Monday, December 31, 2012

Sit Up!

From the Schavey envelope collection.

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

These people are unidentified. At first I thought, from the way this woman stood with her toes turned out, that she might be Mable Schavey Breyfogle, but the face isn't right; and something about the man's mouth reminds me of Harry Breyfogle — but it can't be Mable and Harry together, since they were the same height.

I could take a wild guess, but so could anybody.

Cute dog.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Misery in Chicago

Evelyn Triebess was the only one in her family having a fun over the winter of 1920, as the "Local Drifts" column of the Hobart Gazette reported on March 19, 1920.
John C. [Julius] Triebess was out from Chicago Tuesday looking after some interests at his farm, south of Ainsworth. Mrs. Triebess, he said was in a hospital, recovering from an operation last week Wednesday for tumor, and his son is very poorly, having lost 30 pounds in weight since they moved to Chicago last fall. He has some heart trouble, and has to remain in bed most of the time.
Speaking of Raymond Triebess, Evelyn happened to preserve in her scrapbook the record of his transfer in 1917 from a Chicago school to the Ainsworth school.

Raymond Triebess school transfer, 1917
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Under Glass

Photographs taken inside the Hobart Historical Society museum, this time of items inside a glass display case. In other words, I was photographing through the glass. This means that all the photos are artsy … because, obviously, it is deeply symbolic to photograph historical items through a more-or-less transparent barrier, that both reveals them and obscures them with reflections of the present. In fact, right now I'm making a note to myself that one of these days I simply must write a whole essay about that deeply symbolic glass barrier, or maybe a poem, and (note to self) hey, I should even make it rhyme! — and if God has mercy upon you, dear Readers, I will lose my note and the whole project will slip my mind.

You can click on the image below to view the whole set.

Oh, by the way, the last photo in the set shows what are probably the ugliest necklace and earrings ever crafted. Although I don't know for certain, they look as if they might possibly be made from human hair — thus at least having the dignity of genuine emotional meaning (no matter how much hair jewelry squicks out modern sensibilities) as well as DNA. And perhaps they weren't quite so hideous before the strands starting coming loose.

Items in Glass Display Case: photo set on Flickr

Friday, December 28, 2012

Mable, Harry and Friend

From the Schavey envelope collection.

Mable, Harry and Friend
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Thank goodness there are notes on the back of this photo — "Harry & Mable" — otherwise I would never have known. The dog is unidentified.

No date, but I have a feeling that this is later than most of the photos we've been looking at. A little hasty research suggests that asphalt siding was particularly popular in the 1940s and into the 1950s (though once put on a house it could stay there for decades).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Hodgepodge of Tidbits

A few news items that for some reason I thought needed to be in this blog, dating to mid-March 1920.

Deering, Shearer, Raschka, Chester news
(Click on images to enlarge)

When I saw that item about Gust Deering moving onto an Ainsworth-area farm, I thought I had never heard of him. But upon perusing my notes, I see he's figured in them twice before (though I never mentioned him in the blog), and both times because he was moving, or thinking of moving, to another farm, i.e., in January 1910:
Gust Deering who lives on the Kruse farm east of Ainsworth has rented the Wm. Bissell farm five miles east of Crown Point and will move sometime next month. We understand that James Ed Kelly who formerly lived on the Kruse farm will again occupy the place as soon as Mr. Dearing [sic] moves.
and in February 1920:
Gust Deering and family are preparing to move on to the Nightingale farm, [microfilm illegible but I think it says: formerly known as the Zeller] place containing 220 acres, located southwest of Ainsworth. They have resided on the Clinton farm for the past five years, but this farm was sold last year to D.C. Frank. Mr. Deering thought some of quitting farming, and last year bought the Thos. Hanna home in Joryville, but when his son Henry returned from the war and concluded to stay with his father on the farm, Mr. Deering thought it best to continue farming. Their other son William, is employed this winter in Gary.
So at this point I don't know anything about Gust except that he keeps changing his mind.

As for what was formerly known as the Underwood farm, if we go back to 1874 we find several parcels owned by various people with that surname, but the one directly north of the Vincent schoolhouse comprised 240 acres on the west side of Clay Street.

Old Underwood farm?

Concerning Lesta (not "Tesla") Raschka and her visit to Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, the News attributed her health problems to an attack of "infantile paralysis several years ago."

"Mr. Chester" is, of course, Charles Chester.

