Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Don't drink too much.

(Click on image to embiggen)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

People unidentified. Date unknown.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bungalow or No?

After the trouble I went to finding out who Elmer Livingston Arment was, I'm annoyed that suddenly in October 1921 he has to move half a state away and has no further need for a bungalow on Grand Boulevard … which means I've probably been wasting my time trying to figure out which of the houses in that area was his.

2014-12-30. Exit Arment
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 21 Oct. 1921.

But wait! — up jumps the builder, Frank MacPherson, with an announcement:

2014-12-30. Bungalow will be built!
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 4 Nov. 1921.

Next door to that item, another interesting announcement about some people we know. I haven't blogged much about the Thomas Chandler family, although they show up here and there in my notes, in happy events of births or ordinary sociability. (I was just checking my notes from way back and found this little item from 1910: "A daughter was born Apr. 13th to Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Mosher who live at present with Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Chandler near Deepriver." The first time I read that, I had no clue who the Moshers were.)

Now that these Chandlers are leaving my bailiwick, I suppose I should finally talk about them! Thomas, born in 1878 and named for his grandfather, was one of seven children of Sylvester and Margaret Chandler — an older brother to Eugene Chandler, whom we've heard so much about.

In February 1900 Thomas married Maud Whittmer. Early on in their married life, it appears they lived in western Ross Township, and Thomas worked as a railroad section hand. In 1907 they were living near the village of Deep River — perhaps farming, as the 1910 census shows them farming rented land in the same area. In 1913, the family reportedly bought "the 52-acre farm of Charles E. and Maggie E. Barney at Palmer," and yet in 1919 they were "occupying the Cunningham farm of 116 acres six miles southeast from Ainsworth, for the third year" — and the last year, it seems, as their landlord was reportedly selling the farm out from under them. In 1920, they were farming rented land in Winfield Township. (By this time, Thomas and Maud had three children: Emery, Josephine, and Janet.) And now, in November 1921, the Chandlers were departing from the Ella Roper farm, which I believe lay on the west side of Clay Street, its southern border at present-day U.S. 30 (see 1908 Plat Map).

As so off go the Chandlers, and onto the Ella Roper farm come Fred and Olga Rossow.

Additional Sources:
1880 Census.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Additional Local News," Hobart Gazette 29 Aug. 1919.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 30 Aug. 1907.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 22 Apr. 1910.
♦ "Personal and Local Mention." Hobart News 10 Apr. 1913.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Unidentified Couple

2014-12-29. lh010 a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

We have no information about who these people are.

The lady's sleeves, bodice and belt are in the style of the 1860s, though her skirt is not quite as full as was fashionable then, nor does she seem to be wearing hoops. The photographer was Lewis H. Mandeville of Valparaiso, who, according to his biography, may have been practicing his profession in Valparaiso as early as 1855.

2014-12-29. lh010 b

The photo comes from the Lester Harms collection, but that doesn't necessarily mean it has anything to do with the Harms family, as it could have come into his hands through marriage, or any number of random ways.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Road Hog Report

Back in September 1921, Sarah Read had been lying ill at the home of Mrs. E. Hartnup, likely a relative; by early October, Sarah was doing a little better and had moved into the home of Ben Packham, who was definitely a relative — specifically, her nephew, though I have no clue exactly how. But the 55-year-old Ben was, like Sarah, a native of England.

As the October days went by, Sarah's health improved so much she was thinking of going back to keep house for the Nolte brothers. The report of that good news appeared on the same page as another story that deepens my impression that drivers today are better than they used to be:

2014-28-28. Road hogs
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local and Personal." Hobart News 20 Oct. 1921.

"Abe" Wyant, more formally known as Albert B., lived east of Ainsworth on South Hobart Road where it begins to curve toward present-day River Pointe Country Club (the house has been replaced by a new one). He was then about 42 years old. As for Harry Grey (or Gray), he was then a 25-year-old garage repairman who would later own his own garage in Hobart.

Additional Sources:
1920 Census.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 7 Oct. 1921.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Year of Two Teachers

If Minnie Rossow Harms saved her report card from the 1907-08 school year, I haven't found it yet. So let us move on to 1908-09, when Minnie is in the sixth grade.

2014-12-27. reportcard001
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images above and immediately below courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Between February and March there is a notation — "moved to Hobart" — that probably explains why Minnie had two teachers that year.

