Tuesday, May 31, 2011

From France With Love

Let's have another game of Six Degrees of Ainsworth. Our subject — John Boldt.

John was the son of William and Mary Boldt. Mary was the daughter of Patrick and Sarah Sullivan — Ross Township pioneers whose farm lay southwest of AINSWORTH.

So here is a letter that John Boldt wrote home from France. It was printed in the Hobart Gazette of March 15, 1918.

John Boldt letter

Monday, May 30, 2011

Scharbach Lumber Company, 1892

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

I'm clueless. Anybody know where this was?

♦    ♦    ♦

[6/1/11 update]
Bonnie has provided some information about members of the Scharbach family. First, a 1904 biography of the lumber company's owner, William Scharbach, Sr. (published in the Lake County Encyclopedia):
Numbered among the leading business men of Hobart is William Scharbach, a dealer in lumber and building materials. He is a native son of Germany, and in his career has manifested many of the strong and sterling traits of the people of the fatherland. His birth occurred in Sophienhoff bei Demmin, Stettin, October 15, 1843, his parents being William and Mary (Stoll) Scharbach, both of whom are now deceased. His father came to the United States in 1867, locating in Chicago.

In taking up the personal history of William Scharbach we present to our readers the life record of one who is widely and favorably known in Hobart and Lake county. His education was acquired in Germany, and he remained there until after he had attained his majority. He was but twenty-four years of age, when in 1867 he bade adieu to friends and native land and sailed for the United States, hoping that he might find better business opportunities in the new world. He did not tarry long on the Atlantic coast, but made his way at once into the interior of the country, locating in Chicago, where he was engaged in the lumber business. He came to Hobart in 1893 and established the lumber yard which he is now conducting. He deals in all kinds of lumber and building materials, and has developed an enterprise which has reached extensive and profitable proportions. Ernestly desiring to please his patrons, he has through his obliging manner, honorable dealing and reasonable prices won a large share of the public trade. He also conducts a planing mill in connection with the lumber trade.

In 1868 Mr. Scharbach was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Hagen, who was born in Germany and came to America in 1867. They have five children: Frank, William, Emil, Bernhard and Frederick.

Mr. Scharbach is recognized as a stalwart Republican and has been town trustee for one term, but his time and attention are chiefly devoted to his business interests, in which he has met with signal success.

Frank C. Scharbach, the eldest son of William Scharbach, was born in Chicago, January 31, 1873, and was largely reared in that city, attending German schools. He was also a student in Concordia College at Milwaukee,. Wisconsin, for three years, during which time he made a special study of languages. After completing his education he joined his father in the lumber business. He was twenty years of age when he came to Hobart, and he is now a well known factor in commercial circles. He, too, is a stanch Republican and is very active in the work of his party, serving as chairman of the township central committee. He is now precinct committeeman of the second precinct of Hobart township. On the 29th of September, 1895, he wedded Miss Mary Schumacher, a daughter of John Jeremiah Schumacher, and they have one daughter, Gertrude. Both Mr. Scharbach and his son are well known, and the business enterprise and laudable ambition of the young man, supplementing the sound judgment of the senior partner, render this firm a very strong one in Hobart.
Secondly, from the Kokomo Tribune of March 25, 1930 (via the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society, at http://monon.org/MononNews/MononNews1930.pdf):

Killed at Crossing

Munster, Indiana March 25 — Edwin Scharbach, 20, of Hobart, Ind., and an unidentified girl were instantly killed last night when their automobile crashed into the side of a Monon railroad engine at the Ridge road crossing. Scharbach's father is a wealthy lumber contractor.
Edwin was the second son of Emil and Emma Scharbach, thus William Sr. and Marie's grandson (1920 Census).

[I grew up in Munster not far from that crossing, but I had no idea it was the scene of such a tragedy. I suppose I'll encounter more information about this when my research gets to 1930 … eventually.]

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Captain Doctor, or Is It Doctor Captain?

Dwight Mackey in the first auto in Hobart
(Click on image to enlarge)
This picture of Dr. Dwight Mackey is undated, but judging by the caption it probably goes back to around the turn of the century. Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

We've already established Dr. Dwight Mackey's Ainsworth connection … not that I've been sticking particularly close to Ainsworth in the blog lately. Ainsworth news is pretty scarce, between the absence of an Ainsworth correspondent and the domination of the newsprint by war matters (and prohibition and women's suffrage).

I just wanted to tell what happened to Dr. Dwight in February 1918. As we know, he'd been a member of the Hobart militia from its beginning, but now he was singled out for a greater honor. On February 25, 1918, Harry B. Smith, Adjutant General of Indiana, summoned him to Indianapolis; he left on the evening of February 26, and the following evening he returned to Hobart as a captain in the Indiana Medical Reserve Corps. He was assigned to the "Regimental Infirmary 3d Infantry" — whatever that may mean, it did not (for the present, anyway) require him to leave Hobart.

♦ "Dr. Dwight Mackey Receives Appointment in Reserve Medical Corps." Hobart News 28 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Receives Captaincy Commission." Hobart Gazette 1 Mar. 1918.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Thomas Jory Again

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

We've seen the interior of the furniture store; now here's a view of the exterior (I'm just guessing it's the same place). But I don't know where exactly this was.

Also we have here a better portrait of Thomas Jory, who apparently did undertaking and embalming as well.

According to notes on the back of this photo, it comes from the Gazette 1898 souvenir edition, so I gather the photos date to around 1898.

Friday, May 27, 2011

To Insure Domestic Tranquility

On the topic of Company K — all was not well with Capt. Charles Allen. Early in 1918, Freda Allen hired R.R. Peddicord to file an action for divorce from Charles, alleging desertion and non-support. They had two small daughters at the time.

