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Lester Nathaniel Abel papers

Identifier: MSM-2009-004

Collection Statement

This collection is divided into three series: 1) Biographical, which includes newspaper clippings, letters, and other materials from the churches in which Rev. Abel served, as well as numerous obituaries and sympathy cards to his family. This series also includes a few brief genealogical notes. 2) Military, which contains all Rev. Abel=s official military papers such as appointments, hospital records, and promotion information. This series also contains personal materials from his time of military service, such as letters to and from family and photographs from the Harvard Chaplain's School and his station in Australia. 3) Sermons & Service, which includes his lifetime service record with the Methodist Church, as well as nine books of sermons, ranging in date from 1943-1956.


  • 1920 - 1956


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright interests for this collection have been transferred to DePauw University.

Biographical Sketch

Lester Nathaniel Abel was born in Whiteland, Indiana, November 13, 1898 to Nathaniel and Mary Abel. He attended Whiteland High School, and later was graduated from Los Angeles Extension School of Law and was a member of the Indiana Bar Association. He later graduated from Franklin College with an A.B. degree after having entered the ministry in 1924. This followed six years as a teacher in the public schools of Indiana. He also took additional university courses from Indiana and Purdue Universities.

Rev. Abel married Katherine Pearson in 1920, and the couple had two sons, Bill and Russell, and two daughters, Mary and Vera.

While a minister of the Indiana Conference, Rev. Abel served at Acton, Switz City, Clarks Hill, Whitcomb, Westport, Milton, North Vincennes, New Albany, Shelburn, and Indianapolis. He was also assistant to the president of Taylor University at Upland from 1940 until enlisting in the military in the capacity of chaplain in 1943. During his military service, Rev. Abel served in Australia through March of 1944 when he was sent home to the states for medical reasons. He served out the remainder of his commission at stateside military bases in Maryland and Virginia, and left the war with the rank of Captain.

Rev. Abel was known statewide as a lecturer and commencement speaker, often delivering as many as 30 high school commencement addresses per year. He was the minister at Michigan Street Methodist Church in Indianapolis at the time of his death on September 10, 1956.


1.05 Cubic Feet (3 document cases)

Language of Materials


Lester Nathaniel Abel papers
Minister, Methodist Church
Wesley Wilson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of DePauw University and Indiana United Methodism Repository

Roy O. West Library
405 S. Indiana St.
Greencastle Indiana 46135 United States