Sunday, March 29, 2020

Survived by His Sisters and Brothers

I didn't miss this article the first time through the 1919 microfilm, but for some reason I didn't put it in the blog at the time.

2020-03-29. Carey, Lynn, News, 7-24-1919
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Hobart News, July 24, 1919.

Lynne was the illegitimate son of Sarah Jane Carey and an unknown man. What strikes me about the few records we have of his short life is how well his grandfather, William H. Carey, and William's second wife and step-family of Rossows seem to have accepted this child whose coming was, at first, such an unpleasant surprise.

In the 1910 Census (the only census Lynne lived to be counted in), William H. Carey claimed this boy as his own son.

2020-03-29. Carey, Lynn, 1910 census
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Image from

The Careys seem to be naming William's second wife, Augusta, as the boy's mother – note that she claimed to be the mother of only one child, although she had seven from her previous marriage to Henry Rossow. (The enumerator, Charles Blank of Miller, may have made this mistake, not being a local.)

And then, in the 1919 News death notice, Augusta is described as Lynne's "foster mother," and Augusta's children are called his sisters and brothers — though in fact they were his step-aunts and step-uncles.[1] Lynne was living with two of his "sisters," who had long since moved out of the Carey home, when he left for that ill-fated trip to Michigan.[2]

And the survivors bought a stone to mark his grave, which is more than his mother or grandmother got.

When Charles Hendrix (husband of Lynne's "sister," Ida) went to Michigan to bring the boy home, he kept the family secret, according to the death certificate:

2020-03-29. Carey, Leonard (Lynn), death certificate
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Image from

Charles may not have known who Lynne's mother was — was it he who gave the name "Leonard" for a boy who had always been called Lynn? Or maybe Charles knew, but thought it nobody's business except the Carey family's.

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We have only one known photo of Lynne.

2020-03-29. Carey, Lynn - img031
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Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

Both the News and the Gazette agreed that he had been born on October 29, 1904, so the handwritten note on the photo, giving his age as 16, is probably an error.

[1] The Gazette simply called Lynne the "grandson of the late Wm. Carey" and noted that Lynne had "made his home in Hobart with Mrs. Carey," but did not name any survivors — thus being correct, discreet, and a bit cold, if you ask me. ("Hobart Boy Dies in Michigan," Hobart Gazette, July 25, 1919.)
[2] The death notice does not mention any of Lynne's uncles or aunts on the Carey side; I wonder if that omission means anything?

Monday, March 23, 2020

Unidentified Young Man Working on a Mustache

Three old photos recently popped up for sale locally. This is one of them.

2020-03-23. Unidentified man with mustache - Showman
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There is no identification on this photo. Since it was done by Showman's Gallery, we can estimate its date between 1893 and 1898.

This young man's mustache may be wispy, but his suit is well made, and his collar and shirt are crisp and snowy white.

He's wearing some kind of stickpin on the lapel of his vest. The horizontal stripes suggest an American-flag theme, which could mean it's a political pin, but I certainly can't recognize any face on there, or read any name.

2020-03-23. Unidentified lapel pin

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The Story of the Store: The Prequel

Just recently stumbled across this tidbit of information, and I'm wondering how I missed it the first time I read through the 1919 microfilm. For our purposes, the most interesting part is the last sentence.

2020-03-17. Frank Clinton, Hobart Gazette, 2-21-1919
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"Deaths for the Week," Hobart Gazette, Feb. 21, 1919.

Here's a photo of Frank as a prosperous businessman, circa 1915:

2020-03-17. Clinton, F.W. 1915 from Howat
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That photo comes from History of Lake County and the Calumet Region, which includes a biographical sketch of Frank and the ups and downs of his career.

'Way back when I first started getting into the history of the Ainsworth general store, I was theorizing that perhaps W.O. Halsted was the first storekeeper; apparently that's wrong. Nor would Frank have been the first storekeeper, if the 1915 bio is correct in saying that he bought the store.

But I find the early history in the 1915 bio questionable. According to that source, Frank moved to Crown Point in 1875, spent nine years as a contractor — which brings us to about 1884 — then three years at a wood-working mill in South Chicago, which brings us to roughly 1887 and the purchase of the Ainsworth store. However, in other records, Frank shows up as postmaster at the Ainsworth post office in 1885.

