Friday, January 10, 2014

Using city guides to help fill in gaps

I've written about my great-grandmother Blanche Lamon O'Brien in previous posts, describing her life, posting a photo from her later years, and her elementary school geography book. I know she grew up in the small community of Ft. Branch, Gibson County, Indiana, and married my great-grandfather, Harry Edward O'Brien, in Indianapolis, Indiana in February 1912 at the age of 24. Before her marriage I don't know much about what Blanche did, or how she got to Indianapolis. I have a bit more information now after finding Blanche in the US City Directories, between 1907-1911, in Evansville, Indiana.
Source: US City Directories, Evansville, Indiana, 1907
In 1907, Blanche would have been 20 years old. She appears with her brother, James Herman Lamon, in the City Directory. She was working as a stenographer at 1 Lower Water Street, while living at 1046 Upper 2nd Street, a short walk away from Water Street. Blanche would have been working in an office, turning dictation into shorthand.

By 1908, Blanche had moved back home to Fort Branch, while still working at 1 Lower Water Street.
In 1909, Blanche had moved employment to 331 Main Street in Evansville, while still living at home in Fort Branch.
Blanche does not appear in the 1910 City Directory in Evansville, but by 1911, she had returned to living in the city (at 202 3rd Avenue), this time with her younger brother George Lamon. She was also working at Bankers National Bank.
Their address in 1911 probably looked much like the block in the photo below (via Google Streetview, 200 block of N 3rd Avenue in Evansville):
Source: Google Streetview
In the 1912 City Directory, it shows Blanche as having returned to living in Fort Branch, but still working as a stenographer at Bankers' National Bank. Since she married Harry O'Brien in February 1912, I'm wondering how & where they met.
An advertisement for Bankers' National Bank from the 1912 City Directory is below:

By 1913, Harry O'Brien appears in the City Directory for Indianapolis, as a musician, living at 715 E. 17th Street. Blanche does not appear in the Evansville City Directory in 1913.

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