Perhaps Charles was spending all his time and money on Company K.

However, by the time the divorce suit got into the newspaper (on Valentine's Day), the Allens had reached a "settlement of their differences." The divorce did not go through, and we find them still married in 1920.

In March, Charles resigned as captain of Company K, to the great regret of its members. The News' explanation seems to suggest that he did it to placate Freda: "Trouble outside of the company affairs came up, which, it is said, caused Mr. Allen's resignation."

Now First Lieutenant Charles W. Reeves automatically became the acting captain of Company K.

♦    ♦    ♦

R.R. Peddicord filed another suit in early 1918: Caroline Goodrich sought divorce from her husband Charles, after 33 years of marriage. Let's hope they make up their differences as well. It's stressful enough to have two sons in a wartime army without adding a divorce on top of that.

1920 Census.
♦ "Capt. Allen Resigns." Hobart Gazette 29 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Capt. Chas. Allen of the Hobart Militia Co. Resigns." Hobart News 28 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Court Notes." Hobart News 14 Feb. 1918.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Streetcar Motorman and Conductor

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

At left, Fred Winans, motorman; at right, Charles Frame, conductor.

No specific date, but here's what the notes on the back say: "Hobart-Gary streetcar line. Taken prior to 1925 — new one-man cars numbers 4 & 5 replaced two-man cars in Hobart service from Gary."

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Oops … Make That Company K

In February the News mentioned that Hobart's militia company had moved further along in the alphabet:
The Hobart company is now Co. K, 3rd battalion, 1st regiment, I.N.G., with Col. Gray of Covington as commanding officer of the regiment. Hobart was formerly the 5th separate company.
That is all the explanation we get. I don't understand these things anyway.

Based on what I've seen in the files at the Hobart Historical Society, Company K finished out the war with the same letter.

Company K held regular drills on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons, and invited all Hobart citizens, men and women alike, to come and watch. Captain Charles Allen notified members to be sure to show up on Tuesday, March 5, so they could be measured — the state would soon be providing them with uniforms. They were also promised "equipment, which includes everything except arms and ammunition"!

Source: "Hobart Militia Co. to Receive Uniforms and Equipment." Hobart News 28 Feb. 1918.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: False Solomon's Seal (Again)

(Click on image to enlarge)

Yes, I know I got False Solomon's Seal last year. But this is a better picture!

Here are the blossoms close up:


Found along a footpath in Deep River County Park. There are numerous true Solomon's Seals there as well, but I'm waiting for them to blossom.

♦    ♦    ♦

This is always a hectic time of year for me. Not only the outdoor work, but preparing for the one party I have at my house every year, which means I have to get this dump looking presentable. But this year I've taken on an additional project that has eaten up a surprising number of hours. A former Ainsworth resident (and long-time Hobart resident) has kindly allowed me to borrow an old photo album. I scanned all 200+ photos, transcribed all the notes on the backs, printed out 84 pages with the images on them so I'd have something to write on, and then over the course of two days sat down with the owner and went over all the images to get the stories behind them, all the while taking notes; then back to my computer to write up all the notes into a Word document. The final product will be a printout of the Word document, matching the images to the notes, and a DVD containing that plus all the scanned images.

The thing is, I'm not sure anyone will ever be interested in any of this. It won't appear on the blog (too personal). A copy will go to the museum, but I image it will disappear into a file and never be heard from again. A copy will go to the owner of the photos — now, there, if the photo album and DVD stay together, by the time we get down to the great-great-great-great-grandchildren, I suppose they may find it interesting, if they have any interest in their family history. And if indeed the notes stay with the album.

… So, lots of ifs.

Perhaps a hundred years from now some weirdo like me will be nosing around in the Hobart Historical Society files, as I've been doing, and will stumble across these photos and notes and say, "Wow! What a find!" Perhaps not. All I know is, if I don't do this now, the odds of that ever happening are nil.

Also, my refrigerator is making funny noises.

Streetcars, Undated

streetcar between 1917 and 1940
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images in this post courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Here we have Post-Apocalypse Streetcar. Seriously, doesn't the whole place look desolate? No people, no cars, just scraggly weeds growing everywhere.

No helpful notes on the back to give us a date, and I know only enough to date it between 1917 (when the Strattan building lost its curtain loft) and 1940 (when the Hobart House was demolished).

Let's move on to a more cheerful picture.


… That's better. This undated image shows the same corner as my 1938 slide, but judging by the automobiles on the street, I'd estimate it at about ten years later. By that time, this corner was the end of the line for the streetcars; i.e., they no longer traveled all the way to the Pennsy depot.

Monday, May 23, 2011

First State Bank Letter, 1904

(Click on image to enlarge)

Another random pointless thing bought on eBay. I'm glad the signer's name appears on the letterhead, because I would never have deciphered "Cavender" from that mess. I believe he was John C. Cavender, who shows up in the 1920 Census as a bank cashier in Hobart. I wonder why the 1910 census-taker missed him.

The town the addressees lived in was probably Ross Station, which you can see on the 1874 Plat Map in the northwest corner of Ross Township, well northwest of Merrillville.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Off the Milk Train

After W.B. Owen bought the Nickel Plate Garage, he diversified his business to include a milk-hauling route. This is interesting only in that it allowed some local farmers to bypass the usual means of hauling milk — the railroad — and perhaps it marks the beginning of a trend. (It's also notable that W.B. went to the farms to fetch the milk, rather than the farmers bringing it to him.) W.B. hauled the milk by truck to Murphis Bros., milk dealers in Gary. He started out handling about 36 cans a day, and his earliest customers included John Gruel.

