Charles II (June 6, 1862-Nov. 30, 1925) and Ferdinand (Dec. 9, 1860-Mar. 13, 1925). Charles Mayer II and Ferdinand L. Mayer were merchants of fine china, silverware, jewelry, and imported artware, at Charles Mayer & Company a store that their father Charles Mayer founded.

Ferdinand L. Mayer, 1922 Credit: Library of Congress View Source

In 1840, Charles Mayer, a German immigrant, opened a store at 29 West Washington Street, where Charles Mayer & Company was later located. In their home at North and Illinois streets, where the Indiana Masonic Library Museum resides, the Mayer’s had the city’s first private floral conservatory.

Ferdinand and Charles Mayer were educated in a Moravian academy in Prangins, Switzerland, and at Greylock Institute, South Williamstown, Massachusetts. They joined their father’s business in 1879. Nine years later, Ferdinand, the older son, became a partner. Upon their father’s death in 1891, the sons assumed full management.

Both were active in business, civic, and social organizations. Ferdinand was appointed by Mayor Charles A. Bookwalter to the city park board and was a “corporator” of Crown Hill Cemetery from 1897 to 1915. He was also a co-founder of the Country Club of Indianapolis.

Mayer Chapel was begun in 1894 as a mission of Second Presbyterian Church to young people in the area of the stockyards and the Belt Line Railroad. Ferdinand Mayer’s generous financial support paid a large portion of the construction costs. The chapel honored his father, a longtime member of Second Presbyterian Church and a Sunday school teacher, trustee, and elder.

Revised July 2021

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