Collection ID: 2010.4.1
Printable View Printable View

Collection context


Wylie family
The Wylie family members represented in this collection are all family or in-laws of Andrew Wylie, Jr., eldest son of Indiana University's first president, Andrew Wylie. The collection consists of correspondence written by Andrew Wylie Jr., his father, his wife, his siblings, aunts and uncles. Also included are letters written by Wylie's father-in-law, Daniel Bryan, other members of the Bryan family, and a few from other individuals.
192 letters
Materials are in English
Preferred citation:

[Item], Andrew Wylie, Jr. Family Correspondence Collection, Wylie House Museum, Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington


Biographical / Historical:

Andrew Wylie, Jr. was born in 1814 in Pennsylvania, the eldest son of Andrew and Margaret Wylie. His father served as the first president of Indiana University. Andrew Jr. graduated from IU in 1832 with a BA and an MA. He studied law in Kentucky and practiced in Pittsburg. He married Mary Caroline Bryan (1825-1896) in 1845 and they had four sons, only one of whom, Horace, survived to adulthood. They moved to Alexandria, VA, where Andrew pursued a long career in jurisprudence. He received a recess appointment from President Lincoln on March 18, 1863, to a new seat on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (then called the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia). He was formally nominated to the seat on January 5, 1864, and on January 20, 1864 he was confirmed by the US Senate. He retired from the bench on May 1, 1885, and resumed private practice. He died in Washington, D.C. in 1905.

Andrew Wylie was born in 1789, the son of an immigrant Irish farmer. He grew up in Washington County, Pennsylvania, graduated from Jefferson College in Canonsburg in 1810, and immediately became a tutor at that institution. He studied theology under his oldest brother, Rev. William Wylie, D.D., and was licensed as a Presbyterian minister in 1812, the same year he was unanimously elected the president of Jefferson College. Margaret Ritchie (1791-1859) became his wife in 1813, and together they had twelve children: Andrew, William, Mary Ann, Craig Ritchie, Elizabeth, John Hosea, Samuel, Margaret, Irene Catherine, Redick McKee, Anderson McElroy, and Jane Melheme. In 1817 he became the president of the nearby Washington College and served in that capacity until 1828. He received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Union College, Schenectady, New York, in 1825. In 1828, Dr. Wylie was invited by the trustees of Indiana College (later to become Indiana University) to be its first president. He accepted that post in 1829 and retained the position until his death in 1851.

Mary Caroline Bryan Wylie (1825-1896) was the daughter of Daniel Bryan and Mary Thomas Barbour. She married Andrew Wylie, Jr. in 1845, and they had four sons, only one of whom, Horace, survived to adulthood.

Horace Wylie (1868-1960) lived in Washington, D.C. where he married Katherine Hopkins. They had six children and were very active in the social scene of Washington. In 1910, he left the family to live in Europe with Elinor Hoyt Hichborn, whom he eventually married.

Katherine Hopkins Wylie (1872-1941), wife of Horace Wylie, was the daughter of James Herron Hopkins and Anna Margaret.

Andrew Wylie (son of Horace and Katherine Wylie) was born in 1868 and died in 1945 in Poland, where he was stationed as a U.S. Marine officer.

Mary Ann Wylie was Andrew and Margaret Wylie's third child, born in 1817. She married James Finley Dodds, a physician, in 1838, and they had eight children one of whom, Samuel, died of disease while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. Mary Ann Dodds died in 1886, a mere two days after her husband. They are buried in the same grave.

Elizabeth Wylie was born in 1821, the fifth Wylie child. She married John McCalla of Bloomington, Indiana in 1856, and they had one daughter, Mary Ballantine McCalla, born in 1857. Elizabeth died in 1900.

John Hosea Wylie, the sixth child of Andrew and Margaret, was born in 1823 in Pennsylvania. He graduated from Indiana University in 1841 and from the University of Louisville medical school in 1845. He set up practice in Richmond, Indiana, where he married Lizzie Leeds in 1851. They had one daughter, Irene. During the last few years of his life, Wylie traveled to California, modern-day Washington and Oregon, and the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii) in the hope of recovering from his tuberculosis. He finally died on the island of Kauai in March 1855. His wife died of consumption the next year in Indiana. Irene Wylie was raised by her mother's family.

Samuel Theophylact Wylie was the seventh of the Wylie children, born in 1825 in Pennsylvania. He graduated from IU in 1843 and from IU's Law Department in 1845. He died of typhoid fever in Cincinnati in 1850.

Margaret Wylie was born in 1826. She married Rev. Samuel Martin in 1849 and worked with him as a missionary in Ningpo, China from 1850-1858. They also lived in Texas, Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska. They had seven children. Margaret Wylie Martin died in 1898.

Irene Catherine Wylie was the ninth of the Wylie children, born in 1829. She married Joseph Bell in 1849, and they had five children, two of whom died young. Irene Wylie Bell died in 1878 due to a fall from a carriage.

