Sunday, June 29, 2014

Azbells Move into Butler Avenue Home

Fred and Vivian White Azbell moved into 1115 North Butler Avenue in 1936. Built in 1928, two previous families, the Stanleys and Vornholts, had already called the modern looking dwelling "home." Most of the houses in the 1100 block of North Butler Avenue were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The architectural style of this home was more reflective of those built in the 1940s and 1950s rather than the usual Tudor-Revival or bungalow of the 1920s. There was no front porch and in fact, the front facade hosted a false wall that followed the angle of the roofline. The Azbells eventually removed that feature so they could have a small open seating area by the front door.  The couple would raise two children in the house and live along the block for decades.

Vivan Azbell stood with her parents, Pearl and T. Newtown White, in front of her new home at 1115 North Butler Avenue in 1936.

Fred Azbell, dressed in his riding clothes, posed in front of his home at 1115 North Butler Avenue in 1938.

Vivan Azbell, prepared for a ride in the country on her horse, stood in front of 1115 North Butler Avenue in 1938

1115 North Butler Avenue c1938.  Note the false wall that followed the front gable.

1115 North Butler Avenue in 2014.  The false wall has been removed.

The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Sanders.  

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Their First Home--1934

Fred and Vivian White Azbell married in 1934 and moved into the Mary Elizabeth, an apartment building located at 4801 East Washington Street. Hundreds of other young families started in apartment buildings located along East Washington Street. The Layman family built the first multi-family structure at the southeast corner of South Audubon and East Washington Street in 1914.  It was the first such large venture in the neighborhood. Throughout the 1920s and into the 1930s, other developers followed suit. The Mary Elizabeth had been in operation since 1927.  The Azbells dwelled in Unit 9.  To see more images of the Mary Elizabeth click on the link below.

Vivian White Azbell sat in her living room in Apartment #9 at the Mary Elizabeth (4801 East Washington Street) in 1934.

The Mary Elizabeth opened in 1927. It is pictured here in the winter of 2012.  
The historic image is courtesy of Barbara Sanders.  

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Thomas Newton White c1944

T. Newton White grew up on a farm on the northeast corner of East Tenth Street and Shadeland Avenue.  Most of his life, however, was spent in a small bungalow that he and his wife, Pearl, had constructed in 1915.  In fact, the Whites owned the cottage until the 1970s.  In this photo, taken c1944, Mr. White stood in front of his station wagon parked along East New York Street.  Behind him, you can see the upper story of 5026-28 East New York Street.  The Demaree and DeJeet families dwelled there in 1944.  Mr. White ran the Nichols Candy Company for years and later operated a candy brokerage firm. He also assisted his son-in-law during the 1940s by running Azbell Distributing Company (auto parts) while Mr. Azbell was away at war.  Another business adventure included the development of Irving Ridge, a subdivision along East 11th Street and Shadeland Avenue.  In 1953, at the age of 64 he began to have health problems.  He passed away three years later in 1956.  He is still fondly recalled by his granddaughter, Barbara Azbell Sanders.

T. Newton White stood in front of 5024 East New York Street c1944. Behind him, you can see the double at 5026-28 East New York Street.

5026-28 has been significantly altered over the years and is now shrouded in plastic siding, doors, and windows in 2014.  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dressed in Riding Clothes

Vivian and Fred Azbell decided to drop by her family's home at 5024 East New York Street before heading out to a horse farm at East 16th and Ritter Avenue in 1938.  They parked along North DeQuincy Street at the at the intersection with New York Street and posed for this shot.  Behind the properly attired couple, you can see the brick double at 4910-12 East New York Street and the roofline of an unusually shaped home at 4914 East New York Street.  The larger home in the distance is that of 4918-20 East New York Street.  Note the wonderful streetlight that used to illuminate the corner.  On the side of the brick double, you can see a couple of bicycles.  The Adrians, a large family, dwelled at 4910 East New York Street in 1938.  Joseph Adrian, an immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine, and his wife Alma had five children and lived on that side of the double!  Frank and Virginia Treat lived at 4912 East New York Street in the other half of the double in 1938. Mr Treat was kept busy repairing refrigerators.  A contemporary photo taken in 2014 shows the same area 76 years later.  In the last image, Vivian White Azbell rode her favorite horse, "Fluffy Ruffles," in 1938.  An unidentified worker at the horse farm can be seen holding a collie.  Community Hospital hospital occupies this site in 2014.

Ready for the horses!  Vivian and Fred Azbell posed at the intersection of North DeQuincy and East New York Streets in 1938. Behind them, you can see 4910-12, 4914, and 4918-20 East New York Street.  

4910-12 and 4914 East New York Street in 2014

Vivan White Azbell rode "Fluffy Ruffles" in 1938 on a horse farm at the southwestern corner of Ritter Avenue and East 16th Street.  
The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Sanders.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

A Ride to Impress!

