Saturday, December 8, 2018

His Vintage Ford

Louis Wojahn won a prize in June of 1923 for his vintage Ford — dating to 1910!

2018-12-8. Wojahn, Gazette, 6-29-1923
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, June 29, 1923.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sweet Sixteen?

This is Clara Rossow at 16 years of age, according to the hand-written caption. Does she look sweet? — I think she looks determined.

2018-12-3. Clara Rossow at 16
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.


Assuming the caption is correct, this photo probably dates to circa 1906. I say probably because sources vary as to her birthdate, but the majority place it in 1890 or 1891.

She was one of the children of Augusta (Stolp) Rossow. The earliest census in which I can find her, the 1910 Census, gives her birthplace as Indiana. In subsequent censuses she claims to have been born at sea, on the Atlantic Ocean. It's a good story, but I don't think it's true.

That 1910 census shows her living with her siblings on Lake Street in Hobart. (As Minnie Rossow Harms tells us in As It Was Told to Me, the Rossow kids found that they got along better with their stepfather, William Carey, if they didn't live in his house, so they got their own.) Clara was working as a telephone operator. Sometime between 1910 and 1920 she married Thomas Davies, according to the family — I can't find an official record of the marriage on-line, but the 1920 Census records the two of them as married. It seems there were no children. When Clara died in 1976, the background information on her death certificate came from a niece who did not know Clara's parents' names.


By the way, we have seen that painted backdrop a couple of times already.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Fats-v.-Leans Baseball

This game in June of 1923 was not the first fats-against-leans game that I've seen. And on holidays such as Independence Day, you might also find foot-races going on — one for the "fats" and one for the "leans." Anyway, in this case the News has left us with a record of the body type of a number of Hobart's male citizens, in case we had no photograph and were wondering!

2018-11-27. Fats v Leans, News, 6-28-1923
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, June 28, 1923.


Sorry I failed to get the beginning of the story.

As we see from the little item below the summary of the game, Hobart had another team called the Cardinals.

♦    ♦    ♦

Back when I was talking about the Frank family, I wondered about the Mulfinger connection. This item in the right-hand column helps a little. Not much.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Hobart Then and Now: Lillian Street from Ohio

Circa 1910, and 2018

2018-11-23. Lillian St. ca 1910
(Click on images to enlarge)
2018-11-23. Lillian St 2018

We are standing at the intersection of Lillian and Ohio Streets, looking northwest toward S.R. 51.

The photo is by August Haase, so we know it was taken between 1902 and 1913. Accord to the county records, the house now standing at the corner in the foreground was built in 1909 (all the structures beyond it in that block were built in the late 19th century). Is the 2018 house the 1909 house after a century of remodeling? It looks possible.

Here's the verso of the postcard:

2018-11-23. Lillian Street 002

The stamp box style, according to playle.com, dates between 1908 and 1924.

All things considered, I'm going to estimate this photo at circa 1910, give or take a couple of years.

The writer tells us that the dot over the second house from the corner shows us where "Eva" lived. But who was Eva? The 1910 Census shows two Evas on Lillian Street.

One was Eva (Kitchen) Bowen, wife of William Boyd Owen, Jr., brickyard superintendent. I have been told that the "Owen house" is on Lillian north of S.R. 51 … but were all the Owens confined to that area?

The other was Eva (Darling) Miller, who was born circa 1887 in Ohio (hence, maybe, the Ohio connection with the postcard's addressee?). By the 1900 Census her family had moved to Kosciusko County, Indiana, where in 1906 she married Jesse Miller. By 1910 the young couple were living in Hobart, but the 1920 Census records them back in Kosciusko County.

It could be either, as far as I know, but I have a feeling it was Eva Miller.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Finally, a Golf Course

Late in June 1923, the golf course on the Dorman farm was nearing completion.

2018-11-19. Golf course, News, 6-28-1923
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, June 28, 1923.


