Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Staircase of Young Folks
(Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

No. 73
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Identified only as "No. 73."

I think the second young woman is the one who was holding the surly baby, and also second from left in the back row, here. And I'm not sure, but leaning toward thinking that both young women were also in this photo.

Friday, December 30, 2011

"An Extra Gang of Italians"

Ainsworth on Christmas Eve 1918 was illumined with the glow of a burning bunkhouse. Fortunately, it seems no one was hurt. The remarkable thing was how the Gazette described the event: "The quarters of an extra gang of Italians on the Grand Trunk railroad were destroyed by fire Tuesday evening at Ainsworth."

The "gang" was a work gang, of course (for example), but this is the first time I've ever seen a railroad work gang described by the ethnicity of its members.

In studying up on the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, I've seen mention of an increasing prejudice against southern and eastern European, Catholic immigrants as their numbers swelled after 1890 (my own maternal grandparents among them), leading up to federal immigration-quota laws that would be passed in 1921 and 1924, designed to discriminate against such immigrants, among others.

As I've mentioned before, Hobart and its environs at the time of the first World War were well supplied with immigrants and their children. There were households and churches that still used the languages of their non-English ancestors. But their members were largely of northern and western European origin, and many of them Protestant.

So I'm wondering if that little detail in a one-line story in the Gazette gives us a glimpse of this selective hostility — if the Gazette's editor (perhaps unconsciously) thought of people from Italy, now living and working in the U.S., as still somehow more alien, more defined by their ethnicity, than his German, Irish and Scandinavian friends and neighbors.

Source: "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 27 Dec. 1918.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Miss Laura Ressig (Glass-Plate Image)

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

Identified as: "No. 38/Name: Miss Laura Ressig/Remarks: May 3 1906/Snap Shot Roebuck Plate."

The 1910 Census shows a Miss Laura Reissig, 21 years old, boarding with the Johnson family on Center Street and employed as a salesperson in a general store. So if that's our Laura, she was about 17 when this photo was taken.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

In the Service, November 1918

So I took the November 1918 post-armistice lists from the two local newspapers ("Roll of Honor," Hobart Gazette 15 Nov. 1918; and "Hobart Boys in the Service," Hobart News 21 Nov. 1918) and combined and compared them. The last column reflects a list now housed in at the Hobart Historical Society museum in a file of records donated in 1985 by Hobart Barracks 758 of Veterans of World War I of the U.S.A., Inc. That list is not dated and I don't know who compiled it — perhaps George Flagler, "Quartermaster" of Hobart Barracks 758.

In Service 1918

Surely the Ross Township names cannot be a complete list of Ross Township men in the service. I think they are only a select few who somehow had close ties to Hobart.

From Indiana Historical Commission, Gold Star Honor Roll. A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in the Service of the United States and the Allied Nations in the World War. 1914 – 1918 (Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921):

Edward Abel
(Click on images to enlarge)

Harold Goodrich

Edward Kostbade

Harold Maybaum

Arthur E. Wischmann

I could not find a listing in this publication for Clair Graham. The Gazette listed him from the early days of the war as being in the Navy, and reported (e.g., "Death Roll," 31 Jan. 1919) that he died of injuries on November 30, 1918, at Camp Sevier, South Carolina.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Carlson Family Again (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

Not actually identified as such, hence the subtitle. The handwritten notes on the envelope read: "No. 33/Name: Family/Remarks: Apr 22 1906 Snap Shot Roebuck Plate." But we've seen these subjects often enough to recognize them — the Carlson family sitting on the front porch of their house. Left to right: Hannah, Paul on Beda's lap, Eric in back, Harry on Oscar's lap.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Carrion Flower Gone to Seed

Or to berries, anyway. The berries form a globe just as the flowers did.

Carrion flower berries
(Click on image to enlarge)

James Price

As December wore on, mixing with the dreary recitations of the names of sick people in the local social columns, happier news began to trickle in: the names of men discharged from military service. The Gazette of December 20 reported that in the past week Charles Kisela, Roy Cook, Ed Severance, Evan Roper, Charles Frame, Otto Larson, Ernest Sonntag, Walter Bender, Emil Kossow, Elmer Hideen and Harry Carlson, among others, had all come home to stay.