1874 Plat Map.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 5 Feb. 1920; 18 Mar. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 14 Jan. 1910; 19 Mar. 1920.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Ornamental Hem

From the Schavey envelope collection.

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

No ID or date on this one. To me she looks a whole lot like Mable Schavey Breyfogle, but I wouldn't swear it.

Judging by the waistline and hemline, I'd guess this dates to circa 1920. Interesting what they did around the hem. I can't see exactly what those decorations are — flat squares of some kind of metal? I wonder if the dress jingled as she walked?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

From its old location at 701 Third Street in Hobart, Paul Heuring Motors sends you the season's greetings.

Thunderbird Xmas PC
(Click on images to enlarge)

If you look closely, you can see that a recording is imprinted on the postcard itself. The hole in the center allows you to slip it over the spindle of your phonograph machine.

Thunderbird Xmas PC verso

I haven't yet been able to locate a working phonograph machine that plays 78s, so I don't know exactly what Rosemary Clooney wants me to do, but I'm sure it involves a Ford.

Bought on Ebay.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Rope Bed

Photos taken inside the Hobart Historical Society museum.

Well, what I've learned so far about using a tripod is that it's a great tool, and you can do some fun things with it. It's also a pain in the neck — clumsy and time-consuming. And even using a tripod, with a little effort you can still totally mess up a shot. Which is what I did to the label describing the exhibit that is the subject of today's photo-essay. Hence I have to type it out for you.


Brought by covered wagon from Virginia by the Mundell family in 1836 when the Mundell, Hurst, and Sigler families came to Hobart.

Donated by the Demmon family.

It is a bedstead with pegs on the outer boards around which ropes are strung to form a web that supports the sleeper — with a little elasticity, I suppose, which makes it preferable to sleeping on wooden planks, but not so comfortable as modern constructions like box springs.

Rope bed 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

Two of the pegs, strung with rope:
Rope bed rope and pegs

In the above photo you can see the striped fabric of the feather "tick."
Feather tick, woven coverlet

Rope bed 2

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Scarlet Fever

Adding to the miseries of the winter of 1919-20 — on top of influenza and smallpox — we now find scarlet fever. By early March, it had caused the quarantine of three homes in Hobart: those of Albert Witt, Henry Ittel and Alvin Shafer.

The miseries of the approaching spring threatened to include Albert Halsted, a Ross Township farmer, running for Lake County sheriff.

♦    ♦    ♦

This little item caught my eye, as it concerns two of our acquaintances — William Schavey (Hattie's husband and Mable's uncle) and John Harms.

Harms-Schavey sale
(Click on image to enlarge)

According to the 1930 census, the address where William and Hattie Schavey were living was 750 Lincoln Street. (I can't find them in the 1920 census.)

1920 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 11 Mar. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 12 Mar. 1920.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'd Rather Be Holding the Dog

From the Schavey envelope collection.

I'd rather be holding the dog
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Junior there doesn't look terribly thrilled to be holding Baby.

No ID. My vintage-car expert tells me that car in the background is a 1933 Ford; otherwise, I could have theorized that these kids were Kenny and Dwayne Breyfogle.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Wall Painting

Photos taken inside the Hobart Historical Society museum.

Someone cut part of a wall out of a house and dragged it into the museum, for the sake of preserving this painting:

Wall Painting
(Click on images to enlarge)

A card tucked into the window (or door?) frame explains why:

Wall Painting label

I know the card is not easy to read. It says: "Part of wall from home in which Indians once lived. Thought to be Indian art. We are doing further research."

Judging by the apparent age of that card, I'm afraid that whoever was doing the "further research" may have already gone to meet the painter(s) face to face.

Some ancient wallpaper from higher up on the wall; looks like two layers, unless that's more painting underneath:

Wall Painting wallpaper

Here's an artsy shot of the door (or window?) frame. It's artsy because it doesn't convey any information.

Wall Painting artsy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dan Maybaum Again

I already told you I don't know who Dan Maybaum was. But the "Local Drifts" in the Hobart Gazette of March 5, 1920, brings us some news about him (and I'm also typing it out for you, since the microfilm is hard to read).
Dan Maybaum, who has operated for years the Maybaum farm south of Ainsworth, until it was sold last fall to Chas. Chester, has just moved from the farm to Ainsworth.
Said column also brings us news of our old friend, Jesse Frame. It's been a long time, Jesse!

Dan Maybaum news
(Click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Couple in a Cornfield

From the Schavey envelope collection.

Couple in a Cornfield
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

OK, you two — what were you doing out in that cornfield that's got you grinning like that?

Unidentified, and I don't recognize them.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Better Than Ontario

A recent purchase: a postcard postmarked 1916.

Hobart High School, Hobart, Indiana
(Click on images to enlarge)

I think I've posted this view before somewhere. The message on the back is more interesting.

Reverse of Hobart High School postcard

Janette (or Jeanette) Kellen was about 13 years old when she wrote this postcard. I believe her parents were J. Cornelius and Katherine Kellen, and they lived in the vicinity of where Tenth Street and Grand Boulevard curve together. Per the 1920 Census, Cornelius operated his own greenhouse. He had done the same in Chicago ten years earlier, per the 1910 Census. From what Janette says here, I get the impression that between 1910 and 1916 the family had tried living in Ontario, Indiana, and did not like it — or, at least, Mrs. Kellen didn't.

I suppose Cornelius was the "J.C. Kellen" who signed the petition for lights on the Ainsworth road, and also the owner of "Kellen's pond," which I remember reading about in one of those Hobart Historical Society books but can't recall which one, or where.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Fun and Farm-Moving

From the cold and wet (one presumes) late winter of 1920, some do-it-yourself entertainment news, including the fact that the mysterious Jolly Four was now hosting dances in Hobart as well as Ainsworth.

Jolly Four & Ainsworth social
(Click on image to enlarge)

The "Ainsworth social" had been held the evening of Friday, February 20, at Gust Lindborg's hall, to raise money for the Ainsworth school.

… And some manufactured-entertainment news.

Gem Theater ad

"Hearts of the World" was a war film released in 1918. Both Lillian and Dorothy Gish had roles in it.

Hearts of the World poster

I can't find any images relating to "Desert Gold" or its star, Edward Kline Lincoln.

♦    ♦    ♦

Some people had no time for entertainment, manufactured or otherwise. Some people were too busy moving farms:
Ray Halstead [or Halsted] and family will move Friday [March 5, 1920] to the farm owned by his father, A.E. Halstead, located near Merrillville, which has been occupied by F.B. Price and family. Mr. Price moves to his own farm recently purchased, on which he is erecting a complete set of buildings. Bert Bartholomew will occupy the residence vacated by Mr. Halstead and family.
As you can see on the map in this post, Ray's father farm was just west of the Price's farm. I do not know where Ray's previous residence was, so I don't know where dear Bert Bartholomew (whoever he was) would soon be living.

♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 5 Feb. 1920; 4 Mar. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 27 Feb. 1920.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

West Window

The west window of the Hobart Historical Society museum.

West Window
(Click on image to enlarge)

I thank heaven for artsy photos; they've saved me so much writing.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Studio Portrait with Non-Studio Artwork

From the Schavey envelope collection.

Unidentified formal portrait
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Unidentified young couple, probably in a photographer's studio, to judge by the formal pose, blank background, and excellent lighting and focus.

I can't judge the date; I hope it isn't from the 1920s, because I just got through ranting about how much I hate 1920s fashions, and yet I love her dress. More specifically, I love those crazy, off-the-wall decorations on her dress.

Some unknown child has used the blank back to draw in pencil.

Unidentified formal portrait verso

Too bad most of that artwork was lost to glue and an album page.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Embarrassment at the Bank

Hobart Bank ad
This ad appeared in Hobart High School's Aurora yearbook for 1919.
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

It was an ordinary business morning — Wednesday, January 25, 1920 — and in the Hobart Bank, cashier William Killigrew and assistant cashier Deering Melin were going about their ordinary business when an official from the state banking department walked in and told them to close their doors and suspend all business. The bank was under investigation.

The news came as a shock to the two men, as they had no reason to think anything was wrong. The state official explained that the Farmers' State Bank of Valparaiso had likewise just been closed, and there lay the problem: the two banks shared a principal owner, one William H. Gardner of Valparaiso — so it was a case of suspicion by association.

State officials' examination of the Valparaiso bank's books, begun earlier in the week, had turned up a shortfall of $200,000. Examiners believed that bank funds were being used in stock speculation. The Farmers' State Bank cashier, Henry Winneguth, openly confessed to the shortfall; as for President Gardner, he had nothing to say — he was nowhere to be found.

