Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Excuses for Not Posting

Stanley Labus, sailor
(Click on images to enlarge)
My Uncle Stanley Labus, circa 1945, on the front steps of my grandparents' house.


Excuse No. 1: The death of my Uncle Stan last month means that the home my grandparents built in Whiting, Indiana, in 1929 is finally going to be sold out of the family. We have been going through the eight-decades' accumulation in the house. I have brought home a couple of boxes of old photos and negatives, which I want to scan. And I know perfectly well that if I don't do it now, it won't get done.

Wedding portrait
My grandparents, Joseph Labus and Mary Musor, on their wedding day.

Excuse No. 2: When I started this blog, I didn't know any better than to use Photobucket. Eventually I started using Flickr for my new posts, but left the Photobucket image links in old posts. Now it has come to my attention that Photobucket is not always displaying those images properly, so I have to go back and switch all the images in the entire blog to Flickr.

Rosie
Me, at about three years of age, playing on the lawn of my grandparents' house.

Also, I'm still in the process of sprucing up my house, so I'm still spending time dealing with plumbers and painters and electricians, God bless them. And it's time for the usual autumn clean-up around the yard and garden.

Uncle shooting Uncle
My Uncle Joe Dudzik photographing my Uncle John Labus photographing my Uncle Joe Dudzik (on the lawn of my grandparents' house).


… I'll be back not-so-soon.

Monday, October 21, 2013

A Facelift and a Break

IMG_5895
(Click on image to view the set of photos)

The building that Ed Sauter built in 1899, and that housed his family and his saloon through 1905 — that building has lost its old siding and, for the moment, you can see the original clay blocks, which probably came from one of the Hobart brickyards in 1899.

According to the permit posted on the front, Sauter's Place is getting new siding and a new roof. So the blocks will soon disappear again, but I'm glad that this little part of Ainsworth is being rejuvenated rather than demolished.

♦    ♦    ♦

I feel in need of rejuvenation myself, and I am taking a little break from blogging.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Death of "Bone"

D.B. Sturtevant obit

This obituary from the Lake County Star of 12 Dec. 1920* doesn't explain how Daniel got the nickname, "Bone," but I suspect it came from his middle name, Beauman.

The Rev. T.H. Ball, in his Encyclopedia of Genealogy and Biography of Lake County, Indiana (1904), had this to say:
Daniel Beauman Sturtevant, of section 28, Ross township, has lived in this vicinity all his life, and from his boyhood days of sixty years ago to the present almost the entire development of Lake county has taken place, so that few men are better informed by actual personal experience of the material history of this portion of the county. He has lived continuously on one farm for over fifty-five years, and all the associations and interests of his life are bound up with it, and there it is his good pleasure to pass the remaining days of his busy and prosperous career and await the summons from an activity that has borne much fruit and been worthy and beneficial to the community in general.

Mr. Sturtevant was born in Porter county, Indiana, just three miles east of the farm where he has lived so long, on April 27, 1840. His father, John Sturtevant, was born in the town of Barton, Vermont, in 1806, and was reared, educated and married there. He came to LaPorte county, Indiana, in 1833, being one of the first carpenters to follow his craft in that now populous county. In 1836 he moved to Porter county, locating on the farm where he remained until 1848, when he settled on the old farm in Lake county now owned by his son, and where he died on January 1, 1858. He belongs to the list of early settlers of the county, and was also successful in his general career. He married Miss Louise Cass, who was a native of New Hampshire and a cousin of Dr. Lewis Cass, who was one of the pioneers and foremost men of Lake county. She died at the age of thirty-eight years, having been the mother of three sons and three daughters.

Mr. D.B. Sturtevant, who was the second child and eldest son, was eight years old when he went with his parents to Lake county, so that most of his boyhood was spent on the farm which as a man he has tilled and made the source of his livelihood. He is now the owner of about five hundred acres, some of it in Porter county, and on this he is still actively engaged in general farming and stock-raising. He has about a hundred and fifty head of cattle and a good lot of hogs. His farm is one of the model places of the township, and he has made it so mainly by his own labors and most efficient management. Mr. Sturtevant was a raiser of the registered Herefords for a number of years, but has now retired from that business. He has given his best years and efforts to this life work, but has also taken an intelligent interest in the world about him, co-operating in community affairs and regularly casting his ballot at national elections for Democratic principles.

