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

Caroline Marmon Fesler  



(Mrs. James W.) Caroline Marmon Fesler (ca 1878-1960) was born in Richmond, Indiana, and moved to Indianapolis at an early age. Her father, Daniel Marmon, developed the Marmon automobile which was manufactured in Indianapolis through the 1930s.

Caroline Marmon attended Benjamin Harrison School No. 2 and Girls Classical School, and graduated from Smith College in 1900. In 1918 she married James W. Fesler, an attorney. He died in 1949.

Mrs. Fesler had an intense interest in art and music, and was a generous patron of both. She collected paintings, and gave generously to the Art Association of Indianapolis. In 1929 a generous patron of the Association, Mrs. James W. Fesler, donated a building for the art school; she also gave more than half the funds for a major reconstruction of the museum building. She served as president in 1941 and 1942of the Art Accociation of Indianapolis. Paintings which she donated are among the most important in the collections of the present Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Mrs. Fesler was also a lover of classical music. She was a patron of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and a founder and vice president of the Ensemble Music Society. She was perhaps best known for the private concerts which she had in her home at 4035 North Pennsylvania Street, where a select group of friends would be invited to hear a soloist or a group like the Budapest Quartet. She became an intimate friend of some of these musicians, including Alexander Schneider.

In the 18 Jan 1961 culver citizen her death was reported as follows:

    Caroline Marmon Fesler, 82, Lake Resident, Dies Leaves 1/2 Million To Art Museum

    Caroline Marmon Fesler. widely known Hoosier patron of the arts and daughter of the late Daniel W. Marmon who founded the Marmon Motor Car Company, died recently in her home at 4035 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis. She was 82 years old.

    Estate Here Garden Spot

    Mrs. Fesler's estate on Lake Maxinkuckee at 1100 East Shore Drive, with its choice frontage of over 900 feet, is a garden spot of the entire area with its profusion of beautiful flowers in all seasons.

    Left Mother's Home Intact She maintained the mansion on the property in the best family tradition, never disturbing the household arrangement and contents left by her mother over a long period of years.

    Mrs. Fesler whose family came to Indianapolis from Richmond, Ind., attended Benjamin Harrison School, the former Girls Classical School, and Smith College, where she was graduated in 1900.

    Widow of James W. Fesler. Her husband, James W. Fesler. an attorney who died in 1949, served on the Indiana University board of trustees for a numberof years, including some time as chairman. He was a Republican candidate for Governor of Indiana.

    Mrs. Fesler over the years manifested a strong interest in artistic and musical affairs in Indianapolis.

    She had served as a board member and president of the Art Association of Indianapolis, which operates John Herron Art Museum.

    Makes 44 Different Bequests

    Her will provided for 44 specific bequests, including $500,000 to the famed John Herron Art Museum and School in the Hoosier capital.

    She was a long-time supporterof the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and many times had entertainments in her home featuring celebrated chamber music groups including the Budapest String Quartet.

    An active collector of paintings, she had many modern works hungin her home.

    Shunned Publicity Of Gifts

    Mrs. Fesler shunned publicity about her contributions to art andmusic causes in the city.

    Marmon Automobile Family Her father founded the Nordyke & Marmon Milling Machine Company which later became the Marmon Motor Car Company.

    Her late brothers, Howard and Walter Marmon, were active in the management of the firm when Marmon was a leading manufacturer of expensive automobiles for wealthy Americans.

    No funeral services were scheduled in connection With the cremation which Mrs. Fesler instructed should be held. A memorial service may be held at a later date.

