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William Steele Holman

William Steele Holman Papers
L 73
2 mss. boxes
Manuscript Section, Indiana Division
Indiana State Library

Processed by: Christina Baich, September 2005

Biographical Note:

William Steele Holman was born on September 6, 1822, near Aurora, Indiana in Dearborn County. His parents were Judge Jesse Lynch Holman and Elizabeth (Masterson) Holman. He attended Franklin College from 1840 to 1842. Holman married Abigail Knapp in 1842 with whom he had a son, William S. Holman, Jr.

William Steele Holman had his own successful career in both law and politics. He was admitted to the Dearborn County bar in 1843 and was elected probate judge (1843-1846). He then served a two-year term as prosecuting attorney (1847-1849). From 1852 to 1856, Holman served as Judge for the Court of Common Pleas.

William Steele Holman’s involvement in Democratic politics began when he was chosen as a member of the State constitutional convention in 1850. He was then elected to the State House of Representatives in 1851 and 1852. Holman served as a U.S. Representative from 1859 to 1865, 1867 to 1877, 1881 to 1895, and 1897, taking part in 16 Congresses. He both chaired and served on a number of committees during his tenure as a Representative. Holman died on April 22, 1897, in Washington, D.C., a little over a month after his last election. He is buried in Veraestau Cemetery in Aurora.


Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. United States Congress. 23 Sept. 2005

Scope and Content Note:

The collection, the bulk of which dates from 1870 to 1894, includes documents from Holman’s career as a politician as well as those from the Holman family. The documents are divided into correspondence and papers and newspaper clippings. They are then arranged chronologically with the other assorted materials.

Materials include correspondence from constituents, telegrams, election results, family letters, newspaper clippings, a correspondence journal, an account book, and a volume of mailing lists. Correspondence and papers make up the bulk of the collection.

Other topics discussed include the U.S. Mint (1876), floods in Aurora (1885), government appointments, Dearborn County politics, the Chicago World’s Fair (1893), and related family topics. Among the papers is a copy of the 1876 constitution of the Dearborn County Historical Society.

Correspondents include William Anderson, Henry Beeny, John Beggs, Lily Brink, W. W. Browing, D. K. Bruce, Charles W. Burckhardt, J. H. Burkam, Bart Burke, C. R. Camphill, John Francis Cheek, S. K. Cofield, William Cunningham, S. Davis, James Donahoe, William Dunlap, C. Fisk, E. H. Green, J. V. Hayden, Benjamin Headley, William R. Henderson, David Henry, S. K. Holman, William Steele Holman, Smith Jones, A. J. Lashley, T. W. Lawrence, J. F. Lindsay, August Marmer, A. H. Merkel, Edward Nudd, W. T. Pate, James Roberts, Lida Rousseau, J. H. Shadday, Thomas Sherlock, Richard Smith, S. Stansifer, George W. Steinmetz, Dr. S. S. Stewart, Christian Tolley, Emilie M. Unger, Thomas S. Vawter, William G. Williams, and George H. Ziegler. The majority of these writers have only one item in the collection.

Box and Folder Listing:

Box 1.
1. Correspondence Journal, 1837 or 1838
2. Account Book, 1838 and 1839
3. Correspondence and Papers, 1856?- March 1872
4. Correspondence and Papers, April 1872-1875
5. Correspondence and Papers, 1876-1877
6. Correspondence and Papers, 1880-1893
7. Correspondence and Papers, 1894-n.d.
8. Speech, “The Issue”
Box 2.
1. Mailing Lists, 1867-1874
2. Campaign Supplement, 1874
3. Clippings, 1872-1907, n.d.
4. Veraestau Holiday Card, 1936

Collection Information:

Size of Collection:
2 manuscript boxes
Collection Dates:
1837-1936, bulk 1870-1894
Margaret H. Wagenhals, 1941
Access: This collection is open for research.
Reproduction Rights:
Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript Section, Indiana State Library.  Possession of a reproduction from an Indiana State Library collection does not constitute permission for use.
Language Materials are entirely in English
Alternate Formats:
Related Holdings:
S676, Jesse Lynch Holman


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