William Eastin English: A Visionary Philanthropist

Born in Lexington, Indiana, just south of Indianapolis, Captain William Eastin English is the son of William Hayden English. Both men became forces to be reckoned with in the Circle City as well as the political arena in the United States. The well-respected father, William H., was appointed Speaker of the House of Representatives and his son, William Eastin, served in the house as well, and was also an elected Senator for three terms in the State Senate of Indiana.

After many years as an active Democrat, William E. English changed his position and took up the banner for the Republican party. He was just as successful in those realms, serving as one of the 1912 Republican National Convention delegates, among other positions. He worked as a staff member for General J. Wheeler during the Spanish-American War, and was granted the rank of Captain during that period of his life.

Though not close enough to be an Indianapolis suburb, Lexington is only about 80 miles due south of Indianapolis, where the family moved when William was fifteen years of age. Like his father, William E. went into law school, studying at what is now Butler University.

William Eastin English met his beautiful wife Annie at the Metropolitan Theater in Indianapolis, where she was performing on stage. The lady passed away in 1885 and William remarried Helen Orr, who gave him a daughter, Rosalind. The William E. Englishes lived in an apartment inside the splendid English Hotel and Opera House in Indianapolis, on what was to become the famous landmark known as Monument Circle.

Father and son became two of Indianapolis’ most influential citizens and the English family is still prominent among the many notable and famous people of Indianapolis. William Eastin was widely known as a visionary and major contributor to various Indianapolis charities and causes. He and his wife bequeathed their estate to The Indianapolis Foundation, with a proviso to construct a facility to help local charities. Known today as The English Foundation Building, its enormous space is used by charitable organizations in the Indianapolis community, including the Union Mission YMCA.

William Eastin English died in 1926 and his body rests, like his father’s, in Indy‘s famous Crown Hill Cemetery.

The English Foundation Building
615 N Alabama St
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Photo credit:  – Photo by William McKern via www.findagrave.com

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