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A TIMELINE OF FAITH AND COMMUNITY:

NEAR WESTSIDE, 1830 TO 1995

 

c. 1830

Construction of the National Road (now Washington Street) through Indianapolis stimulates settlement west of White River in a village known as Stringtown.  Another farming community, Mt. Jackson, forms further west.

1848

Indiana Hospital for the Insane (later named Central State Hospital) completed near what is now Washington Street and Tibbs Avenue.

1860

Indianola School founded at Bloomington and Market Streets as a rural Wayne Township school.

1874

Indianapolis Belt Railway is constructed on three sides of the city to consolidate railroad traffic, with a track laid on the west side roughly parallel to Miley Avenue. New industries along the Belt Railway attract English, German, and Irish immigrant workers.

1875

National Malleable Castings locates at northwest corner of Michigan Street and Holmes Avenue.

1880

Benjamin F. Haugh establishes an iron foundry at Belleview Place and Michigan Street.  The town growing up around his business becomes known as Haughville.

1882

Mule-drawn trolleys extend west of White River with turn-around at Mt. Jackson.  Mule barns are built on Washington Street.

1883

The town of Haughville incorporates with a reported population of 283.

1885

William Dana Ewart moves his chain link factory to the area. This company, later known as Link Belt, becomes a major employer in the neighborhood.

 

George Lambert, an agent of National Malleable Castings, recruits Eastern European (particularly Slovenian) immigrants for jobs in Haughville.

1889

Rev. T. H. Thomas and Rev. Harvey Kuhne organize Haughville Christian Church.  Congregation first meets in a schoolhouse until a church is built at Bismarck Avenue and Walnut Street.

1890

Haughville population estimated at 2,100.

1891

Msgr. Francis B. Dowd establishes St. Anthony's Catholic Church at northeast corner of Vermont and Warman Avenue. Congregation is predominantly Irish, many of whom are employed in railroad yards and slaughter and packing houses.

 

Haughville Town Hall and community center built at 519 N. Belleview Place.

 

First Baptist Church of Haughville established.  Congregation meets in a schoolhouse at King Avenue and Walnut Street until 1899.

 

Indianola school in Stringtown rebuilt.   Lauter Memorial Boys Club later established across the street at Greeley and Market.

1892

IPS School 53 built at 440 N. Ketcham Avenue.

1894

Indianapolis Street Railway switches to electric cars and extends service to West Indianapolis.

1897

City of Indianapolis annexes entire near-westside area, including Haughville, Mt. Jackson, and Stringtown.

 

Library branch opens in former Haughville Town Hall.

1898

Fire Station 9 built at 537 N. Belleview Place.

1899

The First Baptist Church of Haughville relocates to a new structure on Germania Avenue and changes its name to Germania Avenue Baptist Church.

 

Old Indianola School, now IPS School 16, expanded.

1900

Wayne Township's population increases by 45 percent, mostly in Haughville and West Indianapolis. Census shows 16 different nationalities in Haughville, with almost half of the residents Slovenian immigrants.  Other immigrant groups include Polish, Irish, German, Macedonians, Hungarians, Greeks, Croatians, Serbians, Italians, and Lithuanians.

 

Slovenes form St. Aloysius Lodge, a social and benefit group known for its devout Catholic membership.

1902

Free Kindergarten opens at Slovenian Hall, providing early education and Americanization programs.

1904

St. Anthony's Catholic Church erects new building at 379 N. Warman Avenue.

1905

Slovenes form Franc Preseren Lodge (socialist-oriented) and St. Joseph Lodge (Catholic).

1906

Holy Trinity Catholic Church established as a Slovene national parish following conflicts with Irish and German Catholics at St. Anthony’s.

1908

West Side Planing Mill, a small lumberyard in the Stringtown area, expands.  Later this business becomes the Capitol Lumber Company.

1909

West Park Christian Church built.

1910

The Disciples of Christ open West Side Mission at Ohio and Koehne Streets.

1911

Holy Trinity's parochial school opens with 54 pupils. Students taught by Sisters of Providence until 1915.

 

Carnegie Library branch 2 built at Mount and Ohio Streets in Hawthorne area.

 

David Parry converts wagon and carriage factory on Washington Street into the Parry Motor Car Company.

1913

Five days of torrential rains bring severe flooding to the west side of Indianapolis, damaging 10,000 homes at an estimated loss of $25 million.  Stringtown is especially devastated.

 

Westside Church of the Nazarene organized with 60 charter members.

1915

Rev. Clarence G. Baker, pastor of the West Park Christian Church, establishes a community newspaper, the West Side Messenger.

