Thompson Road was named for Edwin Thompson, who built and owned Longacre Swimming Pool and Park for many years. I never met him, but his widow lived next door to my family on Madison Avenue. Mrs. Thompson owned the first television set that I saw that wasn’t for sale in a store.
Mr. Thompson’s middle name was Elbert. The first street north of Thompson is Elbert, which starts and stops a few times. If it had crossed Madison, it would have been between our house and Mrs. Thompson’s.
One traffic light south of Thompson is Epler Avenue. I have known and are friends with several folks from the Epler family. The original Epler home was a large one that sat just west of Edgewood Grade School. My first connection with the Epler family was Mrs. Epler, a first-grade teacher at Edgewood. Her husband, Norwood Epler, was a bus driver, and I rode his bus (No. 12) to junior high. Morris Epler was a class ahead of me in school. His father, Al, owned a gas station at Meridian and Epler.
McFarland Road also bears a family name. The McFarland family started the Golden Guernsey Dairy Farm in the mid-1800s. Some of the old stone fencing is still visible on Southport Road just east of McFarland. I knew Mr. “Red” McFarland, who was also a school bus driver.
How about Gray Road. It was named after the Gray family. Jeremiah Gray has an elementary school in Perry Township named after him. Marilyn Gray-Mayfield is a lifelong township resident who I met when my dad and I had an automobile repair shop and school bus business in Southport. Marilyn was one of our drivers and later drove for the township.
Anita Hoss-Smith is one of my former high school classmates. As I remember she lived on or near Hoss Road, which runs west of Meridian Street and a few blocks north of Thompson.
Almost across from the Meridian-Hoss intersection is Bixler Road. The Bixler family farmed quite a bit of the land between Meridian and East streets. George and Peggy Bixler were friends of my folks, and Becky Bixler and my sister, Kathy, were good friends. The Bixler family operated The Southern Circle Drive-In Restaurant for many years and built and operated Southern Plaza Shopping Center.
There is also Derbyshire Road, which runs out of Southport. The family home is located about halfway between Southport and Banta roads.
The Hannah House on Madison Avenue is just a few blocks north of Hanna Avenue. My friend Judy Elder takes care of the house, which in 1978 was recognized as a historical landmark.
There is also Cardinal Drive. Several years ago the Southport Cardinal attended my birthday party. He is a cool bird.
I’m sure there are more Southside roads that are named after area residents. If you know of any, let me know.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools.