Sunny Crest

A short history

Brian Capouch

Scan of stationery

About Sunny Crest

  • Built in 1916 by Josiah and Stella (Shonkwiler) Portteus
  • On site of an earlier homestead dating to 1860s
  • Designed by Kentland/Chicago architect Fred Friedline
  • Six new structures in 1916
  • Two original structures dating to ca. 1860s
  • Just north of Raub; just south of Benton/Newton county line

 Ownership Timeline

  • 1863 Old house built by George Oglesby (inferred)
  • 1872 William B. and Margaret (Portteus) Maddock
  • 1882 George Portteus
  • 1913  Josiah L. (1866-1953)  and Stella (1871-1960) Portteus
  • 1916 New buildings erected
  • 1953 Josiah Portteus passes
  • 1960 Stella Portteus passes
  • Farm and estate remain in Portteus family
  • 2018 Brian Capouch purchases from Steve Portteus

Northwest corner Benton Co IN (York Twp)  ca 1909

Some features

  • Extensive use of reinforced concrete
  • First house in Indiana with a central vacuum system
  • Two integrated water supply systems
    • Well or "hard" water
    • Rain or "soft" water
  • Murals done by Diedams, redone in 1946
  • Intended as self-sufficient "estate"
    • Had an extensive orchard
    • Portteus was also a beekeeper

Outside Views

Inside Views

The Portteus Family

Quick Family History

  • Patriarch George Portteus (1754-1839) 
    • Immigrated from Dublin 1817
    • Settled in Whitewater, Franklin Co. 1819
  • George's son David's children were first in this area
    • John and Elizabeth Bonham 1863
    • George and Mary  Portteus 1866 (1868) 
    • William and Margaret Maddock, 1872
    • John Portteus (Round Grove Twp, White 1866) -
    • Anson Portteus (Had clothing store in Fowler ca 1876) 

Prominent Family Members

  • William Maddock family--journalists
    • Maddock founded the Benton Review, 1876
    • He, his sons, grandsons:
      • Franklin Democrat, Rushville Republican
      • Lafayette Journal, Bloomfield News, Keystone Press etc.
  • Theodore Portteus (Josiah's 1st cousin)
    • Sheriff of Marion County
    • Effected Irvington's joining Indianapolis
    • A family connection for me, too!
  • Anson LeRoy (Theodore's brother)
    • Indianapolis Life Insurance Co. w/ Edward B. Raub

Josiah and Stella Portteus

  • Josiah was a banker and grain trader
    • Partnered with Warren McCray
    • Cashier of the Raub State Bank
      • Every depositor was paid back in full
    • Receiver for elevator bankruptcy after Kelley scandal
  • Stella Shonkwiler was from an early settler family

Fred Friedline, architect (1875-1942)

Quick Bio

  • Born in Somerset Co. Pennsylvania, 1875
  • Living in Kentland, died in Chicago hospital 1942
    • Buried in Lyons, Kansas
  • Architect, builder, mechanic, inventor
  • Lived in Kentland 1911-1922, 1937-1942
  • Specialized in reinforced concrete and grain systems
    • Sunny Crest has extensive concrete
  • Kentland Garage and Machine Shop
    • Invented motorized corn picker
  • His son Fred Jr. lived his whole life in Kentland

Biography published 1902

A few issues

  • Upstairs partition wall
  • Joists removed for staircase
  • Insufficient foundation for fireplace
  • Huge bathtub + Water + Human 

Future Plans

  • Fix structural issues
  • Lower story caulk and paint
  • Partial rewire
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Plaster repairs
  • Interns?

Sunny Crest

By capouch

Sunny Crest

A short history of the Sunny Crest estate

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