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What’s in a Name, Indy? Haughville, Part 6: Street Names in Haughville

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The Merritt, Miley, Muir, Traub, and Warman families are among those that have been memorialized through street names in Haughville. Some of these streets continue to bear their names, while other streets have had their names changed through the years. The map above shows some of the streets with their current names as well as their previous names.

Lynn Street in Haughville was referenced in a news article as early as one dated Jan. 11, 1900, in The Indianapolis Journal. Part of this street, roughly between St. Clair Street and Walnut Street, was once called “Florence Street.”

A few news articles referenced the street’s initial name. On April 3, 1901, The Indianapolis News reported that “…two Jersey and Holstein cows…” were for sale on Florence Street in Haughville. Florence Street was also noted in a news article dated April 11, 1903, in the Indiana Tribune, a German language newspaper serving Indianapolis at that time. Records from the Indianapolis Water Company indicated that Florence Street was officially renamed as “Lynn Street” in 1906.

In a news article dated Nov. 23, 1902, The Indianapolis Journal reported that two real estate developers “… purchased from Mrs. George Merritt the land consisting of twenty-two acres, known as ‘the Merritt farm,’ located north of Michigan Street, between the Belt Railroad and Belmont Avenue … and have platted the ground into 163 lots, to be known as ‘Merritt Place Addition.’”

An advertisement in the May 20, 1903, edition of The Indianapolis News noted that lots were available “… on Helen, Florence, Elder, Belmont, and Michigan Streets” in Merritt Place.

Miley Avenue was platted on land once owned by the Miley family; the ground eventually was subdivided and became Miley’s Addition. A news article dated July 3, 1885, in The Indianapolis News was one of several news articles that mentioned “Miley Avenue.” For example, the same newspaper also made note of a real estate transfer in Miley’s Addition in its edition dated March 9, 1893.

At some point, Miley Avenue was once also known as “Merritt Avenue” since part of the roadway had been on land that became part of the Merritt Place Addition. Records from the Indianapolis Water Company indicated that Merritt Street was formerly renamed as “Miley Avenue” in 1897.

Sheffield Avenue was once known as “Muir Street.” The Indianapolis Journal on April 27, 1897, reported about Mr. H. [Henry] W. Muir was a property owner regarding land along “…the first alley north of Washington Street, lying west of Muir Street …” Records from the Indianapolis Water Company indicated that Muir Street was officially renamed as “Sheffield Avenue” in 1897.

A series of events on Sheffield Avenue highlighted how Haughville was both a center of industrial concerns as well as rural farmsteads in the late 1800s. The Indianapolis Journal reported on Jan. 16, 1894, that “one of the thorns in the careers of the Haughville Town officials has been the repeated violation of Mrs. Walsh, of Sheffield Avenue, in allowing her cows to run at large. Many times have her cows been impounded and many more times have they escaped the disgrace, but all to no effect on Mrs. Walsh…Word was received yesterday that her cows were on a foraging expedition and were making havoc with well-stocked barns and stables that perchanced to have insecure fastenings …”

A part of Traub Avenue — the section from St. Clair Street and Michigan Street — was formerly known as “Helen Street.” In addition to the advertisement for Merritt Place noted previously, The Indianapolis Star on April 17, 1911, noted a sale on the “…east side [of] Helen Street, north of Michigan Street.”

It is not certain who the “Helen” was in “Helen Street,” but it could have been named for Helen Selvage. Joseph Selvage was one of the two real estate developers of the Merritt Place Addition where the street (now Traub Avenue) is located. Records from the Indianapolis Water Company indicated that Helen Street was renamed as “Traub Avenue” in 1906.

Traub Avenue was named after the Traub family; this family-owned land in the Haughville area. William Traub was a land developer; he was noted in a sales notice of lots in “Wm. H. Traub’s subdivision” reported in the edition of The Indianapolis Journal dated April 3, 1886. There were several additional news articles detailing sales and purchases of land by individuals with the Traub surname. On May 11, 1887, The Indianapolis Journal reported that “the Traub farm, on the National Road [today’s Washington Street], has been subdivided …”

Warman Avenue was named after the Warman family, land owners and real estate developers in a section of Haughville. In a few news reports, “Warman” was spelled as “Warmon.”

This roadway was once known as “Cleveland Street.” On September 23, 1901, The Indianapolis News included note of “…old Cleveland Street, now North Warman Avenue…” The same newspaper included a news article about Cleveland Street in Haughville in a news article on April 6, 1892. Records from the Indianapolis Water Company indicated that Cleveland Avenue was renamed as “Warman Avenue” in 1897.

Do you have questions about communities in Indianapolis? A street name? A landmark? Your questions may be used in a future news column. © 2023 Richard McDonough. Contact Richard McDonough at whatsinanameindy@usa.com.

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