Redick McKee Wylie was born in 1831, the tenth of Andrew and Margaret Wylie's children. He graduated from IU in 1851 and worked as a farmer and as a merchant in Bloomington with his brother-in-law John McCalla. He married Madeleine Thompson in 1870, and they had four children. Redick M. Wylie died in December 1904.

Anderson McElroy Wylie, born in 1833, was the eleventh of the twelve Wylie children. He graduated from IU in 1852 and taught for three years in Philadelphia before attending the Episcopal Seminary in Virginia. He was a preacher in the Episcopal Church and then in the Presbyterian Church in New York and Massachusetts. He married Margaret Conklin in 1860, and they had five children. He died in 1892.

Jane Melheme Wylie was born in 1836, the youngest of Andrew Wylie's children. She attended the Monroe County Female Seminary and the Glendale Female College near Cincinnati. She was an accomplished pianist. In 1860, after her mother's death, she traveled to Philadelphia, Wheeling, and New York State, but eventually returned to Bloomington and lived with her brother, Redick. She suffered for years from diabetes but ultimately died of "congestive failure" in 1865.

Rev. William Wylie, was Andrew Wylie, Sr.'s brother. Born in 1776 in Washington County, Pennsylvania, he died in Wheeling, (West) Virginia in 1858. He received his education at the Canonsburg Academy in Washington County. He received his D. D. from Muskingum College in 1850. Like his brother, Andrew, he was a Presbyterian minister. He lived and preached in Kentucky; Washington County, Pennsylvania; Newark, Ohio; and Wheeling, (West) Virginia. He married Esther Smith (called Hetty) with whom he had at least 5 children. After her death in 1837, he married Harriet Moody, a widow.

Daniel Bryan was born about 1789 in Rockingham County, Virginia and died in 1866 in Washington, D. C. In 1818 he married Mary Thomas Barbour (1795-c. 1852), sister of James Barbour and Philip Pendleton Barbour, both of whom at that time were representing Virginia in Congress. Bryan served one term in the Virginia Senate, and on January 26, 1820, he cast the only vote against a Senate resolution advocating Missouri's entry into the Union as a slave state. In 1821 he accepted an appointment as Postmaster of Alexandria, VA, a position that he held until 1853 when he resigned in order to accept a position in the library of the Treasury Department. He opposed secession and remained a firm Unionist throughout the Civil War while residing in Alexandria. Bryan was also a published poet who wrote in a neoclassical style.

Mariana Bryan Lathrop, Caroline Bryan Wylie's sister, was born about 1820 in Virginia. She married Jedidiah Hyde Lathrop in 1843.

Thomas B. Bryan, Caroline Bryan Wylie's brother, was born in Alexandria, Virginia in 1828 and died in Washington, D.C. in 1906. He was a lawyer, having graduated from Harvard Law School, an entrepreneur, and a pioneer citizen of Chicago, maintaining a residence there from 1852 until his death. He was considered a leader in public enterprises throughout the Civil War on behalf of the Union and throughout his adult life.

James Barbour, Jr. (1798-1857) was the eldest son of James Barbour (1775-1842) of Orange County, Virginia who served several terms in the Virginia House of Delegates, as the Governor of Virginia, and later in the US Senate. Mary T. Barbour Bryan was his paternal aunt. James Jr. was a farmer.

Benjamin Johnson Barbour (1821-1894), third son of James Barbour and a cousin of Mary Caroline Bryan Wylie. He attended the University of Virginia from 1837 to 1839. After the conclusion of the Civil War, he was appointed by the governor of Virginia to the new Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia (1865-1873). He served as Rector of the University from 1866 until 1872.

Benjamin Hardin was born in 1784 in Pennsylvania, but moved with his parents to Kentucky four years later. He died in Bardstown, Kentucky in 1852. He was admitted to the bar in 1806 and commenced practice in Nelson County, Kentucky in 1808. He served in the Kentucky House of Representatives (1810-1811, 1824-1825) and in the Kentucky Senate (1828-1832). He was Secretary of the State of Kentucky from 1844 to 1847. He also served as a US Representative from Kentucky (1815-1817, 1819-1823).

David Ritchie was the youngest brother of Margaret Ritchie Wylie and maternal uncle to Andrew Wylie, Jr. Born in Canonsburg, Washington County, Pennsylvania on August 19, 1812, he graduated from Jefferson College, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania in 1829, and subsequently at Heidelberg, Germany. He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1835, and commenced practice in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the Thirty-third through the Thirty-fifth Congresses (1853-1859). He was appointed associate judge of the court of common pleas of Allegheny County in 1862 and served nine months before resuming the practice of his profession. He died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 24, 1867.

Abigail Ritchie was born in 1810, the youngest of Margaret Ritchie Wylie's siblings. She was a favorite aunt to the Wylie children and lived in the Wylie House from 1848 to 1850. She moved to California to live with Eliza Ritchie McKee after 1854. She never married and died in 1880.

