Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

Handwritten on back: Happy 1945 to Uncle John from Bunny & Bethy
(Click on image to enlarge)

Here are my cousins welcoming 1945 in style!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Hoodoo? We Do!

In spite of bad roads, the East Ross Community Association continued holding entertainments at the W.G. Haan school during the winter of 1921. (Also, the "Births" column brings news of some acquaintances, and I do not know where the Buchfuehrer baby was buried.)

East Ross Comm'y Assoc.
(Click on images to enlarge)

I can't identify this "Mrs. O'Leary" who is promising to direct the upcoming play; the 1930 census shows a 64-year-old Margaret O'Leary living on the Sunderman farm in Ross Township, but she is listed as single. As for the play itself, though I can't find its text, other selections from its its author's body of work give you some notion of its tone.

The February 4 meeting felt the effect of the weather on the unpaved roads.

East Ross Comm'y Assoc.

I don't know exactly what that reference to "Dinah and Sambo" means, but I fear the worst, and it may have involved blackface.

(Some sad news in this week's "Births" column about the former Carrie Zobjeck.)

1930 Census.
♦ "Ainsworth Community Meeting." Hobart Gazette 11 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Ainsworth Community Meeting." Hobart News 10 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Births." Hobart News 3 Feb. 1921; 10 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Community Meeting at Ainsworth, Friday Evening, Feb. 4." Hobart News 3 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 3 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Play at Ainsworth, Feb. 18." Hobart Gazette 4 Feb. 1921.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Stop Teasing Your Grandma!

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

To me, these unidentified people suggest three generations of a family. I don't know what that kid in the striped sweater, at center, is doing with his hands. Is he making devil's horns behind his grandma's head?? — kids these days!

This photo was among Lillie Newman Barnes', but it wasn't in the "John Gruel Farm" envelope. Like an earlier photo from the envelope, it includes a well kept setting, canna lilies and a gentleman with white facial hair … who's now in profile, inconveniently for comparison; moreover, the world is full of canna lilies; and furthermore, going by the women's fashions, I would set this photo in the mid- to late 1920s, meaning there's at least 15 years between the two photos.

Short answer: I don't know.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Didn't It Already Have One?

Paul Newman was selling Fords, among other things, in the winter of 1921. He sold one of them to John Ensign.

Paul's business was doing well, apparently, since he was "planning to build a second story on his garage building." According to the 1979 oral history, his garage was the Third Street part of the building at Third and Center streets. And here I was, thinking that place always had a second floor!

♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 10 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 11 Feb. 1921.

Friday, December 27, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons

From the steamer trunk.

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


Who wrote to Herman Harms suggesting a squeeze?

My guess is Minnie Rossow, disguising her handwriting.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


We have an update on the latest Main and Third postcard, and it makes nice tragic reading for this happy season.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Xmas ca 1963-d
(Click on image to enlarge)

Merry Christmas from 1963 (or thereabouts). That's my brother and I at our grandparents' house.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Pneumonia Again

Pneumonia took another child in February 1921.

Raymond Schumacher obit
(Click on images to enlarge)

Frank Schumacher had spent his childhood on a farm northeast of Ainsworth. By 1910, he was farming for himself on rented land in Hobart Township. The next year he married Eliza Foreman. Some time before 1920, they moved onto the Small farm in Union Township, Porter County.

Small farm 1921
I believe this is the Small farm where the Schumacher family lived, as it appeared on a 1921 Union Township plat map, from http://www.inportercounty.org/maps.html.

"Foster sister Ceil" was Lucile Mains, who had been living with the Schumachers for some three or four years, and who had already suffered the loss of her biological brother.

1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Funeral of Raymond Schumacher Held This (Thursday) Afternoon." Hobart News 10 Feb. 1921.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Master Raymond Schumacher Passes Away." Hobart Gazette 11 Feb. 1921.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Main and Third circa 1911

A recent acquisition.

Main and Third ca 1912
(Click on images to enlarge)

We've seen lots of pictures of this intersection, but I don't think we've seen this particular one before. Unfortunately it's a half-tone print, not a real photo, so high-resolution scanning doesn't bring out the details.