2014-12-27. reportcard002

My guess is that while the Rossow family lived in the Glen Park area, Minnie's teacher was H.C. Hathaway, whom I haven't been able to identify. Then the family moved to Hobart and Minnie entered the classroom of Mary Portmess.

The Hobart Historical Society has a lovely portrait of Miss Portmess with a seventh-grade class:

2014-12-27. Mary Portmess ca 1910.jpg
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Minnie is probably not one of these students, as she had a different teacher for the seventh grade, and for the grades she attended during 1910, which is the estimated year of this photo.

We've also seen Mary on the Old Maids' Basketball Team. In the spring of 1921, Mary was among the guests at the Class of 1921's party on the Paine farm.

Mary and her twin sister, Ruth, were born in 1879 to Jacob and Frances Portmess. In 1880 the family lived in Plymouth, Indiana, where Jacob worked as a photographer. By 1900 they had moved to Hobart; Mary and Ruth were both school teachers, and Jacob worked as a house painter (we've met one of his more difficult clients). Teaching did not suit Ruth, apparently, as she went into stenography, but Mary spent her working life as a teacher.

Here is Mary's obituary from the Hobart Gazette of July 29, 1954:
Hobart friends were saddened this Thursday to learn of the death of a long time local resident, Miss Mary Portmess, who died Tuesday at the age of 74 in Tampa, Florida where she has made her home for the past three years.

Miss Portmess, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. William [sic] Portmess, spent her early childhood in Plymouth and Argos, coming to Hobart with her family about 1885.

The family made their home at 1109 Cleveland avenue, and following her graduation from Hobart high school, Miss Portmess attended the University of Chicago and Valparaiso University, after which she taught social science studies in the Hobart schools for 23 years and in the Gary schools for 26 years, retiring in 1945.

A twin sister, Ruth, and a brother William, also preceded her in death. Only survivors are a nephew, William F. Portmess of Watsonville, California, and a cousin, Melvin Portmess of Chicago.

The body will arrive Saturday morning at Pflughoeft's chapel, where funeral services will be held Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock, with Rev. C.C. White officiating. Burial will follow in Crown Hill cemetery.
The Portmess family (including Jacob's sister), all rest under one marker.

Additional Sources:
1880 Census.
1900 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
1940 Census.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Masquerade in Ainsworth, Moonshine in Liverpool

To celebrate Halloween 1921, "the Ainsworth community" planned a masquerade party to be held in the auditorium of the W.G. Haan school. "Come and enjoy yourself. Everybody welcome." ("Masquerade Party." Hobart News 20 Oct. 1921.)

♦    ♦    ♦

Out of Liverpool came this mystifying story:

2014-12-26. Stills in Liverpool
Hobart Gazette 21 Oct. 1921.

It's mystifying not only because I can't identify the "old Flagherty place," but because of that last line, so carelessly tossed off — "a charge of arson"? What?? Didn't the poor guy just get seriously burned trying to save his still? I wish the writer had seen fit to explain. Perhaps it's a misprint.

♦    ♦    ♦

Rachel has tracked down an article that explains better what was going on out there on the old Flagherty place:

Toth arson
(Click on image to enlarge)
Lake County Times (Hammond, Ind.) 17 Oct. 1921.

I have not been able to determine whether Gabriel survived his burns.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas from the Ainsworth School!

2014-12-24. Ainsworth school Xmas program 1939-40
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

There is no date on this program, but one of the participants estimates that it took place in the very late 1930s, or 1940 at the latest. The Ainsworth school had a Christmas program every year (she tells me), as well as a Halloween masquerade party and some sort of program in the spring. And every month during the school year, a "community meeting."

I wish I could index every surname, but Blogger won't let me. So I will just type them out for the search engine: Baldner, Bergman, Blimel, Bodamer, Bowers, Bryant, Buchfuehrer, Bush, Busselburg, Carden, Collins, Dick, Doepping, Dorman, Engstrom, Ford, Gernenz, Harms, Hartin, Homeier, Johnson, Jones, Kissinger, Klemm, Kuntz, Lines, Madura, Maihofer, Mitchell, Moreland, Nelson, O'Brien, Olson, O'Neil, Peterson, Pike, Piske, Ready, Robb, Robinson, Schmidt, Shaw, Sullivan, Tonagel, Watts, Weiler, Wesley, Willy, Wise, Witham, Wojahn, Yager, Ziemanski.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Vernon Traeger

Yesterday we read of the death of Huldah Traeger, and while I don't have a picture of her, I do have one of her son, Vernon.

