Saturday, April 30, 2011

Eighth Grade Class of 1905

8th Grade Class of 1905
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Students of Hobart Township High School, one supposes.

Thank goodness someone took the trouble to write out on the back who most of these people are.

Front row, left to right: Etta Bullock Killigrew, Lee Roper, Lillie Rose Scholler, Henry Carlson, Olive Melin, Lawrence Black, Homer Londenberg.
Second row from front, left to right: EB [sic], Ray Halsted, Mamie Croan, A. Meyers, Grace Edwards, Asa Bullock.
Third row from front, left to right: Olive Rowe Edwards, Ed. Schane, Tillie Abel, Deering Melin, Alfreda Foreman Schroeder, Fred Frank, Lizzie Klaussen.
Back row, left to right: Edward Kruse, Helen Mackey, Laura Asher, Cleo Barnes, Charles Bowen, Leota Hodsden.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Small-Town Newspapers

This little article in the Hobart News of January 3, 1918, taught me something new about how these newspapers were physically printed.

Home Print
(Click on image to enlarge)

So I gather there was an industry of partial pre-printing for small-town newspapers. The interior pages, printed by the "patent inside houses," carried national and international news, and advertising for products sold nationally. The typeface is different on those pages, and they always include reproductions of photographs — something you don't often see on the home-printed pages.

Then the local newspaper office would receive its shipment of partially pre-printed newspapers (from Chicago in this case), and on the blank pages print its local news and social items, and the advertisements for local merchants and services.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Blue Cohosh

(Click on image to enlarge)

The etymology of "cohosh" is uncertain but most sources suggest it was derived from an Algonquin word. The "blue" refers to the berries this plant will bear, probably during mosquito season when I am going to spend a lot of time not walking in the woods — which is where the blue cohosh grows, as it appears to like shade.

Like the shepherd's purse, these flowers aren't much to look at, but the plant is used to make herbal supplements.

1955 Grand Trunk Railroad Public Timetable

1955 GT PTT

I swore I wasn't going to buy any more Grand Trunk timetables, but I fell off the wagon.

No stops at Ainsworth, of course, although Ainsworth appears on the map on pages 4-5.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Shepherd's Purse

(Click on images to enlarge)

Not very interesting to look at, but Google the name and you find people wanting to sell you Shepherd's Purse herbal supplements.

The name comes from the vaguely heart-shaped pods, which apparently look like purses to the people who name flowers. I know you can't see them very well in that picture, but it's hard to photograph these stupid things on a dark, gloomy, rainy day, especially when you're standing in a muddy soybean field and you dare not even kneel down, much less lie on your stomach. And that's where I find these flowers: in the plowed fields bordering Deep River County Park, which are simply morasses of mud after two weeks of nearly nonstop rain.

I'm tired of rain.

Here are a couple pictures from yesterday, when it stopped raining for a few hours. The little white blossoms:


And the deeply toothed basal leaves, which form a rosette around the main stem.


Strange Poetry

To mark the one-year anniversary of Ben Bodamer's death, Bertha and her children placed a poem in the Hobart News:

In Kind Remembrance
(Click on image to enlarge)

While the placement of memorial poetry in the newspapers was common practice, the verses almost always conformed to standard structures of rhyme and meter, and, if not original, came from popular religious or sentimental poetry. For example, when Mary Nolte died, her family requested the Gazette to print these lines with her obituary:
Weep not that her toils are over;
Weep not that her race is done.
God grant that we rest as calmly,
When our work, like hers, is done.
Till then we yield with gladness,
Our mother to Him to keep.
And rejoice in the sweet assurance
He giveth His loved one sleep.
Plug that first line into a search engine, and you come up with a plethora of similar uses; those verses were taken from an anonymous poem, usually called He Giveth His Loved Ones Sleep, that my hasty internet search found used as memorial poetry as far back as 1872.

But plug the first line (or the second, or third) of Ben Bodamer's poem into a search engine and you get nothing.

It doesn't scan. It's ungrammatical. It is raw and blunt. And while it expresses the New Testament hope in the standard language, it also, Ecclesiastes-like, alludes to the indifferent passage of time and the smallness of human endeavor — highly unusual topics in that context.

All in all, pretty strange. I wonder if perhaps it's a translation of a German poem? I wouldn't know how to begin tracking down the original. But I think that more likely it's original poetry by a non-native English speaker — and indeed Bertha Mueller Bodamer was born in Germany; but she came to this country at about the age of 13, so I would expect her to have a pretty good handle on English by the age of 49, unless she lived in a household, and socialized in a circle, that was mostly German-speaking. That might explain the poem's departures from grammar and idiom … but then I wonder that her sons didn't correct it for her.

