Thursday, July 29, 2021

Two Giant White Pine Trees Dominate South Arlington Avenue

     The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. (Chinese Proverb)     

      Irvington has always been a leafy neighborhood. The founders of the community had an expectation that residents would plant trees. Some of those early trees still shade the narrow streets. Century-old maples, oaks, catalpas, and numerous other species can be found throughout the area. When Rodolfo (Rudy) and Christina Garza purchased the bungalow at 44 South Arlington Avenue in 1970, they noticed that the front yard was bereft of trees. While they did have a beautiful persimmon tree in the backyard, the couple wished for some shade or beauty along Arlington. In 1974, they traveled to visit a friend's property in Trafalgar, Indiana with the idea of digging up a few saplings for their Irvington property. Christina wanted dogwood trees, but they couldn't seem to locate any so they settled on two small white pine trees. They loaded the two evergreens atop their long Ford station wagon and drove home. Mr. Garza planted the pines and over the years the family marveled at the fast growth of the trees.

     Mrs. Garza particularly liked to use the branches and pinecones to decorate the home at Christmas. Over the years, their children enjoyed racing around the trees and in some cases jumping over them which is why one tree is shorter than the other.  As the trees matured, the utility company asked the Garzas to trim some of the lower branches so that the water meter could be read properly. By 2021, both trees were still standing at four and five-stories tall despite some harsh winter winds and strong summer storms. The half-a-century-old trees could live for another fifty to one hundred years. 

Rodolfo (Rudy) and Christina Garza purchased 44 South Arlington Avenue in 1970. Four years later they planted two white pine trees in the front yard. In 1979, they posed next to one of the pines. Behind the couple, you can see several homes in the 100 block of South Arlington Avenue. (photo courtesy of the Garza family)

Rodolfo (Rudy) Garza proudly posed next to one of his pine trees after a winter storm in 1980. Behind Mr. Garza, you can seen the wintry scene at the intersection of South Arlington and Julian Avenues. (photo courtesy of the Garza family)

Rodolfo (Rudy) Garza posed with daughters, Sonia Johnson and Regina Garza in 1979 next to one of the pine trees in their front yard at 44 South Arlington Avenue. Behind the family, you can see 17, 21, 27, 31, and 33 South Arlington Avenue. 17 South Arlington was later demolished for a CVS Pharmacy. (photo courtesy of the Garza family)

Regina Garza, the daughter of Rudy and Christina Garza, posed next to one of the pine trees in 1979 in her front yard at 44 South Arlington Avenue. Behind her, you can see 103, 107, 109, and 115 South Arlington Avenue. (photo courtesy of the Garza family)

In 2021, the white pine trees planted by the Garza family in 1974 now tower over the small bungalow at 44 South Arlington Avenue. (photo William Gulde)

I wish to thank Rudy and Christina Garza, Regina Garza Ruopoli, and Jon Oliger for photos and information regarding this post. 

Saturday, July 17, 2021

South Arlington Avenue Intersection Then and Now

      Rodolfo (Rudy) and Christina Garza purchased the modest bungalow at 44 South Arlington Avenue in 1970 and remained for the next 47 years. The Garza family photos not only capture important moments in their lives, but the photographers also inadvertently documented structures along that street that are now lost to time. 

     South Arlington and Julian Avenues: In the first photograph, likely snapped in 1971, Regina Garza and her sister Sonia Johnson, stand on the sidewalk leading up to 44 South Arlington Avenue. Behind the girls, you can see members of the extended family walking along the street. The intersection visible in the photo is that of Julian and South Arlington Avenues. Along Julian you can see the large two-story garage that used to stand behind 103 South Arlington Avenue. The tall tree seen behind the girls, is gone and is now merely a stump in an empty lot in 2021. The photo reveals that Arlington used to be very narrow and that the 6000 block of Julian Avenue had no sidewalks at that point in history. 

