Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Kerlin mss., 1798-1925, are papers of Mrs. Harriet Barton (Kerlin) Bentley, (Mrs. Frederick James Bentley), and members of three generations of her family.

They include: 1) For her grandfather, Alexander B. Cummings, of Union County, Pennsylvania, business papers and family correspondence, 1823-1859. Some of the business papers, 1823-1834, relate to patents of Elias Geilhausen and Ira Belnap for improvements in distilling processes.

2) Family correspondence of two daughters of Alexander Boyd Kerlin, 1863-1913, and Mrs. Harriet Barton (Kerlin) Bentley, children of Jacob P. and Harriet (Cummings) Kerlin. For Alexander Boyd Kerlin, there are business and family letters, 1891-1911. Among them are letters from Grover Cleveland, December 31, 1892, and Robert Roberts Hitt, March 12, 1893. Letters, 1891-1925, to Mrs. Harriet Barton (Kerlin) Bentley from members of her family and friends, most of whom were prominent in musical circles, form the bulk of the collection. Included are letters from Frances Cox, Henry Kimball Hadley, Harold Henry, Bishop Frederic William Keator, his wife, Mrs. Emma Victoria (Lyon) Keator, John McCormack, Mrs. Marian (Nevins) MacDowell, Edwin Schneider, Mrs. Frederick K. Struve, Justin M. Thatcher, and Harrison Major Wild.

Members of the Bentley family represented in the collection are Charles Frederick Bentley, banker of Grand Island, Nebraska, his sons Frederick James Bentley and Arthur Fisher Bentley, and his son-in-law, Bayard Henry Paine.

Collection size: 639 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.