I'm just saying whatever comes into my head, but I'm curious, not critical. For all its strangeness, I like this poem. It's memorable. In just a couple of lines it paints a distinctive portrait of Ben: "your happy and light-hearted disposition … [a]lways you were happy and always making fun" — something I'm going to think of every time I'm in Woodvale Cemetery and I see that gravestone with the hearts carved into the granite.

(On the other hand, I don't mean to suggest that people who didn't compose their own memorial poetry felt their bereavement any less. In the case of those quiet Noltes, the fact that they made even that much public demonstration of sentiment suggests to me that they were in the extremes of grief.)

1910 Census.
♦ "Death of Mrs. Nolte." Hobart Gazette 17 July 1908.
♦ "In Kind Remembrance." Hobart News 3 Jan. 1918.
The Bible Christian Magazine, for the Year 1872. London: Bible Christian Book Room, 1872. (accessed 10 Jan. 2010).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Remembering Home (Random Pointless Photo)

(Click on image to enlarge)

For as long as I've been visiting Big Maple Lake, I've seen daffodils bloom every spring at the entrance to the path that leads to the house in the woods, the path that used to be its driveway. No doubt they were planted by the people who lived in that house. Daffodils are remarkably persistent; I wouldn't be surprised if these went on for another 50 years, blooming every spring, and remembering when that house was a home.

Hobart High School Class of 1902

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

These young people graduated from Hobart Township High School before there was a yearbook.

As far as identifying them, I can only transcribe what's written on the back:
Ruth Bullock Mackey's graduation

Vieva Scoffern
Dwight Mackey
Arthur Carnduff
Esther Nelson Williams
Philip Roper
Elvira Larson Ewing
Ruth Bullock Mackey
Teacher or principal?
*Update: a reader tells me this should probably be Ewen, not Ewing, and the census/marriage records seem to confirm that correction.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baby Squirrel Update (Random Pointless Photos)

There's been a surprising development in baby-squirrel news: my sister now has four baby squirrels.

Last time we saw Patrick, he was a little closed-eyed baby. Now his eyes are open and he's starting to look like a proper squirrel!

(Click on images to enlarge)

Yes, he has to be kept in a cage now because he's so lively and active. He's still mainly being hand-fed a liquid diet:


…but he's able to eat Cheerios on his own:


My sister volunteers at a local wild-animal rehabilitation center. Its owner became ill a few weeks ago, so while he recuperated she took in the two baby squirrels he'd been fostering. One of them is Dave, who's about Patrick's size and shares his cage (and his Cheerios). That's another baby squirrel to feed.


(At least I think that's Dave. I can't tell Dave and Patrick apart.)

Along with Dave came little Willow, who is a runt. Willow is just slightly younger than Dave, and his eyes are open, but he's a tiny little thing.



Then an employee at a local veterinarian's office came to work one day with an abandoned baby squirrel that needed caring for. The vet found out that my sister knew how to foster-parent baby squirrels, so he called her, asking her to take it. What's one more, when you've already got three? And so Alexis came to stay. She now shares Willow's nest. Alexis is bigger than Willow but younger — her eyes are still closed.



The older squirrels have to be fed only twice a day (if I'm remembering correctly), but the smaller ones eat four times a day. It takes a lot of time and patience to hand-feed baby squirrels. Just recently a neighbor who had successfully raised some orphans gave my sister a recipe for what we call "magic squirrel juice" — I don't know the exact recipe, but it involves half-and-half, an egg yolk, banana baby food and peanut butter. The squirrels love it, and we're hoping it will put some meat on Willow's bones.

A Guardian for Daisy's Daughters

Scroggins guardian

From this announcement in the Hobart News of January 3, 1918, I was surprised to learn that Roscoe R. Peddicord had been appointed guardian of 10-year-old Helen and 8-year-old Edna Scroggins.

Why would those little girls need a guardian? True, their mother was dead, but their father, Edward DeWitt Scroggins, was alive and well enough to have been admitted to the militia, and furthermore his second wife, Bertha, was a young woman, the mother of a 3-year-old and presumably able to be a mother to her stepdaughters.

Somehow I suppose this may have had something to do with Grandpa Henry Chester's having been a (moderately) rich man when he died.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Scholler et al.

Scholler group 1890s
(Click on images to enlarge)
All images in this post courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Someone has written on the back of this photo:
Mrs. D. Scholler
Mr. and Mrs. Steiner
Dan Scholler
Circa 1890s

From notes on the back of this photo we learn that "Mrs. D. Scholler" was born Margaret McCormick.

Mr Mrs Dan Scholler Margaret McCormick

It look as if the photographer has signed and dated this photo &Mdash; "James Ross 1904." Who was James Ross? Am I supposed to know that name?

Daniel Scholler photog James Ross 1904

An undated photo of Dan; looks earlier than the 1904 one.

Daniel Scholler undated

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sorry About Whatever THAT Was!

I think my Gmail got hijacked by some virus. If anybody got a weird email from me, I'm sorry about that, but it wasn't me sending it!