Regina Garza and Sonia Johnson stand along the sidewalk leading up to 44 South Arlington Avenue in 1971. (Photo courtesy of the Garza family)

Lost Irvington--39 South Arlington Avenue:  Likely snapped in the winter of 1975, Sonia Johnson posed next to the pine tree planted by her father, Rudy Garza, in the front yard of their home at 44 South Arlington Avenue. Behind her, you can see a car driving south along pre-widened Arlington Avenue. The most visible home in the photo belonged to her Grandpa and Grandma Willett of 39 South Arlington. The small cottage was likely built in 1905, for Charles Wambold, a painter and "paper-hanger." Numerous families lived in residence over the years including the Armstrongs, Vannettes, the Reeds, the Coreys, Kelleys, and the Willetts. For many years, the house sat empty and appeared abandoned. It was demolished sometime after 2007. 

Sonia Johnson posed in her front yard at 44 South Arlington most likely in the winter of 1975. The pine tree next to her is four stories tall in 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Garza family) 

The Roaring Twenties Meets the 1980s:  Sisters, Sonia Johnson and Regina Garza, posed in their front yard at 44 South Arlington Avenue in the winter of 1980. The fashionable teens both attended IPS #57 and later Howe High School. Behind the young women, a garage belonging to the Willett family at 39 South Arlington is visible. A small news item in the Indianapolis Star reveals that Alfred L. Reed applied for a building permit to erect the garage in September of 1925. The structure has since been razed. 

Sonia Johnson and Regina Garza posed in front of 44 South Arlington Avenue in the winter of 1980.
 (photo courtesy of Garza family)
A Quiet Field:  Lots 10 and 11 of Tilford and Thrasher's Addition are both empty in 2021. Fireflies, bees, and many birds now call this plot of land "home." Little evidence of the house and the garage once located on the land still exist although some yarrow planted near the front of the cottage blooms without fail and landscape rock near the former garage still rests along the back alley. 

Taken from the front porch at 44 South Arlington Avenue on the morning of July 13, 2021. (William Gulde)

Sources: I wish to thank Regina Garza Ruopoli, Christina Garza, and Rodolfo Garza for the generous loan of their photos and for their stories of 44 South Arlington Avenue. I also wish to thank Jon Oliger for his memories of Arlington Avenue. Other sources on the history of the 39 South Arlington Avenue include:  Erection of 39 South Arlington--Indiana Tribune, April 22, 1905, 4; Information on families of 39 South Arlington--Polk's Indianapolis City Directories, and US Federal Census records for 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940. Erection of Garage--Indianapolis Star, September 25, 1925, 13. 

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Swedish Couple Moved to Irvington

     Hulda Paulina Axberg of Karlstad, Sweden bade goodbye to her father, step mother, and numerous siblings on May 4, 1906, as she traveled alone to the coastal city of Gothenburg to board a ship bound first for Liverpool, England and then for the United States. Like millions of other immigrants, she arrived at Ellis Island, New York with little money but with hopes for a new life. Her older sister, Elin, who arrived earlier, served as her sponsor. She listed "servant" as her occupation and in fact, she would serve as a domestic in various American homes throughout her life.

     Three years later, another Swede, Hilding Urban Hendrickson, departed from the small coastal Swedish town of Simrishamn where his father served as a ship captain.  Unlike Hulda Axberg, nearly all of Hilding's siblings immigrated to the United States. Some of his brothers settled in Rochester, New York, while he and his brother, Francis, moved to Indianapolis. Lars Hendrickson, the father of Hilding and Francis, insisted that his sons have a trade. Both Hilding and Francis listed "tailor" as their occupation when they arrived at Ellis Island. 

Hulda Axberg shortly after her arrival in the United States from Sweden c1906 (image courtesy of Donna Sanderson)

Hulda Axberg moved from Karlstad, Sweden, a beautiful city along Lake Vanern (photo--public domain).

Hilding Urban Hendrickson moved to the United States along with several of his brothers. He is shown here as a young man already living in Indianapolis and earning a living as a tailor c1915. (Irvington Historical Society)

The Hendrickson brothers moved from Simrishamn, Sweden, a small town along the eastern coast, to the United States in the early twentieth century. (photo--public domain)

     The Swedish community in Indianapolis in the early twentieth century was not large so it is not surprising that Hulda Axberg met Hilding Hendrickson as they had much in common. They married on May 2, 1914, at the Woodruff Place United Presbyterian Church. Mr. Hendrickson was just beginning to build his reputation as an outstanding tailor. He and his brother opened a shop in downtown Indianapolis providing an income for the two young immigrants and their wives. Hilding and Hulda rented numerous homes on the eastside of Indianapolis before purchasing a beautiful home at 824 North Rural Street.  The couple celebrated the arrival of their two sons, Robert in 1916 and James in 1918. Both young men attended and graduated from Arsenal Tech High School.

