The History of 415 Bright St.
The house at 514 Bright was built sometime in the second half of the 1800s. It was home to many different people, including a shoemaker from around 1867 to 1876, multiple boarders around the turn of the century, the Lamon family in the 1920s, and the Filmsters in the 1930s. Throughout its history, 415 Bright Street was home to many white residents even though it was located in a predominately African American neighborhood.
From the mid 1880s to the 1910s, 514 Bright (previously 219 Bright) was home to many boarders. Francis M. Walker was a boarder who worked the night shift for the Ohio, Indiana and Western Railroad as an engineer. In 1888, he described the hardships he faced due to working nights in an article published in the Indianapolis News.
The Lamon Family
Grant Lamon moved into 415 Bright Street in 1919. Grant was born in Kentucky in 1868 before moving to Indianapolis and marrying Anna Green around the turn-of-the-century. He was a barn man at VanCamp Hardware & Iron Company and lived in the house with his family until about 1924. According to the 1920 census, Grant lived in the house with his wife, Anna, his son, Robert, and his nephew.
Grant Lamon died in 1957 at the age of 88. His obituary in the Indianapolis Star notes that he was a member the Methodist Church and worked for the Van Camp Hardware and Iron Co. for well over two decades.
The Flimster Family
In 1934, the Flimster family moved into 415 Bright Street. Nathaniel was an African American man who was born in Arkansas in the 1890s to Virgil and Sallie Flimster. In 1916, he married LilaBerdia Johnson, while still living in Arkansas. The 1920 census indicated that they had a daughter, Rosetta, around 1918 and that Nathaniel was working as a farmer.
By 1930, the Flimster family had moved to Indianapolis and was living on Toledo Street with LilaBerdia's brother, Ed Johnson, who was working at a foundry. Nathaniel worked as a local fireman, and the family was heavily involved at local Friendship Baptist Church. Rosetta married Edward Robinson and in 1937, while living at 415 Bright Street, they had a daughter named Lila Louise. Later, they had another daughter named Rosemary. In 1941, the family moved out of the 415 Bright Street to a house on Blackford Street.
415 Bright Street Today
The house at 415 Bright Street was demolished around 1977 following the departure of its last resident, Mrs. Janet Hudson. Today the IUPUI science building sits in its place.
Written by Sam Opsahl
Edited by Hannah Ryker, April 23, 2020