The news, and the shock, spread locally. William Killigrew published a notice in the News asking for Hobart Bank patrons' "patience and good will until matters [were] straightened out." The Gazette had this to say:
Wm. J. Killigrew, the cashier, has been connected with the Hobart bank for some ten years, and D.D. Melin, the assistant cashier, for the past eight years. They have always retained the confidence of the general public, and through this confidence the bank has grown nicely, much to the credit of these two young men and the town. The Hobart bank was established here as a private bank in 1884 by the present owner's father, and was counted as solid as any institution.
By Friday, Mr. Gardner had turned up and surrendered all his property — hundreds of shares of stock, including all his stock in the Hobart Bank, his "magnificent home and all its luxurious fixtures" and "half a dozen other pieces of property"; Cashier Winneguth had also surrendered his home and personal property. Between the value of those assets and "financial soundness of [the bank's] backers," by the end of the week the Farmers' State Bank failure was apparently headed for a happy ending.

Meanwhile, the Hobart Bank, with a shortage of $46,000, faced either a winding up of its affairs with a possible loss of 30 percent to depositors, or a reorganization that would allow it to continue business with no loss to depositors. On Sunday morning a number of depositors, determined to reorganize, gathered at the bank and worked out the details with the help of state banking examiners. Quickly ("in ten minutes," according to one report) depositors bought $50,000 worth of stock, more than making up the shortage. By Tuesday morning, the Hobart Bank was open for business again.

♦    ♦    ♦

Many of those involved in the reorganization are acquaintances of ours. The bank's new officers were William Stommel (president); John J. Wood (vice-president); William Killigrew (cashier); and Deering Melin (assistant cashier). Its directors were Calvin Shearer, Emil Scharbach, Sherman Henderson, John Stocker and John Hillman. All officers (except Deering Melin) and directors were shareholders; additional shareholders were Andrew Melin, Armin Mackeldey, Paul Emery, Fred Rose, Lawrence Traeger, Alex Boyd, John Killigrew, Philip Thompson, Harry Parker, Siegfried Baumer, Robert Scholler, and Simeon Bullock.

♦ "Bank Shortage to Be Made Good by the Backers." Kokomo Daily Tribune 27 Feb. 1920. (accessed 12/7/12).
♦ "Doors of Hobart Bank Closed Wednesday Morning." Hobart News 26 Feb. 1920.
♦ "Hobart Bank Closed Wednesday by State Officials." Hobart Gazette 27 Feb. 1920.
♦ "Hobart Bank Involved in Crash, Will Reopen." Elkhart Review 1 Mar. 1920. (accessed 12/7/12).
♦ "Hobart Bank Opened Tuesday." Hobart Gazette 5 Mar. 1920.
♦ "Hobart Bank Opens Under Reorganization." Hobart News 4 Mar. 1920.
♦ "State Auditor Closes Up Two Indiana Banks." Kokomo Daily Tribune 26 Feb. 1920. (accessed 12/7/12).
♦ "Two Indiana Banks Closed By Auditor Shortage $200,000." Logansport Daily Tribune 26 Feb. 1920. (accessed 12/7/12).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Well Dressed Visit

From the Schavey envelope collection.

Visit 1
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Visit 2

One unknown couple visited another unknown couple in an unknown place at an unknown time, and all that remains of that happy day are these two photos testifying that these people knew how to dress, even though (I'm guessing) this was in the 1920s.

I say "even though…" because (in my personal opinion) women's fashions of the 1920s were aggressively unflattering. Dropped waists and flat silhouettes looked just passable on the ideal women in the catalogs; in real life, on real women, they rarely looked anything but unfortunate, and the brimless, close-fitting "cloche" hat had all the charm of a rubber bathing cap. Men's fashions were less extreme, though you could find men of the 1920s making themselves ridiculous with golf apparel or "Oxford bags."

But here we see a woman (in the first photo, and at left in the second) wearing a dress that is classic — simple, well cut, tasteful. Where the devil did she find it, in the 1920s? Only by those two dark stripes at her hip do we find this natural-waisted dress acknowledging the currently fashionable point of emphasis.

The other woman, at right in the second photo, is a bit more trendy, but I think her ensemble would be flattering if it fit her better. She's got excess fabric between her arm and her waist.

And these well-turned-out people are standing in front of a mud-caked car. Perhaps they had to travel on country roads for this visit.

I love the side curtains on the car, and the brick-paved street.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Elm Oysters

I want to believe that these are elm oysters, as opposed to oyster mushrooms, because I had already found oyster mushrooms. It's no fun finding mushrooms you've found before.

