Depauw College

In 1852 the Indiana Methodist Conference founded the Indiana Asbury Female Seminary in New Albany, Indiana. During the Civil War the school suffered financially and lost its property in 1866. The organization of Indiana Methodists then started a fund-raising campaign to buy the property back. A local wealthy businessman, Washington C. Depauw, then contributed an ample amount of money to repurchase and to rebuild the Seminary; In 1867 the Indiana Methodist Conference renamed the school the Depauw College for Young Women in the benefactor’s honor. Its interesting that the Indiana Asbury University in Greencastle, Indiana, also began to admit women to their school in 1867. Indiana Asbury also changed its name in 1884 to Depauw University when he donated a large amount of money to the school.

“At the 36th annual session of the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, begun and held at Welsey Chapel in the city of Indianapolis, County of Marion, State of Indiana, Wednesday September 11, A.D. 1867, … The following among other proceedings were made…On motion of the Revd Kiger it was unanimously Resolved, That the Indiana Conference of the Methodist Church make the following statement and declaration….

First. That it is the intention and immediate determination of said Conference to establish in the City of New Albany Floyd County Indiana an institution of learning for females (for some reason “for females” is crossed out) in the higher walks of literature … Second. That the name and style of said Institution shall be the Depauw College (several words were erased before the new name of the college). Third. That the endowment of said college shall be such as the Conference can provide, or the friends of said College may from time to time donate thereto, not to exceed One Hundred thousand dollars. Fourth. That said endowment when provided shall be so administered as the principal thereof shall remain a perpetual fund alone shall be currently used for the purposes of said college and for the advancement and encouragement of female (“female” crossed out) education. Fifth. That the real estate and College Buildings now owned by said Conference and situated in said city and purchased with funds donated for the purpose, by friends of said institution, is now north about the sum of Forty thousand Dollars.

In testimony whereof the President and Secretary of said Conference hereto submit their names, done at said city on the day of first aforesaid,

F.A. Morris, Bishop of the M.E. Church and President of said Conference

Stephen Bowers, secretary of said Conference”

The church where this conference was held in 1867 was Welsey Chapel, situated on the southwest corner of the Circle, Indianapolis, Indiana. The College was located at East 9th & Main street in New Albany, Floyd County, Indiana. After the College was financially saved it became known as the Depauw College for Young Ladies.  It later became known as the Depauw College for Young Men and Women. Maybe that is the reason for the words “for females” and “female” being later crossed out in the incorporation papers. This College closed in the early 1900s.

Gene Stratton-Porter’s Company

Kendallville Broom and Brush Company, incorporated from 1914 to 1926.

The object of this company was to manufacture brooms and brushes in the town of Kendallville, Indiana. This company was started by Gene Stratton-Porter. There are copies of the incorporation papers, amendment papers and annual reports for the company in this file. The first papers are the Articles of Incorporation filed on May 14, 1914. It is interesting that her husband, Charles D. Porter, did not sign on as a director as he did in the subsequent years.

There are various annual reports signed by the directors from 1914 to 1926. Besides the Porters the directors were Gertrude Lay Sumption and her husband Rinaldo Sumption, Wells S. Murphy, and John E. Jellison. Rinaldo Sumption was listed in the 1910 Federal Census as a General Merchant and Gertrude had no listed occupation. Wells S. Murphy was listed in the 1910 Federal Census as a Railroad Yard Marker in Cadillac, Michigan, and was listed as a manufacturer of brooms in Kendallville in the copy of his WWI registration. He was also the company’s secretary. John E. Jellison was listed as a laborer in the 1910 Federal Census, and was listed as manager of the broom company in 1920. Gene was listed as a writer of fiction in the 1920 Federal Census, and her husband as a bank manager in Rome City.

The Amendment papers for the company on January 20, 1921 increased its Capital Stock fro $15,000 to $100,000. By that time the Porters had moved to California, where these papers were signed. Its interesting that all of the company’s directors had also moved to California by then. Gene was involved in producing films of her novels while in California, but was killed in an auto accident in December of 1924.

The last set of papers in this file is the Corporation Report of 1926. It looks like some investors from Pittsburg, Pennsylvania had bought the broom and brush company by then. Arthur A. Auer of Kendallville, Indiana is listed as the Vice-President of the company. Auer’s occupation listed on his death certificate was as a manufacurer of brooms and brushes in Kendallville, so maybe the company started by Gene Stratton-Porter stayed in business in Kendallville for many years after she died.

Jungle Park Racing Company, Inc.

Jungle Park Racing Company was incorporated on July 22, 1929, and its last annual report was sent to the Secretary of State of Indiana in 1938. This sprint car race track, which was within the Jungle Park Resort, was located in Parke County, Indiana, near Bloomingdale, Indiana, and ten miles north of Rockville, Indiana. It was close to Sugar Creek and Turkey Run State Park.

Some short documentaries and descriptions of the Jungle Park race track can be found on the internet, and they state that its founder and owner was Albert Padgett. He was listed on the Federal Census as an electrical engineer. But, there are some differences between the online descriptions and what was stated on the Jungle Park Raceway incorporation papers.

One of the most entertaining differences is the description of the object of the race track’s incorporation. Remember, this track was a sprint car race track, with midget race cars speeding around it. “The purpose or purposes for which it is formed are as follows: [to operate] a racing track and/or tracks, racing plant and/or plants and/or racing establishment and/or establishments, including concessions, fields, grandstands, bleachers and/or other seating facilities for spectators adjacent to and/or in connection Continue reading

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.