Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Update to Reuben Bridle

I came across a death notice that explained why the Bridles' grandson, Clarence Casper, did not appear in the 1910 census — by then the poor child was in his grave.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Carl Sonntag

From the "Local and Personal" column of the Hobart News of April 20, 1922:
Carl Sonntag, who resides on the Huffman farm southeast of Hobart, has recently purchased the Emma Shearer farm. It is his intention, we are informed to remain on the Huffman farm until the expiration of his rental lease of the place next spring, when he will take possession of his new residence.
I'm not aware of L.R. Huffman owning any land in Lake County, so Carl must have moved onto the Porter County Huffman farm — after 1920, when the census records him living on rented land in Ross Township.

At that time Carl was 34 years old, a German immigrant, married to Anna (maiden name unknown), with an infant son, Arthur. I've seen the Sonntag name around, but never with "Carl" in front of it, and yet he was related to many of the Sonntags, including Martha, who was his niece — or so I gather from his 1961 obituary:
Carl W. Sonntag, 75, of 2585 Willowdale road, a Portage resident for 33* years, died Wednesday in Gary Mercy hospital.

Born Oct. 24, 1885, he retired from the Gary sheet and Tin mill eight years ago.

Surviving are his widow, Anna; a daughter, Mrs. Marie Kuzak of Portage; a son, Arthur of East Gary; five sisters, Mrs. Bertha Moele [or Moehl], Mrs. Emma Baessler, Mrs. Minnie Maier, Mrs. Lena Judge and Mrs. Martha Luke, all of Hobart; two brothers, William of Hobart and Ernest of Fairchild, Wis.; a grandchild and a step-grandchild.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday in Redeemer Lutheran church, East Gary. The Rev. Leonard Fiene will officiate, and burial will be in Calvary cemetery.
(From "Deaths," Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso) 5 Jan. 1961, newspaperarchive.com.)

Well, he's got until the spring of 1923 to stay on the Huffman farm and make Ainsworth-area news.

*I may have misread this number; it is not clear in the on-line copy of the newspaper.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bathing Beauties of Ainsworth

Probably on their way to or from the Deep River swimming hole, Walter Dye and Herman Harms stopped for a picture with Eva Thompson.

Walter Dye, Eva Thompson, Herman Harms
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The notes on the bottom of the photo identify the man on the left only as "Walter," but the photo's present owner believes it's Walter Dye, and it would certainly be natural for Eva's brother-in-law to be hanging around with her and her neighbors.

Walter, born in 1900, was one of five children of George and Anna Dye, who farmed in Winfield Township. After marrying Eva's sister, Alta, around 1925, Walter got out of farming; by 1940 he and Alta got out of Indiana, moving to California.

Looking at this photo, I think Walter Dye also appeared in the swimming-hole photo, second from the left. These photos may have been taken the same day.

1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
1940 Census.
WWI Draft Cards.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Easter Cantata

This public-sale notice has me stumped: I can't find a Doepping farm 3.5 miles southwest of Hobart, and I never heard of Nathan Bosen before.

2015-8-27. Public sale on Doepping farm
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 13 Apr. 1922.

The 1920 Census shows a Nathan Bosen in Union Twp., Porter County — a Russian immigrant working as a dry cleaner. If he moved into Lake County and changed careers, I didn't hear about it.

Less mysterious is the appearance of two members of the music-loving Harms family as soloists in the cantata performed at Trinity Lutheran Church on Easter Sunday 1922.

2015-8-27. Easter Cantata
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 21 Apr. 1922.

I think Henry Harms was Henry Sr. (Henry Jr. was musical, too, but he lived in Chicago and likely had his own church to sing at on Easter Sunday.) Herman, of course, just drove up from the farm east of Ainsworth.

… and then, in the "Local Drifts" column, who should appear but "N. Bosen," presumably Nathan Bosen, who is now renting Elmer Arment's 20 acres and brand-new house on S.R. 51.

I am not sure whether Miss Elizabeth Bruebach was the lovely Liza whose photographs we've seen … but Liza, or Eliza, had been born in April 1890 per the 1900 Census (and her mother, née Elise Manteuffel, had married George Bruebach in 1887 per the Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index).

In the lower right-hand corner of the page above, we find an announcement that a League of Women Voters meeting will be held in Lindborg hall — the dance hall over the blacksmith shop.

Elsewhere in the same issue of the Gazette, we find "Lee & Rhodes announc[ing] that their drinking fountain is now in working order" — that would be the public fountain in front of their shop, I'm guessing, which likely had been shut down for the winter. I have lost track (if I ever knew) where Lee & Rhodes' shop was by 1922.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Salamander?! I Hardly Knew 'er!

… But seriously, folks. I moved my recycling bin and found this guy.

2015-8-26. Salamander 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

2015-8-26. Salamander 2

Yes, it's alive, and no, it didn't try to run away. I believe it's a tiger salamander, but I'm no expert.

I don't know who carried all those seeds from the birdfeeder under the recycling bin. Salamanders don't do that kind of thing, do they?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Rare Treat

Since the Ainsworth-area community had been holdings meetings and entertainments in the W.G. Haan school from the time it opened, I would guess that the entertainment of April 7, 1922 took place there as well, although the article gives no location.

2015-8-25. Entertainment in Ainsworth
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 14 Apr. 1922

Perhaps someone can tell me if "Lola" was Eleanor (Schuelke) Pflughoeft, Herman's wife; if so, she was then about 27 years old. I can't identify "Mrs. Forsberg." Thelma Fetterer was the daughter of Franklin (Sr.) and Harriet, about 24 years old. "Little Margaret Strong" was very little indeed — only about four years old, if I've identified her correctly (which isn't at all certain, since I can find her only in 1930, living with her grandparents in Winfield Township). Ellen Boyd was only a year older, the daughter of George and Addie (Guernsey) Boyd, who farmed near Merrillville.

I'm afraid "the Sunny South Girls," whoever they were, blackened their faces and spoke or sang in exaggerated dialect. Such treats as that were not as rare as we might like to think.

As for the meeting about the paving of what's now S.R. 51, I don't know where it took place. I can only imagine how "interesting and enthusiastic" it must have been, since just the previous month S.R. 51 had been described as "nearly impassable" around 61st Ave.

Additional Sources:
1920 Census.
1930 Census.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Man That Never Came Back

Minnie Rossow sent this postcard to Herman Harms in September 1914.

2015-8-23. 1914-09-28-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

2015-8-23. 1914-09-28-b

"It is almost like us, eh?" she wrote — "Ha Ha." Minnie was only "pleasingly plump," as we used to say, but what I want to know is, how often did she sit on Herman's lap?