When his route was several weeks old and seemed to be going well, W.B. bought a Maxwell truck especially to haul milk. (He also sold these trucks through his garage.) The big Maxwell truck would allow W.B. to expand his route to 50 cans a day.

(Click on image to enlarge)

♦ Advertisement. Hobart Gazette 15 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 21 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Starts Milk Hauling Route." Hobart Gazette 4 Jan. 1918.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Streetcars, 1911 and 1912

streetcar 1911
(Click on images to enlarge)
All images in this post courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

From notes on the reverse of this postcard we know that this photo was taken in Gary on May 4, 1911, and that two of the men are Louis Maybaum and Grover Linton (presumably the two standing in front, but the notes don't specify which is which). It would have to be Gary, since streetcars were not running in Hobart in 1911.

The image below comes from a postcard dated March 4, 1912.

Streetcar ca 1912

The reverse is rather interesting.

streetcar 1912 reverse

It's addressed to Mrs. Gilbert Bullock, who apparently is vacationing in Florida. I suppose that's our Estelle, though I haven't checked the census records to see if it might not be some niece-in-law of hers.

Her Hobart correspondent writes (I will insert some punctuation for her):
Dear Mrs. Bullock, Should Have written to you before. We are still Haveing Winter. Glad you are feeling better. Both of you. All aboard for Gary. Here is the car but the trouble is there is nothing to run it on. We missed you at auxillary last week. Best regards, Mrs. Banks.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Seed Corn and City Boys

The approach of the 1918 planting season brought to light the shortage of two important agricultural commodities — seed corn and labor. At a time when the country needed its farms to produce to the utmost, the men who might work them were being drawn away, into the military and into industries that manufactured the stuff of war.

This episode gives us a glimpse of a man who until now had only been lurking in the shadows as S.J. Craig and his farming supporters were duking it out with Purdue University; a man so unknown that even the Gazette couldn't get his name right the first time — Virgil Mood.

Although S.J.'s term of office had lapsed with no word of his being re-appointed, he was still acting in the capacity of county agent. But now Mr. Mood was on the job — some sort of official job, apparently, as he was variously referred to as "Federal Agent" and "Emergency Demonstration Agent." He first popped up in mid-March to project a shortage of 1,300 bushels of seed corn in the five Lake County townships he had thus far surveyed. (Hobart Township alone expected to run short by 114 bushels.)

To help relieve the shortage, Mood* ordered a railcar-load of seed corn — 700 bushels — which would be made available for purchase at cost (plus transportation) by farmers who had filled out a government-issued card saying how much corn they needed. At Mood's request, the County Council of Defense and the Crown Point Chamber of Commerce agreed to handle the receipt of payments and distribution of the corn.

Fred W. Frank, Chairman of the Township Farmers' Institute, placed a notice in the newspapers urging local farmers to come to a meeting on April 5 in Hobart Public Library. Mood was to address the meeting, and the farmers were promised a chance to discuss their problems with him. Frank mentioned that Mood was "co-operating with Purdue University, to look after the seed corn and farm labor shortage" and that he would also speak on "rural social conditions." (I wish I knew what he said about that last topic.)

Anyway, the meeting went off with no reported controversy.

Mood mentioned a possible solution to the labor shortage: the Chicago School Board had undertaken a program of recruiting and training Chicago schoolboys for farm work in the coming season, even using vacant lots in the city to set up facilities where boys could learn to drive horses and use farm equipment.

The Gazette of April 19 carried an amusing juxtaposition of two notices. One, signed by "Virgil Mood, Emergency Demonstration Agent," apologized for a problem with the carload of seed corn recently received, and promised that another carload of 640 bushels was on its way from Pennsylvania. Right below it was a notice that the Lake County Farmers' Association was expecting to receive within the next three days a carload of about 1,000 bushels of seed corn; that notice was signed by "S.J. Craig, County Agent."

*I don't know him well enough yet to call him "Virgil."

♦ "Community Farmers' Meeting." Hobart Gazette 29 Mar. 1918; 5 Apr. 1918.
♦ "Community Farmers' Meeting." Hobart News 4 Apr. 1918.
♦ "County Agent Craig Re-Elected." Hobart Gazette 11 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Federal Seed and Labor Survey." Hobart Gazette 5 Apr. 1918.
♦ "Notice to Farmers." Hobart Gazette 19 Apr. 1918.
♦ "Notice to Farmers." Hobart Gazette 22 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Seed Corn Reported to Be Short in This Territory." Hobart News 15 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Seed Corn." Hobart Gazette 19 Apr. 1918.
♦ "To Lake County Farmers." Hobart Gazette 15 Mar. 1918.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Cut-leaved Evening Primrose

(Click on image to enlarge)

I don't think Evening Primroses are supposed to bloom this early in the year, but if this isn't a Cut-leaved Evening Primrose, then I have no idea what it might be.

The four-petaled blossoms open fully in the evening, or so the books tell me. I photographed this in mid-afternoon, and the blossoms seem to have been fooled into partially opening, perhaps, by the heavy cloud cover.

Found in the former soybean field beside Deep River County Park.

Evan Roper 1918

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

"Evan Roper 1918" is what the caption says, and that's all I know. Except that he was about 28 in this photo, per the 1920 Census.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Pineapple Weed


This poor excuse for a flower is the best the Pineapple Weed can do.

Its name comes from the pineapple scent supposedly given off by its leaves when bruised.

Found lurking on the ground next to the gravel drive that leads to the remote-controlled airplane field in Deep River County Park.

