Saturday, August 31, 2013

"Three Fatties"

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

36b  three fatties
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

I don't believe it possible that Mildred would have captioned this picture so disrespectfully, unless Anna Lindborg was in the habit of describing herself that way.

This photo was probably taken at Miller Beach in July 1922, like the similar one we've already seen.

Anna Lindborg is the middle of the three women. I believe the woman on the left is Mrs. Bowman. The two children sitting in front are Raymond Lindborg and June Bowman, still showing off her scalloped hem. The other two people are unidentified.

I may have found the Bowman family in the 1920 Census, living in Ward 10 of Gary. Miller had been annexed by Gary a couple of years before, but I haven't been able to find a contemporary ward map to confirm that Miller was in Ward 10. Anyway, the family listed there consisted of Thure (52, carpenter) and Elika (47), both Swedish immigrants, with a son, Helmer (14), and daughter, June (4½).

Friday, August 30, 2013

Hobart Then and Now: Third and East, NE Corner

Shearer float, July 4, 1914
Third and East, NE corner
(Click on images to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

You may remember the first photo from my last July 4 post. So here we have July 1914 v. August 2013. I am about 99% convinced that it's the same house. I've been trying to find a link between the Shearers and that house, thus far without success. But then again, perhaps they just randomly stopped right there to have their photo taken.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Can't I Have a Nervous Breakdown in Private Around Here?

Carlisle Dorman
(Click on image to enlarge)
From "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette, Oct. 22, 1920.

I really wish I knew whether the Dorman family called up the Gazette office to impart that bit of information, or whether the editor found it out through local gossip and decided to plaster it on the front page because, well, it's news, isn't it?

If your curiosity was piqued by that announcement in the right-hand column about the parking ordinance published elsewhere, you can read some of its text on this page:

Cars-Deering, Gaz., 10-22-1920

The same page informs us that Gust Deering, thus far best known for changing his mind, has changed it yet again. Gust would move with his family into their Joryville home in early December. The 1930 census shows them living on Linda Street, and Gust working in a steel mill.

1930 Census.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 9 Dec. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 22 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Ordinance No. 274." Hobart Gazette 22 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart Gazette 22 Oct. 1920.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Merrillville Then and Now: Demmon's Store/Law Office

Demmon's Grocery Store ca 1900
Weiss & Schmidgall Law Office
(Click on images to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of the Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society.

Here we are looking at the north side of E. 73rd Ave., just west of Broadway. A handwritten caption on the first photo reads, "Demmon's Store about 1900"; however, according to A Pictorial History of Merrillville by Jan Clemens, the store was built in 1924 by Walter Demmon. The later date is more consistent with census records, as in 1910 and 1920 Walter described himself as a farmer; not until 1930 was he a "merchant" selling "retail groceries."

Per Jan Clemens:
Besides being a retail establishment, Walter's store had restaurant facilities and was more aptly described as an ice cream parlor. Many young people made the awning-fronted building their "hangout" because it was just across the street from the school. Neva Shoup, sixteen years of age, who lived down the street, next to the Methodist Church, in her capacity as "soda-jerk" kept the customers satisfied with her repertoire of ice cream delights.
The January 1920 census enumeration lists Neva Shoup as 11 years old, the daughter of Arthur and Clara Shoup who farmed in Ross Township.

The Demmon store closed in 1972.

♦    ♦    ♦

Here is a photo of Walter Demmon and Tillie Schnabel on their wedding day, February 7, 1906:

Demmon-Schnabel wedding 2-7-1906
Image courtesy of Suzi Emig.

1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ Clemens, Jan, and Elaine Denta (ed.). A Pictorial History of Merrillville: Stories, Illustrations, and Photographs of Pioneer Buildings. Review Printers, Inc. (1991).

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

"How Is This For a Bunch?"

From the steamer trunk.

Introducing Artie Llewellyn, Leslie Ely and Harry Ely!

0000-2a Llewellyn and Ely
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

Whether they were the Three Musketeers or the Three Stooges, I don't know. I can't even positively identify any of them in the census records. All I know is that somehow Leslie became friendly enough with Herman Harms and (I believe) his brother, Henry Jr., to send each of them this same postcard. (I think it was Henry Jr. simply because I can't imagine a friend of Herman's daring to address Henry Sr. so informally.)

