HI Mailbag: Indianapolis Public Library

Written by on March 22, 2016 in Mailbag - 26 Comments
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Reader’s Question:

I heard that the CEO of the Indianapolis Public Library was conducting tours of IPL facilities all around the city. I’m curious to know when Indianapolis first opened a public library and where the early library branches were located. ~  David B., Indianapolis     

HI’s Answer: 

Within a few years after Indianapolis was founded, libraries began to be established in various locations around town. However, their collections were limited in subject matter and availability.  The Indiana Law Library and the Indianapolis Bar Association Library contained legal volumes.  The Indiana Medical Society’s books pertained to medicine.  Many churches had libraries, but their materials were mostly religious in content and were available only to members of their own congregations.  The Young Men’s Christian Association Reading Room also had books that were religiously oriented.  The State Library had a wider collection than most of the other libraries, but its original mission was to support the work of state government officials.  The few libraries that offered a broader range of subjects — like novels, poetry, philosophy, and pamphlets — were private subscription libraries. Because their revenues were not consistent, and because their hours of operation were erratic, these libraries were generally short-lived.

It wasn’t until after the Civil War that citizens began to lobby for a public library that would be funded by tax dollars and available to all citizens at no charge. In 1868, Reverend Hanford A. Edson (1837-1920) of the Memorial Presbyterian Church (now known as the Second Presbyterian Church) preached a sermon on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in which he made an impassioned plea for a public library.  His enthusiastic support of the value of reading and related intellectual pursuits inspired a group of citizens to form the Indianapolis Library Association.  Its members turned over their own personal collections of books to start a public library.  The group held meetings to determine a course of action that would lead to the ongoing funding of a public library for all of the city’s residents.  The association met in the Vinton Block, a popular mixed-use building on the southwest corner of Market and Pennsylvania Streets.  Today, 50 N. Pennsylvania Street is the site of an 8-story parking garage.

Newspaper photo of the Vinton Block on the southwest corner of Market and Pennsylvania Streets as it appeared in 1928    (courtesy of The Indianapolis Star)

Newspaper photo of the Vinton Block on the southwest corner of Market and Pennsylvania Streets as it appeared in 1928 (courtesy of The Indianapolis Star)

The first Superintendent of Indianapolis Public Schools, Abraham Crum Shortridge (1833-1919), was eager to take up the cause, as well. Shortridge felt that free public libraries went hand-in-hand with free public schools.  In 1870, Shortridge worked with the members of the Indianapolis Library Association to draft a bill to present to the next session of the Indiana State legislature.  It passed!  So that the funds could be provided from taxes already being collected for educational purposes, the library was placed under the jurisdiction of the Indianapolis School Board.

Superintendent Shortridge had recently succeeded in acquiring the former Baptist Female Seminary on the northeast corner of Michigan and Pennsylvania Streets.  That structure was about to become the new home of Indianapolis High School, which had outgrown it first location in Circle Hall on Monument Circle.  Shortridge happily designated a portion of the high school building to house the new Indianapolis Public Library.  Today, the former site of Indianapolis’ first public library is the location of the Minton-Capehart Federal Building.

The first home of the Indianapolis Public Library was in a portion of the Indianapolis High School  (photo from 1981 book by Laura Sheerin Gaus)

The first home of the Indianapolis Public Library was in the Indianapolis High School building at Michigan and Pennsylvania  (photo from 1981 History of Shortridge High School by Laura Sheerin Gaus)

The Indianapolis Public Library opened its doors to the public on April 8, 1873, with about 12,000 volumes.  The library was open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., including Saturday and Sunday.  The first librarian was named Charles Evans. He enjoyed a long and highly respected career in library work.

June 19, 1934 Indianapolis Star article about former director of the Indianapolis Public Library

June 19, 1934 Indianapolis Star reported about former   Indianapolis Public Library Director, Charles Evans

The public library was a huge success.  In its first full year of operation, more than 3,000 patrons borrowed more than 100,000 books during that twelve-month period.

