The Birney-Fleming family, of Scotch-Irish extraction, emigrated from Ulster, Ireland, to Harrison County, Ohio in 1812-14. Members of the Fleming family moved to Central Illinois in the 1840s from Pennsylvania. Isabel and William Fleming married in 1855. Isabel Fleming, mother of John H. and Robert Lincoln Fleming, was principal of University High School. Robert Lincoln Fleming was called to the bar in the State of Illinois in 1887 and set up his practice first in Normal, then in Bloomington. In 1894 he was first elected as State’s Attorney. After serving in World War I, his son Birney F. Fleming followed in his footsteps, being certified to practice law in Illinois in 1924. His son, Robert Thomas Fleming, was the third generation of Fleming attorneys, in the same law practice that his grandfather Robert Lincoln Fleming had formed in the 1880s, and, like them, held the post of city attorney for the Town of Normal.
The collection includes family history documents; family correspondence, scrapbooks, and books; certificates of land purchase; memorabilia connected to World War I and World War II; correspondence relating to the Fleming law practice; and newspaper clippings relating to three generations of the Fleming family.