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William J. Castleman collection

Identifier: L367

Scope and Contents

The collection includes a typescript of Through Myrtie Barker’s Window, a biography written by Castleman, copyright 1985, and photocopies of materials related to Barker. Also included are photocopies of newspaper clippings dated from June 24, 1958, to March 1985, although most are undated. Photographs are mixed in with the text in later chapters.

Folder 1 contains “A Myrtie Barker Album,” a collection of photocopies of clippings which includes Barker’s first published work. The folder also contains three tables of contents for Castleman’s biography. The remainder of the collection contains typescript chapters of the work. Chapters 40 through 45 are not included in the collection.


  • 1958-1985


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

William James Castleman, biographer of Myrtie Lillian Barker, was born January 5, 1908, in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of William Rodman and Rosa Pearl (Stovall) Castleman. His academic degrees (an A.B., 1954; an M.A., 1956; and M.Div., 1956) were from Butler University. Castleman married Hazel Dessa Yater on December 6, 1931. The Castlemans had one daughter, Rosemary. Castleman became an accountant for the Conkle Funeral Home, Indianapolis, in 1931 and a minister of the Disciples of Christ in 1956. He edited both the Garden City News (1946-1962) and the Christian Communication Reporter (1962-1972). Castleman died in 1991.

Myrtie Lillian Barker, author, was born in Indianapolis on July 24, 1910, the daughter of Harry G. and Mary A. (Bush) Barker. She attended college classes at the Indiana University Extension Center in Indianapolis. She graduated from the Indianapolis Piano School in 1928. Barker’s first published work was a four-line poem submitted to the Junior Home Magazine shortly after her eleventh birthday. In her late 20s, she wrote a weekly column entitled “The Lighthouse” for the Sherdian News. Barker became a columnist for The Indianapolis News in 1949, writing “My Window.” Her stories were published in Prairie Farmer, the Christian Herald, and the Christian Science Monitor. Her books included My Window—Parade of Days, I Am Only One, and Where is Everybody?. Barker was an active member of the Women’s Press Club of Indiana, the National League of American Pen Women, and the National Federation of Press Women. In 1953, Barker received a citation for accomplishment from the Marion County Society for Crippled Children and Adults. She died on January 1, 1983.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1999 by Philip N. Williams. Collection re-processed in 2012/05 by Laura Williams. EAD finding aid created 2018/05/04 by Lauren Patton.
William J. Castleman 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.