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Sluyter-Dibra family collection

Identifier: L554

Scope and Contents

This collection includes newspaper clippings, public record documents, photographs, biographical notes, and other family documents regarding the Sluyter-Dibra family of White County, Indiana ranging from 1839 to 2007. The bulk of the clippings, public records, and documents are photocopies and a large number of the photographs are unidentified. Some items of note include publicity photographs, vaudeville artist cards, and manager instructions for "Mighty" Cameron Bennett's escape artist act (1919); two editions of The Transatlantic Dispatch from August 30 and November 1, 1919; Dr. Samuel D. Sluyter's physician address and prescription books (1920s); Samuel Clayton Sluyter's Hotel and Restaurant Employees' International Alliance and Bartenders' International League of America membership book with monthly dues receipt stamps (1924-1926); Patricia Ann Bennett's Indianapolis Arsenal Tech high School "Tech Book" student handbook (copyright 1945); and Richard K. Bennett's autograph book from his time at Arsenal Tech (1949-1954).

The oversize folder (OB079) contains a small broadside of escape artist "Might Oaks" signed by him on April 7, 1917; page 5 of the January 4, 1919 edition of the Des Moines Evening Tribune with article about Cameron Bennett; and the "Six Generations of Women in White County" family tree of the Sluyter-Dibra family (undated).


  • 1839-2007

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

The Sluyter and Dibra (or Debra) families were early pioneers of White County, Indiana. Jonathan W. Sluyter (1797-1874) married Elizabeth Hall (1804-1882) and they had 3 sons: James (1823-1843), Hiram (1829-1900), and Abram Sneathan (1842-1913). Originally from New York, the Sluyters came to Indiana in 1836. Jacob Dibra (1806-1867) and his wife Sarah Coates Dibra (1811-1912) moved to White County from Ohio in 1840. They had three children: Samuel (1835-1882), Elizabeth Jane (1838-1901), and David (1844-1862).

Hiram Sluyter married Elizabeth Jane Dibra in 1850 and they had three sons: Alfred (1852-1855), Francis Marion (1854-1943), and Samuel Debra (1857-1932). Samuel married Sarah Ross (1858-1880) in 1878 and they had one child, Margaret "Maggie" (1879-1910). He married his second wife, Geneva Wooley (1860-1906), in 1882 and they had three children: Gertrude "Gertie" (1883-1972); Samuel Clayton (1888-1973), and Ray (1895-1956). Maggie married Louis Moessinger (or Messinger) (1869-1956) and they had a daughter, Virginia (1897-1986). Virginia married Alexander Cameron Bennett and they had four children: Gloria Jean (1923-2000), Cameron (1926-1999), Patricia Ann (1929-2010), and Richard Keith (1932-2003). Patricia Ann married Robert Creque and their daughter, Paula Ann Creque Bongen, researched and donated this collection.


1.25 Cubic Feet (3 manuscript boxes, 1 half size box, 1 medium oversize folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Paula Ann Bongen on 2008/07/31.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processed in 2008/11 by Grant M. Gerard. Collection reprocessed 2018/07 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2018/07/26 by Laura Eliason.
Sluyter-Dibra family 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.