Monday, December 31, 2012

Lost Irvington--Richardson Home

Today, a vacant lot along Burgess Avenue was once the site of a home for two prominent Irvington sisters.  Ida F. and Jennie Richardson likely moved into their home at 312 Burgess Avenue in the late nineteenth century.  Their brother, Thomas Morris Richardson, lived nearby in several Irvington homes before finally settling at 104 Johnson Avenue as he was both a builder and land speculator.

Joel F. Richardson, the father of this clan, made a fortune in the railroad business. He began investing and building rail lines as early as 1844 in Massachusetts and New York. Eventually, he moved his family to Delhi, Ohio (near Cincinnati) where he operated a farm and a coal elevator in nearby North Bend.  He first came to Indiana in the 1850s and helped to build the Indianapolis-Lawrenceburg Rail Line.  He returned in 1870 with the bold idea of building a belt or ring rail line around the city of Indianapolis.  Just as he began to find investors for the idea, the Panic of 1873 hit the nation and he saw his fortunes fall. He was saved by John Caven, the mayor of Indianapolis, who thought it was a good idea and helped to raise $500,000 for the construction of the profitable line.

Upon his death in 1895, Joel Richardson willed quite a lot of money and land to his children.  His son, Thomas, was an entrepreneur who began to speculate on land and housing in the Irvington area.  His firm, Richardson and Porter was likely responsible for building several Irvington homes including: 304 South Ritter Avenue, 346 South Ritter, and 104 Johnson Avenue among many others. It is possible that he built 312 Burgess Avenue, but that is merely speculation at this point.  An Indianapolis Star article (July 27, 1911) reported that Mr. Richardson sold eleven vacant lots north of Washington Street and New York Street and east of Audubon Road to Charles Thompson for $12,000.  When he suffered a near fatal stroke at the age of 60 on November 14, 1914, the Indianapolis Star called him "one of the most prominent citizens of Irvington."  He eventually recovered and lived until 1930.

Ida Richardson was a talented artist and poet.  To earn an income, she taught in the public schools.  She was known for her brass etchings and china painting.  The Indiana Historical Society has many of her scrapbooks, diaries, poetry, and two of her paintings of President Benjamin Harrison's childhood home in North Bend, Ohio.  She grew up near his family.  She had many passions in life including genealogy. In an age when it was difficult to search one's lineage, Miss Richardson managed to trace her mother's people back to Oliver Cromwell's England.  Miss Richardson was also the secretary to the Marion County Agricultural and Horticultural Society for decades beginning in the 1890s. She was also a member of other Irvington clubs as well.  Miss Richardson gave many formal talks in her lifetime including one titled, "Weeds and Seeds" on September 15, 1912. She lived most of her life with her younger sister Jennie (Mary J.) at 312 Burgess Avenue.  Sometime after 1904, they had the Queen Anne porch removed from the home and added a larger Craftsman era porch.

Ida Richardson lived to the age of 84 years and died in 1932.  Her younger sister passed away in 1936. Upon her passing, the home remained vacant through the remainder of 1936 and the rest of 1937.  Sometime during that year, the home burned to the ground.  For over seventy-five years, no one has rebuilt on the site and the lot now belongs to 304 Burgess Avenue.  Both Richardson women and the home have been forgotten.

Thankfully, local historian Larry Muncie, managed to acquire these three historic images of the long lost home.  In the top photo, you can see what the home would have looked like in the late nineteenth century.  Notice the smaller, but beautiful and ornate front porch.  In the second photo, likely taken around 1902, Ida Richardson hosts one of her many club gatherings.  In the third photo, you can see either Ida or Jennie Richardson sitting on the new porch.  Notice the plantings around the house.  In the bottom shot, taken in the final days of 2012, you can see the empty lot today.  If you are interested in reading Miss Richardson's prose (something I have not done yet), then go to the Indiana Historical Society and ask for the following catalog call numbers:  M0237, BV 1710-1719 OM 0050  This is not a woman who should be forgotten.

Richardson Home c1900 at 312 Burgess Avenue

Irvington Fortnightly Club c. 1902 at 312 Burgess Avenue

Elizabeth or Jennie Richardson sometime after 1904 at 312 Burgess Avenue

Empty lot where 312 Burgess Avenue used to be.  It likely burned to the ground in 1937.