Amidst those happy homecomings, Fremont and Carrie Price learned that their son, James, would never come home. On December 18 they finally received official confirmation of the earlier report. James had died in France on November 16, at the age of 23. Nephritis was given as the cause of death, but later reports added, "[w]hether death resulted from wounds or exposure has not yet been learned," and according to information at the Merrillville-Ross Township Historical Society museum, the exact cause was never determined.

James Price 12-26-1918
(Click on image to enlarge)

James Price
(Image from Gold Star Honor Roll)

♦ "Another Lake County Hero." Hobart Gazette 27 Dec. 1918.
♦ Indiana Historical Commission. Gold Star Honor Roll. A Record of Indiana Men and Women Who Died in the Service of the United States and the Allied Nations in the World War. 1914 – 1918. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Commission, 1921.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 26 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 20 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Tribute to a Ross Township Soldier Boy." Hobart News 2 Jan. 1919.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Mystery of the Parish Leaflet Flats Solved

Back when I found out that the Charles Lee family was occupying the Parish Leaflet Flats in Hobart, I did not know where the Parish Leaflet Flats were. Now, thanks to a caption on a strip of negatives at the Hobart Historical Society museum, I do. They were, and are, the block of apartments north of Third Street between East and New Streets. The caption on the negatives gives their address as 212 New Street.

These particular negatives are not dated, but they are among a group of similar negatives, all of which (if dated at all) are dated to sometime in 1968. So let's call them circa 1968.

Parish Leaflet flats
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Parish Leaflet 2

Parish Leaflet 3

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Just Try to Have a Merry Christmas Anyway

Bad Santa
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

This Christmas card was sent to Frederick Hendrickson from "Santa Claus," aka Mama and Papa, in 1912. They lived in Gary, which in 1912 was six years old.

Bad Santa verso

Assuming I've found the right people in the census, little Frederick was then only about five years old.

If, at the tender age of five, I had received such a card in the mail, I would have spent that Christmas Eve, and every Christmas Eve for many years to come, hiding under the bed so Santa wouldn't get me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bird's Nest (Random Pointless Photo)

When the leaves fell off my only fruitful persimmon tree, I saw that some birds had built a nest in the top branches, which isn't saying much because the tree is not very tall, but it's tall enough that getting a photo of the nest required the use of a ladder, which is why it took me so long to get around to photographing the nest. Because I do not like ladders.

Bird's nest 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

It's a neat, compact nest, resting in the fork of several upright branches, well attached to them all. I climbed as high as I dared on the ladder, but it wasn't high enough to see into the nest. To get a shot of the interior, I just held the camera up at arm's length, pointing down at the nest, and shot away. Some of the pictures I took actually included the nest!

Bird's nest 2

I have just bought a bird-nest identification guide. Going by that guide, I believe what we have here is an American Goldfinch nest.

I don't think my bird-nest guide is going to get a lot of use, since, as I may have mentioned, I do not like ladders.

The Carlson House, I Bet (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

Carlson House, spring
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

This house is not identified in any way by the photographer, but have we not seen this same house in winter, identified as the Carlson house? Could there be two such houses in Hobart?

The trees don't look fully leafed out. Those may be early spring leaves, or the last of the shriveled fall leaves. But if it's fall, the Carlsons have done a remarkably good job of raking their yard.

Now, is that little dirt path out front Michigan Avenue, for goodness' sake, or a pedestrian walkway that parallels it?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Dreary Holiday Season

As Christmas 1918 approached, the Spanish influenza still lay heavily over Hobart and the surrounding countryside. The Gazette of December 20 was full of influenza news. A report on the continuing epidemic noted that people who had lived through the disease, though they may be able to leave their beds and their houses, remained "very weak." Just lately the disease seemed "to attack the children more than formerly"; but the week's three influenza fatalities had all been adults, in the prime of life.

Anna Flodquist died of pneumonia following influenza on December 18, her 20th birthday; she left a husband and a six-month-old baby. Two days earlier, a 41-year-old bachelor, Joseph Fox, had died of influenza.

And the family of Charles and Caroline Goodrich, still mourning the loss of Harold in France, now were hit with fresh heartbreak. On December 15, Cora Goodrich Fasel died of pneumonia following influenza. She had been born on the Goodrich farm southwest of Ainsworth in 1886; in 1908 she married Charles Fasel; they lived in Ross Township for the next eight years, then moved to Hobart. Besides her husband, parents and siblings, Cora left four children, all under the age of 10.