And apparently my blog was shut down too for awhile because Gmail and Blogger are related.

Anyway, it's all fixed now, I hope! One thing after another with this technology stuff, isn't it?

Two Quiet Plumbers Make a Little Money

In spite of their new business plan of avoiding all publicity, Lee & Rhodes couldn't keep the town treasurer from revealing that in 1917 he had paid them $21.78 out of the Light Fund for material and labor.

Lee Rhodes Treasurer Report

Source: "Annual Report of the Clerk and Treasurer, Showing Receipts and Expenditures of the Town of Hobart, from Jan. 1, 1917, to Dec. 31, 1917, Inc." Hobart News 14 Feb. 1918.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Amanda Shearer Scholler

Mrs Wm Scholler undated Amanda Shearer Scholler
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Mrs. William Scholler, née Amanda Shearer. No date on this photo. Once again, it's hard to judge from such a faded image, but she looks to be maybe about 50 here; per the 1880 Census, she was born around 1842, so this photo might be from the early 1890s, give or take a few years.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meatless and Wheatless

Advertisement placed by Dr. C.C. Brink in the Hobart High School Aurora yearbook of 1917. Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Hobart got its own local food administrator early in December 1917: Dr. Calvin C. Brink. I don't know exactly what his duties were, but I suspect he was to serve as a sort of cheerleader for food conservation. By that time, the nation's food situation was so "serious" that the U.S. Food Administration was asking all Americans "to make greater efforts than ever to save wheat, meats, sugar and animal fats." Conservation could become a shared experience, a sort of pep-rally ritual, as the administration "recommended to every citizen, every home and every hotel, restaurant, boarding house, etc." the following weekly cycle:
  • Meatless Tuesday.
  • Wheatless Wednesday.
  • Meatless Friday.
  • Baconless breakfasts every day.
  • One wheatless meal every day.
For wheatless meals and days, the Food Administration suggested using any of a variety of substitutes for wheat flour, like corn meal, oatmeal, rice, or flour made from non-wheat sources (barley, potato, kaffir, soy, etc.)

To this program was added the general injunction to use less animal fat and sugar. A later article noted that over the course of four months, about 85,000 tons of U.S. sugar had been shipped to France; and while American consumers were paying now about 9¢ a pound for sugar, the News pointed out that sugar had been 35¢ a pound during the Civil War.

Behind the pleas for voluntary public cooperation lay the threat of rationing.

Food became the object of crime. Newspaper readers were warned of a new scam abroad in the land: a stranger would knock at the door of a home, claiming to be an officer of the U.S. Food Administration authorized to collect or commandeer foodstuffs, and the unwary householder would hand over whatever the "officer" asked for. An indignant Herbert Hoover (head of the Food Administration) said "emphatically that no department of the Government has or will ever make such demands on householders." The Gazette also carried a warning for anyone who might be tempted to take food (or anything else, for that matter) from railroad cars traveling interstate: heavy penalties could result, including a $5,000 fine or a ten-year prison term.

In February the Food Administration designed a still more Spartan weekly program that it suggested as a minimum conservation effort:
  • Wheatless Monday.
  • Meatless Tuesday.
  • Wheatless Wednesday.
  • Porkless Saturday.
  • One wheatless meal every day.
  • One meatless meal every day.
  • Daily conservation of animal fat and sugar.
An anonymous poet lamented the effect of food and fuel shortages, and other demands of the war, on daily civilian life:

Conditions up to date

♦ "American Sugar Sent to France." Hobart News 31 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Conditions Up-to-Date." Hobart News 20 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Don't Get Caught." Hobart Gazette 14 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Dr. C.C. Brink Appointed Food Administrator for Hobart." Hobart News 6 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Fraud Warning." Hobart Gazette 21 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Important New Food Rules." Hobart Gazette 8 Feb. 1918.
♦ "U.S. Food Administration Sends Out New Food Rules." Hobart News 7 Feb. 1918.
♦ "U.S. Food Administration." Hobart News 24 Feb. 1918.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hobart Then and Now: 829 East Third Street

Circa 1902 and 2011.

(Click on images to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The top photo on display at the museum is captioned, "Ittle's saloon. Hobart, Ind./829 E. Third." I believe the two people at the back are Henry and Catherine Ittel, and in front, probably their four children: the two older boys are Henry and Jacob, and then daughter Mary and youngest son William. Since William was four years old in 1900 (per the census), I'm guessing that this photo was taken around 1902.

A Henry Ittel still ran a saloon by the time state-wide prohibition went into effect, but I don't know whether it was the father or the son. And from the wording of the newspaper reports, it sounds as if Jacob had his own saloon by then.

I don't know whether the building at that address now is the same one (with some remodeling); I'm inclined to think it's not — the proportions are so different.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Now That His Cows Are Safe…

We've seen Rollie Sizelove sell off all his cows to keep them from being killed by the trains passing across the farm he rented. Now that his cows are all safe with Charles Chester, he goes and buys a farm that is untouched by railroads.