Saturday, December 29, 2012

Irvington and Charles C. Deam

Many Hoosiers have hiked in the Charles Deam Wilderness in southern Indiana, but how many of you knew that Mr. Deam lived in Irvington for a brief time along Burgess Avenue?  The neighborhood, with its canopy of trees, and a nearby college would have been an ideal home for a conservationist like Charles Deam.  Hailing from Bluffton, Indiana, Mr. Deam and his wife Stella moved to 318 Burgess Avenue in 1909 after being appointed the State Forester.

While living in the home, Mr. Deam penned Trees of Indiana (1911), the first of many books.  He was fascinated by nature and under his leadership, the state expanded the Clark State Forest in southern Indiana.  Several Indiana newspapers printed press releases issued by Mr. Deam during his tenure in office.  On April 8, 1910, he issued warnings to the township trustees throughout the state to enforce existing fire laws to prevent forest fires.  On December 29, 1910, he announced that the state would be planting 1800 hardwood trees in the Clark State Forest.  He considered planting exotics, but decided against that idea due to the expense.  He also founded the Irvington Nature Study Club in his home on March 7, 1913.

By 1913, Mr. Deam found himself embroiled in a controversy when he refused to pay two percent of his salary to the political party in power.  He eventually lost his job and had to leave Irvington.  In 1917, with the assistance of fellow conservationist, Richard Lieber he was rehired.  The Wonderly family moved into 318 Burgess Avenue in 1914.

In his long life, Mr. Deam collected over 78,000 plant specimens.  It is possible that some of those might have come from Irvington.  The entire collection eventually went to Indiana University.  Mr. Deam, is one of the many talented people who have called this neighborhood home.

In the top photo, you can see the Deam Home before the family lived there as this photo was likely taken around 1898.  The home closest to the photographer belonged to the Richardson family at 312 Burgess Avenue.  (more on that home in another post) The second home at 318 Burgess Avenue would become the Deam home in 1909.  In the far distance, you can see the Toole Home at 336 Burgess Avenue.  This wonderful image is courtesy of Larry Muncie.

The second photo shows Mr. Deam surrounded by his collections. This was likely taken long after he left Irvington.  The bottom photo shows the Deam home in 2012.

Burgess Avenue homes in 1898: 312, 318, and 336

Charles Deam would later have a wilderness named after him in southern Indiana

The Deam Home at 318 Burgess Avenue in 2012






Thursday, December 27, 2012

Burgess Avenue Beauty--1898 and Today

Burgess Avenue curves from South Ritter up to University Avenue.  This meandering street, formerly called Grand Avenue before Irvington's annexation in 1902, was developed in the 1880s and 1890s.  While the first Irvingtonians built solid brick Italianate villas in the 1870s, the second wave constructed tall rambling Queen Ann homes.   This unusual house, located at 289 Burgess Avenue, has been home to many families since the 1890s.  Note the irregular roofline and ornamental detailing in the gables and on the porch.  The stair-stepped attic windows were another unusual feature of the dwelling.  In the top photo, children gather on the front porch (c.1898) of the house.  If you look closely, the ghostly image of the former Irvington Public School appears on South Audubon Road!  The children are dressed in their finest.  At least two of them have removed their winter boots.  The second photo, shows the Bloomfield Moore family on a snowy day in front of their grand home.  (c1898) You will note that Burgess Avenue was little more than a dirt path in the late nineteenth century.

Children stand on the porch at 289 Burgess Avenue c1898

The Bloomfield Moore family in front of 289 Burgess Avenue c1898

289 Burgess Avenue on December 27, 2012


The contemporary image was shot on December 27, 2012, after another snowstorm.  You can still see some of the original Victorian features on the home.  The historic images are courtesy of local historian, Larry Muncie.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmases of Yore in Irvington--Happy Holidays to All!

Hartsock Family (59 N. Hawthorne Lane) Christmas Tree in 1940

Hunt Family Christmas at 341 S. Audubon Road in 1955

Hunt Family (341 S. Audubon Road) Christmas Scene--1955

Germaine Family Christmas at 307 South Audubon in 1975

Ferling Family Christmas at 5823 Beechwood Avenue in 1956

Christmas Table at 25 North Irvington Avenue in 1961

Nativity Scene in 25 North Irvington Avenue in 1961

These images are courtesy of Brian and Emily Mack, the Hunt Family, the Germaine Family, and the Ferling Family

Friday, December 21, 2012

Building to be Restored!

