Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hibben Avenue in Irvington

Hibben Avenue, named for a prominent Irvington family, is one of the "newer" streets in the neighborhood. The avenue is filled with modest homes built after 1917. The first resident of the block was Jesse Lowes and his family. They dwelled at 5442 Hibben. By 1922 contractors had built seven more homes. In 1923 George Bell lived at 5423 Hibben. Throughout the mid-1920s that home served as the headquarters for the Butler fraternity Tau Kappa Tau. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, a manufacturing agent, Paul G. Craver and his family lived in the small bungalow.

The images reveal Hibben Avenue today and in 1924. The picture of the oldest house on the block was taken in the summer of 2011. (5442 Hibben Avenue) It is the first image of a home in the series. Another contemporary shot shows the south side of the street. The historic image, taken in 1924, shows the Tau Kappa Tau house, and the contemporary photo reveals the structure today. More research is needed on this interesting street.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Danner Family--1947

The grandchildren of Mr. and Mrs. Guy Danner gather in the backyard of 72 North Ritter for an attempt at a portrait. This fun shot was taken during the summer of 1947. Behind the children you can see a garage that used to belong to a house on Whittier Place. It has since been demolished. This image is courtesy of the Stewart Family.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Book Family--Arlington Court Apartments

Sheldon and Martha Jean Book pose with their baby Marty in 1933. They are seated in the landscaped courtyard of the Arlington Court Apartments at 5901 East Washington Street. The fashionable two-story apartment building was "U" shaped and had a courtyard with a fountain and numerous trees, including the weeping willow seen in the background of this photo. This image is courtesy of Marty Book Powell.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

151 S. Downey Avenue--1923/2011

This beautiful craftsman bungalow has stood in Irvington since at least 1910. William W. Knapp and his wife Lillian Schofield Knapp were the first to call the place home. Mr. Knapp worked as a real estate agent, abstractor for a title company, and as a contractor. The couple were married on June 25, 1904, and soon thereafter employed architect Walker Weesner to design their dream home. According to Paul Diebold's Greater Irvington, the boulders came from Pogue's Run, a small stream in Center Township. The Knapps had five children.

Although it appears that the Knapps still owned the house, they moved out of it by 1915 and lived on Linwood Avenue. The Delta Delta Delta Sorority occupied the home throughout the 1920s. Tragedy struck the family upon the passing of Mr. Knapp, who was nineteen years older than his wife. The 1930 census reveals that the family returned to the Downey Avenue home with 48 year-old Mrs. Knapp listed as the head of the household. Her 25 year-old son Allen B. worked as a salesman for General Electric Co. and her 22 year-old son David G. worked for the power company. Wallace, Gertrude, and Mary attended school. To help with expenses, Floyd Bedgley, a waiter in a cafe, rented a room. She also leased a room to Guy and Evalyn Johnston and their twelve year old son Walter.

Its position next to the Pennsylvania Railroad and Butler University likely made it an exciting place for a child. Today, the railroad has been removed and Butler moved to its current location in 1928. The older photo shows the home in 1923 when the Delta Delta Delta Sorority members lived in it. I have also included a photo of the matriarch of the family, Lillian Schofield Knapp (1881-1976). The contemporary photo was taken in March of 2011. The current owners can be seen in that photo.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Backyard Pets in 1936--49 North Bolton Avenue

A young Marty Book stands in her grandparents' backyard next to the garage at 49 N. Bolton Avenue. A cat is perched atop the bird coop perhaps longing for dinner. This photo was snapped in the summer of 1936 and is courtesy of Marty Book Powell.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hackleman Home--5438 Lowell Avenue Then and Now

This beautiful house has graced the intersection of Lowell Avenue and Whittier Place since 1908. William Edward Michael Hackleman and his wife Pearl Conner Hackleman were the first to call the place home. Mr. Hackleman made his money as a publisher of religious music. He also sang and wrote religious pieces as well. His hymnals were used in Christian (Disciples of Christ) churches throughout the US. His business became so successful that he had an office in the Majestic Building downtown.

The Hacklemans were married on September 12, 1899, and first lived along East Washington Street. By 1910, the 42-year old entrepreneur and his 34-year old wife were busy raising their four children in the Lowell Avenue home. Tragedy struck the family on December 29, 1910, when a fifth child, Herbert A. Hackleman, died after one month on this planet.

Mrs. Hackleman became an active club woman and she even gave papers. In 1912, she addressed the Irvington Coterie Club on the "Contributions to Civilization of the Ancient Oriental Countries" at the home of Mrs. J. Edward Wilson. (315 N. Layman Avenue) The Hackleman children all eventually went to college. Their oldest daughter Florence attended Miami University in Oxford Ohio while Grace and Gladys matriculated to Butler. Edwin graduated from Purdue University.

Mr. Hackleman traveled all over the US to direct music and attend Disciples' conventions. He was also involved in the Anti-Saloon League and likely celebrated the Prohibition Amendment to the US Constitution. Tragically, he was killed on October 2, 1927, in Illinois. He was preparing to attend another convention. The driver of a larger car sideswiped his and fled the scene. Mr. Hackleman was crushed and died twenty minutes after being hit. By this point, the Hacklemans had already moved out of Irvington and into a home along Alabama Street. You can still hear some of Mr. Hackleman's music on the internet if you Google his name.

In the historic photo taken in 1924, you can see this lovely home when it housed the Delta Delta Delta Sorority for Butler University. I have also provided a photo of 59-year-old Mr. Hackleman taken shortly before his death. His sudden passing elicited the top headline in the Indianapolis Star on October 4, 1927. The newer photo of the home was taken in the spring of 2011. Little has changed about the house except vinyl siding now covers the clapboard wood siding.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist--1950

Christian Scientists had been actively involved in their faith in Irvington as early as the 1920s. Residents Robert Marsh, Richard Shimer, and local artist Dorothy Morlan were some of the early trustees. (See Paul Diebold, Greater Irvington for more information on the early years.) The church purchased lots along Pleasant Run Parkway in 1924 and began construction in 1936. Archival film footage of the cornerstone laying and subsequent construction may be found at the Indiana Historical Society. The building at 5201 East Pleasant Run Parkway South was formally dedicated in 1945. The church was designed by architect Charles Wilbur Foster, a member of the church. The plan of the building was reflective of the neo-colonial revival style very popular in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s in the US and is somewhat unusual for Irvington.

The Christian Scientist population dwindled in Irvington by the Millennium and the congregation sold the building and moved into a small reading room in the 100 block of South Audubon Road. A Seventh-Day Adventist congregation moved in by 2005.

The historic photo was taken around 1950. Note how small the sycamore and evergreen trees are in the photo. In the contemporary photos, taken on June 2, 2011, you can see the trees have grown to great heights. The current occupants seem to be struggling with some maintenance issues with the structure. Otherwise, the building looks very similar to how it did upon its construction over seventy years ago.