Monday, September 30, 2013

Merrillville Then and Now: Old School Building

Merrillville School, undated (ca 1902)
Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society Museum
(Click on images to enlarge)
Historical images in this post courtesy of the Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society.

The first image dates to circa 1902. Here's another view from the same general time, from a postcard postmarked 1908:

Merrillville High School, PM 1908 (pic ca. 1902?)

What's surprising to me is how little we know about this building — for example, when the present structure was built. The very first brick schoolhouse went up here, or near here, in 1865:

Merrillville school 1865

Jan Clemens, in A Pictorial History of Merrillville, says this original schoolhouse was on the same site as the present building. Among members of the Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society who have an opinion, the belief seems to be that the 1865 school was just slightly to the south.

We don't know when (if) the 1865 school was demolished and the present one built — or was the original one heavily remodeled, maybe? Jan Clemens states: "The brick building that housed the Merrillville Primary School was also used for town meetings, church school, and church services. In 1896, it became the nucleus of the town's first high school and more rooms, some gables, and a bell were added," which sounds as if it were the 1865 building being remodeled to look like the circa-1902 images.

A plaque in the museum suggests that the full second floor was added in 1917.

I believe the last year this building served as a school was 1970. Then it became the Merrillville town hall. After the town government moved to the Merrillville Town Complex at 7820 Broadway, it offered the old school building to the Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society (formed in 1967), which opened its museum in 1995.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

How We Do Things at Ainsworth (Part 1)

From the steamer trunk.

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

And they did all this without Photoshop!

I think it's a gigantic beet those people are trying to stuff into the root cellar. I also see some huge onions and potatoes, and that vaguely triangular thing at left may be a turnip, or a rutabaga, or perhaps a mangel-wurzel.

Where would Herman Harms have bought a postcard custom-made for Ainsworth in 1912? — William and Carrie Raschka's store? I don't think the Wollenberg saloon or the Lindborg blacksmith shop would have sold postcards.

The postmark is March 2, 1912.


Saturday, September 28, 2013

Party at Chandlers', Play at W.G. Haan

Eugene and Carrie Chandler's house on South Liverpool Road was packed with guests celebrating his 34th birthday on November 15, 1920.

The audience at the Willing Workers' play in the W.G. Haan school auditorium may have enjoyed it while sitting in new chairs.

Chandler; South of Deepriver social column
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of Nov. 18, 1920.

I do not know whether, or how, Paul Newman may have been related to the Leopold Gruel who bought the Ford sedan. Per the 1920 Census, Leopold was a 53-year-old Hobart resident, born in Germany, who came to the U.S. in 1888.

Friday, September 27, 2013

"Some More Fatties"

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

42 Some more fatties
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

Here are two of the "three fatties" we previously saw at the beach: Anna Lindborg and Mrs. Bowman (whose first name may have been Elika).

Now they are in the front yard of the Lindborg house in Ainsworth. Behind them is the Lindborg blacksmith shop.

Just to the right of Mrs. Bowman we get a glimpse of the Raschka (later Shearer) warehouse.

Mrs. Bowman's skirt is not just plain black, as you can see if you look at it closely — its overskirt is a filmy dark fabric with jacquard stripes. Her high-topped shoes are well polished, and look pretty darn uncomfortable.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Lillie Newman Barnes

Lillie Newman
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Diane Barnes.

This is Lillie Newman Barnes. The photo is undated, but she wears the pigeon-front bodice popular in the first decade of the 20th century. (The photographer was Adelbert Reading, which doesn't help us narrow down the time frame.)

In 1909, on the John Gruel farm that is now River Pointe Country Club, Miss Lillie Newman became Mrs. Harry Barnes.

Newman-Barnes wedding
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of May 7, 1909.

But where, during all this merry-making, were Lillie's parents? — they lay in the Hobart cemetery.

The Gruel family came over from Germany in 1871,* including the 17-year-old John Jr. (who would end up farming near Ainsworth); his 25-year-old sister, Wilhelmine; and their 10-year-old brother, Charles (who would become a butcher in Hobart). In 1872 Wilhelmine married Otto Newman in Cook County, Illinois. The young couple settled in Hobart, where the 1880 census showed them with two children, Paul (6) and Edwin (2), Otto working as a stonemason. Over the next eight years, Wilhelmine gave birth to four more children: Emma, Arthur, Lillie, and Bliss (known as "Dollie").