(I just had to go back to that cow post and fix his name. I thought it was "Raleigh" because that's how census-taker in 1910 spelled it, and I haven't been able to find any other census record of him. The newspapers refer to him as "R.D.," or sometimes "Rollie." Now I finally track down his World War I draft registration card, and find out that "R.D." stood for "Roland Dolphus" — no wonder he used his initials.)

I don't know much about the Sizeloves. Rollie came from some unknown location (possibly Grant County, Indiana) to marry Hattie Maybaum in April 1907. In December of that year Hattie bore a daughter, name unknown. No children are listed in the 1910 census, so I suppose their little daughter did not live long.

That loss aside, their life seems to have been peaceful and pleasant. They were a fairly sociable couple, with a large extended family to visit. Twice during the winter of 1910, Rollie won a prize for the handsomest costume at a masquerade ball, one in Ainsworth, one in Deep River. In 1911, about 30 friends threw a surprise party for them at their own home, and spent several hours playing cards and dining. That home of theirs was well south of Ainsworth, as for some years they rented all or part of the Sela A. Smith farm.

In mid-February of 1918, the Sizeloves finally purchased their own land: a 60-acre parcel known as the Mid Harper farm. It had been owned by Middleton Harper at least since 1891. Since early 1901 Walter Blachly had rented it. Walter may have eventually bought it, but the report of the sale to the Sizeloves doesn't name the seller. Whoever it was, he or she got $7,000 from Rollie and Hattie.

They expected to stay in their rented home on the Smith farm until the first of March, but Rollie immediately set about building a new barn on their very own farm.

(Click on image to enlarge)
This image from the 1926 Plat Book shows the Sizeloves' new farm outlined in green, and the Sela Smith farm, which they had been renting, outlined in red.

1891 Plat Book.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1926 Plat Book.
♦ "Ainsworth." Hobart News 9 Nov. 1911; 26 June 1913.
♦ "Deepriver Items." Hobart Gazette 11 June 1909.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 7 Dec. 1900; 20 Dec. 1907.
♦ "General News." Hobart Gazette 15 Feb. 1918.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 14 Jan. 1910; 4 Feb. 1910; 3 Mar. 1911; 25 May 1917.
♦ "Ross Township." Hobart News 2 Jan. 1913.
WWI Draft Cards.

Monday, April 18, 2011

John Hillman in a Car

OK, here's what I'm going to do this year for Summer Posting Time, or perhaps I should call it Blogger Saving Time. Last summer I did wildflowers on my off days, but I've already gotten most of those (the woods are full of reruns these days), and as for mushrooms, it takes as long to find and identify a specimen as it does to research and write a history post. So during this busy season, sometimes I'm just going to take photos that I've found at the Hobart Historical Society Museum (or elsewhere), and slap them up here with minimal or no research.

And so, without further ado, I present to you John Hillman in a car.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Nice car!

According to the caption, that's his wife behind him and his son beside him. No date.

Hey, it could be worse, I could be slapping up photos of all the tree stumps I have to dig out of the ground.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Alien Enemies

Late in January 1918 the News reminded its readers of a looming deadline. In a proclamation issued in November 1917, President Woodrow Wilson required all male "alien enemies" to register with their local authorities.* The registration was to take place early in February.

Since April 1917 all unnaturalized German immigrants had been "alien enemies"; in December unnaturalized Austro-Hungarians were added to that category. So the proclamation affected a fair number of people here in Ainsworth and Hobart.

In charge of the registration would be the local chief of police or postmaster (I suppose in Ainsworth that would be Marshal Robert Harper or Postmistress Amelia Goldman; in Hobart, Marshal Fred Rose, Sr. or Postmaster William Kostbade.) The "alien enemy" had to present himself to the officer, complete a registration form and submit four signed photographs of himself.

The News assured readers of the program's innocuous aims: "persons required to register should understand that in doing so they are giving proof of their peaceful disposition and of their intention to conform to the laws of the United States." I suppose some of the registrants found it galling that their conduct since arriving in the United States decades earlier was not sufficient proof of their peaceful disposition and law-abiding intention.

*In April 1918, the registration requirement would be extended to female "alien enemies."

♦ "Alien Germans Must Register, According to Ruling." Hobart News 31 Jan. 1918.
♦ Ballantyne, Dorothy, and Robert Adams. Along the Route: A History of Hobart, Indiana, Post Offices and Postmasters. Hobart: The Hobart Historical Society, Inc., 1992.
♦ Divjak, Helen, and Lee Ann Potter. " Alien enemy registration during World War I." Social Education. Sept. 2002. BNET;col1 (accessed 7 Jan. 2011).

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: False Rue Anemone

(Click on image to enlarge)

Last year I got the real rue anemone, this year I get the imposter.