2014-12-23. sb022-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images above and immediately below courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The photo is undated. It is printed on an unused postcard bearing a stamp box that could date to anywhere between 1908 and 1924.

2014-12-23. sb022-b

To me, Vernon looks like a teenager here — maybe 16 or 17. He was born March 5, 1898.

Looking at census and other information, we find him at 20 years of age working for the Hobart Ice Co.; a couple of years later, it appears he was running a soft-drink parlor.* In 1930, he was employed in an unnamed sheet-metal shop — where he probably gained experience helpful to running his own business, which he opened sometime before April 1940. If he ever married, I don't know about it. Here is his death notice from the Gary Post-Tribune, 15 Jan. 1972:

2014-12-23. Vernon Traeger death notice

Vernon is buried in Hobart Cemetery.

*If I've read the census report correctly, which is not an easy thing to do.

Additional Sources:
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
1940 Census.
WWI Draft Cards.

Monday, December 22, 2014

"Death Enters Several Hobart Homes"

Death was busy for a few days in mid-October 1921, and among those it took were some of our acquaintances — B.W. Strattan (of the Strattan building), Edith MacPherson Scholler (who had been married less than a year), and Huldah Traeger (wife of Lawrence, who was a night marshal and later a saloonkeeper, and mother of Vernon).

2014-12-22. Strattan, Scholler, Traeger obits
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 20 Oct. 1921.

Additional Sources:
♦ "B.W. Strattan Killed by Accident." Hobart Gazette 21 Oct. 1921.
♦ "Mrs. Lawrence Traeger Dies Suddenly." Hobart Gazette 21 Oct. 1921.
♦ "Obituary." Hobart Gazette 21 Oct. 1921.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Hobart Then and Now: Villa Rose Tavern

Circa 1946-1956, and 2014.

Villa Rose Tavern
Hobart Trustee's office
(Click on images to enlarge)

Formerly the Villa Rose Tavern, now the Hobart Township Trustee's office, at 1421 W. 37th Avenue in Hobart.

I just recently bought this postcard. It is unused, and I couldn't find anything on the back that would help me date it.

Villa Rose Tavern postcard verso

Checking some of the old directories at the Hobart Historical Society, I found it listed no earlier than 1946 and no later than 1956. So that's how I estimated the date of the photo: very superficial research.

The 1920 Census and 1930 Census show a John Kiefer (born 1910) living on a farm in Ross Township, but I have no clue whether it's the same person.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Second Graders

From the same collection as the fifth graders, here's a mostly unidentified second-grade class in a Hobart school.

2014-12-20. img821
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

Notes on the back suggest that one of the children may be Edward Hahn.

2014-12-20. img822

If that is Edward, then the picture would probably date to around 1913.

Friday, December 19, 2014

South of Deepriver

A social column from the countryside south of Deep River …

2014-12-19. "South of Deepriver" social items
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart News 13 Oct. 1921.

… and a full obituary for Harry Breyfogle's foster grandma.

Also a little more information about the Yellowstone Trail.

♦    ♦    ♦

Elsewhere in the same issue of the News, one heck of a chicken dinner …

2014-12-19. Sappers' chicken dinner

If the Nelson family was our own Glen and Elsie Nelson (and their two little boys, Delmer and Melvin), I wonder if their being "of Crown Point" was only in terms of mail delivery routes. The 1920 Census seems to place them on Grand Blvd./S.R. 51 between Ainsworth and the Deep River, and I haven't seen any news since then of their moving.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Emil Scharbach and Emma Busse

Yesterday we read about an unpleasant experience that involved Emil Scharbach, so today let's look at one of his more pleasant experiences.

2014-12-18. st010
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Emma Busse (sister of Adeline) married Emil Scharbach on June 27, 1903, when she was about 18 and he 20.

August Haase photographed the happy couple.

