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Eliza "Bessie" Osgood collection

Identifier: L461

Scope and Contents

This collection includes correspondence, photographs, and personal documents of Elizabeth "Bessie" Osgood. The bulk of the collection contains letters Bessie received from her friend, Mary "Puss" Allen, and describe her teaching experiences, family activities, friends, social events, church activities, marriages, new babies and illnesses (1885-1892). Additional correspondence from her future husband, Jerome Strain (1890-1892), her father (1890), her sisters (1890-1893), her Lyons family relatives (1890-1892), and letters sent by members of the Ritter family are included as well.

Along with photographs of friends and professors at DePauw University (circa 1880s), the collection also contains Rev. John S.C. Scott's, The Mother at Home (1833), an Indiana University annual catalogue (1855-1856), notes on Owen County, Indiana history (undated), Osgood's funeral registry and obituary (December, 1950), pen nibs, and a piece of wood with autographs of individuals who attended a cave party in July, 1887.


  • 1833-1950


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

Eliza Eunice "Bessie" Osgood was born November 23, 1866 in Gosport, Indiana to Dr. Howard G. and Harriet (Lyons) Osgood. After graduating from high school, she attended DePauw Univesity in Greencastle, Indiana. Osgood married Jerome F. Strain (1867-1949) on November 2, 1894 and they had a daughter, Helen, who died in infancy (1895) and a son, Howard (1900-1918). She taught Sunday school and was the pianist for the Gosport Methodist Church and was a member of the Women's Society of Christian Service and the Women's Christian Temperance Union. Osgood assed away at the age of 84 on December 23, 1950.


0.6 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Tom Dodd in 2002/09.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 2002 by Beth Herzog. Collection reprocessed 2017/01/26 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2017/01/26 by Laura Eliason.
Eliza "Bessie" Osgood 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.