Otto Newman died in 1890, and Wilhelmine just four years later, leaving six orphans, the eldest just 21. But the young Newmans had their Gruel uncles nearby to help them, and give them a home if desired — Emma moved in with Uncle Charles, and Arthur with Uncle John. I do not know where Lillie stayed, as I can't find her in the 1900 census. But clearly she was close enough with Uncle John to be married from his house.

So you see even the Newmans of Hobart have an Ainsworth connection!

*Or 1872; sources vary.

1880 Census.
1900 Census.
♦ Anuta, Michael J. Ships of our Ancestors. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1999.
Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index.
♦ "Death." Hobart Gazette 5 Oct. 1894.
♦ "Emma Newman Drowned." Hobart Gazette 30 July 1897.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Warmed by Love, Heated by Hot Water

On the heels of the Spanish-flu marriage came a half-flu marriage, as Calvin Scholler, bereaved of his first wife by flu, became the first husband of Edith A. MacPherson on November 15, 1920.

Scholler-MacPherson wedding etc.
(Click on images to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of Nov. 18, 1920.

Also, news of an acquaintance: John Harms was moving onto the farm he had bought last August. (I don't know if "Mr. Maicke" is the Otto Maicke who eventually married Lesta Raschka, but perhaps we'll find out.) And a wedding south of Ainsworth! I must admit this is the first time I've noticed the William and Rosie Wilkening family, even though a little investigation shows they've been farming in southern Ross Township at least since 1908.

From the Gazette, another report on the Scholler-MacPherson wedding, and more news of acquaintances:

Scholler-MacPherson etc.
From the Hobart Gazette of Nov. 19, 1920.

Lee & Rhodes heating up their own headquarters in the Roper building, and the Borger building, wherever that might have been.

As for Mrs. Harry Barnes, this is the first time I've mentioned her, but it won't be the last. She was born Lillian Newman, and a descendant of hers just recently clued me in to the connection between the Newmans and the Gruel family of Ainsworth. Lillie was the sister of Paul Newman, of Hobart hardware-store fame, and Arthur Newman who appeared somewhere in the Gruel pigeon-shoot picture (and who, I believe, just recently provided confections for the W.G. Haan School fundraiser). "Mrs. Philip Roper, Jr." was their sister, Dollie. More to come from that direction.

Other sources:
1908 Plat Map.
1910 Census.
Indiana Marriage Collection.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Feel Like "You Know"

From the steamer trunk.

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


No, I don't know, but presumably Minnie Rossow understood this inside joke from her friend, Herman Harms.

The postmark is January 21, 1912. The two young people had met only the year before, and by Minnie's account were not going steady yet.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Spanish-Flu Marriage

The Spanish-flu epidemic had taken William Dewell's wife the day after Christmas 1918; several weeks later it widowed Louise Sapper Schavey. In November 1920, these two bereaved people found solace in each other.

Dewell-Schavey wedding
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of Nov. 12, 1920.

I suppose the Mackey house was the one Dr. Dwight Mackey had built in 1919 "on the south side of Third street."

Wm. and Louise Dewell
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of D.E.
William and Louise DeWell. Undated, but looks like 1920s.

♦    ♦    ♦

You may have noticed, toward the top right corner of the above newspaper page, the news about Ruth Miller's having "returned to her work at Battle Creek, Mich." The 1920 Census shows the 23-year-old Ruth employed as a sanitarium nurse, lodging somewhere on Sanitarium Ave.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Helen Palm and Mildred Lindborg

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

41 Helen and I
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

Mildred captioned this, "Helen and I," and the album's present owner gave me Helen's surname: Palm. I wouldn't have recognized either of them, and I'm feeling a little unsure when I say Mildred is on the left.

So is this the same Helen Palm who so recently was just a "little cousin"? Here she looks well into her teens, wouldn't you say? She was born circa 1914, so we're probably in the early 1930s here. The natural waists on their dresses also suggest that the 1920s are over.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Merrillville Then and Now: Stoltz's Store

Stoltz's store undated
40 W. 73rd
(Click on images to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of the Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society.

No date on the earlier photo, but by the looks of that truck, maybe 1940s?

