1968 BRHS History Booklet - Chapter Nine
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Chapter Nine

Farmer shakes jail

Broad Ripple Village saw great advancement in the business field at the turn of the century.

In 1887, the Kingan Meat Packing Company built several ice houses on the river bank just east of the Monon tracks. The company chose this site because the ice froze hard here at the widest part of White River. The houses were approximately 40' by 200', had no windows, and were connected to White River by ramps on which the ice from the river was carried. The ice houses were a source of employment for the men of Broad Ripple who cut the ice on White River in the winter and stored it in the houses for use in the summer to preserve the meat at the Kingan Plant.

The ice was usually cut when it was about 9" thick. Area boys would then drag the cut ice up to the store houses on the river bank. The blocks were packed in sawdust to keep them separated. In the spring, the ice blocks were hauled by flat cars to the Kingan Plant in downtown Indianapolis. The business was operated by a man named Brady until February 2, 1902, when the ice houses burned down.

In the late 1880's or early 1890's, a jail was built in the community on the northeast corner of Winthrop and Broad Ripple avenues. This small 5' by 12' by 7' one-room brick and wood structure, complete with barred windows, was built to house weekend rowdies who came to Broad Ripple. John Morganson, the first town marshal, kept the offenders behind bars during the weekend until they could be tried in court on Monday. The last two Broad Ripple marshals prior to the town's annexation were Thomas Medsker and Robert DeVault.

The great flood of April 1913 swept away the jail roof and weakened the foundations. Even though the roof was repaired soon after, it was not to remain for long. Bob Burford, a 6' 7" farm hand, indignant about being jailed for drunkenness and disturbing the peace, began to shake the jail's rafters until the roof broke loose from its mounting boards. In 1932, after time and decay had destroyed the remains of the Broad Ripple jail, the lot where it stood was cleared.

In 1903, Hershel Brenemann opened the Brenemann House, a chicken dinner restaurant, at 6240 North Bellefontaine (Guilford Avenue). In 1920, it was sold and the building was razed. The land was then converted into a parking lot and later was purchased by the Kroger Grocery Company.

Elmer Hitchcock opened a photoengraving concern on Broad Ripple Avenue in 1908. It was sold 12 years later to make room for Zivien's, Broad Ripple's first department store. Just prior to the 1910's, the Buddenbaum Lumber Company was built where the Broad Ripple Lumber Company now stands.

Broad Ripple was serviced by two telephone exchanges. One was located on the present site of the Broad Ripple Library and was first operated by the five Stegger sisters. The second telephone exchange was located in Dr. Robert Light's grocery store, on Broad Ripple Avenue. Mrs. Imo McKensie was the first switchboard operator. The two companies merged in 1917.

The home of Dr. Robert Light was located where the Roselyn Bakery now stands, and his office was on the site of the present Shell gas station at the corner of College and Broad Ripple Avenue. The home of Dr. Joseph B. Bates, another physician, was located on the site of the present-day Carter Building, on the southwest corner of Guilford and Westfield Boulevard.

Arnholter's harness shop was located on the southeast corner of Guilford and Westfield Boulevard, where Rudy's Liquor Store is today. A barber shop and the office of Dr. Hesler were located south of the harness shop.

A streetcar depot stood on the corner of Broad Ripple and Guilford, where the Pittsburgh Paint Store now stands. In 1914, after the depot was abandoned, George's Restaurant was built in its place.

Other businesses also competed for a part of the Broad Ripple trade. Among these was Kassebaum's grocery, hardware, and drygoods store at 924 East Westfield. Additional businesses were Stewart's Furniture Store, LaRue Heady Grocery, and Jules Medias' Meat Market. In later years the meat market was closed and Jules Medias opened a men's clothing store.

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Cover and Forward
1878 Surveyor's Record of Broad Ripple
Chapter One - Coil Starts Settlement
Chapter Two - Ripple Linked To City
Chapter Three - Canal Creates Rivalry
Chapter Four - Villages Start Schools
Chapter Five - Religious Life Grows
Chapter Six - Social Life Develops
Chapter Seven - Canal Villages Thrive
Chapter Eight - Trolleys Aid Travel
Chapter Nine - Farmer Shakes Jail (current page)
Chapter Ten - Floods Ravage Town
Chapter Eleven - Park Attracts Visitors
Chapter Twelve - BRHS Joins City
Chapter Twelve - Errata
Chapter Thirteen - City Annexes Village

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