Syracuse Electric Tablet Company, 1907-1926

The Syracuse Electric Tablet Company was incorporated from 1907 to 1926, in Syracuse, Kosciusco County, Indiana. The stated object of the company was “to buy and sell retail and wholesale medical preparations and other merchandise.” The company’s directors were John W. Rothenberger (president), and E. Mae Tish, both of Syracuse; William H.H. Angel of Cromwell, Indiana; George H. Lehman of Kendallville, Indiana; and Eli Schlotterback of Ligonier, Indiana.

Rothenberger, Tish, Angel and Lehman were all born in the early 1880s. According to the Federal Census Rothenberger began as a furniture dealer in 1900, and undertaker in 1910 and 1920, and a real estate salesman in 1930 and 1940. The Syracuse-Wawasee Museum contains a footstool, a rocking chair, and a Victrola cabinet made by him. Mae Tish was Rothenberger’s bookkeeper when he was an undertaker. Angel’s occupation was usually listed as a farmer, but in 1910 he listed as a dynamo engineer (electrical engines?), and as a carpenter in 1930. Lehman sold tombstones in Ohio in 1910, but became a poultry farmer in Indiana. Schlotterback was born in the early 1840s and served in the 30th Regiment Indiana Infantry during the Civil War. This Regiment’s first battle was at Shiloh, and continued fighting in major battles through 1865. He then worked as a physician in Ligonier, Indiana until he died in 1912.

The name of this early 20th Century company, the Syracuse Electric Tablet Company, is startlingly modern, but apparently is connected to the medical profession. The best guess is that this was an electrical device that made tablets (pills). The probable connection between the investors was that Schlotterback, being a physician, and Angel a sometime electrical engineer, probably came up with idea for this pill-making electrical device; and Rothenberger, Tish and Lehman, being remotely connected in the undertaking business to the health business, probably provided early investment money. Wouldn’t they be surprised about the future meaning of “electric tablets”?

Equal Suffrage Association of Indiana

The Equal Suffrage Society of Indiana was incorporated on March 14, 1912. Its objective was “To advance the industrial and legal rights and political education of men and women, and to secure equal suffrage to them by appropriate state and national legislation; to organize and direct Branch associations and to create a public sentiment in favor of the rights of all people.”

The Directors were: 1)Dr. Hanna M. Graham – President, she was born in 1874 at Tuscola, Illinois, of British immigrant parents. She graduated from the Medical School Central College in Indianapolis, IN in 1897, and specialized in the treatment of diseases of women and children from 1897 to 1929. Her home was at 2233 North Meridian St. In 1914 she organized the Indianapolis Women Physicians’ Club, an organization of twenty-five women physicians whose goal was to establish a children’s hospital in Indianapolis. This was about two years before the Riley Memorial Association was formed by prominent Indianapolis citizens for the formation of the Riley Children’s Hospital which opened in 1924. Dr. Graham passed away in 1929.

2) Mrs. Laura B. Leonard – wife of a Marion County deputy sheriff; 3) Kathryn O’Connell –  a nurse at Methodist Hospital; 4) Mrs. Fletcher M. Noe – wife of an Indianapolis jeweler; 5) S. L. Shank – the Mayor of Indianapolis; 6) William K. Stewart – President & Treasurer of the W.K. Stewart Company, a bookstore located at 9-11 West Washington Street; 7) George E. Mills – a piano salesman; 8) William A. Landgraff – chairman of the association, an Indianapolis tailor; 9) R. W. O’Conner – an Indianapolis tailor; 10) Mrs. Albert M. Noe – (Hattie) widow of an engraver and mother of Fletcher M. Noe; 11) Mrs. K. B. Tinsley – wife of a physician; 12) Mrs. Charles E. Kregeloe – (Laura) widow of a funeral director; 13) R.G. Shaughnessy – linotype operator; 14) Mrs. B.F. Kresling; 15) Mrs. T.N. Carter.

Its interesting that about this time Mayor Shank, a signer of this incorporation, was asked to appoint a woman as Mayor for one day, and he chose his wife, Sarah. An article in the Indianapolis Star on October 11, 1910, stated that Dr. Amelia Keller was President of the Equal Suffrage Association.( Dr. Keller later became President of the Women’s Franchise League of Indiana in 1911.) The Association was to meet during the spring and summer on the second Monday of each month, and Dr. Hannah Graham would send out postal cards “for the purpose of gaining membership to the Suffrage Association.” Women gained the right to vote in Indiana in September, 1921.


Bureau of Legal Aid

Bureau of Legal Aid, October 25, 1927 – 1943, 229 1/2 Indiana Avenue, Indianapolis, IN

a) To furnish legal aid to deserving persons who are financially unable to secure same.

b) To offer Mediums of reducing needless litigation.

c) To protect poor persons in trouble from the graft of professional bondsmen.

d) To educate the people whose lives it touches to the obligations of the law and their duties in respect to same.