(1873 Indianapolis Directory courtesy of IUPUI Digital Archives)

(1873 Indianapolis City Directory courtesy of IUPUI Digital Archives)       CLICK TO ENLARGE

October 17, 1973 clipping from The Indianapolis News

October 17, 1973 clipping from The Indianapolis News

Donations of books to the library, as well as purchases of books by the Indianapolis School Board, resulted in the need for a larger facility. From 1876 to 1884, the Indianapolis Public Library was located on the southwest corner of Monument Circle and Meridian Street.  No photo of that building could be found.  In 1923, the 9-story Guaranty Building was constructed at 20 North Meridian Street, which survives today.

(1876 Indianapolis City Directory courtesy of IUPUI Digital Archives)

(1876 Indianapolis City Directory courtesy of IUPUI Digital Archives)  CLICK TO ENLARGE

From 1884 to 1893, the library was located on the southwest corner of Ohio and Pennsylvania Streets.  The original building on the lot was a 3-story residence built in the 1840s by Elijah S. Alvord, owner of several stagecoach lines headquartered in Indianapolis. Alvord had sold his home of several decades and moved to Washington, D.C.  The Indianapolis School Commissioners arranged a ten-year option on the property with its new owner, Edward F. Claypool (1832-1911).  The School Commissioners occupied the former Alvord residence, and the Indianapolis Public Library occupied two newer buildings that had been added on to the home.  When the 10-year option period expired, IPS declined to exercise it and instead built a new building one block west of it. In 1901, the structures on this corner were replaced by the 7-story Newton Claypool Building.  Newton Claypool was Edward’s son.  In 1990, the Newton Claypool Building was replaced by a portion of Chase Tower, now the tallest building in Indiana.

From 1885 to 1893, both the Indianapolis Public Library and the offices of Indianapolis Schools were located on the southwest corner of Ohio and Pennsylvania Streets  (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of Indiana Historical Society)

From 1884 to 1893, both IPL and IPS were located in the former Alvord home on the corner of Ohio and Pennsylvania Streets        (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

(1887 Sanborn map courtesy of IUPUI Digital Archives)

(1887 Sanborn map courtesy of IUPUI Digital Archives)                 CLICK TO ENLARGE

In 1893, the new home for both the Indianapolis Public Library and the Indianapolis Public Schools was erected on the southwest corner of Ohio and Meridian Streets.  Although the Central Library eventually moved one last time, the building at 150 North Meridian Street remained the headquarters of the Indianapolis Public Schools until 1967. When the present IPS Education Center was erected at 120 East Walnut Street, the property at Ohio and Meridian was replaced with a Hilton Hotel.  Today, it operates as a Sheraton Hotel.

August 21, 1893 clipping from The Indianapolis StarNews

August 21, 1893 clipping from The Indianapolis News

The Indianapolis Public Library was located on the southwest corner of Ohio and Meridian Streets from 1885 to 1917  (Wm. H. Bass PHoto Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

From 1893 to 1917, IPL and the offices of IPS were both located on the southwest corner of W. Ohio and N. Meridian Streets      (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

In 1917, the original portion of the Indianapolis Public Library was constructed on the north side of East St. Clair Street, between Meridian and Pennsylvania Streets.  An interesting fact is that a sizable portion of the land on which the library was built was donated to the Indianapolis School Board by James Whitcomb Riley in 1911, five years before his death. It was his desire to distribute his wealth while he was still alive, so that he could see the benefits of his gift while he was living.  Riley owned three adjacent lots on the west side of Pennsylvania Street, beginning at the corner of East St. Clair Street.  They were valued at $75,000 in 1911.  That amount is equivalent to almost $2,000,000 today.

1917 image of the new Indianapolis Public Library , soon after its opening at 40 East Saint Clair Street  (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of Indiana Historical Society)

1917 photograph of the Indianapolis Public Library, soon after it was completed at 40 East Saint Clair Street   (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

August 10, 1917 article in The Indianapolis Star

August 10, 1917 article in The Indianapolis Star                   CLICK TO ENLARGE 

Branch libraries were established under the administration of Eliza G. Browning (1856-1927).  In 1896, four branches were opened in rented spaces in commercial buildings.  The concept of branch libraries was not readily supported by everyone in the community, due to the their expense, but Eliza Browning was nonetheless determined to put libraries in the neighborhoods. In 1906, the first freestanding library branch was built with local funds at 3101 North Clifton Street.  Branch Library #1 was also called the Riverside Branch.

