Skip to main content

Joseph Cunningham collection

Identifier: L364

Scope and Contents

The collection consists mainly of business correspondence between Joseph Cunningham and his clients. Some of the more recurrent of his business correspondents were Morris Printing Company, printers of the Swine Breeders Journal, J. B. Luyster, Lloyd Mugg, C.M. Dayton, C.S. William and Sons, and S. B. Wenger. The correspondence discusses the sale of Poland China Swine and Plymouth Rock Poultry eggs, including prices and pedigrees of the hogs. Some of the letters discuss advertising in various trade journals as well. Many letters inquire about Cunningham’s catalogs. The business correspondence ranges from 1895 to 1919 with some of the years containing significantly more correspondence than others do.

Besides business correspondence, the collection also contains a few copies of American Swineherd, a magazine in which Joseph Cunningham and Company advertised. These magazines date from 1905, 1906 and 1921. Receipts in the form of cancelled checks are also present spanning the years 1906-1921, some years are better represented than others. A catalog sales ledger from 1908 and a farm accounts business ledger from 1940 to 1942 are also included.

The other, smaller portion, of the collection is largely the personal correspondence of Ora Cunningham Turner. Her correspondence spans from before and during her time at Marion College, as Ora Cunningham, to her married life with Eli Barton Turner (1891-1917). Three of Ora Cunningham’s school notebooks are also in the collection. A few letters that were written to Mary (Manda(y)) Cunningham, Joseph’s wife, and Ada Cunningham, Joseph’s daughter are also included. Finally, within the personal correspondence there is a 1913 photograph of a swine sold by the family and a report card from Joseph Turner, E. B. and Ora Turner’s son (1922-1923).

There are also seven farm ledgers ranging from 1943 to 1966 (V311) and oversize navigation charts and maps for the South Pacific region, 1942-1943 (OBE006).


  • 1891-1966


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

Joseph Cunningham was born on July 23, 1853, in Ross County, Ohio. He married Mary Amanda Anderson in 1874. The couple had two daughters, Ora (Cunningham) Turner and Ada (Cunningham) Mosely.

Joseph Cunningham bred Poland China Swine on his farm near Loree, Indiana. He also dealt in Plymouth Rock Poultry eggs. He was a member of the State Board of Agriculture from 1902 to 1905. Cunningham was also a Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1899. He died on May 21, 1906, in Miami County, Indiana. Cunningham is honored as a member of the Indiana Livestock Breeders Hall of Fame.

Ora Cunningham Turner was the daughter of Joseph and Mary Cunningham. The personal correspondence within the collection is mostly her correspondence with friends and family. She was a student at Marion College in Marion, Indiana and married Eli Barton Turner. Her family took care of the farm after her father’s death.


2.65 Cubic Feet (6 manuscript boxes, 1 extra-large oversize folder, 7 volumes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Edwena Turner on 1985/07/22.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2003/09 by Amy C. Belcher. EAD finding aid created 2018/05/04 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid revised 2020/09/04, 2022/11/04 by Brittany Kropf; 2021/11/23 by Lauren Patton.
Joseph Cunningham 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.