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.
(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.