Sunday, December 1, 2013

They Gathered at Winona Lake

Members of a youth group from the Irvington Presbyterian Church made the long drive up to Winona Lake, Indiana in the summer of 1925.  The camp site had long been home to various Christian groups including the Presbyterians, who operated a site along the lake beginning in 1913.  Although not every name is known in this photo, we do have some of them.  They read like a "whose who" of Irvington families.  Most of the youth in the photo range in age from 16 to 20.  S.B. McQuown has been identified as the photographer.

The Young Women (left to right)

Janet Carr--Miss Carr dwelled at 76 North Whittier Place. Her was father was a prominent dentist and her uncle was a well-known architect.  She would later marry Egbert Smith Hildreth and live her entire life in Irvington.  An active club woman, Mrs. Hildreth helped to save the Benton House in the 1960s.

We do not know the names of the next two young women.

The fourth girl in the photo was Mary Dove.  Little is known of her at this time although she might have been part of the Dove family who dwelled near East 10th Street and Arlington Avenue.

Next was Ethel Loomis, who dwelled at 341 North Bolton Avenue.  Mrs. Loomis helped to organize the trip and also served as a chaperone.

Mary Alice Epler, of 133 North Drexel Avenue is the sixth girl.  Her sister sat nearby.

We do not know the name of the next young woman.

Jeanette Epler, also of 133 North Drexel Avenue sat near her sister and just below the love her life, John McPheeters.  The two of them would eventually marry.  Tragically, Mr. McPheeters perished during World War II leaving a young widow back in their apartment at 46 South Ritter Avenue.  The famous photographer, Alfred  Eisenstaedt for Life magazine visited her in the fall of 1944 and photographed her for a story on the victims left behind from the war.  Her face in that photo, filled with anguish and sadness, looked far different than the gay young woman on an Indiana summer day in 1925.

We do not know the name of the next young woman.

Helen Brown (later Weigman) of 333 North Irvington was the eighth girl from the left.

Next to her sat, Elizabeth Mullin, who lived in a cottage at 203 South Ritter Avenue. Her father, Elmer Mullin, ran a business along Bonna Avenue.

At the end of the row, rested Mildred Campbell, who would later become a teacher at Shortridge High School.  She inspired thousands of city residents and her reputation as an outstanding educator still lives on in 2013.  A thorough person, she once helped to document the species of every tree in Ellenberger Park.  As a girl, she dwelled at 29 North Hawthorne Lane.

The Young Men (left to right)

Paul Lambert, at the far left, dwelled at 46 North Sheridan Avenue.

Next to him, stood Howard Dirks of 24 North Ritter Avenue.  The Dirks family ran one of the most popular grocery stores in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately, we do not know the names of the next two young men.

John McPheeters, an Eagle Scout and future war hero, stood above his future wife, Jeanette Epler.  After his untimely death in battle, the military named some barracks for him at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was beloved by his troops.  As a youth, he lived at 52 North Audubon Road.

Dr. George William Allison, of 254 South Ritter Avenue, served as the minister for the Irvington Presbyterian Church from 1919 to 1930.  He would be responsible for overseeing the construction of the grand edifice that today sits at 55 Johnson Avenue.

The last young man at the far right was that of George Newton, who dwelled at 323 North Audubon Road.

This photograph is courtesy of Bill Ferling and the Irvington Presbyterian Church.

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