What’s in a Name: Davidson Street

Written by on December 9, 2013 in What’s in a Name? - 1 Comment
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Davidson St.
Location: Downtown, Cole-Noble
Catherine & Alexander Davidson, daughter and son-in-law of Gov. Noah Noble

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Alexander Davidson was born to a prominent Virginia family around 1823. His father was Andrew Baker Davidson, born in 1779, who was a Presbyterian minister in Virginia and the principal of a girls’ school. Andrew was an 1807 graduate of Liberty Hall Academy, which later changed its name to Washington College (now Washington & Lee University). Also in that year, he married Susan Dorman. From 1815 to 1857, he was a trustee of Washington College and sent his five sons, including Alexander, to college there.

Alexander graduated in the class of 1835-1836. From 1839 to 1844, he was quartermaster-general of Indiana. He later became a general in Union Army. He also helped organize and served as an elder of Fourth Presbyterian Church, an offshoot of Second Presbyterian Church.

Davidson
In 1840, Alexander married Catherine Martha Noble, who was the daughter of Gov. Noah Noble.  Gov. Noble, in addition to his service as Indiana’s fifth governor, was a major landowner in early Indianapolis, owning much of the land that is now the Near Eastside.

Catherine was born in 1822 in Brookville and moved to Marion County with her family in 1826. Together, Alexander and Catherine had five chidren: Dorman, Preston, Noah, Catherine and Susan. The family was given and inherited much of Gov. Noble’s land.

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In November 1865 the Davidsons platted the area bounded by the railroad track on the west, St. Clair Street on the north, Oriental Street on the east, and Michigan Street on the south as “Davidson’s Heirs’ Second Addition” and “P. A. Davidson’s Addition,” named for Preston. As such Davidson St. and Dorman St.  took their names.

He was also executor of his father-in-law’s estate. Alexander died in 1868 and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Photos courtesy of Ryan Hamlett.

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About the Author

Steve Campbell is the former Deputy Mayor of Indiianapolis, owns a communications strategy consulting firm, and teaches journalism and mass communications at the IUPUI School of Journalism.

One Comment on "What’s in a Name: Davidson Street"

  1. Virginia December 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm · Reply

    I grew up in this neighborhood. Went to school 9

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