in 52 Weeks
When I think of flowers and family, I think of my grand aunt and uncle who ran a commercial flower farm. The Flucawa Flower Gardens was located just south of New Castle, Indiana for nearly 20 years, 1949-1968. Eastern Indiana may not be the first place to think of for a commercial flower business. But, 70 years ago there was not as much access to overnight delivery of fresh products. Cut flowers and potted plants were more of a local business-to-business operation than it is today. Back then, many flowers and plants were only available seasonally. Besides the flower gardens, the Flucawa’s also had a hot house where they could grow flowers and plants year round. It’s the aroma of the hot house that I recall when I think of my aunt and uncle.
New Castle, IN
My grand-aunt, Grace Osborne 1887-1954, and grand-uncle, Frank Flucawa 1883-1974, married in Indianapolis in 1912.  For many years they operated a poultry business from their small farm on the east side of the city in the Warren Park neighborhood.  Then, in 1935 they re-located to New Castle where they were employed for many years as private gardener and caretaker for the Teetor family.  The Teetor’s founded the Perfect Circle Company that made piston rings. Their large, Mediteranean-style estate is still a private home at Hawthorne Rd. and Cherry St. Frank and Grace lived in the small bungalow next door at 615 Cherry St. Interestingly, both Grace and Frank are buried in the cemetery directly behind these two properties, South Mound Cemetery. Mr. Teetor sold his home in 1949 and he also sold several acres of land south of the city, on the east side of SR 3, to Grace and Frank.  This is the land where they established the Flucawa Flower Gardens.
Grace and Frank Flucawa 1944
Flucawa Flower Gardens
The Flucawa’s farm was at 3610 South Memorial Dr. (SR 3) Their house was a small home, it was made from rough hewed logs and covered over with siding. When I was a child I found places where I could peek behind the siding, or inside behind the plastered slats, to see the rough logs. Also, when we visited we would run between the flower beds playing tag or hide and seek. I particularly remember the gladiolas being taller than me and a good place to hide. The hot house was also a favorite place to play. It was always warm and full of interesting plants and flowers. There were even dwarf citrus trees.
Sadly, my grand-aunt Grace passed away in 1954 leaving Frank to care for the flowers on his own. Uncle Frank continued growing and selling flowers and plants for many years. He was a regular at local flower shows, either with entries or as a judge. He finally sold the property in 1967 and retired to a home in town. I’m not sure who bought the property at that time, but now there is a large church there. The church is operated by an Assembly of God congregation and they also run a community food pantry on the property. I think Grace and Frank would be pleased.
The old photos were not in color, and are faded to a sepia color. There are a handful of color slides, but the acetate has not aged well and the colors are muddy. There are 4 glass slides but 3 are over exposed and do not scan well, the exception is the bearded iris above.
The flowers on my aunt and uncle’s property were a rainbow of colors. I’m sorry there are no really great, full color photos of the gardens or the hot house. So, I am left with memories. Gladiolas and chrysanthemums particularly bring back memories. And, whenever I get a whiff of an earthy, loamy scent it takes me right back to my aunt and uncle’s hot house, and that’s good enough.
- Entry for Martha Grace Fithian, Marion County, Indiana; Index to Marriage Record 1911 – 1915 Inclusive Vol, Original Record Located: County Clerk’s Office Ind; Book: 69; Page: 393; Online at Ancestry.com. Indiana, U.S., Marriage Index, 1800-1941
- Entry for Takeo Flucawa,U.S. Federal Census; Year: 1930; Census Place: Warren, Marion, Indiana; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 0252; FHL microfilm: 2340351. Online: 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line] at Ancestry.com
- Entry for Frank Flucawa,U.S. Federal Census; Year: 1940; Census Place: Harrison, Henry, Indiana; Roll: m-t0627-01052; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 33-25; Online: 1940 United States Federal Census [database on-line] at Ancestry.com
- Entry for F T Flucawa, “New Castle, Indiana, City Directory, 1957”, City directory, pub. Mullin-Kille Co., Chillicothe, OH; Online: U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line] at Ancestry.com.
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Frank Takeo Flucawa
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
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My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
The Marriage of David and Jennie Osborne
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While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Probate of Jesse King 1868
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
Letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary
A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.
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So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846
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Luella Pressell: Surprise!
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
Rumple Family Photo 1895
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one, in particular, I found very informative.
Conrad Rumple: Bachelor Uncle
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My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
George Lafary and Catherine Landon: Large Family
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
In The Paper
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It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. Mostly they are birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most.
Genealogy Brick Walls
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
Catherine Landon: Out of Place
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
Immigrant Ancestors, Fresh Start
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The varied reasons my European ancestors immigrated to North America for a fresh start.
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So Far Away
My great-uncle Frank immigrated to the United States from Japan in 1905 to further his education, so far away
I get excited when I discover an ancestor with the same name as a friend, or co-worker, or neighbor. Maybe we are related!
The smell of flowers are a large part of my childhood. It’s wonderful that you had a whole flower farm to experience while you were young. Much preferable to the smell of chickens.
What wonderful stories on flowers. Your relatives loved them so much. Thanks for sharing their stories.