     When World War II erupted, Hilding and Hulda, like millions of other American parents watched and likely fretted as their sons went into that conflict. Robert Hendrickson served in the European Theater as a bomber pilot over Germany while James Hendrickson had the grim task of assisting with the clean up of Nagasaki, Japan after the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb. 

Hilding and Hulda Hendrickson posed with their sons, Robert and James, c1919 in Indianapolis. (photo courtesy of Irvington Historical Society) 

James Hendrickson playfully teased his mother while on leave from duty during World War II. Mrs. Hendrickson clearly enjoyed having her son home at 824 North Rural Street in Indianapolis c1944. (Photo courtesy of Donna Sanderson)

James Hendrickson, on leave from his service during World War II, posed next to the family home at 824 North Rural Street in eastern Indianapolis c1944. (photo courtesy of Donna Sanderson)

Google Streetview captured 824 North Rural Street in 2007 shortly before it was demolished. 

     With the war over and their sons now out of the house and starting their own lives, Hilding and Hulda sold their Rural Street home and moved into a small cottage in southern Irvington at 406 South Butler Avenue. Hilding's brother, Francis and sister-in-law, Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson, lived nearby at 47 Whittier Place. Hilding and his brother dissolved their tailor shop and he then worked for Blocks Department Store for twenty years.

      At their little cottage on South Butler Avenue, the couple hosted family celebrations. Donna Sanderson, the granddaughter of Hilding and Hulda Hendrickson, remembers the delicious smells emanating out of the kitchen as her grandmother baked some Swedish specialities. She also remembers staying in the attic-turned-bedroom and listening to the rain hit the roof lulling her to sleep. The tall grandfather clock visible in the photos sat in each of the Hendrickson homes. 

The Hendricksons moved into this southern Irvington cottage at 406 South Butler Avenue after World War II. (photo snapped on June 24, 2021)

Hulda Axberg Hendrickson relaxed in her oversized chair at her home at 406 South Butler Avenue c1957 (photo courtesy of Donna Sanderson) 

The extended Hendrickson family frequently gathered at 406 South Butler Avenue for the holidays. In this photo, likely snapped in 1957, Hulda Axberg Hendrickson (on the end) sits next to her daughter-in-laws, Freda Hendrickson (later Brown), Florence Hendrickson, Jane Hendrickson, and her nephew, Charles Hendrickson. (photo courtesy of Donna Sanderson) 

Hulda Axberg Hendrickson posed next to her grandchildren, Jim Hilding Hendrickson and Donna Hendrickson on Christmas Eve, c1955 at 406 South Butler Avenue. The two kids can also be seen in the photo on the table. (photo courtesy of Donna Sanderson) 

Hilding and Francis Hendrickson, both immigrants from Sweden, looked on as their grandchildren were photographed on Christmas Day, 1957 at 406 South Butler Avenue. The kids in the photo are: Donna Hendrickson, Jerry Hendrickson, Mary J. Hendrickson, and Jim Hendrickson. Note the beautiful grandfather clock in the corner of the room. (photo courtesy of Donna Sanderson)

      In their elder years, the Hendricksons moved to 958 North Hawthorne Lane in northern Irvington in 1962. They likely owned the home before that date and they seem to have rented the residence to Swedish natives, Ellen and Glenn Bertelsmann in the early 1960s. Mrs. Bertelsmann was Hulda's sister. In her later years, Hulda worked as a domestic for the Ruckleshaus family in Indianapolis.

      On May 3, 1964, the extended Hendrickson family gathered at the Hawthorne Lane home to celebrate the fiftieth wedding anniversary of the Swedish couple who took a chance on the United States. Five years later, Hulda Axberg Hendrickson, the immigrant from Karlstad, died in 1969. Tragically, Hilding Urban Hendrickson, the tailor from Simrishamn, met his ending in an auto accident after being struck by a train at the dangerous intersection at Sherman Avenue and Massachusetts Street in 1970. 

