Saturday, October 25, 2014


As promised, here's an update on the story of Jennie Ols.

Well, it was as I suspected: Frank* Fasel had gotten the teenaged Jennie pregnant. In 1916 Jennie gave birth to a little girl, Lela. Jennie's parents kept this little granddaughter in their household and raised her as their own. In February of 1920, when Sam Woods came around to take the census, the Olses described Lela as their daughter, and while Sam might have known differently, he wrote "daughter" for Lela, just as he had for the other daughters in the home.

By then, Jennie was out of her parents' house. In November 1919, she had married Charles Mosher. They lived in the village of Beatrice, in northwest Porter Township, Porter County. Charles worked as a section foreman for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad.

For Charles, this was a second marriage — he had lost his first wife, Mary, in August 1918. The 1920 census shows three children from that first marriage in the Mosher household. (To the draft board in 1917, Charles said he had a wife and four children to support; I don't know how to account for the fourth child in 1920.)

The photo below, taken about 1925, shows Charles and Jennie Mosher with Helen (a child of Charles' first marriage) and Raymond (a child of Charles and Jennie, born circa 1921). The location is thought to be one of the farms around Ainsworth.

2014-10-25. img962
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Fred Ols.

Charles and Jennie also had a daughter named Winifred, born around 1926.

The fact that Charles' first marriage took place in 1909, when he was only 16 years old, leads me to suspect that he might have been unusually understanding of what Jennie had gone through at that age, if he knew about it. When I hear of a boy of 16 getting married, I have visions of shotguns.

Charles and Jennie had almost 20 years together. On May 21, 1939, Charles died. Here is his obituary:
Charles William Mosher, age 46 years, died Sunday evening at 6 o'clock at his home in Beatrice, in Porter township, Porter county, following a heart attack. He was taken ill about 5:30 o'clock and died before medical aid could be summoned. Dr. Carl M. Davis, Porter county coroner, was called.

Mr. Mosher has been a section foreman for the Chesapeake and Ohio railroad for the last 20 years.

Surviving are the widow, Jennie; four sons, David, Donald and Raymond, of Beatrice, and Kenneth, of Alabama; two daughters, Mrs. Helen Ols,** of Gary, and Winifred, of Beatrice; his father, John Mosher, of Gary; one brother, Harvey, of Gary, and two sisters, Mrs. Clara Van Blaircom, of Hobart, and Martha Mosher, of Chicago.

Memorial services will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 daylight savings time, at the Salem church. Burial will be in Salem cemetery.

By May 1940, Jennie had married another section foreman, Herman Wagner. If she had any children with him, I don't know about them. She died in 1967 and is buried in Salem Cemetery.

*I am using the name given in the contemporary newspaper reports. Family tradition attributes the pregnancy to a Joe Fasel, whom I can't identify. (Family tradition also suggests that Jennie wasn't the only young woman in the area to have a baby out of wedlock by Joe, or Frank, or whatever his name was — but that's historical gossip, which I can't document.)
**Going by the 1940 census, I believe Helen Mosher married Jennie's younger brother, Ervin Ols.

1920 Census.
1930 Census.
1940 Census.
♦ "Heart Attack Brings Death." The Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso, Ind.) 22 May 1939.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
Indiana WPA Death Records Index.
WWI Draft Cards.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Good Times and Bad Among the Dairy Farmers

The Lake County Milk Producers' Association made big plans for a picnic in August 1921, enticing potential attendees with an offer of free milk as well as lots of fun.

2014-10-24. Free Milk
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 11 Aug. 1921.

Meanwhile, Everett Newman wins another "away" race; and the mysterious Miss Kipp attends a family reunion of her sister's in-laws, accompanied as usual by Dr. Clara Faulkner, and unexpectedly (to me, at least) by Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Roper.

The picnic was a success — well attended and fun.

2014-10-24. Picnic
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 25 Aug. 1921.

But this was gaiety in the face of hard times: just a week later, the Gazette was complaining that prices paid to milk producers were falling while retail prices remained almost the same — somebody was making money, but it wasn't the farmers, and now their marketing company's bad financial condition was about to force its Gary office to shut down.

