Wednesday, July 27, 2016

For Sale or Rent: Mysterious Places

Two items from the "All kinds of Wants" column in the Hobart Gazette of Sept. 8, 1922:
FOR RENT — My farm of 100 acres, on Lincoln Highway, south of Ainsworth. Julius Triebess, 6936 Michigan avenue, Chicago.
FOR SALE — My house, barn and acre tract at Fatout, south of old Deepriver schoolhouse, on C.&I. railroad. Otis Guernsey, Route 2, Crown Point.
I've been unsure about who, if anyone, has been renting the Triebess farm; I hope one of the papers will report on its new tenant.

That second item has taken up 'way more of my time than it should have. We know that Otis Guernsey's farm lay northeast of where Randolph Street crosses the C&O Railroad, a spot more commonly known as Palmer. When Harold Guernsey died in 1921, his obituary used the name "Putout" — which I believe to be a simple typographical error, since my notes from 1916 carry the first mention of "Fatout":
Delbert Young has moved into the new house which he has built on the road leading south of the Deepriver schoolhouse past "Fatout," the new railroad station. His new house and barn look fine.*
And now in 1922 we see it spelled "Fatout" again. Majority wins. But Google, which knows about everything, doesn't know about the village or railroad station called Fatout.**

And what about the railroad where Otis' property lay? Is "C.&I." a typo for "C.&O."? The C&O railroad has had several names, but I can't confirm that "C.&I." was among them. There was a railroad in Pennsylvania with those initials, which I didn't want to know but had to spend the time finding out because of this stupid little want ad. Is it any wonder I can't get anything done?

Well, if you want my theory on all this, here it is: the C&O Railroad built a new station at Palmer circa 1916, called it Fatout after one of its bigwigs, but — in contrast to how thoroughly the station name "Ainsworth" erased the village name "Hickory Top" — the new name never really took hold among the locals and was forgotten until I came along nosing around in the old microfilm.

♦    ♦    ♦

Another mystifying item from the "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of Sept. 1, 1922:
H.F. Carey, who recently moved upon his farm, has rented his house and five acres south of 10th street to Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Bracken, who have leased the place for 14 months, and moved yesterday.
I don't know where the Carey house was. I used to think it was one of the older ones on the north side of 10th but according to this news item it was the south side. Or was just the five acres on the south side?

The item goes on to say that Mr. and Mrs. Howard Bracken would continue to occupy the Bracken place, moving into the big house from the small house. I gather that Mr. and Mrs. William Bracken are the parents of Howard. William was born on that farm and when he married, he and his wife took up housekeeping there, so this was the first time he'd ever lived off the old Bracken place. But the Bracken milk route — William's, I'm assuming, though it's not clear — would continue without interruption.

2016-7-27. Bracken 1908
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Bracken land as shown on the 1908 Plat Map. The 1926 Plat Book shows the parcel on the west side of S.R. 51 belonging to someone else.

*"Additional Local News," Hobart Gazette 30 June 1916.
**It doesn't help that there was a Purdue U. professor named Paul Fatout who wrote about historical topics and whose name clogs up the Google searches.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


2016-7-24. st037
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Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

This photo comes from Minnie Rossow Harms' steamer trunk. The young woman is identified only by a handwritten note on the photo's cardboard frame: "Alta." The frame also bears the stamp of the photographer, Krudup of Crown Point, Indiana, about whom I know nothing.

I think she resembles a young Alta Thompson, and since the families were friends, Alta might well have given Minnie a photo from her youth. If this is Alta Thompson, who was born circa 1905 and in this photo looks about — well, your guess is as good as mine; mid-teens to early 20s, maybe? — then this photo would date to somewhere from 1920 to 1927. I wish I could see more of her dress.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Lincoln Farm Again!

In the "All kinds of Wants" column of the Hobart Gazette of September 29, 1922, I came across this item:
FOR RENT — Farm, from March 1st, in East Gary, known as the Lincoln farm. Inquire of owner, John Keller, 2521 So. Lawndale avenue, Chicago.
The location of the Lincoln farm had eluded me thus far, but perhaps now we can pin it down. Here is the Keller farm as it appears on the 1908 Plat Map:

2016-7-22. Keller 1908
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I'm not sure the he owned all the way up to where Old Hobart Road meets S.R. 51, which is why I drew the lines lightly there. The 1926 Plat Book shows the same ownership. All my other plat maps show different ownership, but not one shows anybody named Lincoln owning that farm. Which wasn't much of a farm if the land was as swampy and uneven then as it is now. But anyway, this would seem to be the farm owned by John Keller in 1922, and if he says it is known as the Lincoln farm, I'm in no position to dispute that. shows a John Keller, 1864 – 1951, buried in Evergreen Memorial Park in Hobart, but I don't know if this is our man.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lake George From the Dam, circa 1948

Here's an uninspired shot of Lake George from the dam:

2016-7-20. img196
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Really, that's not helpful. We already knew what water looks like.

According to this website, the serial number beginning with "O" means the postcard was likely printed in 1948 or later. What little I can see of the two people's clothing is not inconsistent with that date.

Nobody we know sent or received this, either:

2016-7-20. img197

All in all, not much use. But it was for sale, so I bought it. I can't help myself.

Monday, July 18, 2016

South of Deepriver, August 1922

Today is South-of-Deepriver Day, also known as Blogger-Takes-a-Nap Day.

2016-7-18. South of Deepriver
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Hobart News 31 Aug. 1922.

And at the Niksches' Deep River Hall, an old-time dance, whatever that meant in 1922.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Healthcare Costs, 1921

The "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of December 2, 1921, included this little item: "Timothy McAuliffe, who met with an accident at Gary last week, is recuperating at the Mercy hospital," which probably explains this hospital bill.

2016-7-16. img849
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Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

This was Timothy Jr., of course. A check of the previous week's issue failed to turn up any details about his accident.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Old Folks at Home Drove Her 'Round the Bend

On August 25, 1922, at their farm on Liverpool Road, Eugene and Carrie Chandler had a birthday party for their daughter, Mildred. A few days later, John and Ella Dorman hosted a Sunday school picnic on their lovely farm overlooking the Deep River, now the Indian Ridge Golf Course.

And the Kemerley family took a long motor trip that included a visit to Mrs. Kemerley, whose first name I still do not know, and whose hard work at the restaurant and boarding house in Hobart had shattered her nerves.

2016-7-13. Chandler et al.
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Remember that undated photo of Hazard Halsted in the car sales and service business? The item in the right-hand column gives us a starting date for that venture.

Just above that … well, I know young people weren't angels even before the 1960s, but I am surprised at the number of extramarital births locally. (An article in the Gazette on the same topic explained that the area in question was Hobart and East Gary, and the time covered was the past six months; see "Shocking Birth Conditions," Hobart Gazette 1 Sept. 1922.)