021-026 Margaret Perkinson Schwartzkopf interview notes


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021-026 Margaret Perkinson Schwartzkopf interview notes


Typescript notes from an interview with Margaret Perkinson Schwartzkopf about her memories of 19th century Columbus, including early experiences of Irwin's Bank and her time working for Joseph I. Irwin at his dry goods store in the 1880s. Other topics include houses built by her father James Perkinson and the locations of early businesses and homes.





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301 Washington Street (Columbus, Ind.)

Is Part Of

Cline Keller Library General File Collection, Irwin-Union, Bartholomew County Historical Society, Columbus, IN; 301 Washington Street: Cornerstone of Columbus, Indiana (digital collection).

Bibliographic Citation

Margaret Perkinson Schwartzkopf interview notes, 1962, Irwin-Union, Cline Keller Library General File Collection, Bartholomew County Historical Society, Columbus, IN.


Bartholomew County Historical Society


Bartholomew County Public Library

Text Item Type Metadata


Six-page typewritten document

Typewritten text (sheet 1):

I went in with my mother to shop I was just a little girl and going in with my mother to Mr. Irwin’s store. That bank was something for anyone to see attracted anybody’s attention that was not used to seeing it. I remember distinctly when that bank building was built – 1881. He was in business earlier down the street – about the middle of that block was Mr. Irwin’s store. . . A store right near him was called Weber’s Hat store. .remember them very well. Mr. Weber had hat dept for men and she had millinery for women. Right along with Kitzinger building. About next to Kitzinger’s. Saw my first safe in his store. . . Half way back store. .High desk with a grill or railing around it. .sort of in a cage with a railing – not real clear on this. It was so big to me. .putting money in it, etc. made me remember it. I worked for him in corner store . . . . in 1888 and 1889, about two years before I married. How long he had been there do not remember. xxxxThe store had two entrances, one went into the bank and oneinto the store. Bank was one corner of the main store. Bank was on the north corner of the building, small room about size of her dining room – had a vault – a back door which went into the store. Stanton- (woman) was bookkeeper in store and helped with bank. Mr. Alden and Mr. Irwin were only ones in bank at that time, Will G. Irwin was away at school, just a young fellow. (The Irwin Bank fixtures when later remodeled were bought from the Indiana National Bank when they remodeled their bank. George Vorwald went with Jos. I. up there to get them.) Finny Alden was name of ass’t. [illegible] and Mr. Cobb was a retired minister, elderly with long white whiskers, worked there also. I think he was a brotherinlaw to Mr. Irwin. First wife was Mr. Irwin’s sister. He gave Mr. Cobb job of collecting. sat on stool in store and about 11 went out and at 4. . seems to have been a collector, or some such . . . All employes. Louis Wieser was buyer and manager of the store at that time. We had no delivery trucks. .a man by name Frank Everson and old Mr. B[illegible] had a little wagon or dray and divided the delivery business between them. They’d come in each day. The store building was not big enough for all the business, so the building back of the store was incorporated in the store by cutting a door and this was the carpet room. People by the name of Spinner – a woman and 2 daughters – did all the carpet sewing for the store . . . lived on Jackson Store. [Between lines: only supply] They sold everyone their carpets in those days and they had to be sewn  by hand, strip by strip. Ingrain carpet was popular. .turn dark side for winter and light for summer. . pattern so woven.

Typewritten (sheet 2):

Also sold best of every materials, puresilks, lovely woollens. Nothing was readymade all clothes had to be made and tailored. Traveling men came through with samples to stock to store. Mr. Irwin also bought wool from the farmers and stored it in the basement until enough had accumulated to ship to the mills. Big store carried lot of stuff. He did not deal in furs. Mr. Irwin paid no attention to the store. Knew what was going on, but was more interested in the bank and he had a little electric bell. One ring was for Edith and twice was for Margaret. If she wasn’t busy she went in to help wrap coins. They cut their own wrappers for this purpose. . none was available as today. Mr. Irwin was most economical man. . Never threw away an envelope. Opened with a paper opener and used it for figuring. Never used bought paper – always had a big stack he had saved in such a manner.

The only house she remembers is the one now, except it was only about half as large as it is now. Square brick house originally. (Frame house pictured is not remembered). Her brother was same age as Will Irwin and played together. (Danny)

Her father built her house. Donner house (Beatty) house he built for Mr. Beatty. Presbyterian church built in her memory. Old frame church corner of 3rd and Franklin (Rear is frame and is still used as part of Foundation for Youth building) . . . Went with her mother to this old church. Remembers incident happened there . . . communion service with single goblet. She has been a member of the Presbyterian church since 1882. Oldest member in membership?

