Friday, October 13, 2017

Alfred and Lettie Trefz of Audubon Road

Alfred and Lettie Trefz moved into their Tudor-Revival dream home at 953 North Audubon Road shortly after it was built in 1929. Although the nation was beginning to struggle with the onset of the Great Depression, developers continued to erect houses in the Irvington Gardens area just south of East Tenth Street. Mr. Trefz did not lose his job as a tool engineer for the Detroit Division of the Allison plant on the west side of Indianapolis. Mrs. Trefz taught elementary children for Indianapolis Public Schools so she too had a steady income. The couple would remain in their lovely dwelling for the next several decades.

By all accounts, Mr. and Mrs. Trefz seem to have been very involved both in Irvington and throughout Indianapolis. Mr. Trefz's obituary noted that he was an amateur photographer so it was perhaps he who took the photos of the house a few years after its construction. He was a member of the Masons, the Murat Shrine, and the Nature Study Club. One has to wonder what became of his other photographs?

Mrs. Trefz never seemed to rest. She was a member of numerous clubs and civic organizations. She received several awards including one for "Woman of the Year" from the Business and Professional Women's Club of Indianapolis. She hosted meetings in her home and even in retirement she remained a consultant for the Indianapolis Public Schools.

An Indianapolis Star article noted that the couple took a cruise in 1949. They departed from New Orleans and sailed down to Guatemala and Panama. Upon their return, Mrs. Trefz plunged into more work for various sororities and committees. The couple were active members of the Irvington United Methodist Church. Mrs. Trefz, a graduate of Butler University, also remained involved with her Alma Mater. They died within months of each other. Mr. Trefz passed away in April of 1982 at the age of 86 while Mrs. Trefz died in June at the age of 83.

The historic photos for this story were provided by Todd Cloud.  

953 N. Audubon Road c1930

953 N. Audubon Road c1930: The woman in the photograph might be Mrs. Lettie Trefz. Also seen in this image is part of 957 N. Audubon Road.

The rear of 953 and 957 N. Audubon Road c1930

The home of Alfred and Lettie Trefz c1930. The vacant lot would later be the site of 943 N. Audubon Road. 

Mrs. Trefz was very involved in numerous organizations. Here is a photograph of her from 1961 as she was part of an organization that loaned money to senior citizens. (Indianapolis News, April 7, 1961)

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