TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Laval Block Building - Evansville, Indiana"

Laval Block Building
Dr. John Laval was born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany, on the 24th of May, 1826, and had therefore passed the seventy-third milestone on life's journey when he was called to his final rest on the 2nd of September, 1899. His father, who was forest master, died in the year 1841, after which the family removed to the city of Mainz. There he learned the druggist's trade and had gained an expert knowledge of the business when he sought the opportunities of the new world, coming to Evansville in 1849. The following year he opened a drug store on Main street and later removed to the location where the business is still conducted by his sons. For almost forty years he continued successfully in the trade in Evansville, remaining as proprietor of the establishment until 1889, when he retired. He also engaged in the practice of medicine for twenty years and had comprehensive knowledge concerning the use of medicinal properties as well as expert skill in compounding them. In 1870 he was elected treasurer of the People's Savings Bank, which position he filled for seven years. At different times he invested in real estate until he was the owner of considerable property, including two large business blocks which he erected — the well known Laval Block building and another on West Franklin street. He served as county commissioner in the '80s and for four years before his death filled the position of trustee in the Willard library. Mr. Laval was united in marriage to Miss Mary Krou, of Evansville, and they became the parents of eleven children, eight of whom are now living, namely : Mrs. George Brose ; Henry, who is engaged in the drug business ; William, a member of the medical profession ; Mrs. Tom Brose ; Mrs. Fred Geiger, Jr.; Mrs. Ed Nesbit; Otto, who is engaged in the real-estate business; and Ed. One son, Charles F. H., who reached mature years, is now deceased, and George and Emma have also passed away. { HISTORY OF THE CITY OF EVANSVILLE AND VANDERBURG COUNTY, INDIANA By FRANK M. GILBERT, Volume II [ILLUSTRATED] CHICAGO:THE PIONEER PUBUSHING COMPANY 1910 BIOGRAPHICAL, Page 116 - JOHN LAVAL [as edited by JGWest].}

Drawing Plat of Laval Block
Happy Valentine Day!

Selma [Rough] CountsMy Mother Selma Inez Rough (pronounced as in cow) Counts was born 1 November 1920 upstairs in the Laval Building. The building was named after Dr. Laval. My Mother's Father Eugene Clifton Rough had a business on the main floor called Home Art. This was a picture copying service. - Submitted by Don Counts (Photos provided by Don Counts... Laval Block Building photo taken by Don Counts.)

Eugene Rough


John G. West said...

Don, your grandmother using the doctor in the same building as her husband's business (Eugene Rough Home Art) is somewhat similar to my wife Becky's mother. Becky's mother used Dr. Robert Schimmelpfennig, M.D. located in the Haynie's Corner Building. My father-in-law James McIntyre owned Mac's Barber Shop in the same building. All three of my sons were patients of Dr. Schimmelpfennig (1924-2007).

Kat Shipp said...

What a wonderful little article! My husband and I are pleased to be renting the space at 2023 W Franklin in the Laval Block for our bicycle shop. I love seeing photos and reading other people's accounts of the place! It's a beautiful and historic little spot. Thank you for posting this!

Anonymous said...

Is this a picture of Dr, John Laval? My grandfather was Charles Laval and this my be his brother. My mother was born in Shanghai, China in 1935. Her father was the editor for the Far Eastern Review in Shanghai. Does anyone have information about the Laval family they can share? My email is plgc1964@aol.com

Peter Gonsalves said...

My grandfathers name was Charles Laval. Is this picture of Dr. John Laval? If so I think this would be my grandfathers brother. My mother was born in Shanghai, China in 1935. Her father was the editor for the Far Eastern Review. We traveled to Evansville in the 1990's doing geneology research and was facinated with what we found. Anyone have any information for me? Please let me know. Regards