March 14, 1906 clipping inThe Indianapolis Star

March 14, 1906 clipping in The Indianapolis Star

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #1 was completed in 1906  (Wm. H. Basss Company Collection, courtesy of Indiana Historical Society)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #1, also called Riverside Branch, was built with local funds in 1906 at 3101 N. Clifton St.               (Wm. H. Bass Company Collection, courtesy of theIndiana Historical Society)

In 1907, the Indianapolis Board of School Commissioners entered into negotiations with Andrew Carnegie to fund additional library branches.  In 1909, Carnegie finally came through with $120,000 for the construction of six IPL branches.  Ultimately, only five libraries were built.

Letter from Andrew Carnegie agreeing to donate $120,000 for the construction of six new libraries  (Lawrence J. Downey Library History Collectin, courtesy of Indiana Public Library)

Letter from Andrew Carnegie agreeing to donate $120,000 for the construction of six new libraries  (Lawrence J. Downey Library History Collection, courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library)     CLICK TO ENLARGE

The neighborhood libraries soon became not only educational centers, but social centers, as well. Children met there to do their homework and to connect with their friends.  Neighborhood organizations often used a room in the library for meetings.

IPL Branch Library #2 was also known as the Hawthorne Branch (Lawrence J. Downey Library History Collection courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #2, also known as the Hawthorne Branch, was built in 1911 at 170 North Mount Street       (Lawrence J. Downey Library History Collection courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library)

Indianapolis Public Library #3 at 2922 East Washington Street (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of Indiana Historical Society)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #3 was built at 2822 East Washington Street with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie                   (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #4 (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #4 was built at 1034 South Alabama Street with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie    (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #5 was built at 1912 West Morris Street in 1911 with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie   (Lawrence J. Downey Library History Collection courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #5 was built at 1912 West Morris Street in 1911 with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie (Lawrence J. Downey Library History Collection courtesy of the Indianapolis Public Library)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #6 was built at 1801 Nowland Avenue with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie    (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #6 was built at 1801 Nowland Avenue with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie (Wm. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society)

By 1917, there were twelve branch libraries and several delivery stations in the Indianapolis Public Library system.

The 1917 Indianapolis City Directory listed twelve branches and seven delivery stations (courtesy of IUPUI Digital Archives)

The 1917 Indianapolis City Directory listed twelve branches and seven delivery stations  (courtesy of IUPUI Digital Archives)          CLICK TO ENLARGE

A few of the early branch library buildings are still standing today, but not all of them still function as libraries.  Branches #1 and #2 remain but are no longer libraries.  Branches #4 and #6 remain and still operate as libraries.  Sadly, Branches #4 and #5 have been demolished — the former to make way for Interstate 70 and the latter for the construction of the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center.

The former IPL Branch #1 building at 3101 North Clifton Avenue still stands today (2016 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

The former IPL Branch #1 building at 3101 North Clifton Avenue still stands today, although it is no longer used as a library    (2016 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

The former IPL Branch #2 building still exists today but is no longer used as a library (2013 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

The former IPL Branch #2 building at 170 North Mount Street is still standing today, but is no longer used as a public library (2013 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

IPL Branch #3 at 2822 East Washington Street still operates as a neighborhood library today (2016 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

IPL Branch #3, one of the five library branches funded by Andrew Carnegie in 1909, still operates as a branch library today  (2016 photo by Sharon Butsch Freeland)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #6 was built with a donation from Andrew Carnegie and still functions as a library today (2015 photo courtesy of Google maps)

Indianapolis Public Library Branch #6 was built with a donation from Andrew Carnegie and still functions as a library today
(2015 photo courtesy of Google maps)

There is much more history to be told about the Indianapolis Public Library, after its relocation to 40 East St. Clair Street in 1917.  Next year will mark the library’s 100th year in its present location.  As the reader’s question asked about the library system’s early years, that was the focus of this report.  The last century of the library’s history may be a topic for a future article.