♦    ♦    ♦

The quarantine was still in full force, with no hope of its being lifted for Christmas. It seems that the churches had not accepted Dr. Clara Faulkner's angry permission "to contribute to the spread of the epidemic" by holding public services; next to the listing of the week's deaths was printed an open letter to the public from a chastened Rev. A.H. Lawrence (pastor of the M.E. Church), who acknowledged no other way of communication, "[t]he churches being closed." After offering sympathy to those who had suffered illness or bereavement, he urged the citizens of Hobart to comply with the quarantine.
We are fighting an enemy of health that is not well known. … We do not know, and until it is discovered just what treatment is best, and what public policy is best, let us be loyal to the requirements and judgment of our health officer. … Not being free to observe Christmas in the churches as usual, let us make this Christmas a home festival long to be remembered. …
He closed by asking to be informed about any family in need of a Christmas tree for their home celebration, and about any evergreen trees that might be donated.

♦ "Deaths for the Week." Hobart Gazette 20 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Influenza Claims Three More Victims the Past Week." Hobart News 19 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Influenza Still Rages." Hobart Gazette 20 Dec. 1918.
♦ "To the Citizens of Hobart." Hobart Gazette 20 Dec. 1918.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Petersons' House (Glass-Plate Image)

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

Handwritten notes identify this as: "No. 71/Name: Petersons Residence."

Given the photographer's interest in Annie and Olga Peterson, my first thought is that this is their house. However, there were several other Peterson families in Hobart circa 1910. Without more information, I can't say for sure.

If this house is still standing, I don't know where it is. There are two or three similar houses around — two-story brick ones with gables — but they seem to differ in small details that (in my opinion) are not likely to be explained by remodeling.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Amazon by Any Other Name

The Gazette noted, around mid-December 1918, that something was doing in the space formerly occupied by The Amazon.* Its saloon fixtures had been removed; people were busy with cleaning and repairing; by all appearances, there might be a new restaurant opening there in the near future.

The next week's paper confirmed it. George Watkins, who had run the Amazon, was about to open a new "short-order lunch room" — name not specified. It might be the "Amazon" again; it might be the "Fooled You, Didn't I?"

*It referred to the building, on the northeast corner of Third and Center, as the "Stocker building."

Sources: "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 13 Dec. 1918; 12 Dec. 1918.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Annie and Olga Peterson

Annie and Olga Peterson
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Identified as "No. 77; Name: Peterson Olga & Annie."

In the 1910 Census, Annie is 56 years old, of Swedish birth, single, supporting herself by taking in laundry. Olga is 17 years old and described as Annie's "Ad[opted?] Daughter"; she works as a stenographer in a lawyer's office. They had a home in Hobart on either Second or Third Street — the margin notes on the census form don't make it quite clear.

From appearances, I would guess this photo to have been taken around that time, perhaps a couples years earlier.

We have seen Annie before — she is second from the right in this photo.

By the 1920 Census, Annie appears to be renting quarters in the home of Carl and Matilda Carlson on Michigan Avenue, still taking in laundry. Olga is not with her. Let us hope she happily flew the nest to start her own household.

♦    ♦    ♦

[Update — 5/10/12]

From The Melin Family History in Sweden and the United States (1800 – 2010) by Claudia Melin (which you can find in the Melin folder, in the Genealogy file cabinet at the Hobart Historical Society museum), we get this information about Olga Peterson Melin and Annie Peterson — and a recipe for Swedish pancakes, handed down through the Melin family:

Olga and Annie Peterson history
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Olga's Swedish Pancakes

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goldman's in December

In spite of there being still no Ainsworth news correspondent, hence little Ainsworth news unless it's something momentous, we sometimes get reminders that ordinary life in the village continues. Charles Goldman took the trouble to place some advertising in the Hobart Gazette during December. This one is from the December 13, 1918 issue:
Goldman's ad
(Click on image to enlarge)

He thought his customers were going to want to buy 49 pounds of flour at a time. Interesting.

In the same issue, he placed this announcement in the "Local Drifts" column: "Highest prices paid for your furs, hides, poultry, in fact all kinds of country produce. Chas. Goldman, Ainsworth General Store."

In the "Local Drifts" of December 27: "We are expecting a car of Aristos flour about Dec. 28. Special inducement offered if gotten from the car. For price, call up phone 1626-W-2. Goldman's General Store."

Elsewhere in the same paper, Walter Blachly, a "mile and a half west of Ainsworth," offered: "FOR SALE. — Seven head of high grade Holstein cows."

