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A Guide to the Papers at the Indiana University Archives
Electronic finding aid encoded by Donald C. Force
Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management
1320 East Tenth Street
Herman B Wells Library E460
Bloomington, IN 47405-7000
Hastings, John Simpson, 1898-1977.
2 cubic feet
Materials are in English.
Indiana University alumnus and charter member of the IU Foundation. John Simpson Hastings graduated from the Indiana University School of Law in 1924 and practiced law in his hometown until 1957 when he was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals. Hastings maintained close ties to Indiana University, serving as president of the Alumni Association, vice president and board member of the Indiana University Foundation, president and member of the Board of Trustees, and member of the School of Law Board of Visitors. Collection includes correspondence, speeches and other subject files, and memorabilia. The correspondence primarily consists of IU related topics such as the IU Foundation and the Alumni Association, and of correspondence with prominent IU officials William Lowe Bryan, John W. Ryan, and Herman B Wells.
One folder containing a letter of recommendation is closed to researchers at this time.
Advance notice is required for access.
John Simpson Hastings was born June 30, 1898, in Washington, IN. He graduated from Washington High School in 1916 and attended Indiana University from 1916 to 1918. He left Indiana to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. Hastings graduated from West Point in 1920 with a B.S. degree and a commission as a second lieutenant in field artillery. He reached the rank of first lieutenant before resigning from the army in 1921.
Hastings entered the IU School of Law in 1921, and graduated with an LL.B. degree in 1924. He won the Gamma Eta Gamma award for the highest scholastic average in the senior year of law school. Hastings practiced law in his home town of Washington from 1924-1957.
In 1957, President Eisenhower appointed Hastings as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. Hastings was chief judge from 1959-1968. He retired on February 1, 1969, but continued as active senior judge. In January 1972, Chief Justice Burger, of the United States Supreme Court, named Hastings as Circuit Judge of the Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals of the United States.
Hastings was president of the Indiana University Alumni Association, 1933-1935. On June 17, 1935, Hastings and Uz McMurtrie, representing the IU Alumni Council, appeared before the IU Board of Trustees to propose the establishment of the Indiana University Foundation. Hastings was a charter member of the Foundation and served on its board of directors from 1936 to 1969. After his resignation, he was made an honorary director for life. He was vice president of the IU Foundation from 1951 to 1969. Hastings was an Indiana University trustee, 1936-1959, and was president of the Board of Trustees from 1950 to 1959. He served on President Ryan's Ad Hoc Committee of Special Consultants on Legal Education at Indiana University, 1975. He was a member of the Board of Visitors for the Indiana University School of Law, 1970-1977.
Hastings belonged to numerous legal and community organizations. He was a member of the board of governors of the Riley Hospital for Crippled Children, Indianapolis, until 1969.
Among the honors he received were: honorary LL.D.s from Indiana University (1959) and Northwestern University (1961); Order of the Coif; Phi Beta Kappa (1968); Lincoln Academy of Illinois law award (1967); membership in the Indiana Academy (1972).
Hastings died on February 8, 1977, at age 78. His childhood sweetheart and wife of many years, Mary Esther Smiley, was among his survivors.
Collection is organized into three series: Correspondence, Subject files, and Memorabilia.
The John Simpson Hastings papers comprise 2 cubic feet and are organized into three series: Correspondence, Subject files, and Memorabilia.
The Correspondence series, 1947-1977, is a mixture of letters and mailings to Hastings from various individuals and organizations and of letters generated by Hastings himself. Much of the correspondence related to Indiana University dates from the 1970s. The bulk of the series includes congratulatory correspondence from family, friends, and colleagues regarding Hastings’ appointment to the United States Court of Appeals in 1957. This correspondence includes letters from Herman B Wells, Indiana Governor Harold W. Handley, and presidents of Bar Associations across the state. Of interest in the general correspondence file are letters regarding Hastings’ inclusion in the publication, Trustees and Officers of Indiana University, 1950-1970 and letters concerning Hastings’ honorary degrees.
The Subject files, 1959-1977, include materials associated with the dedication of the IPFW campus in 1964 at which Hastings delivered a speech. Two other prominent subjects included in this series are Indiana University Foundation and the School of Law. The School of Law files include information on Hasting’s involvement on a special committee to determine the possibility of consolidating the Bloomington and Indianapolis law schools, and as a member of the Board of Visitors from 1970-1977. These files contain correspondence and reports produced by these groups. Copies of speeches by Herman Wells and by Elvis Stahr are also included in this series. Also of interest is correspondence and signed release forms for two IU oral history projects in which Hastings participated.
The Memorabilia series, 1933-1976, consists of the following: a plaque from the Indiana University Alumni Association to commemorate Hastings' years as president of that organization; two hoods for Hastings' honorary LL.D.s from Indiana University and Northwestern University; a plaque to commemorate his tenure as chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals; two medals from the Lincoln Academy; a silver medal from the Indiana Academy; and a silver medallion from the Presbyterian Home (McGraw Award, 1976).
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in IUCAT, the IU Libraries' online catalog. Materials about related topics, persons or places can be found by searching the catalog using these terms.
Completed in 2007.
Note: Included is a speech by Hastings titled, “Business and the University,” created in the role of Chairman of the Administrative Committee at IU. The speech has penciled notes, but it is unclear if these are Bryan’s notes.
Delivered by Hastings
Includes two speeches and cover letter from Herman B Wells.
Includes two speeches: one for the Regional Council for International Education and one for the Conference on the Task of Universities in a Changing World.
(two medals: one large, one small)
(large silver medallion)