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Branham family papers

Identifier: S3199

Scope and Contents

This collection contains David Branham’s letters to his wife, Cynthia, written while he was supervising railroad construction in Martinsville. Also included are family letters written during the Civil War, legal and business papers, minutes of the Soldiers Aid Society of North Madison, Indiana, and a certificate of thanks to William Branham for serving as a volunteer during the Civil War.

There are also a certificate of thanks to William Branham for serving as a volunteer during the Civil War dated October 1, 1864 (OB204) and 11 volumes, mainly diaries, ranging from 1861 to 1873. His diaries discuss politics, railroad work, and personal matters.


  • 1812-1896


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

David C. Branham was born August 29, 1812. He worked as a railroad man, miller, farmer, contractor, lumber dealer, and served as superintendent of Jeffersonville, Madison, and Indianapolis Railroad for 12 years. He was also a contractor for the Shelbyville and Rushville Railroad, the Indianapolis and Vincennes Railroad, and the Rockport and Southwestern Railroad. Branham married Cynthia A. Watson in 1833, and they had seven children. He was a Whig and Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives, 1855-1867 and 1873 and he served as speaker in 1867. Branham was elected to the Indiana Senate in 1877 to complete the term of John Loften Roe. David C. Branham died February 20, 1877.

Cynthia A. Watson Branham was born about 1819 in Kentucky. She married David C. Branham in 1833.

William Branham was born about 1848 to David C. and Cynthia A. Branham. He served in the 137th Indiana Infantry Regiment during the U.S. Civil War and was honorably discharged in 1864.


Rebecca A. Shepherd et al., eds. A Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, vol. 2. Indianapolis: Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana. Accessed April 23, 2007.


0.29 Cubic Feet (4 folders, 11 volumes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Helen M. Crane on 1950/09/22 and 1950/10/17.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 2007/04 by Barbara Hilderbrand. EAD finding aid created in 2007/04 by Barbara Hilderbrand. EAD finding aid updated 2015/11/13 by Edythe Huffman. EAD finding aid revised 2021/09/ by Lauren Patton.
Branham 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.