Eliza Ritchie McKee was born in 1802, a younger sister to Margaret Ritchie Wylie. She married Redick McKee (1800-1886), and they had five children. One of these was Andrew, a favorite cousin to the Wylie children. She died in 1871. Mr. McKee was a prominent businessman in Pittsburgh, PA; Wheeling, WV; and California.

William Buell Sprague (1795-1876) was an American Congregational and Presbyterian minister. He compiled the Annals of the American Pulpit, a biographical dictionary of leading American Protestant clergy who died prior to 1850.

Alfred Ryors (1812-1858) was the second president of Indiana University (1852-1853), succeeding Andrew Wylie, as well as the fifth president of Ohio University. He taught mathematics at Indiana University from 1843-1848.

Scope and Content:

The bulk of the materials in this collection are letters written to Andrew Wylie, Jr. (1914-1905) by his siblings, several letters written between him and his wife, Caroline Bryan Wylie, and others written by members of the Bryan family. The earliest letters were written by Daniel Bryan to his wife. The Horace and Katherine Hopkins Wylie papers and those of their son, Andrew Wylie (1896-1945) include the most recent materials.

The letters written during the Civil War years will be of particular interest to those interested in that conflict. Both the Wylies and the Bryan families were opposed to secession, and remained staunch Unionists. Wylie sent his wife from their home in Alexandria to safety in Pennsylvania while he took up residence in Washington, D.C., but her parents remained in Alexandria. Caroline's sister and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Lathrop, also left the area and went to Pennsylvania.

The letters written by Andrew's brother, Redick M. Wylie and his sister, Elizabeth Wylie McCalla, both of Bloomington, Indiana, will be of special interest to those interested in the history of Bloomington and Monroe County, Indiana.

Caroline Bryan Wylie's letters provide insight into her maternal experience as well as the numerous ways in which she dealt with various health concerns.

Acquisition information:
The first series donated to Wylie House Museum by Peter Welles Lawrence, great-grandson of Andrew Wylie, Jr., July 2010. The second series was purchased by the Wylie House Museum in 2013.
Processing information:

Processed by Jo Burgess. Second series processed by Abi Parker.

Completed in 2010


This collection of Wylie family correspondence comes from two sources, acquired at different times. The first acquisition was a gift from Peter Welles Lawrence, great-grandson of Andrew Wylie, Jr. in 2010. The second addition was the result of a purchase by the Wylie House Museum in 2013. Provenance information is provided at the folder or item level. The collection is arranged into series and subseries based on correspondents and material type and organized chronologically therein.

Indexed Terms

Bloomington (Ind.) --Social life and customs --19th century.
Monroe County (Ind.) --Social life and customs --19th century.
United States --History --Civil War, 1861-1865 --social aspects.
Monroe County (Ind.) --History --Civil War, 1861-1865.
Alexandria (Va.) --History --Civil War, 1861-1865.
Monroe County (Ind.) --Social aspects.
United States--Politics and government--19th century
Agriculture --Indiana.
Family archives --Indiana.
Wylie, Andrew, 1814-1905 --Archives.
Wylie, Andrew, 1814-1905 --Correspondence.
Wylie, Andrew, 1814-1905 --Friends and Associates.
Wylie, Andrew, 1789-1851
Bryan, Daniel, 1789-1866 --Archives
Bryan, Daniel, 1789-1866 --Correspondence
Wylie, Redick, 1831-1904 --Archives.
Wylie, Redick, 1831-1904 --Corrspondence.
McCalla, Elizabeth Wylie, 1821-1900 --Archives.
McCalla, Elizabeth Wylie, 1821-1900 --Correspondence.
Lathrop, Mariana Bryan, 1820- --Correspondence.
Lathrop, Mariana Bryan, 1820- --Archives.
Wylie, Mary Carolyn Bryan, 1825-1896 --Correspondence.
Wylie, Mary Carolyn Bryan, 1825-1896 --Archives.
Wylie, Mary Carolyn Bryan, 1825-1896 --Correspondence.
Wylie, Anderson M. (McElroy), 1833-1893 --Archives.
Wylie, Anderson M. (McElroy), 1833-1893 --Correspondence.
Martin, Margaret Wylie, 1826-1898 --Archives.
Martin, Margaret Wylie, 1826-1898 --Correspondence.
Bell, Irene Catherine Wylie, 1829-1878 --Archives.
Bell, Irene Catherine Wylie, 1829-1878 --Correspondence.
Wylie, Jane Melheme, 1836-1865 --Archives.
Wylie, Jane Melheme, 1836-1865 --Correspondence.
Wylie Family --Archives.
Wylie Family --Correspondence.

Online content



This collection is open for research. Advance notice required.


For reproduction and use policy, contact Wylie House Museum Director.


[Item], Andrew Wylie, Jr. Family Correspondence Collection, Wylie House Museum, Indiana University Libraries, Bloomington

Indiana University Bloomington
317 East 2nd Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47401, United States
Indiana University Bloomington