The Hobart Gazette of July 3, 1903, described the wedding ("Scharbach-Busse Nuptial"):
The German Lutheran church was packed last Saturday evening, June 27th, 1903, to witness the marriage of Mr. Emil Scharbach, son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Scharbach, and Miss Emma Busse, daughter of Marshal and Mrs. Gust Busse, both of Hobart. The ceremony was performed by the Rev. Peter Claussen, pastor of the German Lutheran church at Valparaiso, at the hour of eight. The bride was handsomely attired in crepe de chine and carried a large bouquet of roses. The young couple were attended by Miss Martha Busse as Maid of Honor and bridesmaids — Miss Wanda Busse, Miss Lizzie Lentz and Miss Ida Stoltz, and groomsmen — Bernard Scharbach, John Kruse, Henry Bewersdorf and Art Newman.

After the conclusion of the services at the church, the young couple and a large number of relatives and friends assembled at the bridge's home on Main street to celebrate the event. An abundance of everything good to eat and drink was provided for the guests and the occasion was most enjoyable for all.

The bridge received many beautiful and costly presents. The young couple have already begun housekeeping in the Swedish Lutheran parsonage. We join their many friends in extending best wishes and congratulations.

The relatives present from abroad to attend the wedding were: From Chicago — Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sachtbeben, Mrs. Hannah Schroeder, Louis Scharbach and daughter and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schroeder; From Wanatah — Mr. and Mrs. Herman Busse, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Stoltz, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Rozenbaum, Mr. and Mrs. Louis Pratt, Mrs. Wm. Hermann and Emil Lawrence; From Evanston — Miss Ida Busse.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Unpleasantness with the Prohibition Officer

On an October afternoon in 1921, two prominent Hobart citizens mistakenly got into a car chase with a federal Prohibition officer.

2014-12-17. Prohibition officer
(Click on image to enlarge)Hobart Gazette 12 Oct. 1921.*

The story suggests that the officer's car had no markings that would have made it identifiable as such. From what I've read about the early federal Prohibition enforcement effort, I gather it was grossly understaffed, with the officers poorly paid, often untrained and ill equipped.

Above that story, we have the news of the death of William Krausse (father of Carl), who had a more interesting life than I suspected.

♦    ♦    ♦

The "Local and Personal" column of the Hobart News of October 13, 1921, included this item:
O. Amlong and family have moved to the Chester Cooper residence on Lake street and Mr. and Mrs. Otto Maicke of Ainsworth have moved to the Humes flat vacated by Mr. and Mrs. Amlong.
… which leaves me knowing very little except that Ainsworth had lost its Maickes.

*This issue of the Gazette is erroneously dated "Friday, Oct. 12, 1921." Friday was the usual day for the Gazette to come out, but that week's Friday fell on the 14th.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Cousin Flora

The next autograph in little Lester's book was written on New Year's Day, 1911, by a 12-year-old cousin.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

I believe Flora's mother was Sophia Springman, sister to Anna Springman Harms (Lester's step-grandmother). Sophia had married Julius Wagener in 1889. The Wagener family lived in Chicago. After her marriage to Clarence Howell in 1917, Flora became a Hobart resident.*

*I am borrowing this information from a family tree on

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Law or the Shotgun

William Rossow knew who was stealing his corn, I think, but considered it wiser to address him through the newspaper than at his front door.

2014-12-15. Wm. Rossow's corn; Charles Lee & the weather
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 12 Oct. 1921.*

And our old friend Charles Lee is under the weather.

*This issue of the Gazette is erroneously dated "Friday, Oct. 12, 1921." Friday was the usual day for the Gazette to come out, but that week's Friday fell on the 14th.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Some Women We Know

I think this is a companion photo to the men we know — that tree in the background is the same in both photos.

2014-12-14. img917
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Fred Ols.

The notes identify these women only by their first names (and two of them not at all), so I'm going to have to try to figure this out. My guesses are in brackets.

Front row, L to R: Mary Mae [née Vetter; married Martin Ols]; unidentified; unidentified; Alphie [dau. of Christ and Alpha (Struble) Ols].

Back row, L to R: Catherine [née Yandow, married Herman Ols]; Emma [dau. of John and Sophia (Ols) Baessler]; Bertha [née Wischman, married Henry Ols]; Jenny [dau. of Christ and Alpha (Struble) Ols]; Sophia [née Ols, married John Baessler]; Evelyn and Caroline [daus. of Christ and Alpha (Struble) Ols]; Mary [née Ols, married Wm. Thiede]; Minnie [dau. of Wm. and Mary (Ols) Thiede]; and Liz [dau. of Henry and Bertha (Wischman) Ols].

