Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Funk mss., 1837-1916, consist of letters and papers of Joseph Potts Funk, 1837-1904, educator.

Career: born, March 28, 1837, in Harrison county, Indiana; son of Henry and Delilah (Potts) Funk; attended James G. May's school at Corydon, Indiana; taught first school in Posey township, Harrison county, Indiana, 1855; enrolled at Indiana university, 1856; A.M., National normal university, Lebanon, Ohio; licensed to teach in Indiana, 1857; licensed an exhorter in the Methodist Episcopal church, 1858; elected assessor of Posey township, Harrison county, Indiana, 1860; commissioned first lieutenant in the Lawson Grey Rifles of the 2nd division, 6th regiment, of the Indiana legion, 1862; licensed as a photographer, 1863; commissioned first lieutenant in the Harrison county border scouts of the 2nd division, 6th regiment, of the Indiana legion, 1864; licensed as a patent right dealer, 1865; pursued also occupations of insurance agent and auctioneer, 1866; licensed as a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal church, 1868; appointed principal of the Mitchell, Indiana, graded school, 1870; became first superintendent of schools of Lawrence county, Indiana, 1873; appointed principal of the Corydon, Indiana graded school, 1875; appointed a deputy grand dictator of the Knights of honor, 1881 and 1885; enrolled in the Chautauqua literary and scientific circle, 1883; elected treasurer of the Southern Indiana teachers' association, 1884, president, 1898; principal, New Albany, Indiana, high school, 1888-1903; appointed deacon, Methodist Episcopal church, 1892; president of the Martyred president's league, 1902; died, August 20, 1904. Children: Laura, Henry, Sue M., Edward, Walter, Austin, Chester, Ada, Clara, Alice and Maud.

The first folder in the collection contains biographical information on Joseph Potts Funk. There is also an obituary in the Public press (New Albany, Indiana), August 23, 1904.

The manuscripts in the collection consist of correspondence of Joseph Potts Funk with relatives and friends, 1865-1904, including letters from Austin Funk, son of Joseph Potts Funk, as a member of the hospital corps at Camps Russell A. Alger, Meade and Wetherill describing his experiences and his impressions of Germans in Pennsylvania, 1898, and as a doctor on the British ship Montreal to South Africa, 1901-1902; a few letters from clergymen relating to Whitecaps, 1893 and 1895; school records, 1855-1887, of the Corydon, Indiana, normal school and the Corydon graded school, and schools of Harrison county, Indiana, Mitchell, Indiana, and Lawrence county, Indiana, some of which include articles of agreement with school trustees; licenses to teach, 1857-1870; treasurer's records for the Southern Indiana teachers association, 1884-1889; Indiana school journal subscription lists, 1890-1891; speeches for teachers' association meetings, 1890 and 1899; licenses as an exhorter, 1858-1867, and as a local preacher, 1868-1892, in the Methodist Episcopal church; histories of the Corydon, Indiana, Methodist Episcopal church, 1884, and the Rogers church in Harrison county, Indiana, 1897; sermons, 1885-1900; memorandum books, many of which contain information on schools and notes for church services, 1860-1904; a certificate of training for the Indiana legion, 1862; commissions as first lieutenant in the 6th regiment of the 2nd division of the Indiana legion, 1862 and 1864; receipts from Harrison county border scouts of the Indiana legion, 1864-1865; a license as a photographer, 1863-1865; a license as a patent right dealer, 1865; receipts for excise tax, 1865, and for special taxes as insurance agent and auctioneer, 1866; receipts, 1877-1898, and certificates of appointment as deputy grand dictator, 1881 and 1885, of the Knights of honor; receipts of mason lodges at Corydon, Indiana, Mitchell, Indiana, and New Albany, Indiana, 1878- 1902, and resolutions from DePauw lodge no. 338 of New Albany, Indiana, giving an account of the masonic lodges to which Funk belonged in 1904; an enrollment card for the Chautauqua literary and scientific circle, 1883; receipts for subscriptions to the Louisville, New Albany and Corydon railway company, 1883-1885; stock certificates in the New Albany ornamental brick company, 1894 and 1896; a Muzaffarpur mission company stock certificate, August 14, 1903; New Albany bank books, 1889-1892; a temperance pledge card, 1890, and a subscription card to the Indiana anti-saloon league, 1901; and the wills of Eliza D. and Joseph Potts Funk, 1904.

Among the correspondents represented in the collection are William Allen Bell and Austin Funk.

Printed material in the collection relates to schools in Indiana, temperance, the Methodist Episcopal Church in Indiana, and miscellaneous subjects.

Collection size: 510 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.