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Larkin Lewis Beeman Papers

Identifier: uac97

Scope and Contents

The Larkin Lewis Beeman Collection contains .5 cubic feet of handwritten class notes and seating charts from Beeman's days as a student and a teacher in the 1890's and 176 photographs of students, faculty, groups and organizations at the Indiana State Normal School from the 1880's to 1919. The earliest dated photograph is from 1881 although there are a number of tintypes which may well date earlier. This collection contains some of the oldest extant material about the history of Indiana State University. The collection has been arranged in two series. The photographs are especially valuable because most are labeled with names, although the majority are undated. Classnotes and Seating Charts There are eight volumes and 10 individual pages of handwritten notes that Beeman took as a student at Indiana State Normal School and that he used in his own teaching. Included are notes from an English Grammar class in 1892 from either Mary Anderson or John B. Wisely, a Botany class in 1896 from Instructor Butterfield, a Physiology class in 1896-1897 from Louis J. Rettger, and a Psychology class (undated) from Albert Charman. Two of the volumes contain pencil drawings. There are two seating charts dated 1897 where Beeman has added comments about the temperaments of his students. Photographs The 176 photographs are primarily portraits of individual students and faculty; most are labeled with names but undated. There are also photographs of groups and organizations. In a 1955 letter, Beeman notes that the Mystical Novem group photograph shows the organization which was the beginning of fraternities and sororities at Indiana State. The photograph of the 1897 class day exercises shows the students in costume who appeared in Shakespearean scenes. Two other photographs show freshmen for the Spring Term 1891 and the group of students who boarded at the same home while attending the Normal School in 1893.


  • Created: 1881-1919


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open for research use with advance notice to the archivist.

Biographical or Historical Information

Larkin Lewis Beeman was a member of the Class of 1897 at Indiana State Normal School. Born in 1870, he was from Marion Township in Boone County, Indiana. A graduate of Indiana University in 1903, Beeman did graduate work at Indiana, Wisconsin, and California. He taught history and political science for forty-eight years, last teaching at Santa Ana California College in 1942. When he donated this collection of photographs and classnotes to Indiana State University in July of 1955, he was living in Santa Ana and was almost eighty-five years old. He remembered Normal School teachers Elwood Kemp, John B. Wisely, William W. Wood, John J. Schlicher, Oscar Kelso, Louis Rettger, Charles Curry, and Mary Anderson. Another letter from Beeman in 1957 states that one of his hobbies was writing letters: "My greatest pleasure is meeting former students and teachers, meeting and talking with them. I correspond with two who were in the first grade in a country school I taught in Boone County, Indiana in 1893 or 64 years ago, and with three who were in the first high school I taught at in Michigantown, Indiana 60 years ago and others all down the years since. Their remembrances of me and their kind words today are `better than riches, better than gold'."

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3.00 Linear Feet

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Existence and Location of Originals

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Related Materials

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Processing Information

Although the basis of this collection is the material donated by Larkin Lewis Beeman, a number of items may have been added to the photograph collection by other people after his original donation. Because there were no acquisition notes made at the time of donation, it is not always clear which photographs were part of the original donation. Beeman's collection was primarily from the 1890's; further research is necessary to identify many of these. Because of additions, photographs in the collection date from 1881 to 1919.

Archon Finding Aid Title
Mary-Margaret Byerman
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

Cunningham Memorial Library
510 N. 6 1/2 Street
Terre Haute 47809- US