Friday, December 31, 2010

Lost Irvington--5657 E. Washington St.

The Carr Home, constructed in 1900, stood for 45 years before crews demolished it for commercial buildings along East Washington Street. To see a photo of the home before its demise, see my previous post. Numerous prominent people lived here besides the Carrs, including: Calvin Kendall, the superintendent of the Indianapolis Public Schools; the Shank sisters, the cousins to Mayor Samuel L. Shank; and Adelaide Conte, a local music teacher, who operated a school here and previously at 269 South Audubon Road. Joel Marmon, contractor, built the original house. This article came from the Indianapolis Star and is dated October 28, 1945.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lost Irvington

This beautiful home used to stand at 5657 E. Washington Street. The Carr family lived here in the early twentieth century. By 1924 it was the home to the Butler University sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma. Adelaide Conte also rented the home for her school named the Irvington School of Music.  You may learn more about her by clicking on the link below.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Irvington Ice & Coal

Located at 412 South Ritter Avenue next to the Baltimore and Ohio RR, Irvington Ice and Coal served the neighborhood for years. Most homes had a coal bin in the basement for heating their homes and had the coal delivered. As iceboxes became popular, Irvington residents placed a placard in the window as to how much ice they needed that week. Pictured is a coupon book used by an Irvington resident. I have also included a photo of my ice box. The ice would be placed behind the large door on the left. Vegetables and fruits would go on the right while milks and cremes would be placed just below the block of ice. Water would drain into a pan below the box and have to be emptied as the ice melted.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Butler University in Winter of 1921

This beautiful view depicts Butler's Irvington campus in 1921. You will see the stone "summer house" in the foreground. This became a meeting place for many coeds over the years. None of this scene remains in 2010.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Irvington Wedding

Irvington was a beautiful site to host a wedding in 1935. This handsome couple, Edgar Baum and Margaret Scott had their picture taken at the Scott home at 5435 Pleasant Run Parkway. This photo is courtesy of Margaret Scott Baum.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day in Irvington--1926

Although the quality of this photo is not great, it is interesting to view an Irvington Christmas tree from 1926. The tree is small and is sitting on a table in the Scott Home at 5435 Pleasant Run Parkway Drive. Happy Holidays to all who are reading this blog. This photo is courtesy of Martha Scott Baum.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Parlor in Irvington

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Scott enjoy a quiet evening next to their fireplace during the winter of 1926. The Scotts dwelled at 5435 Pleasant Run Parkway in Irvington. You may see an exterior shot of the home in a previous post. This photo is courtesy of Martha Scott Baum.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas gift--Irvington

Marty Book Powell sits next to the Christmas tree in her family's apartment on December 25, 1932. The Books lived at 5901 E. Washington Street, Apartment 3--in the Arlington Court. This photo is courtesy of Marty Book Powell.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Guy Shadinger

Butler University chemistry professor Guy Shadinger dwelled at 5543 University Avenue in the 1920s. In 1925, the female students on campus voted him as the "most handsome professor" at the college. You may see a photo of his home in the previous post.

Barnard Home Then and Now

Harry and Marion Barnard moved into 5543 University Avenue about 1908. Mr. Barnard was the food and drug commissioner for the state of Indiana and he frequently made the news for closing down bakeries or other unsanitary food establishments. Mrs. Barnard was an active suffragette and clubwoman in Irvington. She corresponded with her sister, a dentist, in New Hampshire regularly. These letters are now on file in the Indiana Historical Society. Numerous other families and individuals have lived in this home including Guy Shadinger. Dr. Shadinger was a chemistry professor at Butler University and in 1925 he was named the most handsome professor on campus. (See next post)

The older photo of the home was taken in 1925. The newer photo of 5543 was shot in 2010.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Then and Now-- University Avenue Home

Built around 1910, this large home at 5452 University Avenue served as the Pi Beta Phi Sorority House in the 1920s. It looks largely the same today except the wood siding is now covered in aluminum. The older photo was shot in 1925 and the newer one in 2010.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Then and Now

