K is for Kenwood Ave.

My grandparents - Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.
My grandparents – Albert B. Cleage & Pearl D. Reed in 1909.

For this year’s April A-Z Challenge I am blogging everyday using items taken from the letters written by my grandfather to my grandmother from 1907 to 1912, starting with “A” and moving right through the alphabet to “Z” during April.

Address: Miss Pearl Reed, 2730 Kenwood Ave, City


In my judgement, the weather today was entirely to cold for our proposed trip, and trust that in that you were not at all disappointed.  I did not write you earlier because until noon I was still planning to come. Why I did not come to see you I think you understand and I will not venture an explanation. Believe me I am very very sorry if you have been.

Do not be angry with me. If you think me careless or indifferent, you do me a great injustice.  I can conceive of no greater pleasure than seeing and being with you. 

Yes I am quite well again but as “lonely, lonely as can be.”  I finished my story – of course it was the usual – woman’s faithfulness and man’s unfaithfulness.  Of course those men and women we read of are the men and women of the past.

Have thought of you continuously this afternoon thinking of possibly I might have been offending you, but I remembered that love was long suffering – endureth all things for its object, then felt sure that you would understand – forgive and forget.

Will make one date that not withstanding the weather it will be possible to keep – will you on Thursday afternoon visit our college with me?  I will be out about 2 o’clock at any rate.


P.S. Pen, ink & writer all are on the bum.  I hope you can read it.



Perhaps my grandfather got his “lonely, lonely as can be” line. from this song that came out in 1905. There was sheet music too and I wonder if my grandmother played it on the piano.

I imagine Pearl was none too pleased to receive this last minute cancellation after she had made her way to their meeting place.

The streetcar ran up Capital or Meridian.

My grandmother and her family had been living at 2730 Kenwood Ave since at least 1903.  Her older brother, George owned the house.  He was a laborer and lived there until illness in 1945 forced him to move to Detroit to live with Albert and Pearl and their family.

Albert and his brothers lived about 2.5 miles south of Kenwood at 510 Fayette.  A street car ran straight between them, with only short walks on each end to reach the line. When I visited Indianapolis in 2005, the house on Fayette was still standing and looking good. 2739 Kenwood has been torn down, paved over and was a parking lot.

You can read the letter my grandfather wrote a year later where he references this one here.

12 thoughts on “K is for Kenwood Ave.

  1. So sad about that parking lot. 🙁 Sometimes I really dislike “progress”. heh.

    Yeah, I bet Pearl was a bit put out!

    1. I was so disappointed when I was traveling around Indianapolis. The only building related to my family still standing was the house on Fayette Street. Everything else had been torn down, replaced, paved over.

  2. Don’t know about the US post (mail) then, but it amazes me always how one could write a letter to cancel something – okay, she might not have received it in time – but I see letters in my stash where three posts a day set up appointments and receive acknowledgements all within daylight hours – the old fashioned texting:) If we waited for snail mail nowadays nothing would happen for days and days!

    I am enjoying this life story so much thanks for sharing it:)

    1. But the reason she didn’t receive it in time was that he mailed it after they were supposed to meet! Now it would be because there aren’t many deliveries and they are slow in general.

  3. Kristen, I am enjoying reading your letters especially those the involve Indy. I live there and can relate to the information about my town. Yes I can also relate to the “price of progress”. I have not been in the vicinity of Fayette Street for some time but suspect that home may also have been demolished by now. The area is being “gentrified” and very very little remains as it was even a few years ago. Keep up the great posting (as I know you will).

  4. I bet that your grandmother was annoyed. . . though it’s also good to know that (since they are your grandparents) things worked out in the end. 🙂

  5. Uncle Obie’s house in Birminghan is a Tire Shop now. I was too late. I’ll have to send you his obit and see if you recognize any of the societies and minister’s I’ve been trying to track them down and see if he had his own church and was it so small they had to move it to the 6th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. It’s a cause of confusion. Why was he so prominent there? I have so little info on besides his obit and picture.

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