Tuesday, November 24, 2015

It's a Rich Man's Road and a Poor Man's Tax

These notices to Ross Township taxpayers appeared in April 1922:

2015-11-24. Notice of road improvement bonds
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 14 Apr. 1922.

In view of recent complaints about the condition of local roads, some road improvements would seem necessary and desirable, even if interest-bearing bonds had to be issued to pay for them.

But by late May the protests of some unnamed "Ross Township farmers" had brought a member of the state board of tax commissioners up to from Indianapolis to look into the proposed work. The general objection was that the costs of construction were inflated. With regard to the Woods road, protesters were suspicious of the fact that the wealthy Gary citizens who used the Gary Country Club (at the site of the present-day Innsbrook Country Club) would benefit from the road while not bearing any of its cost.

2015-11-24. Protest against road improvements
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 1 June 1922.

Perhaps the awarding of the road-work contract to someone who wasn't local didn't sit well with them either.

I gather from the description in this article that the "Sam B. Woods road" to be improved was only five-eighths of a mile long. My guess at its location is marked in red on this excerpt from the 1926 Plat Book:

2015-11-24. Sam B. Woods road 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

The "Goodrich road" improvement area was 2.5 miles "running south and west from Ainsworth on the Lincoln highway" … so, some unspecified chunk of the Lincoln Highway between Ainsworth and Merrillville?

2015-11-24. Goodrich Rd 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

Hey, I just like making these little maps.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Prochno Farm

This is the Prochno farm — probably the one on Colorado Street, near the Lester Harms farm.

Prochno farm, undated.
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

You can see the mailbox in front, which would be used by the mail carrier working a Crown Point rural delivery route.

The back of the photo was stamped with blanks to be filled in by hand:

Verso of Prochno farm photo

I'm not sure what the purpose of all this was — documentation for insurance purposes? Or perhaps the proud homeowners were ordering a tinted enlargement of this photo to hang on their wall? Anyway, I like the little color details: house white, with green trim and shutters; barn red, with white trim.

There is no date on this.

William Prochno was born in 1880 to Ferdinand and Bertha Prochno, German immigrants. The earliest I can find the family is in 1900, when they farmed rented land in southeast Ross Township. In 1902 William married Louisa Saager. Now, in 1908 the farm that would eventually be the Prochno farm was owned by August Saager, but I don't know what relationship he might have had to Louisa.

The young Prochnos were farming rented land in Eagle Creek Township in 1910. In 1920 they were back in Ross Township, farming what may have been the Saager/Prochno farm (to judge by their neighbors), but the enumerator did not know whether they owned it. They did own it by 1926.

William and Louisa had lost one child in the early years of their marriage. Only their daughter, Mathilda, born circa 1911, survived to maturity. As we know, she married Noland White and then Lester Harms, but neither marriage produced children.

1900 Census.
1908 Plat Map.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1926 Plat Book.
1930 Census.
1940 Census.
Indiana Marriage Collection.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Garage at Deep River

As the summer of 1922 approaches, we find the 68-year-old Thomas Strong putting his carpentry skills to work in the village of Deep River … I just wish I knew whose garage it was.

2015-11-21. Thomas Strong building garage at Deep River
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 1 June 1922.

Below that, we learn that the Hubert and Daisy Bullock family (with their recently graduated son, Elmer, and younger son, Cecil)* are leaving my bailiwick, while (in the "Births" column) John Charles Sapper and Vernon Charles Bothwell are entering it. The "Local Drifts" of the June 2 Hobart Gazette noted that Hubert Bullock had already closed up his auto repair shop in Crown Point and moved the family to South Bend. The W.B. Owen family was still in Hobart, but "Mr. Owen has opened a Paige sales station [in South Bend] and spends most of the time there." Hubert Bullock was to be in charge of the Paige service station.