2014-10-24. Milk
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 2 Sept. 1921.

(Also, Mabel's younger brother has a dislocated arm.)

Whatever happened at that meeting in the old town hall was not reported, but a week later the Gazette expressed hopes that the Milk Producers' Association proposition would "be saved from the rocks and placed on a sound working basis." That remains to be seen.

Additional Sources:
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 9 Sept. 1921.
♦ "Milk Producers of Lake County to Have Big Picnic." Hobart Gazette 12 Aug. 1921.
♦ "Notice to Milk Shippers." Hobart News 1 Sept. 1921.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Augusta Stolp Rossow Carey

2014-10-23. Augusta Stolp Rossow Carey
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

As an adventurous teenager, Augusta had come to the United States in 1871,* leaving her parents in Germany (to follow some years later). Augusta was trained as a seamstress and planned to earn her own wages. She stayed with relatives in Chicago.

In As It Was Told to Me, Minnie Rossow Harms tells us that the marriage of Augusta's parents, Peter Stolp and Caroline Junke, had been more or less arranged. Peter, a widower with grown children, was a friend of Caroline's father, and the two men decided between themselves that such a marriage would suit both of them. So Caroline, as a young woman, became the wife of a man some 20 years her senior, and they shared a home with her father. The marriage was polite rather than passionate. Caroline hoped for better things for Augusta: a freer choice, perhaps a love match with some handsome young man.

We can't know what motivated Augusta, at about 16 years of age, to marry Henry Rossow. He was not a young man; he was a forty-something widower with three sons ranging in age from toddler to schoolboy. But this was the New World, not the Old Country; Augusta, being neither timid nor dependent, presumably made a free choice. And perhaps it was a love match, after all.

*1910 Census.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Noted Chicken Farm and the Disgusting Hog Farm

I don't know anything about the "Chicken Farm," but apparently the Gazette's readers were expected to know all about it, as the paper reported in August 1921: "The noted 'Chicken Farm' gambling house may be transferred into a school house, as East Gary is said to be considering its purchase. A school house is needed in that part of town." So it was somewhere in or near present-day Lake Station.

Elsewhere, the paper noted that "[t]he Berghoff Road House had its grand opening last Saturday evening. This is Hobart's new place south of the Chicken Farm." The two establishments being mentioned in the same paragraph suggests to me that they were of similar character.

♦    ♦    ♦

West of Hobart, a hog farm was stinking up the place. At a special session of the town board on Tuesday evening, August 9, the "secretary of the local board of health was directed, through a notice from the Clerk, to notify the owners of the hog farm, situated in the west part of town, to place their farm of 40 acres in a sanitary condition. This place is known as the Sykes hog farm, the hogs being fed on garbage from Gary." (I have not been able to identify those 40 acres or their owner.)

At the same meeting, Sherman Henderson was appointed to the town board to fill the vacancy left by Hugo Zobjeck's departure the previous spring.

♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 5 Aug. 1921.
♦ "Town Board Meeting." Hobart Gazette 12 Aug. 1921.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Henry Rossow

2014-10-21. Henry Rossow
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

Henry Rossow was born in Germany in 1827. He came to this country early enough in his life that all his children were born here — and he had plenty of children: a dozen that I know of, who reached maturity, and populated this area, and handed down enough historical images and information to fill a blog. His first marriage, to Wilhelmina Kummerow, produced three sons: William, Theodore, and Robert. Among the children of his second marriage, to Augusta Stolp, was Ida Rossow Henrix, whose grandson has given us the image above, and the clipping below that tells how Henry's life was cut short:

2014-10-21. img025
Hobart Gazette, 23 Aug. 1895.

