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.

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