Mr. Sturtevant was married in 1866 to Miss Eugenie Wood, who was born in Iowa, but came to Lake county in girlhood. They are the parents of four children, John, Judson, Flora and Carrie. John was a student of Valparaiso College. Mrs. Sturtevant was born in Keosauqua, Iowa, October 31, 1844, a daughter of John and Caroline (Brown) Wood. Her father was a native of Vermont and her mother of Virginia. Her great-grandfather, David Wood, was a hero in the Revolutionary war, and the gun he carried in the war is yet in the family as a souvenir.

Mrs. Sturtevant was reared and educated in Ohio, She came from a family of teachers. Mrs. Sturtevant is a member of the Christian church of Deep River, Indiana.
This is how the Sturtevant land appeared on the 1908 Plat Map:**

Sturtevant land, Ross Township
(Click on image to enlarge)

By the time of the 1926 Plat Book, Charles Gernenz held the 120 acres in Section 20; D.B.'s son John owned the 240 acres in Section 28 (ownership of the 26.6 acres south of E. 89th is not clear); and D.B.'s daughter, Flora Maxwell, owned the 80 acres in Section 21.

Flora's husband was (if I've found the right people in the 1920 Census) Douglas Maxwell, and they lived in Porter County.

John Sturtevant was unmarried.

D.B.'s daughter Carrie married John Prescott. The 1920 Census, in March, shows the Prescotts in Ross Township, with D.B. and Eugenie in their household — which, being on rented land in southeast Ross Township, may be on the Sturtevant land, but I do not know if that could be the "near Ainsworth" mentioned in the obituary above.

I would like to know the story behind D.B.'s death. According to his death certificate, he fell from a third-story window. The accident may have happened at the Allenel Sanitarium, where he was undergoing treatment for some unknown condition.

Now he rests peacefully in Mosier Cemetery, beneath a lovely stone.

____________________
*See also "Funeral of Daniel B. Sturdevant Held Tuesday Afternoon," Hobart News 9 Dec. 1920.
**For Jerome Chester fans, I should mention that the 1900 Census shows him boarding with the Sturtevants.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Child's Play

From the steamer trunk.

st182
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.


We don't know the identity of these cute little kids and their momma(?). But the house behind them is the old Harms farmhouse, 8842 Ainsworth Road.

st245

These photos were scanned from old negatives. Could someone please tell me the significance of that "36" punched into the film in the above picture?

st233

st232

It's hard to date such photos — the woman's clothing in the first picture being barely visible, and children's play-clothes so little subject to fashion — but my rough guess is around the time of World War I.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Main Street circa 1915

A recent acquisition: this postcard shows the 300 block of Main Street, looking south-southwest from (just north of) Third Street. No need to do a then-and-now since I've already done it for similar scenes, but I scanned this at high resolution to try to bring out the details, so go to the "Original" size on Flickr if you want a whole lot of enlargement. (But unfortunately, the details don't come out very well.)

Main 300 block W side ca 1915
(Click on images to enlarge)

The postcard is postmarked 1915.

300 Main verso

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Airmail

I suppose disabled planes were landing in farmers' fields all over the country. It only seems as if they all came down around Ainsworth because I'm reading about Ainsworth, not the rest of the country.

Plane item in Local and Personal
(Click on images to enlarge)
From "Local and Personal," Hobart News 9 Dec. 1920.


(Also, the Melvin Guernsey family, who had fled to Florida to escape the Indiana winter, have fled back to escape the Florida cost of living.)

Plane item in "South of Deepriver" column
From Hobart News 9 Dec. 1920

Plane lands in field
From Hobart Gazette 10 Dec. 1920.

The "old Bragington farm" was at the southern border of Ross Township:

Bragington land, 1926

That's how it looked in the 1926 Plat Book. The Bragington name covers most of Section 31, Range 7, from the 1874 Plat Map onward. That doesn't change until the 1939 Plat Book, and for all I know the names listed there could be Bragington heirs.

And we do find Ed Maybaum, in the 1920 Census, living on rented land in southern Ross Township.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Framed by Flowers

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

44 Lindborg family west side yard
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.


Mildred gave this photo no caption or date, but the album owner recognized everyone in it.