The former Irvington Post Office at 5502 East Washington Street has been spared from the wrecking ball.  Today, it was announced that the Irvington Development Corporation and the Irvington Historical Society have purchased the building.  They will obtain grants to complete much needed structural repairs and they plan to restore the exterior of the building. The organizations will then market the structure to a potential developer or buyer. This is such great news as this corner has long been a troubled spot in Irvington.  I commend both organizations for the tenacity and patience it took to obtain this structure.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Early Twentieth Century Views of School #57

IPS #57 is one of the oldest continuously run school buildings in the city of Indianapolis.  The school has gone through many additions and renovations since it was first constructed on the southwest corner of East Washington Street and Ritter Avenue in 1903.  The school district commissioned local architect, Herbert Foltz, to design the substantial two-story building.  Further additions in 1914 and 1922 provided much needed classroom space as the community continued to grow.  In the early 1930s, the community petitioned that the building be named after George Washington Julian, a former US Congressman and Irvington resident.  The historic photos, courtesy of Larry Muncie, show three views of the school before officials enlarged it.  Further stories about Irvington schools may be found in Irvington Stories by Larry Muncie (1992) and Greater Irvington by Paul Diebold (1997).  Oral histories conducted in the 1980s and 1990s also contain a wealth of information about the teachers and principals who worked here.  You may now access those interviews online by going to the Indianapolis Marion County Public Library's website.

School #57 c.1910

School #57 c.1908

School #57 c.1908



Saturday, December 15, 2012

Downey Avenue Christian Church Youth Group--1930

Many of the local churches had active Sunday schools and youth groups.  Downey Avenue Christian Church's location one block north of the international headquarters for the the Disciples of Christ, made it a frequent subject in church newsletters sent all over the world.

In this photo, taken in 1930, local youth complete their exhibits for "Parent's Day." Pictured in this photo:   unknown girl, Christine Bruckman, Russell Barnett, Anna Vert, unknown boy, Betty Flay

How do some photos survive through time and others are lost forever?  In the case of this image, the provenance is quite interesting.  After the photo was taken, it was used in a church promotional.  Many years later, Florence Carmichael (an aunt to musician Hoagy Carmichael), decided to go through her files since she had made the decision to retire from the Disciples of Christ Education Division.  She came upon the photo and saw Christine Bruckman in the picture.  Miss Bruckman had become Mrs. Rouse and worked on the third floor of the Missions building so Mrs. Carmichael sent the photo downstairs. Mrs. Rouse kept the photo and later shared it with her son, Don Rouse, who lent it to me for this blog.  Mrs. Carmichael could have have easily thrown the photo away or it could have become lost over the years.  You will note that the children are standing in a building that was torn down to make way for the current church in the early 1950s.  One other any interesting note is that Russell Barnett was the father of Steve Barnett, who has been the Director of the Irvington Historical Society for many years.



This image is courtesy of Don Rouse.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Grahams of the Graham-Stephenson House

William H. H. Graham, a prominent attorney from Kentland, Indiana, moved to Irvington in 1889.  He and his wife Ellen McLeod Graham built their dream home in that year at 5432 University Avenue.  Mr. Graham, a Civil War veteran, was very involved with the Disciples of Christ.  The organization would later name a chapel after him at their headquarters at 222 Downey Avenue.  The Grahams had several children, all of whom would go on to successful careers.

Two tragedies struck the family within a four-year time span.  Mr. Graham passed away in 1906 leaving Mrs. Graham a widow and alone in a very large home.  Her daughter and son-in-law moved in with her shortly after Mr. Graham's death at age 65.  Then, Mrs. Graham received horrible news during the summer of 1910 that her son Ernest had died under mysterious circumstances.  The young man worked for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a general engineer.  He had graduated from Butler University in 1900 and had impressed his employer.  The company gave the young man the task of supervising the construction of two bridges over the Monongahela and Susquehanna Rivers in West Virginia.  While walking ahead of the rest of the management team, Ernest vanished from view. His brother-in-law, Luther Eldridge, immediately began looking for him and could hear him moaning down in a deep ravine. By the time rescue crews could reach him, he had fallen into a coma and later died. West Virginia authorities were unable to determine if he merely slipped or if he was pushed.  His devoted friend and brother-in-law brought the body back to University Avenue where the family held a memorial service on August 6, 1910.