These were growing along that tiny creek you pass over to get to the remote-controlled airplane field in Deep River County Park. Near the bridge, the banks of the creek are reinforced with flat pieces of rock — you can see part of one behind the flowers. Those flat rocks look as if they've been there a long time. I wonder who put them there.

George W. Scholler

Getting back to the Schollers for a moment, let us consider another son, George W. He was musically inclined — the 1900 Census describes him as a music teacher — so I'm guessing he was the "G.W." behind the G.W. Scholler Male Quartette. (I remember seeing advertisements in the Hobart papers for some of the Quartette's performances, although I didn't note them down at the time, because I thought I was the Ainsworth historian.)

Scholler quartette
(Click on images to enlarge)
All image in this post courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Scholler quartette card

I believe that's George in the middle of the first row.

He was born in 1868. In 1892 he married Leonora "Laura" Bofinger. By 1910 he had given up teaching music and gone to work for a railroad. By 1920 he and Laura and their two children were living in Chicago, he working in an office.

Here he is in his youth:

George Scholler undated

He was quite the dandy, wasn't he? I wonder what that necktie is made out of — could silk be that shiny?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hobart Fire Department's 50th Anniversary

A reader has kindly sent in scans of a souvenir program printed up for the Hobart Fire Department's 50th anniversary celebration in 1943. The booklet included a photo of a firemen's banquet in 1914 with all the participants identified; many of the names are familiar. The main text is a history of the fire department. The whole thing is thick with advertisements from local businesses of that time. In other words, lots of information.

All images in this post courtesy of Swooz.
Click on images to enlarge.

Centennial Souvenir 1943 HFD face page

HFD banquet February 1914







For search-engine purposes I'm typing out the names of people and businesses in the program (so that fire-department descendants can find this post if they are searching the internet for information about their ancestors): John Ahrens; William Alexander; Alex Ballantyne; Don Ballantyne; J.M. Ballantyne; Clarence Barnes; Lewis Barnes; B.S. Barr; S. Barr; August Batterman; Ed Batterman; Harry Bauer; Frank Beltzhoover; Fred Black; L. Black; Blair's Royal Blue Store; William Bolt [Boldt?]; Charles Borger; Dell Brown; Eugene Butler; J.H. Carpenter; Carter's Phillips "66" Service Station; City Cab; Clip & Curl Beauty Salon; J.H. Conroy; C. Corey; Cressmore Country Club; Adam Diedrick; Jake Fiester; John L. Fiester; Mike Fleck; B. Fleming; Douglas Fleming; S.B. Fleming; Glenn's Toggery & Cleaners; John Green, Jr.; N. Greenspan; Gresser's Barber Shop; Charles Gruel; E. Guyer; George Hadsell; Kenny Halstead; Floyd Harrigan; Emil Hasse; Sherman Henderson; John Hillman; Hobart Bowling Alley; Hobart Plumbing and Heating; Home Grocery; Henry Ittel; Jake Ittel; William Jahnke; Joe's Cash & Carry Market; Albert Johnson; Betty Kane; Fred Kaska; Ed Keilman; Thomas Kelly; Charlie Kietzman; John Killigrew; Kinsman's Barber Shop; E.G. Kittredge; Elmer Kittredge; R.E. Kittredge; William Kostbade; Dan Kraft; Chris Kramer; Jacob Kramer; Kenneth W. Kramer; Louis Kramer; Chris Kramer Jr.; R. Lautzenhiser; Seward Lightner; Frank MacPherson; Oscar Mason; Maureen's Beauty Shop; Fred Maybaum; George Maybaum; Harry D. Mitchell; J.B. Mitchell; Moehl's Garage; Mundell's Flower Shop; Claude E. Nelson; E. Neumann; William Newman; Northern Indiana Public Service Company; Pat O'Boyle; Ed Odell; W.B. Owen; Herbert C. Prage; Roper Bros.; James Roper, Jr.; Fred Rose, Sr.; Sam Routes; Fred Ruchti, Jr.; Barney Scharbach; Emil Scharbach; Frank Scharbach; Fred Scharbach; William Scharbach; Calvin Scholler; Dan Scholler; Robert Scholler; Scholler's Blacksmith Shop; Ronney Shearer; Siegesmund I.G.A. Store; Ed Simon; A.J. Smith; S.A. Smith; Sohn's Dress & Gift Shop; Robert Specht; Springman's Grocery; H. Stevens; Willard Stevens; George Stocker; B.W. Strattan; A.J. Swanson; Frank Swanson; Martin Swanson; George Tabbert; Herman Tabbert; Fred Thompson; Unity Shoe Repair; William Waldeck; Albert Wall; Fred Werner; Armond Wickman; Alwin Wild; Louis Wischman; F. Zediker.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Purple Dead Nettle

Purple Deadnettle
(Click on image to enlarge)

Found in the soybean field beside Deep River County Park. It's a small plant; I had to lie flat on the ground to get this photo.

