The Old Bridge Inn Bed & Breakfast
A beautiful Neoclassical just seconds to Louisville, KY
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The house dates to 1836 when the descendants of Isaac Howk sold the property to The Myers, who were the lumber merchants in Jeffersonville. The house was not their primary residence, as the Myers family home was on Front Street. The property stayed in the Myers family for 50 years, and changed hands just a few times before Charles Hancock and Nora Duffy Hancock bought it in 1897. In 1898 they added on to the house pretty much as it is today; then it was clapboard. All the porches were added in 1926 and the stucco came after the ‘37 flood.
Charles Hancock, a descendant of the John Hancock who signed the Declaration of Independence, came to Jeffersonville to practice medicine. He was born in Memphis, IN to William and Catherine Hancock; William was a Kentuckian but came to Indiana early and Catherine was born in England but came to this country when 10 years old. Charles studied medicine under his half brother, Dr. James N. Reynolds, a practicing physician at Memphis, then entered the University of Louisville Medical Dept., and graduated from the Medical College of Ohio, at Cincinnati in 1887.
Catherine Hancock was married to Dr. James Reynolds and was pregnant with their first child when he died. Dr. Reynolds best friend, William Hancock married Catherine and raised the son of his best friend and his wife as his own. It was under this first child, the second Dr. Reynolds that Charles Hancock started to study medicine. Dr. Charles Hancock located to Jeffersonville in 1888 and opened a practice as a general practitioner. In 1892 he became the local surgeon for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.
On October 27, 1897, Dr. Hancock married Nora Clark Duffy, daughter of the prominent and wealthy James T. and Nora Robinson Duffy. Capt. James T. Duffy, (Duffy's Landing) built the Victorian Mansion sometimes referred to as the Wathen Mansion, then Riverview Farms. Capt. Duffy came to America from Ireland and made his fortune here running coal up and down the river. In Baird’s History of Clark County, Capt. Duffy is described as a man with a high sense of justice and honor. He was generous man who contributed much to community.
Charles and Nora Hancock lived out their days in the house after rearing five children there. Dr. Charles Hancock practiced medicine in Jeffersonville for 50 years and was a state senator from 1905-1906. He died in 1938. Nora lived till 1960, a diabetic, she survived for some 80 years. Before her death she received a certificate of congratulations from the National Diabetes Assoc. for living a long life.
With their union, Charles Hancock and Nora Duffy continued their families’ traditions of justice, honor, and generosity. Even in the building of their new family home during the height of the Victorian era, they did not build a pretensions Mansion but rather a fine town house so that extras could be spent on things like feeding the poor off their back porch. Dr. Charles Hancock often performed free medical services and told the patient to simply send along a jar of their best strawberry preserves if that was their specialty. While his office was on Spring St, it is said he often performed emergency surgery in the kitchen of his home. And following in the footsteps of her mother, after the '37 flood Nora Hancock bought shoes for all the children in Jeffersonville - anonymously!