The original building still stands at 40 W. 73rd Ave. It went up in 1905, according to Jan Clemens' A Pictorial History of Merrillville, as a combined store and home when John and Margaret (Gerlach) Stoltz went into the grocery business in partnership with her brother, Carl Gerlach. The Stoltzes later bought out Carl's interest and operated the business on their own. After John Stoltz died in 1945, Margaret continued the business, with the help of her daughter and son-in-law, Mabel and Joe Derrenbacker, for another five years.

Per Jan Clemens:
The Stoltz store advertised fresh meat — a claim that was a bit of an understatement, for upon request for chicken, Margaret would go out back, kill a bird, come in carrying it with the blood still flowing from the headless fowl. On one occasion a customer good-naturedly inquired, "Are you sure it's fresh?" The fresh meat advertisement also included beef which Margaret butchered by herself in the rear of the shop.
In 1950 Margaret's family sold their building and business to Ray Bohne of Gary.

The Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society has a couple nice photos of the interior of the Stoltz store. According to handwritten notes on the back, these photos date to circa 1917; in the first one, you will notice a calendar showing the month of January that is consistent with 1920 (or 1913).

Stoltz 2
Left to right: Margaret Stoltz, unknown, Alice Mundell, unknown, and John Stoltz.

Stoltz 1
Left to right: Mabel Derrenbacker, Margaret Stoltz, and Anna Schmitz.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sad-Eyed Girl

3 Sad-eyed girl
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

An unidentified photo from the steamer trunk. No notes on the back, no photographer's name. Just a sad-eyed girl.

No date, either, but for a very rough guess I'd say circa 1910.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Moehls Get Flats and the Flats Get Tenants

There were two William Moehls in Hobart in 1920, father and son. I'm not sure which one the Gazette was talking about when it announced: "Wm. Moehl is converting his brick house, corner Second and East streets, into a double flat building, with modern improvements." But I'm inclined to think it was the 45-year-old William Sr., since William Jr., only 18 years old, was a bit young to have acquired a two-story brick house.

Since both the 1930 census and the 1930 phone directory shows William living at 200 East Street, I wonder if the house still there now was his? It's still a two-flat, if I'm not mistaken, and I think it's brick under that stucco siding.

What the house had been doing up until its conversion to a two-flat, I don't know. The 1920 census shows William and Bertha Moehl, with their three sons (Ernest, William, and Elmer), farming rented land — somewhere west of Hobart, it appears, since the enumerator recorded them near Eugene and Carrie Chandler, who lived on Liverpool Road north of 61st.

In less than a month, William already had prospective tenants for his two-flat, though the conversion was not yet completed:

Peck-Erhardt wedding
(Click on image to enlarge)

"Miss Nellie" was the daughter of Clinton and Ida Peck, who had formerly been among the numerous Pecks living in Union Township, Porter County. The 1906 plat map shows their farm of about 60 acres in the center of Section 27.* The family's move to Hobart must have been pretty recent — the 1920 census shows them there, but as late as February 1919 Clinton's name cropped up in the "South of Deepriver" social column. Nellie, the youngest of five children, was about 20 years old. Nick Ehrhardt, Jr., was about a year older. His was a farming family in southeastern Hobart Township.

And these were to be William Moehl's tenants for the upper flat.

For the lower flat, a prospective tenant soon turned up. Our old friend Edward Scroggins, with his second wife, Bertha, and their two young children, rented the flat in late December, planning to occupy it in January 1921.

*My brain is too tired to figure out where the farm would have been in relation to present-day roads.

1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ "Ehrhardt-Peck Nuptial." Hobart Gazette 19 Nov. 1920.
♦ "Ehrhardt-Peck." Hobart News 18 Nov. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 24 Dec. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 29 Oct. 1920.
♦ "South of Deepriver." Hobart News 20 Feb. 1919.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Uncle and Aunty Larson

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

40 Uncle & Aunt Larson
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

I do not have given names for these people, but the album owner tells me that Aunt Larson was Anna Palm Lindborg's sister, and that the photo was taken in Hegewisch, Illinois.

According to a 1920 ward map of Chicago, Hegewisch would be in Ward 8 (and possibly 9). I do find a Lars and Helina Larson in Ward 8 in the 1920 Census, both Swedish immigrants (1905). Maybe, maybe not.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Chairs for W.G. Haan

The East Ross Township Community Association apparently started up with a meeting in Ainsworth in mid-October 1920 at which 61 people enrolled themselves as members. Regular meetings were planned for the first Friday of each month.