 

City builds White River Parkway and levee in aftermath of 1913 flood.

1917

During World War I, Bismarck Avenue renamed Pershing Avenue and Germania Street renamed Belleview Street because of war-time anti-German sentiment. 

 

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church established by African-Americans settling in the neighborhood for wartime jobs.

1918

Slovenian socialists, freethinkers, and anti-clerics form the Slovenian National Home at 729 N. Holmes. Founders intend the social club to provide an alternative to Holy Trinity's religious programming.  The Home offers concerts, plays, sports, cards, beverages, and dances.

1923

Michigan Street Methodist Church founded at 2132 W. Michigan Street.

 

Rev. Clarence G. Baker establishes Hawthorne House, later Hawthorne Community Center.   Rev. Baker gains acclaim for his refusal to accept Ku Klux Klan donations or to allow them to meet at the House.

1924

Christamore House moves to Haughville.  The building was completed in 1926.

1925

Civic League of Haughville forms at Christamore House and successfully pressures municipal authorities to make street improvements.

1926

Grace Lutheran Church operates at Holmes and New York Streets.

1927

Holy Trinity adds new social hall to school, later named Father Lavric Hall.

 

A business group, the West Michigan Street Improvement Association, hosts a festival and parade to celebrate improvements on Michigan Street.

1928

Eighth Christian Church relocates to 14th Street and Belleview Place.

 

George Washington High School built at 2215 W.  Washington Street.

1929

Onset of the Great Depression brings hardships to the community.  Several major employers eventually close, depriving residents of jobs.

1930

General Motors acquires Parry Motor Company.

1936

West Side Jugoslav football team becomes city champions.

 

Fire house 18 built at Washington Street and Warman Avenue.

 

West Side Church of the Nazarene, with membership over 400, builds an addition.

1937

Two of area's large employers, Duesenberg Company (makers of the Duesenberg automobile) and Brown and Ketcham Foundry, close operations.

 

Christamore opens a summer camp and, in conjunction with the Haughville Neighborhood Council, establishes a neighborhood playground.

1938

Holy Trinity begins perpetual Novena weekly observance, the only congregation in city to do so.

1939

Haughville area hosts national Slovene athletic meet.  Hawthorne area hosts annual fall festival.

1940

West Side Mission opens a new chapel at a cost of $8,000 with a seating capacity of 250 persons.

 

Slovenian National Home moves to current location at 10th Street and Warman Avenue.

 

In city W.P.A. recreation tournament, "Phillips' Boys" of Wendell Phillips School 63 wins championships in softball, basketball, volleyball, and track.

1941

United States enters World War II and young men leave area for wartime service.  Industries gear up for wartime production, creating jobs for area residents.  Woodrow Wilson School 75 raises $11,931 in war stamps and bonds to purchase a jeep.

1944

Hawthorne House launches a summer youth camp.

1945

IPS School 63 at 1129 Traub Avenue organizes the first African-American Bluebirds Troop in the city.

 

Light and Life Free Methodist Church organized in area with 45 charter members.

1946

IPS School 63 destroyed by fire.

 

"Hi-Y Boys" of Nathaniel Hawthorne School 50 wins the Southwest Indianapolis championships in basketball and track.

1947

SS. Constantine and Elena Romanian Orthodox Church moves to 3236 W. 16th Street.  Congregation organized in 1910 and originally met at a location east of White River.

1948

Holy Trinity loses national parish standing, becomes a territorial parish.

1949

St. Anthony's Catholic Church opens a new school.

 

Romanian Orthodox Church dedicates a new building at 3237 W. 16th Street.  The new building, valued at $75,000, is of Eastern Oriental style architecture with a copper dome and the altar facing east.

 

Rev. Clarence G. Baker retires after 25 years as director of Hawthorne House.

1951

Holy Trinity opens a new convent that allows the parish to increase the school's teaching staff to eleven.  School attendance is 446.

 

Eighth Christian Church dedicates a new $63,000 building.  Additions include a 350-seat sanctuary, as well as a social and dining room.

 

Christamore House adopts open-door policy, racially integrating all programs. By 1955, the House serves 635 African-American members.  By 1965, nearly 95 percent of members are black. 

 

Christamore staff attempt to start a cooperative neighborhood council, but fail due to lack of  interest by residents.

 

West Side Mission becomes West Side Christian Church.

1952

Rev. C. S. Davies establishes a new General Baptist congregation and purchases the old Memorial Baptist building.

