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James A. Stoner collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S2704

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the following items of Rev. James A. Stoner: two copy books used 1858-1859; a handwritten poem "My Dream" read by Mollie Strayer at the 1869 closing exercises of Peru High School; a carte de viste photograph of Stoner dated December 12, 1876; and his teacher's license for Miami County, Indiana dated January 31, 1880. Also included are items most likely kept by his wife, Sara "Lizzie" Stoner: a 1931 invitation to attend dedication service for a monument honoring teachers of the Hayes School (Brazil, Ind.) and photocopies of newspaper clippings about Clay County citizens and the history of Peru schools (1931-1937). Rev. Stoner's scrapbook (V288) is also part of this collection.

There is also a scrapbook (V288) compiled by James A. Stoner, with items ranging from 1856 to 1913. The scrapbook consists of newspaper clippings about education topics, many written by Stoner; teacher licenses; invitations; programs for Buchtel College events; Universalist convention programs; Knights Templar Easter service programs (Seneca, Kansas); and various awards of merit. A few items were added following his death, including his obituary, an article from the Brazil Daily Times (Indiana) about a valentine given 61 years before to Mr. Stoner from his students, and handwritten notes added by his daughter Norma L. Stoner in 1954.


  • 1858-1937


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

James Alfred Stoner was born April 21, 1849 in Miami County, Indiana to John Rudolph and Mary Ann (Patterson) Stoner. At the age of seventeen, he became a teacher and taught in the local schools for a number of years. Stoner also taught a year at the Hayes School, a log schoolhouse near Brazil in Clay County, Indiana and attended the Indiana Normal School at Terre Haute. He married Sara "Lizzie" Smelser on September 24, 1878 and they had four children. Stoner was ordained as a minister in the Universalist church in 1888 and served congregations in Kansas, Indiana, and Ohio. He died on December 7, 1913.

Sara "Lizzie" (Smelser) Stoner was born November 1853 in Wayne County, Indiana, the daughter of James and Mary Francis (Hamilton) Smelser. She attended Smithson College and later graduated from Buchtel College. She was active in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union and also served as a Universalist minister from 1900 to 1914. She died on April 1, 1937.


Information within collection. "James A. Stoner." 1900 United States Federal Census. Accessed September 3, 2020. "James A. Stoner." Indiana, Marriages, 1810-2001. Accessed September 3, 2020. "Rev. James Alfred Stoner." Find a Grave Memorial no. 13990585. Accessed September 3, 2020.

"Rev. Sara Stoner Dies at Prospect." Dayton Herald (Ohio), April 3, 1937.


0.05 Cubic Feet (1 folder, 1 volume)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Norma L. Stoner on 1954/04/12.


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:

S1200: Lizzie Smelser collection

V288: James A. Stoner scrapbook

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2020/09/04 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2020/09/04 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid revised 2020/09/08 by Brittany Kropf.
James A. Stoner collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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