Straightaway the Association made plans to contribute to the new W.G. Haan school. The Gazette explained: "The township is installing a Delco electric light system in the school, and so the community has decided to help the trustee by earning at least part of the money needed to put chairs in the auditorium." The Association would raise funds by holding a box social on November 5, the first Friday of that month.

When the evening of the 5th came around, the W.G. Haan School auditorium was filled. "The community certainly was out in full force," said the Gazette, "and visitors marveled at the crowd." Several people made to trip down from Hobart, including James Chester, who acted as auctioneer for the box auction. Presumably it was a bring-your-own-chair affair.

Box suppers were auctioned off and eaten; and cake and ice cream were served — presumably supplied by Hobart confectionist Arthur Newman, who was singled out for special thanks in reports on the event.

After expenses, the Association had raised $170* and enrolled 34 new members (for a total of 95), so the social was not only fun but a success.

The next meeting was planned for December 3.

*The far-seeing Hobart News reported on November 4 that $100 had been raised on November 5.

1920 Census.
♦ "Box Social at Ainsworth." Hobart Gazette 29 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Box Social at Ainsworth." Hobart News 28 Oct. 1920
♦ "East Ross Community Association." Hobart Gazette 12 Nov. 1920.
♦ "East Ross Community Social a Success." Hobart News 11 Nov. 1920.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 4 Nov. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 22 Oct. 1920.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hattie Mueller, and Maybe Her Sister

From the steamer trunk.

10a Hattie Mueller
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

10b Hattie Mueller PC

At first I thought I would have to be content with admiring her lovely dress, because I couldn't identify which of the several Hattie Muellers I found in Chicago in the general time frame of this postcard.

But elsewhere among the steamer-trunk collection I found this:

0000-8b Lillie Mueller

0000-8a Lillie Mueller

Assuming Lillie and Hattie are sisters and Mueller their birth name, we find a matching family in the 1900 Census: parents Henry and Minnie (both 33-year-old German immigrants), with daughters Lillie (born 1888), Hattie (born 1890) and Hermine (born 1898), lived on W. Chicago Ave. in Chicago. Henry was a coal dealer. The same family shows up in the 1910 Census with another daughter (Henrietta, 9) and a son (Henry, 3), and four boarders. Henry is operating a "livery" followed by something illegible.

I still have no idea what connection there was between the Muellers and the Rossows.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Dyche Drug Co., and Two Glass-Plate Updates

As part of the remodeling at Third and Main over the weekend, the New Image façade was pulled off to reveal the Dyche Drug Co. signs that had been hidden for years.

Dyche Drug 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

Dyche Drug 2

Dyche Drug 3

… and some minor remodeling next door failed to turn up anything interesting.

Dyche Drug 4 - next door

♦    ♦    ♦

We now have IDs on a couple subjects in two of the glass-plate negatives — see today's update in the following posts:

Baby Will Get You For This

I Can't Even Guess

Saturday, September 14, 2013


In yesterday's post I mentioned Jennie and Theresia Chester, which reminded me of a bit of very juicy tidbit of gossip to be found in the essay, "The Harms Family of Hobart" (which, I've since learned, is part of a much larger genealogical tome entitled The Springman Family, also in the Hobart Historical Society's files).

Minnie Harms gives us said juicy tidbit in a section entitled "Scandal":
Ernstine's [Ernstine Fuhrmann Pingel Harms Blohm, mother of Henry Harms, Sr.] 3 daughters with Johann Harms lived on neighboring farms. Ida married Charles Chester and as she grew older had a "weakened mind". Mr. Chester had another woman living with them and it was said he disposed of Ida and buried her in the woods but no one could prove it. She never had a funeral. Ida had 2 children, Art and Tressie (in high school with Aunt Ella [Rossow]). Another daughter, Jennie, was the child of the other woman.
Great story, isn't it? — wife and mistress under the same roof, and a murdered woman lying buried in the woods around Big Maple Lake to this very day?