Fred Azbell looked quite dashing as he pulled up in front of 5024 East New York Street in 1934 in his Chrysler convertible.  Awaiting him was Vivian White, who likely snapped this shot. They later married and moved into 1115 North Butler Avenue.  Mr. Azbell operated an auto parts distribution business at 5019 East Michigan Street where he sold Bowes products.

Behind Mr. Azbell, you will note the three Craftsman era homes at 5017 (far right), 5021, and 5025 East New York Street.  The Haunss family dwelled in the larger home at 5017 East New York Street in 1934.  Fred W. Haunss and his wife Anna (a native of Belfast, Ireland) lived in the dwelling with his mother Caroline (a native of Baden, Germany) and their daughter Rosaleen. The home was valued at $7,000 in 1930.  The abode in the middle at 5021 East New York Street was owned by Karl W. and Lillie Hofmann in 1934. Their son, Karl, Jr. and his wife, Anna, also dwelled in the bungalow valued at $3800 in 1930.  Mr. Hofmann's parents hailed from Germany so perhaps some German was spoken between the neighbors.  The house at the left of photo was rented by Fred F. and Florence Lehr for $45 a month in 1934.  Mr. Lehr was accountant for the Van Camp Company. The couple also had a teenaged son named Melvin.  The Haunsses, Hofmanns, and Lehrs surely must have noticed the large Chrysler frequently appearing at the White household across the street.

Classy Ride:  Fred Azbell awaited Vivian White at 5024 East New York Street in 1934. Behind him you can see 5025, 5021, and 5017 East New York Street.  

5025, 5021, and 5017 East New York Street in 2014.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

War and Flu Delayed Construction of Kenmore Road Home

Walter and Lillian Hoover lived along Riley Avenue west of Irvington in the early 1900s. They planned to build their dream home--a large brick American Four Square in the Irving Terrace neighborhood in the 1910s, but World War One altered their plans.  To complicate matters, the Great Influenza Epidemic infected the country and Mr. Hoover, like millions of others around the world, lost his mother and sister to the plague.  Eventually, the chemist and his wife and children moved into their newly-built home at 68 North Kenmore Road in 1919.  This amazing historic photograph shows the home slightly after its construction in 1919.  Note, that you can also see part of the bungalow at 304 North Kenmore Road.  The street had not yet been bricked nor paved and remained a dirt path in 1919.  Many of other homes in the area had yet to be built.  A contemporary photo shows the home in 2014.

The Hoover home at 68 North Kenmore Road c1919

The Hoover home at 68 North Kenmore Road in 2014
The story about the Hoover family and the historic image is courtesy of James G. Hermsen, a grandson of Walter and Lillian Hoover.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

New York Street Bungalow c1916 and 2014

T. Newton and Pearl Seymour White had this beautiful bungalow at 5024 East New York Street constructed in 1915. Sometime after the completion of the structure, a member of the family snapped this historic image.  It was a rainy day and there was no garage yet in the backyard.  Mrs. White soon gave birth to a baby girl so it is possible that the gate on the front porch was to keep little Virginia from wandering away from the house.  If you look closely, you can see that someone has planted a tree in the front yard.

The contemporary photo, taken in 2014, shows that little has changed on the house in its nearly one hundred years of existence.  The front door has been switched out, but amazingly the dwelling still retains its original stained clapboard siding.

The White home at 5024 East New York Street c1916

The White home on June 15, 2014

Thomas Newton and Virginia Aumann White in front of 5024 East New York Street on Easter Sunday, 1946 

The Whites had the smaller garage built first and then later added the larger garage. This photo was taken c1940. Only the larger structure remains in 2014.

Mrs. White hosted a baby shower for a member of her family on November 18, 1922 at 5024 East New York Street.  
The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Sanders.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Let's Gather on the Front Porch

If only the porches and verandas of Irvington could sing a tune. The tales those pillars, railings, and stoops could tell would be longer than any ancient saga.  In the case of the small bungalow at 5024 East New York Street, the porch featured prominently in lives of the White family.  T. Newton and Pearl Seymour White moved into the dwelling in 1915. Soon, soldiers including T. Newton's brother, Glen, marched off to Europe to fight the Germans in World War I. Their two daughters both born in the 1910s came next. Mr. White operated a candy company and likely spent some evenings on the front porch with his wife talking about their prospects.  Their daughters, Virginia and Vivian, grew up in the house and spent many summer days on the porch with neighborhood friends.  As they dated, their beaus came by for a visit and at least one--Fred Azbell-- married Vivian White.