The postmark seems to be 1912 or 1913 …

Main and Third ca 1912 verso

… but since I don't see a trace of anything streetcar-related on or above Third Street, I suspect the photo was taken in 1911, maybe earlier.

I can't identify the sender or the receiver.

♦    ♦    ♦

[12/26/2013 update] The DeWell family archivist has done what I couldn't do; she writes:
You know your mystery people always bring out the detective in me!

Chester Say and Maude Denno were married in Detroit on 6 Sep 1909.

Chester and Maude Say lived in Gary in the 1910 Census. Chester was a city fireman. The postcard mentions him quitting the fire dept?

A Maude Say died in Hobart on 16 Sep 1912.

Chester moves to Minnesota and marries Martha Jensen in 1913. The 1920 census shows a son, Chester born in Indiana. Perhaps Maude died in childbirth?

All info from Familysearch or Ancestry.
That would mean the postmark is July 1912, not 1913.

From the Hobart News of 19 Sept. 1912, here is a brief article about Maude's death.

Maude Say obit

The NWIGS listing of Hobart Township cemeteries does not include Maude, which suggests several possibilities, including (cheery thought) that no one got around to marking her grave and it's now lost somewhere in the Crown Hill Cemetery.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

What He Was Really Doing on That Farm of His

I thought he was a farmer. He told the 1920 Census enumerator that he was a farmer! Turns out Fremont "Frank" Price was up to something else on that farm of his.

F.B. Price sells insurance
(Click on images to enlarge)
From the Hobart News, 3 Feb. 1921.

But amidst this success, he was dealing with the serious illness of his wife, Carrie.

Carrie Price illness
From "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette, 18 Feb. 1921.

(I'm not sure, but I think the Charles Wilkening who's announcing a public sale might be the brother of Ross Township's William Wilkening.)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Update to Hobart House

Just wanted to point out that I updated my last Hobart House post with another photo that I had forgotten about when I was writing that post.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Ainsworth Business District

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

51 Ainsworth Road looking east
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

Mildred did not caption this picture. The album's owner thinks the girl, at left, might be Mabel Larson. The boy is Franklin Lindborg.

For the rest, this gives us another view of the little cluster of businesses that constituted the village of Ainsworth (except you can't see the railroad depot). At left, Gust Lindborg's blacksmith shop; behind it, the saloon building; between the girl and boy, a glimpse of the Raschka/Shearer warehouse; at the right edge of the picture, the Ainsworth general store.

That contraption in the road in front of the general store is a horse and buggy, I believe, not an automobile. We don't have a date for this, but the girl's fashions suggest the WWI era more than the 1920s, I think.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Short Lives of Lamp Posts

A lamp post built in Hobart has but a short time to live; it is set up, and is knocked down, like a bowling pin … and the car that knocked it down flees as it were a shadow.

Lamp Post Knocked Down

I think Charles Gruel's meat market was located on Third Street, south side, about mid-block between Main and Center Streets, and the Beach jewelry store on the north side of Third.

Marshal Fred Rose, Sr. set about investigating this hit-and-run. Just a week later, the Gazette reported: "Marshal Rose has discovered the party who 'bumped down' the light post in front of Gruel's, and says the party has agreed to pay for the repairs, which he should do. It was purely a case of 'white mule' directing the arm at the steering wheel." That the party's name was not mentioned suggests to me that he might have been a person of some social standing.

But the knocking down of a lamp post was not unheard-of, as we can gather from the weary headline of the original story — "Another Lamp Post …" — and indeed, just as this case was solved, the town found itself facing a lawsuit based on a lamp post knocked down two months earlier:

Casbon suit re: lamp post

(The "Pedersen corner" was the intersection of Main and Second Streets.)

♦ "Another Lamp Post Bumped." Hobart Gazette 21 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 28 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Town of Hobart Sued." Hobart Gazette 28 Jan. 1921.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hobart House

This photo was in Lillie Newman Barnes' "John Gruel Farm" envelope, but of course it's not the farm!

Hobart House, Hobart, Indiana
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Diane Barnes.

We have not seen this particular view of the Hobart House before. It is undated, but probably was taken before August 1911, when Clarence Frailey sold his horse livery operation behind the Hobart House (note the sign at the far right of the photo). This photo may have been taken in 1909, like others in the envelope; the cars out front are not inconsistent with that date (thank you, R.F., vintage-car connoisseur!).