However, I don't have a shred of documentation to support it. For example, I can't find a record of marriage between Ida Harms and Charles Chester. (I can't even find a census record of Ida Harms' existence.) I haven't seen any mention of a wife of Charles going missing in any of the newspapers I've read, including early issues of the Gazette from 1889 to 1898. On the other hand, I was only skimming through those early issues in search of something else, and I haven't searched all the available newspapers from the time Charles reached marriageable age (let's say 18 years old, so about 1889). Minnie doesn't give us a time frame for this "scandal," but surely it was prior to 1898, when Charles married his last wife, Constance, who lived to nearly 70 years of age; thus Minnie (born 1897) must be repeating what someone else told her — perhaps her parents-in-law.

So at this point the only thing I can accept as true is that such a story was ever told in the neighborhood about Charles. That in itself is interesting.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Shower For Jennie Chester

From the "Local Drifts" column of the Hobart Gazette of November 5, 1920: "Miss Jennie Chester was tendered a miscellaneous shower last Friday in honor of her approaching marriage to Homer Hull of Spokane, Wash."

I wonder how she met someone from Spokane?

Jennie, age 21, was the only daughter still in the Chester house, Tressy having married and moved to Chicago in 1919 (and little Kittie in her grave).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Another Lot of Kimball/Goyette

The next two-and-a-half pages of Mildred Lindborg's photo album are taken up with Kimball, or is it Goyette pictures from Idaho (Mildred's captions are in bold italics):

Out in "Rockies"

38a Feeding the cat
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of N.B.

Feeding the cat.

38b Sisters

39a Kimball's home
Kimball's home

39b Pocatella in background
Pocatello in background

40a Ed & cat
Ed & her cat

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Did We Say Yes? We Meant No

As early as 1919 some prominent citizens were actively working to incorporate Hobart as a city (with a mayor, as opposed to its original status as a town, governed only by a board of trustees). A petition to the town board for the change was drawn up, and in July 1919 the Hobart Commercial Club set out three copies at convenient locations for signing: one at the First State Bank, another at American Trust & Savings, and the third in the hands of board chairman, E.E. Pierson. Over several months, the required numbers of signatures accumulated — one-third of Hobart's voters — and the petition was formally presented for consideration by the town board on April 27, 1920.

In general I find this whole issue rather dull, but now and then some point of interest crops up. At the last town board meeting of October 1920, a number of men who had signed the original petition in favor of incorporation as a city now presented a new petition asking that their names be stricken from the first petition. Among them are some particular friends of ours, including C.C. Shearer, William Raschka, Paul Emery, Charles Lee, and Louis Buchfuehrer.

Anti-petition petition re: Hobart as a city
(Click on images to enlarge)

As you may gather from that report, Trustee John Thiel (a 42-year-old attorney) opposed anything that would stand in the way of Hobart's becoming a city. The same issue of the Gazette carried his argument in favor of the city form, hinting that under the current form there was a good deal of dubious stuff going on.

J. Thiel article re: city government

1930 Census.
♦ "Petitions Are Out to Transform Hobart Into a City." Hobart News 10 July 1919.
♦ "Reasons for City Government for Hobart." Hobart Gazette 29 Oct. 1920.
♦ "Town Board Doings." Hobart Gazette 29 Oct. 1920.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Miss Minnie Pusel

From the steamer trunk.

0000-6b Minnie Lowe - back
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

It was a clever postman indeed who managed to get this card to Minnie Rossow. As far as I'm concerned, no amount of squinting or tilting my head can change that name in the address to anything but "Miss Minnie Pusel."

There's a date written at the top, and a postmark, but in both the year is pretty much illegible. My guess is 1911.

The sender, as best I can read her name, is Mrs. Minnie Lowe. The earliest I can find a Minnie Lowe in Memphis is in a 1927 Memphis city directory (at a different address from the one in the card). But I can't find anything to connect her to Indiana, much less Minnie Rossow. Or Minnie Pusel.

The front of the card is stamped with "A Merry Xmas," apparently a seasonal afterthought to an all-purpose greeting card.

0000-6a Minnie Lowe - front

Monday, September 9, 2013

1973 Mack Aerialscope Tower

Mack 1973
(Click on images to enlarge)

Mack 1973 verso

Bought this postcard on Ebay. If I understand correctly, the truck dates to 1973 and the postcard to 1982.

If this is history, then I'm an antique.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Merrillville Then and Now: Walter Bros./Brugos Automotive

Late 1910s and August 2013.

Walter Bros
Brugos Automotive
(Click on images to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of the Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society.