Among the grandchildren Henry did not live to see was Minnie Rossow Harms. The story of his death came down to her with a few details differing from the newspaper's version, as she recorded in her manuscript, As It Was Told To Me:
Going back now to the year Summer of 1894,* in the month of August, the exact date was Aug. 17. A church holiday was planned with a basket dinner, a host of relatives and friends were to join them on the morrow — for this was Saturday. Some of these folks were from Chicago so work laid aside, a group of them hitched the old Prince horse to a light wagon and were all set with worms and rods to fish in the near-by river. My grandfather declined. He said, all his grain was laid by, threshing done, hay all made, he'd go to the woods to cut some marsh grass to cover a stack of good hay he had to stack outside and it wouldn't take long and then he'd be thru so by that time you folks, he said, could be home with a mess of fish if they're biting for when I get thru today, he said, I can enjoy a few weeks vacation like before the fall comes and its corn-husking time again and we'll all have a good time tomorrow at the Church Mission (Sunday) Festival to be exact. The Lutherans still set aside a Sunday at the end of the Summer for it and they were all taking a basket dinner so they could enjoy both morning and afternoon services.

Well, with his spirited horses and his jug of water he went to the woods, hitched his horses on the waiting mowing machine. The other group went off with a wagon-full of happy people bent on catching fish. They heard the clatter of the mowing-machine as they passed the marshland (Missouri St. and Road 6 [Old Ridge Road]) but as they neared the corner Oh a sight met their eyes — the eldest daughter with the fishing party (Lizzy Rossow) walked on up to what seemed to be a jumble of horses and mow-machine and there was my grandfather lying on the ground right leg and neck broken. From what they could learn they judged the horses ran away and he wasn't expecting it so he had been jerked to the ground and the heavy wheel ran over his leg so the unexpected jerk also snapped his neck. He must have died instantly for though warm his body was lifeless when found. The family was too grief-stricken to have an outing on the morrow so preparations were made for his funeral and the family needed all the money they could gather together now so my father went to (Hobart) and purchased a cemetery lot, … so midst sympathy, tears and heartaches he was laid to rest there, leaving 5 daughters and 2 sons and his young 36 year old wife [Augusta]. The baby girl Clara was about 3 yrs. old and that was 3 yrs. before I was born. And as long as I can remember it was a yearly task in May — was to pretty up the cemetery lot and fix grandfather's grave.
Henry's grave is in Hobart Cemetery.

*Minnie was writing from memory, apparently, and was off by one year.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fred Carbine

Well, guess what. Now I do know where the Hite cottage was, thanks to Suzi Emig's comment on yesterday's post:
My maternal g'father Fred Carbine was the youngest of nine children born to Christian and Caroline Kegebein. He married Anna Buchfuehrer. My mom was their youngest child born in 1921. She said they lived in the house in Ainsworth which is now 7237 Hwy 51 at that time. They moved to 726 Lincoln St. where they raised their family and lived until their deaths. My mom told me that the house originally did not have a basement, so it was raised up and a basement was dug out. I have many happy memories of that house and even got to see the inside with my mom years later when my neighbor's daughter bought the house. My grandfather as a young man worked for the Wood family in Deep River at their store, then delivered for Roper and Brown, so this was probably the grain dealer as per the blurb.
And furthermore she sent me this image of Fred Carbine with a horse-drawn delivery wagon:

2014-10-20. Fred Carbine
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Suzi Emig.

The photo is not dated, but may date to the time when Fred was employed at the Wood store, circa 1910.

From the Hobart News of 26 Oct. 1911, his wedding announcement:

2014-10-20. Carbein-Buchfuehrer wedding
(Click on image to enlarge)

(I began indexing this family under the spelling on the grave marker at Woodvale Cemetery, but apparently the younger generation Americanized it, and I have seen "Carbine" used often in the newspapers. All the same, I'm not going to change my indexing.)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fire in the Fields

"The month of July broke all records for heat and dryness," said the Hobart News of Aug. 5, 1921. So it's no wonder that sparks or cinders thrown off by steam engines were setting fires in fields beside the railroad tracks.

2014-10-19. Fire in Fields
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 4 Aug. 1921.

William Rossow's farm, of course, lay on the west side of Wisconsin Street at the crossing of the (former) Pennsy Railroad. Charles Chester's land was divided by the Grand Trunk Railroad, and if the fire was threatening the Shults oats, it was probably on the Chester land on the south side of the tracks.

And we already knew where Fred Carbein was moving from; now we know where he was moving to — more or less, since I couldn't tell you exactly where in Joryville the "Hite cottage" was.