Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Logansport, IN's Flatiron Building

Logansport, Indiana's "flatiron" building stood on a triangle of property bordered by E. Market, Fifth Street and Erie Avenue. The address was listed in the city directories as 505 E. Market Street.

It was built in 1889 by John Barnes and son James I. Barnes. Barnes' offices were on the ground floor. Apartments and other offices occupied space above. 

Almost all of the clubs in town met there, including Knights of Pythias. In fact, the Knights of Pythias bought the building in 1908. They paid $18,500.00 for it. This money was raised by a sale of stock among the K of P members. They kept the apartments and rented some office space, but they used most of the building for themselves.

Pool and billiard rooms and lodge rooms were "fitted out" according to the newspaper article in the day.

Some tenants over time included Dr. David Delzell's office, Bridge City Piano Company, Holland Furnace Company and apartment dwellers Lena Hooley, who was a milliner and Alice Kennedy who was a nurse.

Flatiron building can be seen, flags flying, left side of picture, Photo date 1919.

1952 Photo

In the 1950's to the 1970s AFL_CIO owned and occupied the building along with Hershberger Heating Company.

In the 1970s a young couple named Gary and Cindy Elvers rented the ground floor, front area, for their business, "Elvie's Records". 

Above: Erie Avenue (or south side) of the building.

October 27, 1976 Fire

Overloaded electric lines was determined to be the cause of the fire on October 27, 1976, which caused over $200,000 worth of damage. Soon after the building was condemned and considered to be dangerous according to city officials and construction crew men.

The building was razed in 1977 by Wolf Construction Company. A Spokesperson for the labor union was quoted in the newspaper report indicating that there were no immediate plans for rebuilding on the property.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Charles D. Chase & Chase Building

CHARLES D. CHASE (1881-1939)

At the time of his death on October 28, 1939 the local newspaper described Charles D. Chase as a “prominent mortician, businessman, and leading citizen of Logansport”. He suffered a stroke at his farm home, north of town, and was transported to the hospital, but passed away. He was 58.

To hundreds of young men he was respected and endeared for the years of hard work and effort he gave to the growth and development of the Boy Scout movement in Logansport and the creation of the Logansport Boy Choir, which later became known as the Chase Boys’ Choir.

He was the son of distinguished pioneers. Judge Dudley Chase was his father, and like his father, Charles etched his name deeply into the community history by his deeds and accomplishments. He was born at the Chase homestead, 829 North Street, on September 27, 1881, to Dudley and Grace M. (Corey) Chase. He married Goldie Davis on November 16, 1919.

Dudley Chase, father of Charles D. Chase

He was attracted to the work of the fire department and worked with the department under Rex Livingston.

Charles had a great love of horses. His first business venture was in the livery stable and feed business at a location on North Street in about the 500 block, on the north side of that street. The Star Laundry would operate from that location later.

Charles entered an Indianapolis embalming school, graduating from there in 1906. He worked at the Kroeger and Strain Funeral Home, which was located at 615 E. Broadway in those days. In 1910 he founded the Chase funeral home. His first undertaking business was located on Pearl Street. By 1923 business had grown and he purchased the Sutton Building at 527 E. Broadway. The first floor was for his business. The upper floor offered apartments. Merrill D. Miller became an associate. Miller was only 17 years old when he began work there. By 1931 Miller had become financially involved and on January 1, 1935 the company name was officially changed to Chase and Miller Funeral Home.

Chase building - Chase-Miller Funeral Home and Apartments

It was in 1915 that Charles became a scout master for the first Boy Scout troop in Logansport. By the end of 1919 there were over 400 registered and active Boy Scouts in the city of Logansport.

In 1916 he organized the first all boy choir. Charter members included Robert Porter, Julius Mattes, Joe Gremelspacher, Richard Lynas, Alfred Gust, Clyde Byers, Glen Vance, Fred Herrell, Fred Lewellyn, Don Powlen, Tom Maiben, Norman Six, Lynus Olson and W. H. Duncan. The choir became known nationally. They toured the Midwest and appeared in the largest theaters in some of the largest cities of the area.
Chase Boys Choir

He was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Knights of Pythias, he was a Shriner, a member of Elks and I. O. O. F., and more.  His interest in Civil War veterans was manifested all through his life and he personally knew all members of the G.A.R. during the last forty years.

