What’s in a Name – The Kemper, Pierson-Griffiths, or Wedding Cake House

Written by on March 17, 2014 in What’s in a Name? - 2 Comments
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Kemper House or (Pierson-Griffiths House)
Location:  St. Joseph Historic District, Delaware Street
Right Reverend. Jackson Kemper, Indiana first Episcopal Bishop
Charles Clark Pierson, the owner of a dental supply company originally built this house as a wedding gift for his wife, Mary Alice Scofield in 1873.  They lived in the home for about nine months before selling it.  Another owner who has lent his name to the house was John Griffiths, a noted orator who served in the Indiana House of Representatives and as a general consul in Liverpool and London. He owned the house from 1897 to 1914.
After a string of subsequent owners, the house was saved from demolition by local philanthropist Eli Lilly, who bought the house in 1962 and donated it to the Episcopal diocese of Indianapolis, who named it for the Right Reverend David Jackson Kemper, Indiana’s first Episcopal Bishop.  A native of New York and a graduate of Columbia College, Kemper was ordained a priest and spent 20 years as an assistant to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in America.
Rt. Rev. David Jackson Kemper

Right Reverend David Jackson Kemper

Kemper, who had been a pastor in Connecticut, was assigned as the Church’s first missionary bishop and was assigned to Indiana, Missouri and other midwestern states. During his 14 years as the bishop of the Indiana diocese, he created 23 parishes throughout the state, inlcluding Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis. Kemper pushed for a full-time bishop for the area. He later founed a mission in Wisconsin to train young clergymen.
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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.

2 Comments on "What’s in a Name – The Kemper, Pierson-Griffiths, or Wedding Cake House"

  1. Jim McBride February 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm · Reply

    Love to see Kemper-House on my visit to Indy in May. Address?

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