Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Stevensons Move to Irvington--1915

Robert E. Stevenson and his wife Mary Pulver Stevenson moved to Irvington in 1915. They had eloped six years earlier to Benton Harbor, Michigan and married on October 9, 1909. Some might have wondered if Mr. Stevenson would ever marry as he was always searching and working on various business ideas or schemes, but at age 35 he decided to settle down with his twenty-six-year-old bride.  The couple first set up housekeeping in Muncie, Indiana but moved to 275 South Audubon Road in 1915. The Stevensons enjoyed living the good life.  They owned fancy cars and dwelled in nice houses in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the city of Indianapolis.

Mr. Stevenson held a variety of jobs while living in Irvington although he was mainly self-employed. He was an attorney, an oil promoter, a car dealer, an inventor, and at one time President of the Eel River Power Company.  The Stevensons owned at least three houses in Irvington over the years and leased three others at various times.  Mrs. Stevenson did not work nor did she have much of an education, but her photo albums reveal that she enjoyed decorating her homes and visiting with her friends and family. She also played and taught the piano.

The couple had no children, but their world changed dramatically in 1915 when Mr. Stevenson's sister, Georgia Stevenson Lollis, died of tuberculosis in Austin, Texas. Mrs. Lollis and her husband William Montray Lollis had one son, Edward, who was ten years old.  Mr. Lollis suffered from mental illness and had already abandoned the family so young Edward was essentially an orphan. His father would later be committed to Central State Insane Asylum and he died there in 1923.  Young Edward came to live with his Uncle Robert and Aunt in Mary in 1915.  He would spend the rest of his childhood and most of his life in Irvington.

Stay tuned as more posts on this interesting family will be forthcoming.

Robert E. Stevenson c1915

Mary Pulver Stevenson documented the early years of the family with this camera.  This photo was likely taken of her c1915.

Edward Lollis, who came to live with his Uncle Robert and Aunt Mary Stevenson, rode his bike in front of his first Irvington home at 275 South Audubon Road c1916. You can also see 269 South Audubon Road.  

Robert and Mary Stevenson leased this beautiful home at 275 South Audubon Road from 1915 to 1917. They later purchased a larger home at 5698 East Washington Street. 
The stories and images for this post are courtesy of Ted Lollis.  

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