Charles C. Deam papers, 1881-1983, bulk 1900-1953
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains material created and collected by Charles C. Deam, an Indiana
taxonomic botantist, forestry official, and businessman. The Charles C. Deam Papers
comprise 5.4 cubic feet and span the period from 1881 to 1983 with the bulk of the
records created between 1900 and 1953. The collection is divided into five series:
Personal information; Journals; Publications by Charles Deam; Correspondence; and
Subject files. The Subject files series is divided into four sub-series: Administrative
files; Botany and science; General files; and Unpublished works and notes.
The first series is Biographical information. It contains materials from the years
1884-1983. The series consists primarily of articles written about Deam and published in
newspapers, magazines, and newsletters. Included in this series are one of his father's
patents, a letter to Deam’s daughter, Roberta Deam Ortenburger, from Gene Stratton
Porter, and information about his wife, Stella Mullin Deam. The series also includes a
folder of speeches about Deam that were delivered by Harriet Winch.
Journals is the second series and spans the years 1900-1953. The series includes Deam's
personal professional journals, dating from 1900 to 1953, with those written after
October 1913 containing entries for almost every day. These journals read almost like
diary entries and include personal as well as professional information. Some also
include newspaper clippings taped to the pages.
The next series covers the years 1912-1953 and is entitled Publications by Charles Deam.
This series contains copies of Deam's texts including
Trees of Indiana,
Grasses of Indiana, and
. The files include handwritten notes and corrections made by Deam.
The series also includes a folder of newspaper articles written by Deam dating from
The next series is Correspondence, 1896-1953, and includes letters Deam wrote and
received as well as special bound collections of letters he received honoring him on
special occasions. Especially noteworthy is correspondence from Charles A. Weatherby,
curator of the Gray Herbarium at Harvard University, a good part of which includes
notations and messages by Deam. There is also much correspondence between Deam and
Harriet Winch, Paul Weatherwax, T.E. Shaw, and Ray Friesener. This series is arranged
alphabetically by surname.
The last series is Subject files. This series is divided into four sub-series:
Administration; Botany and science; General files; and Unpublished works and notes. The
sub-series are arranged alphabetically as are the folders within them. The material in
this series dates from 1881-1953.
The first sub-series is Administration. It spans the years 1881-1953. This sub-series
contains financial records of both personal and professional nature. It also includes
Deam’s labor record from 1909-1913 and lists of magazine subscriptions and library
transactions, which Deam meticulously recorded in two bound volumes.
The second sub-series spans the years 1885-1952 and is entitled Botany and science. It
includes brochures and information about botanical gardens that Deam had visited, a leaf
specimen that he had collected, and an article written by Elmore Barce that caught
Deam’s attention. It also contains the minutes of the Spenser Club, which are mostly
written by Deam’s wife, Stella. The Spenser Club was a botany club run by Deam and his
wife on the Indiana University campus.
General files is the third sub-series and contains materials from the years 1884-1953.
Of particular interest is House Bill No. 77 which was proposed by Deam during his time
as state forester. The awards file contains cards of recognition from Deam’s time as a
primary school student as well as certificates of travel in South America from later
times in his life. There is also a folder of articles written by Roland M. Harper. The
folder also contains an article about Harper himself, but offers no explanation of how
his articles found their way into this collection. The articles are of a mostly
political character, and it is presumed that Deam was either interested in these topics
or a friend of the author.
The last sub-series is Unpublished works and notes. The material in this sub-series
spans 1883-1952. The bulk of the material is comprised of Deam’s notes on different
plant specimens, some of which is found in spiral bound notebooks. The series also
contains some of Deam’s high school assignments, such as the Latin exercise book and the
school essays and drawings. The photo record is a list of photos taken by Deam on his