Sunday, January 4, 2015

Only Two Families Have Dwelled in a Tenth Street Bungalow

It is very rare to find a house with so few owners, but the modest bungalow at 5263 East 10th Street has had only two separate families dwell in it.  Dr. John W. Graves and his wife Mae Belle first resided in the cottage in the late 1920s.  Dr. Graves, a physician, worked out of an office at 4604 East 10th Street.  The young couple were only in the their late twenties when they moved in and they had one daughter, Katherine. The 1930 Federal Census reveals that the house was worth $6,000.  The Graves family remained in the home throughout the 1930s.  They sold the property to Norman and Lora Meyer Koepper in 1940.

Norman Koepper and Lora Meyer grew up together on the near south side of Indianapolis. Their paths constantly crossed as they both attended church and grade school at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran and later at Emmerich Manual Training High School.  Miss Meyer earned the top scholarship for any senior at Manual High School because of her amazing GPA.  She later went on to study at Ball State University.

The couple married on August 3, 1935.  They dwelled in an apartment and a double in and around the Irvington area before finally purchasing the bungalow at 5263 East 10th Street. Mr. Koepper worked for the J. S. Cruse Realty Company.  He eventually owned the firm and managed property around the city of Indianapolis.  Mrs. Koepper worked for the Indianapolis Public Schools in the Social Services Division.  The couple raised their three children, Susan, Paul, and Steve in the house on Tenth Street. They both retired in 1974.  Mr. Koepper died at home in 1986, but Mrs. Koepper lived to be over 103 years old before passing away in 2013.  The house has been in the Koepper family for 75 years!  (The historic images below are courtesy of Steve Koepper.)  

Handsome Couple:  Lora Meyer on her wedding day on August 3, 1935, and Norman Koepper while attending Benjamin Harrison Law School in Indianapolis in 1937

Paul, Susan, and Steve Koepper stand near the front porch at 5263 East 10th Street on May 5, 1946.

Camping in the backyard:  Steve, Paul, and Susan Koepper posed in their "tent" in the backyard of 5263 East 10th Street in 1950. 

Steve, Susan, Norman, Lora, and Paul Koepper posed for this snapshot on Easter Sunday, 1956.  You can see the rear of 5263 East Tenth Street behind them.  

Birthday Celebration:  Lora Koepper posed next to her husband Norman on her 54th birthday on May 2, 1964, in the living room of 5263 East Tenth Street.  She actually had several more birthdays to go as she lived to see 103 years!  

The Graves-Koepper home at 5263 East Tenth Street in the final days of 2014

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