If you have a question about Indianapolis history, please send it to historicindianapolis(at)yahoo(dot)com, with “HI Mailbag” in the subject line. We will do our best to answer it. Sponsors and Subscribers are given preference for extensive research on specific properties or specific families featured in HI Mailbag articles. ~ Sharon

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About the Author

Sharon Butsch Freeland is a freelance researcher, writer, proofreader, and editor. She's a proud alumna of Shortridge High School and MacMurray College and over the years has also taken courses at Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University, University of Colorado, Colorado Academy of Art, and the Indianapolis Art Center. She's been the executive director of a nonprofit association, a newspaper columnist, a residential real estate broker, and a political campaign staff member. Fascinated by Indianapolis history from an early age, Sharon's passion for bygone eras became even more compelling when she discovered that her ancestors had settled in Indiana in 1828. Since learning that she's a seventh generation Hoosier, many details about both the State of Indiana and the City of Indianapolis have taken on new meaning for her. Sharon enjoys helping others get excited about the history of Indianapolis, as well as the histories of their own families.

26 Comments on "HI Mailbag: Indianapolis Public Library"

  1. Steve Koepper March 22, 2016 at 8:09 am · Reply

    Great article, Sharon! Would love to see your future article on the Indianapolis Public Libraries cover the Irvington branch that started in a house by IPS #57. That house is where I went as a child. I remember climbing the narrow stairs, possibly making a curve, to the upstairs children’s area.

    • Barbara Haunton March 22, 2016 at 6:03 pm · Reply

      Great to read this. The stairs to the children’s section were creaky, and the whole building smelled like old wood. Loved it.
      .
      What happened to the imposing Irvington Library building at the end of the photos?

      • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 22, 2016 at 6:17 pm · Reply

        Barbara,
        .
        Good catch! I got concerned that someone would take me to task regarding its being an Indianapolis Public Library. The Bona Thompson Memorial Library was built by Butler College in 1902, when Butler was located in Irvington. It was not built by IPL or the City of Indianapolis, and it was not funded by Carnegie. However, I believe it was considered to be Branch Library #7 in the Indianapolis Public Library system. I also don’t know when it ceased to be a library. The building now houses the Irvington Historical Society. I thought I should remove the photo of Bona Thompson Memorial Library until I do a little more research to confirm the facts.
        .
        Sharon

  2. Meaghan March 22, 2016 at 12:31 pm · Reply

    Loved the article! You can further explore IndyPL’s rich history in the the Lawrence J. Downey Library History collection on Digital Indy (the IndyPL digital collections of historical material).

    http://www.digitalindy.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/downey

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 22, 2016 at 6:08 pm · Reply

      Thanks, Meaghan.
      .
      Wish I’d seen this before I started my research. 🙂
      .
      Sharon

  3. basil berchekas jr March 22, 2016 at 12:53 pm · Reply

    I remember using the Irvington Branch when it was located in a former house in Irvington…as well as the former Brightwood Branch…

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 22, 2016 at 6:07 pm · Reply

      Thanks for posting your memories, Basil.

  4. Barbara Haunton March 22, 2016 at 1:26 pm · Reply

    In the forties, I walked a mile to an old white frame two-story (former) house which was Irvington’s adult and children’s library. Why wasn’t the imposing building pictured at the end of the list in use?
    .
    The Irvington library I used was about a block south of the business center (movie theatre, drug store, stationery shop, etc,)

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 22, 2016 at 6:06 pm · Reply

      Barbara,
      .
      The reader’s question asked about the early years of the Indianapolis Public Library and its branches. The article primarily covered the years up to the completion of 40 East St. Clair Street. I inserted photos I took this past weekend of the branch libraries that were built prior to 1917 and still exist today. As the white frame two-story house that served as the Irvington Branch Library was not yet a branch in 1917, I did not include it; as it no longer exists today, I could not take a photo of it.
      .
      Sharon

  5. Eric Davidson March 22, 2016 at 3:17 pm · Reply

    Wonderful survey, thank you!

