Minnesota Street was constructed in 1875 by a German family in the Bates-Hendricks neighborhood. It is part of the Fenneman subdivision, named after real estate developer Herman W. Fenneman.
We dug into the past behind Minnesota St to uncover the stories of those who called this place home before its beautiful facelift.
In the mid to late 1800s, an influx of German immigrants built houses on the recently platted Fenneman’s neighborhood and Morris addition. We know from tax records and building permits that the house was built circa 1875.
The 1914 Sanborn Map for Indianapolis depicts the house as a 1 ½ story brick dwelling with one story side and rear additions. Throughout the 1920s - 1940s, the property was owned by a succession of German families. In 1955, the house was listed for sale for $5,950. It had 5 rooms plus a bathroom, and apparently was neat and clean.
One former resident in the 1950s was Mr. Jacob Sheldon. He was a carpenter for the New York Central Railroad Shops in Beech Grove. The shops were originally constructed in 1904-1908, servicing a network stretching across the Midwest into Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The facility was used as the company's repair shop for steam locomotives, passenger, and freight cars.
In the 1970s, the property went through a series of owners, and at some point was updated with central AC - which was a big deal in the 70s. The property appears to have been rented for most of the decade before going for sale as a “good starter home” in 1979.
One of the latest owners of the property in the mid-200s was William Wagnon, an Episcopal priest. They were a particularly religious household, as his wife Verity was a minister of the United Church of Christ and the editor of ‘Disciples World’.