George Milburn Studebaker was the eldest son of Clement and Anna Studebaker. He was named for his maternal grandfather, Mishawaka wagon maker George Milburn. After graduating from the Pennsylvania Military Academy in 1884, he wed Ms. Ada Mar Lantz, the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William C. Lantz of South Bend.
“The most unique and at the same time one of the most brilliant weddings ever celebrated in this city,” began the September 4, 1885 South Bend Register’s article covering the nuptials. The grand wedding took place at South Bend’s First Presbyterian Church. The groom and groomsmen, all graduates of the Pennsylvania Military Academy, were attired in gray dress uniforms with swords and helmets with plumes. The bride wore a silk dress with a pearl-beaded front and carried white rosebuds. The reception took place at the Lantz home, which was located on the current site of South Bend’s Central High School.
George M. Studebaker went to work for the family business, and later served as commanding officer of the 157th Indiana Volunteer Regiment during the Spanish-American War at the rank of colonel. He was henceforth known as Col. Studebaker.
Col. Studebaker served as a Vice-President of the Studebaker Brothers Manufacturing Company until 1911 and remained a stockholder until the early 1920s. He was also a major stockholder in the South Bend Watch Company and numerous other local concerns. Col. George and Ada were the last Studebakers to occupy the family mansion Tippecanoe Place. They began residing there in 1889 and remained at Tippecanoe until 1933. Financial reversals brought on by the 1929 stock market crash led to bankruptcy proceedings that forced them from the home.
A surviving artifact from Col. George and Ada Studebaker’s time at Tippecanoe Place is a portrait of Ada in her younger days, by Peruvian artist Albert Lynch. It is unknown when the Studebakers acquired the painting. It was previously displayed at Tippecanoe Place until 2013.
About this Series
Check out our series of articles called Meet the Studebakers! This series is based upon a Museum exhibition featured in 2015.