Lake Maxinkuckee Its Intrigue History & Genealogy Culver, Marshall, Indiana

The House of a Thousand Candles
762 E. Shore Dr.  

In 1905, the Bobbs-Merrill Publishing house released Indianapolis author Meredith Nicholson's (1866 - 1947) novel, The House of a Thousand Candles. The book, partly inspired by Nicholson's visit to a similar house on the East Shore of Lake Maxinkuckee, became one of the best-selling novels of its day and inspired a play and two motion pictures (though the latter one, from 1936, strayed so far from the plot of the novel as to become almost a different story entirely).

The setting of the novel in the Culver area (Nicholson changed Culver Academy to an Episcopal girls' school called St. Agatha's) has become part of local legend, and the house, today owned by Craighton Hippenhammer and having an illustrious history on its own outside of the book, still stands.

Nicholson himself had quite a legacy as Hoosier novelist, author, and activist. His former home in Indianapolis, in fact, houses the Indiana Humanities Council; the house of the late Meredith Nicholson, an Indiana author most famous for his novel The House of a Thousand Candles, which he penned at 1500 North Delaware Street, while living in this home; thus many people mistakenly believe that the book was about this house. But Nicholson stated that he was inspired by a house on Lake Maxinkuckee in Culver, Indiana. The Meredith Nicholson House, built in 1903-1904, is believed to be the first Georgian/Colonial Revival style home in Indianapolis. It was sold by Nicholson’s family in 1923

The Meredith Nicholsion Collection of the Indiana Center for History (PDF). A review - Meredith Nicholson: Indiana and Beyond (PDF file)

The entire book is available for reading or download at the "Project Gutenberg" online to read the entire book in htm format or to choose a different format< or download the book. Also also Amazon has had copies/reprints as well as AbeBooks if you want your own copy of the book

In 1930, in light of the local connection to the book, the Culver High School Annual wrote to ask Nicholson for some comments for the annual. Below is his letter of response.

The first two illustrations, at the opening and closing of the novel, perhaps best capture the look of the actual house on Lake Maxinkuckee

and other original illustrations from the 1905 edition by Howard Chandler Christy.

Meredith Nicholson with Hoosier authors Hewlitt Howland and James Whitcomb Riley

Meredith Nicholson with Hoosier author James Whitcomb Riley

An illustration cover for the modern edditon of the book

The Movies

In 1915, the Selig Polyscope Company produced a (silent) motion picture version of the film. It is unclear to us at this time whether any prints exist of the film.

    Realease Date: 23 August 1915
    Produced by William Nicholas
    Directed by Thomas N. Heffron

    Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)
    Meredith M. Nicholson ... (novel)
    Gilson Willets ... (scenario)

    Cast (in credits order)
    Harry Mestayer... Jack Glenarm
    Grace Darmond... Marian Evans
    John Charles... Arthur Pickering
    George Backus ... John Marshall 'Squire' Glenarm
    Forrest Robinson... Bates
    Edgar Nelson... Larry Donovan
    Emma Glenwood... Theresa Evans
    Gladys Samms... Olivia Evans
    Mary Robson... Carmen
    Effingham Pinto... Don Jose

In 1915, Grosset & Dunlap of New York reprinted the book in a "movie" edition complete with photos from the film, the original Copyright is marked 1905, by The Bobbs-Merrill Company, November. Published by Grosset & Dunlap of New York.

This edition has a special additional noted by Meredith called “Preface to the Motion-Picture Edition that includes 4 pages of his explanation of what inspired him to write this book and thanking those who have read it and to those who intend to make the Motion-Picture from it.

Meredith Nicholson's Preface to the Motion-Picture Edition, which mentions Lake Maxinkuckee as inspiration for the novel.
    Stevenson is said to have remarked on an occasion that he wished some one would write a book as good as Treasure Island; that he should like to read it! As it would be unbecoming for me to pretend to greater modesty than he possessed I shall not scruple to say that if a tale of about the same general character as this were to be offered me at a reasonable figure I should not hesitate to buy it.