After the girls married, they frequently came home and in the case of Vivian she brought her new baby Barbara over for visits.  During World War II, Mr. White stepped in to help Fred Azbell with his auto parts distribution business while Fred served in the European sphere of the war. One can imagine the worrying conversations and letters read on the porch during that turbulent period of history. The photos throughout the 1940s and 50s show the grandchildren growing up and visiting their doting grandparents.  Sadly, by the 1950s the patriarch of the family, T. Newton White started suffering from health issues. One of the last photographs ever taken of him was snapped on the front porch of 5024 East New York Street in 1956 with two of his grandchildren, Barbara and Ricky Azbell. Mrs. White would continue to dwell in the house for another fifteen years.

The White family's front porch looked quite inviting with wicker furniture and a tasteful awning to keep away the summer sun.  Would you like some iced tea?  Let's gather on the front porch and catch up on the news.

Inviting porch:  The White home at 5024 East New York Street c1940

Stylish hat:  Vivian White Azbell and her daughter Barbara Azbell dropped by the White house at 5024 East New York Street on September 19, 1943.

Pensive Granddaughter:  Barbara Azbell sat on the front porch of 5024 East New York Street in 1945.

Pearl and T. Newton White posed on the front porch of 5024 East New York Street in 1956. They had dwelled in the home since 1915.  Mrs. White would continue to own the home until 1971.  

Proud Grandpa:  Ricky Azbell posed with his Grandpa T. Newton White on the front walk at 5024 East New York Street in 1955.  

The Last Photo?:  With his health failing, T, Newton White posed with his beloved grandchildren, Barbara and Ricky Azbell, in 1956.  He would pass away in the same year at the age of 64.  
You may learn more about the White home by clicking on the link below.  The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Azbell Sanders (seen above).

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The White Family's Brown Bungalow at 5024 East New York Street

T. Newton White grew up on a farm at East Tenth Street and Shadeland Avenue, but farming was not for him. He decided to go into another family business--candy.  The Nichols Candy Company operated in the Wholesale District at 118 South Pennsylvania Street.  Mr. White worked as a salesman and operator of the company for years. He married Pearl Seymour and they had two daughters, Virginia and Vivian. The young couple moved into a brand new bungalow at 5024 East New York Street in 1915 and would remain there for decades.  The modest home was sandwiched in between two large houses. Amazingly, the house still retains its dark brown stain in 2014.  The historic photos show the home in the 1920s and 1930s. More photos from this interesting family with be forthcoming.

Thomas Newton White c1913 in Westfield, Indiana

Virginia White, Lillian Garth, and Vivian White in front of 5024 East New York Street in the spring of 1928.

In the back yard of 5024 East New York Street c1925:  Virginia and Vivian White

Virginia White c1931 in front of 5024 East New York Street

Vivian and Virginia White in front of 5024 East New York Street c1931

Thomas Newton White and Pearl Seymour White working on the yard at 5024 East New York Street in the spring of 1939

5024 East New York Street in 2014
The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Sanders, the granddaughter of T. Newton and Pearl White.  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Reunion at the White Farm--1937

The White family had been farming the land on the northeast corner of East Tenth and Shadeland Avenue for one hundred years when this photo was snapped in 1937.  All around them, neighbors sold their properties to developers and speculators who saw opportunities near the thriving community of Irvington. The Whites eventually developed part of their farm and called it Irving Ridge.  They planted crops until the 1940s.  This is the last known photo of the farmstead as it would be torn down by the early1950s for development.

Family Gathering 1937:  (left to right) Mary Nichols White, Vivian Azbell, Virginia White, Pearl White, Fanny Settles, Thomas Newton White and "Duke"

Duke the family dog patrols the White home located at East 10th and Shadeland Avenue in 1937
The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Sanders.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

White Family Farm at 10th and Shadeland

George Washington White and his wife Nancy, along with their children, and several of his siblings arrived in Warren Township via covered wagon in 1837.  The White family purchased land on what is today the northeast corner of East Tenth Street and Shadeland Avenue.  The Whites owned many acres and their farm stretched north to 13th Street. They first built a log cabin near present day East 11th Street and Shadeland Avenue. The family eventually built a tall nineteenth-century farmhouse that faced East 10th Street. The farm passed to Salathial Azur White and his wife Mary Nichols White and they continued to dwell on the farm well into the twentieth century.  The 1920 Atlas of Marion County reveals that S.A. White still owned 80 acres of valuable real estate. Speculators and developers had begun buying up the area for new neighborhoods.  The Whites held onto the property until the mid-twentieth century.  They had already sold off parts of the farm for a development along 11th and Shadeland by the 1940s.   The farmhouse was eventually torn down and the entire area was redeveloped.

Theses historic photos captured not only the White family, but also views of the farm. The historic images are courtesy of Barbara Sanders, a descendant of George Washington and Nancy White.

Salathial Azur White, the son of George Washington and Nancy White, posed with his wife Mary Nichols White c1890. The Whites lived in a farmhouse in the 7000 block of East 10th Street.   

