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To the Editor of the Courier, August 20, 1885
Starting from Main Street (now Jefferson Street) going westward on the right the engine house (the old Fairplay Fire Company), and the Episcopal parsonage (built by Mr. James E. Lewis).
Crossing Mulberry Street was a shop in which Mr. Lewis and his workmen plied the hammer, which in time gave way to the residence of Green Johnson (119 East Third) built by Rufus Gale. Proceeding west on the north side of the street is the Jewish Synagogue (earlier, the Old Radical Church) and a little cottage west of it was occupied by Mr. Wasson. Next the double houses of Eviline Page and M. Wilson (105 W. Third), next comes the old Second (Presbyterian) Church (on the corner of Third & West Streets).Crossing West Street is the house owned many years ago by Mr. Kavanaugh built by James E. Lewis in 1851 and at one time was owned by Jesse Bright and was the residence of his brother, George. Where the engine house now stands was an empty lot. The house owned and occupied by Mr. Graham was built in 1833 by Mr. Duffy (210 West Third). It was once the home of Mr. Edwin Barbour, who supplied much of Indiana with clocks. Next was the Shillito home (118 West Third) and then the Shuh-Bright-Cravens home (Dr. Hutchings offices at 120 West Third). In 1841 there was a little two story brick in which Mr. Shuh resided. In 1844 he removed his family across the street to the house lately occupied by Mrs. Judge Stevens. The author thinks the little brick structure was taken entirely down, but Judge Cravens thinks not (124 West Third).
Crossing Poplar Street the little brick was the only improvement until reaching the house known as the Dougherty house, occupied for several years by Mr. Farnsworth and in 1842 by Mr. Duffy, brother-in-law of James White. In 1841 the improvements between this point and Elm street were two brick residences owned and occupied by Mr. Jesse D. Bright (312 West Third) and Mr. Caleb F. Lodge along with two frame buildings.
Crossing Elm is the residence of Mr. Stanton, then owned by Mr. & Mrs. Beers, father and mother of Mrs. Stanton (402 West Third). Between Elm and Vine there were some little frames which have given way to the present (1885) structures.
Turning south on Vine Street and walking east on the south side of Third Street there were no improvements until you come to the residence of Mr. William Brown, which is now occupied by Mrs. James E. Lewis. Dr. Little built his residence in 1842 (412 West Third).
Crossing Elm Street (going east) is the residence of Mr. D. N. Reid, which in 1841 was owned and occupied by Mr. Wilberforce Lyle and family (424 Elm). From this point the ground was all vacant until reaching the home of Mr. Inskeep which was then owned and occupied by Mr. Stevenson, mother of Judge Cravens and Dr. Goode. Crossing Broadway, was a house in which the late Mr. J. S. Weyer lived and where his first wife died, Miss Agnew of Wheeling. Next we come to the Roger’s homestead, which was built as early as 1830 by Rev. William Twining, of Lowell, Mass.
Crossing Poplar Street we find no improvements until reaching West Street, with the exception of a little brick that stood where Mr. Mullen’s house (117 West Third) now stands, and the house on the corner of the alley known as the old cotton mill and the little brick east of Mr. Hargan’s (109 West Third) but between the years of 1842 and 1843 the whole square was built up as you see it today.
Mr. H. P. Newell was the pioneer of the neighborhood in building. The 10th of March, 1842, the first ground was broken for the foundation of the house now owned by Mr. Hargan, and in which he lives, and July 19th of the same year it was ready for occupancy. Mr. Newell’s family occupied it till April 1865 when they sold it to Mr. Preston Ramsey
In 1843 Mr. John Cowden built the residence now owned by Mrs. Calhoun and which has been occupied since 1869 till within the last two years by Mr. B. F. Baker. Also in 1843 Mr. Martin Mullen built his house (117 West Third) where the family still remains, the only family in the neighborhood that has not made a change. The same year Mr. Barney Birney built the house now owned by Mr. R. W. Hubbard (119 West Third), and Mr. John Verry the double house, where Mr. Gorgas and Mrs. Wilberforce Lyle reside (123 West Third).
Crossing West Street, the corner was vacant. The little brick cottage was then owned and occupied by Mr. D. N. Reid, Sr. The house now owned by Mrs. Moody Park (106 East Third) was built by William McClain and he resided there for several years. In 1866 Mr. Park purchased it. Next is the home of Mr. Sidney Haigh (108 East Third). At this time there was a small brick owned by Mr. Devenish which was purchased by Mr. Frye and the present edifice built. On the corner of Third and Mulberry (427 Mullberry) was the home of Mr. John Lodge, who was killed about 1848 on the Railroad.
As we cross Mulberry we come to the home of Mr. Moffett. It was built as early as 1837 by Mrs. Nancy McKee, Mrs. Moffett’s mother. Also Moody Park once lived here. One more call and we are at our Starting Point. It is the Ritchie house which now seems dove-tailed in on every side. In 1843 it reigned supreme from alley to street and street to alley.
In 1885 Mrs. H. Newell of Indianapolis recalled the buildings that were present on Third Street in 1841. NOTE: Where I could ascertain the house numbers for the various homes mentioned, I have added them in parenthesis.
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