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Samuel G. Bartel Architectural Records Collection

Identifier: DADA-002

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of drawings, specifications, correspondence, and contracts from the office of Samuel G. Bartel, “practical architect.” It covers the period from about 1895 to about 1920. The arrangement is chronological.

Bartel did not date most of the documents in the collection. He reliably gave his address; however, and city directories record the dates that his address changed. Estimated dates for the documents have been supplied according to the information from the city directories.

The earliest drawings in the collection are four plates of designs for schools (catalog number 2-1). These date to the period Bartel lived and worked at 88 Germania Avenue in Haughville, ca. 1894 to 1897. They were produced for marketing purposes rather than for a particular client, and it is doubtful that any of the schools were built. The plates depict various designs in plan and elevation, accompanied by explanatory and promotional text. On one plate the author declares, “I make School House Architecture a Specialty.”

A second series of documents (catalog numbers 2-2 through 2-14) was created between about 1900 and 1912, after Haughville (and Bartel’s home) had been annexed by the city of Indianapolis. Most of the designs in this series are for frame houses and double houses, to be located in or near that city. Drawings or specifications give the name of the client and the address of five of the houses: Fred Goepper, house at 415 Holmes Avenue; C. H. Palmer, house on 27th Street between Meridian and Illinois Streets; Mary O’Connor, double house on Pendergast Street; Albert M. and Flora Houser, house at 924-926 N. Bismarck Avenue; Emma Spencer, frame bungalow at 1818 Schurmann Avenue.

Also in this series are designs for a lodge building for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Philoxenian Lodge #44, 320 N. Meridian St., and a business building for August M. Boehrm, 2427 W. Washington St.

Two projects are for sites outside Indianapolis: the remodeling of a house for William Ivens Cox at 126 Center Street, Plainfield, and a proposal to the Adams County Commissioners for a county infirmary building (the commissioners selected a different design). The specifications for several projects in the series are distinctive, written in neat script in ink on nine-inch-wide strips of tracing paper.

A third series (catalog numbers 2-15 through 2-20) includes commissions executed while Bartel lived and worked in Muncie and Farmland, from 1913 to about 1920. All six commissions are for sites in Randolph County. They include the Maxville Methodist Episcopal Church in Maxville, a new school building for Stony Creek Township, additions and alterations to the Odd Fellows building in Winchester, a new roof for another commercial building in Winchester, the First National Bank of Farmland, and a house for Orvil Wood in Farmland. The Maxville Methodist Episcopal Church is rated “outstanding” in the Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory, Randolph County Interim Report (1998).

A few miscellaneous business papers are collected in catalog no. 2-21. These include commercially printed contract and specification forms bearing the name “Philipp Pfeiffer, architect” and three items of correspondence, 1915-1920. Pfeiffer may have been a mentor to Bartel. He has not been identified.


  • Creation: ca. 1985-ca.1920


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

Samuel G. Bartel, a native of Indiana, was born in May 1856. Nothing is known at present of his early life. Evidently, he moved east for a few years; his wife, Eliza, was born in New York state, and their son, George S., was born in Ohio in 1883.

By 1889 Bartel was a carpenter by trade, living in Haughville, which at the time was an incorporated town just northwest of Indianapolis. In 1893 he described himself as a contractor, and then a year later as a “practical architect.” He placed advertisements in Indianapolis directories for 1894 and 1895 reading:

Samuel G. Bartel practical Architect and Superintendent Plans and Specifications Prepared at a reasonable per cent. No. 88 Germania Avenue, . . . . . HAUGHVILLE.

At about the same time, he drew up some promotional material declaring a specialization in “School House Architecture.” His career evidently went in a different direction, however, focusing more on modest homes and small commercial buildings. He continued his small architectural practice from his residence in Haughville until 1912. For two years during that period, 1902 and 1903, he served also as “city building inspector,” presumably for the city of Indianapolis (Haughville was annexed by Indianapolis in 1897). From ca. 1899 to 1909 his address is given as 730 N. Germania Avenue, then, from 1910 to 1912, as 746 N. Germania.

About 1913, Bartel moved to East Central Indiana, opening an architecture office at 1101 S. Walnut Street, Muncie. All subsequent records, from 1914 on, place his home in Farmland, Indiana, though in 1914 he also maintained a “soliciting office” in Muncie (in the Johnson Building). He continued his membership in Indianapolis Lodge No. 17 of the Loyal Order of Moose at least to March 1915. The latest dated item in the collection is a letter sent to Bartel at the end of 1920. Bartel is listed in the “roster of architects in Indiana” published by the Indiana Society of Architects through 1925 but his name does not appear in the 1926 roster.


1.3 Cubic Feet (1 OVB box, 1 OVC box, 1 manuscript box)


The Samuel G. Bartel Architectural Records are arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

The Samuel G. Bartel Architectural Records were received by Drawings and Documents Archiveas a donation from Bruce and Ildico Meyer in 1977.


No futher additions are expected.


Soundex to the 12th Census of the United States (1900), reel 27

Indianapolis Directories, 1889-1913

I.S.A. Handbook, 1919, 1923-1925

Material in the collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2003/7/1 by Andrew R. Seager. Finding aid created 2003/9/9 by Andrew R. Seager; revised 2009/5/20 by Carol A. Street.

Samuel G. Bartel Architectural Records
Created by Andrew R. Seager; revised by Carol A. Street
Created 2003/7/1; revised 2009/5/20
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

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)