The Stately House on Sanders



The Stately House on Sanders is a classic example of Craftsman architecture with a local twist. Built between 1902-1904 by a German immigrant family, this home has borne witness to deaths, marriages, unique innovations, and more.


In the 1890s, an influx of German immigrants built houses on the recently platted developments in the Bates-

Hendricks neighborhood. This was followed by churches and commercial enterprises along East Street. Housing development continued well into the 1920s, which resulted in the large number of Craftsman style homes in the area.


We dug into the home’s unique past to uncover the stories of those who called this house home before its beautiful renovation.


Sanders Street was built by Martin Stumpf, a German immigrant who arrived in Indianapolis at the turn of the century. A building permit announcement was made in March 1902 in the Indiana Tribune, a German language newspaper exclusively catering to the German immigrant population of Indianapolis.

In April of 1906, Sanders Street was at the center of sensational international news. Ralph Trimble Morse, a direct descendent of Samuel Morse, was 15 years old and living in the home with his family. He successfully constructed a homemade wireless telegraphy machine, which he used to communicate with a friend of his who lived several hundred feet away.

By 1909, the house appears to have been occupied by the Burke family, and Miss Ida Burke entertained meetings of the B.E.S. Club at Sanders Street. The 1914 Sanborn Map depicts Sanders as a two story, single family dwelling with a single story front porch and back porch.

In September of 1941, the home was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Brand and witnessed a joyous wedding breakfast for their daughter Helen and her new husband Otto Nielsen. The bride was described as wearing “an ivory satin gown...her circular veil of fingertip length and falling from a coronet of orange blossoms”.