Mayhem on the Scholler Farm, 1901

(Click on image to enlarge)
The Scholler farm is outlined in red on this image from the 1926 Plat Book. (I believe "Amanda Schaffer" should read "Amanda Scholler," as this land is shown on the 1874 Plat Map as owned by William Scholler, Amanda's husband.)

I promised you this story about bad things happening on the Scholler farm, and now that I've finally found time to get over to the library — first time in about two months — I can deliver.

From the Hobart Gazette of October 4, 1901:

Violence on Scholler farm 1901
(Click on image to enlarge)

If the article is correct in stating that Frederick Hartman was buried in Hobart Cemetery, I don't know what's become of his grave. The Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society's Hobart Township Cemeteries doesn't list him, nor does findagrave.com.

I can't find any information about Lizzie's death (per the 1900 Census, her name was Martha E., the E probably standing for Elizabeth), so perhaps she recovered.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stopping by Chester's Camp, 1929

(Click on images to enlarge)

I finally got my own Chester's Camp postcard. Trouble is, it's printed in that dot way (somebody tell me the proper term for it?) that means it doesn't scan well.

I wonder if that's John Chester in the cook's uniform; that guy looks rather proprietary. Or maybe he's the guy to the left, in shirt sleeves and tie. Anybody know what's in those bottles standing just to the right of the gas pump platform? Could that be motor oil?

From the message on the back, I gather that a pair or group of travelers driving west along the Lincoln Highway on a road trip from Ohio, apparently heading for Colorado, stopped at Chester's Camp overnight on September 9, 1929. One of them wrote the card and mailed it the next day from Joliet, Illinois.


Not easily legible; here's what I can make out:
Sept. 9th We are on our way left Adrian [Ohio?] 9:30 this morn. we are just out of Valparazo Ind. about 50 mi from Chi. tonight. expect to get an early start in morning expect Myrtie[?] is there long ago. will be if everything goes alright by Sat. [illegible signature — maybe "Em" or "Earl" or "Esme"?]
I can't decide which museum to give this to, so maybe I'll just keep it until I die and let my estate decide.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Miller Land

Earlier I blithely referred to "the Miller land"; now I find that they didn't own it at the time I was speaking of. They may have rented it; if they lived elsewhere, I have yet to discover where that elsewhere might have been.

But in February 1918 the Millers bought "the Miller land" from the heirs of the late Mrs. Louis Frank.

(Click on images to enlarge)

In connection with that purchase, I suppose, they found it necessary to file an action to quiet title.


I like these notices — they help to fill in the gaps left by the plat books, although they don't give you a clue as to when these various people owned the land. From the plat books, we know that the Passows owned the land circa 1891; the Scholls circa 1874; I suppose the Leonards owned it before them. And before the Leonards — the Potawotami?

I've heard 73rd Avenue/Lincoln Highway called the Joliet Road, but never before the Joliet Wagon Road. Interesting. To me, anyway.

If you're ever wandering around in Woodvale Cemetery and come across the grave marker of Franz Miller, that's John Miller's father.



1874 Plat Map.
1891 Plat Book.
1926 Plat Book.
♦ "General News." Hobart Gazette 22 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Notice to Non-Resident." Hobart News 21 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Obituary." Hobart Gazette 8 Mar. 1912.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Waterleaf

(Click on image to enlarge)

I believe this is some kind of Waterleaf. Maybe Virginia Waterleaf. Maybe Large-leaved Waterleaf.

Whatever it is, the ants like it.

Found in Deep River County Park.

Fred Rose, Jr. in War and Peace

Came across three fragile photographs showing Fred Rose, Jr. in what looks like an army uniform of the World War I era, although I haven't yet been able to find out when (if) he joined the army during the war. Thus far I haven't seen him on the lists of Hobart men in the military that the newspapers printed.

Fred Rose and George Sauter
(Click on images to enlarge)
All images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Fred is on the left. His friend is not identified — anybody recognize him?* That looks like the Main Street Trinity Lutheran Church building behind them.

Fred Rose, Gladys, ? and George Sauter.

Roughly the same location (you can still see the church behind them) but now Fred (far left) and friend have been joined by their girlfriends. Fred's is identified as Gladys — his future wife; they were married in 1919 or 1920, I think (per the 1930 Census). The friend's girlfriend is unidentified, but she certainly was a beauty.

Fred Rose, Jr. (right).

Fred (at left) and friend are now at what looks like a railway depot. It appears to be a frame building, so it can't be the Pennsy, and I think the Nickel Plate was brick as well; perhaps it's the E.J. & E., but I don't know. (I believe the Nickel Plate and E.J. & E. depot operations were consolidated late in the war.)

And then we have Fred Jr. in peacetime, in some idyllic-looking place.

Fred Rose, Jr., undated

This photo is undated, but I think it's a little earlier than the other three.

[8/2/11 update: I begin to think that may be George Sauter — compare these photos to George as seen in this post.]

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Hopeful Spirits

As 1918 opened, those Hoosiers who earned their living from the sale of liquor were watching the clock wind down toward April 2, 1918, the day Indiana would go dry.

In mid-February a ray of hope beamed up from near the state's southern border. The F.W. Cook Brewing Company brought suit in the Vanderburgh County superior court seeking to restrain Evansville's chief of police from enforcing the Indiana prohibition law when it went into effect.

Judge Fred M. Hostetter heard the case and ruled in the brewers' favor, on the basis of venerable case law — the 1855 decision in Beebe v. State, in which the Indiana Supreme Court had struck down an early legislative attempt at state-wide prohibition. Judge Hostetter said that his ruling applied the principle established in Beebe that "by the very Constitution now in force the people did not empower their legislature to enact any law prohibitory of the proper and temperate use of alcoholic beverages."

