Saturday, April 25, 2015

Julian Avenue During World War II

In the summer of 1942, American troops fought an intense battle at Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean.  That small island struggle turned out to be one of the most important in the war. Earlier that spring, thousands of American and Filipino soldiers had suffered and many had died during the Bataan Death March in the Philippines.  Meanwhile, Adolph Hitler continued to dominate in Europe and instituted the Final Solution leading to the deaths of millions of victims of the Holocaust.

For Irvington parents, it must have been a very difficult time. What do you tell the children? How can you maintain a sense of normalcy while such horrible deeds are taking place on the planet? Children would have certainly noticed the rationing that had begun in the country. They may have listened to reports from the fronts on their family's radios. They might have glanced at the Indianapolis Star whose headlines shocked readers daily.  Some would have said goodbye to their fathers and uncles who left for far away lands.

While the adults struggled, most children continued to have somewhat of a typical childhood. They played along the avenues and under the trees and in the parks of Irvington.  Along Julian Avenue, there were many kids and as a result...many adventures!  The Lawton boys dwelled in a small brick home at 5915 Julian Avenue, while the Seaton twin sisters lived at 5925 Julian Avenue.  Ted Lollis, an only child, lived at 5866 Julian Avenue in 1942.

Photos from the Lawton family reveal that kids enjoyed the warmer days by riding their tricycles, swinging, playing with the family dog, and staying out until their Moms called them home for dinner.

Jean and Jane Seaton dwelled at 5925 Julian Avenue in 1942. They can be seen here in their front yard with "Spitz."The twins were the daughters of Wendell and Lil Seaton. Mr. Seaton worked for Schlosser Brothers Creamery. 

Bill Lawton, Jean Seaton, Ted Lollis, and Jane Seaton "glided" in the backyard of the Seaton home at 5925 Julian Avenue in 1943 or 44. 

Little Steve Lawton sat upon a stump for this photo in 1944. Behind him, you can see the columns of the front porch at 5919 Julian Avenue.  

Jane Seaton, Jean Seaton, and Bill Lawton posed with "Patches" in 1942. Behind them, you can see the garage and the rear of the Conn home at 48 South Arlington Avenue.  

The Seaton twins, Jean and Jane, of 5925 Julian Avenue posed with Bill Lawton of 5915 Julian Avenue in 1942.  Behind them you can see the bungalow at 48 South Arlington Avenue and in the distance you can see 109 South Arlington Avenue.  Morris and Lula Conn dwelled at 48 South Arlington Avenue while Harold and Bernice Harley owned 109 South Arlington Avenue.   

Jane Seaton, Bill Lawton, and Jean Seaton posed under a tree in front of the Seaton home at 5925 Julian Avenue in 1942. Behind the trio, you can see the home of Morris and Lulu Conn at 48 South Arlington Avenue.  
The garage and rear 48 South Arlington Avenue in 2015:  Morris and Lulu Conn dwelled in the bungalow in the 1930s and 1940s. You can also see the Harley home at 109 South Arlington Avenue.  

Wendell and Lil Seaton and their twin daughters, Jane and Jean, lived at 5925 Julian Avenue in the 1940s. The Readle family purchased the house in 1950.  (photo taken in 2012)  

The historic photos are courtesy of Steve Lawton.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Memories of Julian Avenue

Can you hear the laughter of children?  Can you hear the call of the train?

Steve Lawton moved away from Irvington in 1945 when he was three years old. He remembers little about the neighborhood except his mother's warning to stay away from the railroad tracks.  Burrell and Emma Lawton moved into 5915 Julian Avenue in 1939. Their two sons, Bill and Steve, frequently played with many other children along the avenue on warm summer days.  The Pennsylvania Rail Line was located only one block south of the Lawton home and could easily be accessed by the children by walking down an alley.  Other kids in the neighborhood had been struck by trains so Mrs. Lawton's fears were well-founded.  The Lawton family dog, "Patches," met his untimely end along the tracks sometime in 1944.