    A comprehensive history of just the Central Library would make a meaningful counterpoint…

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 22, 2016 at 5:56 pm · Reply

      Thanks, Eric. We’ll work on that.

  6. Judy Gray March 22, 2016 at 4:38 pm · Reply

    Sharon-
    .
    This is a really good article but I would like to make one correction. The library at 170 Mount Street was the 2nd library funded through Carnegie, however it was the 11th branch opened in Indianapolis. It was called the Hawthorne Branch Library. The 2nd branch opened in Indianapolis is the Haughville branch.
    .
    Thank you,
    Judy Gray
    Indianapolis Public Library
    Indianapolis Special Collections Team

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 22, 2016 at 5:55 pm · Reply

      Judy,
      .
      Thank you for your comment. My apologies for the error. It was difficult trying to track the branches, particularly the ones that have since met the wrecking ball.
      .
      In my defense, in city directory after city directory after city directory, 170 Mount Street was listed as IPL Branch #2. I assumed (I admit it’s a bad practice!) that the branch numbers were assigned chronologically. I’d also read that the first two library branches were not funded by Andrew Carnegie’s largesse. Thus did I arrive at the conclusion that the Hawthorne Branch was built without Carnegie funds.
      .
      I will make revisions to my article, so that future readers will not be misled.
      .
      Thanks again,
      Sharon
      p.s. Are you aware of any early photo(s) of the Hawthorne Branch Library? I’d like to insert one into the article.

  7. basil berchekas jr March 22, 2016 at 6:40 pm · Reply

    The numbering not being done chronologically threw me off when it came to the IPS school numbering system. I found out through an article in this series that the original school numbering was based on what election ward each school served versus being numbered chronologically. That incorrect assumption on my part threw me off on school numbering. Once IPS schools exceeded the number of election wards, I am assuming (maybe wrong again) that the additional schools were numbered chronologically…

  8. Brigette Cook Jones March 22, 2016 at 8:09 pm · Reply

    As an added note to your fine article on the Indianapolis Libraries: James Whitcomb Riley, the Hoosier Poet, gave $100,000 so that the land where the Central Library now stands old be bought. This was his personal lasting legacy to the City of Indianapolis.

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 22, 2016 at 9:24 pm · Reply

      Brigette,
      .
      It has always been my understanding that James Whitcomb Riley owned part of the land on which the Central Library was built, which he gifted to the City when it outgrew the previous library. Are you saying he also gave $100,000 in cash towards its construction? Or was the value of the land he owned $100,000? For decades after the library was built, the facility was referred to as “The James Whitcomb Riley Library.” I wonder why that practice ceased?
      .
      Sharon

      • Brigette Cook Jones March 22, 2016 at 10:14 pm · Reply

        As I understand it, Riley bought the land, which was valued at $100,000, with the intention of that land being used specifically for the library. It isn’t like he owned the land for a long period of time prior. He bought the land with the intended donation in mind.

        • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 23, 2016 at 10:22 am · Reply

          Brigette,
          .
          I found some newspaper articles about Riley’s gift, which I will send to you later today via e-mail. I have a meeting to attend in a few minutes and can’t do it right now. Briefly, Riley’s deeding of three lots on the northwest corner of St. Clair and Pennsylvania Streets was in July of 1911. The estimated value of the lots in 1911 was reported to be $75,000. According to an online inflation calculator, that would be nearly $2,000,000 today!
          .
          Sharon

  9. Earnest LaRue Bennett March 23, 2016 at 9:20 am · Reply

    Another great article Sharon.
    .
    In the 1940s, I used to live in the area around the Clifton branch and attended first grade at the old School 41, about a block east of the library. I would walk past the library on the way to school, and went in one day and got my first library card. Since then, I have a bookstore and have thousands of books, but still visit the library regularly! Does anyone remember the date stamp attached to a pencil that the librarian would use to stamp their file card, then write your name?

