1901 Obituary Index

Lafayette Weekly Courier & Sunday Times

By Sabrina Aldridge

Hello and welcome to my labor of love!

I am in the process of indexing the obits from the 1901 editions of the Lafayette Weekly Courier (LWC) and Lafayette Sunday Times (LST). Right now, I am about half-way through the year.


The process:

The Tippecanoe County Public Library has all editions of the 1901 LWC & LST on microfilm.

I have printed off each page of the newspaper, handwriting page numbers on the print out (because the pages were not numbered when published) and then taking those printouts and scanning them. I then read every page of the paper, noting any mention of a funeral, death or notice to heirs. There are "death rolls"in these papers, which can come more than once in any one edition, due to the printing process of that time. I have not limited my list to only these entries, but as mentioned above, I have taken a magnifying glass and tried to read every word in the "people" sections. These are titled with the name of the town, such as "Otterbein Items", "Clarks Hill Items", etc. It is basically a list of what's happening around town. Sometimes a funeral is mentioned, a burial, or the announcement of the death itself. Aside from that, there were also news stories where deaths were reported, both locally and nationwide. I have tried to include as much of that as I could. If a last name is underlined and blue or purple in color, that means it is a hyperlink. You can click on that to see the actual obit as it appeared in the paper. Some are easier to read than others. Also, if I used the tilde (~) in a cell, that represents "about". For example, sometimes the obit will say someone was aged "about 70", so I would put ~70. In some of the January entries, I don't have exact page numbers, (because the pages were not numbered and I didn't keep count from the front page) so I put ~6, to mean, it's on about page 6, so towards the middle of the paper. Most of the entries, though, are far more exact.

Death dates:

You will see that many of these entries have two options, a day of the week, or both. The deaths were often listed as happening on "Thursday", leaving it up to the reader's judgment to determine if it was the day before the paper (since the LWC was published on Friday) or a week ago Thursday. To prevent passing on false info, I've just left it as is with the day of the week and sometimes offering two possible dates, such as the 16th or the 23rd. However, if the paper said the death occurred "yesterday", I did put the actual date. I've now included a link to a 1901 Calendar for your convenience. This calendar is from an Australian court that happened to come up when I googled for 1901 calendar.

Maiden names:

If a maiden name was listed, I included it in the notes section of that entry, and also created another entry for the maiden name. For example: for Mrs. Jane Jones, nee Smith, I would create an entry for Mrs. Jane Jones, note the name Smith in the notes section and create another entry for Jane Smith, only including the notation to see "Mrs. Jane Jones".

The finished product:

I am still working hard on this, and adding more each day, but I also have a life! So please, bear with me, as this is, indeed a labor of love. You may notice that there is a gap in dates, and I am filling that in. I have that information documented, but not yet typed into the database. I also have all the pages of the February to May editions of LWC scanned as pdf documents. (I did not become familiar with the one machine at Tippecanoe County Library that allows printing an entire page at once until after I finished January.) I hope to be able to make the database interactive so that in addition to seeing the name, you will be able to click that name and get the obit in its original source. That will be the final stage of the project.


I personally have no ancestors in Tippecanoe County, nor in Indiana at all, for that matter. I moved here to go to school and am now doing this to share information with those who may find it useful. I hope this index will be a helpful supplement to the work of so many others who have indexed years and years of newspaper and birth and death records, and countless other things. Tippecanoe County is so fortunate to have such dedicated people who have taken such care with its history.


So, enjoy, and as ever, let me know if you have any questions, or comments, additions, corrections, etc. I'm masking my email address to prevent "spiders" from getting it, and I'm not creating an html link because I never use Outlook and those links never work for me when I'm surfing the net!

Best, Sabrina Aldridge

Classof95 (at) gmail (dot) com



1/26/13 - Added all of August to 1901 index.
12/23/12 - Added rest of September to 1901 index.
12/4/12 - Added rest of December, November and October to the 1901 index.
3/21/10 - Added more names to the Hammond death index. I have found the printouts for the 1901 obituaries and should be adding more real soon!
3/11/10 - Added more names to the Hammond death index. I moved house awhile back and my printouts of the Lafayette newspapers are still packed away somewhere. I will add more obits as soon as I get my hands on them.
10/11/08 - Added 1901 Calendar for reference
October 7, 2008 - On a completely different note, I have uploaded some names from the Hammond, Indiana (Lake County) WPA Death Index 1882-1920. This is only available for a fee at ancestry, so I copied some of the pages today from the Lake County Library and started typing it. The text file is the names only, I then put them in Excel and added other info. I just started, so far about 350 names.
July 2, 2008 - Added some December entries from the Lafayette Sunday Times. Dec. 29, 22, 15 & 8 are completed. Since I've added the Sunday Times, I have added the "paper" column, which notes which newspaper the listing comes from.
June 12, 2008 - added more hyperlinks of jpgs and some typed transcriptions of the actual obituaries (no new names added) - mostly obits from April 19th.
April 2008 - The library has still not fixed the microfilm machine that lets me print a whole page of the LWC, so I printed off June to December of Lafayette Sunday Times. This newspaper has all the obits together and was much easier to print than LWC (w/o the whole page print option). I will, of course, note which paper I am citing. As of right now, only LWC obits are indexed here.
March 19, 2008 - more entries, more links - still working, though!
March 2008 - I added hyperlinks to some of the entries, so you can click on the last name and see a jpg of the actual entry as it appeared in the newspaper. I also changed the look of the database a bit.
February 2008 - I went to the Tippecanoe County Public Library and to my chagrin, the one machine that used to allow me to print one whole page does not do that anymore!  I enlisted the help of many ppl and filled out a comment card and got a response back but basically nothing has been done.  I don't know how I'm going to continue the project without being able to print the whole page b/c the way I did it before was far too time consuming.  I guess we shall see.

January 2008 - I went to the library and the one microfilm machine that lets me print a whole page on one sheet has a bulb problem so I have to wait until it is serviced to print out more dates.


On to the index!