Old framehouse small- where the Beatty house was. Best office corner had a nice 2 story house. Mr. Duffey lived there, he had a grocery, dealt also in poultry and eggs. His mother-inlaw had a small green house on the east end of the lot. (Mrs. Cooper [widow]). Mr. Barnaby came here and bought her out and started in business. Later he was on Fifth and Union. Griffith house was built by father of George Pence, (7th and Wash. [SW corner]) Her father and mother first lived in the small frame house on SE corner of Wash. And 7th, had two rooms there in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Pence who later built the Griffith house. I imagine father built it for them. Father and mother came from Clarke County. Margaret born 1868, had two children when they came and she was the third child born in Columbus, probably before 1860. . earlier probably. Father built Ruddick house (Nugent House); Gent house where Rost lived on Franklin. House on Hill at end of Third Street torn down for highway, built for xxx a Mr. Jones. Also the Thomas house (Hathaways); it was in a field and people thought Mr. Hayes was crazy to build way out there”.

Typewritten text (sheet 3):

Show place at one time was Story house on NW cor. 5th and Franklin, built that. Present Sister’s house on SW cor. 8th and Chestnut; Donner’s lived there first. House on SE cor. 8th and Syc. was built for Judge Hord. His wife left him and went to Indianapolis and he moved to the big brick house on the NS of alley on the WS of Jackson Street between 4th and Third.

The round house used to be on the “city Square”, now First Christian Church. She watched the turn table in action. Remembers only tracks and “trash” being in square. Station was on Jackson in her earliest memory. (Granville Lee says the J.H.&I. station was on the SW corn of 4th and Lafayette, in the triangle between the track and the corner intersection, later occupied by Quick’s feed store). City hall location had a big Flouring Mill, Gaff Gent and Thomas, moved over the Jackson St. then to Indpls. Mr. Thomas remained here. Ben Thomas first wife was Gertie McCoy, doctor McCoy’s daughter.

1866 Perkinson and Brockman were partners. George Schinnorer was a cooper. Fehring carriage made beautiful carriages and Father Schwartzkopf made beautiful wagons – shop on Jackson Street, W/S across from Court House. Saloons were everything. Opera house was in same building. On second floor, first one in town. She inherited building and sold to Ed Schaefer. Frank Schwatzkopf usually operated the opera house. Georges Grocery was some place earlier before 3rd and Jackson. Frohman’s lived in same block all her memory The father was in the White house for years, an expert on woolens and had charge of the dress goods dep’t. White house about 87 years, in business. Jos. Hilger’s father had a tailor shop for men’s suits on alley where Singer Sewing is now (1962). Cummins book store was on thst side, also, where Frohman’s now is (1962). Winans was on 6th and Wash. (Grocery)r Post Office was in basement on corner of 5th and Washington-went down several steps – not really a cellar. Mo ed to SW cor. of 6th and Wash. And then in new building. First remembers Wash. Street. . Boards were down to walk on in some places, no pavements of any kind anywhere. Water trucks made daily rounds to “ay the dust”. Mr. Perkinson had the first sidewalks in town—brick around their house on 8th and xxxFranklin. Later brick sidewalks were laid “down town”, but Margaret remembers when their were none. They also xxxxxxxx “paved” some streets with brick, Fifth Street was the first, she thinks. First could have been cobblestones, rather than brick. Downtown still has some of the old stone walks which are really slick when wet.

Typewritten (sheet 4):

Streets were gravel roads and the big sprinkling wagons came along and others did their own sprinkling.

Old Christian Church and Old Methodist Church were – oth. Was on S/s of Jackson and 5th and the Christian on the N/S, very small brick churches. On the corner opposite each other. Catholic was where the S.R. and Co. now is . . . Bassett Building. 6th and Wash. Was Priest house and on alley was sisters. Took up whole half block with church in Center.

Long house was on S/W corn. Of 7th and Franklin. Brick house lived in by Burnett’s .grocer. . on S/E Corn. ,2 sons and one daughter. . Elmer. Tott, and …….

John Long, lived in brick house on S/S of alley between 6 and 7 on Franklin and Dave Long was Phil Long’s xxxxxxx father, ont eh SW cor . of 7and Franklin. He/John owned from alley to tocorner. A daughter married a Dr. Doty (Gertrude), moved to Mexico, both are buried in a mausoleum in Garland Brook.

JIIrwin built building on 5th between Fr. And Wash. Geo. Schinner lived in brick house about 2nd house E. of K of C house on Third Street, S/S, on corner. Fred           Hardware Store, next to where Simmons now is. Simmons brought Schwartzkopf Hardware Store. Fiegenbaum along here, Mr. Lohman  had a store about where Dell Bros. is now (1962). Mr. Max Dalmbert were partners at first. Max Dalmbert married Columbus girl, Lizzie Hayes, Dissolved partnership and Max opened store in Greensburg.

B. L. Hutchins[?] had music store, sang a lot, later with Reeves.

A. B. Reeves was Charles Reeves father. White house in her memory was always been in same place. 2nd and Wash. was Western Hotel. Remembers Isaac Brown-began newspaper, Father of Chalmers Brown. Chamers Brown was a friend of Buffalo Bill. Ray Brown was grandson of Isaac Brown. Isaac Brown lived where Frank Meyer lives now (1962)xx Crow story of Perkinson boys . . . and medicine spoon . .8 tsps ……

Mr. Perkinson in later years built court houses and big buildings. Built Huntington, W.Va. courthouse, Goshen Court House and many others.

