Saturday, November 30, 2013

Long-Timer Gone, Short-Timer Back

Carl William Bach was a long-time Ross Township resident whom I completely ignored until he died. By comparison, William Wollenberg, Jr. — now back for a visit — was a short-timer, and yet I've written loads about him and his saloon-keeping family.

C.W. Bach
(Click on images to enlarge)

It took me a long time to figure out where the Bach homestead was. You'd think people who had been here since 1846 would have acquired more land than this: [12/1/13 update: They did. The DeWell family archivist points out that I missed a second 40-acre Bach parcel, outlined in green on the map below. Now I don't know which parcel to get all sentimental over. And I can't figure out which road the green parcel sits on — W. 86th? W. 89th?]

Bach land 1908

The daughter, Mrs. Henry Kuehl, mentioned in the obituary as living with him was the former Henrietta "Hattie" Bach. She had married Henry Kuehl in 1896 and left the old homestead for a few years, but by 1910 she and Henry had come back. In the intervening years, her brother, George, and his wife and children had lived with their father. So as far as I know Carl William Bach was never alone there.

1900 Census.
1908 Plat Map.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 6 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Obituary." Hobart Gazette 7 Jan. 1921.
♦ "William Bach." Hobart News 6 Jan. 1921.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Men in Hats

From the envelope marked "John Gruel Farm" in Lillie Newman Barnes' keepsake box comes this group photo:

Men in Hats - JohnGruelEnvelope8
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Diane Barnes.

But I don't have a clue who they are.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jennie and Homer

Having been showered with gifts to start her own household, Jennie Chester married Homer Hull on January 5, 1921, and the young couple made plans to get as far away from Ainsworth as they could without leaving the country.

(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of 6 Jan. 1921.

The groom must have been pretty well fixed if he could afford a complete set of sterling silver.

I had lived half a lifetime without ever having seen the word "duvequyn," and an internet search turns up only "dyvetyne" (in various spellings), which may be what is meant, since it was used for clothing in the early part of the 20th century.

Looking at various images of reindeer, I suppose Jennie's suit was grayish-brown.

It's interesting that she was married in the Catholic Church. So far as I know, the Charles Chester family (while apparently not particularly religious) was Protestant; for example, when Kittie died in 1910, a Methodist pastor officiated at her funeral. If the whole family converted, I did not hear about it. Jennie may have been the exception.

Anyway, the Chester house was now devoid of daughters.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"If You Wanna Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life …"

Another unidentified wedding portrait from the steamer trunk.

5 Velvet sleeves
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

On the basis of the photographer, and the style of the bride's sleeves, we can date this to the 1890s.

Her dress has an interesting mixture of good and bad. The velvet on the upper sleeves drapes gracefully, and the satin ribbon, gathered and pinned in cascades down her bodice, with little echoes at her wrists, is an imaginative touch. But I wonder if they put that ribbon there to draw attention away from the poor fit of the bodice — excess fabric toward her shoulders, heavy wrinkling toward her waist. And for a special-occasion outfit, her skirt is remarkably plain, which makes it classic and timeless, I suppose, but in women's clothing at that time, "highly fashionable" was a more sought-after quality.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Automobile Genealogy

After several moments of deep confusion, I have figured out that I was wrong, 'way back in October 2009, when I said that Jennie Hurlburt had become Mrs. Chas. Stevens. It was Jennie's younger sister, Ethel. (In fact I have no idea how I concluded that any Hurlburt daughter had married Mr. Stevens, since I can't pinpoint my 2009 source — but somehow I got it half-right.)

Part of the problem is that the Milan Hurlburt family is remarkably difficult to find in the census records. The first trace I find of Ethel is in the marriage records in February 1909, when, at the tender age of 16, she married the 23-year-old Charles Stevens, a track foreman for the Pennsy railroad. They lived in Hobart and had four children: Zorah, Charles, Milan and Robert.

Anyway, all this meditation upon the identity of Mrs. Charles Stevens came from two items in 1920's final issue of the Gazette (which I have to transcribe because the microfilm is almost illegible):
Jacob Hurlburt and family of Ainsworth, Chester and M. Hurlburt were entertained at a Christmas dinner at the home of the latter's daughter, Mrs. Chas. Stevens.

♦    ♦    ♦

Last Sunday, while Charles Stevens and family were returning from Mr. Hurlburt's with a party of friends, apparently with no reason whatever, while crossing the Deep River bridge near the Frank Peterson farm, the car became unmanageable and turned square across the road, just over the abutment, and the front wheels of the car were hanging over a 10-foot embankment. But for the help of a good set of brakes there would have been a serious accident, as the car, going down, would have turned turtle into the river. Frank Peterson was called and a party in a passing car gave their help and righted the machine. When examined, the radio rods were found to be bent, causing it to be unmanageable. It was driven home without any further serious accident.
So apparently they got back in the car that had just tried to kill them and drove home. And no, I have no idea what "radio rods" are.