Mrs. Graham continued to dwell in the large home.  She invited her sister, Sophronia, to live with her and she occasionally rented out rooms.  In 1920, a teacher by the name of Frances Darracot lodged in the mansion with the two sisters.  By the early 1920s, Mrs. Graham was in her seventies and the home became too much for her so she rented it out to a Butler University sorority and moved in with her daughter, Mary Place, at 5452 Lowell Avenue.  Although she did not want to part with the family home, she finally came to terms that she would have to sell the property. When David Curtis Stephenson approached her with a tempting offer, she sold the place to the powerful leader of the Ku Klux Klan. How much she knew about the man is unclear, but her decision to sell to Stephenson would place her beautiful house into infamy.  One can only speculate on what she must have thought of the sordid events that would unfold in her former home. Amazingly, Mrs. Graham would live to the ripe old age of 93  She passed away in 1940.

The Graham Home in 1905:  Local historian, Larry Muncie, printed this photo from the original glass negative. Notice the beautiful setting and the former porch.  

Kappa Kappa Gama rented the Graham home in the early 1920s.

Scene of the crime in 1925:  Ku Klux Klan leader, David Curtis Stephenson, removed the tasteful porch and placed pretentious columns on the front of 5432 University Avenue.  He would later be convicted of the rape and murder of local Irvingtonian, Madge Oberholtzer.  His conviction ended the reign of the Klan in Indiana and really in the US.

The historic photos are courtesy of Larry Muncie, Amy Friedly, and the Indianapolis Star.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mount Zion School--1892

Recently, one of our readers inquired about a one-room schoolhouse that used to sit on the westside of what is today North Arlington Avenue (Line Rd) and south of the Pleasant Run stream.  The school predated Irvington by many years.  The building in this photo was built in 1867 and replaced an earlier log cabin.  The school originally started as a Methodist school, but later became a public school serving western Warren Township.  It became the de facto school for Irvington after the founding of the neighborhood in 1870.  Obviously, the tiny school would not suffice once the neighborhood really began to grow, however, it remained in use through the nineteenth century and even after the town fathers constructed a larger school on South Audubon Road.  In this photo, taken in 1892, you can see a dignified (or perhaps stern) looking teacher and well behaved young people.  The children are dressed up for the photo with most of the boys in their knee breaches and the girls in their pretty dresses.  For more information on this forgotten school, pick up Irvington Stories (1992) by Larry Muncie. This wonderful book is now out of print, but you may find a copy at the Irvington Public Library.  I would also like to recommend Irvington:  Three Windows On Irvington History (1989) by Larry Muncie.  This gem contains a complete timeline of the most important events in the history of the neighborhood.  The community has been blessed over the years to have folks who have taken the time to chronicle the story of Irvington. The historic image is courtesy of Larry Muncie.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Time for School---c1949

IPS #77 used to sit on the northeast corner of North Arlington and Pleasant Run Parkway.  (It is a charter school in 2012.)  In this image, c.1949, students have been photographed as they come to school.  In the far distance and across the street, you will see a patrol boy whose job was to safely escort pupils across busy Arlington Avenue.  If anyone recognizes these children then drop me a note at sleeth28@rock.com.  You may see more images of #77 by clicking on the link below.  This historic image is courtesy of Larry Muncie.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Endangered Beechwood Bungalow Then and Now

 Some people count sheep to help them fall asleep.  I restore houses.  I first noticed the small charming bungalow at 5831 Beechwood Avenue five years ago as I took my regular evening walks. Each night as I closed my eyes, I put a new roof on the dwelling and restored the porch.  Then I replaced some of the rot along the eaves.  As fatigue usually began to wash over me, I painted the exterior clapboards and trim in earthy shades of green.  Some nights I worked on the interior.

I often wondered who lived in the late-1920s era home and what it might have looked like when it was much loved.  Thankfully, I have been fortunate in that many members of the community have reached out to me since starting this blog dedicated to documenting the stories of Irvington.  One such person is Larry Muncie, who has been extraordinarily generous with both his photos and his memories.  Mr. Muncie, who himself, has spent years chronicling the neighborhood, grew up in the little house on Beechwood. You can imagine my delight upon receiving historic photos of the very house I had been restoring each night.

Taken in 1940, the first image shows 5831 Beechwood as well as two houses west of the home.  You will note that the bungalow had lovely landscaping and was kept in mint shape.  In the second photo, taken in 1942, a very young Larry Muncie, chooses ice cream from the peddler's wagon on a warm summer day in front of his childhood abode. Mr. Muncie fondly recalled many of his neighbors, including Charles Wray, a veteran of the Spanish-American War!