    Readers of novels are not interested in the nature or source of the authors' inspiration. The story itself is the main thin, and it makes no difference whether the writer "thought it up" while shaving, or in church or in jail. Still, as this story is now growing old, some of its later readers may be amused to know how near it came to being something quite different. The first germ of which I was conscious filled me with a longing to write an adventure tale with an old-world atmosphere in a new-world setting. Notre Dame, Indiana, seemed at first a likely scene, though I am unable to say why, unless it were a feeling that the Bell of Notre Dame occurred to me as a good title. About that time I happened to visit some friends at Lake Maxinkuckee, also in Indiana. On a bright September morning, while looking off across the lake at the tower of a boy's school, it flashed upon me that here was an ideal scene for just the type of story I felt impelled to write.

    In order to surround the lonely house on the lake with the necessary air of isolation and mystery I fixed winter as the appropriate season. The winter of that year proved to be a snowy one, and I used to go out at night and walk the streets near my home in Indianapolis in the hope of catching the winter spirit. One of my neighbors was remodeling his residence, and the scaffolding lifted against the skyline suggested the unfinished house in and about which the incidents occur.

    If writing is not a pleasure the results are pretty likely to be disappointing; that, at least, has been my experience; and I frankly confess that I had a great deal of fun writing this book. It was never carefully planned, though of course I had from the first a general idea of how the adventure was to end; but once started it ran along at its own pace. I wrote what came into my head from day to day, going to my desk for two or three hours in the morning and then spending the afternoon in revision. Some of the chapters were rewritten half a dozen times. One chapter that I thought rather fine, wouldn't fit anywhere and I was obliged to drop it into the fire. I regret to say that no one ever complained of its absence from the book! As the work progressed I began to feel that it was an adventure of my own I was describing; and even now, in glancing over the pages, I have a feeling that it is a personal narrative -- something that I really experienced.

    The publisher had, I think, as much fun in finding a market for the book as I had in writing it. No one can have failed to see candles blazing everywhere announcing the book's publication. The title was so impressed upon the public's consciousness that it is still paraphrased frequently to advertise other commodities. I have on my shelf German, French, Spanish, Italian, Swedish, and Norwegian translations. The novel was dramatized and that gifted player, Mr. E.M. Holland, presented the play as far from its originating points as Honolulu; and now the moving picture film is telling the story over again in a new medium.

    The critics have praised other books of mine far more heartily than they have praised this one; but in no other case have I found favor with so many readers. The public and the critics view the merits of novels from quite different angles, it seems. But I am glad of the opportunity afforded by this preface to say to the considerable number of persons who have honored me by perusing these pages that their generosity and kindness in this particular have given me what is far from being the least happy experience of my life.
    Indianapolis, July 20, 1915.
    Meredith Nicholson

    From the original preface to the book: Note: In adapting THE HOUSE OF A THOUSAND CANDLES for production in motion pictures, the Selig Polyscope Company interpolated several interesting incidents, including a cabaret scene and a masquerade ball. Illustrations used in this volume of these scenes therefore have no reference to the author's text and are printed only in this photo-play edition.

    The House of a Thousand Candles provides readers with the view of an outsider coming to Indiana. The book begins: Pickering's letter bringing news of my grandfather's death found me at Naples early in October. John Marshall Glenarm had died in June. He had left a will which gave me his property conditionally, Pickering wrote, and it was necessary for me to return immediately to qualify as legatee. It was the merest luck that the letter came to my hands at all, for it had been sent to Constantinople, in care of the consul-general instead of my banker there.

    Photos as follows:

    It was re-filmed again in 1919 as an American silent film as a haunting shadow. It was Directed by Henry king and starred H. B. Warner, Edward Piel Jr., Charles hill s ports centre, Florence Oberle.

    A 1936 version was also released, by the Nat Levine unit at Republic but completely changed from the original story and probably of little interest to local readers (and reportedly a terrible movie besides!).

