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Walter W. Leslie collection

Identifier: L567

Scope and Contents

The collection includes the business and personal papers of the Leslie family, ranging from 1870 to 1969, and the Mohr family, ranging from 1835 to 1941. It has been organized into two main series, the Leslie family and Mohr family, with sub-series in each of personal papers and business papers, and a third series of oversize materials. The Leslie family series also includes sheet music.

Business records of the Leslie family, which date from 1870 to 1969, include Walter Leslie’s last will and testament, various deeds, insurance papers relating to Walter Leslie’s farm, appointment books, bankbooks, and numerous checks of Walter Leslie. Also included are three field examiner’s certificates of authority issued to Walter Leslie issued by the Indiana State Board of Accounts. School papers of the Leslie family, dating 1887 to 1965, include class notes, two textbooks, one term paper, and examinations.

Personal papers of the Leslie family date from 1886 to 1969. Family correspondence includes letters from W. Raymond Leslie to his parents describing his travels in the western United States in the late 1920s. Other papers include brochures, guidebooks, newspaper clippings, and membership cards. One topic covered is tourism, including a guide to Muscatatuck State Park, a brochure about sightseeing in Germany, and a pictorial map of Indiana. Another common topic is politics, including materials relating to the mid-20th century Democratic Party, and a cartoon referencing Will Hays. The personal papers also include letters in German by Paul and Adolph Richter.

The business records of the Mohr family, dating from 1835 to 1941, contain an extensive number of deeds and abstracts. These include transactions of Barbara Mohr, who owned several rental properties. The records are also a source for the activities of Barbara Mohr’s general store, containing invoices, receipts, commercial catalogs and art in the form of letterheads, advertising circulars, and business cards. Also included are personal checks, receipt books, and account ledgers for years from 1851 to 1937. Two legal documents bear the signature of writer Charles Major, acting as a Shelbyville attorney.

The personal papers of the Mohr family date from 1860 to 1928. The correspondence includes letters to and from doctors and other health providers, as well as correspondence among the Mohr family members. These personal papers include letters written in German, some to Barbara Mohr by the Kolb family, including Maria Kolb in Rheinhessen, Germany.

One oversize box contains a collection of sheet music, dated 1849 to 1941, which includes both classical and popular music. Another oversize folder contains a manufacturer’s broadside, one teacher’s license for Walter W. Leslie, the high school diploma of Mary F. Leslie, a pictorial map of Indiana, and a Democratic political program of 1952. All items date from 1900 to 1953.

There is also an oversize folder of diplomas, certificates, and maps ranging from 1900 to circa 1953 (OBC101).


  • 1835-1969


Language of Materials

Materials in English and German.

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

Walter W. Leslie was born on November 27, 1881, and died in 1964. He attended Valparaiso College and Northern Indiana Normal School in 1903. He was licensed as a schoolteacher from 1900 to 1925 and served as a high school teacher in Shelby County, Indiana a school principal of the Fairland Public Schools, and the superintendent of Bradywine Township Schools in Shelby County. After studying accounting by correspondence, Leslie began a second career in 1919 when he was commissioned as an auditor in Shelby County. On January 3, 1924, he was appointed a field examiner with the Indian Board of Accounts. Leslie was also the pageant master and writer of the Shelby County Centennial Commission.

Leslie married Minnie Richter of Failand, with whom he had a daughter, Mary frances, and a son, William Raymond, who married Elizabeth Allsop. William Raymond Leslie was an attorney as well as a professor of history at the University of Michigan. Walter Leslie's father was William Leslie, who was married to Veronica (also known as May or Mary) Mohr, daughter of Jacob and Barbara Mohr.

Barbara Mohr was born in was born in Germany on March 12, 1827 and immigrated to America in 1848. Upon arrival, she married Jacob Mohr, who had sailed on the same boat. The couple had four children: Christian, Christopher (also known as Christoff and Stephen), John, and Veronica. After Jacob's death on May 4, 1859, Barbara married Joseph Warner on February 8, 1860 and was widowed for a second time when Joseph died in 1864 while serving in the Union Army. Barbara then married a third time to Christian Emerick, but divorced him on June 3, 1869, at which time she again took the last name of Mohr.

In the 1870s and later, Barbara Mohr operated a general store in Mt. Auburn, Indiana, preceding and following intermittent ownerships by C.S. Mohr and Son and J.W. Moore and Son. Barbara Mohr was also an owner of real estate and rental property in Shelby County, Indiana and the states of Iowa and Pennsylvania. She died on April 26, 1922.

Christian Mohr was married to Rachel Mohr and lived in Brookland, Arkansas, in 1899. Christopher (Stephen) Mohr was married to Elizabeth Mohr. John Mohr was married to Manerva (Minerva) Mohr. Other Mohrs named in the collection are Claude, Grover C., Harvey, Maggie, and Bertha.


Information found within the collection. Accessed June 2012. "Barbara J Semus Mohr." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed September 17, 2020.


4.06 Cubic Feet (10 manuscript boxes, 1 medium oversize box, 1 oversize folder)


Arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Leslie family papers, 1870-1969

Subseries 1.1: Business papers, 1870-1969 Subseries 1.2: Personal papers, 1887-1969

Series 2: Mohr family papers, 1835-1960

Subseries 2.1: Business papers, 1835-1960 Subseries 2.2: Personal papers, 1860-1928

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Mary Leslie on 1978/08/30 and 1979/08/30.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

OBC101: Walter W. Leslie oversize collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed in 1999 by Phillip N. Williams and in 2012/06 by Laura Williams. EAD finding aid revised 2020/09/17 by Brittany Kropf; 2021/10/22 by Lauren Patton.
Walter W. Leslie 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.