I had a hard time identifying this* because it looked different from the drawing in my guide, but then Lawrence Newcomb says that common hedge nettle is a "very variable species with rough or smooth stem, and lance-shaped, oblong or egg-shaped leaves." And this looks even less like anything else. So I think what we've got here is common hedge nettle.

Nothing interesting about it, but at least it's not stinging nettle.
*[5/2/11 update] Now I think I misidentified it — it's purple dead nettle.

Mr. Baessler Buys the Farm

And, for a change, we have a long-timer coming into the Ainsworth area: Michael Baessler, Jr. That is to say, I have hopes of his being a long-timer — his name will still be on that farm when the 1939 Plat Book goes to press, and I call 20 years a fairly long time,* and furthermore I may yet learn that he owned the land even longer than that.

The land in question is a parcel of about 30 acres on the north side of the Lincoln Highway, just west of the Village of Deep River.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Michael bought the land from Charles Granzow. Charles had bought it nine years earlier from Mary Giese, widow of August Giese. The Gieses owned the land as early as 1891, but I don't know when they bought it. In 1874 it appears that the land was owned by some member of the Wood family.

Anyway, Charles Granzow decided he'd rather live in Hobart, so he put the farm up for sale. Michael decided he wanted a smaller farm than his father's old place, where he'd been farming, so he bought Charles' 30 acres, and sold off some of his livestock and equipment in preparation for the downsizing.

The old Baessler farm was just over the line in Porter County. I don't know when the family arrived there — sometime between 1855 (when Michael Sr. came over from Germany) and 1870. I'm having a hard time figuring out how many wives Michael Sr. had. In 1870 he was married to a Wilhelmina; in 1880 his wife's name was Lowesia, but she was the same age as Wilhelmina would have been. Lowesia was Michael Jr.'s mother (or maybe they both were). By 1890 Lowesia and Wilhelmina were dead (or was dead), and Michael Sr. married Johanna, widow of John Schumacher and mother of Augusta Schumacher Sauter Fiester. Michael Jr.'s older brother, John, had been farming in the Ainsworth vicinity for some time. In 1915 John's daughter Minnie married Henry Bodamer, George's son and Ben's nephew.**

So now we have Michael Jr. and his nice little family joining the population of the Ainsworth-Deep River area. In 1918 Michael Jr. was about 43 years old. He and his 40-year-old wife, Emma (maiden name unknown) had been married since 1899, and had four children, Irma, Walter, Martha and Helen, ranging in age from 17 to about two.

I don't know much about them. Since I haven't heard of any scandal in the family, I'll assume for the moment that they are the sort of respectable, law-abiding and fortunate people who make for very boring blogs. But we can always hope for better things.

*Except when it applies to me. I moved here 20 years ago, and I'm a newbie.
**I'm so glad I'm not a genealogist.

♦    ♦    ♦

[8/25/2013 update: The Dewell Family archivist writes in with the following information:
My research indicates that the first wife of Michael Baessler Sr (1839-1920) was Wilhelmine Stutman (Stuthman, Stuttman). I believe she was the eldest sister of Anna Stutman who was married to Frederick Schavey. So Henry C. Schavey and Michael Baessler Jr were cousins.

It appears that all these guys traded farms among cousins, sons, and every relative they could find.

I think Michael Baessler Sr did have three wives. 1) Wilhelmine (1847-1875), 2 ) Louisa Hendricks (1841-1889) and 3) Johanna Schumacher (1835-1913).

Also, the Indiana Marriage lists show that Michael Baessler Jr's wife was Emma Sonntag. They married 1 Oct 1898 in Lake County.

1870 Census.
1874 Plat Map.
1880 Census.
1891 Plat Book.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1926 Plat Book.
1939 Plat Book.
♦ "Bodamer-Baessler." Hobart Gazette 15 Oct. 1915.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 17 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 25 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Mrs. Baessler Passes Away." Hobart Gazette 6 June 1913.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart Gazette 18 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart News 17 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart News 24 Jan. 1918.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Bloodroot

(Click on image to enlarge)

One flower and one large, lobed leaf for each of these early-blooming plants. Per Jack Sanders: "Bloodroot's arrival is almost endearing. Both the budded stalk and the plant's single leaf arise together, but in no ordinary fashion. The leaf is wrapped around the stem and bud, like a mother protecting its baby with a cloak." The flowers are delicate and last only a few days.

Sanguinaria canadensis is known as bloodroot because the orange-red juice in its stem and leaves resembles blood. It is a member of the Poppy family and contains protopine, an alkaloid also found in the opium poppy. Bloodroot has been used in folk medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including ulcers, ringworm, cancer of the nose and ear, and croup; however, according to Jack Sanders, modern herbalists "warn that the plant is so strong that it should never ben ingested or used without medical supervision. An overdose can kill a person, though its taste is so awful it's hard to believe anyone could consume an overdose."

