What’s in a Name: Meikel Street

Written by on October 20, 2012 in What’s in a Name? - 4 Comments
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Meikel Street was named for local brewer John Meikel.  Meikel was born in Nassau, Germany in 1814 and married to Mary Weaner Meikel, who was born in Germany in 1820.  She moved with her family to Cincinnati where she met and married Meikel.

Meikel came to Indianapolis in 1840.  At the time, the railroad industry had yet to be firmly established, so Meikel engaged in the freighting business and later became a prominent contractor.  With Butch & Pottage, they built Washington Hall, the city’s first large assembly room.

In the shadow of Lucas Oil Stadium in the southwest quadrant of the city

He later bought the Gause & Embery Brewery and became one of the city’s most successful brewers along with Peter Lieber Brewing, C.F. Schmidt Brewing, Casper Maus Brewery and others.  Meikel bought the old Carlisle House on the corner of Washington and California streets and moved the brewery to that location where he built a whiskey distillery.  Originally powered by a single horse, he later installed steam power and switched to brewing beer only. He also helped plan Ransom Place neighborhood, close to his brewery. He died in Indianapolis in 1886.

In the shadow of Lucas Oil Stadium in the southwest quadrant of the city

Today’s street runs through the Babe Denny neighborhood, south of downtown.

Photos courtesy Sergio Bennett

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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.

4 Comments on "What’s in a Name: Meikel Street"

  1. basil berchekas jr October 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm · Reply

    Another one I don’t know much about, but in that near Southside area where one has a lot of streets named after states, like Arizona and so forth, was one of two Carson farms; the other one was further south near Southport; Carson Avenue used to connect them as Carson Road ;the only section of Carson Avenue left is out further on the far South Side; Barth Avenue near Pleasant Run Parkway on the near South Side was named after the early farm family that developed the land as a subdivision; Sutherland Avenue of the near north Side (south of Fall Creek) was named after a prominent farm family who was instrumental in managing the State Fair when it occupied the former Camp Morton; their farm was adjacent and to the north of there; the Sutherland family cemetery was located along what became Millersville Road north of 38th Street, across from the former dairy there. No doubt there are others!

  2. David Brewer October 20, 2012 at 11:13 pm · Reply

    Great information. I never knew the history of the Meikel connection with breweries. Another interesting “what’s in a name” can be found on the west side, near the old Central State. Tibbs Avenue turns into a short street called Sanitarium Street just south of Washington Street. So named for the Mt. Jackson Sanitarium which once stood there.

  3. Sharon Butsch Freeland October 21, 2012 at 1:30 am · Reply

    In the second paragraph’s third sentence, it says: “With Butch [sic] & Pottage, they built Washington Hall, the city’s first large assembly room.” The correct spelling of the first surname mentioned is Butsch.

  4. Stephen Lane September 22, 2016 at 2:00 pm · Reply

    I’m working on a land site study for my public history course. I found a reference map that says Meikel Subdivision at the Northeast corner of Senate Avenue and Ohio St just north of the Capitol building. It is currently a state-owned parking lot. Can you confirm that this is the same John Meikel? It would not be far at all from Ransom Place neighborhood either.

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