Standing in back, left to right: Edna Lindborg (Franklin's wife); Franklin, Anna and Gust Lindborg; and Clarence Lute (Mildred's husband).

Front row, left to right: Emil Lindborg; Norma, Gladys and Raymond Lindborg; Mickey Kimball/Goyette; and Mildred Lindborg Lute.

I am not sure that Mildred and Clarence were already husband and wife in this photo. They were married in October 1935, I believe ("New Licenses," Hammond Times 15 Oct. 1935, via newspaperarchive.com). (Franklin and Edna were married probably a year or two earlier.) Judging by the fashions and the apparent ages, I would date this photo to the mid-1930s, making it one of the most recent in the album. It probably was taken the same day as the one of Anna and her trellis, since her hair and dress are the same in both photos.

I like how the photographer (Aunt Lid maybe? Aunt Elma?) included Anna's flowers in the picture, as a sort of frame for the family.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Village Entertainment, 1920

So what kind of entertainment would a farming community organization produce for itself, on a Friday night in December 1920?

East Ross Community entertainment
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of 3 Dec. 1920.


A local orchestra … "W.W." might have been "Willing Workers," a Deep River church organization.

Next came recitations and songs. I wonder whether these were performed by children or adults? — perhaps both. Something like "Fritz and His Betsy Fall Out" doesn't seem suitable for a child to recite, but I certainly can imagine a man doing it. Interesting that a piece making fun of a German accent should have played well in a community with many German immigrants.

We all know the story of the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat, don't we?

The "Indian Songs" were taken from an "American Indian Operetta for Ladies" entitled The Feast of the Red Corn. (I have not been able to find out much about its composer, Paul Bliss, but if he was the son of the hymn-writer, Philip Paul Bliss, he apparently was not of Native American ancestry.)

"When the Frost is on the Pumpkin" and "Mister Hop-Toad" were poems by James Whitcomb Riley. He being the Indiana poet and all, I wonder if these folks thought the dialect in his poems was how they talked?

I can't find the text for "Cohen's Divorce," but based on this description, I'm afraid it was like Fritz and Betsy, only more so.

Monday, October 14, 2013

What Have I Done?!

Another unidentified couple from the steamer trunk, in what looks to me like a wedding photo.

4
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.


I like the expression on the groom's face — he looks stunned.

The photographer was Showman of Hobart, which would date the photo to the 1890s.

The bride's dress seems rather plain (difficult to tell exactly, thanks to Mr. Showman's failure to focus). I think it's homemade. The sleeves were supposed to pouf outward, not come to a point high over the shoulder; but sometimes full sleeves insist on doing that, in spite of everything — I had my own failures in that regard, long ago, when I was learning to sew. (Does anyone remember Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman? — the same thing sometimes happened to poor Mary, who was a good homemaker and sewed her own clothes.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Complicated House for Bessie

Is it any wonder I can't get anything done? — I come across an announcement like this:
Chas. Ols has purchased from the heirs of Anna Medrow through the administrator, Paul Born, the Born house and lot on Lake street, consideration being $3,000. Mr. and Mrs. Ols' daughter and husband, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Ittel, have moved into the house.
— and feel the need to spend half an hour poking around in the records to try to find out who these Medrows and Borns were, when it doesn't really matter. (We already know who these Olses and Ittels were.)

Then again, I suppose I had to make sure there wasn't any Ainsworth connection. Which there doesn't seem to be. Paul and Anna Born were siblings, I believe, who lived in Hobart in 1880. Sometime before 1900 Anna married William Medrow. She spent the rest of her life in Chicago, died May 17, 1920, and was brought home for burial in Crown Hill Cemetery.

No word on whether Charles Ols ever got his dog back.


Sources:
1880 Census.
1900 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: "Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916–1947." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 3 Dec. 1920.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Stinkhorns!

I think I have solved the mystery of last summer's ugly mushrooms: they were immature stinkhorns. They never matured, perhaps because of the drought.

But now their relatives are springing up. And once again I'm finding the sort of mushroom that long ago I misidentified as an out-of-season black morel, until someone more knowledgeable came along and set me straight.

So basically this is the tale of "The Ugly Duckling" as told by mushrooms: an ugly child grows up and transforms into something not only magnificently ugly but also foul-smelling.