The directors in 1927 were:

A. H. (Arnold Hamilton) Maloney – this was a very remarkable man who lived in Indianapolis for several years. Dr. Maloney was born in Trinidad, British West Indies on July 4, 1888. His genetic heritage was African, English and Irish. He graduated from Naperina University, Trinidad, in 1909. After visiting an uncle in New York, he attended Lincoln College in Pennsylvania where he won an oratorical contest. This experience led him to the ministry in the Episcopal Church and he earned an A.M degree from Columbia University. In 1913 he became pastor of the all-black St. Phillips Episcopal Church in Indianapolis at 702 N. West Street.

In his Autobiography, “Amber Gold”, published in 1946, Dr. Maloney gives very few details about his experiences in Indianapolis other than to say that the other Episcopal congregations in Indianapolis had little to do with his congregation, and that at Church conferences he found other Episcopalian ministers were not very well educated. While in Indianapolis he wrote a column in the Indianapolis Recorder about local race relations, and later wrote a book, “The Essentials of Race Leadership”. Besides his church duties he worked as the education secretary at the YMCA at 450 N. Senate St. for which he was criticized by his superiors. This caused him to resign in frustration.

Dr. Maloney then taught Psychology at Wilberforce University from 1920 to 1925, earned a medical degree from Indiana School of Medicine in 1929 and a PhD. from the University of Wisconsin in1931. Howard University hired him as head of its Department of Pharmacology in 1931 where he enjoyed doing research and became well known as the discoverer of an antidote for barbiturate overdose. In his autobiography he wrote much about his love of books. He died in 1955.

Beatrice P. (Pocahontas) Maloney – Beatrice and Dr. Maloney married in Indianapolis in 1916. She was a native of Kentucky and was about ten years younger than him. She stayed in Indianapolis while she raised their two children and worked as a clerk (secretary?) at Crispus Attucks High School. She moved to Washington D. C. when Dr. Maloney was hired at Howard University. Lula Hodge was the wife of Warren Hodge, the Pastor of First Free Baptist Church.

There was no paperwork in this file between 1927 and 1943, so I couldn’t identify other directors at the Bureau of Legal Aid during the intervening years. In 1943 the directors were Rev. E. D. Hadley – a teacher at a private school, Tull E. Brown – a grocery store proprietor, and William S. Henry – a lawyer with his own practice. This free legal service for the Indianapolis black community must have served an important need during these sixteen years at their location at 229 1/2 Indiana Avenue.

Frederic M. Ayres owned a coal company!

Ohio Valley Coal Company, June 12, 1913 – 1924. The objective of the company was “to conduct any kind of mining business, including the production of coal by stripping or removing the overburden with large shovels operated by steam, electricity or other motive power.” The directors were:

Frederic M. Ayres – President of L.S. Ayres Department Store. He was the son of the founder, Lyman S. Ayres, and he built the popular Indianapolis department store located at S. Meridian St. and W. Washington St. in 1905. Victor C. Kendall – Secretary & Treasurer of L.S. Ayres Department Store. Samuel Ashby – a lawyer. Harry Stout – born in 1865, he was the son of a grocery store owner whose store was located at the Bates House Block. In 1886 Harry and partner William Bristor opened the Stout’s Factory & Shoe store at 318-320 Massachusetts Ave; Harry died in 1914. Edward E. Stout – born in 1862, Edward became President of the shoe store after his younger brother died. This shoe store is still run by the Stout family at the same location (2017). Clarence Stanley – the Federal Census lists his occupation as Real Estate, but the 1914 Indianapolis City Directory lists him at the Vice-President and Treasurer of the R.J. Reynolds Manufacturing Co, a manufacturer of automobile bodies, and the 1924 Indianapolis City Directory lists his occupation as the Vice-President of the Sunlight Coal Co. Frederic E. Dauner – in 1913 Secretary & Treasurer and in 1924 President of the Dauner Coal Co.

Its interesting how leading merchants and manufacturers in Indianapolis during the early 1900s joined together to invest in completely different lines of business. In this case a department store owner and its treasurer, a shoe store merchant, an automobile body manufacturer, a lawyer, as well as a coal company owner, all joined together to form a hopefully profitable coal mining company. It makes you wonder how and where they all got together to come up with the idea of this business venture.