I got the family relations from the genealogy compiled by Fred Ols, but I jumped to my own conclusions about how the surnames related to the women in the photograph.

No date on this photo either. As for the fashions — well, I'm seeing styles I'd place at around 1920, plus two or three dropped waists, which I wouldn't expect to see until circa 1923. Looking at the men's photo, I guessed circa 1926 based on one person's apparent age, but here I'm inclined to revise my estimate downward, maybe circa 1923 or '24.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Death of a Deep River Boy

Since coming to the village of Deep River, members of the Cullman family had survived a train wreck and a bout of influenza, but in the autumn of 1921 the middle child, Walter, fell ill, and this time there was no lucky escape.

2014-12-13. Walter Cullman
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, 6 Oct. 1921.

His 16th birthday had been on September 16, not quite three weeks earlier. Walter was a sophomore at Hobart High School, I suppose, having graduated from the Deep River school in May 1920.

Additional Source: "Boy Dies at Deepriver." Hobart Gazette 7 Oct. 1921.

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Mystery of Harriet

Ever since I started looking into the Henry Chester family, I've been puzzled as to why there was no gravestone for his first wife, née Harriet Perry, in the Chester Cemetery. Obviously their marriage had ended — he did take a second wife — and the usual way of ending marriages in those days was death.

It took some detective work by one of Henry's descendants, Linda Pearson, to establish that Henry's first marriage had likely ended in the unusual way: divorce.

We knew that Henry had married Harriet, daughter of Ezekiel Perry of Porter County, in 1859. But Linda has tracked down a biography of Sylvester Casbon (whose fine brick house we have already seen), which states that after his first wife died in 1868, Sylvester married again, to "Miss Harriet Perry, daughter of E. Perry." Per the Indiana Marriage Collection, Sylvester married Emmeline H. Perry on October 21, 1869; I guess we know what the "H." stood for.

Back in 1913, when Henry's will was being contested, I was mystified by the mention of "Mrs. Etta Wood" as a daughter of Henry, since I had never seen, in census or newspaper article, any daughter named Etta. However, Linda points out that there is a Henrietta Chester in the 1870 census, in the household of Sylvester Casbon:

2014-12-12. 1870 census Casbon
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image from

Unlike later ones, this census does not help us by listing each person's relationship to the head of the household. But now we can deduce that Henrietta was Sylvester Casbon's stepdaughter. Her age means that she was born circa 1862, too late to appear in the 1860 census, where we find Henry and Harriet and their two small daughters, Mary (who went on to become Mrs. Marchant), and Olive (who died in infancy and now rests in Chester Cemetery). "Etta," then, is likely short for Henrietta (but at present I can't explain any Wood connection).

The marriage of Sylvester and Harriet ended in the usual way, and a lovely stone marks Harriet's grave in Mosier Cemetery.

2014-12-12. Harriet Perry Casbon
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Linda Pearson.

Henrietta Chester went on to marry a Charles Stroman, according to the 1918 marriage certificate of her son, Martin:

2014-12-12. Stroman marriage certificate
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Linda Pearson.

Martin Stroman was Linda's grandfather; he was also described by the Hobart News in 1913 as the son of Mrs. Etta Wood, who was the daughter of Henry Chester.

I'd like to know how the surname Wood got in here, but otherwise I'm convinced we've solved the mystery of Harriet. Many thanks to Linda Pearson, History Detective!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

How About Saturday Night?

This young lady looks very demure until you get down to where she's flashing her leg. Racy stuff!

2014-12-11. 1913-09-04-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The summer of 1913 was on the wane as Minnie Rossow invited her friend for an evening's visit.

2014-12-11. 1913-09-04-b

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

City of Gambling and Moonshine

The question whether Hobart should become a city, which had been much debated for a couple of years, at last came to a vote in the fall of 1921. Of an estimated 1,400 to 1,600 citizens eligible to vote, less than half did.* The city proposition won by about 218 votes.

The News commented:
Some of the things which those in favor of a city have been working for and anxious to see achieve, are good water for Hobart, and an enforcement of the law which would stop gambling and bootlegging of moonshine. It is figured a mayor can do this better than a town board as a whole.
Now the interested citizens of Hobart could start campaigning to be elected to the new city offices.

