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Wiley W. Spurgeon papers

Identifier: MSS-211

Scope and Contents

This collection contains articles and columns by Wiley W. Spurgeon, divided by date and also by subject (copies may be duplicated in each category), his research subject files, correspondence, and historical materials given to him from Delaware county residents. The OVB collection includes a ledger from Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company, the manuscripts of stories written by Sylvester W. Heath, and maps of Muncie and Delaware County, as well as newspapers and posters. The photograph collection includes photos that were collected by Spurgeon as well as some that were included in the “Album of Yesteryear” feature of the Star Press from 1994 to 1998. The PN and S collections are small collections of negatives and slides accumulated by Spurgeon. The R collection includes a 45 rpm vinyl audio recording of “Middletown U.S.A.” by Dennis Bettis and a cassette copy. Maps 107/01-03 are oversize maps of Muncie and Delaware County.


  • Creation: 1857-2001

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Biographical Note

Wiley W. “Bill” Spurgeon, Jr. (1933-2001) from Muncie, Indiana was the son of Wiley Whitney and Bertha Stetter Spurgeon. He graduated from Burris High School in 1951 and Indiana University in 1955, and made a name for himself as a newspaperman as the editor and publisher of the Syracuse Wawasee Journal while in college. From 1955 to 1966 Spurgeon was a reporter and news editor to the Muncie Star. Following this he was the regional editor for the Minneapolis Tribune, managing editor for the Idaho Daily Statesman, and executive editor for the Eagle in Wichita, Kansas. Wiley Spurgeon was also the president of Muncie Gear Works, a family business, from 1966 to 1971. In 1974 he rejoined the Star Press and became the executive editor of both the Star and the Muncie Evening Press in 1979. After his retirement in 1991, Spurgeon continued to write “Our Neighborhood” columns and book reviews for the Star Press.

As well as being a newsman, Wiley Spurgeon was also a well-known local historian. He was involved with the Indiana Historical Society, and the Delaware County Historical Society. Involved in a number of history projects, Spurgeon authored two books, Muncie and Delaware County Illustrated Retrospectives, and Muncie at the Millennium, and was named the Hoosier Historian of the Year in 2000. Spurgeon was also involved in local organizations such as Muncie Civic Theater and was the president of the Wawasee Property Owners Association for many years.


11.6 Cubic Feet (16 boxes, 1 map case, 1 audio cassette, 1 record)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged in the following series and subseries:

Series 1: Wiley W. Spurgeon articles and columns, 1994-1999

Series 2: Wiley W. Spurgeon subject files, 1857-2000

Series 3: Wiley W. Spurgeon correspondence, manuscripts, and other written documents, 1895-2000

Subseries 3.1: Correspondence, 1967-2000

Subseries 3.2: Books, manuscripts, and other written documents, 1895-1951

Series 4: Wiley W. Spurgeon horse club documents, 1934-1951

Series 5: Wiley W. Spurgeon scrapbooks, 1964-1986

Series 6: Wiley W. Spurgeon oversize materials, 1838-1938

Series 7: Wiley W. Spurgeon photographs, 1890-1998

Series 8: Wiley W. Spurgeon slides, 1935-1983

Series 9: Wiley W. Spurgeon recordings, undated

Series 10: Wiley W. Spurgeon map collection, 1919

Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a donation from Whitney Spurgeon on 2001/09/04.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2002/06 by A. Benefiel. Collection processing revised 2002/10/09 by A. Childers. Collection processing additions on 2004/04. EAD finding aid created 2012/10/15 by Julie Hausknecht. EAD finding aid revised 2016/01/15 by Lindsey M. Vesperry.

Wiley W. Spurgeon papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA