiana, U.S., Death Certificates, 1899-2011. Accessed September 6, 2022.

"Asa Smith Dies; Gained Fame as a Prosecutor." Indianapolis Star (IN), February 13, 1973.

"Tweedy-Smith." The Huntington Herald (IN), June 16, 1920.


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 from Asa J. Smith in 1949/07.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

L368: Asa J. Smith collection

OH018: Asa J. Smith oral history

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1994 by Philip N. Williams. EAD finding aid created 2022/09/06 by Laura Eliason.
Asa J. Smith essay
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.