Here is the veil. The stinkhorn is inside.
Unruptured veil
(Click on images to enlarge)

This veil has ruptured. You can see the clear slime, and little clots of dirt suspended in it cast shadows on the body of the stinkhorn inside.
Ruptured veil - stinkhorn

Here's what that ruptured veil had produced by late the next morning.
Young stinkhorn

Disgusting, isn't it?

By late afternoon, it looked like this:
24 hrs later


Old age and youth, side by side:
Side by side

This is the old man when he was in his prime (white cardboard behind for contrast):
Mature stinkhorn

This is known as the "common stinkhorn," of which there are two varieties, and based on the purple tinge of the veil, I think what we've got here is Phallus hadriani. MushroomExpert.com has an interesting article about common stinkhorns.

They really do stink, by the way. I didn't notice it at first, but once I got up close and personal with one, so I could recognize the smell — then I found I could recognize it from about five feet away.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Anna ♥ Flowers

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

45a Trellis
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.


Anna Lindborg on the front porch of her house in Ainsworth, which has been fitted with a trellis that's just perfect for her.

In addition to the potted plant, I see a couple of vines growing up from the ground and twining through the trellis.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Great Cattle Drive of 1920

This social column from the Hobart News of December 2, 1920, finds H.H. Smith going to Chicago and bringing back cattle, as if Ainsworth didn't have enough cattle already.

South of Deepriver column
(Click on image to enlarge)

So who (I ask myself) was this H.H. Smith, since I find myself knowing absolutely nothing about him? — which turns out to be surprising, because a little research shows that these Smiths have been in the area since 1860 at least.

I believe "H.H." was Howard H. Smith, son of Homer and Rachel Smith, grandson of George and Caroline Smith, whom the 1860 Census finds farming in Union Township, Porter County, having come from Ohio, apparently, via Michigan. The 1870 Census records the Smith family farming in Ross Township, Lake County, with Homer still single and living at home, but in December of that year he married Rachel Hurlburt (Indiana Marriage Collection). By the 1880 Census Homer and Rachel had four children — Abbie (8), Howard (6), Rudie (4) and Millie (2). Their farm was, I believe, 80 acres on the county line in southeast Ross Township; that parcel belongs to "H. Smith" per the 1874 Plat Map, and per the 1926 Plat Book is owned by "Rachael Smith."

In the 1920 Census, the widowed Rachel is living there with her son, Howard, who at the age of 45 is still single. The other children have gone, I don't know where.

But you can see it was a fair distance to drive 24 cattle from the Ainsworth depot, especially when you had to dodge reckless motorists.

Rachael Smith land

Checking my notes, I find a few references to this branch of the Smith family. In fact I've been neglecting them since 1903!
  • "Contractor Abel has had three cars of lumber shipped to Ainsworth, to be used in the construction of a new barn for Howard Smith who lives south of Deepriver." ("General News Items, Hobart Gazette 15 May 1903.)
  • "John Hann, a farm hand employed on the Smith farm, near Deepriver, had his right hand badly mangled in a corn shredder Tuesday. Part of the hand had to be amputated." ("General News Items," Hobart Gazette 4 Nov. 1904 [not entirely sure that's the right Smith farm].)
  • "T.A. Strong has the job of building a barn for Howard Smith south of Deep River." ("Personal and Local Mention," Hobart News 9 Apr. 1913.)
  • "H.H. Smith helped to car wheat at Ainsworth Monday and Tuesday of this week for Wm. Raschka." ("South of Deepriver," Hobart News 27 Apr. 1916.)
  • H.H. Smith bought a team of horses. ("South of Deepriver," Hobart News 20 Feb. 1919.)
  • The John Dick family visited H.H. Smith and his mother. ("South of Deepriver," Hobart News 1 Jan. 1920.)
  • H.H. Smith and his mother joined members of the Fisher, Crisman and Ripley families in visited Mr. and Mrs. Ben Edwards at Gary. ("South of Deepriver," Hobart News 7 Oct. 1920.)
And then the great cattle drive is the next recorded event. You know what? — I think I may just go right on neglecting these people.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How We Do Things at Ainsworth (Part 2)

From the steamer trunk.

1912-03-10-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.


1912-03-10-b

Another little note from Herman Harms to his friend, Minnie Rossow. Like the other tall-tale postcard, this one is postmarked March 1912.

