Christian Schrader collection
Scope and Contents
Negatives are available for most of the drawings. In 1962, Robert A. Twente created 8 x 10-inch glossy photographic prints of Schrader’s drawings, courtesy of Eli Lilly. These photographic prints depict selected drawings, reproduced in color. There are also a few 35mm slides.
Most drawings have a number assigned to them which corresponds to their reproductions in the book, Indianapolis Remembered: Christian Schrader's Sketches of Early Indianapolis (1987). The photographs of the drawings (circa 1962) are labelled and organized numerically. Many of the drawings have additional handwritten descriptions by the artist about the history or Schrader's thoughts. Any dates he provided were used in the collection inventory, although the drawings themselves may have been created or completed at an unknown later date.
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Never identifying himself as a professional artist, Schrader decided on a mercantile career during the 1850s. By 1854, he was a clerk at George G. Homan’s dry goods store located in the Odd Fellows Building. During the 1860s and early 1870s, Schrader worked as a clerk at John Woodbridge and Company, a china and glassware shop on West Washington Street. In 1872, he opened his own store on 116 East Washington Street, known for exquisite china, glassware, queensware, and statuary.
Schrader married Emily Schreyer on June 22, 1871 and they had two daughters: Lotta (Schrader) Potter (1878-1971) and Louise (Schrader) Graham (1874-1937). Emily died August 15, 1897.
Schrader retired from his business in 1909 and moved to Denver, Colorado to live with his daughter, Lotta and her husband, Frank G. Potter. Around 1911, he returned to Indiana, moving to Madison to live with his daughter, Louise and her husband, Alexander M. Graham. After retirement, Schrader began drawing once more, with renewed interest in the early art sketches he created during the mid- to late 1800s.
Schrader is well-known for sketching Indianapolis street by street and block by block, accounting for over 170 buildings total. He relied on his early sketches to record Indianapolis as well as from his memory and the memories of others.
Christian Schrader died of a stroke on February 20, 1920 in Madison, Indiana. He was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.
Items within the collection.
Ancestry.com. "Emily Thrier." Indiana, U.S., Select Marriages Index, 1748-1993. Accessed February 17, 2021.http://www.ancestrylibrary.com.
Indianapolis Remembered: Christian Schrader's Sketches of Early Indianapolis. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1987.
Findagrave.com. "Charlotte 'Lotta' Schrader Potter." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed February 17, 2021. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/54691447/charlotte-potter.
Findagrave.com. "Christian Schrader." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed March 13, 2021. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/46010960/christian-schrader.
Findagrave.com. "Emily Schrader." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed February 17, 2021. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/46010968/emily-schrader.
Findagrave.com. "Louise Schrader Graham." Find a Grave Memorial. Accessed February 17, 2021. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/99553421/louise-graham.
The Indiana General Assembly appointed Alexander Ralston and Elias Pym Fordham to survey and plan the town's design and Indianapolis was platted in 1821. Ralston's original plan consisted of a grid pattern of wide roads and public squares centered around Governor's Circle (now Monument Circle) over 1 square mile, an area often called "Mile Square" today. The plan included diagonal streets, which were eventually named Indiana, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Virginia avenues. Two notable street names in downtown Indianapolis were changed to their well-known, contemporary titles. In 1895, Mississippi Street was renamed Senate Avenue, a year after Tennessee Street became Capitol Avenue following the construction of several government buildings near the present-day Indiana Statehouse.
By 1825, the town's population of 500 had access to a post office, a school, several churches and shops, seven taverns, and a courthouse where the state legislature met until the construction of the Indiana’s third statehouse, completed in 1835. The capitol that would one day be called the "Crossroads of America" was the intersection of two early highways, Michigan Road running north to the titular Great Lake and south to the Ohio River, and the National Road, also called Cumberland Road (now U.S. Route 40), running east toward Washington, D.C. and west into Illinois. As an added transportation route, the legislature authorized construction of the Central Canal, which ran alongside the White River on the western side of the town. By the late 1850s, the city boasted several new factories, institutions for blind, deaf, and mute people, an "insane asylum", and the impressive Union Terminal, a necessity following the advent of railroads.
By 1850, Indianapolis' population rose to 8,000, but the makeup of the capitol's population was largely white, composed of European immigrants and Americans of European descent. By 1860, only 468 African Americans lived in Indianapolis, a direct result of Article XIII of the 1851 Indiana Constitution, which banned Black Americans from moving into the state. The African American population in Indiana grew during the U.S. Civil War, in spite of the discriminatory article, as Black Americans fled the South. The trend continued throughout the late 19th century and most of the new Hoosiers came to Indianapolis. By 1900, the African American population in the city had swelled from less than 3 percent in 1860 to nearly 10 percent.
Cierzniak, Libby. "Indianapolis Collected: A Road By Any Other Name." Historic Indianapolis blog, October 18, 2014. Accessed March 13, 2021. https://historicindianapolis.com/indianapolis-collected-a-road-by-any-other-name.
Kappler, Charles J., ed. " Treaty with the Delawares, 1818." In Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties, vol. 2, p. 170-171.Washington, D.C.,: Government Printing Office, 1904. Accessed March 22, 2021. https://dc.library.okstate.edu/digital/collection/kapplers/id/26012/rec/2.
Monroe, Elizabeth Brand. "Built Environment." In Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, edited by David Bodenhamer and Robert G. Barrows, p. 23-38. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.
Thornbrough, Emma Lou. "African Americans." In Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, edited by David Bodenhamer and Robert G. Barrows, p. 5-14. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.
9 Cubic Feet (2 manuscript boxes, 6 large oversize boxes, 5 medium oversize boxes, 2 oversize folders)
Language of Materials
Series 1: Correspondence, papers, and photographs, circa 1850-1987
Series 2: Drawings and artwork, circa 1850-1920
Historical Context Note
- Agriculture -- Indiana
- Artists -- Indiana
- Arts -- Indiana
- Businessmen -- Indiana
- Businesspeople -- Indiana
- Canals -- Indiana
- Cities and towns
- Covered bridges
- Covered bridges -- Indiana
- Cumberland Road
- Family life
- Fire stations
- Frontier and pioneer life
- Frontier and pioneer life -- Indiana
- Governor's Residence (Indianapolis, Ind.)
- Indiana -- Capital and capitol
- Indiana State Capitol (Indianapolis, Ind.)
- Indianapolis (Ind.)
- Marriage certificates
- Military parks
- Mills and mill-work
- Monument Circle (Indianapolis, Ind.)
- Paper mills
- Parks -- Indiana
- Pencil drawings
- Photographic slides
- Pottery industry
- Psychiatric hospitals
- Railroad industry
- Railroad locomotives
- Railroad stations -- Indiana
- Railroads -- Indiana
- Taverns (Inns)
- Christian Schrader collection
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description