Naturally, the Evansville side of that case appealed to the supreme court.

And just as naturally, a wave of optimism swept over Indiana's saloonkeepers. As the Gazette pointed out, the women's suffrage law had not survived the supreme court; the general attitude toward the prohibition challenge now viewed it as "a fifty-fifty question with odds in favor of the 'wets.'"

Liquor licenses in the state would expire on April 2, the same day the prohibition law was scheduled to go into effect. But a blizzard of license-renewal notices in the early March newspapers gave evidence of the hopeful mood of local saloonkeepers, including Ainsworth's William F. Wollenberg. In March the Lake County Commissioners granted 38 licenses — valid for one month.

On the other side, the dry forces were equally confident. The Rev. Edward S. Schumaker, superintendent of the Indiana Anti-Saloon League, pointed out several court cases within the last 30 years that he believed superseded the 1855 Beebe decision. The county option law, which had allowed prohibition on the county level, had survived constitutional challenge. "There can be no doubt," Schumaker said, "that the Indiana supreme court will sustain the new prohibition law."

By coincidence, the supreme court heard the case on April 2. Both sides presented their arguments, then the justices retired to think about it.

While they thought about it, prohibition became the law of the state — outside Vanderburgh County, at any rate. All liquor licenses had expired at the close of business on Tuesday, April 2. That deadline passed with little excitement in Hobart, aside from some saloon patrons taking "a long last draught in anticipation of a long dry spell." Wednesday dawned with "the saloons all closed tight and the prohibition law in full force and effect." While the News stated that liquor dealers had ten days in which to remove their stocks from the state, the Gazette suggested that there would be no enforcement of that requirement pending the supreme court's decision (which was expected within ten days). Some saloons owners now kept their doors open, selling "near beer," soft drinks and cigars to stay afloat until, they hoped, they could get back to selling the real stuff.

Ten days passed with no decision from the supreme court. The justices announced that they were going on vacation until April 23. They might not rule until sometime in May.

In Hobart, Charles Klausen, Jake Ittel and Henry Ittel lost hope. They closed their businesses and removed the furniture and fixtures.

Others kept their spirits up, and waited.

♦ Ashanin, Michael. "Beebe Temperance Case." The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis. (David J. Bodenhamer and Robert G. Barrows, eds.) Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994.
♦ "'Dry' Law Before Supreme Court." Hobart Gazette 22 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Have You a Prediction?" Hobart Gazette 22 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Indiana Became Bone Dry at Midnight, April 2nd." Hobart News 4 Apr. 1918.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 18 Apr. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 29 Mar. 1918.
♦ "No Supreme Court Decision." Hobart Gazette 19 Apr. 1918.
♦ "Notice of Extension and Renewal of Liquor License." Hobart News 7 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Prohibition Law Held Unconstitutional." Hobart Gazette 22 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Saloonkeepers Advertise for Renewal of Their Licenses." Hobart News 7 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Saloons All Closed." Hobart Gazette 5 Apr. 1918.
♦ "State Goes Dry April 2." Hobart Gazette 15 Mar. 1918.
♦ "'Wets' Win First Round in Their Fight Against Closing Law." Hobart News 14 Feb. 1918.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Calvin and Esther Scholler

A couple more Scholler pictures.

Calvin and Esther Scholler ca 1940
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Calvin and Esther Scholler circa 1940. If I've got the right people in the 1930 Census, they were married around 1910.*

Calvin in 1947 as a Hobart volunteer firefighter:

Calvin Scholler volunteer firefighter 1947

*[11/29/2012 update] I have since learned that I did not have the "right people" — the woman Calvin married in 1910 was Lillie Rose, who died in 1920.

Thanks, Blogger

Do you like the way Blogger not only shut me out from posting all morning but also deleted my entry from yesterday? Good thing I've been backing up my posts separately for some time now, and was able to restore it. (I keep promising myself I'll go back to the beginning and back up ALL my posts, but I never seem to have the time.)

... But, you know, Blogger is a free service so I guess I can't complain too loudly.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Out of and Into the Livery Barn

(Click on image to enlarge)
Edward Rohwedder's livery business, early 1900s. Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Edward Rohwedder had bought his father's livery business in 1911, and rented the barn behind the Hobart House as his livery stable. (The barn and a house associated with it remained the property of his mother, Margaret.) Now, after seven years, he was getting out of the livery business and selling off his equipment. The advertisement for his public sale gives us a look at what made up a livery stable.

Rohwedder livery sale
(Click on image to enlarge)

Before the sale even took place, the barn had been rented by our old friends, James Chester and Ross Graham. They intended to use it for their horse-selling operations, and run a livery of their own. Ross Graham rented the house and moved his family into it. As for Ed, he moved to a farm in Porter County.

If Ross & Chester did follow through with the livery plan, they were probably renting autos rather than horses, as the next month the News commented on the passing of an era:
Just as the recent sale of the Rohwedder livery marked the passing of the old-time horse and buggy livery business in Hobart, the Muzzall horse livery passed out of existence in Crown Point, on the first of the month, being the last of its kind in the county seat town. The auto has taken the place of the horse in this businesses, and we are glad of it, when we look back and think of the poor animals as they would come dragging themselves in early Monday morning after heartless drives by young scapegoats whose only thought was "a good time," but the Lord only knows how they could figure they had had a good time while driving a poor horse within an inch of his life.

♦ "Edward Rohwedder Has Rented the Hobart House Barn." Hobart News 17 Oct. 1912.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 14 Feb. 1918; 7 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 8 Sept. 1911; 22 Feb. 1918; 18 Mar. 1918.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart News 7 Feb. 1918.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Indian Ridge Golf Club circa 1932

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Bought this postcard postmarked June 8, 1932.

