Bates-Walden House

  • Janet Stout’s home at 115 E. Jennings St.
    Janet Stout’s home at 115 E. Jennings St.
  • Janet Stout’s home at 115 E. Jennings St.
    Stout’s dining room
  • Janet Stout’s home at 115 E. Jennings St.
    Stout’s master bedroom
  • Janet Stout’s home at 115 E. Jennings St.
    The “nap room” next to the upper balcony overlooking the river.

115 E. Jennings St.

According to one of Eldora Raleigh’s accounts of early Newburgh, Salvin Bates built this white frame early American style house. The precise date is unknown, but the nationally known architectural historian, Dr. Ralph Schwartz, dates it in the 1840’s. The original house had four large rooms, two up and two down, with a central hall. Each room had a fireplace and a fine view of the Ohio River. It is believed that the Waldens added the other six rooms after they bought it.

The ground on which this house stands is part of a grant to General Johnson from the United States government in 1807. Abner Luce, one of the earliest settlers in the area, bought a large acreage in 1829 east of State Street and had the town of Newburgh laid out in lots which included this one. Various owners acquired the property from then until in 1864 Daniel F. Bates, a native of Rhode Island, purchased it. Mr. Bates had come to nearby Darlington, the original county seat of Warrick, in 1815. He later became one of the leading merchants in Newburgh. It was then deed to his son, Salvin C. Bates, in 1875.

Dr. and Mrs. Jasper Dubois bought it in 1881. Dr. Dubois, a well known doctor, was very popular with the ladies of Newburgh, for he is said to have promised them he was not leaving town. However, the urge to move westward became too strong for him to resist and he sold the house to another doctor, Dr. William M. Walden, in 1887.

Dr. Walden was a native of Kentucky and married Nora Hubbard of Vanderburgh County. They had two children, Bonnie and Reavill. Unfortunately both children preceded their parents in death. Their daughter Bonnie was dorwned in 1911 at Cypres Beach (where the locks and dam now are) at a chicken roast and swimming party. This was a popular form of entertainment at the time, which led to a number of drownings there. Their son Reavill Walden became a well known and successful surgeon in Evansville and died in 1935.

Mary Rachel Sargeant Forsythe purchased the house in 1941, the year Dr. Walden died from his only heir, Mary Jane Nuhring. Ms. Forsythe came to live here with her daughter Janice. Mr. Forsythe ran an insurance business out of the home for twenty-four years. She enlarged the downstairs bedroom to include a double window.

In 1989 the home was bought by Janet Stout, a retired film and television costumer in Hollywood, California. Stout worked with a number of high profile projects, including films such as “Titanic” and “Lincoln” and the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

To restore the home Stout peeled 14 layers of wallpaper off the walls, replastered, installed new windows and French doors, constructed a balcony on the second floor and porch on the first floor facing the river, and gutted and remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms.

Sources

  • Funding has been provided to Newburgh Museum from Indiana Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan of 2020.