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Common Milkweed

The other day I took this photo of common milkweed gone to seed.
Milkweed Gone to Seed
(Click on images to enlarge)

Then I remembered I hadn't posted any pictures of common milkweed when it was in bloom. In fact I did take a few last summer. I don't know why I didn't post them — they didn't come out very well, or I was too busy. Something. Anyway, here they are.

Common milkweed blossoms, with Japanese beetle:
Common Milkweed blossoms

The whole plant:
Common Milkweed plant

The seed pods just beginning to form:
Common Milkweed immature seed pods

As you probably know, the name "milkweed" is inspired by the milky white sap that wells out of the plant's stem or leaves if you break them.

Its scientific name is Asclepius syriaca. I've mentioned before that the genus Asclepius was named for the Greek god of medicine and healing, because this family of plants has historically had numerous medicinal uses. According to Jack Sanders, the name syriaca, meaning "of Syria," was probably given by mistake, since the species is native to North America.

One thing I did not know (until Jack Sanders told me) is that early settlers in this country used the soft, silky threads, by which the seeds travel on the wind, as stuffing for pillows and mattresses. Can you imagine how much work it must have been to gather enough of those threads to stuff a mattress?

It's a Deal (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

It's a Deal
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

No identifying information written on envelope containing this glass-plate negative. The glass plate is cracked in two.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Massacre in the Garden (Random Pointless Photo)

Brussels sprouts
(Click on image to enlarge)

I cut down all the stalks, even though there were still sprouts on them. I have had enough Brussels sprouts for one year!

Random Changes

It's December 1918, and things are changing.

Our old acquaintance Alvah Bodamer has given up his threshing business, left Deep River and moved to Valparaiso to take a job with the Grand Trunk Railroad.

Jerome Chester of Chicago has severed his last ties to the soil of Ainsworth by selling his share of the Henry Chester estate, namely 117.5 acres of farmland, to his half-brother Charles, who paid him $10,500 for it.

In Hobart, William and Antonia Rossow have sold 30 acres lying north of the Pennsy Railroad and west of Wisconsin Street, part of the land that they have farmed for 14 years. They retain about 2.5 acres where their home and outbuildings sit, and some acreage south of the tracks. The event is so momentous as to rate its own story in both of Hobart's newspapers — or perhaps that is owing to the media savvy of the buyers, a couple of real estate dealers from Valparaiso. The buyers intend to subdivide the land and sell it as home lots. "The land is advantageously situated for subdivision purposes," says the Gazette, and indeed it is (for the moment), being right on the streetcar line. The News notes that the Rossows had given the streetcar company right-of-way through their land for free. The story that has come down in the family is that William did that to persuade the streetcar company to run the line through his land, so this may be the culmination of his clever plan to increase the value of the land and then sell it.

♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 13 Dec. 1918; 12 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Rossow Sell Their Farm to Real Estate Firm." Hobart News 19 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Wm. Rossow Farm Sold." Hobart Gazette 20 Dec. 1918.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Jay Sharpe and Colt (Glass-Plate Image)

Jay Sharpe and Colt
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Handwritten notes on the envelope holding the glass-plate negative:
"No. 30
Name: Jay Sharpe & Colt
Remarks: Apr 18 1906       Snap Shot Roebuck Plate"
I can't find him in Hobart in any census.

♦    ♦    ♦

[10/13/2017 update] I have stumbled across some surprising information about Jay Sharpe, dating to 1908:

Jay Sharpe, Our Boy Poet
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 2 Oct. 1908.

While no sheet music survives for that poem (at least on the internet), or for his second, "When the Dew Drops Begin to Fall," the record of his copyrights does.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Peacetime Casualties

The war was over, but soldiers were still dying.

The News of December 12 carried this brief story:
Word was received Monday that Clarence McDonald, son of Mrs. Otis Guernsey,* residing south of Deep River, had died of wounds received in action in France. Last week they received a message stating he had been seriously wounded. He went to France in June of this year.
Just above that story appeared a fuller report on the death of Edward Abel, 26 years old, who had died in France on November 24 of bronchial pneumonia. The next day's Gazette described Edward's military service:
When Co. F was organized at Gary, he became a member, and in June, 1916, he went with the company to the Mexican border. There he had charge of the construction of army shacks, and after the company was mustered out of the U.S. service, in March, 1917, and again became a state organization, he returned home, but soon war broke out, and again he joined the company that was sent to Camp Shelby. Here he remained until about last October, when most of the remaining members of Co. F were sent overseas. From a letter received later, he arrived in France Nov. 5, or six days before peace was signed.
On December 18 Fremont and Carrie Price received a report that their son James had died — a sketchy, unofficial report, if we are to go by what appeared in the newspaper about it. The Prices were surely stunned and confused; James himself had recently written to them that he was fully recovered from his wound.

