Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Menzies mss., 1864-1928, are papers of Gustavus Vasa Menzies, 1844-1917, of Mount Vernon, Indiana, naval officer and lawyer, and of his daughter, Mrs. Juliette (Menzies) Von Behren.

Career of Menzies: born, Boone County, Kentucky, December 21, 1844, son of Samuel Garber Menzies, physician, and Sally Ann (Winston) Menzies; graduated U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, November 22, 1864; served in the U. S. Navy in European and Pacific waters 1865-1869; married Esther Hovey, 1846-1915, daughter of General Alvin Peterson Hovey, November 11, 1869; Instructor, U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, August, 1870-November, 1871, studying law at the same time; resigned from U. S. Navy November, 1871 and engaged in the practice of law at Mount Vernon, Indiana, in conjunction with his father-in-law; democratic presidential elector for the first Indiana district, 1876 and 1879; elected to the Indiana State Senate from Gibson and Posey counties 1878, for a four year term; delegate to the National Democratic Convention, 1880, 1884, 1896, 1900, 1904, 1912; member, Board of Control for the State Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1895 until his death in 1917; defeated for Congress at a special election, 1905, and a general election, 1906; proposed as a candidate for U. S. Senate, 1908, and for Governor-general of the Philippines, 1913; died, December 15, 1917.

Biographical material on Menzies is found in John C. Leffel, ed. History of Posey County, Ind. (Chicago, 1913), pp. 217-218 and History of Posey County, Indiana (Chicago, 1886), pp. 508-509.

The papers of Menzies in this collection include: his diploma from the U. S. Naval Academy, November 22, 1864; his promotions to Ensign and Master, U. S. Navy, November 7 and December 1, 1866, signed by Gideon Welles, secretary of navy; his commissions as Ensign, Master, and Lieutenant, U. S. Navy, December 20, 1866, and March 12, 1868, signed by Andrew Johnson (stamped signature), and Gideon Welles; the marriage certificate of Menzies and Esther Hovey, November 11, 1869, signed by Henry Codman Potter, rector of Grace Church, New York City, and by Alvin Peterson Hovey and F. M. Thomas as witnesses; Menzies' commission as Lieutenant Commander, U. S. Navy, March 21, 1870, signed by Ulysses Simpson Grant and George Maxwell Robeson, secretary of navy; his commission as notary public, Posey County, Indiana, March 26, 1872, signed by Conrad Baker, governor, and John Hanson Farquhar, secretary of state; commissions as member of the Board of Control of the State Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1895, 1899, 1901, 1903, 1906, 1909, 1912, and 1915, signed by Indiana Governors Claude Matthews, James Atwell Mount, Winfield Taylor Durbin, James Franklin Hanly, Thomas Riley Marshall, and Samuel Moffett Ralston, and Indiana Secretaries of State, William Dale Owen, Union Banner Basil Morton Hunt, Daniel E. Storms, Fred A. Sims, and L. S. Ellingham; holograph and typescript copies of Menzies' address presenting the State Soldiers and Sailors Monument to the state of Indiana, May 15, 1902; typescript and printed copies of Menzies' speech accepting the Democratic nomination for Congress, May 16, 1905; The Evansville [Indiana] Bar Association's Resolutions endorsing Menzies' candidacy to the U. S. Senate, December 10, 1908; and miscellaneous newspaper clippings relating to Menzies.

The papers of Mrs. Juliette (Menzies) Von Behren in the collection consist of letters, August-September, 1928, to Mrs. Von Behren from John Eugene Inglehart, lawyer, Evansville, Indiana, a letter from John R. Brill, lawyer, Evansville, Indiana, to Mrs. Von Behren, September 20, 1928, three letters from John Eugene Iglehart to Mrs. Deidre Dorothy (Duff) Johnson, Mount Vernon, Indiana, October 24 and November 1, 1928, and letters from Mrs. Von Behren to Mrs. Johnson, December 31, 1926, November 24 and December 4, 1928, in regard to proposed biographies of Gustavus Vasa Menzies and Alvin Peterson Hovey; and correspondence and copies of correspondence, 1928, of John Eugene Iglehart with Mrs. Deidre Dorothy (Duff) Johnson, Mrs. Bess Virginia (Hicks) Ehrmann, author, Rockport, Indiana, Thomas James De la Hunt, historian, Cannelton, Indiana, Mrs. Albion (Fellows) Bacon, social reformer, Milo Milton Quaife, historian, and Charles Garrett Vannest, historian, relating to the Southwestern Indiana Historical Society and to Abraham Lincoln in Indiana.

Some of the papers in this collection are in an elephant folio folder.

Collection size: 76 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.