So I guess this is a different bridge from the one in the 1931 postcard, that I was so impressed with. Prolific artist, that bridge-builder.

But what I really like about this postcard is the message on the back:


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Another Dairy Strike

I suppose it took some nerve for local dairy farmers to go on strike in February 1918, in the face of a war Zeitgeist that might condemn them as slackers if not outright traitors. But they were desperate.

Since the last major strike, in the spring of 1916, Milk Producers' Association had been able to negotiate acceptable prices with the Chicago milk dealers. The dealers found a way to exert counter-pressure: they brought in part of their supply from dairies outside the Association's territory — dairies shipping from as far away, sometimes, as Omaha, Nebraska or St. Paul, Minnesota. Thus they maintained a balance of power for two years.

But the war threw off that balance. Over the summer of 1917, food shortages and gridlocked transportation made feed for dairy cattle increasingly expensive and scarce. Production costs rose to the point where dairy farming began to seem less like a livelihood than an expensive hobby. Naturally, when new price negotiations started in September, farmers demanded a substantial increase in price from the dealers. Under protest the dealers gave in to their demands, and in turn raised the price of milk to the consumer from 10 cents to 13 cents per quart. Chicago consumers reacted with indignation that reached as far as U.S. Food Administration in Washington, whence Herbert Hoover, late in October, asked Illinois Food Administrator Harry A. Wheeler to intervene.

Wheeler's intervention provoked a brief dairy strike that was ended by a quick renegotiation. Dairy farmers agreed to accept a reduced price only until a "Milk Commission" appointed by the Food Administration could hear testimony about costs of production and determine a "fair and just" price. The Commission promised a decision on January 1.

The testimony it heard proved so confusing that the Commission dithered for a few weeks beyond the deadline. In late January it finally handed down its decision — with several members protesting that it was unfair to dairy farmers. The commission set the price of milk at almost a dollar less per hundredweight than the farmers had demanded in September.

The first Hobart News of February 1918 reported that local dairy farmers had been on strike since the previous week.
As no settlement could be reached by the local members and food administrators, it is said additional forces have been called from Washington to endeavor to make a satisfactory settlement to both sides.

As a result the farmers are making butter and fattening the pigs with the buttermilk, the distributors are idle and the public in general in the cities is getting along as best they can with a very limited amount and rapidly using up the supply of condensed milk.

With feed ranging between $50 and $60 per ton and hard to get, the farmers appear to be in a frame of mind [such that] they don't care very much what happens.
What happened was that the dealers came back to the table after scarcely more than a week's strike, and reluctantly agreed to set a more acceptable price for the next five months, just a couple cents per hundredweight short of what the dairy farmers wanted, while keeping the cost to consumers at 12 cents a quart.

It wasn't an ideal solution. Consumers still objected to the increased price. Milk dealers still took a larger share of the price than the producers (6.15 cents per quart versus 5.85 cents per quart), which dairy farmers saw as unfair since they had the larger share of work and cost in producing the milk, while dealers "merely handled it between the depot and customer." But local farmers resumed shipping milk, for the time being, anyway.

♦ "Editorial Comment." The Creamery and Milk Plant Monthly VII:3 (March 1918).
♦ "Farmers Win Out in Their Fight With the Milk Distributors." Hobart News 14 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Milk Producers Are Still On Strike — No Milk Being Shipped." Hobart News 7 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Report of the Chicago Milk Commission." The Creamery and Milk Plant Monthly VII:3 (March 1918).
♦ U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Report of the Federal Trade Commission on Milk and Milk Products 1914-1918. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1921.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Home Service Station

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Today is Old Service Station Matchbook Day here on Ainsworth, Indiana. This is another matchbook I got on eBay and don't know anything about.

According to the American Matchcover Collecting Club's website, the Match Corp. of America, located in Chicago, began operating around the mid-1920s and was bought out by the Lion Match Corp. circa 1970.

The same old-timer who told me about Jack and Bud said that the guys used to kid Harry Grey by calling him "Grey Hairy."

Jack & Bud's Standard Service

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I bought this matchbook cover on eBay. There's no date, but it doesn't look too awfully old. Maryland Match has been in business since 1935 according to its website. The earliest I could find Jack's Standard in a Hobart directory was 1987. But when did people stop writing their phone numbers in weird ways like "9110-PO"?

[update] I forgot to add that I asked a long-time resident about this station. He didn't know when the station was operating, but he said that "Jack" and "Bud" were brothers-in-law, being Bud Rohwedder and Jack Powell, who had married Bud's sister, Emily.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Forget Something, John?

McDaniel loan
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Up at the Westminster Hotel in Chicago, John McDaniel went about his hotel-managing duties with a nagging feeling that he'd forgotten something.

Or maybe not. Maybe he knew perfectly well he hadn't paid off that debt, but figured Charles Bradley wouldn't pursue it.

Or maybe the hotel business was going badly, and he just didn't have the money.

I don't know the details of the suit, but unrelated articles suggest that Charles Bradley had a garage in Hobart and did auto repairs, so perhaps he had fixed John's car, or sold it to him.

♦ "Chas. Bradley Rounds Up Auto After Thieves Make Their Getaway," Hobart News 11 Apr. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 3 May 1918.
♦ "Notice to Non-Resident." Hobart News 31 Jan. 1918.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Crop of Teachers

Teachers 1918
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From the Hobart Gazette of Jan. 25, 1918.