*Minnie Jones Guernsey, and I can't account for the difference in surnames.

♦ "Another Hobart Boy Dies in France." Hobart Gazette 13 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Clarence McDonald of Ross Twp. Dies of Wounds Received in Action." Hobart News 12 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Edward Abel Dies of Pneumonia November 24 in France." Hobart News 12 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 19 Dec. 1918.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thressa Ericson (Glass-Plate Image)

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

Another from the manila-folder glass plates. Once again, that familiar fence! Handwritten notes on the envelope identify this girl as "No. 83/Name: Ericson Thressa." I cannot find a Thressa or Theresa Ericson living in Hobart circa 1900-1920; perhaps she was a visiting relative.

I like her dress. It has nice details, like the contrasting buttons and piping, and the scalloped line of the front closure.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I had of course heard of Archangel, Russia, but knew little about it except that it lay on the northern coastline of Russia and sounded like a very cold and lonely place. So I could not think of anything but "cold and lonely" when I came across a little item in the "Local Drifts" column of Hobart Gazette of December 6, 1918, correcting the earlier, confused reports about Harold Maybaum's death.

He had died of pneumonia on September 9, not in England as previously reported, but in northern Russia. The army had buried him in the allied cemetery at Archangel. ("The parents received a letter from the first lieutenant of the company giving full details of his sickness, death and burial," the Gazette said, but those full details did not appear in the newspapers.)

Apparently Harold was part of what came to be known as the Polar Bear Expedition, though he died so soon after his arrival in Russia that he had little chance to take part in any action.

As for Archangel, some casual research suggests to me that it is not a lonely place; it is pretty cold, with a sub-arctic climate. However, according to the University of Michigan's records, it would not be not Harold's final resting place.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Pokeweed Gone to Seed

Pokeweed Gone to Seed
(Click on images to enlarge)

Here is what pokeweed looked like in the summer. But that was a small plant compared to this monster, which even now, shriveled as it is, towers over me.

Pokeweed Gone to Seed Again

Emil Pearson (Glass-Plate Image)

All the glass-plate images I have posted thus far came from one box of approximately 5" x 7" plates, all taken by the same photographer, judging by the similarity of the plates themselves (and their subject matter), the envelopes they were stored in and the handwriting on those envelopes. Recently while poking around in the manila folders in the picture files at the museum, I came across a few more plates that (for the same reasons) I believe were taken by the same unknown photographer. Here is one of them.

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

The handwritten notes on the envelope it is stored in read as follows:
No. 86
Name: Person, Emil
Remarks: Emil Eric Pearson — born in Hobart, on Lake Park Ave first north of Amtrack R.R. tracks on 27th July 1892. The youngest brother of Cecelia (Frank) Helin & Selma (Ernest) Strom, both residents of Hobart. Emil died in Algoma, Wisc. 25th of Nov. 1973.
So this is one of the children of Erica Pearson.

We've seen that fence before, haven't we? — that peculiar combination of picket and plank, with the evergreen trees beside it — here and here.

♦    ♦    ♦

[1/10/2012 update] Same photographer, same subject, almost the same pose.

♦    ♦    ♦

[3/27/2014 update] Thanks to Emil's grandnephew-by-marriage, Don Miller, we now catch a glimpse of the grown-up Emil, and of his wife, née Stella Mae Miller. (I do not know where or when they were married; it was sometime between the 1910 and 1920 censuses.)

These two photos were cropped from a group photo taken at a family gathering circa 1934, at which time Emil was about 43, Stella about 38:

Emil Pearson.
Images courtesy of Don Miller.

Stella Mae (Miller) Pearson.

Moving forward to about 1961, here we have Emil and Stella in their home on Pewaukee Lake in Waukesha County, Wisconsin.

At home ca. 1961.
(Click on image to enlarge)

And here they are on a picnic in Pewaukee Park, Waukesha County, Wisconsin, in the early 1960s.