    Released Date: 1 Jan / 3 April 1936
    Directed by Arthur Lubin

    Writing Credits
    Meredith M. Nicholson ... (based on a novel by "House of a Thousand Candles")
    H. W. Hanemann ... (screenplay) and
    Endre Bohem ... (screenplay)

    Produced by
    Dorothy Davenport ... supervising producer (as Mrs. Wallace Reid)
    Nat Levine ... producer
    Cast and other credits at ibm . com

    The Movie review from the New York Times:
      The House of a Thousand Candles (1936)
      THE SCREEN; A Cinematic Changeling Is the Film Edition of 'House of a Thousand Candles,' at the Center.
      Published: April 2, 1936

      It may shed some light on "The House of a Thousand Candles" to report that it uses the title but not the plot of the novel written some thirty years ago by the Hoosier diplomat, Meredith Nicholson. To the title, Republic Pictures has added a story which might have been dashed off by E. Phillips Oppenheim, but comes, instead, from H. W. Hanemann and Endre Bohem. All of which may be confusing, but is not necessarily disheartening; for, jerry-built as it is, the Center's new photoplay is a lively spy-ring melodrama, briskly directed by Arthur Lubin and played with general effectiveness by Irving Pichel, Mae Clarke, Phillips Holmes, Rosita Moreno and Fred Walton.

      Possibly the chief reason for the department's failure to unsheathe the critical axe this morning is the picture's negative virtues. It is an old newspaper canon that what is not done is not news. But we feel that an exception must be noted in the case of a spy film which does not resolve itself into an emotional tug of war between love and duty, with the audience generally losing. Then, too, there is no small measure of satisfaction to be derived from Mr. Pichel's portrayal of a master mind who really displays symptoms of intelligence. In most cases, the brains of these international spy rings prowl about so mysteriously that we feel they are acting out a charade for Mata Hari.

      So, then, to "The House of a Thousand Candles," which, in this film edition, is an elaborate gambling casino serving as the headquarters of Mr. Pichel's radio-controlled espionage bureau. We arrive there, inevitably, at one of those crucial moments in European history when only a certain note from England, delivered to Geneva, can save world peace. It is one of the picture's minor incredulities that Britain, in her darkest hour, should have to turn to Mr. Phillips Holmes to serve as the courier. But Mr. Holmes is chosen, is—as we might have warned the British Intelligence Service—duped by a charming agent of Mr. Pichel and, from then until the rousing finale, works to recover the purloined document and destroy the ring.

      In his praiseworthy attempts to protect the dove and the olive branch, Mr. Holmes is assisted handsomely by Miss Clarke as a tenacious American girl, by Fred Walton as his light-fingered valet and by Michael Fitzmaurice as the master of ceremonies at Mr. Pichel's candle-illumined rendezvous. It is regrettable, of course, that a master mind as sinister and unscrupulous as Mr. Pichel should have been defeated by such a quartet, but, then, peace at any price is Republic's motto and ours. At any rate, it adds up to a reasonably exciting entertainment and is quite the best spy picture to have come our way since "The Thirty-Nine Steps."

      THE HOUSE OF A THOUSAND CANDLES, from the book by Meredith Nicholson; screen play by H. W. Hanemann and Endre Bohem; directed by Arthur Lubin and supervised by Mrs. Wallace Reid; produced by Nat Levine for Republic Pictures. At the Center.
      Tony Carleton . . . . . Phillips Holmes
      Carol Vincent . . . . . Mae Clarke
      Sebastian . . . . . Irving Pichel
      Raquel . . . . . Rosita Moreno
      Alf . . . . . Fred Walton
      Marta . . . . . Hedwiga Reicher
      Sir Andrew MacIntyre . . . . . Lawrence Grant
      Travers . . . . . Fredrik Vogeding
      Barrie . . . . . Michael Fitzmaurice
      Jules . . . . . Rafael Storm
      Demetrius . . . . . Mischa Auer
      Agent . . . . . Paul Ellis
      Steward . . . . . Keith Daniels
      Radio Attendant . . . . . Charles DeRavenne

    The House

    The House of a Thousand Candles still stands on the East Shore of Lake Maxinkuckee, and was in 1984 declared a Historic Structure by the County Historical Society.

    It is today owned by Professor Craighton Hippenhammer of Illinois, who has spoken about the house and its history on a few occasions in the recent past and published an article entitled "The House of a Thousand Candles: The Lake Maxinkuckee Link" (PDF file)

    An image of the interior of the house as it probably appeared around the time of the release of the book (1905 or thereabouts).
    Below are some photos of the house as it looked at some point in the past 20 years, taken by a previous owner and made available through the Marshall County Historical Museum.