A few modest items in the Ross Township Trustee's annual report for 1917 tell us that several local young women had fulfilled their hopes of becoming teachers: Jennie Chester, Pearl Ols and Elsie Gruel of Ainsworth, and Olive Wood of Deep River. Unfortunately, the report doesn't name the schools where they worked.

We see some familiar names elsewhere in the report, outside of the list of teachers.

Friday, May 6, 2011

From France with Thanks

Charles McIntyre letter
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When Charles McIntyre wrote to his parents from France, they passed the contents of the letter along to the News for printing — the better, I suppose, to convey Charley's thanks to the people who had sent him some nice things. Among those people was Ainsworth's own Ethel Paine.

1920 Census.
♦ "A Letter from Chas. Mc Intyre Now in France." Hobart News 31 Jan. 1918.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Streetcar at Third and Main

Streetcar circa 1930
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Slide bought on eBay. This is from 1938, according to a caption on a reproduction of this image at the Hobart Historical Society.

I didn't know you couldn't just slap a slide onto your scanner and scan it, until I tried it and got a very disappointing result. So I had to look it up, and found that if I didn't want to shell out big bucks for a Transparent Media Adapter, I could do what this guy says and make a 3-D triangle from bright white paper. So I did. You see the result above. I don't know if a Transparent Media Adapter would do any better.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Henbit

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That's a pretty little flower! It grows in the soybean field next to the purple dead nettle, and indeed I didn't notice at first that it wasn't purple dead nettle (which latter had tricked me into thinking it was common hedge nettle for a while, there).

The etymology of henbit is mysterious.

We Love You, S.J.!

Regardless of any lingering animosity among local farmers toward our man of mystery, County Agent S.J. Craig found himself the object of a grassroots love fest in early 1918.

First of all I must say that I don't fully understand how a county agricultural agent got into office or who paid his salary. I have the vague impression that he somehow represented the U.S. Department of Agriculture, but whether he was appointed by a governmental or academic body, or elected by the people, I don't know. Nor do I intend to research such a tedious subject to find out. As for the county agent's functions, what I've seen of them seem to involve promoting practices that improved agricultural production (crop and animal testing and the use of better feeds and fertilizers), and also, in cooperation with veterinarians and health officers, educating farmers about sanitary practices and overseeing the control of disease among farm animals. (His performance of that last duty during the 1914 foot-and-mouth-disease outbreak was the primary reason for the attempt by John Gruel et al. to oust him.)

Anyway, with S.J.'s four-year term of office ready to expire at the end of January 1918, he was up for possible re-election or reappointment, and he faced considerable difficulties. Lake County Auditor Ed Simon had made the last year of S.J.'s term miserable by holding up the payment of many of his expenses, including the wages of one of S.J.'s employees, for what Simon claimed was a question of legality but what I suspect may have been political motives: S.J. had powerful enemies. Chief among them was Purdue University's Professor Thomas Coleman, who was in charge of county agents. It isn't clear why, but according to the Gazette, the influential university was "greatly at variance" with S.J. and wanted him gone.

All of this resulted in a "spirited meeting" on January 4, 1918, when the Lake County Board of Education and the Lake County Agricultural Society met at Crown Point. S.J. was present, as was Prof. Coleman, who openly backed another candidate for the office. The Board of Education and the Agricultural Society backed S.J. So did the 40 farmers who attended, but even that show of support could not change Purdue's position. By the end of the meeting, however, the Agricultural Society representatives had said that they were determined to have S.J. back, with or without the cooperation of Purdue, and if necessary they would pay his $3,000 salary out of their own funds. "Lake county is satisfied with Mr. Craig," the Gazette reported, "and [will] back him in his splendid work…. Mr. Craig is counted one of the best experts in the country, and Lake county will stand by him."

On January 24, S.J. was one of the speakers at the Hobart Township Farmers' Institute, meeting in the Hobart High School auditorium. He reported on the previous summer's tests of different varieties of corn and oats.

Four days later the News numbered among his supporters some 700 Lake County dairy farmers, who backed the Lake County Agricultural Association's defiance of Purdue University. The Association had passed a resolution in support of S.J. and mailed copies of it to Purdue and to Indiana Governor James Goodrich. Again the Association stated its intention to pay S.J.'s salary from funds raised by those hundreds of farmers supporting him, if only he would consent to continue in office — "Lake county will secede from the University's dictation in agricultural matters," as one newspaper put it.

By mid-February, with S.J.'s term expired, Purdue still adamantly opposing his return to office and Lake County farmers still supporting him, the outcome was uncertain and all anyone could bet on was that there were bad feelings all around.

♦ "County Agent Craig Gets Relief." Hobart Gazette 11 Jan. 1918.
♦ "County Agent Craig Re-Elected." Hobart Gazette 11 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Craig's Job Is At Stake." Lake County Times 7 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Hobart Township Farmer's Institute, High School Auditorium, Hobart, Indiana, Jan. 24, 1918." Hobart Gazette 18 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 24 Jan. 1918; 14 Feb. 1918.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Small-flowered Crowfoot

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Found in the soybean field by Deep River County Park.

I had trouble identifying this because the specimens I was finding all had different numbers of petals — four, five, six, seven or more. Finally by process of elimination I figured out it's supposed to have five petals.

Also known as Kidney-leaf Buttercup.

What the Grand Trunk Agent Earned, 1914

1914 GT Rules and Wages for Telegraphers

From page 35 of this little booklet (page 19 of the PDF) we learn that the Grand Trunk agent at the Ainsworth depot earned $60.00 a month (about $1,308.34 in today's dollars). It wasn't as much as the Sedley agent made, and look — Sedley had two operators besides, just like Valparaiso. I had no idea Sedley was such a big operation.

The railroad did not provide the Ainsworth agent with a house, fuel or light. I gather the agent (and his family, if he had one) rented rooms with some local family; e.g., we've already seen Agent P.H. Swain rooming with the Dotzers and then the Chesters.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Large-flowered Bellwort

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These guys look like the Morning After the Night Before, if you ask me. And their scientific name, Uvularia grandiflora, sounds like a hymn to the porcelain god.

Found in the woods in Deep River County Park.

Here's a nice tidbit from a website about Wildwood Park in Virginia:
The genus name Uvularia comes from the Latin uvula, the name for the little organ that dangles in the back of your throat. Presumably the dangling flowers were thought to resemble uvulas. A Medieval philosophy called the Doctrine of Signatures claimed that God had given mankind clues to the medicinal uses of plants by shaping them to look like the organs they were useful in treating. For this reason bellworts were thought useful in treating sore or inflamed throats. However, they appear not to have been very effective as I can find no mention of them in more modern books of medicinal plants. The species name grandiflora comes from Latin and simply means "large flower." The English name bellwort is not at all mysterious; bell refers to the shape of the flower, and wort is an old English word for plant.


Unity 1918
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From the Hobart News of Jan. 24, 1918.

So is this the beginning of the Unity shoe store that is still operating on Main Street in Hobart?

From the Hobart News of February 28, 1918.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Morel

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Found in the woods north of Big Maple Lake.

As we walked along in the woods, Maya veered off the path. "Where are you going, you idiot?" I said, but I followed. Then I saw the morels. I've heard of truffle-sniffing pigs; have I got a morel-sniffing dog?

These are edible — "choice," says my guide. Once in my childhood I had a dinner of morels, at my aunt and uncle's farm in southern Missouri. (It didn't occur to me then to be worried about eating mushrooms that someone had just gone out and picked.) As a child I generally didn't like mushrooms, but those butter-fried morels were delicious.

Railroad Takeover

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This public service announcement asking for cooperation in using railcars efficiently appeared in the Hobart News of January 3, 1918. It reflected serious problems the nation's railways were having with equipment shortages and traffic tie-ups.

Now we come to that episode of which I was ignorant before I got my hands on that 1918 timetable — the federal takeover of the railroads.

In its first issue of January 1918, the Gazette summed up the situation: "President Wilson, under his war powers, has assumed possession and control of all the railroads and steamship lines within the United States." Congress had given him such power under the Army Appropriation Act of 1916.

Over the previous 30 years or so, railroads had become increasingly important to the U.S. economy, and when the U.S. entered World War I they became vital to the movement of troops and supplies. But a decade of economic warfare between shippers and railroads had resulted in lagging capital improvements, neglected maintenance and depressed wages. By 1916 the railroads were already suffering from congestion at terminals and shortages of cars. The shortages were exacerbated by shippers' longstanding practice of using cars as rolling warehouses, allowing them to stand loaded and unmoving for days or weeks at a time.

President Wilson chose at first not to exercise his power with regard to the railroads. The heads of the railroad companies themselves formed the Railroads' War Board in an attempt to coordinate use of cars and rails to handle increasing traffic. But as the war went on, the volume of traffic rose beyond the capacity of this loose organization, and when the railroads tried to collaborate more closely, the U.S. Justice Department threatened to sue them for violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. An early attempt by the federal government to implement traffic rationing failed due to competing bureaucracies and an ineffective administrator.

The autumn of 1917 saw a plentiful harvest, and its fruits needed to be shipped by rail; the early winter of 1917 proved severe, and everywhere people were ordering coal by rail. The result was rail gridlock, waste and shortages. On December 26, 1917, Wilson finally put control of the rails into the hands of the United States Railroad Administration.

He appointed as the USRA's director general William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury — and Wilson's own son-in-law, as McAdoo had married Eleanor Randolph Wilson at a ceremony in the White House in 1914.

William Gibbs McAdoo
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.

McAdoo had been an attorney in private practice since 1892. In 1902 he became president of the Hudson and Manhattan Railroad Company, which built the first traffic tunnel under the Hudson River. During the presidential campaign of 1912, McAdoo was a vocal supporter of Wilson and chaired the Democratic National Committee. When Wilson became President, he appointed McAdoo Secretary of the Treasury. (According to one biographical sketch, McAdoo "is best remembered for having said, 'It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.'")

The USRA did not own the physical railroads — those remained the property of the railroad companies, and most of those companies continued to be run by the same management teams. But the railroads rented their tracks to the federal government, and in all matters of railroad traffic, the final say was McAdoo's.

In March of 1918 Congress passed the Federal Control Act, which gave the USRA sweeping powers: to override the Interstate Commerce Commission, state regulatory commissions, and shippers' orders; to set traffic priority for all other governmental departments as well as private shippers; to raise shipping rates and capital for needed improvements; to grant wage increases to railroad workers; and to do all of this with immunity from the antitrust laws.

♦    ♦    ♦

Well, that would have made a nice essay for a high-school history class; only 35 years late. Tomorrow we'll get back to Ainsworth, or Hobart, at any rate, since Ainsworth news is still scarce, nobody having yet answered the call of the News for "a regular correspondent at Ainsworth."

♦ Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia. "William G. McAdoo (1913–1918): Secretary of the Treasury." American President: An Online Reference Resource. http://millercenter.org/president/wilson/essays/cabinet/463 (accessed 11 Jan. 2011).
♦ Northrup, Cynthia Clark. The American Economy: A Historical Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2003.
♦ "President Takes Over RRs." Hobart Gazette 4 Jan. 1918.
♦ Venzon, Anne Cipriano (ed.) The United States in the First World War: An Encyclopedia. New York: Routledge, 1999.