Saturday, September 10, 2016

Who Lived Here? The Osborne Family of Poplar Road

In 1925, Thomas C. and Ethel Claffey Osborne moved into their two-year-old home at 411 Poplar Road in the brand new Pleasanton section of Irvington. Mr. Osborne had earned a comfortable living as a broker who distributed fruits and vegetables. The Osbornes dwelled in one of the larger homes in the new suburb of Irvington. Their lovely four-bedroom American Four Square also had a porte-cochère for guests as they pulled into the drive. Many other homes in Pleasanton also had this feature. In 1926, Mr. Osborne posed for a photo for a book called Fellow Citizens of Indianapolis. His business was likely doing quite well during the Roaring 20s. The 1930 Federal Census reveals that the Osborne home was worth $10,000. The couple had two children, a boy and girl, both named after their parents--Thomas and Ethel. 

In 1934, at the height of the Great Depression, Mr. Osborne died at the age of 49 in his home. Mrs. Osborne managed to keep the house through these very difficult times. She began working and also moved her mother, Johanna Claffey, into the residence. On Christmas Day in 1938, the Indianapolis Star reported on the joyful wedding of Ethel, her daughter, to the Reverend Joseph Edwards at the Shelby Street Methodist Church. Her new son-in-law and daughter moved into the Poplar Road house. In the following year, her son, Thomas also married and he too brought his new bride back to the house. The 1940 Federal Census reveals a full house! Two married couples, one grandson, along with Mrs. Osborne and her mother now lived in the Four Square. Like most Irvington homes, the Great Depression had affected the value of the home as it dropped to $7,000 in 1940.

Mrs. Osborne married a man named William Mize and continued to reside at 411 Poplar Road until 1953. City directories reveal that after this date she lived alone and on Emerson Avenue. She died in 1972. 

411 Poplar Road in 2016

No comments:

Post a Comment