    There are no immediate survivors.







illustration, done by the artist Paul Shideler and provided by James Martin Fesler of Waltham, MA

James William 'Billy' Fesler born 29 Sep 1864 Morgantown, Morgan, Indiana and died 1949 Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana and was buried Crown Hill Cemetery Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana son of John Roush Fesler and Harriet Louisa Fish


married 2 Jun 1917 - Marion, Indiana Caroline Marmon He was a prominent Indianapolis attorney and long-time member of the IU Board of Trustees, serving from 1902-1936. He was Vice President of the Board from 1916-1919 and President from 1919-1936. He was a member of the executive committee of James W. Riley Memorial Hospital for Children and a laboratory science building in Indianapolis is named in his honor. He received his AB from IU in 1887 and an honorary doctorate in 1940.

In 1920 he entered into the govenor race for Indiana as an article in the Wabash Plain Dealer dated January 27, 1920:
    J. W. Fesler Enters Race for Governor

    Announce His Candidacy in a Frank Statement to the Public

    - Has an Enviable Record.

    Loyalty is J. W. (Billy) Fesler's creed. He has been locyal to his country, his party and his friends. He had been in plitics all his life because he believes it is the duty of an American citizen to participate in the affairs of governement.

    Law and order stands as the nationa slogan for 1920. One-hundred percent Amercanism is demanded of every candidate. Billy Desler proved himself a true son of one of Indiana's G.A.R. leaders - Col. J. R. Fesler of the 27th Indiana Volunteers, veteran of Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg - by serving in the navy during the Spanish-American war. Barred from the ranks in the world war by age, he rendered efficient sevice as a member of the Marion County Council of Defense.

    Mr. Fesler's political career has coninceded with his rise as a lawyer, for her was associated with such eminent Republicans as Benjmain Harrison, President of the United State, and W. H. H. Millier, attorney general in President Harrison's cabinet. One year out of college found him president of the Harrison First Voters' club. He served as secretary of the Republican Marion county committe in 1892, and was elected countly clerk in 1894. He was a member of the Republican state central committee from the Seventh Congressional Distric from 1894-1898, and in 1914 he was again induced to accept this leadership. During his incumbency complete harmony prevailed and he served with credit to himself and ? the the party, reataining the chairmanship until he announced his candidacy for Governor.

    Billy Fesler is a Hoosier product of the farm and the small rural community. He was born at Morgantown, Ind., Sept 29, 1864. His parents moved to Franklin, Ind. at the close of the war where he lived until 1884, attending the public schools and Franklin college. Lacking funds to continue his education, he came to Indianapolis and obtained a job as a water boy at the stock yards. After working a year and a half he entered Indiana University, graduating in 1887.

    On July 1, 1887, he entered the law office of Harrison, Miller & Elam. He was admitted to the bar and began the practice of law in 1890. On returning from service in the Spanish-American War in 1899, he became a member of the firm of Miller, Elam & Fesler. This relationship continued until 1906 when he became a junior member of the firm of Elam & Fesler. This association lasted until Mr. ELam's death about three years ago, when he became the senior member of the firm of Fesler, Elam & Young.

    He has been a trustee of Indiana University since 1902. He served as vice-president of the board for many years and is now its president. He was a member of the Indianapolis Park Board in 1914-15. For the last quarter of a century he has been a member of the Indiana and Indianapolis Car Assocoiations, servins as president of the latter in 1916. He was one of the organizers and the thrid president of the Marion Club. he belongs to the Columbia and University clubs and is a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

    I announcing his candidacy Mr. Fesler said: "I have concluded to become a canididate for the Republican nomination for Governor, and propose to make an energetic and aggressive canvass. At this time I shall not attempt any extended statement but as opportunity permits, propose to give fully and frankly my views as to what I believe should be the policy of the past state administration.
Year: 1920; Census Place: Indianapolis Ward 8, Marion, Indiana; Roll: T625_453; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 142;
    Household Members: Name Age
    James W Fesler 54
    Caroline Fesler 41
Year: 1940; Census Place: Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana; Roll: T627_1131; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 96-350.
    Household Members: Name Age
    James W Fesler 75
    Caroline Fesler 60
    Von Dieglinger 50 (female) Maid


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