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Asa J. Smith collection

Identifier: L368

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of Asa J. Smith’s manuscript, drafts, and notes for a biography of Hiram I. Bearss of Peru, Indiana. Bearss served over 20 years in the United States Marine Corps from the Spanish-American War until World War I, obtaining the rank of brigadier general. A few folders contain items for scrapbooks from Smith’s personal life and other literary interests.


  • 1901-1973


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

Asa Jessup Smith, born on January 20, 1894 in Wabash, Indiana, was a prominent Indianapolis attorney. He married Lena Tweedy in 1920. Smith worked as secretary to U.S. Senator Harry S. New from 1919 to 1921. Smith attended DePauw University and the Indiana Law School and served in the military in both World Wars I and II. He was a Republican state representative in the Indiana General Assembly in 1923. Perhaps the most famous case of his law career occurred when, as the family attorney for the Oberholtzer family, he took the deathbed statement of Madge Oberholtzer which led to the murder conviction of Ku Klux Klan leader, D. C. Stephenson. Smith worked in the Marion County Prosecutors Office, as well as the federal district courts of southern Indiana. Smith died in February 12, 1973.


Items in the collection.

Bodenhamer, David J., Robert G. Barrows, and David Gordon Vanderstel. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, p. 1269. Bloomington: Indiana University Press., 1994. p 1269.

Shepherd, Rebecca A. A Biographical directory of the Indiana General Assembly, vol. 2, p. 385. Indianapolis: Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly, 1980.


3.2 Cubic Feet (9 manuscript boxes, 1 half 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 from Asa J. Smith in 1971.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 2000 by Jamie L. Bargeron. Collection re-processed 2011/12 by Brent Abercrombie. EAD finding aid created 2018/05/04 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid revised 2020/09/08 by Brittany Kropf.
Asa J. Smith 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.