The Boneyard

Edward Ward Love was born on July 22, 1910, in the old Hayden Hospital on the North Side of Walnut Street between Riverside and First Streets in Evansville, Indiana. He is the author of Some Recollections of the Evansville I Grew Up In, which may be purchased at Willard Library
Some Recollections of the Evansville I Grew Up In.    

by Edward W. Love
Reprinted courtesy of The Friends of Willard Library.
Part One

My father, William J. Love was employed at the Mackey-Nisbet firm and my mother, Eloise M. Talley, before her marriage had worked there. Her father, Nelson E. Talley, was a bookkeeper working at various times at Evansville firms, including the Vendome Hotel.

I believe my father traveled as salesman for the firm and entertaining visiting customers was an important part of the job. He was temperamentally well suited for that; very friendly, likeable and had a good knowledge of his field, dry goods and general store merchandise. The Mackey-Nisbet firm was wholesaler to a large local area and father was allowed  entertainment expenses . He loved being a free-spender with the partying and drinking that was part of the job. That care-free attitude carried over into our domestic life and was a source of friction and misery that influenced our family s early years. My mother was not domestic by nature; suffered from severe asthma the year round and resented being tied down by child care and keeping house while my father was much freer by his traveling job to enjoy a convivial life. We lived in rented quarters and moved frequently, usually in the downtown area.


I remember Uncle Jim Stockwell came around in an  automobile . They were by no means common then and I vividly remember the buggy-type top and curved dash  a real horseless carriage  and I crawled over and around it and wondered what made it go without a horse in front. All the streets and most sidewalks I was familiar with  up through the teens of the century  were various grades of brick. Sidewalks and house walks were usually red bricks laid in chevron and other patterns, the streets were paved with a harder, rounded brick in rectangular close-packed pattern.

There were many street noises; iron-rimmed wheels on drays and wagons, fluttering ripples of solid rubber buggy wheels, popping motors on autos with their squeeze bulb horns or hand-pushed squawking klaxons making ah-ooo-gah sounds which we kids imitated in our play. Much horse driving was by verbal command and seemed to need a lot of profanity. I learned a bit of German, and a lot of Negro talk from vegetable, ice, junk and garbage wagon drivers.


At this time Kentucky and Madison Avenues were the far east edges of Evansville. Across Kentucky Avenue there were vast fields. I believe the area had been a fairgrounds but by then was probably being readied for development. The corner of Kentucky and Washington Avenues was the end of the line for the Washington streetcar line and I remember walks with my mother down Kentucky Avenue to board there for a trip downtown to see the  Keystone Cops . There was another transportation service , a  Jitney Bus serving that area that ran at various times and picked up riders for a nickel(Jitney). Sometimes the driver would even turn off Washington Ave. and bring us to our house! .


A blacksmith shop was located on Eighth Street between Locust and Walnut streets. It was open to the street and I liked to watch the horse-shoeing. Sparks flew to the street entrance as the smith pounded the red-hot horseshoe. Then, when the hot shoe was applied to the hoof, smoke and stench rolled out. I never figured out how the horses stood so unconcerned during his fitting or during the driving of nails into the hoof.

End of Part One  Continued in the next edition of Evansville Boneyard

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