Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Korblys of 425 North Audubon Road (1915-1973)

For fifty-eight years, a member of the Korbly dwelled in the lovely home at 425 North Audubon Road. Bernard and Margaret Crim Korbly purchased the house in 1915 from the Kendall family and lived there until their deaths in 1935 and 1942 respectively. Bernard, Jr. and his brother John were raised in the house. At least two different servants also dwelled with the Korblys including Verona Seng. Miss Sing remained with the Korblys for decades.

Upon Mrs. Korbly's passing in 1942, Bernard Jr. and John inherited the property. Bernard Jr. bought out his brother, but John did not move far away as he purchased a home at 5814 Pleasant Run Parkway North Drive.

In 1942, Bernard Korbly, Jr, a newly-practicing attorney, surprised his friends and family when he married seventeen-year-old Patareka Elfner at city hall on July 31, 1942. Indianapolis Mayor, Reginald Sullivan, conducted the service. The couple immediately set up housekeeping at 425 North Audubon Road.

Mr. Korbly was very active in the Democratic Party just like his father. In 1950, he won the Democratic primary for Superior Judge but lost during the general election. Mrs. Korbly stayed home and raised their two children, Bernard, Jr. (the third Bernard!) and Patareka also known as Pat.

Pat Korbly Dwyer and her cousin Margaret Korbly Scott have many fond memories of life at 425 North Audubon Road. Pat's Mom, Patareka, was very artistic and created beautiful tables and elegant dinners for guests. The home was decorated with antiques. Mrs. Korbly later operated an antique store near Irvington. The Korblys hosted large Christmas gatherings. On Christmas Eve, the Korbly clan gathered for a lobster dinner near a giant Christmas tree. Every room in the house was decorated or lit up with Christmas bulbs. On Christmas Day, Mrs. Korbly's family, the Elfners, would arrive.

Much of the furniture in the house had been passed down from the earlier Korblys who dwelled there. Large oriental rugs covered beautiful hardwood floors. In the winter, the home could be quite cool as not all of the windows were air-tight. One night, the family awoke to a large crash downstairs. Mr. Korbly grabbed his gun while the rest of the family stayed upstairs. He crept down and saw movement in the house so he raised his gun and fired. Upon investigation, the family was relieved to learn that a wind had blown open a door and it was the billowing curtains he had seen in the dark.

The Korblys attended Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church as did their housekeeper, Verona Seng. They were also active members of the Irvington Historical Society. In 1966, they hosted an ice cream social on their property to help raise funds for the organization.

In the next post, the artist Patareka Elfner Korbly will be featured.

Friends gathered at 425 N. Audubon on January 11, 1936: (left to right) Bernard Korbly, Jr., Tom Harrison holding "Judge," Bob Insley, John Korbly (image courtesy of Pat Dwyer)

Christmases were festive at the Korbly home at 425 North Audubon Road. In this image, snapped in 1957, Bernie, Pat, Patareka, and Bernard Korbly posed near their large Christmas tree. (image courtesy of Pat Dwyer)

Bernard and Paul Korbly inherited their family's cabin in Brown County, Indiana. They later sold it in the late 1940s. (image courtesy of Pat Dwyer)

Bernard and Patareka Elfner Korbly were married on July 31, 1942  (Indianapolis News, August 14, 1942)

Patareka and Bernard Korbly in 1966 (Image courtesy of Pat Dwyer)

In 1959, the Korblys considered selling their home at 425 North Audubon Road, but in the end they remained for another fourteen years. (Indianapolis Star, February 22, 1959)

425 North Audubon Road in 2018

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