Emil and Stella (Miller) Pearson.
(Click on image to enlarge)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

That's a Lot of Coal (Random Pointless Photo)

A Lot of Coal
(Click on image to enlarge)

Speaking of coal … here's a VERY LONG coal train westbound (slowly) on the Nickel Plate Norfolk Southern tracks through Hobart.

My car was on the other side of that train.

Just Pretend the War Hasn't Ended

As we've seen, the U.S. Food Administration was quick to suspend its strict wheat-conservation rules after the armistice, but still asked people to use wheat sparingly. It made that request more formal and general at the end of November by declaring the first week of December "Conservation Week for World Relief." Skipping over the details of exactly what all good Americans should deprive themselves of, the newspaper story concentrated on scary stuff. "Many parts of Europe are threatened by famine and disorder on account of the lack of food," said the Gazette, "and it is most urgent that every household in America should rally to this new call."

The same issue reported that the Lake County Council of Defense had taken time at its final regular meeting to formally lift its rule requiring night closure of businesses, thus allowing businesses to stay open every night as long as they wished, but the Gazette predicted that the "leading stores in the county" would close three nights a week.

The fuel administration, which had lifted its restrictions on use of light and fuel, asked for continuing voluntary conservation.

Early in December, the Hobart Lumber Company announced that with the help of the Local Fuel Administrator, William J. Killigrew, it had procured two cars of hard coal for sale, but no one could buy any hard coal without a written permit from Mr. Killigrew, such permits to be given out on December 7 between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m.

♦ "Food Conservation Week." Hobart Gazette 22 Nov. 1918.
♦ "Hard Coal." Hobart Gazette 6 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Order Closing Stores Lifted." Hobart Gazette 22 Nov. 1918.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Work on the Dam (Random Pointless Photos)

Work on Dam 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

Work on Dam 2

I had to go downtown today to get a more accurate picture of this (I think I had the wrong building before). So Maya and I walked out to the dam, and I got these pictures.

Speaking of Maya, she just went through a bout of Lyme disease. On Sunday she was sicker than I've ever seen her, in all her 12 years; now she's already back to her old self.

Flowers for Erica

Speaking of funeral flowers, the Hobart museum has one such photo (not a glass-plate negative) where we know for whom the bell tolled, as it were.

Erica Pearson funeral flowers
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The typewritten caption reads:
In the late 1800s & early 1900s, the vogue was to take photographs of the casket of the deceased. This photo is of the casket of Erica (Alfred Eric) Pearson, 253 Michigan Av., who died Feb. 27, 1912 at age fifty. She was the mother of Cecilia (Frank A.) Helin; Selma (Ernest V.) Strom; Victor Eric & Emil Eric Pearson. Cecelia and Selma: Hobart residents. Victor of Chicago and Emil of Exeland and Milwaukee, Wisc.
In this case I think the photograph was taken inside the family's home, just based on my impression of the décor.

As luck would have it, the museum also has a photograph of the Pearson home.

Alfred Pearson house Mich ave

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

A handwritten caption reads: "Alfred Melin Pearson/Michigan Av. Home." The individuals are not identified, so we can't know if one of those ladies was Erica.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

High School Alumni in Uniform

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

The 1919 Aurora yearbook included these images of some of Hobart High School's alumni in uniform, including Everett Newman, whose letter we read yesterday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pennsy Depot 1974

Pennsy station Apr 27 1974
(Click on image to enlarge)

I bought this depressing view of the Pennsy depot on Ebay. It is a slide stamped April 27, 1974. The original slide is now at the Hobart Historical Society museum.

I added this image, plus a few others previously published in this blog over the last few weeks, to the Downtown Hobart 1979 blog (see the December 7 entry in What's New in Old Hobart if you're interested).

Better to Be a Married Dog Than a Single Lion?

The Hobart Gazette of November 29 tossed off this casual remark: "Since the ending of the war the issuance of marriage licenses at Crown Point has fallen off wonderfully" — the implication being, of course, that the less heroic of the area's men were no longer seeking draft exemptions for the sake of their sudden, dependent wives.

I don't know how strictly true that might have been; it was only a remark, not a story. But it's one of the few acknowledgments I've seen that northwest Indiana was not entirely populated by brave, self-sacrificing people. I can recall only one specific story, and that was a blind item, with no name or date.