Carrie Baus, the widow of Louis D. Baus dwelled in this home at 5536 University Avenue in 1910. It was likely built just a few years earlier. By the 1920s the house hosted the Tau Kappa Tau Fraternity for Butler. The older photo was taken in 1925 and the newer one in 2010. You will note that the porch has been changed and that the house is now covered in aluminum siding. The dwelling is one of many American Four Squares located within Irvington.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

South Audubon Home Then and Now

This beautiful home has been located at 307 South Audubon Road since 1908. Many people have dwelled in this house including the Buddenbaum family who lived here after it was first built. Mr. Buddenbaum ran a lumber company in Indianapolis. In the 1920s it served as a the Sigma Delta Sorority House for Butler University. The older photo in this post was taken in 1925 and the newer photo was shot in 2010. The porch is the only significant change to this century-old house.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hilton U. Brown

Newspaper publisher Hilton U. Brown (1859-1958) dwelled in a mansion clad in stone on the southwest corner of East Washington Street and Emerson Avenue. Irvington children by the dozens flocked to the property on snowy days for sledding down "Brown's Hill." Besides his involvement with the Indianapolis News, the veteran journalist also served as a Butler University trustee for many years. The Browns tragically lost one of their sons during World War I and donated a plot of land in his memory across the street from the house. That small park is now called Brown's Corner. This photo shows Mr. Brown hard at work in 1925.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hackleman Sisters

Helen and Margaret Hackleman, shown here around 1910, remained close throughout their lives. As adults they lived next to each other. One sister dwelled at 28 North Ritter while the other lived at 34 North Ritter. A well worn path connected their backdoors.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bowsher Family

The Bowshers dwelled at 340 Whittier Place. This photo was likely taken around 1935. The porch and home looks much as it did when the picture was snapped. This photo is courtesy of Roberta Quandt.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Irvington Girl and Dog

Martha Scott poses with her dog "Drug" in 1925. She dwelled at 5435 Pleasant Run Parkway with her parents. Behind her in this photo you can see the parkway as well as a house that used to sit in Ellenberger Park near Ritter Avenue. Local lore has it that the house was moved to Michigan Street and still stands today. I will post a photo of that house later and let you decide if they are one and the same. This photo is courtesy of Martha Scott Baum.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Irvington Pastry Shop

The Book Family, shown here in 1940, enter the Irvington Pastry Shop located at 5630 East Washington Street. The Tudor Revival "strip mall" has been in Irvington since the 1920s and has hosted a variety of businesses and even a robbery by John Dillinger in the 1930s. In 2010, the "Help My Mac" Store occupies the same address. This photo is courtesy of Marty Book Powell.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Arlington Court Apartments

Built in the American Four-Square style, the Arlington Court Apartments are located in the 5900 block of East Washington Street near Arlington Avenue. This photo shows the Book sisters in the courtyard of the complex in 1932. Courtesy of Marty Book Powell

Monday, December 6, 2010

Irvington Pets

Beagles Patsy and Prince Pat enjoy the good life at 25 South Irvington Avenue in 1953. There are several features that I enjoy in these photos including the wonderful sink and stove, and that cool linoleum floor. This photo is courtesy of Marty Book Powell.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Marty Book Powell

Congratulations to Marty Book Powell for receiving the Hilton U. Brown Lifetime Achievement Award from the Irvington Historical Society. Ms. Powell is a life long resident of the neighborhood and was instrumental in setting up the Irvington Community Council in the 1970s. Here she is in 1949 standing near 5451 Julian Avenue. This photo is courtesy of Marty Book Powell.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ellenberger Park

