246 East 15th Street
Constructed at the same time as 226-228 East 15th, this Jacobethan Revival home served as the residence of Alfred F. Potts, builder of Pottstown.
Admitted to the bar in Marion County while still underage, Potts (1856-1927) set up a practice specializing in criminal law with John L. Griffith. The partnership was dissolved in 1887. He was one of the founders of Consumer Gas Trust Co., an innovative concept in utilities at the time, wherein subscriptions were bought and the company was controlled by a permanent board of trustees. This was the forerunner of Citizens Gas Company, which used the same practice. This technique, designed to control monopolization, was responsible for keeping gas prices in the city the lowest in the United States. A very influential member of the community, Potts was instrumental in securing for the city the Law Building, Claypool Hotel, and the Board of Trade Building. He left this address in 1920.
Bowman Elder took up residence at this time. Elder (1888-1954) was a big name in local real estate circles. He managed both the Chamber of Commerce Building and the Fletcher American Building. An active member of the American Legion, he held several state and national offices and was instrumental in establishing the national headquarters here. He took an interest in politics and served as the treasurer of the Democratic State Committee from 1924-1926. In the public service domain, he acted as Director of the Indianapolis Boys Club Association. Bowman resided here only two years, leaving in 1922.
From 1922 to 1924, Joseph C. Schaf, Jr. occupied the home. Schaf (1859-1930) came to Indianapolis in 1885 and operated the Maus Brewing Co. until it was sold in 1889. He subsequently became affiliated with the American Brewing Co., until 1917 when he left this line of work to become involved in hotel management. For 20 years he was director of the company which operated the Claypool.
In 1925, Otto N. Frenzel, Jr. took up residence at this address. A member of the family which operated Merchant's National Bank, he began work there as a clerk, eventually becoming president in 1945. In 1936, he was named president of the Indiana Trust Co., and later elected Chairman of the Board in 1945. Extremely active in business and civic organizations, he was director of, among others, the Pennsylvania Railroad, American States Life Insurance, Indianapolis Power & Light, Riley Hospital, and the Chamber of Commerce.
Old Northside Historic Area Preservation Plan, 1979
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