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Delavan Smith residence photographs

 Collection — Folder: B080
Identifier: B080

Scope and Contents

This collection includes two photographs of interiors of the Delevan Smith home in Lake Forest, Illinois, circa 1905.


  • circa 1905

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

"Delevan Smith (1861–1922) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to newspaper publisher William Henry and Emaline Reynolds Smith. He was educated at Lake Forest (Illinois) Academy and Lake Forest University. Smith also earned an engineering degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was briefly employed as an engineer before following his father into the newspaper publishing field. Like his father, Delavan Smith was involved in several newspaper-related industries, including serving as vice-president for both the Oliver Typewriter Company and the Cox Multi-Mailer Corporation, which produced bundling machines for newspaper mailings.

In addition to his newspaper ventures, Delavan Smith was an astute businessman with an estate worth over $2 million at the time of his death. Besides his publishing and related businesses, Smith was also involved with timber and land speculations and small manufacturing enterprises. The personnel involved often carried over from one business to another and usually revolved around a small group of wealthy Chicago residents including Cyrus McCormick, Louis Swift, and John Harlan. Smith's main business undertaking was the ownership and publication of the Indianapolis News, which he ran at one time or another with his father, William Henry Smith; his brother-in-law, Charles Richard Williams; his cousin, Charles W. Fairbanks; and Major William J. Richards. Delavan Smith was involved with the ownership and publication of the News from 1892 until his death in 1922.

Among Smith's chief philanthropic causes was his involvement with Lake Forest University, for which he served on the board of trustees beginning in 1906; he often assumed financial responsibility for many of the college's debts.

With no direct heirs at the time of his death, Smith bequeathed millions of dollars to several Indianapolis charities including the Indianapolis Foundation, Methodist Hospital, the Art of Association of Indianapolis, and the Flower Mission. His will included the donation of his and his father's papers, his father's library, and a sizeable endowment to the Indiana Historical Society for the establishment of the society's William Henry Smith Memorial Library."


Delevan Smith papers, 1868-1921," 09/20/2005. Finding at at the Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis, Ind. Accessed January 8, 2018.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 oversize folder)


This collection consists of two items.

Custodial History

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


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2018/01/09 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid created 2018/01/09 by Lauren Patton.
Delevan Smith residence photographs
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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