Thursday, April 4, 2013

Caleb Mills letter discovered

Caleb Mills, the pioneer educator and minister, has long been celebrated in his adopted hometown of Crawfordsville.  Although born in Dunbarton, New Hampshire in 1806, Mills was a long-term resident of Crawfordsville, and died here in 1879. Although Caleb Mills is nearly synonymous with Indiana pioneer education, once serving as the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, and integral to the development of Wabash College, the Crawfordsville District Public Library had never owned a manuscript written by Mills.

In March 2013, the library received a donation of an 1846 letter written to the American Home Missionary Society in New York, the exact details of which were unknown. Upon receipt, it was discovered that half of the single-sheet letter was written by a committee of churches in Boone County representing the Thorntown, Bethel, and Lebanon congregations. The other half contained a plea for additional support for the churches and endorsement of the current pastor that was penned by none other than the first faculty member of Wabash College, Caleb Mills.

The library is excited to add this manuscript item to the growing number of local history sources viewable at our library or from our website. Examine the local history The library welcomes donations of any manuscript materials relating to Montgomery County or its residents, and has a humidity-controlled, temperature-controlled archives to prolong the life of historical documents. Please contact the reference/local history department 765-362-2242 extension 117 if you have questions about donating items to the library’s local history collection.

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