Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tenants of the Owen Block - Edward N. Viele

Edward N. Viele was born June 1860 into one of the most prominent families in Evansville. His father, Charles Viele, was president of the First National Bank and a businessman in Evansville. 

The 1880 Vanderburgh County shows Charles and Mary Viele with their younger son Edward, who was age 20 and "off at school,"[1] along with their older son Walter and his wife, Maggie. They were living in the platial family home at 704 Water Street, now re-addressed as 400 SE Riverside Drive. 

Edward was educated in preparatory schools in Connecticut and in Europe. By 1885, he was back in Evansville, where he met Miss Daisy Potter of Delaware, Ohio, who often visited a sister living in Evansville. Their marriage occurred 8 April 1885 in Ohio and was followed by a wedding tour to Cincinnati, Louisville and New Orleans.[2]  Later that year the local newspaper reported that Mr. and Mrs. Ed Viele had moved to one of the flats in the Owen Block.[3] 

Edward Viele was a merchandise broker and proprietor of Caldwell-Viele Co. of Evansville. Apparently, they did not live at the Owen Block very long because the 1890 City Directory lists their home address as 624 Upper 2nd Street [4] He was a musician of note and he and Mrs. Viele were very active in the social scene of Evansville.  They had one son, Douglas, who died of meningitis  at Fort Benjamin Harrison in 1917.  The Vieles were active members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, just one block from the Owen Block.

By 1920, Mr. and Mrs. Edward N. Viele were living in his father's former home on Riverside Drive. In late February 1924, Mr. and Mrs. Viele left on a trip to Chicago and beyond.  On the 1st day of March, Mr. Viele died suddenly in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His remains were brought back to Evansville for burial at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Mrs. Viele continued to live in Evansville and remained active in social circles until her death 2 September 1937. She had been an officer of the Rathbone Memorial Home as well as the Public Health Nursing Association and the Fortnightly Literary Club. She, too, was a member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

A number of paintings were bequeathed in Mrs. Viele's will to St. Paul's Church and to the Society of Fine Arts and History. The paintings were given as a memorial to her late husband, whose father, Charles Viele, had collected many of them during trips abroad. Other art items were given in memory of her deceased son, Douglas.

Viele Home
400 SE Riverside Drive
Evansville, Indiana

[1] 1880 Vanderburgh County, Indiana census, p. 287B, E.D. 78, image 215, Ancestry.com, accessed 13 Mar 2015.
[2] "Personals," Evansville Daily Courier, 31 Mar 1885, p. 4.
[3] "Change of Domicile," Evansville Daily Journal, 6 Oct 1885, p. 8.
[4] 1890 Evansville City Directory, p. 470.

 Published 21 April 2015, Rambling Thoughts ... Out of My Mind by Brenda Joyce Jerome, C.G.

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