Edward and Georgia May Lollis and their son Ted lived next door at 5919 Julian Avenue. Young Ted (also known as Edward Wesley Lollis II) frequently played with Bill Lawton. Photos from the Lawtons reveal that many young families dwelled along Julian Avenue in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  Ted Lollis, who can be seen in some of the Lawton photographs, recalled leaving his second story bedroom window open on summer nights and falling asleep to the sound of the trains passing nearby. His family would soon leave the large American Four Square at 5919 Julian Avenue for other homes further west at 5866 and 5872 Julian Avenue. (more on this story in a future post)

After the Lawtons moved out of Indianapolis, the young boys never spoke again until seventy years later for this blog post. All three of these Julian Avenue kids went on to complete advanced college degrees and have successful careers.    Mr. Lollis now operates a website devoted to peace monuments. I have included that link below. He was a former American Consul in Bordeaux and has operated two successful businesses. Bill Lawton, who passed away in 2011, earned Ph.D in Statistics and worked for Kodak for many years. Steve Lawton earned his Ph. D in Education and taught for the University of Toronto and the University of California, Berkley.  Not bad for three guys who began life along Julian Avenue in Irvington...

Bill Lawton and Ted Lollis (5919 Julian Avenue) helped Burrell Lawton wash "Patches" in the backyard of 5915 Julian Avenue in 1940.  

Sandbox Fun!  Bill Lawton and Ted Lollis in the backyard at 5915 Julian Avenue in 1940. You can see the trellises that hosted Mrs. Lawton's roses.  

"Patches" Gets a Bath:  Ted Lollis and Bill Lawton "assist" Burrell Lawton in the backyard at 5915 Julian Avenue in 1940.

Backyard Dog Wash:  Ted Lollis, Bill Lawton and Burrell Lawton in 1940 (5915 Julian Avenue)

Bill Lawton and Ted Lollis played in the sandbox under the shade of a tall apple tree in 1940. Behind the kids, you can see both the Lawton home at 5915 Julian Avenue and the Lollis home at 5919 Julian Avenue.  

Bill and Steve Lawton played in the backyard of the Lawton home at 5915 Julian Avenue sometime in 1942 or 1943. Behind the brothers, you can see the rear of 128 South Arlington Avenue.  
I am indebted to the generosity of both Steve Lawton and Ted Lollis for sharing their memories and images of Julian Avenue.  To access Mr. Lollis's Peace Monuments website click on the following link:

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lawton Family Dwelled Along Julian Avenue

Burrell and Emma McCord Lawton moved into the brick bungalow at 5915 Julian Avenue in 1939. Mr. Lawton was a rising star for the Hartford Insurance Company. Mrs. Lawton formerly worked for Gregory and Appel Insurance Company, but she resigned in 1937 to stay home and take care of the couple's first son, William.  The Lawtons had a second child while living in the home in 1942.  They named him Stephen. They were not the first family to dwell in the house. Although the bungalow was relatively new as it was constructed in 1928, five families owned or leased the property in the eleven years before the Lawtons moved into it.  The Brooks, Parsons, Betz, Lash, and Thase families all called 5915 "home." The Lawtons relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1945 and never returned to Irvington.  Numerous families have moved in and out of the unique home over the decades.

Burrell Lawton relaxed in the backyard of 5915 Julian Avenue (on the right) on a warm day in 1940.  

Emma McCord Lawton posed with her son, Bill, in the yard at 5915 Julian Avenue in 1941.

The Gang is All Here!  Neighborhood children gathered at the Lawton home at 5915 Julian Avenue to celebrate the third birthday of Steve Lawton in 1945.  The birthday boy is the third child from the left.  Other kids in the photo were Jean and Jane Seaton and possibly Ted Lollis.  The Thompson brothers might be in this photo as well.   

Bill Lawton played in the family sandbox under the shade of an apple tree in his backyard at 5915 Julian Avenue in 1941.

Emma McCord Lawton held her son Steve in the backyard at 5915 Julian Avenue 1945.  Sitting next to her was either Jean or Jane Seaton, a neighbor.   