Pearl and Thomas Newton White posed with their daughters, Virginia and Vivian, at the White Farmhouse in the 7000 block of East 10th street c1915.  Note the house and barn behind the couple.  T. Newton White was the son of Salahial and Mary White.  

Family Reunion c1910 at the White Farmhouse:  Pictured--top row (left to right) Salathial Azur White, Effie Dell Olvey Seymour, Mary Nichols White, Mary Ellen Spilker White, Otis Welton Seymour; bottom row:Crystal Seymour, Thomas Newtow White, Pearl Seymour White

Home from World War I:  Glen White in uniform with Thomas Newton White at the White Farm in the 7000 block of East 10th Street c1919.  

Proud Uncle:  Glen White holds Virginia and Vivian White at the White Farm in the 7000 block of East 10th Street c1919.

Easter 1922:  Virginia and Vivian White posed for a photo at their grandparent's home in the 7000 block of East 10th Street.  

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Artifacts Sought for Exhibit at Irvington Historical Society

Have you stumbled upon a fragment of pottery, some eyeglasses, an old can while planting a tree?  The Irvington Historical Society is planning a wonderful exhibition on found artifacts.  Below is a blurb about the project.  




New Exhibit Coming in August to the Irvington Historical Society (Bona Thompson Memorial Library)!….We’re Diggin’ Irvington!

Many of the houses in Irvington date back to the 1800s when it was common to have a privy (outhouse) or refuse pile on the property. As a result, it is not uncommon to find interesting “artifacts” when starting a garden or working in the yard. Whether it be pottery shards, coins, jewelry or other unique objects, we want you to share with us some of the things you have found on your property…including items from crawl spaces and inside the walls of your home.

To participate in this exhibit, please contact Charlotte Ottinger Flick at 509-8577 or Cottinger@indy.rr.com

Searching for artifacts:  A homeowner on Lowell Avenue finds objects in what used to be a cistern.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Hoovers of Kenmore Road

Walter D. and Lillian Hoover moved into their spacious brick American Four Square at 68 North Kenmore Road in 1919.  The Hoovers had three children and they became a fixture at the corner of Kenmore and Lowell.  Mr. Hoover was an important chemist for Eli Lilly & Company. In 1937, the corporation profiled him in a company publication lauding his patience and skill.  By the early 1940s, the Hoovers moved out of Irvington Terrace for South Bend, Indiana.

In the top image, Mr. Hoover posed on the day of his daughter's wedding on October 18, 1942. The photograph has been inverted, but he is actually standing in his front yard at 68 North Kenmore Road.  Behind him, you can see the brick bungalow at 301 North Kenmore Road and the rear of a home on Ridgeview Drive.  The contemporary images show the beautiful homes in 2014.

Walter Denny Hoover on October 18, 1942.  Although the photo is inverted, behind him you can see 301 North Kenmore Road and the rear of a home on Ridgeview Drive.  

301 North Ridgeview Drive in 2014

Company profile of Walter D. Hoover in 1937

Lillian Gladys Hoover c1940

68 North Kenmore Road in 2014
The historic images are courtesy of Ed Hermsen via Ancestry.com

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Hoffmans of Irvington Terrace

William C. and Avis Hoffman raised their family on Minerva Street just west of downtown Indianapolis.  In his sixties, just as he had retired from a nearby flour mill, Mr. Hoffman packed up his family and moved into a new house at 317 North Kenmore Road c1915. The beautiful large American Four Square home comfortably housed his adult and unmarried twin daughters, Edith and Ethel, who worked as secretaries downtown.  Their widowed son, Francis, (Frank) moved in with his parents in 1919 after the death of his wife.  He brought his son, Robert along with him so the house on Kenmore was quite full. Other Hoffman family members lived nearby.  City directories reveal that dozens of Hoffmans lived in the area.  As the elderly Hoffmans passed away, the twins continued to dwell in the large home on Kenmore Road until the early 1950s.

In the top photo, twin sisters Edith and Ethel Hoffman, rested behind 320 North Ridgeview Drive along the alley behind their home on Kenmore Road c1935.  It is unclear why they posed here or if they knew the family who dwelled in the bungalow behind them.  The second photo captured the entire Hoffman family with William and Avis serving as bookends.  The third image shows Francis or Frank Hoffman, who moved into the Kenmore home after the death of his wife in 1919.

Edith and Ethel Hoffman posed along the alley behind 320 North Ridgeview Drive c1935.

The Hoffman family moved into 317 North Kenmore Road c1915.  William Hoffman is at the far end while Avis Hoffman is closest to the photographer.  Their large extended family is in the middle.  The photo was taken c1915.

Frank Hoffman moved back with his parents at 317 North Kenmore Road along with son Robert after the death of his wife in 1919.  
The historic images are courtesy of the Hoffman family descendants via Ancestry.com.