William B. Hoadley, a native of Monroe County, was born March 29, 1899 to John W. and Dovie (Figg) Hoadley, Jr. His grandfather, John Hoadley, Sr. a native of England, immigrated to the United States in the 1840s and soon afterward became quite prominent in Ellettsville’s stone industry.
Although William appeared to have some interest in a legal profession and graduated from the IU Law School, he eventually followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and began a career in the stone business. A few years later, on May 31, 1923, he married Lucille Hughes, the daughter of Louis and Maude (Orr) Hughes.
Soon after the marriage the couple began dreaming of a home. William wanted to design the home himself and felt qualified to do so because he had been exposed to hundreds of house plans in the estimating work he had done at the stone mill. He wanted a home that reflected the fine features of limestone and his personal success in the industry.
In 1926 that home was completed on a grand scale at 513 N. Park Street in Bloomington. Although there were a number of substantial homes belonging to prominent people living in the area, the Hoadley home was by far largest, nearly 10,000 square feet, and of the greatest value. It had plenty of room for a large family, but William and Lucille had only one son, William Hughes Hoadley, who was born February 3, 1924. Given the cost of the home and the effort that went into its construction, it is surprising that the family lived there no longer than they did.
In October 1944, while serving as a soldier in Germany during World War II, young William was killed in action. Afterward William B. and Lucille moved into the Graham Hotel in downtown Bloomington. Perhaps the big house held too many memories of the only child that was no longer among them.
They continued to reside at the Graham for many years. They were living there in 1951 when Lucille fell victim to cancer and died at the age of 47. A few years later, in the 1960s, William moved to Los Angeles, California. He died there on May 30, 1968, and was survived by his second wife, Glee.
The house on Park Street eventually became home to Zeta Beta Tau and later to Alpha Sigma Phi. Today it is part of the Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop at Indiana University.
Blog post and photo provided by Randi Richardson