Friday, October 31, 2014

That's For Us to Know and You to Find Out

In honor of Halloween, here's a couple of boys dressed up as a donkey, on the grounds of the Ainsworth school:

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

They weren't dressing that way for Halloween — it was their costume for a performance by the W.G. Haan students of an operetta, Seeing Nellie Home, in May 1937.*

The two boys were Eldon Harms and Lorin Butt. Which is which in the photo, I cannot say, and back in May 1937, whenever anyone would ask them who played the front and who the rear of the donkey, they'd say, "That's for us to know and you to find out."

*This seems to be the gist of the notes on the back, but I haven't been able to locate any such operetta. "Seeing Nellie Home" may have been a featured song rather than the name of the operetta.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

William Strong

Among the pleasant social news from "South of Deepriver" in early August 1921 — including Milan Hurlburt's 71st birthday — we find a couple of Ross Township farmers driving up to Lake Station (fka East Gary) to care for a sick man. I think Arthur Strong was a nephew to William, but I don't know how William Bowman fit into the family, if he did.

2014-10-30. South of Deepriver social column
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 11 Aug. 1921.

William Strong died a couple weeks later.

2014-10-30. Wm. Strong obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 1 Sept. 1921.

We've previously met Uncle Thomas Strong.

(Happier news for Hobart's own Everett Newman — winning yet another local race.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Milk House

In our previous installment of Stuff That Used to Be Around Big Maple Lake, I mentioned the lingering remains of what appears to have been a small terracotta-block building with electricity. Here's the building those ruins seem to resemble:

2014-10-29. DRF Milk House 1947 001 detail
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Chester Wasy.

A milk house is where the full milk cans were kept cool in tanks of water until they could be shipped to the milk-bottling factory. In Henry Nolte's time, the electrical pump that drew water into the tanks was controlled by a big throw-switch on the wall. That switch always sparked when you turned it on, which scared the little neighbor kid who would tell me about it 80 years later.

That wheeled contraption out front is a milk cart, built to carry cans of milk from the barn to the milk house, and from the milk house to the truck that would carry them away to their rendezvous with destiny.

2014-10-29. DRF Milk House 1947 001

The problem I have with connecting this building to the foundation among the trees east of Big Maple Lake (small foundation, bits of terracotta blocks, porcelain insulators and shreds of metal wire) is that, as we see from the photo, the milk house was right next to the main house, and the ruins out in the woods that seem to correspond to the main house are at some distance from the little foundation. So I must be wrong about something, and perhaps many things.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ford v. Cement Truck

Apparently, if you were bored in Hobart, you could go hang around the Nickel Plate Garage and wait for something to happen. Just one day after the barber-v.-barber grudge match, a cement truck showed what it could do to a Ford car out in front of the Nickel Plate Garage. The Ford belonged to our friend Roland Dolphus Sizelove.

2014-10-28. What happened to Rollie Sizelove's car
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local and Personal," Hobart News 11 Aug. 1921.

In news of other acquaintances — yet another relative for the mysterious Mary Kipp. "Mrs. Wm. Halsted" may have been W.O.'s widow, Barbara; that was how the Gazette of August 12 identified a woman beginning a new house on Garfield Street, though there could have been two such women.

And Vera Quinlan had a job in Gary. From the next day's Gazette, we learn that her brother, Lester, who was then about 16 or 17, had joined the National Guard:

2014-10-28. In the National Guard: Lester Quinlan et al.
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 12 Aug. 1921.

… and yes, Mrs. Gottfried Mayer was Oscar's sister-in-law.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Catherine Quinlan McAuliffe

2014-10-27. img812
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

I have already told most of what I know of Catherine (Quinlan) McAuliffe. Here is a little glimpse of her personality:

2014-10-27. img813

… That is, her personality as described by her daughter, Mary, to someone else, who wrote these notes on the back of the photo.

The photo is undated, but could not be later than October 1899. To my eyes, both the fashion of her blouse and her apparent age suggest the 1890s. That means the photo was taken some years before it was printed on this divided-back postcard dating to 1907 or later.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brawling Barbers

Passersby near the Nickel Plate Garage on the evening of August 9, 1921, were provided free entertainment courtesy of Hazard Halsted and Clifford O. Mize.

2014-10-26. When Barbers Attack
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 12 Aug. 1921.

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.