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J. M. Woodfill's Sons collection

Identifier: V231

Scope and Contents

This collection includes journals, ledgers, invoice registers, bank books, account books with inventory and sales records, and "yearbook" calendars ranging from 1889 to 1983 regarding the J.M. Woodfill's Sons clothing store (and its many antecedents). Also included are records kept by Joseph Strasburger following the closer of the Woodfill business.


  • 1889-1983


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

James M. Woodfill was born August 31, 1841 in Greensburg, Indiana to Gabriel and Elizabeth (Van Pelt) Woodfill. His parents had moved to Greensburg in 1830 and his father was an early merchant of the city. Woodfill began working for his father as a boy and following his father's retirement in 1863, became a partner in the business with his brothers William S. and John under the name Woodfill Brothers. John Woodfill died in 1869 and the company name changed to W. S. Woodfill and Company.

James Woodfill married Margaret Cones on April 6, 1869 and they had four sons: William C. (1870-1937), Charles M. (1872-1956), James Van (1876-1966), and Robert C. (1881-1966). Due to ill health, Woodfill sold his interest in the family dry goods store to his brother William in 1884. In 1889, he bought out the interest of John Hittle of Hittle and Christian, a local men's clothing store, and the business became Christian and Woodfill. In 1890, C.W. Byers became his partner and the business was renamed Woodfill and Byers. In 1895, the business was renamed again as J.M. Woodfill and Sons. His sons took over the business in 1897 and the business operated under the name J.M. Woodfill's Sons.

James Woodfill died at the age of 83 on December 11, 1924. His son James Van was the last of the family to own the business when he retired in 1960. The store was purchased by the company's longtime employee Joseph Strasburger and he operated the store under the name Woodfill's Men's Apparel until it closed in 1972.

Sources: "James M. Woodfill." Find a Grave Memorial no. 50327201. Accessed June 29, 2020.

Guthrie, Wayne. "Greensburg Loses Woodfill Landmark." Indianapolis News (Ind.), March 8, 1972.

Harding, Lewis Albert. History of Decatur County, Indiana: Its People, Industries and Institutions. Indianapolis, Ind.: B.F. Bowen and Company, 1915.

"Odds and Ends." Greensburg Standard (Ind.), January 4, 1884.

"Resident of Greensburg All His Life." Greensburg Daily News (Ind.), December 12, 1924.


4 Cubic Feet (23 volumes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as donation from multiple donors, including from Joleen Connor on 2001/03/05.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 2001 by Susan King. Collection reprocessed in July 2020 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2020/07/09 by Laura Eliason.
J.M. Woodfill's Sons collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.