The Indianapolis Water Co.
The Indianapolis Water Co., which has just changed hands and is controlled by a Philadelphia concern, was founded under another name in 1860. Its first incorporators were James O. Woodruff, of Rochester, N. Y.; William Braden, George Stilz, W. M. Wiles, J. A. Comingore, Thomas H. Hendricks, James E. Mooney, Albert G. Porter, of Indianapolis; James O. Woodruff being the first president. The company was required to lay 5 miles of pipe within 15 months, and 15 miles within 27 months. It drilled two wells near White river, south of Washington street. At the end of the first three years it had expended $400,000, and had only 784 customers. The company owned the canal that ran through the city, and in 1873, being indicted for “maintaining a nuisance,” effected a compromise by converting it into a sewer (afterwards covered), a part lying between Washington and Merrill streets. In consequence of a charge being preferred against the company of not supplying sufficient pressure to throw simultaneously eight vertical streams to a height of 100 feet through 1-inch nozzles at Sheets hotel fire in 1874, and besides, that the company did not furnish pure water, in 1887 it went into the hands of a receiver, and was sold to the newly organized Indianapolis Water Company, with F. A. Davis as president an office which he held till his death in 1909. In 1897 the company greatly improved its system, adding a filtration plant for the water which was brought from a point on the White river 9 miles north of the city.