    Craighton Hippenhammer researched and wrote the article entitled "The House of a Thousand Candles: The Lake Maxinkuckee Link"

    The Writings Of Meredith Nicholson include:

    1903Main Chance"EKN" (Eugenia Kountze Nicholson)
    1903Little Brown JugTo You At The Gate
    1904Zelda DameronMy Father
    1905House Of A Thousand Candles
    A romantic thriller; sold over 250,000 copies was made into a movie in 1936 recently published in paperback.
    Margaret, My Sister
    1906Poems (Short Flight)"None"
    1907Pory Of Missing MenHerma Kountze
    1907Rosalind At RedgateMy Mother
    1908War Of The Carolinas"None"
    1909Lords Of High DecisionBowman Elder & Edward Robinette
    1910Siege Of The Seven SuitorsThomas R. Marshall
    1911Style and the Man"unknown"
    1912A Hoosier Chronicle
    A serious work examining Indiana society and politics at the turn of the century. Many critics consider this his best work.
    Evans Woolen
    1912The Provincial American, and Other PapersGeorge Edward Woodberry
    1913Otherwise PhyllisAlbert B. Anderson
    1914The Poet"None"
    1915The Hoosiers
    Considered one of the best works on Indiana's culture and literature.
    Caleb Mills (Wabash College Professor)
    1916Proof Of The PuddingCarleton McCulloch
    1917Reversible Santa Claus"None"
    1918Valley Of DemocracyChildren: Elizabeth, Meredith, Lionel
    1919Lady Larkspur"unknown"
    1919A Fifth Reader"unknown"
    1920Blacksheep, BlacksheepLouis C. Husmon
    1921Man In The StreetCornelia
    1921Best Laid Schemes"unknown"
    1922Broken Barriers
    Made into a movie with Norma Shearer, James Kirkwood, and Ruth Stonehouse.
    Ray Long
    1923Hope Of HappinessFrank S.C. Wicks
    1925They Lived Happily Ever After"EKN" Eugenia Kountze Nicholson
    1928Cavalier Of TennesseeMary J. Judah
    1929Old Familiar FacesC. L. Nicholson

Other writings by Meredith Nicolson are available at The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection to read in PDF form along with his books:

A Letter (Verse) p. 480 The Century MagazineJanuary 1890
On a Becalmed Sleeping-Car (Verse) p. 320 The Century Magazine December 1890
A Parting Guest (Verse) p. 422 The Century Magazine January 1892
Chords (Verse) p. 456 The Century Magazine January 1895
The Cello (Verse) p. 820 The Century Magazine April 1897
Memory (Verse) p. 709 The Harpers Monthly April 1897
Slang (Verse) p. 319 The Century MagazineJune 1897
Charm (Verse) p. 104 The Harpers MonthlyJune 1898
The Horns (Verse) p. 516 The Century Magazine August 1898
Orchards by the Sea (Verse) p. 719 The Century Magazine September 1898
Labor and Art (Verse) p. 709 The Harpers Monthly October 1898
A Prayer of the Hill Country (Verse) p. 275 The Century Magazine June 1899
Camps (Verse) p. 460 The Century Magazine July 1899
A Shadow of the Rockies (Verse) p. 676 The Century Magazine September 1900
In the Great Pastures (Verse) p. 138 The Atlantic Monthly July 1901
Wide Margins (Verse) p. 440 The Atlantic Monthly October 1902
The Inevitable Word (Verse) p. 571 The Bookman August 1903
Indianapolis: a City of Homes pp. 836-844 The Atlantic Monthly June 1904
God Save the State! (Verse) p. 151 The Century MagazineNovember 1904
In the Dusk (Verse) p. 192 Scribners August 1906
The Spirit of Mischief pp. 663-667 The Atlantic Monthly May 1908
The Provincial American pp. 311-319 The Atlantic Monthly March 1911
Should Smith go to Church? pp. 721-733 The Atlantic Monthly June 1912
The Tired Business man pp. 473-480 The Atlantic Monthly October 1912
The Lady of Landor Lane pp. 187-196 The Atlantic Monthly February 1914
Church as a Social Force Social Service by the Church Still Experimental p. 493 The Nation April 30, 1914
The Church for Honest Sinners pp. 169-172 The Atlantic Monthly February 1915
Honor Bright A Story pp. 351-361 The Harpers Monthly August 1915
The Open Season for American Novelists pp. 456-465 The Atlantic Monthly October 1915
The Boulevard of Rogues pp. 795-799 The Atlantic Monthly December 1915
The Second-Rate Man in Politics pp. 175-187 The Atlantic Monthly August 1916
James Whitcomb Riley pp. 503-514 The Atlantic Monthly October 1916
The Heart of Life pp. 725-737 A Story Scribners December 1917
"The Valley of Democracy" I. The Folks and Their Folksiness pp. 1-16 Scribners, January 1918
"The Valley of Democracy" II. Chicago pp. 137-162 Scribners February 1918
"The Valley of Democracy" III. Types and Diversions pp. 257-275 Scribners March 1918
"The Valley of Democracy" IV. The Farmer of the Middle Westpp. 385-403 Scribners April 1918
"The Valley of Democracy" V. The Middle West in Politics pp. 543-558 Scribners May 1918
"The Valley of Democracy" VI. The Spirit of the West pp. 654-665 Scribners June 1918
Wrong Number pp. 549-559 A Story Scribners May 1919
How, then, should Smith Vote? pp. 540-552 The Atlantic Monthly October 1920
Poor Old English Language pp. 325-326 Scribners September 1921
The Oldest Case on the Calendar pp. 27-34 The Harpers Monthly December 1921
An American Citizen pp. 691-698 Scribners December 1922
One's Grandfather pp. 18-24 The Harpers Monthly December 1923
Keep Off the Grass - A Memorandum for Governor Smith and Mr. McAdoo pp. 1-5 The Century Magazine May 1927
Hoosier Letters and the Ku Klux Klan pp. 7-11 The Bookman March 1928
The Best Man Wins - The Short Short Story Collier's Weekly July 4, 1931
The Third Man pp. 61-78 Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine August 1949