The last home for Hulda and Hilding Hendrickson was at 958 North Hawthorne Lane in northern Irvington. (photo taken on June 24, 2021) 

Credits:  I wish to thank Donna Sanderson, the granddaughter of Hilding and Hulda Axberg Hendrickson. Her attention to detail and family history documentation made this an easy post to write. 


Friday, June 18, 2021

The Hendrickson Family Photo Collection

    Francis and Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson purchased the boarding house located at 47 Whittier Place in 1921. Mr. Hendrickson was a successful tailor in downtown Indianapolis along with his brother Hilding Urban Hendrickson. The brothers, both born in Sweden, operated a successful business for decades. Hilding and his wife, Hulda Axberg Hendrickson, also lived on the east side of the city in several houses including two Irvington homes at 406 South Butler Avenue and at 958 North Hawthorne Lane. 

47 Whittier Place in the spring of 2021

     In the late 1990s, members of the Hendrickson family cleared out the old boarding house on Whittier Place and had a sale.  Someone loaded many historic family photos into a box and placed them on a table. Mark Capes, a local resident, purchased the box thinking that there might be photos of Irvington's past. He protected the photos for several years and then allowed me to see them. I encouraged him to donate the box to the Irvington Historical Society, which he generously did several years ago. Recently, archivist, Paula Schmidt, asked me to revisit the collection. Who are these people? Where were these photographs taken? Are there Irvington shots in this collection?

     Most of the photographs did not have names, but several listed the studio and the city where the images were snapped. The vast majority of the images date to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The Hendricksons could be found in Sweden, Rochester, New York, and in Indianapolis. Of course, many of the images belonged to Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson, Francis Hendrickson's second wife. She came from the Moundsville-Wheeling, West Virginia area. We are still learning about her family, but both she and her sister, Bertha and her brother, Henry also moved to Indianapolis. 

      While there was not one image of Irvington in this vast collection, the photographs still tell a story of two Irvington brothers. As we learn more, we will update this post. Below is a sampling of what is in the collection.

Francis Hendrickson (1870-1970) and Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson (1872-1950)

Elizabeth Hornbrook and Francis Hendrickson posed for this photo most likely on their wedding day, November 20, 1910, in Indianapolis. Francis had been briefly married before to Josephine Infante. Their union produced Francis Hendrickson, Jr. Eventually, the boy came to live with his dad and stepmom in Indianapolis. 

Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson (far left) looks on as her baby son, Charles, is being held by two older women. The photo was likely taken in Indianapolis, but we are not sure. 

Francis and Elizabeth Hendrickson posed with their two sons, Charles (1914-1997) and Francis, Jr. (1902-1987) 
The Hendrickson family around 1914. 

For many years, Francis and Elizabeth Hendrickson lived at 515 E. 22nd Street in Indianapolis. In this photograph, likely taken around 1917, we can identify some of the people. Left to Right--Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson, possibly Mary Hornbrook, possibly Bertha Hornbrook Pierson. Second row--Francis Hendrickson, Henry Holbrook, Frank Holbrook, and possibly Charles Pierson. 

In the distance, you can see the church still located on the northeast corner of East 22nd Street and North Park Avenue. The photo was snapped around 1917 at 515 E. 22nd Street in Indianapolis. (left to right) Possibly Bertha Hornbrook Pierson, possibly Charles Pierson, Unknown, Henry Hornbrook, Francis Hendrickson; on porch--Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson

Francis Hendrickson is the younger man in this series of photographs most likely snapped around 1915. The older man is possibly his brother-in-law, Charles Pierson. 

Francis Hendrickson, Jr was the son of Francis Hendrickson, Sr. and Josephine Infante. The 1910 Federal Census reveals that he lived with another family in 1910, but was eventually reunited with his Dad and stepmom. This photo was published in the Indianapolis Star after he ran away from home in the spring of 1915. He later returned. 

