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.  

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