Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Who Lived Here? The Williams Family of Irvington Terrace

Arthur L. and Margaret E. Williams moved into their brand new home at 6014 Lowell Avenue in 1916. It must have been an exciting time for the couple as birth records reveal that the family welcomed their first child, Robert, in May of that year. The modest home sits on a small lot in the Irvington Terrace section of the neighborhood just east of Arlington Avenue and north of Washington Street. Mr. Williams worked at a variety of jobs while living at the house. He managed a hardware store and later sold farm implements for International Harvester. The couple welcomed two more children, Joan and Patricia, while dwelling at this residence. In 1926, Mr. Williams was 38 years old when he sat for this portrait for a promotional book titled Fellow Citizens of Indianapolis. At the time, he was President of the Advance Transfer & Warehouse Company in the Wholesale District just south of downtown Indianapolis. Little is known of Mrs. Williams at this time, but the family moved to Pittsboro, Indiana in 1938 so that Mr. Williams could sell farm implements there. Both Mr. and Mrs. Williams were buried in Washington Park Cemetery in eastern Marion County. Mr. Williams died in 1959 while Mrs. Williams lived until 1985.

6014 Lowell Avenue in 2016: The 1930 Federal Census reveals that the home was worth $6,000 in that year.
Information on the Williams family can be found in the obituary of Arthur L. Williams (Indianapolis Star, August 26, 1959) and in the usual places like census records, city directories, and even on the website "Find a Grave." 

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Kingsbury Family Arrived Early to Irvington

James Goodwin Kingsbury (1831-1913) was a successful editor for both the Indiana Farmer and the Indianapolis Journal. Mr. Kingsbury spent his childhood and early career in western Indiana. He married Mary Layman and had three children with her. Sadly, she died at the age of 33 in 1870.  A daughter, Fannie, died in 1866.  With his two sons, James L. and Edward, he relocated to Marion County to start a new life. He eventually remarried and moved into two homes in Irvington with the first at 352 North Ritter Avenue and then to 71 North Ritter Avenue. He was likely enthused about living in the community as he was an ardent Prohibitionist and Irvington was a dry village.  Many of his children, step children, and grandchildren continued to dwell in the area and became quite prominent. One grandson, Dr. John Kaylor Kingsbury, was a physician who had an office at East Washington Street and Ritter Avenue. Dr. Kingsbury became important in history as he was the physician to attend to the dying Madge Oberholtzer. Miss Oberholtzer had been brutally raped and assaulted by the D.C. Stephenson, the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana.

The elder Kingsbury, James Goodwin Kingsbury, lived to be 83 years old and with his fourth wife at his side, he died in his Ritter Avenue home in 1913.

James Goodwin Kingsbury was photographed by A.F. Wise in Crawfordsville, Indiana in 1857. 

James Goodwin Kingsbury wrote and edited the Indiana Farmer for decades. He was still working for the paper when he died in 1913. Family members assumed control of the publication upon his passing. 

Mary Layman married James G. Kingsbury. She died at age 33 in 1870 in Putnamville Indiana.  

Fannie and James Layman Kingsbury were the children of James G. and Mary L. Kingsbury. They posed for this photograph around 1863. Note how James was dressed as a little girl and he still had his curls. Dressing young boys in this manner was common in the nineteenth century. A.F. Wise of Crawfordsville, Indiana photographed the children.

Fannie Kingsbury was the daughter of James G. and Mary L. Kingsbury. She posed for photographer, A.N. Pierce of Lafayette, Indiana, most likely in 1862. Tragically, she died in 1866.  

James L. and Fannie Kingsbury c1865

James Layman Kingsbury was the son of James G. and Mary L. Kingsbury. His biological mother died when he was ten years old in 1870 so his step mother, Mary Taylor Kingsbury, raised him into adulthood. In this photograph taken around 1870, James posed for the photographer G. W. Apple of Indianapolis.  

James Layman Kingsbury c1874

In 1880, first cousins, Robert Layman Dorsey (left) and James Layman Kingsbury posed for this photograph by Frank M. Lacey

James Goodwin Kingsbury c1900

"A good likeness" is what James Goodwin Kingsbury wrote on the back of this novelty photograph in 1906. Mr. Kingsbury resided at 71 North Ritter Avenue at that point in his life.

James Goodwin Kingsbury c1902

One of the last photographs of James Goodwin Kingsbury occurred on May 3, 1909 when he sat for this photograph. Note the swastika symbol below his image before it became synonymous with evil.  
The historic images and newspapers clippings are courtesy of Kelly Wheat, a Kingsbury descendant.