Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Rushville Couple Move to Irvington

     Carl V. Nipp (1876-1939) grew up in Rushville, Indiana. A talented student, he later graduated from Indiana University and the University of Michigan Law School. He returned to his hometown and opened a law practice eventually serving as the Deputy Prosecutor for the Rush-Shelby County Circuit. He married Ethel Fry (1881-1963), who dwelled on a farm near Raleigh in northern Rush County. The popular couple frequently made the news in Rushville for their travels and gatherings. They lived in a fashionable part of the city and attended the Main Street Christian Church. When a train they were riding on near Muncie was robbed on April 5, 1911, the Rushville Republican carried the story on the front page with quotes from Mr. Nipp, who had to turn over his valuables. Mrs. Nipp gave birth to their two sons, Carroll and Francis, and it appeared as if the couple would spend the rest of their lives in that city, but then Mr. Nipp had another idea.

     In 1922, the Nipps bought a home at 27 South Arlington Avenue in Indianapolis from the Campbell family when Mr. Nipp took a job as an agent for the Continental Insurance Company. Their Rushville friends were likely surprised, but the Nipps never returned. In fact, Mrs. Nipp's mother, Mary Fry Clifton, moved with them to Irvington. In 1926, Mr. Nipp submitted a photograph for a publication called Fellow Citizens of Indianapolis. His business was doing well.  Carroll, their oldest son, eventually married and moved around the corner on Dewey Avenue. He also went into the insurance business. Their second son, Francis, moved to Lansing, Michigan where he became an English professor at Michigan State University.

     The family seems to have weathered the Great Depression and the Nipps continued to dwell in their Arts and Crafts bungalow on Arlington Avenue. The couple could easily visit family in Rushville by either catching a train or merely driving down Highway 52. Tragedy struck the family on May 8, 1939, when Mr. Nipp was involved in a terrible auto accident on Highway 37 near Martinsville. He survived the initial crash, but succumbed at age 63 from his injuries a few weeks later. His hometown had not forgotten him and his death made front-page news in the Rushville Republican. Mrs. Nipp continued to dwell in their Irvington home with her mother.  In July of 1943, Mrs. Fry, the mother of Mrs. Nipp, passed away in the house on Arlington Avenue.  Ethel Nipp was not completely alone however, as she eventually went to live with her son and his family on Dewey Avenue.

Source: Indiana University School Yearbook, 1895

Fellow Citizens of Indianapolis, 1926
Building permits reveal that 27 South Arlington Avenue was constructed in the summer of 1915 for James C. Douglas. The Nipps purchased the home in the early 1920s.  (Photo taken on March 27, 2018)


Sources:  Obituary for Mr. Nipp, Indianapolis Star, May 21, 1939, 14; Rushville Republican, May 20, 1939, 1;  Train Robbery--"Local Man Was There," Rushville Republican. April 6, 1911, 1. Obituary for Mary Fry Clifton, National Road Traveler (Cambridge City, Indiana), July 24, 1943, 7. 

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