The Ellenberger family dwelled in a large Italianate farmhouse on what is today East 10th Street. The family was one of the wealthier families in Warren Township and they became even richer when they sold several acres to the city for a park in the early twentieth century. Besides a beautiful woods, the property also contained a farmhouse (not the Ellenberger house) and some outbuildings. This photo taken on a beautiful winter day in 1922 shows one of the outbuildings along Pleasant Run Parkway. The house faced Ritter Avenue and was south of the stream.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hackleman Brothers Part Two

Charles Hackleman dwelled at 28 North Ritter Avenue before moving into his newly constructed home at 34 N. Ritter. This photo taken around 1904 shows all of the Hackleman brothers visiting at 28 N. Ritter. Charles is located at the far left. The house looks similar today except that the bay window above the brothers was removed in the 1990s. The wonderful leaded glass window and the clapboard siding are still nice features of the home in 2010. This photo is courtesy of Dennis and Sharron McKnight.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Treat Home

Hiram and Isabelle Treat and family dwelled at 335 Whittier Place. Mr. Treat worked as a clerk in the Parry Manufacturing Company in 1910. Mrs. Treat was an active clubwoman in Irvington. Their American Four Square styled home was a common design found in Indianapolis. This house photo is one of many featured in my book Irvington in 1910: A Year in the Life of an Indianapolis Neighborhood. You may order it from

The second photo is of Isabelle Treat in 1910. Both pictures are courtesy of Tawn Spicklemire.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Kin Hubbard

Indianapolis News cartoonist Kin Hubbard moved to Irvington in 1907. Hubbard became well known throughout the United States because of a folksy rube he created named Abe Martin. The backwards hill character was centered in Brown County, Indiana and he had many quips about life that early twentieth-century Americans enjoyed reading. Syndicated in newspapers around the country, Hubbard soon started publishing books with Martin's witty jabs at society. Hilton U. Brown, the publisher of the News, encouraged Hubbard to buy a beautiful piece of real estate from him and build a house in Irvington. Hubbard sited the home on a small hill near Emerson Avenue, Pleasant Run Parkway, (not yet built in 1907) and Michigan Street. Hubbard eventually left Irvington as his fortunes increased for a mansion along Meridian Street.

The postcard above was sent from "Emma" to Mrs. Earl Brown of Advance, Indiana on November 1, 1914. Emma was staying at 133 Downey Avenue in Irvington and was renting the "sleeping porch." In a brief note she describes her worries about staying warm in such a room during winter!

Hubbard published Abe Martin's Almanack in 1909. It was his third major publication with many more on the horizon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Backyard fun

The Treat family dwelled at 335 Whittier Place in 1910. In this photo, Alice and Isabel Treat enjoy getting their picture taken in some entangling vines in the backyard. The photo was likely taken around 1910. This photo is courtesy of Tawn Spicklemire.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Children in Ellenberger Park

The city of Indianapolis acquired Ellenberger Woods in 1910 after levying a special assessment on residents in eastern Indianapolis. The tax met with some resistance, but the city prevailed. Noted landscape architect, George Kessler created several boulevards through Indianapolis including Pleasant Run Parkway. Kessler placed the new park in his grand design. Irvington residents have utilized the park for decades. These children in 1922 enjoy a drink from a fountain long removed. This photo is courtesy of Martha Scott (far right).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

South Audubon Road

The Graves Family dwelled at 270 South Audubon Road in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This photo shows two members of the family standing in front of 266 South Audubon Road. You can see the Irving Circle Park and part of 262 South Audubon Road as well. This photo is courtesy of the Stewart Family.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Car Repair

Members of the Bowsher family work on the family vehicle in the 300 block of Whittier Place. This photo is courtesy of Roberta Quandt.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Emerson Heights

In the early twentieth century, developers designed and created Emerson Heights, a neighborhood just west of Irvington. By 1910, the city built a streetcar line along Michigan Street so that the new residents could easily travel to work downtown. Built at the height of the Arts and Crafts era, the neighborhood is filled with bungalows and American Four Squares. Several of the streets have an esplanade with sweet gum trees providing a beautiful canopy. Many people sought their dream home here. Unfortunately, the developers put in a protective covenant that forbade the sale of homes to Indianapolis's African-American population.

