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Arthur Andrew Olson III research collection

Identifier: MSS-334

Scope and Contents

This collection includes essays, articles and other research material created or collected by Arthur Andrew Olson III ranging from 2009 to 2016 regarding the lineage and life of David Kilgore (1804-1879) and other related topics in Delaware County and Indiana history including the settlement and relocation of Native American peoples, state and national politics, and railroads during the period between Indiana statehood and the era of Reconstruction following the United States Civil War.


  • Creation: 2009-2016

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Literary rights, including copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Arthur Andrew Olson III of Illinois and Florida retired from a career as an executive search consultant, IBM marketing representative, and lawyer in 2007. As a child, he spent significant time on his maternal grandparents’ 225-acre farm in Mt. Pleasant Township of Delaware County, Indiana: The Indian Hill Stock Farm. This land was originally part of a 1000-acre family tract along White River first permanently occupied by a Lanape/Delaware village in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries before being settled by Olson’s great, great, great grandfather David Kilgore between 1830-1840. Following his retirement, Olson began to examine family lore and historical family records which his ancestors had preserved. Through this work he became a self-taught historical researcher and genealogist - devoting significant time to examining the life of David Kilgore and the historical period in which he lived from the era of the Early Republic through the era of the United States Civil War and Reconstruction.

David Kilgore was born to Obed Kilgore (circa 1771-1853) and Rebecca Cuzick Kilgore (1778-1842) in Harrison County, Kentucky in 1804. He migrated with his parents and siblings, Martha Kilgore Fletcher (circa 1796-1876), Alfred Kilgore (circa 1801-1839), and James Kilgore (1802-1862), to Blooming Grove Township of Franklin County, Indiana in 1819. He became a Captain in the 7th Regiment of the Indiana Militia in 1824 and was later appointed Brigadier General of the Militia’s 22nd Brigade in 1834. After completing the study of law in 1830, he migrated to Mt. Pleasant Township, Delaware County, Indiana where he remained the balance of his life. He married Mary G. VanMatre (1814-1882) there in 1831. David's prior children included George Washington Kilgore (1825-1902; mother unknown) and James L. Kilgore (1828-1864; mother unknown) who were likely raised in Franklin County, Indiana. Mary G. and David Kilgore raised a family which included Henry C. Kilgore (1831; died in infancy), Alfred Kilgore (1833-1871), Obed Kilgore (1835-1890), Absolom V. Kilgore (1837-1866), Tecumseh Kilgore (1839-1876), Mary Louisa Kilgore Remington (1841-1914; mother: Elizabeth Dunkin [Duncan]), and David Kilgore Jr. (1841-1917).

Kilgore practiced law in Mt. Pleasant Township and was appointed (then subsequently elected) President Judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit from 1839-1846. He was actively involved in local, state, and national politics on behalf of branches of the Whig, Republican, and a number of third party political movements including the Know-Nothings, Fusion, Peoples/American, National Union, Liberal Republicans and Greenbacks/Independents. The highlights of his political involvement included the following,

1833-1836, 1838-1839: Whig representative in Indiana General Assembly

1850: Delaware County Whig delegate to Indiana Constitutional Assembly

1855-1857: Fusionist, Peoples/American, and Republican representative and Speaker of the House (as a Fusionist in 1855) in Indiana General Assembly

1857-1861: Republican representative and Republican Congressional Executive Committee member in United States House of Representatives

David Kilgore was also one of the original and the longest-serving board members of the Indianapolis & Bellefontaine Railroad Company and its successor lines (Indianapolis, Pittsburgh & Cleveland Railroad Company, The Bellefontaine Rail Road Line, Bellefontaine Railway Company, and the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati & Indianapolis Railway Company) from 1848-1870. He passed away on January 23, 1879 on his farmstead in Delaware County west of Yorktown, Indiana.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 box; 5,721 digital files (16.4 GB))

Language of Materials


Custodial History

This collection was received by Archives and Special Collections as a series of donations from Arthur Andrew Olson III between 2010 and 2015.


Further additions are expected.

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

CS71.K482 2011: David Kilgore family reunion, June 4, 2011 manuscript

MSS.000.3: Local History Family Files

UAV.295: Third Party Fringe Politics in 19th Century Indiana presentation videorecording

V.295: David Kilgore family reunion, June 4, 2011 videorecording

Separated Materials

The following items were separated from the collection and individually cataloged:

Anatomy of the 1818 Treaties of St. Marys and the "New Purchase" of Indiana

Heritage and Pedigree of the "Bee Line" Railroads: Struggle for Control of the Cleveland-St. Louis Rail Corridor

Pioneer and Civil War Era Indiana Politics: The Political Career of David Kilgore

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2013/05/15 by Stephen Jones. EAD finding aid created 2013/05/16 by Stephen Jones. EAD finding aid revised 2013/09/03 and 2013/10/03 by Stephen Jones. EAD finding aid revised 2014/06/26 and 2014/08/18 by Brandon Pieczko

Arthur Andrew Olson III research collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

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