1953

Indianapolis Transit Authority switches from electric cars to buses and maintains vehicles at local car barns.

1954

St. Stephen's Bulgarian Orthodox Church, moves to 3000 W. 16th Street, where the new church includes worship facilities for 300 people, a recreation hall, and a kitchen.

 

Hawthorne House remodeled through efforts of volunteers and the West Washington Street Business and Professional Association.

1955

Carnegie Library at Ohio and Mount Streets closes after 45 years of service.

 

Bill Brown joins Christamore House staff and starts boxing program which eventually trains several national champions.

1956

Light and Life Free Methodist Church launches a campaign for construction of a new building at 14th Street and Tibbs Avenue.  Membership is 295.

 

As increase in juvenile delinquency in the area is noted, Christamore expands boxing program and starts a day nursery.

 

Peak year for Holy Trinity membership at 2,250.

1957

West Side Christian Church, 1520 W. Ohio Street, destroyed by fire.

1958

West-side Teen-Age Association meets at Christamore House.

1959

Haughville natives elected to top offices in local elections: Charles Boswell (Mayor), Phillip Bayt (Prosecutor), and Robert O'Neal (Sheriff).

1961

West Side Christian Church, 1520 W. Ohio Street, opens its new $50,000 building.

 

Teenage gangs disrupt programs at Christamore House, which institutes Multi-Problem Family Program.

 

West Michigan Street Businessmen's Association cooperates with Christamore House to collect money to clothe fifty children.

1962

National Malleable and Steel Castings Co. closes after almost a century of operation. Buildings demolished later that year to make way for new commercial development.  Former Link Belt buildings also demolished--now all local foundries are closed.

 

Redevelopment project announced to remake abandoned industrial section of Haughville into a modern retail business district, including a Kroger supermarket and Super-X drugstore.

1963

Haughville Community Council established, meeting monthly at Christamore House.

 

Washington High School's overcrowded student population of 2,800 is relieved by the creation of Northwest High School.

 

Greater Whitestone Missionary Baptist Church organized.

 

Fire station 9, area's original facility, closes.

1964

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church constructs building at 761 N. Sheffield Avenue

 

Western Star Missionary Baptist congregation founded.

 

Three interracial shootings alert residents to growing racial problems in the area.

1966

St. Anthony's Catholic Church celebrates its 75th anniversary.

1967

Concord Village public housing project built in two sections along Concord Street and north of Michigan Street.  Many residents see it as an unwelcome intrusion, and an arsonist burns part of the development during its construction.

 

Christamore House youth and social service programs expand to include job training, voter education, interpretive dance, senior shopping trips, religious education, and drug counseling.

 

Holy Trinity discontinues annual festival because of increasing problems with crime.

1969

George McGinnis leads Washington High School Continentals to second state boy's basketball championships.

1972

Belleview branch library closes.

1973

Holy Trinity starts child daycare.

 

IPS School 16 in Stringtown closes due to declining enrollments.

 

Christamore House and the Haughville Community Council submit a proposal to the city in January asking for $150,000 to improve area housing and counsel residents on housing problems.

1974

West Side Cooperative Organization (WESCO) formed. City publishes the Near-Westside Subarea Plan, which notes a slow, but steady deterioration in quality of neighborhood housing.

 

Eighth Christian Church merges with Seventh Christian and relocates outside the neighborhood on west 30th Street.

 

Salvation Army, on 1309 W. Market Street in southeast Stringtown, plans $100,000 expansion and renovation project on the site of the former Lauter Boys Club.

1975

Hawthorne Community Center, 201 N. Belleview Place, destroyed by fire.

 

Area's first medical center, South West Health Center, is built and soon flooded with patients.

1976

Dropping enrollments force Holy Trinity School to consolidate with St. Anthony's and other local parish schools into All Saints school.  Vacated Holy Trinity school buildings house Parks and Recreation programs and the convent becomes the home of the Social Ministries Office of the Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

1977

Greater Whitestone Missionary Baptist relocates to Concord and North, former location of Pilgrim Church.

1978

Seventh-Day Adventists relocate from Prospect Street to 1718 W. 15th Street and open the Better Living and Community Services Center.  The center operates a number of health programs and a disaster relief van.

 

Hawthorne Community Center rebuilt after fire through local fund raising and a grant from the Indianapolis Foundation.

1979

Haughville-Near-Westside area is designated a "treatment area" for federal community development funds.

1980

Holy Trinity institutes a senior day-care program.

1981

Implementation of school desegregation plan sends westside students to schools outside their neighborhood.  Haughville's three remaining elementary schools close.

