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