Hurlburt-Peterson 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)
The location of the accident, as it appeared in the 1926 Plat Book.

1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
1940 Census.
♦ "Additional Local News." Hobart Gazette 31 Dec. 1920.
♦ "Auto Party Has Narrow Escape." Hobart Gazette 31 Dec. 1920.
Indiana Marriage Collection.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Anna Lost in Thought

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

48a Anna in unknown park
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

Anna Lindborg, seemingly lost in thought and unaware of the camera. There are no notes to identify the location, and I don't recognize it, but it looks park-like.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Still Not Tuberculosis

The last "South of Deepriver" column of 1920 tells us, among other things, that poor Bertha Nolte Campbell was, in the family tradition, continuing to suffer poor health; but her illness probably wasn't tuberculosis, as the treatment for that would not be surgery.

South of Deepriver
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of 30 Dec. 1920.

Also, a big party for the little Sauter born on Christmas Day.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Back of the House

which house, we don't know for certain.

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

But since this photo, like the two we just saw, came from the envelope marked "John Gruel Farm," it's quite possibly the Gruel house. The woman who was on the right in the group shot, in that previous post, resembles the woman on the right in this photo.

This looks like a farmhouse of pretty good size, and the house and its grounds are meticulously kept, which suggests owners who are diligent and prosperous … like the Gruels.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Third Time's the Charm?

Albert Witt started farming again late in December 1920 — the third start, by my count. (Also, a few random happy reports about people whose names we know.)

Albert Witt starts farming again
(Click on images to enlarge)

Albert's first start was barely perceptible. Born into a farming family, he grew up with the line of work, and in 1910, at the age of 25, he still lived on the family farm, giving his occupation as farmhand. On March 1, 1911, he "quietly married" Frieda Kegebein, the only surviving child of John and Lena Kegebein — likewise a farming family — and came to live with his wife and in-laws, to farm the land the Kegebeins had bought sometime between 1874 and 1891.

Kegebein land 1908

In November 1915, Albert placed this notice in the Gazette:
Having decided to quit farming, I will offer for public sale at the John Kegebein farm, located 2½ miles south of Hobart, and ½ mile north of Ainsworth, beginning at 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 15, three horses, 12 milch cows, 14 heifers, 15 head of hogs, chickens, farming implements, household furniture, and many articles not mentioned.
I don't know what Albert did instead of farming, but he was still on the Kegebein land in 1916 when he traded farms with his neighbor, Glen Nelson.

Albert remained on the Charles Chester farm until he quit farming the second time, and this time he really meant it — temporarily, at least. The January 1920 census records him working in the steel mills; he and Frieda and their four children lived on the "Chicago road," which I believe is Old Ridge Road.

(I don't know where John and Lena Kegebein had been living while their farm was rented by Glen and Elsie Nelson. The 1920 census shows the Kegebeins on their own property somewhere in the vicinity of Ainsworth, but John's occupation is given as "retired farmer." Perhaps they had a little house in the village, or even on their own land.)

But now, as we see, Albert and Frieda Witt have come back to the Kegebein farm, and we shall see how long the farming lasts this time.

1874 Plat Map.
1891 Plat Book.
1908 Plat Map.
1920 Census.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 30 Dec. 1920.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart Gazette 12 Nov. 1915.
♦ "Quietly Married." Hobart Gazette 3 Mar. 1911.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Precocious Child

From the steamer trunk.

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

This tiny child — not much more than a baby — can not only balance atop a chair but also (according to handwritten notes on the back) "talk plainly."

Which makes me feel pretty stupid by comparison, since I have utterly failed to identify the child or the names written on the photo.

The name on the front is "John H.C. [or maybe G?] Griffin." The name on the back is harder to decipher.


I believe it says:
Kittie Clement
Gave this picture
Could talk plainly
when taken.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Midnight Lunch for Car Thieves

If you were a visitor to Hobart in December 1920, even at midnight you could find someone to work on your car at the Roper garage while you strolled down Third Street for lunch at the Amazon restaurant.

Lunch at midnight
(Click on image to enlarge)

(Per the 1920 Census, "Night Marshal Traeger" was Lawrence Traeger, 47 years old.)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Visiting in Chicago

46 Lindborg family, unknown location
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of N.B.

47a unknown and Anna Lindborg

47 Gust, Edna Kimball-Goyette - unknown location

The next three photos in Mildred Lindborg's photo album were taken at the home of a friend in Chicago, whose identity has been forgotten. There are no captions.

The first is the whole Lindborg family: back row, left to right: Franklin (looking very grown-up with his glasses and his pipe), Anna, Mildred and Gust; front row, left to right: Raymond, Gladys and Norma. It appears that those poor girls have recently had the worst haircuts of their lives.