2020-03-17. Clinton, Francis W. as postmaster 1885
(Click on image to enlarge) U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data: Record of Appointment of Postmasters, 1832-1971. NARA Microfilm Publication, M841, 145 rolls. Records of the Post Office Department, Record Group Number 28. Washington, D.C.: National Archives.

We know from the 1880 Census that Frank was living in Crown Point, with his wife, Elizabeth (née Hutton), and their young family. So it must have been sometime between June 1880 and September 1885 that Frank moved his family to Ainsworth and became the village storekeeper and postmaster.

Frank is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Hammond.

I have pretty thoroughly neglected the Clintons so far. I shall have to remedy that.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Grace Wood Mundt

Since my previous post mentioned Grace Mundt, daughter of John Warren Wood and Margaret Hollett, I'm posting the only portrait of her contained in the Wood/Vincent photo album.

Mundt, Grace Wood 019c no verso
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Grace was born in 1884. In this photo she looks about 14 years old, so we can estimate that it dates to 1898 or thereabouts. The style of her dress (what little I can see of it) seems consistent with that. Unfortunately, there is no photographer's name on the photo.

She is identified by a handwritten caption.

Mundt, Grace Wood 019c caption

On June 8, 1906, Grace married Dr. Gustoff Henry Mundt in Chicago. His obituary, from 1962, gives you some idea of what sort of people they both were.

Mundt, Dr. Henry, Suburbanite-Economist (Evergreen Park, Ill.), April 04, 1962
Suburbanite-Economist (Evergreen Park, Ill.), April 4, 1962.

Grace's entry at includes a photo of Grace and Henry and two children.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

The Death of Margaret Hollett Wood

A member-by-marriage of the Deep River Wood family died on November 4, 1923.

2020-03-05. Margaret Wood obit, Gazette, 11-9-1923
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Hobart Gazette, Nov. 9, 1923.

Her late husband, John W. Wood, had been born to John and Hannah (Pattee) Wood in 1838, after they came to Lake County, Indiana. He was given the name of a brother who had died in childhood, back in Massachusetts.

Margaret was the daughter of Thomas and Deborah Hollett, natives of New York. The 1860 Census is the first that records them in Porter County, farming in Porter Township. It is also the last one that records Margaret under her maiden name. The following year she married John W. Wood.

John gave his occupation as house painter in the 1870 Census, which shows him, Margaret, and their five-year-old daughter, Anna M., living in Valparaiso. By the 1880 Census, John had gone into the grocery business — and stayed there, apparently, since he still gave his occupation as grocer in the 1900 Census. Sometime after 1900 he retired and moved (according to his obituary) to Chicago, and there he died in 1907.

I can't find Margaret in the 1910 Census. The 1920 Census shows her living in Chicago with her daughter, Grace, who was by then the wife of Dr. Henry Mundt and the mother of two young children.

The niece in Gary at whose home Margaret died, Mrs. Otis B. Nesbit, was the Alice Vincent Nesbit who (I suspect) owned the Wood-Vincent photo album.

Margaret's entry on also lists her children who did not survive her.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Hood Ornaments

2020-02-29. EvaT033
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Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Eva Thompson is at left, sitting on the car; her mother, Nancy, is at the far right. The other two are unidentified.

There is no date on this photo. In my notes, I wrote: "The car is a Chevy like Lester Dye's"; Eldon Harms must have told me that. But the Ainsworth vintage-car expert tells me that — based on what little he can see of it — he thinks the car might be a 1926 or '27 Dodge. The fashions are consistent with that era.

Eva and Nancy are coatless and hatless, which suggests that they are at home. But the location is unidentified. Behind Nancy is a substantial two-story brick building; that, plus the rolling landscape in the background, tells me that we're not at the old James Chester place east of Ainsworth, where the Thompsons once lived. If I had time, I'd go driving around to look at the land surrounding their other known homes, to see if any combination of home and landscape might resemble this photo. But, of course, I don't have time.

Eva seems to be wearing her "good" clothes. Her dress shines like silk, but I wonder if it could be rayon? My mother, who reached young womanhood in the late 1930s, told me that in her day rayon was looked down upon as "poor man's silk" and you had to be pretty hard up to resort to wearing it. I really don't know how prosperous the Thompson family was. In the same vein, I don't know if Eva's long necklace is made up of real pearls.

At about knee level, her costume gets so complicated: the dress seems to be lined, or maybe that's a slip; and then — bloomers? And stockings held up with pretty lace-edged garters, which she doesn't care if the camera memorializes.

