Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Striebecks of Bosart Avenue

Harry and Elizabeth Boller Striebeck, both the children of German immigrants, dwelled in the Cottage Home (formerly called Noble's Farm or Subdvision) neighborhood just east of downtown Indianapolis. They lived in the Boller home on Pine Street until shortly after the death of her father.  By 1916, the couple had saved up enough money to build a small, but beautiful two-bedroom home at 606 North Bosart Avenue (formerly 530 North Bosart) in the new streetcar suburb of Emerson Heights, just west of Irvington.  Their only child, Margaret, was 19 years-old at the time and was beginning her training towards becoming a teacher.  By 1923, Margaret served as an elementary instructor for the Indianapolis Public Schools. She would live out the remainder of her life in the home on Bosart.  Her father, a plasterer, helped to build the French Lick Hotel in southern Indiana.  Her mother kept house while both Harry and Margaret were away at work.  Miss Striebeck touched hundreds of lives over the years as a teacher.  After both of her parents passed away, she continued to dwell in the house until her death in 1976.

With no heirs, her lovely home filled with antiques, became a rental.  The old furniture and her mementos were relegated to an unfinished attic where they remained for years. Various leasers over the decades, sold or took some from her collection.  In 1993, one of the renters approached me with a box filled with photos and artifacts from Miss Striebeck's life.  They were going to throw the items in the trash.  I took the collection and have held onto to it for many years.  Recently, I had some of her negatives developed and I have tried to track down people in some of the photos and Christmas cards that she saved.  Most of us don't get remembered for very long.  Within a few generations, we are usually forgotten unless someone comes looking for us.  Miss Striebeck, with no children of her own, has likely lived on in the memories of her former students, who are also now reaching their elder years. Many have likely already passed.   Miss Striebeck, you are not forgotten.  I never knew you, but your letters and notes reveal that you were loved as a teacher and as a friend.  I dedicate this post to your memory.

In the top image, Harry and Elizabeth Striebeck along with their daughter, Margaret posed next to the side of their home at 606 North Bosart Avenue.  You can also see the bungalow at 602 North Bosart.  The photo was likely taken around 1945.  In the second photo, shot around the same time, Margaret Striebeck stands in her backyard next to the garage.  Behind her you can see the rear of 606 N. Bosart.  A cement sistern sits on the ground near the home.  It is clearly a cool day with leaves not yet raked at her feet.  The final two photos show her classroom in an unidentified IPS school.  Be sure to note her beautiful handwriting and the words that students had to use for their assignment.  The classroom is very clean.  The desks are polished and it might be around Halloween based upon some of the decorations in the room.  The photos along the chalk ledge in one of the pictures indicate that the images may have been taken around 1940.

Elizabeth, Harry, and Margaret Striebeck at 606 North Bosart Avenue c1945

Teacher, Margaret Striebeck stands in her backyard at 606 North Bosart Avenue c1945

Miss Striebeck's classroom in an unidentified Indianapolis Public School c1940

Beautiful handwriting on the chalkboard is that of Miss Margaret Striebeck, who taught in this unidentified Indianapolis Public School (c1940)

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