Tidy bungalows of 5831, 5825, and 5823 Beechwood Avenue c.1940

Little Larry Muncie chooses ice cream in front of his home at 5831 Beechwood in 1942

Today, 5831 Beechwood Avenue is dark and decaying. My nightly visits have done little good to turn back the ravages brought upon by Mother Nature.  Irvington is now protected so my fervent hope is that someone five or even one hundred years from now will post a photo of the bungalow completely restored.  There will be life in the house and perhaps if we are lucky, a child will be buying ice cream along the street once again.

The same view of the Beechwood bungalows in 2012

No life at the moment, but 5831 Beechwood Avenue awaits rejuvenation!  



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Martin Home of English Avenue--Then and Now

John and Dora Martin built their dream home at 5225 East English Avenue in 1925.  The American Four Square house sat on a large lot along what has always been an important southern Irvington street.   The street car line that ran down the corridor was the first to connect Indianapolis with the neighborhood.  Later lines along East Washington Street and Michigan Street would be built to accommodate the growing community.  John Martin worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad.  The Martins could likely hear the distant trains along that path and from the nearby Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  Mrs. Martin died in 1936.  Sadly, she did not live to see the marriage of her daughter, Margaret to Verl Muncie at her beautiful home in 1937.  The home remains much as it did in 1925 although the porch has been enclosed and vinyl siding now covers the clapboards.  These wonderful historic photos are courtesy of Larry Muncie.

The Martin home at 5225 East English Avenue in 1925 shortly after it was completed

The Martin home at 5225 East English Avenue in 1930. Note the beautiful spirea bushes. 

Verl Muncie and his new bride on their wedding day in 1937. They were married at her childhood home at 5225 East English Avenue.  Also pictured:  Ralph and Gladys Shimer.  

John Martin with his second wife Fronie c.1940

5225 East English Avenue in 2012

A Victory Garden in Irvington--1944

Twenty million Americans planted "Victory Gardens" on their lots, in parks, and on public land throughout World War II.  Food shortages and rationing became the norm as the country fought a two-front war. Eleanor Roosevelt planted a garden on the White House lawn to encourage more to do the same.  Americans produced an astounding nine to ten tons of food from these small and sometimes large gardens.

Verl Muncie answered the call and planted a large vegetable garden on a lot next to his in-law's home at 5225 English Avenue in 1944.  In this image, he paused from his toil along with his young son, Larry for a photo.  Behind them, you can see three new doubles on the northwest corner of English and Grand Avenue.  In less than a year after this photo was taken, Mr. Muncie was called into service.  The lot where the Muncies farmed was eventually sold and redeveloped into housing.

Verl and Larry Muncie in their Victory Garden next to 5225 English Avenue

1940s era doubles located on the northwest corner of English and Grand Avenues in 2012


The historic photo is courtesy of Larry Muncie. The contemporary photo shows the "newer" doubles on the northwest corner of English and Grand in 2012.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

School #77 Photos c1949

School #77 began on September 6, 1932, to help alleviate the crowding in nearby elementary schools.  With the development of neighborhoods north of Pleasant Run Parkway and eventually along East 10th Street, Indianapolis Public Schools officials scrambled to find classroom space.  The first building was to be temporary, but would serve as a school nearly twenty years on the northeast corner of Arlington Avenue and Pleasant Run Parkway.  The school district built a more permanent structure on the site in 1952.

In these historic photos, likely taken around 1949, school children gather on the front yard of IPS #77. In the top photo, some young women raise the American flag. You will note that they have their hands over their hearts. In the second photo, patrol boys gather on the steps. If you recognize any of these folks then drop me a note at sleeth28@rock.com. The historic images are courtesy of Larry Muncie, a local historian and author.

Girls raise the flag (c1949) at IPS #77 on Arlington Avenue

Patrol Boys (c.1949) IPS #77 on Arlington Avenue

School #77 is a charter school in 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Film Clip: Charles Dorn's Standard Grocery and a Grand Avenue Scene c1933

Charles Dorn, a popular Irvington grocer, operated a Standard Grocery Store on the northwest corner of Brookville Road and Grand Avenue. In this very brief clip, c. 1933, patrons exit and enter the store.  The final scene shows some employees standing along South Grand Avenue.  Behind them, you can see houses on the eastern side of the street (400 block).  I have included a shot of those dwellings in 2012.  This historic film is courtesy of Larry Muncie.







