Local News

May 24, 2013

Delphi’s Bowen House added to list of endangered properties

DELPHI — A historic Victorian mansion in Delphi, once the home of a successful merchant and a professional wrestler, has been added to an Indiana preservation organization’s list of endangered landmarks.

The Bowen House, 404 E. Main St. in Delphi, was included in a list of 10 Most Endangered sites by Indiana Landmarks, a nonprofit preservation organization.

“The sites that achieve 10 Most Endangered status are significant and irreplaceable and often challenging to save,” Indiana Landmarks stated in a press release. “Indiana Landmarks uses the Most Endangered list to bring attention to the imperiled sites and find solutions that will ensure their preservation.”

Anita Werling, member of the Delphi Preservation Society, said the house was built in 1896 by Nathaniel Bowen, a prominent Delphi merchant. The three-floor Victorian home also comes with a carriage house on the property.

“It’s certainly a significant property both architecturally and historically,” Werling said. “One we just do not want to see go away.”

Werling went on to describe the house’s banisters and railings hand-carved from different types of wood, the ballroom that used to be on the third floor, the leather wall coverings throughout the rooms and its red tile roof.

“It’s pretty spectacular inside as well as out,” Werling said. “There are a lot of unique features that speak to the grandeur of another era.”

William Afflis, a former National Football League player who became a wrestler going by the ring name Dick the Bruiser in the 1950s and 60s, spent part of his childhood in the house as well, Werling said.

It would appear the days of the Bowen House’s splendor have passed, at least for now, as Werling describes a structure with visible holes in its roof causing leaks throughout the interior. It also has trim and fascia boards that need replaced, peeling paint, holey bricks and a carriage house — which once housed horses that ran at the former Delphi fairgrounds — now in “rough shape.”

For Donald Hickman Jr., the house’s most recent owner, his experience with the home started out as bright as its rich history. He recalled he and his wife, Marsha, driving down Main Street in Delphi as a young couple and watching the mansions as they passed by.

“Being young and having nothing, I would always tell her, ‘One of these days I’m going to get you one of those houses,’” he said. “The day came when the Bowen House was for sale and I was able to buy it and so it was kind of a dream home-type thing.”

Then in November 2007, the Hickmans fell on hard financial times after Marsha, a former U.S. Postal Service mail carrier, was badly injured in a car crash in her mail truck.

After what Hickman describes as a hard-fought, drawn-out battle with insurance companies, he and his wife were left with the brunt of the medical costs and eventually found themselves falling behind on the Bowen House’s mortgage payments and taxes.

In a foreclosure process he calls “a nightmare,” Hickman said he and his wife vacated the property shortly before a Carroll County sheriff’s sale last fall that the property was ultimately never included in.

The house is currently on the list for another Carroll County foreclosure sale scheduled for July 26, where SRI Inc., a company that assists with foreclosure sales, states the property has a judgment amount of $240,478.66. A minimum bid has yet to be specified.

SRI also states GMAC Mortgage LLC is the plaintiff for the property. As of Feb. 1, Green Tree Servicing LLC acquired the originations assets of GMAC Mortgage, according to Green Tree’s website.

The fate of the Bowen House remains to be seen. If Indiana Landmarks’ track record of only 12 losses among 92 historic places in “severe jeopardy” on the 10 Most Endangered list since its beginning in 1991 is any indicator, perhaps a future can be restored for the old home.

Werling seems to have faith that it will.

“We have gotten lots of inquiries from people interested in knowing more about the house,” Werling said. “Some of these people are interested in potentially investing and purchasing it.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police Blotter: July 24, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS-PT072414 shrek2.jpg Cast of believers: Children take stage this weekend As almost 50 children and teenagers crowded around the edge of the stage at McHale Performing Arts Center, Dan McDonald counted off: one, two, three... “I believe!”It was the start of tech rehearsal for Junior Civic Theater’s production of “Shrek: Th

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Higher expenses hurt new farmers The rising cost of farming expenses is making it tougher for young farmers to get into agriculture, according to a national census. The Census of Agriculture released its 2012 data in May, which gave information on the scope of American farming.The s

    July 24, 2014

  • Peru dam [Duplicate] Who should fix the Peru dams? PERU -- Who has jurisdiction over six dams located in the Hidden Hills housing addition just north of Peru, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or the people who own the land? It's a question with a lot riding on it -- more than $1.5 million,

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • CCCF issues grant deadline reminder The Cass County Community Foundation is currently accepting grant proposals for the previously announced pool of $93,000, according to a press release from the foundation.The deadline to submit applications is 5 p.m. Wednesday. Non-profit, 501(c)(3)

    July 24, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 23, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 23, 2014

  • NWS-PT072314 Delphi Play2.jpg 'Under the sea': Delphi children ready for musical DELPHI — Young actors and actresses will tell the story of a young mermaid dreaming about being human in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” this weekend.The Stargazers Children’s Theatre, a program through Delphi’s public library, is presenting the mu

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS-PT072314 Matthew Shuey mugshot - CLG [Duplicate] Police: Peru man punched officer in the face PERU — A 51-year-old Peru man was arrested after flipping off a police officer and punching him in the nose.According to court documents released Tuesday, Peru Officer Matthew Feller was on patrol Friday when he observed Matt Shuey lean out his car w

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gay couples' lawyers object to full-court hearing INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys on either side of a lawsuit over Indiana’s overthrown gay marriage ban are wrangling over how many federal judges should hear the state’s appeal, a technical issue that could make a big difference.Those representing gay

    July 23, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Not sure
     View Results