JOHN MECKEL. With the pre-conceived ability to design and execute plans for buildings, possessed of marked artistic talent and that hardheaded practicality which puts ideas and ideals to the test of materiality, and the capacity for co-operation with others, John Meckel, architect of Anderson, has accomplished a work in the planning of structures that is of such a character as to leave its impress on the city for many years to come. With a mind fertile in means, resources and expedients, he has fully mastered the multitudinous details of his complex and many-sided profession, and has risen to deserved prominence solely through merit and undeviating application, Mr. Meckel was born in the city of Cincinnati, Ohio, June 25, 1844, and is a son of Jacob and Katherine (Eckhart) Meckel, natives of Germany.
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Jacob Meckel learned the trade of shoemaker in his youth and worked thereat in the Fatherland until grown, emigrating to the United States when twenty-one years of age and locating in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was married to Katherine Eckhart, who had come to this country as a lass of sixteen years, For some years Jacob Meckel was engaged in custom shoemaking in Cincinnati, but in 1848 removed with his family to Henry County, Indiana, where he purchased a farm of eighty acres, and devoted his energies to fanning and stock raising, His operations were fairly successful, and at the time of his death, in 1890, he was considered one of the substantial men of his community, Mrs. Meckel passed away in 1881, having been the mother of five sons and two daughters, of whom one son and one daughter are deceased.
John Meckel was reared on the home farm, and was sent to the district schools during the winter terms until his eighteenth year, in the meantime assisting his father during the summers on the farm, He then learned the trade of carpenter and followed that occupation for several years, during which time he took up the study of architecture, his knowledge being acquired at Cambridge City, Indiana, at which place he had been a contractor for a time, In 1885 he removed from Cambridge City to Anderson, and this has since been his field of endeavor, He has drawn and completed the plans for many of the fine dwellings, business houses, schools and churches of this city, as well as the Anderson Opera House, but has not confined his efforts to this community, for in the country and a number of neighboring towns and villages are found many examples of his skill and talent, His work evidences the pride he has taken in his adopted locality, and his conscientious devotion to the best ethics and ideals of his profession has given him a firmly established position in the ranks of leading Indiana architects.
Mr. Meckel was married in 1869 to Miss Edna A. Barnard, of Henry County, who died in 1895, leaving the following children Frank B., who is a resident of Anderson; Grace, who is the wife of John W. Bernard, of Neosho, Missouri; Nellie B., who died in 1895; and Maude, a stenographer and bookkeeper at present residing at Neosho, Missouri, Mr. Meckel was married in 1901, to Miss Ella St, John. The family residence is located at No, 215 West Sixth street, corner of Brown and Sixth.
Mr. Meckel has enjoyed the privileges of membership in fraternal orders, belonging to Cambridge Lodge No, 17, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and No, 9, Knights of Pythias, He is a Democrat in his political views, and while a resident of Cambridge City served capably as a member of the city council for a period of four years.