0000-2b-2 Llewellyn and Ely

0000-2b-1 Llewellyn and Ely

Hmm. Well. With no year in the postmark, no ID on these guys, no idea of their relationship to the Harmses … all I can say is that Leslie's cap is simply fabulous.
♦    ♦    ♦

[8/30/13 update] The Dewell family archivist has done some detective work around these guys and come up with the following:
I found Artie Taylor Lewellyn and Charles Harry Ely, both have WWI draft cards in Ida County, Iowa circa 1917.

Artie was born 1 Sep 1894 in Scottsburg, IN. Charles Harry Ely was born 3 Aug 1892 in Madison, IN. They both were farm laborers in Ida at the time of the draft.

Leslie J Ely (2 Sep 1897 to 17 May 1979) and Harry were listed in the 1900 Madison, IN Census (Eley), sons of George and Dixie (Woods) Ely.

Leslie and Charles Harry wound up in Ohio and died there. Leslie served in WWI, so I wonder if he met someone from Lake County in the army?? Harry also said he was a veteran in the 1930 Census, but I couldn't find any service info on Ancestry. Also they were both factory workers, maybe they were in the steel mills at some point??

Artie Lewellyn was in Anderson, Marion, IN in 1940.

Monday, August 26, 2013

C as in Cyrus

Until a few days ago I had held intact the perfect ignorance of Calvin C. Shearer's middle name with which I began this blog. Now I know what the "C." stood for, but I'm no longer sure it was his middle name. Cast your eyes upon the page below, which appears to have been cut out of a family Bible and placed in the Shearer genealogy file at the Hobart Historical Society museum:

Births (front)
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Who wrote that, and what does it mean? — that he went around calling himself "Calvin C." just because if he used "C. Calvin" people would forever be asking, "Hey, why don't you use your first name?" Or did the writer, overpowered by the weirdness of spelling out "Cyrus," simply make a mistake? I don't know.

I also don't think I ever knew before that Calvin and Huldah had a little girl, Flossie (or "Flausy"), who died in infancy.

A few more pages from the same source:

Deaths (back of births)

Marriage certificate (front)

Marriage records (back of certificate)

There was also a "Family Temperance Pledge," but nobody signed it.

Flossie M. Shearer grave marker
(Click on image to enlarge)

Little Flossie's grave marker in Hobart Cemetery, next to her parents'.

Calvin and Huldah Shearer grave marker

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The New Haan School and
the Old Freeman Place

It would be easy enough to find the milk shippers' meeting on October 26, 1920.

Milk shippers' meeting

Just take the main road south out of Hobart and look for the name "W.G. Haan" on a schoolhouse, which you can hardly miss, as it towers over the open fields in all its bright red-brick newness.

But suppose you came across this little item in the News: "C.C. Shearer is planning to have a public sale on his farm known as the old Freeman place, on Nov. 1st." Not even a direction to point yourself. Good luck!

After some searching, I think I've found the place. And unfortunately it does not involve the Tecumseh Freeman who shows up renting land in Ross Township in 1910 and who had been listed in 1880, at the age of one year, as "Dumpsy" — that is priceless! But no; if we go back to 1918, we find this announcement in the Gazette: "C.C. Shearer has purchased the Freeman farm of 140 acres southeast of Deepriver in Porter county. He paid $60 per acre." And looking at a 1906 plat map, we find more than 160 acres under the name Freeman in southwest Union Township, Porter County, some of which may be the land in question, but if it's not Lake County and it's not Dumpsy Freeman, I'm not all that interested.

1880 Census.
1910 Census.
♦ "Additional Local News." Hobart Gazette 27 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 21 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Notice to Farmers." Hobart Gazette 22 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Notice." Hobart News 21 Oct. 1920.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Oct. 2, 1921"

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

36a Oct. 2 1921
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

That's all she wrote: "Oct. 2, 1921." Wish I knew why.

At left is Mabel Larson(? — last name not certain). At right, Mildred Lindborg.

Mabel's dress has an elaborate design of embroidery or braid on the bodice, then the skirt flares out suddenly at the hips — open-hanging pockets, perhaps? — to make it look as if the poor girl were wearing saddlebags underneath. Those 1920s fashions were just weird. Mildred's outfit is more timeless; only look at her boots — above the ankle, lace-up or maybe button-up — either way, a chore to get into and out of.

I'm not sure where they are. That might be the frame part of the Lindborg blacksmith shop/dance hall behind them.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Henry Schavey Quits Farming

The autumn of 1920 was a time of great change in Henry Schavey's life: first he lost his wife, and now he's leaving his farm:

Henry Schavey public sale
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of 14 Oct. 1920.