Elm Oysters
(Click on images to enlarge)

That is a dead elm stump they're growing out of! (But elm oysters do not grow exclusively on elms.) Said elm stump is at the edge of my backyard. The mushrooms in the foreground are growing out of a cut in the trunk.

Here's a bunch of them that I pulled off another elm stump nearby, to see whether they had stems. I see stems, don't you? Not exactly statuesque, but … stems.

Elm Oyster stems

And gills. Pretty, huh?

Elm Oyster gills

Yet another shot, because — hey, why not?

Elm Oyster tops


Photos taken in the Hobart Historical Society museum. Exhibit: loom.

Here is an artsy photo of the threads. (It's artsy because I reduced the saturation and increased the contrast.)

Loom threads
(Click on images to enlarge)

Here's what the loom looks like when it's not looking artsy.

Loom threads, non-artsy

Loom 826

Loom 467

I have only the vaguest theoretical notion of how to operate a loom. That notion includes a lot of work and a backache.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Remarried-Widower Report

The social column of the Hobart Gazette of February 20, 1920, just happened to include tidbits about two acquaintances: Asa Bullock, who when last caught sight of was in New York, and E.D. Scroggins, who was once Daisy Chester's husband.

Asa Bullock, E.D. Scroggins news
(Click on image to enlarge)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Mable and Kenny Breyfogle

From the Schavey envelope collection.

Mable and Kenny Breyfogle
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Handwritten on the back: "Mable & Kenny Breyfogle 1931(?)"

That's definitely Mable at left in the back row, and I'm guessing that she's resting her hands on Kenny's shoulders. No one else is identified.

(Earlier we saw a picture of a baby identified as Kenny in 1931 — both IDs can't be right.)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Wait For It!

This notice ran in the News of February 19, 1920.

Wait For Our Mill End Sale

Thousands of yards of just such materials as you are looking for. Will announce arrival of same just as soon as we can get it ready for your inspection.

Ainsworth, Ind.

And so the thrifty home sewers of town and country set to sharpening their scissors, and oiling their sewing machines, and measuring their children, their husbands and themselves, perhaps buying new patterns — but not fabric; oh, no, that must wait.

Two short weeks, and the waiting was over.

Mill End, News, 3-4-1920
(Click on image to enlarge)

♦ Advertisement. Hobart News 4 Mar. 1920.
♦ "Wait For Our Mill End Sale." Hobart News 19 Feb. 1920.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Baby in a Better Mood

From the Schavey envelope collection.

Baby in a Better Mood
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

No notes on this one, but going by the clothing and the stroller, I'd say this is the same baby previously identified as Kenny, or maybe Dwayne, Breyfogle.

I was a bit surprised to discover that you can still buy wire fence like that, e.g., here. (Yes, instead of writing better posts, I waste my time on the internet researching ornamental fences.)

Friday, December 7, 2012

"A Pretty Town Tho Full of Saloons"

Some time ago we met Jacob Van Nuys by accident, after he happened to mail a postcard from Hobart in the midst of a road trip from Chicago to Colon, Michigan in 1909.

Now, through the magic of Ebay, we discover that his son Arthur accompanied him on that trip.

Van Nuys 2 postcard
(Click on images to enlarge)

Writing to his wife, Arthur described Hobart as "a pretty town tho full of saloons"!

Van Nuys 2 postcard verso

Thursday, December 6, 2012

How Evelyn Spent Valentine's Day

From Evelyn Triebess' scrapbook of her senior year in Chicago's Parker High School, we have this account of her Valentine's Day party:

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

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

More Extreme Cuteness (Random Pointless Photos)

Foster kitten and doggie pics.

Hypotenuse, the biggest and oldest.
(Click on images to enlarge)

Tangent, the runt of the litter.
Tangent in sunlight

Tangent refereeing a match between Robby and Buddy.
Tangent as referee

Not-Circle thinks Robby's tail is a toy.
Not Circle v Robby's Tail 1

Not Circle v Robby's Tail

While the dogs are away fighting yet another epic battle over their purple-and-orange rope, Circle lays claim to their stuffed reindeer.
Circle owns

Buddy being generally cute.
Creative pose

Buddy, Robby and Tangent being excessively cute.
Buddy, Robby, Tangent 1

Buddy, Robby, Tangent 2

Circle says, "Have a Merry Christmas!"
Holiday Circle
(Actually, Circle said, "Put me down, you crazy —!")