Meredith Nicholson on Lake Maxinkuckee in A Hoosier Chronicle:
    In his 1912 novel, A Hoosier Chronicle, Meredith Nicholson included a charming chapter on his main character Sylvia's first visit to Lake Waupegan, a fictional name for Lake Maxinkuckee. An excerpt is below.


      ...So it happened that on a June evening they left the train at Waupegan and crossed the platform to the wheezy little steamer which was waiting just as the timetable had predicted; and soon they were embarked and crossing the lake, which seemed to Sylvia a ast ocean. Twilight was enfolding the world, and all manner of fairy lights began to twinkle at the far edges of the water and on the dark heights above the lake. Overhead the stars were slipping into their wonted places.

      "You can get an idea of how it is at sea," said her grandfather, smiling at her long upward gaze. "Only you can hardly feel the wonder of it all here, or the great loneliness of the ocean at night."

      It was, however, wonder enough, for a girl who had previously looked upon no more impressive waters than those of Fall Creek, Sugar Creek, and White River. The steamer, with much sputtering and churning and not without excessive trepidation on the part of the captain and his lone deck hand, stopped at many frail docks below the cottages that hung on the bluff above. Every cottager maintained his own light or combination of lights to facilitate identification by approaching visitors. They passed a number of sailboats lazily idling in the light wind, and several small power boats shot past with engines beating furiously upon the still waters.

      "The Bassetts' dock is the green light; the red, white, and blue is Mrs. Owen's," explained the captain. "We ain't stoppin' at Bassett's to-night."

      These lights marked the farthest bounds of Lake Waupegan, and were the last points touched by the boat. Sylvia watched the green light with interest as they passed. She had thought of Marian often since their meeting at Mrs. Owen's. She would doubtless see more of her now: the green light and the red, white and blue were very close together.

      Mrs. Owen called to them cheerily from the dock, and waved a lantern in welcome. She began talking to her guests before they disembarked.

      "Glad to see you, Andrew. You must be mighty hungry, Sylvia. Don't smash my dock to pieces, Captain; it's only wood."