The print for this post came from Leaders in that neighborhood have created a stunning website that actually has the original 1914 promotional book with photos of many of the houses. Be sure to click on "development book-historic photos." I believe that this neighborhood is seeking National Register status and once you see photos of the homes you will see why that should be granted. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bona Thompson Library

The last permanent structure built for Butler University in Irvington came in 1903 with the completion of the Bona Thompson Memorial Library. Named after a Butler grad who died of typhoid fever, Bona Thompson (class of 1897) was the beloved daughter of Edward and Mary Thompson. Devastated by their daughter's death, the Thompsons donated the money for the land and the construction of Butler's library. Mrs. Thompson died before the completion of the structure and Mr. Thompson died shortly after the grand opening. The building today is home to the Irvington Historical Society. This post card was sent in 1910 by Irvington resident William Reynolds (52 Downey Avenue) to Mrs. Edward Price of Shelbyville, Indiana.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Butler University

Butler used to be located east of Emerson Avenue and West of Downey Avenue. Today several post-World War II houses currently occupy the site. Students attended classes in the building. Each time a Butler team won a game, a student or college employee would ring the bell in the tower. This colorized photo was taken in the early twentieth century.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Butler University

Irvington was in financial difficulties after the economic Panic of 1873 swept the country. When a small college called Northwest Christian University moved into the neighborhood, hundreds of students, professors, and families followed, helping to revitalize the community. The board of trustees changed the name to Butler College in honor of the founder--Ovid Butler upon moving to the suburb. The school remained in Irvington until 1929. It eventually outgrew the neighborhood. Most of the buildings were torn down by the mid-twentieth century. This is a postcard view of the campus in the early twentieth century.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Scott Home

Harold Scott saw to the construction of this home in 1922 for his family at 5435 Pleasant Run Parkway. Note the beautiful interior shot. Both shots were taken shortly after the construction of the home. Photo courtesy of Margaret Scott.

Graham-Stephenson Home

Irvington's most infamous landmark is the D.C. Stephenson Home. In the 1920s, Indiana and the nation came under the grip of the Ku Klux Klan. The Governor of Indiana and many other politicians fell under the sway of Irvington's most notorious resident. A millionaire, Stephenson added the columns onto the Graham family's home. Mr. Graham had been a prominent minister and his family was greatly respected in Irvington. The house at 5432 University Avenue was photographed for the Indianapolis Star while Stephenson stood for trial in the rape and murder of an Irvington woman named Madge Oberholtzer. The trial became a national sensation and Stephenson's conviction helped to end the power of the Klan in Indiana and around the nation. This photograph was taken in 1925.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Book!

I have just published a new book depicting Irvington in 1910. I have spent several years researching the project and a few more writing it. I wanted to create a portrait of the neighborhood during the peak building-boom of the community. You may either order it from or from me directly. I hope you enjoy it.

Danner Family

The Danner family ran a chain of "five and dime" stores throughout Indiana. Some of the Danners called Irvington home. In this shot, Danner children gathered in front of their 72 North Ritter Avenue home for a photo taken sometime in the late 1930s. Note that the WPA had already widened Ritter Avenue by this point. The picture also shows several homes along North Ritter and Lowell Avenues. This photo is courtesy of the Danner Family.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Irvington kitchen

The Scott Family were the first to live at 5435 Pleasant Run Parkway. This amazing kitchen was photographed shortly after the home was built in 1922. Photo courtesy of the Scott Family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guardian Home

The Marion County Children's Guardian Home opened in Irvington in the 1890s as part of the Progressive Era in American history. Endangered, homeless, abandoned, and neglected children called Irvington home for over one hundred years. The institution recently closed and is now a charter school. Here is a postcard sent by "Roy" to his brother Clarence Carpenter who was living the home in December of 1913.