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Safe deposit boxes collection

Identifier: L291

Scope and Contents

This collection includes insurance policies, typed and signed personal correspondence, receipts, birth and baptism certificates, marriage certificates, photographs, diaries, Confederate States of America currency, other personal and legal documents and titles and land deeds from various individuals in Indiana ranging from 1849 to 1967.

Notably, it contains a series of correspondences from William and Lucille Marlow, love letters and detailing their travels in 1935.

The items were all contents of abandoned safe deposit boxes from various banks and trust companies in Indiana, including: American Fletcher National Bank and Trust Company, Indianapolis; Banker's Trust Company, Indianapolis; Fidelity Trust Company, Indianapolis; First Merchant's National Bank and Trust Company, Lafayette; First Old State Bank, Elkhart; Fletcher Trust Company, Indianapolis; Fort Wayne National Bank, Fort Wayne; Gary National Bank, Gary; Gary State Bank, Gary; Indiana National Bank, Indianapolis; Irwin Union Trust Company, Columbus; Merchant's National Bank, Muncie People's Trust and Savings Company, Fort Wayne; and St. Joseph Valley Bank, Elkhart.

Oversize items includes property documents of Elizabeth Heady from 1919 to 1951 as well as documents reating to Robert W. Browne, Sidney M. Browne, Ella Forbing Ashbrook, Mr. and Mrs. Calvin O. Race, and Louise Schroeder (OBC138).


  • 1849-1967


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

William A. Marlow was born January 29, 1869 in Indiana to James Allen and Sarah Margaret (Reley) Marlow. He had two sisters, Cora and Hirlda [Hulda] Clara (later Mrs. Warner H. Paige). Marlow was graduated from Indiana University and took postgraduate work at Leland Stanford, Jr. University. Marlow wrote a history of Indiana and taught Latin, Greek, English and history in high schools and college. He worked in real estate and publishing and sales in Indianapolis, Indiana and Chicago, Illinois. Marlow lived in the Hotel Linden in downtown Indianapolis in 1935 and 1940. He and Lucile Clara (Metcalf) McLaren were married about 1935 and lived in Indianapolis, where he was the publisher of Hoosier Red Book, in 1942. Marlow was divorced at the time of his death, September 12, 1951 in Indianapolis.

Lucile Clara (Metcalf) McLaren Marlow was born July 14, 1882 in East Elma, New York to Frances E. Metcalf and Antoinette Hibbard. She worked as a saleswoman in publishing and lived in Aurora, Illinois in 1930, at which point she was divorced. In 1935, she lived in various hotels in several cities and towns in New York state. She married William A. Marlow about late September 1935 and lived in Indianapolis. They were divorced by 1951.


Information found within the collection. "Hirlda C. Marlow." 1880 United States Federal Census. Accessed September 1, 2016. "H. Clara Marlow." Iowa, Select Marriages Index, 1758-1996. Accessed September 1, 2016. "[Lucille] C. McLaren." 1930 United States Federal Census. Accessed September 1, 2016. "Lucile Clara Marlow." U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007. Accessed September 1, 2016. "Wm A Marlow." 1940 United States Federal Census. Accessed September 1, 2016. "William A. Marlow." Indiana, Death Certificates, 1899-1911. Accessed September 1, 2016. "William A.". U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995. Accessed September 1, 2016.

"Will Marlow." Terre Haute (IN) Tribune, September 13, 1951, p. 2.

Historical Note

Safe deposit or safety deposit boxes are individually secured containers usually held within a lager safe or bank vault. They are found in banks, post offices and other locations. Valuable possessions, such as jewelry, precious metals and gemstone and important documents, such as wills, deeds, birth and marriage certificates, passports, and computer data information are stored in the boxes.

They are typically rented from the institution for a fee and are accessed by a key held by the renter and a separate key held by the bank, with a signature and sometimes a code. Additional signatories may be authorized, which could prove helpful in the case of the incapacity or death of the renter.

Hotels, cruise ships and resorts often provide temporary safe deposit boxes.


Wikipeida. "Safe deposit boxes." Accessed August 3, 2016.


4.4 Cubic Feet (2 cubic foot boxes, 7 manuscript boxes, 2 oversize folders )

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Documents, 1849-1967, undated

Series 2: Oversize documents, 1914-1950

Custodial History

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


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/04/01 by Patrick Ridout. EAD finding aid created 2016/04/01 by Patrick Ridout. Collection processing revision completed by Edythe Huffmann 2016/09/26. EAD finding aid revised 2016/09/26 by Edythe Huffman; 2021/10/28 by Lauren Patton.
Safe deposit boxes 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.