Bill Lawton in 1941

5915 Julian Avenue in 2015
The historic images are courtesy of Steve Lawton.  Stay tuned as more images of the Lawton family will be posted.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Glore Family of Beechwood Avenue

James and Marjorie Glore moved into 5702 Beechwood Avenue in 1939 and the family would remain in the bungalow until 1986.  Jame Glore graduated from the Chicago Art Institute and worked as an illustrator for an insurance company and later for the Indiana University Medical Center. In fact, Mr. Glore was hired to start the Medical Illustration Department at the IU Medical Center. He would run that department for the next 34 years.  Mr. Glore's drawings were photographed and converted into slides and used by physicians in their lectures to future doctors and nurses.  Mrs. Glore stayed home and raised the couple's three children, Donald, Susan, and Kathryn. She was an active member of the Irvington Presbyterian Church and the Irvington Home Study Club.  The Glore children had many friends nearby and their backyard became a gathering spot for local kids.

James and Marjorie Glore posed with their three children, Donald, Susan, and Kathryn, in front of their home at 5702 Beechwood Avenue in 1949

Cute little Kathryn Glore posed atop the backyard fire place at 5702 Beechwood Avenue c1951  

The Glore family home at 5702 Beechwood Avenue in 1939

James Glore primarily worked as a medical illustrator, but he received other side jobs as well. In 1931, he designed the program for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway!  
The historic images and stories are courtesy of Kathryn Glore Wright.  

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Beechwood Avenue Bungalow in 1939 and in 2015

The modest bungalow at 5702 Beechwood Avenue was completed and ready for occupants by 1925. For the next thirteen years, six families leased the two-bedroom home. William H. Poirer, a blacksmith, rented the house from 1926 to 1929. Charles and Anna Kettles followed Mr. Poirer and they remained in the dwelling until 1930.  The Kettles operated a business called Flex-0-Tite Dental Rubber Company. They eventually bought a small cottage around the corner at 308 South Audubon Road. Thirty-one-year-old Russell Grauer, a butcher, and his twenty-eight-year-old wife, Charlotte leased the house for $65 a month in 1930. They remained until 1932.  Freeman and Emma Lasbury, along with their two children, were the next family to rent the home. Mr. Freeman was a conductor along the New York Central Railroad. They only stayed one year. In 1933, Birley and Dorothy Whaley took up residency for one year. Mr. Whaley served as a foreman for the Indianapolis Power and Light Company. Some stability finally arrived at the address when Claude and Esther Pitschke moved into the bungalow and remained until 1938. Mr. Pitschke was a coal dealer while his wife stayed home and raised the couple's two children. They eventually moved to 5924 Oak Avenue.

The family who would most come to be associated with the house purchased it in 1939. James Glore, a medical artist for the Indiana University Medical Center, and his wife Marjorie moved into 5702 Beechwood Avenue and would remain in the cottage for the next 47 years! The Glores raised their children in the home and they became a fixture in southern Irvington. Shortly after moving into the house, either Mr. or Mrs. Glore stood along Beechwood Avenue and proudly snapped a photograph of their new residence. The two silver maples along the street have since been removed.

James F. and Marjorie Glore moved into 5702 Beechwood Avenue in 1939. A member of the Glore family would dwell in the bungalow until 1986.  

5702 Beechwood Avenue in 2015:  The tulip tree came from a wooded area in the 7900 block of Sargent Road on land owned by Charles Glore, the brother to James Glore.  
The historic image was donated by the Glore family to Janet Wilzbacher.  She has generously shared it with me.  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Saddle Up! Get Your Photo Taken on a Pony! 1947

Throughout the early to mid-twentieth century, photographers would travel from town to town all across the United States and make money by snapping photos of children on ponies.  Family scrapbooks were filled with such imagery.  In the summer of 1947, an unknown solicitor likely knocked on the door of the Koepper home at 5263 East Tenth Street to inquire if the family would be interested in a photo with a pony.  This particular photographer not only provided the animal, but also the costumes as Westerns were the rage in the cinema at the time.  Stephen, Paul, and Susan Koepper donned their attire and stood along Tenth Street next to a tall shrub.  Behind them, you can see the bungalow located at 5264 East Tenth Street. To learn more about the Koepper family, click on the link below.

Stephen, Paul, and Susan Koepper posed with a pony in their front yard at 5263 East Tenth Street in the summer of 1947.
The historic image is courtesy of Stephen Koepper.