The woman at left in the second photo is unknown. I certainly don't recognize her. At right, of course, is Anna Lindborg.

The third photo shows Gust Lindborg and his niece, Edna Kimball/Goyette. This photo surprised me because no one ever told me that Gust had lost the index finger on his left hand. (Which means I probably misread the caption on this photo — what looked like "Bud" was actually "Dad," unless Mildred was making a joke.) But since his line of work involved sharp tools and heavy objects, Gust had plenty of opportunities for injury.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A New Fire Truck for Christmas

You may remember an earlier post that included a of photo of Fred Rose, Sr. and what looked like a very new American LaFrance fire truck. Now we have a story about the arrival of that fire truck, like an early present for Christmas 1920:

New Fire Truck
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of 23 Dec. 1920.

Considering all the greenery in that first photo in my earlier post, I suppose it could not have been taken before the spring of 1921.

♦    ♦    ♦

A few weeks later, Fred reported to the town board that a telephone had been installed in the fire engine house. Its number: 0. ("Town Board Doings," Hobart Gazette 14 Jan. 1921.)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Possibly the Gruel House

(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Diane Barnes.


These photographs were inside an envelope marked "John Gruel Farm" in a keepsake box that had belonged to Lillie Newman Barnes. She, as we know, was John Gruel's niece, and her wedding in April 1909 took place at the Gruel home. On the back of the first photo, someone had written: "April 14, 1909." But that was all we had in the way of identification.

I showed these photos to someone who had known the Gruels, having spent his early years on a neighboring farm. As to these two photos, he said they might be of the Gruel house, but his memories were just too dim for him to be certain. While he didn't positively recognize any of the people, he did remember John Gruel as having facial hair, similar to the man at the center of the group in the second photo.

So the circumstances around these photos, including the fact that two other photos in the "John Gruel Farm" envelope show a structure we can positively identify as the Gruels' magnificent cow barn,* provide evidence that they may show the Gruel house, but I can't be 100% sure.

*Which I will post in the future.

Friday, November 15, 2013

A Mighty Wind

Wind v. Niksch windmill
(Click on images to enlarge)
From "Local and Personal," Hobart News 16 Dec. 1920.

Mrs. Edward Niksch had been Matilda "Tilly" Harms, one of Herman's sisters and ten years his senior. So it was her parents' land where Tilly and Edward lived.

Harms land 1908

♦    ♦    ♦

The page from the Hobart News, above, includes an ad placed by Stommel's store, enticing you with Lut Fish. Among those who would buy it, at Stommel's or elsewhere, would be Ainsworth's own Anna and Gust Lindborg — lutefisk, they called it, and they had it at Christmas, as a treat. It brought back fond memories of their childhood Christmases in Sweden.

Their Americanized children found the smell horrifying, and the taste not worth the smell.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I'm So Bashful

From the steamer trunk.

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


In yesterday's post we found them announcing the birth of their third child in 1920 — but in 1912 Herman Harms and Minnie Rossow were just friends, and I wonder if Herman chose this postcard on purpose to make light of himself for sometimes feeling bashful around the young woman he was falling in love with.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Just Arrived at Ainsworth …

For William Raschka, it's two carloads of livestock feed.

For Minnie and Herman Harms, it's a daughter. They would name her Bernice.

Raschka and Harms arrivals
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of 10 Dec. 1920.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hobart Then and Now: Pennsy Bridge over Deep River

Pennsy Bridge over Deep River
Pennsy Bridge 2013
(Click on images to enlarge)

I don't have a date for the "then" view, since the postcard is unused, and I'm hard put to even guess, since there's no photographer's name and no identifiable fashions. I can say only that the postcard was printed after February 1907.

The photographer seems to have caught another photographer, at right near the tracks, who appears to be using a tripod-plus-black-cloth apparatus, which might be informative to someone who knows more than I do about historical cameras.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

Stanley R. Labus 1924-2013
Image courtesy of Barbara Spies Labus.

Thank you, Uncle Stan, and all veterans, for your service.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Great Ice Storm of Ainsworth

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

45b Ice Storm
(Click on image to enlarge)

I do not know any details of the Great Ice Storm of Ainsworth. All I know is that there must have been a Great Ice Storm of Ainsworth because what else could bring down trees like that, and leave the downed trees and the standing trees alike all coated with ice?

We are not sure who all these people are, beyond Anna Lindborg (at left, in the dark hat) and Gust Lindborg (the man in the cap). That may be Gladys right in front of Anna, and Mildred next to her. If that is Gladys, then judging by her apparent age, I'd say this dates to the mid- to late 1920s.

Behind them stands the blacksmith shop/dance hall/garage. We can see from the signs that Gust sold John Deere farming equipment and Studebaker wagons as well as gasoline and motor oil.