On August 11, 1897, James M. & Delia P. Risley sold the house by Warranty Deed to Mary A. Thomas; Mary E. Miller, Frank W. Miller and Bertha M. Morrison.
Mary A. Thomas died on or about June 9, 1898 as appears by affidavit of Bertha M. Hooper recorded in Misc. Record 111, page 558, which is shown in a subsequent continuation to the abstract of title.
NOTE: No letters of administration issued in the Clerk’s office of Marion County, Indiana, upon an estate of Mary A. Thomas, deceased. No will of said decedent filed for probate in said County.
March 29, 1900: Frank W. Miller and Belle Miller, his wife; Mary E. Miller and Charles E. Miller, her husband; Bertha M. Hooper and Harry Hooper (signed & acknowledged Henry H. Hooper) her husband to Silas F. Fleece.
The 4 items above are all part of the Abstract.
Since Mary Thomas, Mary Miller & Frank Miller are such common names, I decided to see what all I could find on Bertha Morrison first. During the time Bertha lived in the house, she had married Henry H. Hooper becoming Bertha M. Hooper. They were married in April 1899 in Indianapolis. Their 1900 Census shows that Bertha had 2 sons by a previous marriage, Ralph Morrison born in 1879 and Clarence Morrison born in 1884. Then I found an obituary in the December 9,1918 Indianapolis Star for Charles Miller. Bertha Hooper is listed as his daughter. His address is 1143 College Avenue. So Bertha is really Bertha Miller Morrison Hooper.
Searching on Bertha Miller in the 1870 Census, I found Mary Carpenter born 1816 along with Mary born 1844, Frank born 1863 & Bertha born 1869, all Millers. The date for Bertha is consistent. So it appears that Mary E. and her children are living with who may be Mary A Carpenter (Thomas). Which gives us Mary A., Mary E., Frank & Bertha, the same as is on the Abstract except the last name for Mary A doesn’t match.
And then we hit pay dirt. In the 1880 US Census, we find William Thomas, 69, and wife Mary A. Thomas, 65. They are with the Millers: stepdaughter Mary E., 38, and boarders Charles E., 44, Frank, 17 and Bertha, 11. The "boarders" are obviously Mary E's husband & children. So we do have validation that this group is really 3 generations of the same family. The grandmother, Mary A. Thomas passed away 10 months after they purchased the house. She had $60,000 listed as the value of her real estate in 1870. Twenty one months later, the children sold the property to Silas Fleece.
In the 1915 & 1916 Indianapolis City Guides, Bertha Hooper is listed as the widow of Harry H. and is living at 1143 College Avenue, her father’s old house.
This takes us up to 1900, when the house was just 25 years old. If you are interested in more information & pictures regarding what Irvington was like during the early 1900's, go to http://vintageirvington.blogspot.com/. Bill has some extraordinary pictures and stories of the Irvington community at the turn of the century. One of our next blogs will be about the Silas Fleece family. This is one of my favorite Horner House families, probably because they live there for a relatively long time.