Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Justus House

Walter Guy Justus started building houses in Indianapolis as early as 1910.  By the 1930s, he was known to build Tudor-Revival brick homes all over the city, but especially on the east side of Indianapolis.  Mr. Justus served as the contractor for dozens of homes in northern Irvington. Eventually, he and his wife Katie moved into 5233 East 10th Street, a Justus-built home, in 1939.  From his small, but tasteful front porch he could look out and see many other homes built by his company.  In this photo, snapped in 1939, Walter G. and Katie Justus posed on the sidewalk in front of their home. Across the street, you can see two homes on the north side of the 5300 block of East 10th Street.  Mr. Justus eventually retired and his son took over the family business for much of the remainder of the twentieth century.

Walter Guy and Katie Justus standing in front of 5233 East 10th Street in 1939

5233 East 10th Street in 2014
The historic photo is courtesy of the descendants of the Justus family via  

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our Lady of Lourdes Graduating Class--1947

Eighth graders from the graduating class of 1947 from Our Lady of Lourdes School gathered for one last photograph.  The church and school had been an important part of the neighborhood for nearly forty years.  Many of the students in this photograph had attended the school for eight years.  Justine Collins and Joseph Lutz had the highest grades from the class while Thomas Williams, Marilyn Schmidt, and Barbara Noonan had perfect attendance.  The local priest urged parents to "remember their obligation of providing a CATHOLIC EDUCATION in high school for their children." (back of this flier) Students who had not attended Our Lady of Lourdes but desired to attend a Catholic high school would need a letter from a local pastor and then have it submitted to the Archbishop.  The children in this photo would have a much easier path to a Catholic high school.

First Row: Marilyn Hagan, John Foley, Max Haughton, Thomas Williams, Mary Ann Just, Kathleen Gallagher, Donald Newman,  John Schulz, Robert Denari, Marjorie Schauinger
Second Row:  Richard Mayer, Elizabeth Rumple, Mona Lee Cull, Jacqueline Bender, George Lawler,  Sue Ann Dillchay, Anne Shannon, Justine Collins
Third Row: Nadine May, Marie Speicher, Joan Miller, Joan Fox, Earl Owens, Jane Fox, Patricia Braun, Patricia Schoettle, Marilyn Schmidt
Fourth Row: Joseph Lutz, Marilyn Hofer, Joan Gannon, Robert Commons, Mary Margaret Rohyans, Barbara Noonan, James Matthews
Fifth Row:  Donald McWilliams, Rose Ellen Sexton, Patricia Alandt, Rita Harding, Margaret Everett, Richard Simko

Our Lady of Lourdes in 2014
The historic flier is courtesy of Suzette Hagan.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fun Along South Audubon Road--1941

Barbara Jones (273 South Ritter Avenue) visited with friends in the early spring of 1941 in front of 303 South Audubon Road.  She was playfully "holding up" the young lad in front of her.  Behind the children, you can see the stone porch of 269 South Audubon Road.  In the distance, the beautiful Craftsman house at 251 and the large American Four Square double at 245-47 South Audubon Road can also be seen.  The tall tree behind the young boy is long gone, but some of the trees in the Irving Circle Park still exist in 2014.  A contemporary photo shows two of the homes in 2014.

Stickem' up!  Barbara Jones and a young boy have fun in front of 303 South Audubon Road.  Behind them you can see, 269, 251, and 245-47 South Audubon Road in 1941.  

245-47 and 251 South Audubon Road in 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Anti-Saloon Crusader Dwelled Along Downey Avenue

Samuel P. McNaught and his wife Ethel dwelled in Irvington in the late 1910s and early 1920s  Thirty-four-year-old Samuel and twenty-nine-year-old Ethel first lived at 43 North Arlington Avenue before moving to 330 South Downey Avenue in 1920. The McNaughts were likely drawn to Irvington because it was a dry neighborhood long before the Prohibition Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution.  Mr. McNaught was an attorney for the Anti-Saloon League and celebrated when the entire nation went "dry." Conservative forces rose to prominence in the 1920s as a liberal way of living began to sweep the nation in the Roaring 20s.  The McNaughts clearly fell on the side of the traditionalists who were worried about the future of the U.S.   Many Irvingtonians shared similar concerns.