As you probably know without my telling you, that is not the Ainsworth railroad depot. It is probably a depot somewhere in Wisconsin, perhaps in Waupun.

The photographer, Alfred Stanley Johnson, Jr., produced a lot of these tall-tale photographs. Here is a rare view of how he did it, and here, a collection of his postcards.

Also, a few other practitioners of the art.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It Was Just a Little Stroll for Elizabeth Bodamer

Elizabeth Bodamer
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of Dec. 2, 1920.


"Mrs. Ben Bodamer" was her daughter-in-law, the widowed Bertha. The Bodamer farm was on S. Hobart Rd., just south of 61st Ave.

In addition to going for two-mile walks, Elizabeth also lived alone, according to the 1920 Census, and farmed her own land (through hired labor, I expect). If I'm reading the 1921 plat map correctly, her farm consisted of 80 acres in Union Township, Porter County, at the southeast corner of W 300 N and N 600 W.

Monday, October 7, 2013

"That Old Slide"

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

43b that old slide
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.


Mildred gave us no further information, but the album's owner thinks this may have been behind the W.G. Haan School — and, really, where else would you find such a nice slide, in the early 1920s, in a god-forsaken place like Ainsworth?

The children are not identified. If I had to guess, I'd say the kids at the bottom of the slide are Gladys and Raymond Lindborg. The girl at the top may be Norma Lindborg, but I say that because you'd expect to find the siblings together, not because I can recognize her in this picture.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

A Soldier's Belated Funeral

On November 6, 1920, a telegram from New York reached F.B. and Carrie Price on their Ainsworth farm: the body of their fallen soldier, their son James, was again on American soil. That day the ship bearing his coffin had docked. A U.S. soldier would accompany his remains to Crown Point.

The News now suggested that it was influenza that had killed him, not the wound he received in action, or nephritis, or exposure. (The Gazette merely said that he had recovered from his wound sufficiently to return to service, but then was "taken ill" and died at Base Hospital No. 22.)

The journey from New York home took nearly two weeks. On Friday, November 19, James' coffin arrived at his parents' home.

So many people came to the funeral on the afternoon of Sunday, November 28, that the Merrillville Methodist Church could not hold them all, and some were left outside. Seventy-five American Legion members were there, from the Hobart and Crown Point posts. Among the pallbearers were George Tabbert and Otto Sizelove of Hobart, both of them veterans; George said that James' company had relieved his detachment during fighting in the Argonne forest, where James was wounded.

James Price was finally laid to rest in the Merrillville cemetery.

James Price gravemarker
(Click on image to enlarge)

Price card of thanks


Sources:
♦ "Card of Thanks." Hobart News 2 Dec. 1920.
♦ "Funeral of James I. Price Will Be Held at Merrillville, Sunday Afternoon." Hobart News 25 Nov. 1920.
♦ "Funeral of Jas. Price Next Sunday." Hobart Gazette 26 Nov. 1920.
♦ "James I. Price, Who Died in France, to Be Buried at Merrillville." Hobart News 11 Nov. 1920.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 2 Dec. 1920.
♦ "Merrillville Items." Lake County Star 3 Dec. 1920.
♦ "Remains of Jas. Price Brought Home." Hobart Gazette 12 Nov. 1920.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Come Down Our Way … and Bring John Sapper

From the steamer trunk.

1911-07-11-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
This image and the one below courtesy of E.H.


Here we have (at right) Martha Granzow. The woman at left is unidentified; she looks too young to be Martha's mother, but might be her older sister, Alma.

This is the message Martha sent to Herman Harms:

1911-07-11-b

My transcription: "Say Kid come down our way next Sunday night rather late. You will find us at my house or at Lily Buchfuehrers or walking down Deep River. Answer this card. Matz." At the top she added: "Send me one of your pictures. Let me know if you are coming." And up the left margin: "Bring John Sapper along."

I sense a vivacious personality behind this card. The postmark was 1911, so Martha was then about 15 years old, her friend Lillie Buchfuehrer maybe a year younger. Herman Harms and John Sapper were both about 17.