It was opened to the public on July 4, 1923 ("Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette, July 12, 1923).

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Klan Everywhere

The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, unlike its earlier and later forms, was a national phenomenon and most powerful in the Midwest, "especially Indiana, where, by all accounts, the Klan gained its greatest influence and highest level of membership for any state."[1] In late June 1923 we find the Klan continuing its heavy local campaign of public relations and recruitment. The rally that had been blocked in Gary took place in Hobart on June 26.

2018-11-15. 6-26 mtg, News, 6-28-1923
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, June 28, 1923.


2018-11-15. 6-26 mtg, Gazette, 6-29-1923
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, June 29, 1923.


The previous Friday (June 22), a Klan meeting drew a large crowd to the little village of Deep River.

2018-11-15. Deepriver, Gazette, 6-29-1923
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, June 29, 1923.


The News reported that the passing of the hat brought in about $80.[2]


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[1] Leonard J. Moore, Citizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, 1921-1928 (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 2.
[2] "Largest Crowd in History Attend Klan Meeting at Deepriver," Hobart News, June 28, 1923.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Grief and Glory

One hundred years ago today, the joyous news of the Armistice reached our shores. The Great War was over. Celebrations broke out all over the country.

In Lake Station, one family's joy was tempered by a recent loss: Christina Blank Hazelgreen had died on October 31, 1918, and was laid to rest on November 3.

Christina's daughter, Elna (now about 24 years old), received from a friend in Chicago this letter dated November 12 that expressed a range of emotions from private grief to public joy to horror at the flu epidemic that was still going on.

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 001
(Click on images to enlarge)

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 002

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 003

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 004

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 005

The letter reads:
Dear Elna:

Received your letter Sat. telling the sad sad news of your bereavement, in the death of your dear mother.

You have our sincerest sympathy and our hearts truly ache for you, and with you, for we feel that we, too, are bereft of a sincere friend, one whose true womanly influence was always felt in the desire she gave one, to do better and be better. How glad you are now of the years of devoted services rendered.

If we had only known of your sorrow, we would have been with you and yours in those last sad rites.

In trying to lighten the burden of others, we find our own load grows less heavy, and you will find it so in this "7 in 1" drive.[1] Wish you the greatest success.

Will come to see you at the first opportunity. You know we left E[ast] Gary sooner than we expected, and I intended, as much as could be, returning on the following day, to say "Good Bye" to all old friends, and neighbors, but on reaching the city that night, found Jay had made plans to go to Detroit instead. On our return, was a victim of the "flu" and for four weeks, was in the house every minute. Am feeling fine now and glad to be alive. So far, we have made no plans for the Winter, but will probably remain with Hazel. And I want you, Clara and Malcolm to be sure and come to see us. Take a Hammond car to Grand Crossing, then transfer to a 75th street car, last get off at Jeffery, walk to Chappel and we live the sixth door from the corner in a little brick bungalow.

Isn't it glorious the war is over? This was some mad town the 11th. I understand there wasn't much of a celebration in Gary. Well, dear will be glad to see you or hear from you at any time, it seems odd not to have one of our "weekly midnight conflabs" [sic].

Was sorry that Esther Olson had been so ill. Oh that epidemic was something terrible – in many cases it was impossible to bury the dead on account of no caskets being available.

Hazel is waiting for me to make button holes, so will close.

With love and best wishes.

Yours Sincerely,

Belle Lewis.
Belle Lewis appears in the 1910 Census as a resident of East Gary (Lake Station). She and her husband, Jay, had come there sometime after the 1900 Census (which recorded them living in Michigan). Hazel was their only daughter, born circa 1890.

Clara and Malcolm were Elna's siblings.

Esther Olson was some relation to Elna — either the wife or daughter of Elna's cousin on her mother's side, Floyd Olson (also an East Gary resident).

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[1] I don't know exactly what she is referring to, but it may have involved the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive.