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Indiana State Soldiers' Home


The Indiana State Soldiers’ Home opened in 1896 on a 187 acre site in Lafayette, Indiana. The Home’s mission was to care for honorably discharged veterans of America’s wars who were residents of Indiana. Wives and widows of veterans were also eligible for care. The Home is still in operation and known today as the Indiana Veterans’ Home.

In 2002 volunteers at the Indiana State Archives completed the massive task of foldering, boxing, and indexing the State Archives’ collection of over 10,000 packets for residents of the Indiana State Soldiers’ Home. These records date from the Home’s opening in 1896 until 1964.

The typical packet includes an application for admission with information on the applicant’s military service and family history. Pension papers, death notices, and family correspondence are found in many packets.

Volunteer Marianne Hughes began work on this project in 1997. In early 1998 volunteers Elizabeth Hague and Barbara Gibson took over, working on the men’s and the women’s records respectively.

Click image to enlarge
Processing of the records ended in 2001. Ms. Hague completed data entry early in 2002. Each individual resident’s packet was opened, folded documents flattened, pins and paper clips removed, and the documents enclosed in an acid-free folder. The acid-free folders were placed in archival manuscript boxes. Bulky artifacts, ranging from coin purses to jewelry to war ration books, were placed in separate artifact boxes. The completed collection consists of 321 manuscript boxes of records (over 130 cubic feet).

The database for these records contains the names of 10421 men and women who were residents of the Home between 1896 and 1964. Dates of admission and discharge, county of residence, the veteran’s branch of service, the war the veteran served in, and burials at the Home Cemetery were also entered in the database. The database can be searched at the Indiana State Archives. The individual packets are available for inspection.

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