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James Riley Weaver papers

Identifier: MSD-0000-058

Collection Statement

This collection consists of four series. The first contains syllabuses by Colonel Weaver, biographical articles, letters, photographs, a register of books borrowed from Political Science Library with borrowers' names, and clippings. The second consists ony of his Civil War diary. The Civil War diary has been scanned and a digital facsimile is available in its entirety on Flickr and in the DePauw Digital Library. The diary has now been transcribed, edited and published as the book, James Riley Weaver's Civil War: the Diary of a Union Cavalry Officer, 1863-1865. The third series consists of the pieces used in the exhibit that ran in the Roy O. West Library's main floor exhibit cases from Sept. 7, 2018-July 22, 2019. The fourth series consists of research materials collected during preparation for the book. Much of this was not used in the final product, but could be useful to researchers.


  • 1837 - 2019


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Copyright interests for this collection are held by DePauw University.

Biographical Sketch

James Riley Weaver was born in 1839 in Pennsylvania. He was a professor of political science at DePauw University from 1885 until his retirement in 1893. For sixteen years prior to his teaching job at DePauw, Colonel Weaver was a teacher and diplomat. Six years of this time were spent at Vienna, Austria, where he was consul general and for a time charge d'affaires. He also served in the United States Army with the 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry during the Civil War taking part in the battle of Gettysburg. Captured in 1863, he was a prisoner of war in Libby Prison and other Confederate prisons and prison camps. He reached the rank of colonel. He was married to Anna Francis Simpson, second daughter of Matthew Simpson. After her death, he married Emma Matern in 1897. He died in 1920 and is buried in Oakland Cemetery, Sandusky, Ohio, home of the Matern family. He and Anna had two daughters: Vernie Ellen Weaver , DePauw x1893, married Methodist minister, George R. Graff, and after his deather, Felix Baranowski; Ida Blanche Weaver, DePauw 1893, married John H. Sheridan. Both daughters lived and are buried in southern California.

The Weavers lived at 904 South College Avenue in Greencastle, dubbed Beechcroft. Kappa Alpha Theta bought the house in 1920 to be the chapter house. It was remodeled and enlarged in 1924, but was torn down in 1940. The current Kappa Alpha Theta house was built in 1940 with additions over the years. Weaver's daughters, Ida Blanche Weaver and Vernie Weaver, both class of 1893, were Kappa Alpha Theta members and several KAT functions were held in the Weaver house before Kappa Alpha Theta purchased it. There are also references to owners prior to the Weavers as having Kappa Alpha Theta connections as the 1876 Kappa Alpha Theta convention was held at the house.


0.9 Cubic Feet (4 document cases, 1 volume)

Language of Materials


Related records

Phi Beta Kappa collection. Vernie Ellen Weaver Graff Baranowski, Class of x1893, Alumni vertical file. Ida Blanche Weaver Sheridan, Class of 1893, Alumni vertical file.

Oversize item

Painting of James Riley Weaver's Greencastle home, Beechcroft, by Emma Matern Weaver. DC 3495; Poster of James Riley Weaver Civil War Book Celebration. DC 3495, Item #224; Poster: The Life of James Riley Weaver, presentation by Wesley W. Wilson at Sandusky Library. Oversize Drawer 6, Item #75.



James Riley Weaver papers Professor of Modern Languages, Political Philosophy, History, Economics, Sociology, and Political Science; Civil War diarist
Wesley Wilson
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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
11 East Larrabee Street
Greencastle Indiana 46135 United States