Sunday, February 27, 2011

Phi Delta Theta--1897

The Butler University Phi Delta Theta Fraternity operated in a variety of homes in Irvington. This alumni recruitment mailing reveals that the organization attempted to keep track of its former members. There are several things I enjoy about this mailing. You can see that Irvington is still an independent community in 1897. Notice the postmark. It would not be annexed by the city of Indianapolis until 1902. The image on the cards is that of former President Grant. The card was sent to A.O. Howe in Newfane, Vermont. The Howe family lived in Irvington for decades and Thomas Carr Howe would later be in charge of Butler. This document is courtesy of Matt Starr and Sean Obermeyer.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Layman Family--1912

Members of the Layman family pose for a photo in 1912. The Laymans lived at 5731 East Washington St. (demolished) Young Isabelle Layman, with the beautiful bow in her hair, looks directly at the photographer. You may read about this family in previous posts. This image is courtesy of Isabelle Layman Troyer.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Northwest Corner of East Washington St. and Arlington Avenues--Then and Now

These four photos show the significant changes that have taken place at 5930 and 5934 East Washington Streets over the years. The tiny image from 1936 (click on it to make it a little larger) shows Hattie Jones Ruhsenberger (1872-1973) and Charles A. Ruhsenberger (1869-1959) with their granddaughter Ann Hart (Stewart). The larger photo was taken in 1957 before the two homes were demolished for a filling station. The photo reveals that 5930 was a beautiful Dutch Colonial Revival home (1906). A tall tree obscures the view of 5934, but you can click on a previous post to see a 1920s era photo the front facade.

The newer "now" photos taken in the winter of 2011 reveal that the filling station has been closed and is now a tax service business. Irvington residents know the property well because of the dancing Statue of Liberty who boogies down along the sidewalk during tax season. You may see a photo of him taking a break to chat with a friend who has pulled into the lot. The historic images are courtesy of Ann Stewart.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Graduation--School #57 in 1946

In 1946, the graduating class of School #57 gathered on a beautiful day to have their photo taken. Thankfully, most of these Irvingtonians have been identified!! The photo was taken by Fitch Studios located at 24 E. 14th Street in Indianapolis. At the bottom of the photo, it appears that some of the teachers have signed their names. (Nell Heathco, Genevieve Burns, Ruth Marshall, and Lorena B) Enjoy this treasure. This image and all of the names are courtesy of Ann Stewart. (Known as Ann Hart in this photo)
Top Row: Dorice Smith, Allan Darling, Morgan Sly, Jim Bredensteiner, Joyce Mitzner, Gail Marshall, Paul Grove, Betty Jenkins, Robert Becker, Jim Hueston, Bob Routh, Margie Little, Barbara Weesner, Martha Book, Jo Stevenson, Barbara Weil
Second Row: Judy Wear, Mary Jo Reed, Dottie Curry, Thelma Waterous, Mary Hine, John Farson, Charles Wickizer, Nancy King, Ann Moreland, Barbara Lamb, Janice Miles, Nina Dallas, Joe Mulcahy, Don Ward, Bob Hudson, Ginnie Miller, Jean Scott
Third Row: Ann Hart, Martha Bolte, Mary Jo Stultz, Nancy Jo Parr, Marlane Cook, Twyla Earle, Shirley Figg, Kathy Smith, Patty Rodman, Carole Morris, Bobbie Jo Taylor, Janice Sampson, Barbara Schulmeyer, Janie Murphy, Nancy Campbell, Elaine Reel
Front Row: George King, Phil Smith, Tom Reeder, Bob Jones, Julian Morgan, David Morgan, Don Olson, Edward Hasse, Bob Craig, Don Sherry, Frank Robertson

Monday, February 21, 2011

Color Photo--Backyard, 5930 E. Washington St.

Henrietta Ruhsenberger Hart (1896-1969) stands next to her daughter Ann and her niece Mary Ellen Stokesberry in 1955. The Harts lived at 5930 E. Washington Street (no longer standing) and Miss Stokesberry dwelled on Burgess Avenue. Both Ann and Mary Ellen went on to have successful careers away from Irvington.

In this photo, the ladies stand in the backyard of 5930 E. Washington St. Behind them is 20 N. Arlington Avenue. (still standing). In the 1950s, Mr. and Mrs. Solon Vial lived in the Arlington Avenue bungalow with their son Bob. You can tell it was springtime as a flowering tree buds behind the women along the property line. This lovely image is counter to the present day parking lot in 2011, but perhaps in the future this lot shall be pretty again. A special thanks to Ann Stewart for providing this photo.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ruhsenberger Family--East Washington St.

In this rare photo taken sometime between 1921 and 1924, you can get a glimpse of the northwest corner of East Washington Street and Arlington Avenue. Three homes occupied the site where a former filling station and parking lot now stands in 2011. The Ruhsenberger family dwelled at 5930 East Washington. Charles A. Ruhsenberger was a salesman and manager of Levinson's Store on Pennsylvania Street in downtown Indianapolis. His wife Hattie was a homemaker and active clubwoman in Irvington. The Ruhsenbergers lived on this corner for at least three decades.

