(Oct. 3, 1847-Aug., 1910). Born in Ohio, John H. Stem came to Indianapolis in 1868 to work with his architect brother, Allen Hartzel Stem. During his residence, John Stem designed the Fletcher-Wasson home (1876), the L. Sohl house (1880), the offices for the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, St. Louis, and Chicago Railroad (1880), the freight depot and general offices of the Indianapolis, Peru, and Chicago Railroad (1881), the Henry C. G. Bals residence (1883), and Third Christian Church (1887).

He also designed several blocks on South Meridian Street, among them the George W. Stout building (1888) included in the Wholesale District historic area. Other local projects included the residences of Hilton U. Brown, Frank Flanner, David M. Parry, and Charles W. Fairbanks, the Newton-Claypool Building, White City Amusement Park (Broad Ripple Park), and St. Anthony’s Catholic Church. Stem also designed buildings in multiple other Indiana cities.

Stem was a charter member of the Indiana chapter of the American Institute of Architects (1884), and a business partner of  Isaac Hodgson and Charles A. Wallingford during the 1880s. His son Allen H. Stem also became an architect. Stem closed his office in the city a few years before his death, spent time in New York, opened an office in Houston, Texas, and designed amusement parks in Kansas City, Missouri, and Newark, New Jersey.

Revised March 2021

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