The other public sale notice, to the left of Henry Schavey's, was to be held on "the place known as the Michael Baessler farm," formerly owned by Michael Baessler, Sr., and located in Porter County. I think A.L. Fisher bought that farm in 1918; an item in the "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of January 25, 1918, mentioned that the Baessler farm had been sold but did not name the buyer. And two years' residence wasn't enough to make the farm known as the "A.L. Fisher farm."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Agnes Gottlieb

From the steamer trunk.

Agnes was Anna's sister, younger by two years.

0000-3a Agnes Gottlieb
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

Doesn't she look ethereal, just a wisp of loveliness in white, with her ribbons and flowers, and curling tendrils of hair? Like an angel!

Then she goes and writes like this:

0000-3b Agnes Gottlieb verso

She expects Minnie to be mystified or frightened to see her dressed up so — oh, just kidding, "youse" understand.

The year in the postmark is illegible, but if this is Agnes' 8th-grade graduation picture, she would probably be around 14 or 15 years old, which means the year would be circa 1913.

♦    ♦    ♦

[8/25/2013 update: The Dewell Family archivist supplies us with some additional information through the obituary of Walter Gottlieb (brother of Agnes and Anna, husband of Annabelle Sapper): "I just found an obit for Walter Gottlieb from the Vidette Messenger dated 28 Aug 1967. It lists his parents as John and Mary (Lidke) Gottlieb. Survived by siblings Arthur, Herman, Mrs Anna Teer, Mrs Evelyn Whitcomb and Mrs. Agnes Cauley." So now we have married names for both of these girls.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

One Saturday, and Many Sundaes To Come

Leo Fifield-Augusta Buchfuehrer wedding photo
(Click on image to enlarge)
Leo Fifield and Augusta Buchfuehrer on their wedding day. Her dress was of yellow chiffon over yellow satin.
Image courtesy of Norma Buchfuehrer Collins.

It was the evening of Saturday, October 9, 1920, when the youngest daughter of the former Ainsworth-dwellers Louis and Frederike Buchfuehrer became Mrs. Leo Fifield.

Fifield-Buchfuehrer wedding
(Click on image to enlarge)

Nine days later, Leo and Gusta became the owners and operators of an ice-cream parlor.

Fifield purchase of Henderson retail business
(Click on image to enlarge)

The ice-cream parlor in question was at 310 Main Street.

♦ "Fifield-Buchfuehrer Nuptial." Hobart Gazette 15 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Fifield-Buchfuehrer." Hobart News 14 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Leo Fifield Buys Henderson Confectionery store." Hobart News 21 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 22 Oct. 1920.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

"A Wagon Load"

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

35 A Wagon Load
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

Mildred did not name anyone in this photo, but from the "Irene & Abbie" photo we recognize (at left) Abbie (last name unknown, possibly Johnson) and Irene Hanson. The boy sitting on the wagon may be Franklin Lindborg. The little kids in the street are unidentified.

Looming behind Abbie and Irene is the frame part of the Lindborg business building. The upper floor was still a dance hall at this time. Directly behind Irene you can see the brick part — the blacksmith shop — and between her and the boy on the wagon, a glimpse of the former saloon building. Far in the background to the right of the wagon, there is the Raschka (later Shearer) warehouse. Just peeking out from the right edge of the photo is the Ainsworth general store.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tired of Strawberries Yet?

Mrs. Elton, in all her apparatus of happiness, her large bonnet and her basket, was very ready to lead the way in gathering, accepting, or talking — strawberries, and only strawberries, could now be thought or spoken of. — 'The best fruit in England — every body's favourite — always wholesome. — These the finest beds and finest sorts. — Delightful to gather for one's self — the only way of really enjoying them. — Morning decidedly the best time — never tired — every sort good — hautboy infinitely superior — no comparison — the others hardly eatable — hautboys very scarce — Chili preferred — white wood finest flavour of all — price of strawberries in London — abundance about Bristol — Maple Grove — cultivation — beds when to be renewed — gardeners thinking exactly different — no general rule — gardeners never to be put out of their way — delicious fruit — only too rich to be eaten much of — inferior to cherries — currants more refreshing — only objection to gathering strawberries the stooping — glaring sun — tired to death — could bear it no longer — must go and sit in the shade.'

