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.
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.
Today’s street runs through the Babe Denny neighborhood, south of downtown.
Photos courtesy Sergio Bennett
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!
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.
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.
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.
I grew up just yards from the park. Our house was in the 900 block of Senate Ave. That is the same John Meikel. My family lived in that neighborhood for nearly a century until I 70 displaced nearly the entire community.
Thank you. I had thought the street was named after Harry O. Meikel who also owned the area. For a good read- “Harvest Fields of Death”, a civil war book including his son George W. Meikel’s participation.