Bloodroot was for a time used in the Viadent line of tootpaste and mouthwash, but I understand there were some undesirable side effects and the manufacturer stopped using bloodroot.

Images Are Back!

Photobucket managed to fix whatever was wrong.

Well, that was fun, wasn't it? And by fun, I mean not fun.

Once More Unto the Bedside, Dear Emma

I don't know what Emma Gruel had been doing since June of 1917 when she returned from Germany. It's hard for me to imagine her resting for very long, but we hear nothing of her until a January 1918, when the Gazette happens to mention that, two weeks previously, Emma had returned to the nursing of soldiers. This time she was one of a 50-nurse unit stationed at a base hospital at Camp Cody in New Mexico.

Source: "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 25 Jan. 1918.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sorry About the Images

Photobucket is now saying it may be 10:00 p.m. (Central time) tonight before they can fix whatever's wrong with their site, so the blog won't have any images until then. Sorry.

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[4/13/2011] Evidently Photobucket was mistaken about getting that problem fixed by 10:00 p.m. If this goes on much longer, I fear I shall begin to become slightly annoyed.

War Fashions

In December 1917 a committee of women at the Indiana Federation of Clubs convention in Fort Wayne suggested another way for women to contribute to the war effort: by eschewing light, gauzy dresses that gave no protection against the cold and so required heavy stoking of furnaces and stoves. To do your part for coal conservation, said the committee, wear wool!

A month later came the report that the federal government was asking for the cooperation of designers and manufacturers of clothing, as well as retail purchasers, in limiting the use of wool to no more than 4½ yards per garment. The military needed wool for uniforms, blankets, etc. To do your part for wool conservation, said the government, wear — um, animal skins? Well, yes, if you liked; but the important thing was to eliminate spectacularly wasteful flourishes in women's fashions — the long jackets, the full skirts. Skirts were to be cut "as short as decency will allow." (It's an interesting side note that the government focused on manufacturers and purchasers because "the great majority of women" now bought clothing ready to wear, rather than making it at home.)

Nor was cotton a patriotic alternative for full skirts and long jackets — the military needed cotton too.

The conservation effort relied on the imaginations of designers and the cooperation of purchasers.
One of the quick ways which has leaped into fashion for women to conserve wool for the army is the use of a short, slim separate skirt with a cutaway coat of velveteen, heavily lined. Women who have such costumers declare that they will wear these skirts with corslet blouses of soutached silk and satin in the spring, thereby saving cotton for the government.

Hats made of worsted have already been replaced by those of satin and velvet.

Entire coat suits made of worsted have narrow bias flounces mounted on a taffeta or satin foundation. The short jacket which goes with these skirts is so heavily trimmed with fur and has such a wide waistcoat of satin or matelasse that it can be considered a bit camouflage.
Silk apparently was not in great demand by the military — I don't think there was a great deal of parachuting done in World War I.

The article was illustrated by a sketch to demonstrate how patriotism and fashion might intersect.

War Fashion
(Click on image to enlarge)

Fashions of the early 20th century had been slowly moving toward the shorter, lighter and narrower, so the war did not introduce the trend, but probably accelerated it.

♦ "Ask Women to Cut Out Gauzy Dress." Hobart News 6 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Use of Wool in Clothes Limited." Hobart News 10 Jan. 1918.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ready, Aim, Shovel!

As I mentioned earlier, in mid-January a major blizzard hit Hobart. Snow began falling on the afternoon of Friday, January 11. On Saturday, temperatures fell to 20 below zero and winds rose to 40 miles an hour. Snow fell throughout the day on Sunday. Not until Monday morning did the wind finally drop, and the snowfall taper off.

The whole area was frozen. By midnight on Friday, the snow had stopped all forms of wheeled transportation — cars, buses, streetcars and even trains. Among the lines affected was the Hobart-to-Gary streetcar line. Many Hobartites relied on those streetcars to travel between their homes and their jobs in the Gary steel mills. But Friday night's 11 o'clock streetcar, carrying men home from the mills, got stuck in the snow near the Rossow farm. Someone placed a distress call to Arvill Frazee, who worked at the car barns Hobart. He sent out a streetcar to rescue the stranded passengers. The second car got stuck in the snow, too, just a few feet from the first one. That put an end to all streetcar activity.

Many of the workers stuck in Gary waited out the blizzard there; a few brave ones walked the nine miles through the blizzard to get home to their families. Some of the Gary mills had to shut down because workers simply couldn't get to their jobs. The mills couldn't get their coal shipments in, either.

On Monday afternoon, a gang of workers (perhaps included some of the stranded streetcar passengers) managed to clear the streetcar tracks from the Rossow farm to the car barns in Hobart, and thus bring in the two stranded cars. But the line was still blocked through downtown Hobart, and again from the outer limits of Gary up to Broadway.

