Fairbanks, Charles

Fairbanks, Charles W. Letters
1888 – 1916
1 folder

Manuscript & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

Finding Aid by: Nikki Stoddard Schofield, December 2011

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Biographical History:

Charles Warren Fairbanks (May 11, 1852-June 4, 1918) was an attorney, state Republican leader and United States vice-president (1905-1909) under Theodore Roosevelt.  He attended Ohio Wesleyan University, graduating in 1872.  Charles worked as a reporter for the Western Associated Press before he moved to Indianapolis in 1874.  He was an attorney for the Indianapolis, Bloomington and Western Railroad, and became wealthy in handing railroad bankruptcies.   He and his wife Cornelia “Nellie” are buried at Crown Hill Cemetery across the road from the Gothic Chapel.

Bodenhamer, David J, Robert G. Barrows, and David G. Vanderstel. The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994., p. 558.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists of 12 letters and one envelope. The oldest letter, dated Feb. 8, 1888, is to James C. Clarke recommending Jesse W. Weik of Greencastle, Indiana, for “any favors you can show him.”

Four letters from 1900 to 1904 were typed on United States Senate letterhead.  They are to Senator Cushman K. Davis, Joseph Oliver, Albert A. Wilcox, and Julius Chambers. They are all social, not business, letters.  He told Senator Davis: “Mrs. Fairbanks joins me in most cordial regards to Mrs. Davis and yourself.”

The three letters on the Vice President’s letterhead are to: Joel Heatwole, Northfield, Minn. (Oct. 27, 1905); William A. Nash, New York City (Dec. 18, 1906); and Frederick Boyd Stevenson, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Feb. 5, 1907). They are messages to express kindness shown.

Four letters are on imprinted stationery “Charles W. Fairbanks, Indianapolis, Ind.”  They are dated 1915 to 1916 to: W.W. Leland Co., New York; W. C. Woodward, Director, Indiana Historical Commission; Josiah H. Bruton, Boston (handwritten) and William B. Howland, New York.  The letter to Mr. Woodward states: “Your letter of the 18th instant with reference to securing the Indiana Panama-Pacific Exhibit for the Indiana State Exposition in connection with our State Centennial celebration next year, is received and will have my careful consideration.”   

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.  

Item Listing

February 8, 1888

Letterhead for Office of the President, Terre Haute and Peoria Railroad Company, to James C. Clarke, General Manager, M. &O. Ry., Mobile,Ala.


Four letters on United States Senate, Washington letterhead


Three letters on The Vice-President’s Chamber, Washington letterhead


Four letters on Charles W. Fairbanks, Indianapolis, Ind. Letterhead


One envelope from Vice President to Hon. Joel P. Heatwole, Northfield, Minn., mailed from Indianapolis on Oct. 27 and received in Northfield on Oct. 28.

Collection Information

Size of Collection:

12 letters and one envelope

Collection Dates:

1888 – 1916


Purchased from Paul C. Richards, May 20, 1966, May 6, 1968; Sept. 11, 1969; 1907 letter purchased on Dec. 3, 1952 from Dr. Milton Knonouet; one letter purchased Dec. 19, 1952 from Hostick. 

Access :

The collection is open for research use.



Reproduction Rights:

Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscript and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.


Materials are entirely in English.

Alternate Formats:


Related Holdings:



All are typed except the March 13, 1916 letter.