Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Abstract & Title – Recap of the First 25 Years

One of our first posts was Horner House History – Part 1. In this post, we gave some high level history that we had come across in the first several months of poking around.

Then we went to a class at the Irvington Library where Joan Hostetler of Heritage Photo gave us some great advice on how to research an old house. And that’s when we hit pay dirt: the Abstract & Title for the property from the beginning of the State of Indiana through the 1940’s. Using this information, we were able to piece together the owners of the property and more importantly, the house.

We discovered that Abraham Horner and Emma Z. Horner, his wife, became the owners of the house in 1875. And in December 1875 and March of 1876, there were more than 20 mechanics liens filed against the property. The house was put up for a Sheriff’s sale later that year and was eventually assigned to the Franklin Insurance Company in November.

After a number of other entries in the Abstract, the property is deeded over to the Horners again in January 1878. After that, there were a number of owners who lived in the house for short periods of time until 1900. The Turrell family lived there for a little over 2 years before selling to the Thompsons. The Thompsons were residents for a little less than 8 years. The next family was Joseph & Victoria Jordan. They lived in the house for about 2 years before selling to the James Risley family.

The Risley’s lived in the house for about 3 ½ years. They did contact us after the blog was published, letting us know that the house was used as a real estate office for Risley & Toon. Best of all, they included a picture of the family from 1900.

The final family that we wrote about was the Mary Miller family. They purchased the house in August 1897. Mary passed away in 1898 and her 3 children and their spouses sold the house in March 1900 to the Silas F. Fleece family.  

At this point, the house is only 25 years old and has changed hands 8 times. If you would like more information on any of these owners, the blogs about Abstract & Title contains most of what we’ve been able to discover on them to date. The next history blog will be about the Fleece family. 



  1. Mary and Amanda, have you checked out Historic Indianapolis at They have an HI Mailbag that you can email questions to also. They have provided a lot of wonderful history on area sites and structures around Indy. Might be another resource to look into.

    1. Jan - I do apologize for taking so long to respond to you! We have been to a class by Joan Hostetler on researching your old home and got some great information from her. As a matter of fact she told us how to find the abstract that has been a gold mine! But thank you for the tip. We appreciate it.