Broughman House

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On Sunday, February 19, 1939, a new brick home containing twelve rooms was nearing completion at 721 Spencer Avenue (“New Brick Home With 12 Rooms”). This house was constructed by A.C. Broughman. Today, it is occupied by John and Mary Meiching. This house has had a fascinating development. It has great architecture and is truly a remarkable structure.

In June of 1939, the Broughman house was ready for occupancy. Constructed of brick, this modem home contains twelve rooms, five of which are bedrooms. It has a full basement under the house with a recreation room, a dark room for developing photographs, a laundry room, and it also contains furnace and fuel rooms. The general contractors for the work were Bowman and Sons.

The Lot

The home upon completion in 1939
The land was previously owned by Frances Johnson in 1927. He was a physician of the town. He died on June 26, 1952 (Indiana 1952). The second individual to own the property was Casper C. Ratts and his wife Isa Rafts in 1931. He was the general manager of Spencer-Cardinal Corporation. It is unknown the date of his death and whether he moved to another location (Indiana 1931). The land became vacant in 1938 and was acquired by the Broughmans shortly after.

The Broughmans

Mrs. Broughman was a volunteer worker at the Veterans Hospital. A.C. Broughman was president and chairman of the board of director’s of the Local Finance Corporation of Marion. He went to work for the branch of the Indiana Mortgage and Loan Company. On March 1, 1913 he was named general manager of the Legal Loan Company of Marion. He came to Marion when he was two years old and graduated from Marion High School when he was sixteen. He became the second president of the Indiana Consumer Finance Association and was a member of the state association board of directors for many years. In April, 1917, he was named a vice chairman of the National Consumer Finance Association and was elected to the board of directors in 1931.

Broughman was very active in civic and club affairs. He was president of the Marion Kiwanis Club in 1923. He was a ruler of the Marion Elks Lodge and had served as a district deputy ruler of that organization. He was also a president of the Marion Chamber of Commerce, completed a term as a member of the board of directors of Marion General Hospital, and also served as treasurer of the board. Mr. Broughman was a member of the Shrine Club, the Mecca Club, the Meshingomesia Country Club, the Columbia Club of Indianapolis, the Union League Club of Chicago, and the Indiana Society of Chicago.

Broughman's Funeral services were held on September 24, 1957 at the residence and the burial at IOOF Cemetery. Survivors of his family include one daughter, Mary L. Broughman, and three sisters, Mrs. Charles Brunt of Marion; Mrs. Charles Stone, Soldiers Home Road, and Mrs. Edward Moynihan of Washington D.C. Also a son, William T. Broughman, was killed in an automobile accident on April 18, 1946. (“A.C. Broughman Dies Sunday”).

Later Owners

The Broughman House in 2005
The house became vacant in 1958 and the new owners of the house were Joseph A. Osbom and wife Jean B. Osborn. Mr. Osbom was president of Osborn Midwest Paper Company. He died on June 21, 1987 (Indiana 1987). In 1970 Ronald L. Brown and wife Michelle M. Brown became owners of the home. Mr. Brown was president of Riverview Manor. It is unclear whether the Browns moved to another town or stayed in Marion. In 1984 and 1985 the house became vacant.

In 1987, John D. Melching and Mary E. Melching became owners of the house. In an interview with Mr. Meiching he claimed that the house is a beautiful structure architecturally. He commented on the type of roof the house has today. The roof is made of a traditional sand soft slate. Mr. Meiching said that with this type of roofing the house does not need to be re-roofed for another thirty years. He said that this was good news considering the Melchings were putting the house up for sale in the summer of 2005. Throughout the years many changes have been made to the house. Mr. Melching claims that when he bought the house there was much needed work. He began the long and eager task of “fixing it up.”

John and his wife, Mary, spent many years starting one project, completing it, and going on to the next. He says that it has been a long, extensive project but the rewards are well worth it. Upon purchasing the house, the basement was in need of new tiling, and the whole house was in need of an updated, more modern look. Keeping the house in living condition has become a job. After the remodeling of the inside the Melchings hope to keep the history and architecture of the house intact. Mr. Melching wants to keep the architecture of the house the same as it was when it was first built and he hopes that the history of the house will continue to grow (Melching).


Since the building of the home in February 1939, the house has undergone several remodelings. There have been six owners of the property--four of whom lived in the house--and its history has continued to grow. Frances Johnson was the first owner of the property in 1927. Then in 1931, Casper C. Rafts became the owner of the property. Austin C. Broughman was the first owner of the property to build the house. It contains twelve rooms, five of which are bedrooms and it has a full basement along with a recreation area and laundry room. It became occupied in June of 1939 by the Broughmans until 1958 when Joseph A. Osborn became the new owner. Since then, Ronald L. Brown owned the home in 1970 and then with its current residents the Melchings who have owned the home since 1987. This house is sixty-six years old and is located at 721 W. Spencer Avenue.

Works Cited

  • “A.C. Broughman Dies Sunday-Services Scheduled Today.” Chronicle-Tribune 23 Sept. 1957.
  • Indiana. The Obituaries of Grant County. 1952
  • Indiana. The Obituaries of Grant County. 1987.
  • Meiching, John D. Telephone Interview. 14 May 2005
  • “New Brick Home With 12 Rooms.” Chronicle-Tribune 19 Feb. 1939


Delora Hensley submitted this paper on May 20, 2005 for Mr. Munn's AP US History class at Marion High School.