Meredith Nicholson - Biography

Meredith Nicholson was born on December 9, 1866 in Crawfordsville, Indiana, the first of four children of Edward Willis Nicholson and the former Emily Ellen Meredith. At least one place his name is recorded as Willis Meredith Nicholson

He moved to Indianapolis with his family at age five in 1872

meredith was largely self-taught, as his schooling ended at age 15 because of mathematics. He proceeded to become an exceptional example of the self-educated American man of letters. He taught himself foreign languages and was fluent in Latin, Greek, French and Italian

He worked at odd jobs-- as a drug store clerk, a gofer in a print shop, and as a law clerk, which led him to study law briefly for a time at the office of Dye and Fishback. and abandoning a law career, he began a newspaper career as a reporter in 1884 at the Indianapolis Sentinel and moved to the Indianapolis News the following year, where he remained until 1897.

During his literary career, in the middle 1880's he began to publish poems in newspapers and he wrote approximately 30 books, plays and essays before retiring from writing in 1929 to pursue a career in diplomatic service.

Nicholson was married first on Jun 16 1896 Omaha Douglas County Nebraska to Eugenie Clementine Kountze Birth: Jul. 11, 1867 Omaha Douglas County Nebraska Death: Dec. 20, 1931 Indianapolis Marion County Indiana burial: DEC 22,1931 Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana
    Eugenia Kountze Nicholson, the daughter of Herman and Elizabeth (Davis) Kountze, was born in Omaha, July 11, 1867. Her parents were Omaha pioneers and the Kountze family has been prominent in the business and social life of that city for many years. She was graduated from Vassar College, A.B., in the class of 1888, and was Phi Beta Kappa. On June 16, 1896, she was married in Omaha to Meredith Nicholson, the author. Since their marriage they have lived in Indianapolis, Ind. They have four children, Elizabeth, Eugenie, Meredith and Lionel. Mrs. Nicholson is a prominent member of the Indianapolis Woman's Club, of which she has been president. She is vice-president of the Woman's Franchise League of Indiana and is one of the most influential among the suffrage leaders in Indiana. She is a member of the Association of Collegiate Alumnae, belongs to the Indiana Vassar Club, to the Woman's University Club of New York City, and belongs to the Consumer's League of Indianapolis, beside belonging to a number of social clubs of a local nature. She is a frequent visitor to Omaha, which she still calls "home."
They had four children:
    * Elizabeth Kountze Nicholson Birth 3 Mar 1899 in Denver, Arapaho County, Colorado Death 1951 in Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana {Elizabeth K. Brown burial: DEC 5,1964} Burial: Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana married 1st 9 Oct 1920 Marion County Indiana Benjamin Franklin Claypool Birth 21 Dec 1894 in Indiana Birth: Death: 1953,Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana, son of Jefferson Helm Claypool and Mary Buckner Ross; 2nd Austin Haymond Brown Birth 23 Dec 1890 in Connersville, Fayette, Indiana, Death Sep 1954 in Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana burial : 9 Sep 1954 Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana he married 1st 3 Apr 1917 Marion county , Indiana Anna Belle Voorhees she d. Jun 1934 son of William John Brown and Cornelia I Garvin

    * Eugenie D. Nicholson birth unknown death: May 1902 burial: MAY 26,1902 Burial: Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana

    * Meredith Nicholson, Jr., Birth 5 Mar 1902 in Indianapolis, Indiana Death: Nov 1968 in Indianapolis, Indiana burial: NOV 23, 1968 Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana marries Roberta West Birth 17 Jan 1903 Death: 7 Nov 1987 Nashville, Brown, Indiana burial: NOV 10, 1987 Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana

    * Charles Lional Nicholson Birth 1907 Indianapolis, Marion county Indiana Death: Mar 1949 in Indianapolis, Marion county Indiana burial: MAR 24,1949 Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana married Edith Watson Birth abt 1906 Pennsylvania Death unknown

In 1898 the couple moved to Denver, Colo., where Nicholson engaged in business for about three years. As treasurer for a mining company Returning to Indianapolis in 1901, he began a long career as popular novelist, essayist for a wide range of magazines, and leading Hoosier personality, much in demand as a speaker and lecturer. In company with Booth Tarkington, George Ade, and James Whitcomb Riley, Nicholson was considered a leader in creating a Golden Age of Indiana literature in the first quarter of the twentieth century.

