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William Winans Thomas papers

Identifier: L401

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence from William Winans Thomas and family members in Indiana, Illinois, New York, Michigan, North Carolina and California; church records from Indiana; Indiana Constitutional Convention of 1850-1851; a phrenological almanac; a photograph of William Winans Thomas; and miscellaneous items ranging from 1812 to 1955 regarding church, financial and personal business, school records and politics.


  • 1812-1955


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 Winans Thomas was the son of Minor and Nancy Winans Thomas. Minor was the first past of Old Baptist Church in Covert, New York. He was born June 24, 1800 in New York and had at least one sister, Samantha P. The family moved to Fayette County, Indiana in 1819. Thomas was a schoolteacher, bookkeeper, painter and later farmed. He made one of the first authoritative surveys of Fayette County and was the chief clerk and manager of a store in Harrison, Fayette County, Indiana. Thomas was one of the founding members and original trustees of the Regular Baptist Church of Lick Creek in Fayette County. He was elected to the constitutional convention of 1850 as a Whig.

Thomas married Polly [Mary] Trowbridge on September 15, 1827 in Fayette County. She, too, was born in New York and had come to Fayette County at the same time. They lived in Harrison and had four children: Nancy, Hubbard T., Buel and Franklin Y. Thomas lived with Hubbard and his family after his wife, Polly, died in 1875

Thomas died August 21, 1883 and was buried in Lick Creek Cemetery in Connersville, Indiana.


Items within the collection. "William W. Thomas." 1850 United States Federal Census. Accessed October 17, 2016. "William W. Thomas." 1880 United States Federal Census. Accessed October 17, 2016. "Minor Thomas." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed October 17, 2016. "William W. Thomas." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed October 17, 2016.

"Thomas, William." In Biographical and Genealogical History of Wayne, Fayette, Union and Franklin Counties. Chicago, IL: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1899.

Thomas, William W." In History of Fayette County, Indiana. Chicago, IL: Warner, Beers and Co., 1885.

"William W. Thomas." Spared and Shared 8. Accessed October 17, 2016.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Ina C. Hines on 1986/01/29.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 1999 by Philip N. Williams. EAD finding aid created 2016/10/19 by Edythe Huffman.
William Winans Thomas 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.