Judge Kollmeyer married Mollie Schwartzkopf, Margaret’s sister-in-law.

Mrs. Jones lived in “hill” house and sister lived in present Volland house.

Nothing elaborate or big on Washington Street, mostly frame buildings in her childhood. About on Whitehouse alley, 1 ½ story house with pointed roof, Dr. Rice lived there, there their family doctor.

Typewritten text (sheet 5):

Dr.’s name is WRIGHT, not Rice. A Dr. Rice lived on N/E cor Wash. and 8th.

Old Building on 10 or 11 Street was Bates’ Conserv. of Music. 5th St.Whitmer Building was Dr. Roope’s hospital . .first hospital. Albemarle was remodeled by Dr. Banker and used as a hospital. Lived on S/W/ cor of 9th and Franklin. Originally was residence of Mr. Hogue, brother of Dr. Hogue who had the drug tore. Dr. Hogue’s was on the S/W Cor. 6th and Franklin.

She has no memory of Mr. Irwin’s telling her incidents of his earlier life. He sold store to Meyer and Fiegenbaum, dissolved partnership not too long afterward. Fiegnbaum opened store on W/S off Washington and Mr. Meyer built building with Mr. Rost as it now (1962) is. Fred Donner Jeweler was [illegible] Will /Donner’s father. Came herefrom Hope and Perkinson built the 8th and Chestnut house for him. Will bought Beatty home for his father and mother, after Mrs. Beatty died. Bought flouring mill for sons. Will and Pete Sohn were partners later on., then Pete Sohn bought him out. Wholeslae House on 5th and and Brown was begun by Mr. Campbell, Boyd[?] and Campbell, came from Hartford City.

Will Treadway built Gail hawes house and lived there and built across the street. Not at bank in her time. Seems to remember him as being in the shoe business. Mr. Bowlen was in shoe business. . . orphan boy ship story.

Griffith . . . Len Griffith was Virginia G. Frazee father. Jean Marr’s Grandfather was Griffith. He lived on S/W cor of 7th and Wash. Hez Griffith built house S of him for daughter, Mrs. Laughlin. .worked at First National long time.

Col. Keith, built house on N/E cor. 7th and Pearl. Real show place, not sure her father built it. J.D. Lyle was Alcy’s Snider father (?) McCormack lived where Bed. Art’s bldg. is and father of Ann McCormack Newsom’xxxxx. He built /brick part Court House and Mr. Perkinson had contract for interior work.

George Carrothers was an undertaker. Henry Lang lived in Hill’s house, Carrie Lang married Jim Sibley, Mrs. Sibley was Ray Brown’s aunt. Clarence Adams Durg Store where Goodman-Jester. George Finney published HERALD, paper Mike Locke had, across from court house, S/S Wash. St. Trade Palace, she remembers it. Between –about where Tovey’s shoe store is now. Crump house on n/w/ cor. 7th and Laf. Was Mr. Vogel built, owner of Trade Palace, (Samuels and Vogel).

Typewritten text (sheet 6):

Mr. Samuels was Jewish and also Vogel, (Mrs. Vogel was not ). Max Dalmbert was Jewish and and Emma Lehman’s fsather were cousins. He had store at Hope,, then with Lehman here. Theo. Otto on 4th and Wash., bought by/McKnight and Carpenter, later. John W. Suverkrup came to town and clerked at Otto’s, and lived with his uncle, Fred Fehring on Pearl between 8th and 9th, E/S of street.

Prather house – Ben Prather, grocery. Wife was Isham Keith’s sister.

Henry Peel’s Goldmine . . . . Were in Schwartzkopf building for years. Dealt in fine china, etc. [illegible] Drug – Hogue drug store moved on Wash. next to Winans’ Grocery, sold out to Q.G.Noblitt(?) then [illegible]ealy Anderson. Ho[illegible] Drug Store next to First National.

Eugene Huber furniture – in Bissell Hotel (Belv.) bought all her furniture of Huber when married. He lived on 3rd close to Brown St.

Duffy and Cooke – 7th and Wash. P.O. Location. . .residence.

Bonham Laundry, Lowe Brothers and Patty Hay

[illegible]er and Parker (Parker was Bateman’s uncle) Dr. Hauser built “Talley House” on Franklin.

UpdeGraff married Jessie Hauser and went to the business as a jewler. Later moved to Calif.

Stalhuth drugs –probably on Wash. near 6th.

McCormack [illegible] brother of Anna McNewsom.

Brunings Bazaar started by Herman’s Father.






Unknown, “021-026 Margaret Perkinson Schwartzkopf interview notes,” BCPL Archives, accessed June 20, 2024, https://bcplarchives.omeka.net/items/show/161.