In 1929, however, Nicholson's writing stopped, apparently as a result of the financial devastation experienced by the family in the stock market collapse. Soon afterwards, Nicholson suffered an even greater loss in the death of his beautiful and talented wife, Eugenie, who had been his inspiration and helpmeet throughout his writing years. Jobless, nearly destitute, and forced in 1931 to give up his home on North Meridian Street, Nicholson's prospects at the outset of the Great Depression seemed dim indeed.

A lifelong Democrat who had been active behind the scenes in the campaigns of others, Nicholson turned for help to his political friends who came into power at that time. Nicholson's longtime friend and personal physician, Dr. Carleton B. McCulloch-who was also a former gubernatorial candidate and current chairman of the Democratic state committee-became his chief promoter. McCulloch enlisted the help of their mutual friend, future governor Paul V. McNutt. In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who knew Nicholson only by reputation, responded to their entreaties with the offer of a diplomatic appointment to Paraguay. As a result, at the age of 66, Nicholson began a new career as a diplomat.

In 1928, Nicholson entered Democratic party politics, and served for one term, two years (1928-1930) as a "reform" city councilman in Indianapolis. He rose through the ranks of the Democratic party. He was a moderate Democrat with Whig-Republican antecedents but began his own political life as a Mugwump in 1884. He could not support Bryan, but his voice against the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana Republican politics of the 1920's was eloquent and much needed. He supported national candidates in sane, practical, bipartisan terms.

A staunch Democrat, he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Paraguay by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (30 October 1933 – 3 February 1935). A year later he was transferred to Venezuela and, in 1938 (April 22, 1935 – April 14, 1938) , to Nicaragua (June 9, 1938 – February 27, 1941).

Meredith married secondly on Sept. 20, 1933 married his secretary, Dorothy Wolfe Lannon of Marion, Ind. Of Dorothy, Ralph D. Gray in his article "Hoosier Author as Diplomat: Meredith Nicholson in Latin America, 1933–1941" Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 102, Issue 4 December 2006 , pp 355-369 states: "It appears that Mrs. Nicholson, an unknown number of years (perhaps as many as twenty-eight) younger than her husband, wanted to move on. The former Mrs. Nicholson disappeared from public record and she remains a shadowy figure to this day, for no one has yet been able to discover the basic details of her life."
    WASHINGTON, Sept. 19.—(UP) — Meredith Nicholson, the Indiana writer and U. S. minister to Parajuay, will be married tomorrow to Dorothy Lannon of Marion, Ind.

    A brief marriage ceremony will be held in the apartment of Sen Frederick Van Nuys. Dem. Ind., who obtained the license for the pair late yesterday.

    Miss Larmon, a literary associate of Nicholson's, is writing a novel, which she plans to finish after their honeymoon trip to Paraguay; starting Sept. 30.

    Nicholson has been here 10 days Working at the state department preparatory to assuming his new duties. - Sep 19 1933 Logansport, Indiana, United States of America

    Meredith Nicholson, famous Indiana author, recently appointed United States minister to Paraguay, and Mrs. Dorothy Lannon of Marion, Ind., were married in Washington, D. C., Wednesday by the Rev. U. G. B. Pierce, pastor of the All Souls Unitarian church. The ceremony was performed in the apartment of Senator VanNuys.

    Nicholson and his new bride will leave Sunday for New York and they will sail for Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, Sept. 30. - Delphi Citizen September 21, 1933

    Frederick Maryland
    September 27, 1933
    Meredith Nicholson. Indiana author recently appointed U. S. minister to Paraguay,San Jaun is shown here with his bride, who was Mrs. Dorothy Lannon of Marion, nnd Indianapolis. Ind., after their marriage in the apartment of Senator Frederick Van Nuys of Indiana, in Washington. The Nicholsons will sail shortly for Paraguay. - Also Danville Bee September 26, 1933 Danville, Virginia