That's when Captain Charles Allen volunteered the services of Company B of the Indiana State Militia.

Around 8 o'clock Tuesday morning, Captain Allen, along with Trustee Hugo Zobjeck, led a "shovel squad" of some 15 militiamen to the streetcar line running along Third Street. They set to clearing the tracks, partly using shovels, picks and muscles, but they also had a mechanized weapon: S.H. Henderson's big ice-cream delivery truck, with a plow hitched behind it. The squad was soon joined by town board president James Carpenter, Trustee Frederick Thompson and several others. After two hours, their mission was accomplished: they had opened the tracks from the Third Street Bridge to the Pennsy depot.

Next, the traction company brought out a special streetcar to ferry the shovel squad west to the Gary city limits, where they joined other workers clearing the tracks into Gary. Another 90 minutes' hard labor, and the shovelers triumphantly reached Broadway in Gary. The tracks were now open for traffic. At 2:20 p.m. the streetcars resumed their regular schedule. Where the tracks passed the Rossow farm, the snow was piled up on either side as high as the tops of the cars, and they seemed to be passing through a tunnel of snow. But they were moving again; that was the important thing.

The conquering heroes rode a streetcar back to Hobart and had a celebratory dinner at the Amazon restaurant. There was "great joy" in Hobart; I suppose the townspeople felt as if a siege had been lifted. "Boys," said the Gazette, "you did noble work."

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Calvin C. Shearer quietly did some noble work of his own: he sent men and plows south to clear the Lincoln Highway, opening that vital corridor to traffic again. Marshal Fred Rose supervised the slow work of clearing of Hobart's streets. Trains resumed running, and after a weekend of stoppage, local farmers were again able to ship their milk to Chicago. Sleighs, which had been the only practical means of transportation for several days, were resuming their recreational character. Amid the drifts and piles of snow, things were getting back to routine.

♦ "Hobart Militia Patriotic." Hobart Gazette 18 Jan. 1918.
♦ "The Worst Storm Yet." Hobart Gazette 18 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Worst Snowstorm in Years Visits Hobart and Vicinity." Hobart News 17 Jan. 1918.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hobart Then and Now: The Hub/Hobart Karate

Circa 1900 and 2011.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

All descriptions I've found of The Hub say it was on the south side of Third Street, at the alley between Main and Center. They never say which side of the alley, but that does look as if it could be the same building. It still has the three windows above, whose lower sills you can just glimpse in the old photo. The main floor underwent some remodeling, perhaps.

The older image is undated, so I just took a guess. A fragmentary caption tells us that these guys are, from right to left, William Jahnke and an unknown Ewigleben. (So if I could find out during what year(s) William Jahnke served in some law enforcement capacity … or what year the Foresters held a masquerade on February 21…)

I don't know when The Hub was founded. It was in business by 1904, when Marshal Rose accosted some motorists outside the Hub.

This photo is dated 1906, with another cryptic caption:

(Click on image to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.


Per the 1900 Census, Christ Ewigleben of Hobart had a daughter named Lena. John Hillman gave his occupation as saloonkeeper. I can't track down in any census any Hobart bartender named Oris.

And finally, the saloon interior:

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

No date, but from the calendars on the back wall, I'm guessing it's 1913 (because the year on the calendar at the right looks vaguely like 1913, and January 13 did fall on a Monday in that year).

It looks rather elegant — but then you notice all those spittoons …

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[4/13/2011 update: I was wondering about Mr. Jahnke above — a reader has sent in some pertinent information and photos. Thanks, Swooz!]

I was taking a break from working on my family tree and had a box of Hobart history articles and booklets handy, so I thought I would see if I could find something about Mr. Jahnke. Hit paydirt in a copy of the Souvenir Program and History for the Centennial celebration in 1947. Seems he was a fireman. And darned if it doesn't look like the top picture was taken in front of The Hub! Wonder if the fire department itself was around the corner — thirsty work! Also in a "Souvenir Edition, Special Illustrated Supplement to the Hobart Gazette" May of 1898 I found a little bio of sorts on Mr. W.C. Jahnke — "Mr Jahnke has resided in Hobart for seven years and at present is local agent for the Standard Oil Company, whose interests he represents in a manner likely to give entire satisfaction to that great company and its many patrons here. Besides his oil trade Mr. Jahnke is an extensive dealer in all grades of coal. He carries on a general teaming business as well, and is considered by all a rising, substantial and reliable business man and citizen". Busy guy! He was still around in 1914 in a picture of the F.D. banquet I just noticed. I skimmed over some other pages but did not find the name Ewigleben, if I come across any information I will pass it on. I know that family has been in this area a long time also.
Hobart Firemen 1895 1897

[That top photo looks familiar — I think I may have seen the original somewhere at the Hobart Historical Society Museum. I will check for both next Saturday and get full-size scans if I can.]