In this photo Hattie Ruhsenberger poses with her two children Roger A. and Esterbelle. Roger had just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy. He would later have a long life in public service for the United States government including a stint as the Deputy Commander for NATO! A graduate of Harvard University, he also helped to build the first radio station at the Pensacola, Florida naval base. You can see a small section of the porch of 5930 East Washington, but the photo provides a wonderful view of 5934 East Washington Street. Charles and Helen Owen lived in this house for decades. This image and information is courtesy of Ann Stewart. More will be coming about this interesting corner in Irvington.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Pleasant Run Parkway--1922

Martha Scott stands in her front yard at 5435 Pleasant Run Parkway. The photographer is facing east towards Ritter Avenue. Her home had only recently been built. If you look closely, you can see two people walking down the street and a car has just turned on to the parkway. This image is courtesy of Martha Scott Baum.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Irvington --Street Car

In this undated photo, the Layman family pose in a street car in Irvington. The line went straight down East Washington Street in front of the Layman home at 5731 E. Washington Street. Based upon the clothing, it looks like it might have been taken in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. Notice how dressed up everyone is in the photo! This image is courtesy of Isabelle Layman Troyer.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Irvington Kindergarten--1912

Irvington has had several kindergartens over the decades. One kindergarten was located in the Missions Building on University Avenue. In this photo dated to 1912, the class poses with their two teachers. This image is courtesy of Isabelle Layman Troyer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

William Forsyth--Irvington artist

William Forsyth (1854-1935) was one of Irvington's most talented residents. A prominent local artist, Forsyth and his family dwelled at 15 South Emerson Avenue in a rambling Queen Anne style home. He won numerous prizes over the years for his impressionistic work and he taught at the Herron Art Institute for twenty-seven years. The top photo captures Forsyth in his younger years perhaps after he returned after having studied in Munich, Germany. In the bottom photo, Evelyn Forsyth, a daughter, poses with several of her friends in 1925. You can see a similar photo in a previous post. The girls are standing along Emerson Avenue in front of the Forsyth Home. (demolished) The girls featured are: bottom row--Margaret Cook, Margaret Elrod; middle row--Dotty Canfield, Evelyn Forsyth; top row--Isabelle Layman. This image is courtesy of Isabelle Layman Troyer.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day--Irvington--1925

The Scott Family of 5435 Pleasant Run Parkway celebrated Valentine's Day in 1925 with a beautifully decorated dining room table. The Scotts had recently moved into their newly built home. This image is courtesy of Martha Scott Baum.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Young Girl--440 N. Irvington Avenue

This young girl stands in front of 440 N. Irvington Avenue with what looks like a cat on her shoulder. In the background you can see Pleasant Run Parkway and Ellenberger Park. The photo was likely taken around 1925. This image is courtesy of Martha Scott Baum.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter Fun--Irvington

Isabelle Layman enjoys time on her sled around 1910. You can also see her cute pet dog in the photo as well. The Laymans lived at 5731 E. Washington Street. This photo is courtesy of Isabelle Layman Troyer.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

McDavitt Family--5334 E. Washington St.

Members of the McDavitt family pose with Father Lyons in 1949. The McDavitts dwelled at 5334 East Washington Street. (See previous post) Behind the family you can see the Moore Kirk Funeral Home. The funeral home is now run by Oakley Hammond, but has been on the site since 1932. In the bottom photo you can see what the funeral home looks like in 2011. The historic image is courtesy of the McDavitt family.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

131 South Butler Avenue--Then and Now

This small cottage has received a few alterations over the years. Likely built in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, the house has hosted numerous families. In 1910, plumber Claude D. Locke and his family lived here. A boarder and nurse Elizabeth A. Evans rented a room from the Lockes. Mr. Locke had a partnership with George W. Anderson (20 South Hawthorne Lane) and operated their business out of 5442 East Washington Street. In 1923 the Alpha Delta Theta Sorority of Butler University moved their young women into the house. Since it is a small home, it was unlikely that all twenty-two members of the organization dwelled here. It has remained divided into at least two apartments since World War II. South Butler Avenue still awaits a renaissance, but is still crowded with century-old homes.

The top image shows the home in 1924 while the bottom photo was taken in the winter of 2011.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Fraternity--209 Downey Avenue

This wonderful photo taken in 1923 shows the home of the Sigma Chi House for Butler University. The house still stands (see previous post) and although it can not be seen, it was located next to the former Pennsylvania Railroad. Sited on a large lot, the young men who dwelled here had plenty of yard to display their "props" and signs. I do not know why they had a horse in the front yard, but perhaps it had something to do with a football game against Bethany College.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Butler Football Team--1890

The nearly undefeated Butler University Football (then called Butler College) team pose for a photograph in 1890. They would be victorious in 1891 and 1892 only losing to Hanover College once. The young men in the photo are identified as:

Upper row: Arch Hall, Cross, Henry Mann, Bob Hall, George Miller
Middle row: R.F. Davidson, Tom Hall
Lower row: George Cullum, John Nichols, Charles Baker, Ray Meeker

Thursday, February 3, 2011

209 Downey Avenue--Then and Now

This beautiful Queen Anne-styled home located at 209 Downey Avenue has graced Irvington for well over a century. In the early twentieth century, the Johnson family lived here. The 1910 city directory lists Albert Johnson as a banker and Arthur A. Johnson (perhaps a son) as a civil engineer. Dozens of families have dwelled in this house. In the 1920s it served as the Sigma Chi Fraternity house for Butler University.

The historic image shows the house in 1924. Since it was a Butler fraternity, many other photos exist of the house. The bottom photo was taken in the winter of 2011. As you can see, the home has been beautifully restored.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Butler Girls--1925

Irvington used to be a college neighborhood. Butler students could be found living in dorms, rooming houses, and residences throughout the community. Many families moved to Irvington so that their children could go to the small college affiliated with the Disciples of Christ. In this photo, Butler girls pack into a car for a drive through the neighborhood. This image is courtesy of Isabelle Layman Troyer.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Birthday Party--1916

Isabelle Layman grew up in 5731 E. Washington Street. In 1916 she hosted this wonderful birthday party. Her grandparents owned the large Second Empire-styled villa around the corner at 29 South Audubon Road. This image is courtesy of Isabelle Layman Troyer.