1982

City planners update the "Near-Westside Subarea Plan" and report that 80 percent of homes require rehabilitation.  About 47 percent of homes are rental units owned by absentee landlords.  There are only two family physicians and two drugstores in the area. Existing parks lack adequate facilities, and development of small retail business is at a standstill.

 

Western Star Missionary Baptist Church building dedicated at corner of Ketcham Avenue and St. Clair Street.

1983

New fire station, opened at 10th and Elder Streets, replaces services of 9 Station closed in 1963.

1984

Seventy residents living in the area bounded by Bloomington Street, Washington Street, and White River lose their homes to the Indianapolis Zoo expansion.  Rainbow Christian Association formed in June by twenty pastors from Haughville, Stringtown, and Hawthorne to represent community interests in the face of the White River Park development.

1985

Christamore House nominated to National Register of Historic Places, and a major renovation is completed.

1986

WESCO, the Haughville Community Council, and Christamore establish the Westside Community Development Corporation (WCDC).

 

New Christamore House programs include:  GED and job tutoring, Christamore House Achievement Program preparing area youth for college, emergency assistance, a preschool, after school and sports programs.

1987

After three years of negotiations by WESCO, Haughville Park is dedicated on the site of the former town hall.

 

Project Home paints 21 local houses with the help of 300 volunteers during its third annual Saturday event.

1988

First Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church begins operating at 2447 W. 14th Street, in a former IPS school building that also houses Friendship Westside Charities.

 

Marion County Health Department sponsors well baby and dental clinics at Christamore House.

1989

Merchants Bank closes its branch bank at 2134 W. Washington Street, leaving the community without any major branch banks.  Members of WESCO and Partners for Westside Housing Renewal begin process of attracting another bank to the area.

 

Christian Faith Missionary Baptist Church established at 702 N. Holmes Avenuein an old storefront.

1990

WESCO revitalizes block clubs in Haughville, Stringtown, and Hawthorne.  WESCO also completes a beautification program of seventy new trees on Belmont Street, and supports the relocation of Indianapolis Police Department IV headquarters to old School 52.

 

Michigan Street Methodist congregation merges with Mount Olive United Methodist Church, moving out of the neighborhood to 1449 S. High School Road.

 

Christamore House creates Social Development Department to focus programming on enhancing self esteem and positive values of area youth.

1991

When a new 500 Mini-Marathon route passes through the near westside, the community provides a water station and sponsors a neighborhood fair at the race's conclusion.

 

Neighbors for Historic Haughville organize and sponsor a Slovene Food Fest.

 

Haughville area spotlighted during Historic Preservation Week.

 

St. Anthony's Catholic Church celebrates its centennial.

1992

City planners designate the near westside area as "area of special need" as part of Mayor Steven Goldsmith's Better Neighborhoods initiative.  The $190,000 grant, a combination of federal, local, and private funds, permits recruitment and training of community leaders and underwrites a multi-faceted program improving area social services and living standards.  Concord Village receives a 3-year, $6.6 million rehabilitation.  IPD establishes a substation in the Village.

 

A section of Haughville is placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1993

City announces “Operation Weed and Seed,” with a promised $16.3 million over three years to eliminate criminal activity and renew human services and economic development initiatives.

 

Christamore House adopts a new mission statement that refocuses its programming to become more of a community center rather than a social service agency.  Nonetheless, the clinics,outreach programs, child care, educational support, employment assistance, pre-school, and teen and senior programs continue.

 

Stringtown Neighborhood Association Council organized.

1994

With input from neighborhood leaders, city planners adopt the Near-Westside Housing Improvement and Neighborhood Plan.

 

WCDC celebrates its 10-year anniversary; during its history the organization has completed 40 units, 4 of which were built from scratch, and assisted over 200 homeowners.

 

The city targets the area straddling the old Big Four railroad tracks for renewal.  After declaring it a blighted area, the city will buy the properties and either demolish or improve them.

 

As a result of neighborhood protests, the license of a 500 Liquor store on 10th Street is revoked.

 

Central State Hospital closed.

 

Fire Station 18 rebuilt on original site in Hawthorne area.

1995

Despite neighborhood opposition, George Washington High School closes, leaving the area with only one public grammar school and one parochial school.

 

Indianapolis Prosecutor's office assigns a special community prosecutor to serve the Haughville and Stringtown area as part of a city pilot program.

 

WESCO announces a $37 million plan for neighborhood revitalization in the near west side, including a retail and industrial projects, replacement of two public housing complexes, and funding for social service programs.

 


 
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