Friday, November 24, 2017

Name and Occupation?

Another lament about the difficulty of indexing these old record books. This time I'm dealing with an account book recording commercial transactions involving goods and (medical) services between 1835 and 1837 (unfortunately for Hobart historians, its records begin in LaPorte, to judge by the note in the top margin).

That first entry is not confusing. Obviously, Dr. Merchant (as we shall call the writer) didn't know the customer's name at all — only that she was a washerwoman, poor soul. So I index it as "Washerwoman."

Further down on that same page comes an entry that I confidently index as "Plaisterer, Jonas."

2017-11-24. AccB1835 002, 003
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Then I get over to the next page, see that first entry — "Collins Carpenter" — and start doubting myself.

I go back and take another look at Mr. Plaisterer, and realize I've mis-read his name — it should be "Jones." And that's his surname. Plaisterer (plasterer) is what he does for a living. So I re-index him: "Jones (Plaisterer)." Dr. Merchant knew his surname and occupation, but not his first name … and actually left a small space before "Jones," in case his first name should ever become know.

Likewise, there's a space before "Collins" on the next page. So I index that first entry as "Collins (Carpenter)."

Then I get to "H. Wheeler." "Wheeler" is both an occupation and a surname. But there's no space before the "H" here. So I index it as "Wheeler, H.," and just hope I'm right.

All this over some people in LaPorte that nobody cares about.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

South of Deepriver, March 15, 1923

Among all the usual visiting going on in southern Ross Township, I am introduced to a connection between the Hurlburt-Smith family and the Ripley family that I didn’t know about.

2017-11-22. South of Deepriver
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 15 Mar. 1923.

Aside from a couple of passing mentions of the surname Ripley — back when I was figuring out who those south-of-Deepriver Smiths were, and in a 1920 "South of Deepriver" column — I have thoroughly ignored the Ripleys. That name shows up a couple more times in my notes, but never to tell of the Ripleys doing anything more interesting than being related to Milan Hurlburt and Rachel (Hurlburt) Smith. I am inclined to continue ignoring them.

However, I should do my duty as an amateur historian and at least get some of the basics. Per the Indiana Marriage Collection, Horace Ripley married Frances Hurlburt in Lake County, Indiana, on June 24, 1873. They were married by Horace Marble, J.P.

How on earth they ever met, I do not know, since Horace Ripley, aka "Hod," was born in Canada, raised in Wisconsin, and then moved to Missouri, according to his obituary on

Frances Hurlburt Ripley was born March 25, 1852, according to her death certificate. Her parents were Jacob and Susan* (Perry Sheffield) Hurlburt.

What little information I have suggests that the Ripley presence in this area was never long-term, consisting only in visits to the Hurlburts and Smiths.

Now I've done my duty and can go back to ignoring the Ripleys.

♦    ♦    ♦

The shower for Bertha Fisher, also mentioned in the next column to the right, reminds us of the existence of Hubert Hahn.

*Frances' death certificate gives her mother's name as "Jane," but I believe that is a mistake.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Main Street Looking South from Front, 1901-1907

I have posted similar views of Main Street, but I don't think I've ever posted this exact, precise view.

2017-11-19. Main St. s from Front 1901-07 a
(Click on images to enlarge)

It's on a postcard with an undivided back, meaning that we can date the postcard between 1901 and 1907.

2017-11-19. Main St. s from Front 1901-07 b

2017-11-19. Main St. s from Front 1901-07 c

I can't see any curtain loft on the Strattan Building, which also suggests that the photo was taken before 1907 — although I'm not sure the curtain loft would be visible from this angle.

2017-11-19. Main St. s from Front 1901-07 a - labeled

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ernest Doepping and His Grandmother

I said earlier that I was going to stop trying to figure out the Doeppings, but I lied. How can I help myself? — I've just found more Doeppings "near Ainsworth."

2017-11-16. Mrs. Doepping and grandson near Ainsworth
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 15 Mar. 1923.