Which leads me to wonder who was operating the camera.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Miss Margaret and the Woodses of Ross Township

I must have been in a bad mood seven years ago when I wrote the post about Samuel B. Woods: I put so little effort into it. Now Sam's youngest child is getting married, so maybe I should take this opportunity to educate myself a bit more.

2020-02-24. Woods, News, 11-1-1923
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"Local and Personal," Hobart News, Nov. 1, 1923.

The home of the bride's parents was stood, according to A Pictorial History of Merrillville, "on West 57th Avenue, near the intersection of 57th and Cleveland Street (Route 55)." That certainly helps me figure out which of the various parcels owned by the Woodses was where they actually lived.

2020-02-24. Woods 1908
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From the 1908 Plat Map.

Samuel Bartlett Woods was born in Ross Township in 1856 to Bartlett and Ann Eliza Woods. Bartlett Woods was among the early settlers of Ross Township and a prominent citizen; you can read more about him in Lake County Encyclopedia. Ann Eliza Sigler, who became Bartlett's wife in 1847 (Indiana Marriage Collection), was the daughter of Samuel and Ann Sigler, early settlers of Hobart Township.

In 1882, Samuel Woods married Mellue Vilmer.[1] They had three children. The first was a son, Harold, who died in 1908. The second was a daughter, Wilma, who married Francis Malmstone in 1915 and lived with him in Griffith. The last was our Miss Margaret.

Now, Chester Clark and his new wife may have spent some of their early married life on his "large farm" at Carthage, Illinois, but we know from the 1930 Census that within seven years they moved back to live on her parents' farm.

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At the top of the right-hand column on the page above, we find another happy event: at the farm on Cleveland Avenue, Lois Harms turned eight years old. Esther Palm was a neighbor; Ruth and Loretta Schavey were maternal relatives, I'm sure, but I don't know their exact relation.

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Lower down in that same column, another item that interested me was A. Johnson's public sale "at the old Collver place." I've just barely mentioned the name of Collver and identified the Collver property without understanding precisely where it was …

2015-9-5. Collver 1908
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Image from the 1908 Plat Map.

… and now I'm going to try to figure that out. When I wrote the linked post, in 2015, the Lake County Surveyor GIS website may not even have been online — or if it was, my internet connection was not good enough to use it. But now I can use it, and do, and it's very helpful.

Anyway, we can see from the plat map above that the Collver place was bordered on the south by South Side Addition 2. Per the Lake County GIS, South Side Addition 2 is a strip of land running along the north side of 13th Street, from S.R. 51 east to just past Fleming Street (now occupied by a commercial building and several houses). And we have a pretty good idea where the Sapper land was and still is, don't we? So the Collver place was between the Sapper land and South Side Addition 2. Just north of South Side Addition 2 is a cute little house, built in 1919 per the county records, that must have stood on the old Collver place, and was probably occupied by this A. Johnson — maybe even by the Collver family.

And who was the Collver family? The member we're dealing with today — the auctioneer at this public sale — was born Sylvanus Roy Collver in Canada in 1873, but always went by Roy or S.R. He came to the U.S. sometimes around 1890[2], following his father, mother, and brother. In 1900, the family was living in Chicago. Roy was a fruit salesman. In January 1896 Roy had married Margrete Prendergast (Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index); in June of that year they had a son, whom they christened Sylvanus Albert.

Since Roy was in his early twenties when he married Margrete, that was probably his first marriage. It wasn't his last. I don't know what happened to Margrete, but by 1905 Roy was free to marry Mary M. O'Donnell (Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index). I think she is the "Mae" who shows up with him the 1910 Census, living in Hobart Township, in their own home. In January 1917, Roy sued Mae for divorce.[3] The divorce must have gone through: in May 1917, Roy married Leah Herman (Indiana Marriage Collection). I can't find them in the 1920 Census, and Roy didn't live to be counted in the 1930 Census. He was still married to Leah when he died in 1927 (Indiana Death Certificates).

I cannot identify the A. Johnson who started all this by having a public sale on the old Collver place.

[1] I believe that her brother, William E. Vilmer, was a local photographer.
[2] 1893 per the 1900 Census; 1889 per the 1910 Census.
[3] "In the Divorce Courts," Hobart Gazette, January 19, 1917.