The two other items marked concern the campground in the McAfee woods, along the Yellowstone Trail. Paul Newman felt compelled to warn his fellow citizens that if they mistreated the campground (e.g., by stealing its pump) or the travelers on the Trail, they were giving their town bad publicity nationwide. On a happier note, the Trinity Lutheran school was planning to hold a grand picnic at the campground.

*In the 1920 Census I find a Chas. Hendricks living in Hubert's household, but the scan on Ancestry.com is not legible enough for me to determine whether he could be Laura's father. Whoever transcribed the page for Ancestry.com read his relationship to Hubert as "brother-in-law," but I don't think that transcription is correct.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

A Little Chicken On the Side

Here's Herman Harms sending a playful postcard to Minnie Rossow in October 1914.

2015-11-19. 1914-10-21-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

2015-11-19. 1914-10-21-b

His use of a phrase known better in its less grammatically correct form — "how's tricks?" — made me wonder when that got started … which led me to a Dictionary of Catch Phrases that has found the phrase in writing as early as 1904.

I can't trace the source of the last sentence in Herman's message.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ainsworth Then and Now: Chester Cemetery

1963 and 2015

2015-11-18. 1 image019
2015-11-18. 1 IMG_7511
(Click on images to enlarge)
1963 images courtesy of John Fleck.

The grave markers of Henry Chester and his second wife, Harriet (mother of Daisy Chester Raschka). Those stones look as if they will stand forever.

In the next photo, behind the monument to Amanda, wife of Simeon Marble, we have the graves of (left to right) Henry, Harriet, Mary (Henry's mother), and Charles (Henry's father).

2015-11-18. 2 image018
2015-11-18. 2 IMG_7513

Mary's grave marker now is broken and lying on the ground.

This last one does not show any Chester graves. It was taken towards the west side of the cemetery, furthest from S.R. 51.

2015-11-18. 3 image013
2015-11-18. 3 IMG_7510

Here the cemetery has changed enough that I couldn't figure out how to reproduce the 1963 photo, or if that were even possible.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Elmer Bullock, Crown Point Class of 1922

Elmer Bullock's proud grandmother, along with Mary Kipp and her sisters, went to Crown Point on May 19, 1922, to see him graduate from high school.

2015-11-16. Elmer Bullock graduation
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 25 May 1922.

Just above that item we hear from the Carlson brothers, Charles and Richard, whom I thought I wrote about earlier … but if I did, I can't find the story now.

Their fruit farm was on the west side of Grand Blvd./S.R. 51, just a part of the 80-acre farm that had belonged to their parents, Swan Peter and Hedvig Carlson. The 1926 Plat Book does not show ownership for the small parcels in that area. We have to go to the 1939 Plat Book to find a parcel with the name Carlson, which seems to be in roughly the right place, but whether it was exactly the location of the 1922 Carlson farm is something I can't tell you.

2015-11-16. Carlson 1939

In the 1920 Census we find the 42-year-old Charles living in that area with his widowed mother, operating a "market garden." Richard, some ten years younger, was then living in Hobart with his wife, but the wording of the news item suggests they had moved to, or near, the farm by 1922.

♦    ♦    ♦

In the right-hand column we read of the loss of another local Civil War veteran, Conrad Bender.

Additional Source: "Death of Conrad Bender." Hobart Gazette 26 May 1922.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hobart Class of 1922: Esther Strong

2015-11-14. Strong, Esther 1922
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Esther was the granddaughter of Thomas and Phoebe Strong. In 1900 her father, Arthur, had married Mary Roper of Hobart (Indiana Marriage Collection). Esther was the oldest of four children. The family ran a dairy farm in southeastern Ross Township, renting land (1920 Census); in 1910 they had occupied "one of Chet Guernsey's farms south of Deepriver" ("Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 30 Sept. 1910) but may have moved in the 12 years since. Esther had completed the eighth grade at the Deep River schoolhouse ("Ross Township Commencement," Hobart Gazette 18 May 1917).

Esther and her family turned up often in the social news, as they visited family and friends in the area. They had no great tragedies or triumphs.