Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Stevensons Spend Their Final Years Together

Robert E. and Mary Pulver Stevenson moved into 56 South Irvington Avenue in 1932 along with their nephew, Edward Lollis.  Mr. Stevenson busied himself with various projects and ideas for new business adventures.  He had received a patent in 1912 for a water softener and he had tried to raise the capital for a dam along the Eel River in Putnam and Owen Counties.  He "read law" as a young man and became an attorney.  He was involved with the Scottish Rite.  Many top businessmen in the city networked in social clubs like the Masons.  Mrs. Stevenson was active at the Irvington Presbyterian Church and she likely looked after her elderly parents who dwelled nearby at 112 Johnson Avenue.  Young Edward Lollis had graduated from the Indiana Law School in 1930. To supplement his income while completing his coursework, Edward worked at the Piggly Wiggly Grocery Store at 5440 East Washington Street and then at an all-night filling station at East Washington Street and Southeastern Avenue. He later worked for the Bobbs-Merrill Company before moving on to American States Insurance, a company where he worked for decades.  He left home in 1933 to marry although he stayed close to his Aunt and Uncle.

On November 1, 1939, Mary Stevenson's world changed dramatically when her sixty-five-year-old husband died suddenly.  Life must have been a blur for her as she had lost her father three years earlier.  Mrs. Stevenson and her nephew Edward held the funeral for Robert E. Stevenson at 56 South Irvington Avenue on November 3, 1939.  Mrs. Stevenson could not live in such a large house by herself so she moved in with her mother at 112 Johnson Avenue in 1941.  She would never remarry.

Mary Stevenson posed for a photo in 1937 before getting into Robert Stevenson's 1934  Cadillac. Behind her you can see the residences located at 21, 23, and 25-27 South Irvington Avenue.  

Going for a Drive:  Robert E. Stevenson pulled into the driveway of 56 South Irvington Avenue in 1935. Behind him, you can see the double at 25-27 South Irvington Avenue.  

Robert E. Stevenson proudly posed next to his 1934 Cadillac along South Irvington Avenue in 1937. Behind him, you can see 52, 28, 24, 22, and 18 South Irvington Avenue.  (some of those houses are no longer standing)
Edward Lollis, the nephew and ward of Robert and Mary Stevenson, graduated from Butler University in 1927 and the Indiana Law School in 1930. He lived with the Stevensons until his marriage in 1933.  
The historic images are courtesy of Ted Lollis.  

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