Wednesday, April 10, 2019

An Oak Avenue Home--1911

Dawson C. and Ida Belle Kile moved into their brand new home at 5921 Oak Avenue in 1911. Mr. Kile, who was 34 years old at the time, had lived part of his life in a house with his parents, Oliver and Sarah Kile, under the giant oak tree (now called the Kile Oak) on Beechwood Avenue. The younger couple were able to purchase the triangular lots on Oak Avenue because they belonged to the Frys, who were related to the Kiles. The house, fashioned in the American Four Square design, was a very popular style in the U.S. in 1911.  On the back of the photo, a realtor or family member described the interior of the home. Downstairs, the Kiles could enjoy a brick fireplace in the living the room with a coal grate.  The first floor also included a library, a dining room, the kitchen, and a pantry. The lower level had beautiful hardwood floors. Four bedrooms with "large" closets and a bathroom occupied the second floor. The builder attached city water and included a coal furnace that pumped warm air into the home on cold days.

The price of the home in 1911 or perhaps in 1913 was $5000 although the seller was willing to go down to $4500.  The Kiles moved from Irvington in 1913 so it is possible that this photo was used to try to sell the house at that time. It must have worked as the Evans family moved in and remained until 1918.

Dawson C. Kile worked as a railway mail clerk for the Pennsylvania Railroad for 37 years. He serviced various parts of the line from Pittsburg to St. Louis during his long tenure with the company. The couple had one biological son who survived into adulthood, John Albert Kile,  but he died at age 20 from malaria after they had moved to Ohio. The couple also adopted many foster children over the years. The Kiles left Irvington for Zanesville, Ohio after only living in this home for two years. The beautiful photo of their home shows the house before some of the later alterations occurred including a sizable rear addition. Mr. Kile's sister, Mae, continued to reside in the family home two blocks south on Beechwood until the early 1970s.  Ida Belle Kile passed away in 1948 while Dawson Kile lived until 1967.


Dawson and Ida Kile moved into this American Four Square at 5921 Oak Avenue in 1911. By 1913, they had moved to Zanesville, Ohio. Other families to reside here over the years included the Evans, Whiteman, Shirey, Kramer, Fee, Collins,  Pedigo, and Thomas families. (Photo courtesy of the Irvington Historical Society)

Most likely in 1913 when the Kiles were putting the home on the market, someone wrote all of these details about the residence on the back of the photograph.  (Photo courtesy of the Irvington Historical Society)
I wish to thank Paula Schmidt of the Irvington Historical Society for loaning me this wonderful image. 

Sources:  Information about the purchase of the lots came from the Indianapolis Star, May 23, 1905 and the Indianapolis News, March 19, 1907, 8) Other useful information came from the obituaries of Dawson, Ida Belle, and John Albert Kile.

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