52 Ancestors,
in 52 Weeks
Week 17:
Favorite Place
Family Finds Charter Oak

Favorite Place: Irvington

My ancestors have lived many places. But, this week I need to name a favorite place. So, I will pick a place I know well. Irvington is a neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis, Indiana. It is roughly defined west to east between Emerson Ave. and Arlington Ave. North to south from E. 10th St. to Brookville Rd. With Washington St. as the primary commercial artery. Irvington was originally developed in the late 19th century as a suburban community of 1 acre platted home sites. Over time, property owners subdivided their parcels and now the lots are all sizes and shapes. Also, many of the streets were designed in a romantic style to wind their way through the neighborhood. So, unlike most of Indianapolis, not all the streets run strictly north/south or east/west.

My Family and Irvington

A few years ago I wrote a post about the various addresses my great grandfather David L. Osborne lived at in Indianapolis. [1] A subset of those addresses are in Irvington, and the homes are still standing! My great grandfather, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings and I have all called Irvington “home” at some point. See the slider below.



26 N

115 S

36 S

27 N





My great grandfather, David L. Osborne, lived at several addresses around Irvington. As did my grandparents, my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and myself. We all called Irvington “home” at some point.



 5929 Julian Ave.

This is the third house west of Arlington. My grandparents lived here with their two daughters, my aunt’s Lois and Pat. Also living here was my great grandfather, David, and my great aunt Sadie.


105 Johnson Ave.

My great grandfather bought this lot about 1920 and built the house that still stands. He lived here about 3 years with my great aunt Sadie who later bought the house from him for $3000 in 1925.


27 N. Campbell Ave.

My grandparents, Earl and Pearl, lived here for about 4 years with their three children: my aunts Lois and Pat and my father, Bob.


36 S. Ritter

My grandmother, Pearl, bought this home that is next door to IPS #57 after my grandfathers’ death in 1928. My aunt’s Lois and Pat lived here as did my father, Bob. My great grandfather also lived here at times.


115 S. Ritter Ave.

The third house south of Julian. My grandmother, Pearl, and great aunt, Sadie, rented this home. My great grandfather shared a room with my father, Bob. My aunt’s Lois and Pat also lived here.


Thomas C. Howe H. S.

My father attended Howe High School and was in the class of 1943. Howe is on the western boundary of Irvington. My cousins David and Dan also graduated from Howe in 1965 and 1971.


348 Layman Ave.

My parents rented an apartment in the old Kingsbury farmhouse on Layman. They lived here for a couple of years along with two of my sisters.


5703 E. Washington St.

My grandmother, Pearl, lived in an apartment here for about 4 years. This building is in a great location, right across the street from Starbucks, Black Acre Brewing Co. and a public library branch.


5730 E. Washington St.

My grandmother, Pearl, lived in an apartment here for about 5 years. This building is now the “Suites of Irvington” and features amenities never imagined when my grandmother lived here.


24/26 N. Irvington Ave.

I lived here after college for a few years. The street, at that time, was the original paver bricks.

Disciples of Christ Missions Building in Irvington, Indianapolis, IN

The Disciples of Christ had their missionary administrative building in Irvington for many years. That is where my parents met in 1947. My father worked in the mail room. My mother worked in the publicity department with my father’s sister. And, they were married in the Missions Building by my mother’s boss, an ordained minister in addition to being the publicity manager.


Irvington as a favorite place runs in the family. My father wrote a blog post about Irvington more than 20 years ago. He included many photos, view it on his website BobsCrafts. [2]

Bob LaFara

Bob LaFara
1925 – 2004


To learn more about Irvington visit the Irvington Historical Society at their museum and offices in the Bona Thompson Memorial Center at 5350 University Ave. and also online. [3] Read more about Irvington on the National Parks website where they describe the historic district. [4] Another great resource to learn more about Irvington is the “Visit Indy” website. [5]


  1. Blog post, Family Finds: David L. Osborne: His Indianapolis Homes; https://barblafara.com/indianapolis-addresses-for-david-l-osborne/
  2. Blog post, Bob’s Crafts: Irvington; https://bobscrafts.com/irvingto/index.htm
  3. Irvington Historical Society; http://www.irvingtonhistorical.info/
  4. National Park Service: Irvington Historic District; https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/indianapolis/irvington.htm
  5. Visit Indy: Historic Irvington; https://www.visitindy.com/indianapolis-historic-irvington


  1. Cheryl Schulte

    What an interesting post. You’re fortunate that many of your ancestral homes are still standing; that is a real bonus.

  2. Rhonda J Hall

    Wonderful articles! I didn’t know the Kingsburys had a family farm. I am assuming this was the family of Dr. John Kingsbury, our family doctor in the 1950s-1960s. Is this correct?
    I grew up at 315 S Ritter from 1955-1971. My mother sold that house in 1989 after my stepfather passed away. (He worked at International Harvester for 44 yrs.) Prior to living on Ritter, my parents moved from Kokomo to the apartments at Washington and Audubon in 1953. Great to see that the apartments were refurbished. Irvington was a lovely place to grow up. ❤️

    • Barb LaFara

      Yes, this is the same Kingsbury family. One of the daughters was in school with my dad at IPS #57 and Howe. I think portions of the IH building are still standing, although repurposed. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note!


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