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Andrew Gardner papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: S2920

Scope and Contents

The four folders contain papers about the improvement of the Wabash River from 1834 to 1839, business papers, receipts, letters, tax receipts, railroad proposals, and an account book.

The oldest item in folder 1 is a tax receipt for forty cents for 1830 on half town lot no. 157 in Vincennes paid by A. Gardner. There are two documents dated 1834, but the remaining documents in this folder are all dated 1835. One item entitled “Memorandum of snags taken out of Black Cut Off” lists the dates (Aug. 18 – Oct. 21, 1835), the number of snags, and what kind of timber, including palm and “sickamore.”

Folder 2 has documents from 1836 to 1839, including letters to Andrew from his nephew John Curtis and from his brother Lemuel. There are proposals for Wabash River improvements and purchase of a lot in Vincennes for a public burial ground.

In folder 3 are items from 1840 through 1872, which include receipts, letters, appointments to various commissions, and estimates for cross ties for the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad Company. There is a funeral notice dated April 9, 1862, for George Gardner at the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Folder 4 has an account book for Huber-Gardner from 1847 to sometime in the 1850s.


  • 1830-1872

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

Andrew Garner was born on December 25, 1793, in Boston, Massachusetts. He came to Indiana Territory in 1815, and settled in Vincennes the following year. In August 1816, Andrew opened a business near Third and Busseron streets. His business was a general store along with the manufacture and sale of furniture. Part of the furniture-making business included the construction of coffins. Thus, he became involved in providing funeral services. By 1819, Mr. Gardner had a horse-drawn hearse. He became involved in local and state politics, serving as a trustee for the Borough of Vincennes, County Commissioner for Knox County, Treasurer for the City of Vincennes, and Commissioner for the Improvement of the Wabash River.

After Andrew Gardner’s death in 1860, his son Elbridge continued the Gardner Funeral Home, which is the oldest family funeral business, still privately owned, in the country, and the oldest business in Indiana.


Information found within collection.


0.04 Cubic Feet (4 folders)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Harrison M. Townsley on 1949/08/29.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 2013/11 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield. EAD finding aid created in 2013/11 by Nikki Stoddard Schofield.
Andrew Gardner papers
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.