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S. E. Arvin and Sons Records Collection

Identifier: DADA-049

Scope and Contents

This collection includes business records, financial records, architectural plans, plat maps, and photographs from S. E. Arvin and Sons in Indianapolis, Indiana, ranging from 1947 to 1952 regarding residential architecture built by the company, with particular emphasis on the Arlington Woods subdivision. There are a few personal papers consisting of household purchase receipts, most notably routine purchases from Block's and L. S. Ayres' department stores and purchases related to Mary Arvin's wedding. One personal photograph depicts a Sunday service on a Navy ship during WWII.

Architectural plans are from the Strathmoor Company of Detroit, Michigan, a builder of prefabricated houses that were often marketed to returning WWII veterans. Plat maps depict boundaries for Arlington Woods' second section and Marlinda Estates, both on the east side of Indianapolis. There are individual folders containing documentation for most houses in the Arlington Woods subdivision.

Photographs show small residences in Indianapolis and are marked as "S. E. Arvin and Sons" and their corresponding addresses.

This collection provides an excellent view of building trends following WWII and how a small house subdivision was created at that time.


  • 1940 - 1953


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Drawings and Documents Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Drawings and Documents Archive.

Biographical Note

Sherrill E. Arvin (1901-1987) was married to Isabell A. Arvin (b. 1907) and they had four children, Sherrill T., James, Donald, and Mary Arvin. The family lived primarily in Indianapolis, Indiana, where Arvin worked as a builder in the housing construction industry. In 1947 they resided in San Angelo, Texas.

Arvin was associated with the Indianapolis Home Show and his company, S. E. Arvin, Inc. built the "Manor House" designed by architect Leslie F. Ayres for the home show in 1941. During WWII, Arvin served as a Chief Warrant Officer in the US Navy.

After WWII, Arvin returned home and worked on housing developments that featured small, single-family, pre-fabricated houses that were very much in demand at the time. His business had always been a family affair due to his wife working as secretary and treasurer, and sometime in the 1940s, the name was changed to S. E. Arvin and Sons to reflect the involvement of their sons. They built the Arlington Woods subdivision, among other properties in Indianapolis.


4 Cubic Feet (4 MSS boxes, 1 records carton, 1 OVA box, 1 flat file drawer)


Collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Personal photographs and receipts, 1940s-1953

Series 2: Company records, 1949-1951

Series 3: Architectural drawings, 1940s

Custodial History

This collection was received by Drawings and Documents Archive as a donation from Kristi Howard-Shultz on 2013/06/12.


No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed.

S.E. Arvin and Sons Records
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Andrew Seager Archives of the Built Environment Repository

Architecture Building, Room 120
Muncie IN 47306 USA
765-285-3726 (Fax)