We are on the south side of W. 73rd Avenue, just west of Madison Street. So that dirt road in front of the Walter Bros. Garage is the Lincoln Highway.

No one in the photo is identified. Naturally, you'd expect the Walter brothers to be in it, but I don't know which they are.

The 1920 Census lists the three garage operators as Howard (25), Leslie (23) and Clarance (22). They live in the household of their parents, Earnest and Louesa. Last on the list is daughter-in-law Maud, née Shearer, who married Leslie in June 1919.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

And One on the Way

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

37 A fence full
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

Mildred captioned this, "A fence full." The woman on the left looks as if she were going to produce another little fence-sitter soon.

None of the people are identified. They are standing where Maud and Edith stood in the front yard of the Lindborg home in Ainsworth. It's possible both photos were taken the same day; the shrub is very similar in both pictures, and the broken-wheeled wagon sits out in front of the blacksmith shop in the same position.

Friday, September 6, 2013


The early autumn of 1920 saw an outbreak of diphtheria in Hobart. At that time, treatment relied mainly on an antitoxin, developed in the 1890s, to neutralize the effects of the toxin secreted by the diphtheria bacteria; but with effective and widespread vaccination still a few years in the future, and no antibiotics to treat the main infection, the only way to fight the spread of the disease was quarantine. Among the first houses to be quarantined was the Springman home on Lake Street, where the widowed Hattie lived with three sons between 12 and 20 years of age.

Diphtheria was particularly dangerous for young children. The mortality rate for patients under five years of age was about 20%, and for those five years or older, 5-10%.* The first fatality in this outbreak seems to have been Leslie Carlson, the five-year-old son of Albert and Hannah Carlson of Michigan Avenue, who died October 23.

By early November the disease was in Joryville. Eugene Hill, 50 years old, was infected and his house quarantined, as was the home of James and Hulda Shearer, whose only child, the 10-year-old Clara, was sick. Nearby in the Frank and Christina Popp home, an (unnamed) young daughter had caught the same disease. By the time the this report came out, Eugene was already on the mend; Clara would pull through, as would the Popp girl. But on Fleming Street, diphtheria took the life of three-year-old Theresia Peas.

On November 18, the News declared: "The diphtheria epidemic is well under control. All suspicious symptoms are treated with rigid care. … No new cases are reported." As you might expect, the next week brought another reported quarantine — the home of Melvin and Marian Parker, though it isn't clear how many were sick in that household, which included four children under 11, and Melvin's 70-year-old father.

After that, however, diphtheria faded from the news for what remained of 1920.

♦    ♦    ♦

On a related note, for a good read I recommend The Cruelest Miles by Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury (2003). It centers on a diphtheria epidemic that broke out in Nome, Alaska, in the winter of 1925. The city was unreachable by boat or airplane; the only way to transport fresh antitoxin from Seward, 1000 miles away, was by dogsled. The Cruelest Miles tells the story of that life-and-death dogsled race.

*The mortality rate for adults over 40 was 20%, but more of the adult population could be expected to have the immunity that usually resulted from surviving a childhood infection.

♦ "Diphtheria." History of Vaccines. College of Physicians of Philadelphia, n.d. Accessed 28 Aug. 2013.
1920 Census.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 11 Nov. 1920; 18 Nov. 1920.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 15 Oct. 1920; 29 Oct. 1920; 12 Nov. 1920; 26 Nov. 1920.
♦ Steven, Doerr, MD. "Medical Dictionary." EMedicineHealth. WebMD, Inc., n.d. Accessed 28 Aug. 2013.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hobart Then and Now: Shearer House on Lincoln

1a Shearer home 8th and Lincoln
Shearer house 2013
(Click on images to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of E.H.

The steamer trunk included this photo postcard of the home of James and Hulda Shearer, at the corner of 8th and Lincoln.

There is nothing on the back of the postcard except the identification:

1b Shearer home verso

The little girl between Hulda and Jim is their daughter, Clara. She was born in 1910. Here she looks to be about six years old, which would date the photo to circa 1916.

From the same source we have a photo of Clara and Hulda, about three years earlier.

21a Hulda and Clara Shearer

21b H & C Shearer verso

The 1940 Census shows Clara, married, living with her parents. Her surname was Stolp; I think her husband's first name was Willard and she married him circa 1929 (if I've found the right people in the 1930 Census).