Skip to main content

Pierce-Krull family papers

Identifier: L353

Scope and Contents

The collection includes family correspondence (1834-1963), writings, financial records, journals, and scrapbooks from the Pierce-Krull family ranging from 1834 to 1963. Family correspondence includes correspondence of the John Moore family of Ellisville, Geneseo, and Rock Island, Illinois (1834-1870), including letters from family members in St. Louis, Missouri., California, and Madison, Jefferson County and Shelbyville, Shelby County, Indiana. Also included are letters, and transcripts of letters, of W. S. Pierce in Yuba City, California, to his wife and son in Indiana and Illinois (1850-1854). Additionally, the collection contains correspondence between W. S. Pierce in Indianapolis and his son, Henry D. Pierce, at Princeton University (1865-1866), as well as W. S. Pierce’s business correspondence regarding his real estate and railroad interests in Indiana, and state and national Democratic Party politics, particularly in regard to his brother-in-law, Thomas A. Hendricks (1860s-1870s). The collection also includes correspondence of H. D. Pierce with his fiancée and later wife, Elizabeth Vinton (1874-1880s), including letters written during his trips to Europe and California in the 1880s, and correspondence of Elizabeth Vinton while she was a student at Vassar College (1871-1874). Additionally, there are family correspondence of Theresa Pierce (1890s), including her letters from Vassar College (1899-1900); her correspondence with her fiancé, Frederic Krull, while he was in Columbia, Missouri (1904-1906); letters of Douglas Pierce while a student at Harvard Law School (1906-1908). Theresa Krull’s correspondence regarding the Vassar College Alumnae Association, and their work for women’s suffrage, and in training nurses for service during World War I; her correspondence regarding her involvement with Indianapolis organizations, including the Indianapolis Propylaeum, the Indiana Federation of Clubs, and the Indianapolis Women’s Club; her correspondence regarding her historical, genealogical, and patriotic interests; and correspondence regarding Frederic Krull’s work.

The family’s writings include Frederic Krull’s musical compositions; Theresa Krull’s articles and lectures on women’s clubs and Midwestern history; Henry D. Pierce’s articles and speeches (1895-1926), principally on Europe, South America, and Nicaragua; typed manuscript of Booth Tarkington’s story “The Last Sunday;” Charles Holman-Black’s memoirs of growing up in Indianapolis in the late nineteenth century; and an unpublished novel by Frederic Krull.

The collection also includes Theresa Krull’s journals (1892-1947); account books of the Vinton family of Indianapolis (1852-1875); receipts, land documents, and other family business documents of the Moore, Pierce, Vinton, and Krull families (1840-1949); family school essays and report cards (1840-1899); scrapbooks for Theresa and Frederic Krull (1922-1947); newspaper clippings relating to family members and their interests (1867-1963); programs, pamphlets, and other materials relating to Indianapolis organizations (1888-1956); pamphlets and other printed materials regarding the proposed canal across Nicaragua (1893-1928); and genealogical materials. Recordings of Frederic Krull singing “Little Orphant Annie” and “Kissing the Rod.”

There is also an oversize letter from Thomas Hendricks to his sister in 1885, later published as a broadside (OBC075).

Correspondents include George S. Boutwell, Thomas A. Hendricks, Eli Lilly, Horatio Seymour, E.B. Washbourne.


  • 1834-1963


Language of Materials

Materials in English and German.

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

The Pierce-Krull family included Theresa Vinton Pierce Krull (1877-1963), a graduate of Vassar College (1900), and an Indianapolis clubwoman, a feature writer for the Indianapolis Star, and a lecturer and writer on educational, historical, and political topics. Her husband, Frederic Krull (1876-1961), was an Indianapolis singer, voice instructor, and composer, whose works included music for James Whitcomb Riley’s poems. Theresa’s father, Harry Douglas Pierce (1848-1929), was an Indianapolis lawyer and businessman who was a director of various railroad companies in Indiana and New York, as well as a director of the Nicaragua Maritime Canal Company, and a journalist writing on European and South American affairs. Her grandfather, Winslow S. Pierce (1819-1888), was a physician in Illinois, California, and Indianapolis (1840s-1888), comptroller of the State of California (1851), businessman involved in real estate, railroad development, and Democratic Party politics in Indiana (1854-1888).


9.7 Cubic Feet (26 manuscript boxes, 1 large oversize folder)


This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from the Frederic Krull estate on 1966/05/07 and 1966/11/22.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

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

S3206: Mary Jane Krull song book

P057: Stereograph cards collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2012/01 by Laura Williams. EAD finding aid created 2018/05/04 by Lauren Patton. EAD findning aid revised 2020/12/15 by Brittany Kropf.
Pierce-Krull family papers
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.