Kirkman family collection, 1832-1931, bulk 1835-1885
A Guide to the Kirkman family collection at the Indiana University
Electronic finding aid encoded by Amanda Harlan
Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management
1320 East Tenth Street
Herman B Wells Library E460
Bloomington, IN 47405-7000
Kirkman family collection,1832-1931, bulk 1835-1885
.6 cubic feet
Materials are in English.
Indiana family headed by Joseph Kirkman,
who served as sheriff of Gibson County for several years. Collection includes
correspondence, indentures, receipts, land deeds, and newspaper clippings of Joseph
Kirkman, daughter Irene Kirkman Coolidge, and granddaughter Mary Coolidge Kingston. Also
included is a series titled Unknown authors, consisting of items of unknown origins but
that were deposited with the collection.
This collection is open for research.
Advance notice is required.
Joseph Kirkman was born in Kentucky on 9 September 1809. He moved to Indiana as a young
man, where he became a farmer. He also owned one of the first brickyards in the county
and later held the prominent position of Sheriff of Gibson County for many years.
Kirkman married Jane Demig (b. 1810) of Virginia on 29 July 1828; together they had nine
children. Kirkman was a Republican and active in party councils. He was also a deeply
religious man, although not an official member of any one church. He died on 9 March
Among Joseph and Jane’s children were Irene, who is featured in this collection, and
Louisa J. (Powell). Son John B., who married Mary Wyat, was a farmer in Princeton,
Indiana. Daughter Sophronia married William Snow, who worked as a farm laborer for her
father. Son George died shortly after his marriage to Mary Fentress (the exact date is
unknown), and Robert died at age 30. The remaining children were Joseph A., who died in
1864 at the age of 10, and two others who died in infancy.
Irene Kirkman Coolidge was born on 20 January 1843 in Princeton, Indiana. As a child she
developed an interest in music, learning to sing and play the piano. At 18 she performed
the “Star Spangled Banner” for Memorial Day and went on to sing the anthem at every
Memorial Day thereafter at various events. Although she attended the Female College
(Saint Mary of the Woods) in Terre Haute, Indiana, and briefly taught in Evansville,
Indiana, Ms. Kirkman returned to music as a career. She studied voice culture in Chicago
and became a full-time voice teacher and leader of choirs when she came back to
Princeton, Indiana. Ms. Kirkman married S.E. Coolidge, a distant relative of
then-President Calvin Coolidge. Their daughter Mary, who also has papers included in the
collection, like her mother showed an interest in music and theater. Mary Coolidge
married Roy Kingston and lived in San Diego, California.
Papers organized into four series: Joseph Kirkman; Irene Kirkman Coolidge; Mary Coolidge
Kingston; and Unknown authors.
Scope and Content Note
This collection has been organized into four series based on individuals associated with
this collection. This collection includes the materials of Joseph Kirkman, Irene Kirkman
Coolidge, Mary Coolidge Kingston, and unknown authors. The bulk of the collection
involves financial records either belonging to Joseph Kirkman or authorized by him
during his time as Sheriff of Gibson County.
The Joseph Kirkman series is organized into five sub-series: Correspondence, Financial
records, Legal documents, Clippings, and Programs. Correspondence, Legal documents,
Clippings and Programs are arranged chronologically, while the folders within the
Financial records are arranged alphabetically. The Financial records comprise the
majority of the series. Tax and insurance information are specific to the Kirkman
Family, while indentures, mortgages and receipts encompass a variety of other people.
Other materials include Kirkman’s insurance policies and two clippings, one telling the
story of the rescue of a lost boy when Kirkman was Sheriff.
The Irene Kirkman Coolidge series is organized into three sub-series: Correspondence,
Clippings, and Programs. Each of these is organized chronologically. Of particular
interest are the newspaper articles and music programs that describe Coolidge’s long and
illustrious singing career.
The Mary Coolidge Kingston series has one folder for each of its three sub-series:
Correspondence, Clippings, and Invitations. The clippings detail a few theatrical events
in which Mrs. Kingston was involved.
Unknown Authors have four sub-series: Correspondence, Drawings, Programs, and Music;
each of the sub-series are arranged chronologically. The holiday cards are especially
interesting as they are illustrated with intricate drawings.
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.
Kirkman, b. 1843 --Archives.
Kirkman, b. 1843 --Correspondence.
Kirkman, Joseph, 1809-1879.
Coolidge, Irene Kirkman, b. 1843.
Kingston, Mary Coolidge.
Christmas and religious booklets with Ivy Chamness name on the inside cover have been
removed from this collection. Please see Collection C239 for more information.
Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to the Trustees of
Indiana University. For more information, contact the Indiana University
[Item], Kirkman family collection, Collection C5, Indiana University Archives.
It is believed that Harold and Effie Wegmiller donated this collection to the
Archives. For more information about the Wegmillers ask Archives staff.
Processed by Anne Pederson.
Completed in 2004.
Joseph Kirkman, 1832-1902
Gundin, J. to Joseph Kirkman, 19 Jan. 1843
Anthony, W. to Joseph Kirkman, 13 May 1853
Saloaligh, J. to Joseph Kirkman, 13 Sep. 1891
Financial records, 1833-1892
Certificates of purchase, 28 Sep. 1867
Indentures, 11 Jun 1838-1 Mar.
Insurance receipts, 8 Oct. 1874-17 Mar.
Insurance receipts for Jane Kirkman, 17 Mar. 1880-29 Mar. 1892
Mortgages and land deeds, Aug. 1832-1862
Mortgages and land deeds, 1863-9 Sep.
Receipts A-F, 12 Jul. 1839-19
Receipts G-L, 10 Dec. 1838-23 Mar.
Receipts M-Z, 1 Jul. 1833-22 Dec.
Tax certificate, 14 Feb. 1876
Tax receipts, 1851-1881
Legal documents, 1848-1885
Axtell and Kirkman court case records, 29 Jun. 1875
Insurance policies, 2 Apr. 1848-6 Aug.
Newspaper clippings, undated
Program for Men’s Club of Andrew and Philip, 5 Jan. 1902
Irene Kirkman Coolidge, 1918-1936
Shormonk, G. to Irene Kirkman Coolidge, 25 Oct. 1918
Kingston, R. to Irene Kirkman Coolidge, 16 Aug. 1931
“Roy” (Kingston) to “Mother” (Irene Kirkman Coolidge), 20 Aug. 1931
Newspaper clippings, 1927-1936
Music programs, 25 May 1871-18 Dec.
Religious service programs, undated
Mary Coolidge Kingston, 1897-1927
Coolidge, A. to Mary Coolidge, 6 Jun. 1897
Newspaper clippings, undated
Invitation list, 1927
Unknown authors, 1882-1926
Holiday and religious cards, undated
Drawings of islands, flowers, undated
Program for Memorial Baptist Church, 19 Feb. 1882
Music programs, 1926
Sheet music “Five O’Clock in the Morning,” undated