Museum logo

Archive Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Catalog Number S1530
Title Thurlows & Stranger, Inc. vs. Studebaker
Object Name Records
Scope & Content Col. George Milburn Studebaker (1865-1939) of South Bend, Indiana, and a summer resident of Rye Beach at Brakenolle, Little Boar's Head, was a member of the Studebaker family whose automobile company became the largest manufacturer of horse-drawn vehicles in the world and later a leading maker of gasoline- powered automobiles. In 1898 during the Spanish-American War, he had become the youngest colonel to serve in the U.S. forces at the time when he commanded the 157th Regiment of Infantry, Indiana National Guard, known as the "Studebaker Tigers."

He married Ada Lantz sometime in the late 1800s. He left the Studebaker Automobile Co. in 1919. Ten years later, in 1929, he and his brother Clement Jr. became victims of the stock market crash of 1929 and the depression which followed. The major factor in their losses, estimated at $6 million, was the total collapse of the utilities empire of magnate Samuel Insull of Chicago.

In November 1933, Col. Studebaker filed a petition for bankruptcy, showing liabilities of $2 million, assets of $2,000 and about $35 in cash. When this action was taken, the Studebakers moved from their ancestral home in South Bend on the knoll at Tippecanoe Place, a 64-room mansion built by his father in 1889. The antiques and heirlooms of the family were left behind to help satisfy claims to creditors. Today, Tippecanoe Place has been restored as a museum and restaurant.

When Studebaker died on Aug. 27, 1939, he was living with his wife in a rented, white frame house in South Bend, not far from their former home. The couple also owned a home, Breaknolle, at Little Boar's Head in North Hampton. The records in this collection concern Thurlows & Stranger, Inc., a corporation in West Newbury, MA, sometimes doing business as Cherry Hill Nurseries, who had planted trees and evergreens on the property in 1929 and were suing for payment. There were subsequent sales of two houses - Marsh House and Garland House - and two barns at Little Boar's Head in Ada L. Studebaker's name.

The Studebaker House in North Hampton is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built in 1874 and originally called "Breakers" or "Breaknolle," the home was purchased by Mrs. George Studebaker of South Bend, Indiana in 1909. The Studebakers owned the property until 1936.

f.1 1930-1933
f.2 1934-1937

Collection Thurlows & Stranger, Inc. vs. Studebaker