Highland Golf Club of Indianapolis, IN

The Highland Golf Club of Indianapolis, Indiana was incorporated from November 30, 1903 to 1927 and was located at West 30th and Meyers Rd. (West Riverside Parkway) This location was a part of Riverside Park. Its stated objective was “the promotion of the game of Golf and outdoor sports, and the acquiring, by lease or purchase, and maintenance of the grounds, club house and appurtenances necessary for the carrying out of said purposes.” The original directors were:

William R. Root, the first President of the Club – Insurance & Real Estate Sales. James E. Kepperley – attorney. William Donaldson – accountant for the Central Union Telephone Co.; he was born in Scotland. William F. Carter – contractor. Harold F. Waterman – insurance adjuster. Samuel E. Rauh – President of the Union Stock Yards; he was born in Germany. Isaac N. Cleaver – a buyer for the H. P. Wasson & Co. Edward D. Moore – bank cashier. Edwin L. Lennox – music store proprietor. Arthur F. Hall -circulation manager for the Indianapolis Journal newspaper. Certainly a wide variety of Indianapolis businessmen who must have loved the game of golf.

In 1919 the Club reorganized as the Highland Golf and Country Club and in the mid-1920s relocated on about 144 acres of land at 1050 West 52nd Street. Coffin Golf Club is now located on Highland’s original site.



Notes: Dr. W.B. Fletcher’s Sanatorium

Dr. W.B. Fletcher’s Sanatorium, 1140 E. Market St., incorporated from June 17, 1901 to 1943; “to organize an association for the purpose of carrying on health resorts and the erection and maintenance of sanitariums and gymnasiums in connection therewith…[where] shall be employed and kept skilled skilled physicians and surgeons and competent nurses…[to tend to] persons afflicted with suffering from mental, nervous, and physical disorders and diseases who will be administered to by said physicians and surgeons and nurses furnished by said association.” The name of this institution was “Neuronhurst”. The original incorporators were Dr. William B. Fletcher, Dr. Mary A. Spink, Stoughton J. Fletcher, Dr. Urbana Spink, and WilliamB. Fletcher, Jr. In 1908 also included were Dr. E.V. Green, Mary L. Green, and Mrs. Mary Witte. In 1922 the directors were Dr. Mary A. Spink, Elizabeth B. O’Brien, Dr. Urbana Spink, Arthur F. Hall,and Agnes Fletcher Brown. In 1932 the directors were Dr. Mary A. Spink – President & Treasurer, Dr. Urbana Spink – Secretary, Bernard Cunniff, and Bonneventura Cunniff.

Dr. William B. Fletcher – b. 1837 in Indianapolis, IN. His parents were Indianapolis pioneers Calvin and Sarah Hill Fletcher, and he was the seventh of ten children. In 1859 he graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of New York City. During the Civil War he joined the 6th Regiment of Indiana, briefly served as a hospital surgeon at Camp Morton in Indianapolis, and then served as a scout for the Union Army in West Virginia where he was captured by the Confederates on July 30, 1861. He was kept in Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia, where he medically tended prisoners until he was released about three months later. After he returned to Indianapolis in February 1862, he practiced medicine and taught at the Indiana Medical College and the College of Physicians and Surgeons. From 1882 to 1887 he served as superintendent of the Indiana Hospital for the Insane where he initiated modern methods such as the abolishment of the use of physical restraints on the patients.

In 1888 Dr. Fletcher opened a sanatarium fro the treatment of women’s nervous disorders in a mansion at 228 N. Alabama St, and in 1902 built a new sanatarium, named Neuronhurst, at the corner of Market St. and Highland Avenue. According to the 1900 Federal Census all of his fifteen employees at the Sanatarium were female, except for the porter. His associate physician was Dr. Mary A. Spink. She was born in 1863 in Washington, IN. She first worked as a nurse at the Indiana Hospital for the Insane with Dr. Fletcher who persuaded her to attend medical school. After she graduated from the Medical College of Indiana in 1887 she joined Dr. Fletcher at his sanatarium as a neurologist. Her younger sister, Dr. Urbana Spink, a graduate of the Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia as a neuro-psychiatrist, joined her at the sanatarium.Following Dr. Fletcher’s death in 1907 Dr. Mary Spink took over as the chief administrator of Neuronhurst. She continued at that position until she died in 1937.

Two other investors in Neuronhurst on E. Market Street in 1901 were Stoughton J. Fletcher and William B. Fletcher, Jr. Stoughton, the president of Fletcher National Bank in Indianapolis, was sixty years old when he signed the incorporation papers; he and Dr. Fletcher were first cousins. He died at his country home in Tennessee in 1909. William B. Fletcher, Jr., the Doctor’s son, was twenty-six years of age at this time and was a clerk at the Fletcher National Bank. He seems to have disappeared from the records after this.