But new information was come to light thorugh the San Juan, Puerto Rico, Passenger and Crew Lists, April 10, 1935 leading to more information on her as follows:

born 22 Jun 1893 Marion,Grant, Indiana (per San Juan, Puerto Rico, Passenger and Crew Lists, April 10, 1935)

born 22 Jun 1895 Marion,Grant, Indiana died 11 Feb 1951 - Dallas, Dallas, Texas burial: 13 Feb 1951 Restland Creamtory Dallas, Dallas, Texas daughter of Lee Wolfe and Miranda Berry. She married 1st Carl Thomas Lannon born 7 May 1892 Logansport, Cass, Indiana died 13 Feb 1956 Terrell, Kaufman, Texas buried 16 Feb 1956 Restland Memorial Park Dallas, Dallas, Texas son of Michael Lannon and Ida Eileen Farrell he seemed to have been a sign painter and a salesman; he is listed as being single in 1917 but married in 1920 on the census with his mother but no spouse in the household. Dorothy and he divorced sometime after the 1930 census and by his World War II Draft registration re remarried as he lisres a Mrs. Agnes M. Lannon as nearest relative Birth: 1889 Death: 1964 buried Restland Memorial Park Dallas, Dallas, Texas.
Whom he divorced on 24 December 1943. No explanation for this action has been found, other than Nicholson's statement to the judge that "my wife says she no longer loves me." Meredith and Doroty moved to a lovely home near both the water-front and the old City Gate in St. Augustine, Florida. But life in Florida failed to meet all of the Hoosier's expectations, and the couple returned to Indianapolis in 1943. Soon thereafter, Nicholson began to write a twice-weekly column for the Indianapolis Star. These columns, which appeared on Mondays and Thursdays and carried individual titles but ran under the general heading of "Without Prejudice," continued, with only one brief interruption caused by an illness, from April 1943 into September 1944, when they were unceremoniously and inexplicably ended by the newspaper's new publisher, Eugene C. Pulliam

Meredith received local academic honors: master's degrees from Wabash College (1901) and Butler University (1902); Litt.D. from Wabash (1907); LL.D. from Indiana University (1928) and Butler (1929).

Nicholson returned to Indianapolis in 1941 and lived in retirement at the Indianapolis Athletic Club until his death on December 20, 1947, at age 81. Burial: Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis Marion County Indiana

Nicholson, Noted Diplomat Dies
    Meredith Nicholson, 81, Was Novelist And Newspaperman.

    Indianapols, Dec 22 (AP) - Meredith Nicolson, 81, novelist, diplomat, and newspaperman died in Hospital here Sunday after a long illness that had kept him in semi-retirement for several years.

    From printer's devil to diplomat, with lengthy stopovers in between as a reporter and nationally known author, was the career of Meredith Nicholson.

    His formal education ended in the first year of high school, at the age of 15, but before he had finished with life, he was a master not only of English but of Latin and French.

    From the time, he was old enough to vote he was active in the Democratic party. He stumped Indiana through lean years, seeking no preferment for himself.

    Party managers remembered him in time of victory. Their reward to him was appointment first as Minister to Paraguay in 1933. when that country was at war with Bolivia, and later as Minister to Venezuela, in 1935. President Wilson nominated him as Minister to Portugal in 1913 but Nicholson declined because he doubted whether Lisbon would be a desirable place for his children.

    Nicholson's "The House of A Thousand Candles," was one of his outstanding works and was famous for more than 30 years as a mystery novel. It still is to be found in the libraries.

    A couple of years experience sufficed for the printing "business, so far as Nicholson was concerned. Then he worked for a time in a law office, but while so engaged at the age of IS made his first literary sale, a poem going to a New York newspaper for $3 and a short fiction story to a Chicago newspaper for $10.

    He gat into the editorial room of the old Indianapolis Sentinel, but soon shifted to the Indianapolis News. There for 12 years he was first a reporter and then successfully, state, telegraph, exchange and literary editor.

    There followed years of success as a novelist. A rambling old house in the country, eerie in the light of the moon inspired him to write "The House of a Thousand Candles" The house was situated near Lake Maxinkuckee, at Culver, Ind

    "The Port of Missing Men", "A Hoosier Chronical". "Broken Barriers", "The Hope of Happiness". "Blacksheep, Blacksheep", and three volumes of essays. "The Provincial American", "The Valley of Democracy" and "The Man in the Street", were other outstanding works.

    Shortly before becoming Minister to Paraguay, he completed a novelized biography of Andrew Jackson. - 22 Dec 1947 Daily Mail, Hagerstown, Md.

Jeffery P. Kenney
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