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Three Interesting Neighborhood Residents
of Yore

Submitted by Editor on August 8, 2010 – 1:55 am | Print or Email »No Comment

by Roxanne K. Owens

Have you ever wondered if anyone famous came from our Eastside Hill neighborhood? The following is at least a partial listing of the famous, the infamous, and the semi-famous.

Evelyn Converse – In 1909, Eva, as she was known, posed for a portrait by the artist Edwin Austin Abbey, which now hangs in Buckingham Palace. After a career in theatre and musical comedy, Eva married Brazel E. Carms at her home, located at 411 Main Street.

Henry Dinger – Son of Carl and Magdalena Dinger, Henry was the first Eau Claire boy to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Serving during the Spanish-American War, Henry became a noted authority on naval engineering and wrote several text books later used by the Naval Academy. His family home was located at the corner of Brackett Avenue and Highway 53.

Violet Leigh – One of our more interesting East Hill characters, Violet wrote extensively and sent her opinions to Eau Claire newspapers. She also wrote poetry, and eventually married Wilbur Phillips, a local music teacher. In August of 1917, with her husband out of work and unable to pay their rent, Violet and family took up residence in the cave on the south bank of the Eau Claire River. She carpeted the interior and erected a flagpole. The family lived there until February, 1918, when a sanity hearing was held and Violet declared insane. At the time, Violet was 49 years old and her 76-year- old mother, who also lived in the cave, refused to leave. During the hearing it was noted that Violet had had several love affairs, one with a married Eau Claire man, one with a minister from Altoona, and two with doctors. She was sent to the mental facility in Mendota, but returned to Eau Claire the following year. Definitely one of our more interesting historical neighbors! More.

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