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IHS Press Publishes a Compilation of Essays Examining Three Generations of the Lilly Family

October 13, 2022

In the latest release from the Indiana Historical Society (IHS) Press, “Three Generations of the Lilly Family in Indiana: Excellence, Integrity, and Respect for People” examines through a series of essays the four men within three generations of the Lilly family.

Since its start in Indianapolis in May 1876, the pharmaceutical firm of Eli Lilly and Company has played a significant role in the history of the Hoosier state’s capital city. Compiled by Eli Lilly II and Rebecca E. Lilly, the book’s subjects are Colonel Eli Lilly, 1838-98 (Civil War veteran and founder of Eli Lilly and Company); his son, J.K. Lilly Sr., 1861-1948; and J.K.’s two sons, Eli Lilly, 1885-1977, and J.K. Lilly Jr., 1893-1966.

These men were similar as they all were dedicated to their work at Eli Lilly and Company and lifelong residents of Indianapolis as well as significant contributors to institutions within Indianapolis and the state of Indiana.

The essays are by those whose professional work is to understand and fulfill different aspects of the three Lilly generations and their legacy. The pieces tackle such questions as: Why were these three generations so interested in promoting educational, religious and cultural institutions? Why did they choose some endeavors over others?

This book is timely as future generations should have access to stories about past generations before they are lost. Today, few people knew these men personally, and current professionals are either retiring or no longer available. Therefore, the accomplishments of these four men should be recorded.

The essays include details on the Lilly family’s contributions to such venerable institutions as the Indiana Historical Society, Angel Mounds, Indiana Landmarks, Oldfields, Eagle Creek Park and Lilly Library. In addition, the authors delve into the important assistance offered by the Lilly Endowment since its creation in 1937.

“Three Generations of the Lilly Family in Indiana: Excellence, Integrity, and Respect for People” is available through IHS’s Basile History Market and other places books are sold. For more information about the book or the IHS Press, call (317) 232-1882 or visit


Title:                            Three Generations of the Lilly Family in Indiana: Excellence, Integrity, and Respect for People

Publisher:                    Indiana Historical Society Press

Pages:                         198

Size:                            6 x 9

Cover:                         Hardcover

Publication Date:        October 2022

Cost:                            $24.95

ISBN:                           978-0-87195-464-0

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