Created By: Madison Main Street Program
The history of every building along Main Street can be told through the people who owned, worked or lived within its walls. The Hillabolds were one of the families that lived at 108 West Main. Adam and Anna Hillabold arrived in Madison in 1853. The young couple emigrated here from Germany. They were among a sea of more than 1,380,000 Germans who came to the United States from 1848 to 1865. Many settled here in Madison.
When the Hillabolds arrived, this is how Main Street looked. The couple found employment, a place to live, and had eight children. Their first born son, Heinrich or Henry as he was called, was born in 1859. Henry grew up in Madison during the time that it was a bustling river port town.
The Ohio River was the interstate highway of its day, bringing goods and people between New Orleans and Cincinnati.
In 1850, with a population of 8,012, Madison was the third largest city in the state. Being a hub of activity was a draw for famous people to stop by.
There’s a good chance that Henry Hillabold was part of the crowd on September 10, 1880 that gathered at Broadway and then moved to the Court House auditorium to hear Fredrick Douglass speak about his experience as a slave and a free man. As you could imagine, this was a big event in town.
In 1881, at the age of 22, Henry married Amelia Schauberger. Not long after their marriage they moved into the building at 108 West Main which was owned by Amelia’s father, George Schauberger. The couple lived upstairs and opened a china, glassware and Queensware retail shop.
Queensware was a form of earthenware that was developed by the famous English potter Josiah Wedgwood. It was named in honor of his patroness, Queen Charlotte. The store was prosperous and so was the Hillabold family. They had seven children: Maud, Lillie, Alice, Jeanette, Mabel, Harry and Robert.
Sadly, Henry died on April 19, 1893 from typhoid fever at the age of 35. Typhoid was one of the leading causes of death in Indiana. The Madison Daily Democrat printed Mr. Hillabold’s obituary which stated; “For several years he has been the proprietor of the large Queensware store on the north side of Main Street in the Schauberger building, and has, by close attention to the business, succeeded in building up an enviable trade. He was one of our leading business men, and a kind and genial gentleman and popular with all classes of our citizens.”
The following year, on January 2, their young son Robert died of pneumonia. He was buried near his father in Madison’s Springdale Cemetery. Henry’s widow continued to operate the shop for another 24 years. Her children grew, married and moved away except for two daughters, Jeanette and Maud.
Upon Amelia’s death in 1918, she left the shop and its contents to her two unmarried daughters. She did so because in the words of her will, “they lived with me these many years and helped me in my business faithfully, willingly and industrially and are still doing so and upon whose help I very much now depend.”
As time went on, the building traded hands and had other uses. For many years it was an antique store. Eventually the store closed its doors to customers but continued to house a large collection of vintage furnishings. In 2014, Valecia and Larry Crisafulli, who were recent transplants from Washington, D.C., purchased the 3 story Italianate with a plan of rehabilitating the structure.
The couple found a talented local contractor, Brian Martin, who shared their vision and they began the work. Two years ago, while they were mid-stride into the project, the building was a featured stop on Madison Main Street’s first Loft Tour. It gave tour goers the opportunity to see the early stages of a rehabilitation project. The following pictures will give you an idea of how some of the rooms looked at that time.
For more than 170 years this structure has been both a home and a place of business to many people. Now that its top to bottom rehab has been completed, this grand building will continue to be a vital part of Madison’s historic downtown.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Loft Tour