1968 BRHS History Booklet - Chapter Six
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Chapter Six

Social life develops

Broad Ripple-Wellington citizens were usually ready for entertainment after completing their daily work. As a result, various social organizations were formed so that the people could get together and socialize with their friends.

One of the first social groups in Broad Ripple was the Grange. This organization was started in the 1860's in the Midwest as a farmers' social organization, but eventually became a strong political factor in correcting evils of the day, especially those pertaining to the railroads.

Brought to Broad Ripple in 1873, the Grange provided an opportunity for farmers in the area to discuss their work and problems and to socialize. The major get-togethers were held in the form of large family picnics.

On June 2, 1877, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, I.O.O.F., Broad Ripple Lodge No. 548 was formed. Housed over Watt's Drug Store, now Lobraico's Drug Store, the Broad Ripple Chapter became the most prosperous lodge in Marion County outside of Indianapolis.

Beginning as "chance meetings of 'odd fellows' at taverns for convivial purposes," states Barry R. Sulgrove in his History of Indianapolis and Marion County, "the I.O.O.F. advanced first to a permanent organization and then to a moral and benevolent association standing fairly, among the most potent organizations for good in the world."

Another fraternal organization that came to Broad Ripple and became an important part of the community was the Masonic Lodge. The group, formed in the 1890's, however, lacked a permanent meeting place until 1907, when the Lodge became the beneficiary of Jacob S. Mustard, who left $25,000 to the organization. The Masons built a three-story, brick and stone hall near the corner of present-day Guilford and Broad Ripple avenues.

Masonic Lodge - click to see larger image
Masonic Lodge

Mustard Hall, named in honor of Jacob S. Mustard, who donated the funds for its erection, not only served as a meeting hall for the Masons but also housed a grocery and a bank on the first floor. The original bank vault still remains in the hall today.

Grocery Store - click to see larger image
Grocery store
In the early 1900's, C. W. Silvey owned a grocery store located in the front of the first floor of Mustard Hall. Mr. Silvey is pictured to the left of the door.

Ice - click to see larger image
When White River froze over in the winter, enough ice could be cut to last Broad Ripple residents through the summer. The ice man could make a good profit by going about the town in his horse-drawn wagon selling the ice. Henry Atkins, left, was the first iceman in Broad Ripple.

The Lodge meeting rooms were situated on the second and third floors. The first floor and basement were used for commercial purposes and for many years served as a grocery and a bank, complete with a vault which still remains in the Hall today.

In accordance with Mustard's will, there was one room reserved for the Women's Christian Temperance Union, of which Mrs. Mustard was a staunch supporter. The building, still known as Mustard Hall today, is now solely occupied by the Masons.

Another social organization was the Old Settlers Club. Meeting for the purpose of having fun, the members participated in such activities as races and pig greasing contests. Dr. Ernest Johnson, an area physician, was the organization's first president.

The first Broad Ripple Band was organized in 1900 by Dr. Robert Light, a prominent Broad Ripple physician. The band, giving special concerts and playing for various occasions, provided entertainment for Broad Ripple and the surrounding areas,

Mail Section - click to see larger image
Mail Section
Drug stores sure are not what they used to be. Watt's Drug Store, which stood where Lobraico's Drug Store is now located, not only sold drugs, but also had a post office section. Shown here are Mrs. L. W. Brumit, a post office worker, and Frank Watts, owner of the drug store,

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Cover and Forward
1878 Surveyor's Record of Broad Ripple
Chapter One - Coil Starts Settlement
Chapter Two - Ripple Linked To City
Chapter Three - Canal Creates Rivalry
Chapter Four - Villages Start Schools
Chapter Five - Religious Life Grows
Chapter Six - Social Life Develops (current page)
Chapter Seven - Canal Villages Thrive
Chapter Eight - Trolleys Aid Travel
Chapter Nine - Farmer Shakes Jail
Chapter Ten - Floods Ravage Town
Chapter Eleven - Park Attracts Visitors
Chapter Twelve - BRHS Joins City
Chapter Twelve - Errata
Chapter Thirteen - City Annexes Village

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