Joining as directors in 1908 were Dr. Elijah V. Green, a Martinsville, IN physician who had graduated from the Indiana Medical College in 1876; Mary L. Green, Elijah’s wife, and Mrs. Mary Witte. In 1922 the directors of the sanitarium were the Spink sisters, Elizabeth B. O’Brien – secretary and treasurer, Arthur F. Hall – a businessman married to Dr. Fletcher’s daughter Una, and Agnes Fletcher Brown – another daughter of Dr. Fletcher’s and the widow of Dr. Randolph Brown. In the 1930s  Bernard and Bonaventura  Spink Cunniff, managers of the hotel company owned by the Spink family, were also directors.

During the 1930s the number of patients living at the sanitarium dropped, and it closed after Dr. Mary Spink died in 1937.





Notes: Sablosky Company, a famous music school, the Meteor Motor Car Company, My Own Company

M. Sablosky Company, incorporated from October 30, 1906 to 1919, at 806 Massachusetts Ave. After 1919 this home furnishings store was  also located in Fountain Square at the intersection of Virginia Ave., Prospect and Shelby Streets; “to engage in the business of buying and selling merchandise, both wholesale and retail, and conducting mercantile operations”.  The owners were Michael S. Sablosky, b. 1871 in Russia; Tillie Sablosky, b. 1875 in Russia; and David Sablosky, b. 1895 in New Jersey. This  popular, family-owned department store stayed in business until the late 1970s.

Metropolitan School of Music, incorporated from April 13, 1907 to 1930; “to establish a school and institution for the education of males and females in all branches of music, including piano, vocal, cornet, pipe organ and other instruments and forms of music; to conduct such other departments of music and of expression and dramatic art”. The incorporators were: Edward Nell – b. 1867, voice teacher; Flora Hunter – b. 1851, piano teacher; Leslie E. Peck – b. 1865, cornet and trumpet teacher. This school was originally located at the northeast corner of North and Ft. Wayne Streets. In 1929 the school was incorporated into the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music, located at 1204 N. Delaware St., formerly the Lyman S. Ayres mansion. The directors in 1930 were: Edward Nell – President; Arthur Jordan – b. 1855, businessman and philanthropist, Vice-President; Leslie E. Peck – Sec-Treasurer; and Hugh McGibeny – b. 1865, violin teacher. The Conservatory became part of Butler University in 1951.

Meteor Motor Car Company, incorporated on July 12, 1909; “to manufacture, buy, sell, export and generally deal in…self-propelling cars, carriages, wagons, trucks and vehicles”. The incorporators were: Leonard Carter – President of the Henderson Motor Sales Company, located at 742 E. Washington St, Indianapolis; Arthur B. Lathrup – b.1857, physician in Fulton, Ohio; Charles P. Henderson – b.1869, lived in Woodruff Place (an early Indianapolis planned neighborhood), he was the manager of the Henderson Motor Sales Company; Ransom P. Henderson – b.1873, sales manager of the Parry Manufacturing Company that manufactured carriages in Indianapolis; Joseph J. Cole – he began working for the Parry Manufacturing Company in 1888 and in 1904 he opened the Cole Carriage Company. Besides making and selling carriages, he also made motor buggies. In June, 1909, his carriage company was reorganized as the Cole Motor Car Company where he manufactured a small auto named the Cole Model 30. According to a Wikipedia article only 100 of these vehicles were manufactured. The Henderson Motor Sales Company advertised that they were “General Distributors” of the “Cole 30” in 1910. Its interesting that Cole and the Henderson brothers would incorporate the Meteor Motor Car Company a month after Cole incorporated his own automobile company, and that they never manufactured a Meteor Motor Car. But, a Meteor car was manufactured in Shelbyville, Indiana, in 1912 by Maurice Wolfe who continued to manufacture the Meteor in Piqua, Ohio to 1916. Also, the Henderson brothers manufactured their own automobile, the Henderson, in Indianapolis from 1912 to 1915 (a photo of a Henderson car is on p. 45 of the “Traces” IHS magazine, Summer, 2016). And, Joseph J. Cole continued to manufacture very popular luxury cars in his factory located at 742-750 E. Washington St. until 1925. So, even with all this early automobile manufacturing activity and competition, I think its really unusual that Cole and the Hendersons went to the trouble of incorporating their Meteor Company when they did.

My Own Company, 202 S. East Street, incorporated from June14, 1922 to 1927; “to manufacture, pack, purchase and sell foods and food products”. Thomas E. Brick – b.1880,manager, Van Camp Packing Co.; Robert L. Lemon – b. 1886, asst. manager, Van Camp Packing Co.; Henry C. Peachey, b.1888, manager, Van Camp Packing Co. While I understand why these three employees of the Van Camp Company would want to name their packing enterprise “My Own Company”, I think its funny that two of the last names, Lemon and Peachey, were related to food products.