Nobody in this photo is identified. They may well be Gruels or Newmans — we just don't know.

♦    ♦    ♦

[12/20/2013 update] Interesting to compare the above photo with this photo, from a postcard postmarked June 6, 1909 (previously posted here):

Postmarked 6-6-1909
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

It's not precisely the same scene from a different angle, but there are points of similarity.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Oil Truck v. Lincoln Highway Mud

We've already heard about the bad condition of the Lincoln Highway east of Ainsworth. In January 1921 came news that the Federal Paving Company intended to bring its equipment from Chillicothe, Ohio, to commence work as soon as weather permitted, with hopes of completing the paving across Lake County by the middle of the summer.

But the summer of 1921 was a long way away for people who had to get somewhere in the winter of 1921.

Oil Truck v. Lincoln Hwy
(Click on image to enlarge)

Late in February the Gazette brought the "cheering news" that paving work might start in the near future: "Workmen are busy repairing machinery at Ainsworth and Merrillville and getting things in shape for an early start, 'tis said. It is stated that construction work will proceed both ways out of Ainsworth and Merrillville."

I expect that any machinery repair in Ainsworth was going on at Gust Lindborg's blacksmith shop.

♦    ♦    ♦

When I read that story above, about the oil truck, I naturally wondered where the "Ols corner" was, and proceeded to waste about an hour of my life trying to figure it out. My best guess is that it was the intersection of present-day Clay Street and E. 73rd Avenue, because I think that Charles Ols then owned the parcel of land shown on the 1908 Plat Map as belonging to Orrin Pierce:

Ols farm ca. 1921?
(Click on image to enlarge)

I've previously noted that in 1908 Charles Ols bought a farm from Reuben Pierce, and while I can't find a plat map showing that parcel in Charles Ols' hands (the 1926 Plat Book attributes it to A.D. Paine), I still think Charles owned it for some time after 1908 because (1) Orrin Pierce was Reuben's son, and (2) some newspaper reports about Charles' land purchases suggest that location: February 1908, Charles bought a farm from "Reuben Pierce, who live[d] west of Ainsworth," but rented it out while he continued living on another farm that he was renting; in November 1908, Charles advertised for rent his farm "one mile west of Ainsworth"; October 1916, Charles, having previously "bought a part of the Orrin Pierce farm," now "purchased from Chas. Chester 23 acres, a part of the original Pierce farm, which join[ed] his farm on the north across the Grand Trunk railroad."

So that's my theory.

♦ "Additional Local News." Hobart Gazette 27 Oct. 1916; 28 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Cheering News." Hobart Gazette 25 Feb. 1921.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 14 Feb. 1908.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 13 Nov. 1908.
♦ "The Lincoln Highway Through Lake Co. to Be Finished This Year." Hobart News 20 Jan. 1921.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Three Little Hendrixes
(Or Should That Be Hendrices?)

From the steamer trunk.

8a Hendrix
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

These adorable kids are identified on the back of this unused postcard:

8b Hendrix verso

I believe I've found them in the 1920 Census — which is probably about the time this photo was taken — living in Griffith, Indiana. Their mother had been Ida Rossow, which I suppose explains why their picture ended up in Minnie Rossow Harms' steamer trunk, though I don't understand exactly how Ida and Minnie were related. Ida married Charles Hendrix in 1909 (Indiana Marriage Collection) and by 1920 their children, Jackson, Charles R. [Roy? or Ray?] and Rosemary, were 8, 6 and 5 years old respectively.

We've already seen a photo of their mother in her younger days; she is fourth from the right in the back row here.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Uncle Woodson

Dalia Messick's family gets a skeleton in the closet.

Messick misfortunes
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette, 21 Jan. 1921.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Two by Two in Gardens

The next page in Mildred Lindborg's photo album has two portraits taken in gardens. The first we've seen before — we don't know who these two women are (probably Lindborg relatives), but we know they are standing among Anna's flowers.

50a Relatives in garden
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of N.B.

The second shows Anna and Gust Lindborg in somebody else's garden, but we don't know whose.

50b Anna, Gust

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Irene Esther

John and Lillie (Buchfuehrer) Call had their first child in January 1921.