Jane Austen, Emma.

Yeager and son picked about 50 quarts of ripe strawberries Tuesday for sale in Hobart.

Hobart Gazette, Oct. 22, 1920

This was Jacob Yager and one of his sons, and since he (or they) had already picked 1,500 boxes of strawberriesreported, that is, and perhaps even more unreported, I suspect that behind the bragging all of the Jacob Yager family were wishing never to see another strawberry as long as they lived.

The same issue of the Gazette updates the state of the Severance takeover of Gary: "Parents of Mrs. Geo. Severance, Jr., have moved from Hagerstown, Md., to Gary, and are living near their daughter's home" — without giving a surname. Did I ever get a maiden name for the mysterious Alberta, now Mrs. Geo. Severance, Jr.? I don't think so.

♦ "Additional Local News." Hobart Gazette 22 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 22 Oct. 1920.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Guess Who Will Be Home Soon

From the steamer trunk.

(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.


My guess is Herman Harms. But home from where? — alas, no postmark, and no date, but it must be 1912 or later, since that's the date of the artistic masterpiece on the front.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

This Must Come and These Must Go

In October 1920, Albert Orcutt (who had an Ainsworth connection through his wife, née Etta Mander) had come to realize that his business building — this one, I suppose — must be renovated "sooner or later."

Also, the social activity of our friends South of Deepriver.

Orcutt and South of Deepriver
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of Oct. 7, 1920.

Meanwhile, Edward Rohwedder is getting rid of his excess inventory as he prepares to move to a smaller farm.

Rohwedder public sale
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of Oct. 7, 1920.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Abbie, Irene and I

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

34a Abbie & I
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

Abbie & I

"I" was Mildred Lindborg, of course. Abbie's last name is lost to memory. The 1920 Census shows an Abbie Johnson, born around 1906 of Swedish-immigrant parents, living in Gary — seems a good candidate to be Mildred's friend, but I just don't know.

34b Irene & Abbie
Irene & Abbie

All we know about Irene is her last name, Hanson. We find an Irene Hanson just a year older than Mildred, in Miller in the 1910 Census and Gary in the 1920 Census; that's a possibility.*

Judging by the shadows in the road, the photographer is wearing a dress.

In the background is downtown Ainsworth. In both pictures we can see the Raschka (later Shearer) warehouse; in the second picture, to the left of Abbie's upper arm, "W. Raschka" is legible on the side of the warehouse. At the right of both pictures, we catch a glimpse of the general store. The second picture also takes in the former saloon building, now (1920s) serving as — what? a little grocery? On the telephone pole next to it are signs reading "Gasoline Filling Station" and "Fisk Tires," but perhaps the gas and tires were being sold from Gust Lindborg's shop.

*Irene had a brother, Curtis, which leads me to wonder about the unidentified Hanson boy we've previously seen (#7 in this Labor Day group photo).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Come Here, My Pretties (Random Pointless Photo)

Come Here, My Pretties
(Click on image to enlarge)

I like the way that elm tree seems to be stretching its bony hands toward those pretty little clouds, trying to entice them into its grip.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Buy Your What Now?

In early October 1920, the Roper Bros. were offering deals on the 1921 models of Haynes autos at their new garage (built in the summer of 1920; see, e.g., "Roper Bros. Erecting New Up to Date Garage and Sales Room," Hobart News, May 17, 1920).

Roper Bros./Haynes autos ad
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of Oct. 8, 1920.

That's yet another auto brand I never heard of before. The Haynes Automobile Company of Kokomo was the brainchild of native Hoosier Elwood Haynes.

1920 Haynes automobile ad
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image from Chuck's Toyland, an interesting site with many historical automobile ads.

The above ad for the 1920 Haynes predicted, "The Haynes touring car will never lose its hold upon the favor of the car-using public," but the company went out of business five years later.

(By the way, I wish I could have gone to the Deepriver Church that coming Sunday to see the "strange" person who would lead the young people.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Anna Gottlieb

From the steamer trunk.

0000-1a Anna Gottlieb
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

This lovely young lady is Anna Gottlieb. On the back of this postcard, she wrote to her friend, Minnie Rossow:

0000-1b Anna Gottlieb verso

The postmark is hard to read; to me it looks like May 1, 1911 — which would make sense, in light of Anna's "I hope you will graduate," since we know that Minnie did graduate from eighth grade in June 1911.