He bought the Thomas Spry farm northeast of the city where he built up one of the outstanding dairy herds in this part of the state. His stables housed horses and ponies, selected personally.

He was active in his church, in fraternal circles, and civic and industrial life until the final days of his own life.

He added a chapel to the east side of his business. The upper floors were apartments, which remained rented until close to demolition time in 1970, when the building was purchased by Logansport Newspapers.

The above photos: Chase added a chapel to the east side of his funeral home. 

In January of 1970 the Chase Building was torn down.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Albert H. Douglass - HS Football

I came across an interesting article the other day and with this being the season for football, it seemed fitting to share this on the blog. Read on...

Albert H. Douglass began his teaching career in 1879 in Bethlehem Twp. He became Supt. of Logansport Public Schools. His wife Elizabeth and their children lived at 1219 Market, according to the 1899-1900 city directory. This is his photo in the 1909 Tattler.

This is the LHS 1909 football team. In 1911 Supt. Douglass was quoted “the life of football (here) and elsewhere in the state is about to be wiped from the list of HS sports. It was disband in Lafayette and at Marion; HS boys should not play football. It is a man’s game”. 11/22/1911 Logansport Daily Pharos.

Logansport Journal, November 22, 1911, page 1:

This is Albert H. Douglass Jr. LHS class 1912. He and friends John Bishop, Murray Epsy, Wm Kraut, Forest Plank and Harry Shafer came close to losing an entire term of work at school - punishment for painting the 1912 class numerals in and outside of the school. “One of the boys told his girlfriend and she couldn’t keep a secret”. By the way - Albert Jr. played football.

This is Albert H. Douglass and Elizabeth; an image used on a "real postcard" for their Christmas greeting card. Here are the front and the back of the postcard.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

The Little White House 1960

The Little White House was built in Logansport in 1960 as a symbol of Logansport's friendship for the men of the Bunker Hill Air Force base. 

Credited with the idea to build and donate such a structure were Forest Spencer and Lester Johnston, who became Chairman and Secretary, respectively, of the entire “operation”. 

Forest Spencer

Plans for the building were drawn by Richard Wolf. Walter Noakes, Sec. of the Carpenters Union assisted. Construction began in the Wolf Const. Quonset hut on the west side of town, mid August, 1960. Foundation in front of the Barnes Building - Captain Logan Hotel on E. Broadway was laid by Jack Wolf. All materials were donated by 19 businesses from Logansport, Royal Center, Lucerne, Walton and Monticello.

Six hundred hours of labor was donated by members of 8 unions through the cooperation of Building Trades Council headed by Gleason Bundy of Royal Center. 

The cornerstone was laid Sept. 1 at 8:15 p.m. with Mayor Neumann, Forest Spencer and Col. Vincent Crane present; at 10 p.m. a large crane and a truck carrying the main structure arrived, behind them was a line of trucks carrying the columns, floor, roof and other parts of the portico.

At midnight Lester Pottenger, donor of the landscaping, began spreading the trucked in dirt around the structure and planting bushes, assisted by several members of the local Garden Club. Onlookers pitched in; washing the windows and etc. 

Congressman Charles A. Halleck donated an American flag that had flown over the U S capitol on July 4, 1906, the day that the 50 star flag became official. 

Above: Congressman Charles A. Halleck, not wearing a hat.

The Little White House was moved to the Air Base and served as headquarters for "Operation Hospitality"; set on a permanent foundation and used as the reception center and family services office. 

October 25, 1961 news clip

The Commander’s wife expressed sincere thanks for the new headquarters, explaining that 65 volunteer wives of airmen and officers devote 25 hours per month each to the Family Services organization, formed in 1954 to assist airmen and their families. They planned to use one half of the building for an office and the other half for a reception lounge to be known as the “Hoover—Truman Lounge”.