I think the "aged lady" of that first item is Mary, the widow of Frederick. Her grandson, Ernest, showed up in the 1920 Census in the household of his parents, Rheinholdt and Sophia (née Busselburg), in southeastern Ross Township. Ernest was the last of their children still at home, and with him was his wife — he had married Lilly Werblo in 1917 (Indiana Marriage Collection). Perhaps the young people wanted to get their own place, and the next best thing was to move in with his grandmother, Mary, who was getting too old to live alone. Since I suspect Mary of living in one of those little houses on S.R. 51 just north of the Grand Trunk tracks, the household might have been very "near Ainsworth."

The Charles Sievert who was also ill (and also near Ainsworth) may have been the man we find in the 1910 Census living in eastern Ross Township (in the neighborhood of the present-day River Pointe Country Club). He was 61 at that time. However, I can't find him in the 1920 Census.

I wonder where that "hooded Klansman in full regalia" came from, with that money for the Lake Station church? Maybe he was one of those mysterious out-of-towners responsible for the recent parade in Hobart.

Monday, November 13, 2017

John M. Gordon

As I mentioned earlier, John Gordon's biographical sketch appeared in Porter and Lake Counties (Goodspeed/Blanchard):
JOHN M. GORDON, junior member of the firm of P. P. Gordon & Brother, was born August 19, 1838, in Richmond, Penn. When John M. was eighteen years old, his father died. Mr. Gordon bought up the homestead soon after the death of his father, and in 1871 sold out and came to Hobart and went into partnership with his brother, P. P. Gordon; his mother lived with him until her death, in the spring of 1882, aged eighty years, fifty-six years a M. E. Church member. The brothers keep a full line of drugs, paints, oils, varnishes, brushes, etc., and groceries, provisions, flour, cigars and tobaccos, etc. Their trade has increased, and has always ranked among the first in the city. Mr. Gordon has an improved farm west of Hobart, about one mile; he is a member of the F. & A. M. fraternity, has always been a Democrat, but is liberal in local matters; he was married, January 20, 1869, to Anna L. Trumper, a native of Canada. They had three children — Frederick W., Mary J. and Edwin W. Mrs. Gordon was a teacher for four years, and was educated in Canada.
His wife, "Anna L.," more commonly went by her middle name, Lushia or Lucy. The 1880 Census shows John, a druggist, and wife Lucy, a teacher, living with their three children, Frederick, Mary, and Edwin, as well as John's 78-year-old mother, Lucy.

Once again we turn to an obituary for the rest of the story.

2017-11-13. John Gordon obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 3 July 1914.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Bull Calves and an Exploding Radiator

Allow me to get back to my adopted quiet family, the Noltes — two of its surviving members have some pure-bred bull calves to sell in March of 1923:

2017-11-8. Nolte Bros. selling bull calves
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 9 Mar. 1923.

Above that ad, we find Charles Chester selling oak fence posts, which I expect he made from oak trees felled in his own woods, nowadays the domain of horse-riders, dog-walkers and track-meeters.

Elsewhere, we learn about Christian Heck's arrival in this country in 1860, and James Chester's hard lesson about patching a radiator with cement.

In the last column, the report about Wayne Nelson's appendicitis describes his mother as living "north of Ainsworth," which is news to me. Either that is a mistake, or she moved out of the village when I wasn't looking.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Updated Photographer Timeline

I got the beginning date wrong for John Blackhall's Hobart career, so I have posted a corrected photographer timeline over there in Notes on Local Photographers.

The source of my original beginning date (1852) was a article from the Hobart Herald of August 26, 1954. Its author admitted to not knowing when John Blackhall came to Hobart, but made a guess based on dates involved in the transfer of the land where the former Blackhall house sits.

However, I recently got my hands on John Blackhall's 1905 obituary, which describes him arriving in Hobart in 1873. The 1894 obituary of his wife, Agnes (Thompson) Blackhall, agrees ("Entered into Rest," Hobart Gazette 28 Dec. 1894).

Neither of those two sources states when John retired from his photography business. John's obituary says only that "for a number of years [he] was engaged in the photographic business." The 1954 Herald article says he "retired in the early nineties." That is not inconsistent with either of the obituaries, so I am sticking with "circa 1893" as the ending date of John Blackhall's photographic career.