Anna was more or less Minnie's age, born around 1896. She was the eldest child of John and Mary Gottlieb. The 1900 Census shows the Gottliebs farming in Calumet Township, Lake County; by the 1910 Census they had bought a farm in Portage Township, Porter County. (If I'm reading the plat map correctly, they lived on Cleveland Ave./W 700 N just west east of its junction with Willowcreek Road.) After 1910 I lose track of Anna; it seems both she and her sister, Agnes, had left the household before the 1920 Census.

I'm puzzled as to why Anna scrawled "Please hide this" in the left margin. What on earth was objectionable about this postcard? Perhaps her comment, "I surely would liked to been along last Sunday," hinted at something her parents wouldn't have approved of; if so, they must have been very conservative, as I can't image our level-headed Minnie Rossow doing anything too outlandish.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Tumbleweed

I was patiently waiting for this plant in my garden to bloom so I could identify it.

(Click on images to enlarge)

… patiently waiting for it to bloom …

Tumbleweed from above

… and then I took a better look and saw that the stupid thing was blooming. The flowers are so tiny and dull you hardly notice them. And very difficult to photograph.

Tumbleweed blossoms

That crummy picture was the best out of many, and I'm not going to waste any more of my life trying to document this unimpressive plant.

It is tumbleweed, Amaranthus albus. According to Lawrence Newcomb, in the fall these plants lose their leaves and dry up, and then come loose from the ground and "are tumbled about by the wind." Hence the name.

I can't find anything interesting about tumbleweed, and it's very hard to do any on-line research because when you search on "tumbleweed," you get tons of restaurants listings, references to whimsically named streets in modern subdivisions — oh, and a tiny house company. Don't you just love those tiny houses? Aren't they cute? I wish I had one, even though I know I'd go insane from claustrophobia if I tried to live in it.

… I ran a search on the scientific name and learned that this plant is also known as prostrate pigweed.

This concludes our discussion of tumbleweed.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Home-Brew Joints, and Wandering Charles

The Gazette is again dropping hints about Prohibition scofflaws,* without naming any names. And an update on Wandering Charles Dewell as he wanders to a new home.

Home-brew joints and Chas. Dewell
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of Oct. 8, 1920.

On a 1960 map of Hobart, I find a McClaran's Addition south of Eighth between Lake and State Streets:

McClaran's Addition
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The 1930 directory shows Charles Dewell at 815 Lake Street — within McClaran's Addition — so perhaps that's what the Gazette meant.

I don't have a clue where the "Findling flat on Lake street, formerly the Nitchman house," was. As far as the Gazette is concerned, it sounds as if poor Billy Krull has been handing out house numbers in vain.

*Reader, did you know that the word "scofflaw" was coined in 1924 precisely to describe people who flouted the Prohibition laws?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Lot of Kimball, or Is It Goyette?

Obviously this aunt and these cousins were important to Mildred Lindborg, as she included so many photos of them in her album,* and they do have some Ainsworth connection … and so I present to you two album-pages' worth of Kimball/Goyette pictures (taken in Idaho), with Mildred's captions.

32a Mickey
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of N.B.

Mickey [aka Helen Kimball/Goyette, Mildred's cousin]

32b Aunt Elma
Aunt Elma

33a Mickey

33b Ed
"Ed" [Edna Kimball/Goyette, Helen's older sister]

33c Ed

*Except that, so far as I know, we never see Uncle William Kimball.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Class of 1920

I had forgotten to check Hobart High School's 1920 yearbook for graduates with an Ainsworth connection. Turns out I wasn't missing much, as the only Ainsworth connection was a distant one — our old acquaintance, Vera Quinlan, who was related to the Ainsworth Bullocks.

Vera Quinlan 1920
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

One of her classmates was Esther Boldt …

Esther Boldt 1920

… who perhaps was part of the Boldt family — maybe? There's some resemblance between this picture and the two older girls in the linked one (especially the girl in the white dress), but I can't say for sure.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Freight Train Graffiti

I'm trying to get in gear to start posting again. Really.

Meanwhile, here's some graffiti from a recent slow-moving train through Ainsworth on the Canadian National Railway.

Bench Reporter
(Click on images to enlarge)


Dog Man
Those are Labs, aren't they?

Drive Thru Moniker

NY Tomato

Freight Bandit 1

Freight Bandit 2
Sorry about the focus. I got a third Freight Bandit from that same train, but the focus on that one was even worse.