The last news about the Little White House is that it was falling apart. There were those who hoped it would be saved, but I've yet to see a report that someone has saved it. I would venture to say that the building lasted much longer than anyone expected, but that's just my opinion. Thanks for checking in!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Cass County Tornado 1960

Logansport Pharos Tribune July 5, 1960

The Logansport street department, working around the clock to clear the debris from the city's streets, will clear tree limbs from the street and sidewalks back to the property line, according to the department's announcement Tuesday. It is the property owner's responsibility to clear away fallen and broken limbs on their lots and they are asked to avoid pulling the debris into the| gutter and street in front of their property.

Many property owners asked for clarification of the city's attitude after crews with saws had cut trees from lawns and tugged them to the curb and street.

Will Ball, local historian, reported that Sunday's, storm was Logansport's worst in 119 years. The last comparable damage here occurred in 1841 when a tornado took the roof off of the courthouse.

The storm came out of the north and traveled a southeasterly direction, coming at Logansport down from Royal Center, hitting Logansport at College Hill then swooping down into the west side and cutting across toward Eel River Avenue. The path was wide enough to do damage as far as Tenth Street. 

Then it traveled on down Cass County to uproot trees in all of the towns between Logansport and Kokomo.

Logansport Pharos Tribune witness account.

 Eel River Avenue aka "Banker's Row"
 Eel River Avenue
Eel River Avenue
Eel River Avenue is at the western end of E. Broadway, Logansport.

The area between High and North Streets, on Tenth Street was also heavily hit.

Storm damage in Walton, Lincoln and Galveston was limited to uprooted trees.

Two businesses and one residence in Royal Center experienced damages due to fallen trees. The town was without electricity for five hours and telephone lines were down. Several barns were heavily damaged and on the farm of Edward Beckley, a silo was blown over.

Pharos Tribune, July 5, 1960 clip.

Cass, Miami and White Counties were all affected by this storm. It left two dead, twenty injured and around two million dollars in damage.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The D M Watts Building

Schrader’s Auto Store – “D M Watts 1901” engraved at top of building
116-120 S. Sixth Street, Logansport, IN

Logansport City Directory  Listings:
1897-98 - Daniel M. Watts sells agricultural Implements
1899-1900 – Daniel M. Watts same as above listing
1911 – Daniel (& his son) Harry E. Watts now sell agri. Implements, buggies AND automobiles
1915 – 116-120 S. Sixth also has apartment listings (names of people living in second floor apts.) Note: The Watts’ lived on Helm Street.
1926 – Harry E. Watts “battery service”
1930 – H. E. Watts agri. Implements, buggies

1939---Miller Motor Sales located at this address

1941 - Miller Motor Sales

Above clipping - Logansport Pharos Tribune, August 3, 1901

Above clipping from the Logansport Pharos Tribune also 1901.

2017 view as building is being prepared to house Legacy Outfitters and Black Dog Coffee. 

March 8, 1900
Logansport Pharos Tribune
At a late hour last night the boys at the North street engine house were wakened from their slumbers and informed by a resident of that locality that a stove in the agricultural ware rooms, owned by D. M. Watts, just north of Maurice's butcher shop, was burning at full blast and that there was danger of the building being set on fire by the overheated stove. One of the boys quickly donned his wearing apparel and went to the scene where he found a red hot stove, which would no doubt have been the means of setting the building on fire. The gas was turned off by the firemen, and this morning Mr. Watts was informed of the affair. He informed the fire boys that he is positive he turned down the gas before leaving and is under the impression that someone else, who has no right, carries keys to the building, and that they probably entered the building and turned on the fire in order to warm themselves. Mr. Watts says a careful watch will be kept for the individuals and if caught they will be given the full benefit of the law.

1917 – Obituary for Daniel M. Watts, for many years a dealer in agricultural Implements in Logansport, died this morning at 4:30 at his home, 921 Helm street, aged 61 years, death being due to diabetes, from which he had been a sufferer from a long time but which did not become acute until about two weeks ago, when he was compelled to relinquish his business. Mr. Watts was the son of William and Elizabeth (Daily) Watts and was born in Noble Township, Cass County January 2, 1856. He is survived by his wife, one daughter, Mrs. Alice Patterson, and three sons, William N. H. Watts, Ernest Watts and Harry E. Watts, all of this city. Deceased was a member of Eel Hirer lodge I. 0. 0. F., Purity Rebekah lodge, Woodmen of the World and the Ninth Street Christian Church.