    • Steve Koepper March 23, 2016 at 12:42 pm · Reply

      “Yes” to the date stamp. Hadn’t thought about that in many years. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 23, 2016 at 5:53 pm · Reply

      Earnest,
      .
      At the time I was born, my family lived on 34th Street, just west of Clifton Street. My older brother started grade school at George W. Sloan School 41 in January of of 1949 (he was a “mid-termer”). We moved away from that house before I was school age; however, my parents would periodically drive us through the old neighborhood and point out our house (which is still standing!), the school, the library, the drugstore, etc.
      .
      Sharon

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 23, 2016 at 6:32 pm · Reply

      Earnest,
      .
      I just looked at city directories from the 1940s and found that your family and mine were neighbors. As your family lived on the southeast corner of 34th and Barnes Avenue, and my family lived in the third house east of Barnes Avenue on 34th Street, there were only two houses between our houses! The lots are only 35 feet wide there, so we lived less than 100 feet from one another. Small world.
      .
      Sharon

  10. Earnest LaRue Bennett March 23, 2016 at 9:04 pm · Reply

    Sharon, we lived at 3365 Barnes Ave, which was in the south half of the lot on the southeast corner. We were on the alley. The neighbors on the north end of the lot were the Dells, and across the street on the southwest corner were the Dells. Dad had a garden on the south end of their lot. I can’t remember any other neighbors, except that there was an soldier that lived very close to your house, and drove an army jeep, which was impressive to me. We moved to a farm in Pike Township in 1947, so I’m not sure we were there when you moved in. But if not, we were nearly neighbors. We used to keep the sidewalk busy going to Lobraico’s Drugstore, and the market next door. Our old house survived the interstate construction, but was torn down a few years later. I enjoy driving through the neighborhood, including Golden Hill, which is a fascinating place. I’m rambling , but did your brother go to kindergarten on Clifton, just north of 34th St. (on the east side of the street)? I think the building is still there. LaRue

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 24, 2016 at 9:08 am · Reply

      Earnest,
      .
      My parents moved to 1155 West 34th Street before I was born, which was July 24, 1947, but I don’t know exactly how long it was before that blessed event. I imagine your family’s time on Barnes Avenue and my family’s time on 34th Street overlapped, if only briefly.
      .
      Our next-door-neighbors were the Krachenfels. Mr. Krachenfels was an Army Air Corps veteran. He had been a POW during World War II and received the Purple Heart. When he returned from the war, he joined the Indianapolis Police Department. I’m thinking Mr. Krachenfels may have been the one with the Army Jeep.
      .
      My brother did attend a kindergarten in the neighborhood. If School 41 didn’t have a kindergarten, then he may very well have gone to the one on Clifton that you mentioned. I can’t ask him or my parents, as they are all gone.
      .
      I do remember that most IPS schools did not have kindergartens until much later. The five oldest kids in my family all went to private kindergartens. It wasn’t until my two youngest siblings came along that kindergartens were part of the public schools.
      .
      Sharon

  11. Earnest LaRue Bennett March 24, 2016 at 11:08 am · Reply

    Good Morning, It’s interesting to hear of Mr. Krachenfels. (Richard Paul) I found his obituary, which told of his experience on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific. I guess he must have served aboard a Navy ship as an army air corpsman. Also, I wonder if your brother may have had Lucille Bechdolt as a first grade teacher. She was a life long family friend, and it was good to have her as my teacher starting out. She retired from teaching after 35+ years. We moved to the farm in the spring of 1947, so we would have overlapped for a time with your family. I think my folks knew most all the neighbors around there, so they probably knew one another. (Part of the good old days of porch and backyard fence visits). LaRue

    • Sharon Butsch Freeland March 24, 2016 at 10:51 pm · Reply

      Richard Krachenfels (1918-2009) was the younger brother of the Krachenfel who lived on West 34th Street. Our neighbor was Eugene Krachenfels (1913-2001). Both were police officers, and both served in WWII. Eugene was shot down over Germany on November 25, 1944, and was in a German POW camp until April 29, 1945.

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