Monthly Archives: July 2016

Notes:Marmon Motor Car Co., Meridian Hills Development Co., the Grand Hotel

Marmon Motor Car Co. This set of papers date from June 14, 1907 to July 31, 1935, and consists of reorganization papers and Annual Domestic Corporation Reports. The papers state that the company was incorporated on June 24, 1876; extended on June 26, 1913; and reorganized on May 27, 1931. The original directors were: Walter C. Marmon – b. 1872, President; Howard C. Marmon – b. 1877, Secretary; Charles C Hauch – b. 1868, treasurer; Elizabeth C. Marmon – b.1849, mother of Walter & Howard and wife of Daniel W. Harmon. Daniel, b. 1845, had joined the Nordyke company, which manufactured milling machinery, in 1866. His sons, Walter & Howard, built their first automobile in 1902.  Their factory was at 1101 W. Morris St., Indianapolis. The Marmon Wasp, built and driven  by Marmon Co. engineer Ray Haroun, won the first Indianapolis 500 automobile race in 1911. The Marmon Motor Car Co. produced luxury autos and stopped production in the mid-1930s due to the Depression.

Meridian Hills Development Co., incorporated from April 23, 1915 to 1925, and its office was located at 506  Lombard Building. “The objective of the formation and promotion of this corporation is to buy, sell and lease lands, buildings and other structures thereon, and to erect dwellings and other buildings or structures on lands leased or purchased, including the conduct of a publicity campaign to aid in the development and sale of the real estate which may be held by said corporation or others.” Meridian Hills is a two- square mile development of 715 upper-middle class homes on the north side of Indianapolis. The town of Meridian Hills was incorporated in 1937. According to its Wikipedia website: “residential construction began in the town in the early 1920s”. The Development Company’s directors were: Edward J. Robison -b. 1856, coal company operator; Edward D. Kingsbury – b.1868, an Irvington resident, fertilizer manufacturer; Bert G. Boyd – b. 1872, grain broker; Edward G. Hereth – b. 1870, V.P. of a piano company; Walter S. Johnson – b. 1867, real estate agent; Harry L. Robbins – b.1884, real estate agent; J. Edward Morris – b.1881, real estate agent.

The Grand Hotel Company, incorporated on September 20, 1892. The purpose of the company was “the carrying on of a hotel known as the ‘Grand Hotel’.”This luxury hotel was located on the southeast corner of Maryland and Illinois Streets. The site originally was the Mason Hotel, built in the 1850s, but was extensively remodeled and renamed the Grand Hotel in 1875. This hotel became the headquarters for the local Democrat Party for many years. A Steak N Shake restaurant is now at that location, and is across the street from the entrance to the Circle Centre Mall. The incorporators in 1892 were: William Foor – proprietor of the hotel; Chester C. Foor – a clerk at the hotel; David B. Brenneke – proprietor of a dancing acadamy at 82 1/2 N. Pennsylvania Ave. and lived at the hotel; Robert G. Harseim – manufactured overalls at 202 S. Meridian St.; William B. Armendt – a dentist living in Owensboro, Kentucky. A few years later Tom Taggart, the  Democratic Mayor of Indianapolis, became the owner of the Grand Hotel.



NOTES: Mais Motor Truck Co., Lyman Bros. Art Store; the Lyra Casino

Mais Motor Truck Company, located at Lasalle & the Belt R.R., Indianapolis, 1911 – 1914 ; “to manufacture, buy, sell, import, export and otherwise deal in carriages, wagons, cars, trucks, automobiles, motorcycles, launches and flying machines”. According to “The Old Motor Car” website “two fires at the [Indianapolis] plant and other factors ended with the company  entering into receivership and ultimately being sold by the courts. The largest part of the firm was bought by the Premier Automobile Co. [also made in Indianapolis].  Franklin Vonnegut was the company’s receiver. The company’s directors were: Albert F. Mais – engineer, b. 1885 in Germany, immigrated in 1895 to Chicago, he later became a building contractor in Wisconsin; Alfred W. Markham – b. 1883 and d. 1920, engineer. Charles Fisher – car salesman; Emory W. Spenser – b. 1886 in Michigan, graduated from University of Wisconsin, accountant, the 1920 Federal Census listed him as a prisoner in the Wisconsin State Prison, d. 1921. “Automobile Topics”, 1910, Vol. 28, p. 816 listed Mais as working for the Studebaker Corporation in Detroit, Michigan. He also belonged to the Society of Automobile Engineers in Indianapolis along with Harry C. Stutz and Howard Marmon, Elwood Haynes in Kokomo, IN, and Fred S. Duesenburg in Des Moines, Iowa.

Lyman Bros. January 6, 1908 to 1932; “buying, selling and trading in pictures, portraits, picture moldings and materials, glass and mirrors; and also to cut, make and manufacture such pictures, frames and moldings and other such articles of merchandise sold and handled in connection thereof”. Originally their store was located at 203 N. Delaware St., but in 1913 they moved to 223-225 E. Ohio St. In 1933 they relocated to 14 E. Washington St. and began to exhibit works by local painters at their art gallery. The Lyman Bros. Art Store was very popular and they stayed at this location till they closed in the early 1980s. The original directors were: William Lyman – b. 1870 in Hungary and immigrated to the U.S. in 1890; Joseph Lyman – b. 1877 in Hungary/Germany and  also immigrated to the U.S. in 1890; Benjamin Lyman – b. 1869 in Hungary/Germany and immigrated to the U.S. in 1884, In 1932 the company’s directors were: Benjamin Lyman – President; Damian Lyman,b. 1905 in Indiana, V.P; Carl Lyman – b. 1898 in New York, sec-treas, Benjamin’s son; Ottilie Lyman – b. 1872 in Hungary/Germany, Benjamin’s wife.

Lyra Casino, incorporated February 3, 1892 to 1900. “The object of the association shall be the social, mental and physical development of its members.” The directors were Otto Stechan – owned the Otto Stechan & Co. which made Lounges and Parlor Furniture; Carl Van Hake – president of the Indianapolis Coffin Co.; Charles Krause – bookkeeper at the Vonnegut Hardware Store; John Wocher – owner of an investment company; George A. Dickson – proprietor of the Grand, Park and English’s Opera Houses; Frank Bachman – a provision dealer in Chicago; Frank A. Maus – V.P. and treasurer of the Indianapolis Brewing Co.

by Robert F. Gilyeat, an Indiana State Archives volunteer