Monday, February 8, 2016

A Dance and a Daughter

The Niksches were planning yet another dance for July 12, 1922, in the old Deep River schoolhouse; and the day after Independence Day, Mayme Harney gave birth to a baby daughter … unnamed at the time, apparently, but she would soon be Gladys.

2016-2-8. Dance and daughter
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 7 July 1922.

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From the same issue of the Gazette, some random news — Calvin and Howard Shearer had a contract for sewer work; Old Settlers Cemetery on S.R. 51 was in sorry shape; someone had run a car down the "steep embankment" near the George Lutz farm (which steep embankment you can still run a car down, if you are so inclined); and on the Peterson farm, a big family reunion … but no list of surnames that might help a genealogist.

2016-2-8. Sewer, etc.
(Click on image to enlarge)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Here's What I Think of That Tractor!

Sometime in 1917, it seems, Charles Chester bought a tractor from Justin B. "Jud" Blachly on credit. When the tractor failed to meet his expectations, Charles refused to finish paying for it, thus setting in motion legal proceedings that came to trial in the summer of 1922. At some point between the purchase and the trial, Charles publicized his dissatisfaction by abandoning the tractor on the EJ&E right-of-way, according to the News:

2016-2-6. Charles Chester's tractor problems
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 6 July 1922.

… Meanwhile, brother James, the quiet Chester, went about peacefully trading in used furniture.

Additional Source: "Bank Gets Judgment." Hobart Gazette 7 July 1922.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Edward Hahn

This is Edward Hahn, one of the boys taken in by the McAuliffe family.

Edward Hahn. Undated.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

The photo is undated. Edward was born around 1906, and here I would say he looks about four or five years old. I haven't been able to learn anything about the photographers, but as you can see from the studio's stamp in the lower right corner, it operated out of Dubuque, Iowa. I suppose this was before Edward came to live with the McAuliffes. But where was he staying, I wonder, that he would be dressed in such finery? Those aren't orphanage clothes. (I hope whoever was caring for him didn't let him go to school looking like that; can you image how much he'd get beaten up?)

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Old Lincoln Farm Again

2016-2-1. Bessie Kucaba
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image from the Chicago Daily Tribune 12 Mar. 1901.

On the morning of March 11, 1901, a boiler explosion at a Chicago laundry killed eight people. Among the dead was the 15-year-old Bessie Kucaba, whose mutilated remains were identified by her brother-in-law, Hugo Zobjeck. Her parents, Frank and Mary Kucaba, resided "on the old Lincoln farm," according to the Hobart Gazette.

I have previously seen a reference to the old Lincoln farm describing it as south of East Gary (Lake Station). I have never been able to identify the Lincoln farm's location, not then and not now. But the fact that elsewhere I've seen references to the Kucabas living at the Bijou, which has also been described as being south of Lake Station, makes me wonder whether the Bijou's grounds had once been the old Lincoln farm.

♦ "Boiler Bursts; Dead Number 8, the Injured 51." Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Ill.) 12 Mar. 1901.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 15 Mar. 1901.
♦ "Laundry Explosion, Dead and Injured." Chicago Daily Tribune (Chicago, Ill.) 12 Mar. 1901.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Mrs. O'Boyle's Terra Cotta Barber Shop

This item appeared in the "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of April 26, 1901:
Mrs. O'Boyle has had constructed a small one-story terra cotta building on her property on Main street opposite the Hobart House, which will be occupied by Mel Ostrander as barber shop. Mr. Ostrander was compelled to leave the Passow building, owing to the firm of Passow & Killigrew needing the basement room in their business.
In the same issue, Mel Ostranger ran this notice: "I desire to notify my customers that I expect to be located in my new quarters, opposite my present barber shop, about next Tuesday."

If we look at the 1902 Sanborn map, we see a "hollow tile" building roughly across from the Hobart House.

2016-1-29. 1902 Sanborn
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Sanborn Company, Indiana University, Historical Information Gatherers, Inc., and the IndianaView consortium.

It would have been nice if the mapmaker had written "barber shop," but unfortunately the building was vacant when the map was drawn up. All the buildings north of it have since been demolished or moved. I wonder if that terra cotta or hollow tile building could still be standing, as the north wing of the Main Street Station? The county property records give a date of 1874 for the Main Street Station building — only the "paving" dates to 1901 …

2016-1-29. 235 Main
(Click on image to enlarge)

… but the north wing wasn't there in 1895.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Nobody bothered to organize anything for Independence Day 1922. Hobart was dead on July 4 … except that if you stood at one of the main intersections, you could see a pretty steady flow of people getting out of town.

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June 29 had seen a very nice little party southeast of town:
The home of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Rossow was the scene of a joyous party last Thursday evening, occasioned by about twenty young friends of their daughter, Miss Bettie, surprising the young lady in honor of her fifteenth birthday. The company brought a delicious lunch which was served during the course of the evening's amusements of games, music and dancing. Miss Bettie was presented with many dainty gifts in remembrance of her birthday.
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Things were looking up for Hobart, however:
Hobart may have a park one of these days. It is said the triangle at the intersection of Main, Lincoln and Seventh streets will be turned back to the city by the contractor, and the paving cost will thus fall to the city and the city in turn will make of it a small triangle park.
The triangle in question is where the doughboy statue now stands. I gather that in 1922 Hobart had zero parks.

♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart Gazette 6 July 1922.
♦ "The Fourth of July Passed Off Very Quietly Here in Hobart." 7 July 1922.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dad Harms

John Harms
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

To Lester Harms, from whose collection this photograph comes, he was "Dad" — John Harms, 1877-1946.

Since the photo was taken at Showman's Gallery, we can date it between 1893 and 1898.