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John Barron Niles

John B. Niles Papers
1837-1902, bulk 1837-1844
1 mss. box
Manuscript Section, Indiana Division
Indiana State Library

Processed by: Christina Baich, April 2006


Biographical Note:

John Barron Niles was born on September 13, 1808, in West Fairlee, Vermont. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1830 and then studied law in New York. Niles was admitted to the bar and moved to LaPorte, Indiana, in 1833. On December 16, 1834, he married Mary Polke, daughter of Judge William Polke, with whom he had five children. He served as prosecuting attorney (1838) and president judge (1843) for the 9th circuit. Niles was also a delegate to Indiana’s second Constitutional Convention (1850-1851). From 1851 to 1879, he was the attorney for the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad. In addition to his law career, Niles was also a professor of chemistry at the Indiana Medical College (LaPorte) from 1840 to 1852. He served two terms in the Indiana Senate (1865 and 1867). He died on July 6, 1879.


Shepherd, Rebecca A., Charles W. Calhoun, Elizabeth Shanahan-Shoemaker, and Alan F. January, comp. A Biographical Directory of the Indiana General Assembly, Volume 1, 1816-1899. Indianapolis: The Select Committee on the Centennial History of the Indiana General Assembly, 1980.

Scope and Content Note:

The bulk of the collection consists of Photostat copies of Niles’ correspondence regarding his legal practice. There is some correspondence regarding the Indiana Medical College and a number of letters between Niles and his father-in-law, William Polke. There are also several original documents included in the collection, which are described below.

Folder Listing:

1. 1837-1838
2. 1839
3. 1840-1841
4. 1842-1844
5. 1845-1850
6. 1851-1869, undated
Folder 7.   Original documents, 1849-1902, undated

1849 Apr.-              Expense notebook
1850 Aug. 
1861                 Brief of Appellees for Michigan Central Railroad Company v. Abel D. Porter, et al. in
                                the Indiana Supreme Court
1865 Nov. 29 Niles, John B. to William, ALS
1870 May 25 Program for the Second Concert of the LaPorte Philharmonic Society
1876 Nov. Brief of Appellees for John G. Earl v. Andrew Peterson, Ingle Radstrom, Alfred Morrison
                                in the Indiana Supreme Court
1902 Mar. 13 Brown, Isaac W. to William Niles, telegram
undated                 Admission ticket for LaPorte University Medical Department Lectures on Chemistry and
                                Pharmacy by John B. Niles, A.M.

Collection Information:

Size of Collection:
1 manuscript box
Collection Dates:
1837-1902, bulk 1837-1844
Various donors
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:
L333, William Polke Papers


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