♦    ♦    ♦

If I've found the right family, the Granzows had come to Indiana from Wisconsin after 1900. The family in 1900 consisted of father Carl (42), mother Minnie (43), and the children: William (17), Fred (16), Albert (14), Paul (11), Alma (7) and Martha (3). Carl's mother-in-law, Christiana Voss, lived with them.

It appears they first moved to Hobart Township, as the 1908 plat map shows 80 acres in the very southwest corner under the Granzow name. In April 1906, Carl bought from Mary Giese 30 acres near Deepriver — perhaps part of this land still attributed to August Giese in 1908:

Giese land 1908

In 1908 the Buchfuehrers bought the Casbon land, so the two families were neighbors. While the Granzow household had shrunk to just Carl, Minnie, Alma and Martha by 1910, Fred Granzow was around enough to fall in love with Louise Buchfuehrer. Fred and Louise were married in April 1911; they moved first to Hobart, then to Milwaukee in 1912. I do not know what became of the other Granzow brothers, and by 1920 Alma had vanished, too — either I've not been paying attention in my newspaper reading, or they carried on their lives with little publicity.*

In 1918 the Granzows sold their farm to Michael Baessler, Jr. and moved to Lake Street in Hobart, occupying a house and four acres they bought from L.E. Maxwell.

___________________
*It doesn't help that their last name turns up in several different spellings, e.g., Granzow, Granzov, Granson, Granzon; and Carl is also called Charles.


Sources:
1900 Census.
1908 Plat Map.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Deepriver Items." Hobart Gazette 16 Apr. 1909.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 31 Jan. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 16 Apr. 1909; 3 May 1912.
♦ "Married." Hobart News 20 Apr. 1911.
♦ "Personal Mention." Hobart News 6 Apr. 1911.

Friday, October 4, 2013

You Can't Go to Joryville Again

The Hobart News of December 2, 1920, reported on the experience of a former local who returned to Indiana to find that time had not waited for him:
John Call of Michigan, a resident of Ainsworth twenty-five years ago, came here last week for a visit with his son. Mr. Call, after taking a walk in the south part of town, remarked that, although he walked all over Joryville, he did not observe a single spot that looked familiar to him.
His son would, I suppose, be John Call, Jr. who had married Lillian Buchfuehrer the previous year.

I still don't have enough information to find the Call family in any census. Perhaps I will when I go back to the pre-1899 newspapers, since this report places their residence around 1895.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Laura Henricks

43a Laura Henricks
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.


This is from Mildred Lindborg's photo album, but it's worthy of the bleakest art film. I don't know what effect the photographer was going for; it was probably by accident that he/she produced a statement about the unbridgeable distance that separates each individual from the rest of humanity. Here Laura is the ostensible subject, but the clearest thing in the whole photo is the shadow of the audience. Laura's face is so out of focus as to be unrecognizable except through Mildred's caption. She is distant, alone, unknowable. "We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life," said Tennessee Williams. And so says this photo.

♦    ♦    ♦

Getting back to more mundane things — in case you didn't recognize it, that's the Lindborg house in Ainsworth, in the background at left, and part of the Lindborg blacksmith business at right.

As for Laura Henricks, I think I have found her in the 1910 census (but spelled "Hendricks"). If so, Laura was born around 1903 and had two younger siblings, Freddie and Mable. Her 31-year-old, widowed father, Charlie, farms his own land, which appears (judging by who his neighbors are) to be in northeast Ross Township. Charlie employs his own 24-year-old half-sister, Amanda Henning, as housekeeper.

I can't find them in any other census.

In my newspaper notes, I find a "Chas. Hendricks" in 1907 reportedly buying the farm of William Smith (brother of Cyrus) (but I don't find that ownership reflected in the 1908 plat map). In 1916, a social column reported that Mabel and Laura Henricks visited their aunt, Mrs. Emil Wojahn, in Chicago. In October 1918, Fred Henricks was one of five patients of Dr. C.C. Brink who underwent operations at Mercy Hospital for "diseased tonsils and adenoids."

And that's all I have on the Henrickses, or Hendrickses. Laura remains distant, out of focus, unknowable. That photo could represent all the subjects of this blog.



Sources:
1908 Plat Map.
1910 Census.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 4 Oct. 1907.
♦ "Ross Township News." Hobart Gazette 29 Dec. 1916; 25 Oct. 1918.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

How the Dormans Partied

On November 19, 1920, they partied with 35 people from Gary and goodness knows how many other neighbors and friends.