400 block of South Grand Avenue in 2012


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Film Clip of Charles Dorn's Standard Grocery and the Nearby Horner House c.1933

Charles Dorn operated a small Standard Grocery store on the northwest corner of Brookville Road and Grand Avenue. (just east of South Emerson Avenue) Sometime in the early 1930s, a family member or friend filmed Mr. Dorn and some of his workers as they exited the store.  Mr. Dorn can be seen wearing a hat and smoking a cigar.  Larry Muncie, a local historian, remembers going to the store during World War II with his mother Margaret Muncie and his Aunt Gladys Shimer.  During the war years, Mr. Dorn could only carry canned goods because of the rations on meat and other items. Eventually, a Standard Grocery Store would be built on East Washington Street. Mr. Dorn's store still stands today although it has been drastically altered and is now a church.




So you know what you are seeing, I have included a sequential history by clip:

0-5 seconds--The exterior of the store

6-20 seconds--You can see the employees exiting the store and playfully posing for the camera. Behind them, you can see a bungalow on the southside of Brookville Road near Emerson and a brief shot of the Horner House on South Emerson.  Towards the end of this segment, you can see Mr. Dorn standing along the Grand Avenue side.  A small bungalow on Grand is behind him.

22--27 seconds--You can see a young man come from around a bus parked on Brookville Road.  Behind him, you have a clear shot of the Horner House on South Emerson Avenue.

This amazing film clip is courtesy of Larry Muncie. I am working to get rid of the labeling on the film. Contemporary images show the same views in 2012.

Charles Dorn's Standard Grocery in 2012

The Horner House has recently been purchased. You may follow their blog by clicking on my favorite links.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Reunion at New York Street Double c1943

Orville and Alice Bowman dwelled in their duplex located at 5755 East New York Street for many years. The couple hailed from Ohio and raised their three sons, Gerald, Deforrest (Forry), and Albert in the house. Mr. Bowman was an insurance salesman.  The Bowman double was valued at $10,000 in the 1930 Federal Census.

In 1943, the Bowman sons gathered for a reunion with their parents.  In the top photo, Deforrest and his wife Marilois and his son, Michael, posed with his brother, Gerald, sister-in-law, Maxine, and his nephew, Richard in the family home on East New York Street.  The families gathered in the dining room for this photo.  Note the wonderful light fixture above the men.





In the second photo, Michael and Richard Bowman, posed for their grandparents in the same home. The contemporary photo, shows 5755 East New York Street in 2012.  The home still retains its original wood clapboard siding and rafter beams.  The historic photos are courtesy of the Bowman family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grandkids visit the Meek Family

Homer G. and Ruth Bonner Meek dwelled at 5809 Lowell Avenue for many years. The 1930 Census reveals that their home was valued at $7500. The Meeks hailed from Greensburg and moved to Indianapolis in the 1920s. Mr. Meek worked for the London Assurances Corporation as an insurance salesman. They raised their daughters Ruth and Marilois in the two-story stuccoed home. Marilois eventually married the boy next door or at least a block away. The Bowman and Meek families joined together in 1936 when Marilois married Deforrest Bowman.

The Bowmans had two children, Michael and Susan, who frequently visited both sets of grandparents. In these photos taken in the late 1930s and 1940s in the backyard of 5809 Lowell Avenue, the Bowman children played with each other or with their parents. I have also included photos of Homer and Ruth Meek when they were young and still living in Greensburg, Indiana.

Michael and Susan Bowman play in the backyard of 5809 Lowell Avenue in August of 1949

Deforrest Bowman plays with his son Michael in the backyard of 5809 Lowell Avenue in 1938

Marilois Bowman proudly poses with her son Michael in the backyard of 5809 Lowell Avenue in 1938

Michael plays in the beautiful backyard belonging to the Meek family at 5809 Lowell Avenue in 1938. Note that Mrs. Meek has planted nasturtium, gladiolus, and zinnias next to her stylish birdbath.  

Homer Meek c.1905

Ruth Bonner in 1905

5809 E. Lowell Avenue in 2012


The historic images are courtesy of the Bowman family.  The contemporary image shows the front of 5809 Lowell Avenue in 2012.