3701 South Nebraska Street

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The residence at 3701 S. Nebraska Street is currently owned by the Robert Thompson family. The house was constructed in 1913 on lots 53 and 60 of Wigger and Pence’s Third Addition. The history of the property dates back to 1833, but the current house on the property has had only two owners prior to the Thompsons. The house is a one and a half story structure with a detached garage.

Early Owners

Nathan Cogeshall bought the 80 acre property, the east half of the south west quarter of section 18 township 24 north range 8 east, on November 6, 1833. The property was then sold to Eli Thomas on June 13, 1888 (Davis, Herber). The Thomas family had possession of the property for many years following. The Thomas family were Quakers and “conscientious, upright people” (Biographical Memoirs). Eli’s father, Jesse Thomas, bought one hundred and five acres of land in North Marion for $1.25 per acre. He was one of the first white men to settle in the area, living among many Indians. After he lived in a log cabin on this property for a few years, he sold his property in North Marion for $1200 and invested the money in a property in South Marion. They moved because the new land was closer to the church that they attended. Jesse built a “good brick residence” and was said to have owned as much as 1,000 acres. Only one country road existed when they moved, but many more were created as new homes were built. As a Quaker, Jesse was a strong abolitionist and helped the underground railroad when he could. On March 30, 1859, Jesse Thomas died. Hannah Cox, the wife of Jesse Thomas and also a Quaker, lived to be seventy years old. Together they had nine children, three of which died in infancy. Their names were Jeremiah, Enoch, Eli, Mary, John, Robert, Hannah, and Noah. Eli’s father gave him eighty acres of land two miles south of the courthouse, but it needed clearing and improving. He sold it, and bought the property from Nathan Cogeshall. On December 7, 1887, he built a “pleasant home” on lot 53 of Wigger and Pence’s Third Addition. Eli Thomas’s first wife was Miss Anna Schooley. She was also a member of the Friends church, but died in January 1853, leaving two children, Sylvanius and Marcus. Next, Eli Thomas married Miss Milly Willcuts who was also a Quaker. Upon her death on September 20, 1867, she left four children: Thomas, Jesse, Alvin, and Lucy, the wife of Jasper Massena. Eli Thomas then married Miss Minerva M. Thomas, daughter of Milton Thomas. They were both members of the Friends church and were “consistent in their religion.” Eli was well respected in the Marion community and was chosen to administer on estates. He gave each of his children seventy acres of land. He owned 320 acres of land in Kansas, 280 acres in Marion, and also several other rental properties throughout Marion (Biographical Memoirs).

Tragedy Strikes

At some point in the history of the property, John Thomas, Eli’s brother, acquired the land. John Thomas was married to Mary Anne Thomas and had a daughter, Olivia, and a son, Franklin. Noah Thomas, another brother also lived on the property as a laborer (1860 Census). John Thomas’s wife, Mary Thomas, committed suicide in August of 1870 at the age of 39 ("A Painful Suicide"). According to the Marion Chronicle, Mary’s death was announced Saturday morning. John was in Washington county, Indiana when the event occurred. Mrs. Thomas went to town on Friday night and bought drugs including morphine from Dr. Benett. When she arrived back home, she asked the family to go to bed early and they complied. It is speculated that she then swallowed the morphine because the paper that held it was found on the floor. During the night a woman in the house woke up because of loud breathing coming from Mrs. Thomas’s room. She found Mrs. Thomas unconscious. The neighbors and medical help tried to assist, but nothing could be done. She had attempted suicide once or twice before. “The cause prompted her to thus take her own life was probably locked in her own bosom.” She was a well respected member of the town and occasionally spoke at the meetings of the Friends, of which she was a member. John Thomas married Emma Hollingsworth on September 12, 1872.

Recent Owners

At some point around 1877, Allen Smith owned the property. Little is known about the property until January 5,1914 when Frank and Neta Sypolt bought it. Most of the documents are in Neta L. Sypolt’s name, which might convey that the property was bought with her money. According to the Marion Directory, Frank Sypolt changed professions quite often. In 1913-1914, Frank was just a laborer; in 1916 a glass worker; in 1919 a hammerman; in 1921 a blacksmith; and in 1927, it appears that Frank owned Sypolt Gravel Company on the property. In 1929, he was a contractor (City Directory). Frank and Neta sold the house on February 25, 1939, to Charles and Eilene Kindley. Frank continued to change professions, however, to a cement worker and died in 1954. According to the Chronicle Tribune, Sypolt died at age 71 after being ill for three months. He was a member of the George Street Wesleyan Methodist Church. He left a son, Max, and a grandson. He was buried in the International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery. Neta died in 1961 (“Frank Sypolt”).

Charles L. Kindley, the second owner, bought the house on February 25, 1939. He worked at Anaconda Wire and Cable Company, and his wife, Eilene, was a teacher at Clayton School (City Directory). As of April 9, 1952, their mortgage was fully paid.

Robert and Kim Thompson bought the house in January 1992. They have remodeled the entire house, doing most of the work themselves, except for the master bedroom. In 92 years, this house has had only three owners.

Works Cited

  • "A Painful Suicide." Marion Chronicle 24 Aug. 1870.
  • Davis, Herber. Abstracter of Titles. An Abstract of Title. Marion: n.p., n.d.
  • "Frank Sypolt." Marion Chronicle 22 Feb. 1954.
  • Grant County Biographical Memoirs. Chicago, IL: The Bowen Company, 1901.
  • Marion, Indiana. Census Bureau. Census. Marion: n.p., n.d.
  • Polk's Marion (Indiana) City Directory. Indianapolis, Indiana: R.L. Polk and Co.,, n.d.

Credits

Joanna A. Lucas submitted this paper on May 20, 2005 for Mr. Munn's AP U.S. History class at Marion High School.