Call birth announcement
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News, 20 Jan. 1921.

… Plus a few minor news items, including poor George Sauter being ill again.

He wasn't the only one on the sick list.

Charles Chester's appendix, etc.
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News, 20 Jan. 1921.

Some happier news about Fred and Mayme (Harms) Harney. And it took that item about Paul Newman to teach me that there ever was (and is) such a thing as the Yellowstone Trail — a coast-to-coast highway similar to the Lincoln Highway, I gather, only for some reason not nearly as famous.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Three Boys in a Studio
(To Say Nothing of the Dog)

Once again we dip into Lillie Newman Barnes' "John Gruel Farm" envelope, and come up with this charming but unidentified group:

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

Am I wrong in thinking that the guy in the middle is an older brother to the other two, not their father?

[Update: see the Comments to this post — maybe they are the Newman brothers?]

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

South of Deepriver

Here's a South of Deepriver social column that might be mildly interesting if you're related to these people. Also, John Killigrew, moving up in politics, is attending the inauguration of Warren T. McCray; John's brother, William, seems to be doing well in his oil business with Lewis Barnes and Calvin Shearer.

South of Deepriver social column
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News, 13 Jan. 1921.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Love's Lovely Hours

From the steamer trunk.

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

Another flirtatious postcard between Minnie Rossow and Herman Harms — that is to say, the picture on the front does the flirting; Minnie's message could have been written to any friend.


I gather she sent this from Chicago on March 21, 1912, and somehow it got two Ainsworth postmarks, one on the back and, the next day, another on the front.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Los Angeles Honeymoon

Carlisle Dorman was sufficiently recovered from his nervous breakdown to be married in January 1921. (Who knows? — maybe he suffered the breakdown waiting for her to say yes.)

Dorman-Sykes marriage

It sounds as if Carlisle is marrying his business partner's daughter, which would be convenient as long as both relationships go smoothly; otherwise, things could get awkward. Dorman & Sykes owned the Fifth Avenue Garage in Gary. The 1920 census lists Edith Sykes, 28, as a stenographer in a garage — I have an idea which garage. The News mentioned that she had once taught in the Hobart public schools.

The young couple were shipping their car to Los Angeles for the honeymoon, they (and the car) traveling there by rail, I suppose.

Edith Dorman
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.
Handwritten notes on the back of this photo identify it as Edith Dorman. Since John and Ella Dorman did not have a daughter by that name, I'm guessing it's Carlisle's wife.

1920 Census.
♦ "Dorman-Sykes." Hobart News 13 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 21 Jan. 1921.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Ainsworth General Store, Side View

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

49 Lindborg house, general store
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

The photographer was aiming at the little family group (left to right: Anna Lindborg, Aunt Elma Kimball/Goyette, and Gust Lindborg) but accidentally got a rare side view of the Ainsworth general store, behind the group and stretching out towards the right. It looks so big! But the photo being strangely grainy and unclear, details are lacking.

At left in the background, of course, is the Lindborg house, with the heart trellis on the side of the front porch.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Death and Life in the Graham Family

If the new year started out happy for the family of Ross and Ruby Graham, it soon turned disastrous. On January 8, 1921, their little daughter died.

Dorothy Graham death notice

About the same time, their six-year-old son, Louis, came down with pneumonia too, and for several days lay dangerously ill. It must have been difficult for his parents to choose between staying at their son's bedside and attending their daughter's funeral, especially for Ruby, who was about seven months' pregnant at the time. But as Dorothy was laid in her grave, Louis passed through the worst of his illness and began to recover.

On the morning of January 12, news came from Valparaiso that Ross's father was dead.

T.Graham obit

Ruby's parents, Thomas and Frances Roper, had traveled 50 miles from Donaldson, Indiana, to see their granddaughter buried; they remained for several days. They were not the only ones trying to help the stricken family.

Graham Card of Thanks

In the weeks that followed, the Grahams probably took the usual course in those days: what was too painful, you just didn't talk about. They tried to keep busy. They had four children to care for — the youngest a toddler of two, and Ruby, with her growing belly, trying to keep up with him — and Ross had his teaming business, though it may have been slow in the winter. Somehow, they managed. The weeks turned into a month, a month and a half.