The family eventually moved to Iowa where Mr. McNaught headed up the Anti-Saloon League in that state.  He must have been horrified in 1933 when the country repealed the 18th Amendment and legalized the sale of alcohol once again.

Historic images from the McNaught family taken around 1922 show Ethel and her daughters, Esther and Doris Lucine standing on the sidewalk in front of 330 South Downey Avenue.  Behind the family, you can see a small woods that still exists just south and east of 317 South Downey Avenue.  You can also see a mirage of 317 South Downey Avenue.  This beautiful home was occupied by the Kingsbury family in 1922. Edward Kingsbury was a manufacturer of fertilizer.  His wife Mary and children, Virginia and George, also dwelled in the home.  Did they know the McNaughts?  Did they agree with their views on alcohol?  Nearby on the Butler University campus, there certainly would have been a few students who might not have seen eye-eye with their Anti-Saloon League neighbors.

After leaving Irvington, the McNaughts moved to Iowa where Samuel McNaught headed up the Anti-Saloon League in the 1930s.  

Doris Lucine, Ethel, and Esther McNaught in front of their home at 330 South Downey Avenue.  Behind them you can see the Kingsbury home at 317 South Downey Avenue in 1922.

Doris Lucine McNaught in front of her home at 330 South Downey Avenue in 1922.  Behind her, you can see a small woods located just south and east of 317 South Downey Avenue.  

Wooded lot remains in the 300 block of  South Downey Avenue in 2014.  

The Kingsbury home at 317 South Downey Avenue in 2014

The McNaught home at 330 South Downey Avenue in 2014

The historic images are courtesy of the descendants of the McNaught family via  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bancroft Avenue Snapshot--1958

The McDonnell family dwelled at 419 North Bancroft Avenue in the late 1950s. The family had formerly lived in an apartment on Lowell Avenue, but they needed more space for their growing family. In this photo, snapped in 1958, a very young Tim McDonnell played with his buddy near the brick street.  Across the avenue, you can see the double at 418-20 North Bancroft Avenue and the side of 416 North Bancroft Avenue.  A contemporary photo shows that the double still retains many of it original features including the clapboard siding.

Tim McDonnell and a neighborhood friend posed for this photo in front of 419 North Bancroft Avenue in 1958

416 and 418-20 North Bancroft Avenue in 2014
The historic image is courtesy of Terry Wilgus.  

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Birthday Party at the Wallace Street Presbyterian Church--1952

The Reverend John H. Bergen, the pastor of the Wallace Street Presbyterian Church, received a surprise on his 62nd birthday when the local chapter of the Bluebirds honored him with a cake. Mr. Bergen and his wife Lorene and children, John and Mary, dwelled in the small bungalow at 929 North Wallace Avenue which served as the church parsonage. The photo, taken in the basement of the church in 1952, shows the two chapter sponsors, Mrs. Vivian Azbell and Mrs. Flo Norton.  The girls in the photo include:

Juanita Stewart, Melinda Beberstein, Sandra Myers, Donna Young, Barbara Azbell, Carol Hall, Carolyn Rosemeyer, Shelly Norton, Brenda Frazier, Charlotte Spangler, Jennie Gray,  and Margaret Pete.  

The church, built in 1926, was truly a neighborhood church as no parking lot has ever existed for the structure located at 4805 East 10th Street. Congregants built onto the structure in 1948.  Oddly, the church is called Wallace "Street" Presbyterian Church despite the fact that it is located along Wallace "Avenue."  

The local chapter of the Wallace Street Presbyterian "Bluebirds" hosted a birthday party for the Reverend John H. Bergen in the basement of the church in 1952.

Wallace Street Presbyterian Church in 2014

Tenth Street entrance to the Wallace Street Presbyterian Church in 2014

Cornerstone for the newer 1948 addition to the Wallace Street Presbyterian Church in 2014
The historic image is courtesy of Barbara Sanders.