I suppose if newspapers chose not to run such stories, it was a matter of keeping up morale. Or of being afraid of stepping over the line between reportage and libel by saying, e.g., that a specific person got married out of fear of the draft. The papers had no problem filling up their space by sticking to the morale-boosting stories about people who volunteered their service, or willingly answered their country's call when it came.

♦    ♦    ♦

Checking in with just a few of our lions, I see that Emma Gruel set sail for France the very day of the Armistice, to continue her army nursing work there. Her sister, Anna, was then or would soon be nursing at Camp Lee in Virginia. The last Sunday in November, Fred Rose, Jr., was allowed to come to Hobart for a few hours' visit, but then had to return to Camp Custer, still waiting for his discharge. Everett Newman was in France; some of his letters home found their way into the newspapers, such as this one dated November 17:

Everett Newman letter, 11-17-1918
(Click on image to enlarge)

♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 12 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 22 Nov. 1918; 29 Nov. 1918; 20 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Soldier's Letter." Hobart News 19 Dec. 1918.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Flowers for Mother (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

No notes on this one; not even a number.

We don't know who the deceased was, but if we are to believe the flowers, she was somebody's mother.

Funerals were commonly held in private homes at the time this picture was taken (I'm guessing first decade of the 20th century), but something about this interior says "undertaking rooms" to me — it's so spacious, and the décor is so elegant and impersonal.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Citizen Flu

A week or so after Captain Charles Reeve stood speechifying before the assembled members of Co. K, he and his wife and child all fell ill with Spanish influenza. The flu was now Hobart's most active resident: the social columns were full of its visits. "Influenza seems to be no respecter of persons," said the News, "attacking the rich as well as the poor, and the strong as well as the weak — in fact, it seems to affect the healthy and robust person more than the weaker ones."

That the newspaper reporting was even more confused than usual may reflect the general disruption wrought by the disease. Case in point: the town's two newspapers could not agree on whether the schools were closed on December 2 by Dr. Clara Faulkner as the town's health officer, or on December 3 by Dr. Richard Mackey as school board president; nor could they settle on whether it was one-fifth of the students and teachers who were out sick, or a fourth of the teachers and fully half of the students.

They could agree only that the schools were closed, and that conditions were bad.

On December 4 Dr. Faulkner, alarmed by the 38 new cases reported in the previous two days, once again took the drastic step of placing the town under quarantine for the rest of December. According to the Gazette, her orders forbade church meetings, public funerals, all public meetings of any character, including militia drills, and the operation of theaters, pool rooms, soda and ice cream parlors; indeed, she even asked that people not hold private parties in their homes. (The account in the News differed only in stating that ice-cream and soft-drink parlors, pool rooms and drug stores were placed on restricted hours rather than closed altogether.)

The next week's papers — crammed again with news of the flu's malicious business in town and countryside — also carried evidence that apparently the local churches were either pressuring Dr. Faulkner to lift the restrictions on them, or proceeding with their activities in spite of the quarantine. Dr. Faulkner's irritation with them came through clearly in her public statement, printed in both newspapers:
Although there is no desire on my part to lessen the ban in this vicinity on account of the influenza, that is still raging with practically the same severity as in the past, I will say that if the ministers and various church organizations of Hobart wish to contribute to the spread of the epidemic, and assume full responsibility therefore, morning services may be conducted for people of adult years, and I will presume not to interfere, but it shall be explicitly understood that there shall be permitted only such Sunday morning service.
The rest of her statement was a repetition of the usual advice: avoid crowds, don't go out if you have the flu, don't visit homes where people have the flu. (Sometimes those visits were missions of mercy: this week's flu patients included Mrs. Robert Scholler, who fell ill after nursing Mr. and Mrs. Frank Reissig through their bout of the flu.)

On the same page as Dr. Faulkner's statement, the News reprinted a poem by Joseph Patrick McEvoy, which tried to find some wry humor in the misery:

"The Flu"

♦ "Influenza Still Rages." Hobart Gazette 13 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 6 Dec. 1918; 13 Dec. 1918.
♦ McEvoy, J.P. "The Flu." Poem reprinted in Hobart News 12 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Notice to the Public." Hobart Gazette 13 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Notice to the Public." Hobart News 12 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Quarantine on Tight." Hobart Gazette 6 Dec. 1918.
♦ "Schools Closed Until Jan. 1 on Account Influenza Epidemic." Hobart News 5 Dec. 1918.
♦ "South of Deepriver." Hobart News 12 Dec. 1918.