On February 20, Ruby gave birth to a healthy little girl. They would name her Margaret. I wonder how old Margaret was when she learned about the sister she never met?

1920 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ "Births." Hobart Gazette 25 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 13 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 14 Jan. 1921.
♦ "Well Known Hobart Citizens Pass Away During the Week," Hobart News 13 Jan. 1921.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

"Carrozzo's Farm Home"

In the Gruel genealogy file at the Hobart Historical Society museum you will find an article clipped from the Chicago Daily Tribune entitled, "Fortress Rises Among Quiet Indiana Farms." The nice person who clipped it neglected to include the date, but I suspect it was published sometime between May and late September of 1938; I think it could be the overly dramatic reportage to which the Vidette-Messenger responded in its own article, "Farm In Hobart To Be New Haven For Al Capone?," published 27 Sept. 1938 (and quoted in full in my original Carrozzo story).

Whatever the defects of its reportage, the Tribune article is helpful because it includes three aerial photos of the farm, taken from a lower altitude than the Indiana Geological Survey photo posted with my first story. One of those photos includes a shot of "Carrozzo's farm home," showing the house from more or less the back — so let us compare it with the back-of-the-house photo I posted a few days ago.

Carrozzo's Farm Home
(Click on images to enlarge)
From "Fortress Rises Among Quiet Indiana Farms," Chicago Daily Tribune, date unknown. Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Possibly the back of the Gruel home circa 1909.
Image courtesy of Diane Barnes.

I see some similarities between the two, also some differences. But if I am correct in supposing that the second photo was taken around April 1909, there would be nearly three decades of possible remodeling between them, and the Tribune article states after Michael Carrozzo bought the land, he immediately started remodeling and adding new buildings.

For those interested, here's the Tribune article in full, courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.



Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Clara Chandler Banks, 1850 – 1921

She grew up in the village of Deep River; her parents are buried in Chester Cemetery; and she raised her own family on a farm straddling the Ross-Hobart Township line; so I ought to take notice of her passing.

Obituary of Clara Chandler Banks
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette, 14 Jan. 1921.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Mable (Fasel) Dewell

From the steamer trunk.

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


This cute little kid is identified by handwritten notes on the back of each photo as Mable (Fasel) Dewell.

The DeWell family archivist was able to save me a lot of work by explaining where this little creature came from and where she went: "Mable's parents were John J. Fasel and Anna Foreman (sister of Otto). Her grandparents were Henry J. Fasel and Mary Ann Springman. Mary Ann was another daughter of Charles Springman and Caroline Kegebein." We have already seen Mable's younger sister, Marie, among the early-1930s students at W.G. Haan School.

Mable Fasel grew up to become Mrs. Conrad DeWell. (Conrad was the son of William F. DeWell and his first wife, Martha Wischman, who died in the flu epidemic.) Mable and Conrad were married May 11, 1937.

Conrad DeWell and Mable Fasel
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the DeWell Family Archives.

Monday, December 2, 2013

There's a New Sheriff in the County

With the new year — 1921 — came a new sheriff for Lake County, and Lewis E. Barnes, formerly of Hobart, moved to Gary and the ice business.

Ex-sheriff Barnes, new sheriff Olds
(Click on images to enlarge)
From "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 7 Jan. 1921.

I don't know anything about his successor, but he may have been 49-year-old William H. Olds of East Chicago, whom the 1920 Census describes as "Chief Deputy," "County."

♦    ♦    ♦

If you're shopping for a phonograph, here's a couple you can buy from the Central Drug Store in Hobart:

Ad for Brunswick phonograph
From the Hobart Gazette, 14 Jan. 1921.

Ad for Sonora phonograph
From the Hobart Gazette, 21 Jan. 1921.

That price range in 2013 dollars would be about $979 to $23,483.*

*"US Inflation Calculator." Inflation Calculator. COINNEWS MEDIA GROUP LLC (COIN NEWS), 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Aunt Larson's Awesome Dress

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

48b Aunty Larson
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

No caption, but the album's owner recognizes this as Aunt Larson. Location unknown.

Much as I dislike 1920s fashion, I have to admit that her dress is awesome. Those things, whatever they are called, hanging down the sides of her skirt! Crazy! Beautiful!