Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Before Elna Arrived

Here is a nice portrait of the Haken and Christine (Blank) Hazelgreen family:

2016-6-28. hazel026
(Click on images to enlarge)

The only one missing is Elna, and that's because she hadn't arrived yet, as the identifying notes on the back explain:

2016-6-28. hazel027

Jeanette is a bit of a mystery: her birth predates H.S. Hazelgreen's marriage to Christine Blank (1874 per the Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index). Perhaps Christine was his second wife, but I don't know his first wife's name or what became of her. Jeannette's married name was Ahlberg.

Esther, in the little rocking chair, was born circa 1886, so judging by her apparent age we can date this photo roughly to 1888 or '89. By that time the family had come to Lake County.

Born around 1883, Albin (on the far left) was still in skirts — not unusual for a boy of five or six at that time.

The painted backdrop suggests a photographer's studio, but nothing on the original identifies the photographer.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A Busy Season at the Yellowstone Trail Campground

The last I heard about Lee & Rhodes' public fountain was in April 1922, when it had been put in working order. Evidently by August it had gotten out of working order and people were going thirsty under the glaring sun.

While the story about Yellowstone Trail campground doesn't say so, I suppose that the registration box had been set out there when the camp officially opened on May 6, 1922.

2016-6-26. Lee fountain, Yellowstone Trail
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 25 Aug. 1922.

I don't know where exactly the Harmon house was, but it doesn't matter since apparently you couldn't get any moonshine there. (I wonder if the Harmon who lived there had any connection to the Rush Harmon who had been hanging around with Carrie Peas.)

And lastly, the bereaved Alfred Ingram and Anna Fleck left close up the empty house in Boston.

Friday, June 24, 2016

My Latest Half-Baked Theory

As I was writing about Hazel Thompson's marriage to Walter Veal in my last post, I happened to remember a photo left to us by Eva Thompson in which two adults were unidentified. The two thoughts suddenly connected in a flashing arc across my brain — oh! so that's who they were!

Upon further examination, I began to think it was just a case of faulty wiring, but I'll tell you my bright idea anyway.

Here's the photo in question:

2016-6-24. EvaT008
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

In the front row, we have (left to right): Nancy Thompson; Alta Thompson Dye with an unidentified child on her lap; Minnie Rossow Harms with an unidentified child on her lap; Herman Harms, Sr.; and Eldon Harms. Eldon, born in 1924, looks about six years old here, so we can date the photo to approximately 1930.*

The two in back are unidentified — no, wait! They must be Walter and Hazel (Thompson) Veal!

In another photo taken probably within minutes of the first, Herman Harms, Sr. has taken the place of the unidentified guy in back, and Eva Thompson has taken Herman's place in the front row, with an unidentified baby on her lap.

2016-6-24. EvaT005

In the 1930 Census, taken in April of that year, we find Walter and Hazel Veal in Jefferson County, Indiana, with three children: Lorraine (five years old), Kenneth (three years and five months), and Mary (ten months). So maybe Kenneth and Mary are the children in this second photo. (The unidentified child on Minnie's lap in the first photo might be Norma Harms, who was then about two years old.)

Mystery solved! … or not. Now that I look at that unidentified man, I have to admit he has some resemblance to Walter Dye, Alta's husband. And in the 1930 Census, Walter and Alta Dye had two boys, Robert (two years old) and James (six months), who could account for the two children in the second photo (although the baby on Eva's lap seems to be dressed more in the style of a girl). Furthermore, in 1930 Walter Veal would have been almost 50 years old; could that unidentified man pass for 50? But he could pass for 29, Walter Dye's age.

I should mention also that in looking at these photos, Eldon Harms did not recognize either of the unidentified people.** On the one hand, if Walter and Hazel Thompson Veal were friends of the Harms family, you'd expect him to recognize them; on the other hand, if they only ever visited during his early childhood, then 80-some years later and with weakened eyesight, he might not pick them out of a photo.

The Dye hypothesis still leaves the woman in back unidentified. Let's just say she's the Mystery Woman of Ainsworth.

*A copy of this photo found in another collection had "31" written on the back; it's not clear whether that means 1931.
**That's why they're unidentified, duh.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

August Weddings

Two couples tying the knot in August 1922 were acquaintances of ours.

2016-6-22. Thompson/Veal, Baumer/Fleck weddings
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 24 Aug. 1922.

George Fleck had lost a sister just 13 days before he gained a wife.

I suppose the Baumer bakery produced the wedding cake.

Walter Veal, widowed about one year earlier, was now marrying Eva Thompson's eldest sister. Hazel was about 19 years old, Walter nearly 40 (1920 Census) and twice widowed (Indiana Marriage Collection).

I don't know exactly where Amelia Thompson's house was (nor have I figured out yet whether Amelia was any relation to the bride's family).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Joe and His Bees

We've seen Joseph Mundell's bees; now here's Joe with his bees.

2016-6-20. Bees 2
(Click on image to enlarge)

This photograph was taken to illustrate a little newspaper item — so I gather from the ragged piece of paper pasted to it:

2016-6-20. Bees 1

Unfortunately I haven't been able to find out where and when the story and photo were printed, if they ever were. But a little investigation into Alva Turner of Ina, Illinois, turns up this tidbit, printed in the Mt. Vernon Register (Illinois) of May 16, 1949, under the title, "As You Were: Glances Through the Files of the Register and the News," and the subtitle, "25 Years Ago Today": "Bee stings are declared to be a beneficial treatment for nervousness by Alva N. Turner of Ina, who has himself tried the treatment."

So Joe's photo and story must date to after May 16, 1924, but not so long after that everyone would have forgotten Alva N. Turner's opinion of bee stings. A few barely visible fashions in the newspaper Joe is holding suggest mid- to late 1920s.

I turned up that 1924 story while researching Alva Turner, who was born in 1878 and died in 1963. He had a varied career: he was an insurance agent (1900 Census), a "gospel minister" (1910 Census, by which time he was married), a "common laborer" (WWI Draft Cards), again a minister (1920 Census, by which time he was divorced), and a house painter (1930 Census, 1940 Census).

And still he found time to write poetry — surprisingly modern poetry — and to correspond with William Carlos Williams.

His poetry and his connection to small-town Illinois remind me of his contemporary, Edgar Lee Masters — except, of course, that Masters moved to the big city, while Turner lived and died in southern Illinois. And everybody's heard of Masters; who (outside of academia) has heard of Turner? — I certainly hadn't. So I'm glad I bought that silly bee picture. It taught me something.

Also, that 1924 murder involving a minister and his married girlfriend sounds very juicy.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Update to Notes on Local Photographers

Poking around in the microfilmed 1899 Gazette, I came across an approximate ending date for Showman's Gallery, a starting date for A.O. Merrill, and a photography business that I never knew existed since I've never seen any photograph with their imprint — namely, the Dickenson brothers, apparently traveling photographers who spent a summer in Hobart.

So I have updated the Notes on Local Photographers page.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Order in the Court!

I wish these "Local Court Notes" gave more of the juicy details.

We know all the people in the first case. The last I heard, Nathan Bosen was renting Elmer Arment's new house on S.R. 51.

2016-6-17. Court cases
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 24 Aug. 1922.

In the swearing case, I guess the point of where he lived was that the swearing wasn't done within Hobart city limits.

And of course we know Harry Cole, alias Harry Breyfogle. But I'm not sure which of the local John Petersons was suing him.