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January 24, 2019

Early Noblesville Street Names and Numbers

Early Noblesville Street Names and Numbers

By: Sherri Bonham

Did you know that the Noblesville street names and numbers that we rely on were not always so? There were no numbered streets in early Noblesville, only streets with names, like Conner. The north/south streets did not become numbers, such as 10thStreet, until early 1894. For example, 10thStreet was formerly known as Anderson Street, Harrison/Wild became 5thStreet, Brock/ Leonard became 7thStreet, Railroad / Polk became 8thStreet, Catherine became 9thStreet, High/Van Buren became 11thStreet, Grant/Jack became 12thStreet. This may not be a complete list.  (Source: Sanborn maps 1892 and 1898).

Some east/west street names were changed as well. Wiltshire became Maple Street, Emmaus became Cherry Street and Voss became Harrison. (Source: Noblesville Sanborn Map 1892).

The Hamilton County Democrat reported on April 20, 1894:

However, from what I can tell, (I could be wrong) it seems the only changes that came of this announcement were the above-mentioned numbering of north/south streets (like New York?) and the name changes of some east/west streets.

It wasn’t until 1922 that all of the building numbers were changed to be consistent with the numbered streets. For example, a house number that had been 141 became 1334 because it sat in the block between of 13thand 14thstreets.

On March 28, 1922, the City Council passed an ordinance for “numbering the houses and naming the streets”. Since the streets were already named, I think this meant to physically renumber the buildings and to place new signage for all of the streets. The article continues:  “all of the old numbers on houses and the names of the streets are to be removed and they will be replaced with new names and figures to be selected by the committee….There are to be 100 numbers to each square or city block and the even numbers are to go to one side and the odd numbers on the other side.” The council appropriated $500 to start this work and felt it should be sufficient.

By figures, I believe they meant metal house numbers to be placed on each home. Here is a picture of what I think may be one of those numbers:

In comparing information from newspaper articles, city directories and maps, I hope I have come up with the correct conclusions. If not, please let me know!