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Indiana charitable institution administrators scrapbook pages

 Collection — Folder: SP163
Identifier: SP163

Scope and Contents

This collection includes loose scrapbook pages with photographs, clippings, and magazine articles ranging from 1921 to 1928, regarding administrators of charitable organizations in Indiana, including Mr. and Mrs. Leslie A. Cortner of the Indiana State Soldiers and Sailors' Orphans' Home in Knightstown; C. D. Chadwick, Indiana Board of Industrial Aid for Blind; O. R. Lynch of the Logansport State Hospital; Dr. James L. Milligan; O. M. Pittenger of the Indiana State Schol for the Deaf; and Colonel Charles F. Zillmer of the Indiana State Soldiers' Home in Lafayette.


  • 1921-1928

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.

Historical Note

The antecedent of the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Orphan Home began under Susan Fussell as a private organization in April 1866 in Knightstown, Indiana. In 1867, it became a state institution with the support of Governor Oliver P. Morton and others and was authorized and required by law to receive orphans and children of honorably discharged American soldiers, sailors, marines, and nurses as pupils to be supported, educated, and trained in vocations until they were of age. On October 1, 1923, Leslie A. Cortner was made superintendent of the institution and his wife was the matron. In 1928, the home had about 500 children in its care. At that time, children were organized in groups of 25 with a governess in charge of each group. The institution was renamed the Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home in 1929.


The Indiana General Assembly authorized the creation of the Indiana Board of Industrial Aid for the Blind on March 15, 1915 to "improve the conditions of the blind" and to help blind people to become independent and productive members of society. The board formed from the members of the Board of Trustees for the Indiana State School for the Blind, which was comprised of 4 members: F. F. Wiley, A. C. Pilkenton, O. D., Odell, and L. M. Dunlap. C. D. Chadwick, a graduate of Indiana's blind school, was appointed executive secretary of the Indiana Board of Industrial Aid for the Blind on May 28, 1915. The board's office was located in the Pennway Building in Indianapolis when it was first established. The organization created opportunities for industrial training, "self-aid," and gathering statistics for and about blind people.


Indiana had several mental institutions and hospitals around the state by the 20th century. The oldest and, perhaps, famous was Central State Hospital in Indianapolis. The Indiana General Assembly passed a law to build three additional hospitals at Evansville, Richmond, and Logansport in 1883. A site totaling 281 acres was selected a mile southwest of Logansport, where the hospital--called the Northern Indiana Hospital for the Insane--opened on July 1, 1888, receiving 309 patients and run by Dr. Joseph G. Rogers. The institution was named Logansport State Hospital in 1927, though it was often called "Longcliff" by the locals. O. R. Lynch was named superintendent of the Logansport State Hospital in May 1928, succeeding Dr. Samuel Dodds. He was born and raised in Cass County, Indiana and practiced medicine in Peru, Indiana. Lynch previously worked with mentally-ill patients for several years at the Veterans' Bureau Hospital in Northport, Long Island, New York. The hospital continues to be a place for innovateive psychiatric treatment today.

The Madison State Hospital--originally called the Southeastern Indiana Hospital for the Insane--was deemed a necessity in 1905 and its creation enacted by the Indiana General Assembly in 1905. It was renamed, along with the other state mental institutions in 1927. Dr. James W. Milligan was superintendent of the hospital during that era. Each hospital received patients of mental illness from counties within their regional districts.


Teachers William and Eliza Willard began the Indiana School for the Deaf with 12 students, then called the Willard School, in 1843. The Indiana General Assembly established the school as a state institution soon thereafter. It was the first such school to offer free education to any deaf student. It was later known as the Asylum for the Education of the Deaf and Dumb. The name was changed again in 1907 by the Indiana General Assembly to the Indiana State School for the Deaf and officially recognized as part of the state's educational system. By 1928, Dr. O. M. Pittenger became superintendent of the school. At that time, there were about 2,500 "Silent Hoosiers," as one article referred to them.


The Indiana State Soldiers' Home was founded on 200 acres of land north of Lafayette, Indiana to care for veterans of the American Civil War, as well as later conflicts. It was established by the Indiana General Assembly in 1888 after intense lobbying from the Grand Army of the Republic. By 1900, several buildings were constructed on the site. The number of applicants for admittance far exceeded the home's capacity throughout its history. Colonel Charles F. Zillmer was appointed as commandant of the home in the 1920s. In the 1950s, it was determined the outdated facilities needed to be updated and all but 4 of the original buildings were demolished and new ones constructed.


Items in the collection.

"Bill to Rename Insane Hospitals Is Passed." Indianapolis Star, March 2, 1927. Accessed April 27, 2022. ProQuest.

Campbell, Charles F. F. "State of Indiana Board of Industrial Aid for the Blind." Outlook for the Blind 9, no. 2 (Summer 1915): 41-43. Accessed April 27, 2022. Google Books.

Indiana Board of Industrial Aid for the Blind. "Indiana Board of Industrial Aid for the Blind: First Annual Report." Fort Wayne, IN: Fort Wayne Printing Co., 1916. Accessed April 27, 2022.

Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. "Logansport State Hospital: History." Accessed April 27, 2022.

Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction. "Madison State Hospital: History." Accessed April 27, 2022.

"Insane Hospital Bill Was Passed." Indianapolis Star, February 8, 1905. Accessed April 27, 2022. ProQuest.

"Madison to Get Insane Hospital." Indianapolis Star, September 5, 1905. Accessed April 27, 2022. ProQuest.

United States National Park Serivce. "Indiana State Soldiers Home." National Register for Historic Places Nomination Form, June 10, 1973. Accessed April 27, 2022.

Wikipedia. "Indiana School for the Deaf." Accessed April 27, 2022.

Wikipedia. "Indiana Soldiers' and Sailors' Children's Home." Accessed April 27, 2022.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

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Custodial History

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


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2022/04/27 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid created 2022/04/27 by Brittany Kropf.
Indiana charitable institution administrators scrapbook
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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