Dorman party; Ellsworth Humes
(Click on images to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of Nov. 25, 1920.


(Also an update on the show-biz career of Ellsworth Humes.)

On November 22, 1920, they partied with ten carloads and one truckload of church people.

Dorman party; South of Deepriver
From the Hobart News of Nov. 25, 1920.

(And from the "South of Deepriver" we learn the interesting news that Nora Campbell is about to be married.)

The 1920 Census gives John Dorman's age as 59, Ella's as 56.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Three Sisters

ACMudge-HobartIndiana-3Girls
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Diane Barnes.


While these girls are unidentified, surely they must be sisters, dressed as they are in identical home-made dresses. And since this photo comes from a collection belonging to Lillie Newman Barnes, they are likely the Newman sisters — left to right, Lillie (born 1884), Emma (1880) and Dollie (1886).

Emma looks to be perhaps 14 years old here, which would put the year at around 1894. That is consistent with what we know of the timeframe for A.C. Mudge's operations in Hobart.

I've been wondering about that brocade-looking coverlet tossed over the photographer's chair. Its occupying such a central place in the portrait makes me speculate that it might have some significance to these girls. On the other hand, it could be covering up a defect in the chair, or in Emma's dress.

If that is indeed Emma, she had a sad fate in store for her. Here is her obituary from the Hobart Gazette of July 30, 1897:

Emma Newman Drowned

The drowning of Miss Emma Newman in Lake Michigan last Sunday caused an expression of sorrow from the lips of everyone. It was sad news received by her friends who had but a few hours before seen her depart for the lake upon her wheel, looking a picture of health and feeling as happy and cheerful as one who knew neither care nor trouble. Mrs. Gruel in giving her niece a few kind words of advice before departing for the lake that forenoon little realized that in a few hours she would be brought home to her cold in death.

Miss Emma left Hobart on her wheel about 11 o'clock and after arriving at the lake for some time joined those who were in bathing. She could not swim but like many others enjoyed to be in the water. She also had taken a ride in the sailboat with her brother Paul but when returned she concluded to wade along the beach toward Johnson's fish house where she had left her wheel and clothing. In doing so she became separated from the other bathers and stepped into a hole perhaps eight or ten feet deep. Thus she drowned within a couple hundred feet of perhaps four hundred people and none except Mrs. DeFrance, of Wheeler, and a friend or two or hers knew anything of the accident, and they were not certain anyone had drowned, as the waves were rolling quite high and they only thought they saw someone throw up his hands. They notified the bathers of the probable accident but no one being missing scarcely any efforts toward rescuing anyone were made until a hat washed to shore. It was recognized by Paul Newman as his sister's. This was possibly a half or three-quarters of an hour after the unfortunate girl waded into the death trap. Excitement then moved all to activity and every effort at command was put forth to recover the body. Many waded along the beach searching, some dove into the deep places while others secured a seine and begun dragging the beach. The seine was heavy weighted after the second attempt and thereby fell into the deeper places. The third attempt was successful and the body was rescued about five o'clock, fully two and one-half hours after the accident. Her body was immediately taken to the home of Mr. Chas. Gruel in Hobart and properly cared for by Undertaker Wild.

The funeral occurred on Tuesday afternoon of this week at the Unitarian church, the services being conduced by Rev. Elliott, and the remains interred in the Hobart cemetery. The church was unable to accommodate the large crowd assembled. Three beautiful floral offerings were sent from friends in the city.

Emma Newman, the oldest girl of the family of six children left by the late Mr. and Mrs. Otto Newman, was born the 21st of October, 1880, and died July 25th, 1897, aged 16 years 9 months and 4 days. Otto Newman died in 1890 and his wife in 1894, leaving a family of three boys, Paul, Edward and Arthur, and three girls, Emma, Lillie and Dollie. Upon the death of her mother Emma took up her abode with her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Gruel, who cared for and thought as much of her as though she was their own child. For the past couple of years she was cashier in her uncle's meat market, in which capacity she formed a large circle of acquaintances who greatly admired and respected her. She was a quiet, unassuming girl and always had a pleasant smile for everybody. Her presence in the market will be greatly missed by all.

The sympathy of all is extended to the relatives in the sudden and sad bereavement.