Hilding Urban Hendrickson (1889-1970) and Hulda Paulina Axberg Hendrickson (1886-1969)

Hilding (Urban) and Hulda Axberg Hendrickson, both natives of Sweden, posed with their sons, James and Robert c1919 in Indianapolis. Mr. Hendrickson was a tailor while Mrs. Hendrickson ran the household. They lived in numerous homes in eastern Indianapolis, including two in Irvington. 

Hilding Urban Hendrickson posed with his brother, Francis Hendrickson, c1910. The pair operated a successful tailor shop in downtown Indianapolis. 

Other Hendrickson Family Photos

One of the most interesting photos in the collection is of a family in Sweden. "Johan Emil" wrote a note in Swedish to Francis Hendrickson on the back of the image that reads, "Greetings from all of us, as well as from our home." If you look closely, you can see a beautiful grandfather clock made in the Dalarna region of Sweden. It unclear why there is netting around the light. 

Elizabeth Schwartz Hendrickson (1876-1958), the wife of Emil Hendrickson, posed with her daughters, Lillian, Martha, Dorothy, and Edith c1909 in Rochester, New York. The couple would welcome two additional daughters later in life.

Emil Hendrickson (1876-1951) posed with his oldest daughter, Lillian and an unknown young man in Rochester, New York c1910. 

Hornbrook Family Photos?

     Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson hailed from Moundsville, West Virginia. Many of the photos in this collection likely came from her side of the family. While we recognize some common faces, we have been unable to identify most of the images from her family. Her sister Bertha Hornbrook married Charles Pierson and also lived in Indianapolis. Please study these photos and let us know if you recognize any person or place! 

Mary Hornbrook Schlobohm (1858-1918) in the center of the photo was the sister of Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson. In this early twentieth-century photo, she posed with her two daughters, Lulu and Esther in Marshall County, West Virginia. 

A child with a brick house behind 

On the back of the photo someone has written "Edwin with Brownie," 1926

An older man near flowers

A family portrait next to a wonderful home possibly taken in the Wheeling/Moundsville, West Virginia area

Family portrait with neighborhood houses behind them

"Harold and Mary" written on the back of the photo: Most likely Harold Hornbrook Schlobohm, the nephew of Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson, and his future or current wife, Mary McNickel Schlobohm. The lived in West Virginia. 

The woman seated is most likely Mary Hornbrook Schlobohm (1858-1918), the sister of Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson. She is seated next to her husband, George Franklin Schlobohm (1858-1952). Their children behind them are Arthur Clifford Schlobohm (1894-1918),  George Schlobohm, Jr. (1897-1951), Possibly Esther Schlobohm (1889-?), Harold Schlobohm (1899-1953), Possibly Lulu Schlobohm (1894-1978), and Russel Earl Schlobohm (1885-1959). The photo was most likely taken in Moundsville, West Virginia. 

A Christmas card from an older couple

An older couple in a posed photograph

A woman in mourning on a porch

A young woman in Indianapolis

Detroit Photos

     A member of either the Hendrickson or Hornbrook family went on a sightseeing adventure in the Detroit area in the early twentieth-century. Thanks to Dan Austin, with Historic, we can identify some of the locales in the photos. 

The Tashmoo was a passenger steamboat that operated in between Detroit and Port Huron, Michigan. Thousands of passengers rode on the boat from 1900 until 1936.  

Two women posed at the Hurlbut Memorial Gate in Detroit, Michigan c1910. 

A woman posed near a conservatory in Detroit, Michigan c1910

Two women posed in a park in Detroit, Michigan c1910

Sources:  I wish to thank Donna Sanderson, the granddaughter of Hilding Urban and Hulda Hendrickson, for her incredible research on the Hendrickson family. I also wish to thank Dan Austin of Historic for his work in identifying some of the places in the photos. Much of the biographical information came from various obituaries belonging to Francis Hendrickson, Elizabeth Hornbrook Hendrickson, Bertha Hornbrook Pierson, Charles Pierson, and Henry Hornbrook. The photos belong to the Irvington Historical Society. 

To learn more about the Tashmoo, click here: Tashmoo
To learn about the Hurlbut Memorial Gate in Detroit, click here: Hurlbut Gate