Fred Friedline

Kentland's Renaissance Man



Newton County Historical Society

April 24, 2023

Brian Capouch


  • American Elevator and Grain Trade, 15 Aug 1902
  • Obituary, Lyons Kansas 
  • John Friedline, nephew
  • Various trade publications and search results

His life:

Quick Bio

Early Life

  • His father was a millwright, carpenter, and farmer
  • By age 14 he was building things
    • Windmill
    • Working violin
  • Educated as a teacher at Cooper Memorial Institute
    • Taught school for several years
  • Licensed architect, engineer, and surveyor

Friedline Family in Kansas, ca. 1895

Galveston, Texas September 8, 1900

  • Friedline was there building an elevator
    • On the harbor shore
  • He had to swim to escape the storm
  • His structure was the only one left standing

Elevator at Galveston TX 1900

Grain Storage Structures

He was in the area by 1904

  D. P. Simison & Co. are rebuilding their elevator at Romney, Ind., which burned a few weeks ago.
  The new elevator will be metal-clad and have a storage capacity of between 25,000 and 30,000 bushels. It will cost about $30,000 and will be larger and more modern than the burned house.
  The engine and boilers will be placed in a separate building, thus lessening the chance of a fire.

  Henderson & Friedline of Lafayette, Ind., have the contract.

American Elevator and Grain Trade, 15 Jun 1904

1912 Grain Trade Magazine

Elevator at Ade

The Indiana Reformatory

Construction Superintendent

  • 1924-1935
  • Many corn-based and other food products
  • Cedar Rapids and New Orleans
  • Oversaw construction and modernization
  • Over fifty production facilities in the US

His work:


Indiana Reformatory at Pendleton

  • Josiah and Stella Shonkwiler Portteus
  • Built 1915-1016
  • House, barn, "oil house," chicken house, outhouse
    • Farmstead dates to 1860s
    • Several original structures remain


  • Extensive use of reinforced concrete
  • Indiana's first central vacuum system
  • Elaborate interior work by Herman Diedam
  • Integrated well/rain water system
  • In-house power plant
  • Intended for self-sufficiency
    • Apiary
    • Orchard

East view

Southeast view

Southwest View

View from northwest barn loft

View from SR71, northeast

Orchard Lake

Note the little boy on fence

Kentland Garage and Machine Shop

American Garage & Auto Dealer, 1916

Local Newspaper Ad, 1919

Fred Jr.?

Rensselaer Residences

  • Bert Hopkins
  • Maud Spitler (N. Van Rensselaer)
  • Willis (now Hoffman) Home Ave.

Willis Home (now Hoffman) ca. 1936

Did He,


Didn't He?

Note arch motif

Lemna Home on 5th

Former Molter Law office

Thank you!!