*698 if you believe the News, 727 according to the Gazette, and that's as far as I intend to go in researching this.

♦ "City Plan Wins by Good Majority." Hobart News 6 Oct. 1921.
♦ "Hobart City Now a Reality." Hobart Gazette 7 Oct. 1921.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Some Men We Know, or Would Have Known Sooner If I'd Been Paying More Attention

2014-12-9. img915
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Fred Ols.

Notes on the back identify these men (left to right) as "John Ols (Chris's son), Charley Ols, John Baessler, John Thiede, Henry Bodamer, Martin Ols, Grandpa Henry Ols, Henry Thiede, Chris Ols."

We already know the Christ Ols family; son John was born circa 1906. Charley and "Grandpa" Henry Ols were brothers of Christ. And Henry Ols was Martin's father.

John Baessler had married Sophia Ols in 1888, so he was brother-in-law to Christ, Charles and Henry.

Henry Bodamer had married Minnie Baessler (John and Sophia's daughter) in 1915. Henry was a son of George and Freeda Bodamer, born in 1891. We encountered him once before, I believe, as a nine-year-old schoolboy, but I don't know how he is connected (if at all) to the Bodamers who have figured in more prominently in this blog (Benjamin and Bertha, and Alvah and Vernon).

Now, as for the Thiede family — I have done a good job of ignoring them. The name has popped up in the microfilm now and then, but I've rarely made note of it and only once mentioned it in the blog, when William Thiede bought a Water Street house from Charles Maybaum. At the time I had no clue who William Thiede was, but since then I have learned that he entered the Ols family way back in 1881, when he married Mary Ols (sister of Christ, Charley, and Henry). The two Thiede men in this photograph were children of that marriage: Henry was born in 1882, John in 1890.

So, I hope we have all that straight now!

The only information we have about the date of this photo is that it was taken before 1930. Most of these men have reached that middle point in life where you must guess their age within a range of decades, not years. But John Ols (at the far left) looks to be in his late teens or early twenties, which would place the photo roughly around 1926.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Fire and Ice

I don't know exactly what one should expect to find in a barn belonging to the Barnes Ice Co. Me, I'd expect to find ice. I'd be mistaken, apparently, either because no ice was put up during the winter of 1920-21, or because by September 1921 the ice was all used up anyway, or because this was the barn, not the ice house. For whatever reason, when it caught fire, there was no ice inside to melt and put the fire out.*

2014-12-8. Barnes ice house burns
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local and Personal." Hobart News 22 Sept. 1922.

According to the Gazette, Fred Rose, Jr. first noticed the fire as he was standing at Main and Third around 8:00 that evening. He gave the alarm and ran to get his dad's fire truck, and with several other members of the fire department who happened to be nearby, rushed to the scene … but to no avail.

I wonder if this is the fire referenced in the 1979 article of downtown Hobart memories.

In other news, Bertha Bodamer's social life continues active and reported.

*I know, I know — fire goes up, meltwater goes down.

Additional Source: "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 23 Sept. 1921.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Little Lester's Autograph Album

Among the Lester Harms collection was a little autograph album, probably given to him as a gift at Christmas 1910. Lester was only six years old, so it's not surprising that all the autographs were supplied by female relatives.

His grandmother, Anna Harms, was the first.

2014-12-7. lhauto004
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Technically, she was his step-grandmother, but somehow I don't think either of them cared about that distinction.

Here is the cover of the album:

2014-12-7. lhauto001

(Doesn't that look like a boom box he's carrying?)

Inside the cover, an inscription not made by a six-year-old:

2014-12-7. lhauto002

And the title page:

2014-12-7. lhauto003

(More to come.)

Saturday, December 6, 2014


I have appended some additional information to the post about Carolyn Sykes Guernsey Santonge.

Friday, December 5, 2014

A House Without a Housekeeper

The Nolte brothers' former housekeeper, Sarah Read, was ill. The woman she was staying with, "Mrs. E. Hartnup," was likely Eliza Hartnup, widow of Edgar, whose maiden name seems to have been Read (or Reed — they keep changing the spelling).

2014-12-5. Sarah Read's health
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 23 Sept. 1921.

And Elsie Gruel has changed jobs, from teaching to banking. (Her father, John, was a director and officer of the bank.)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Lincoln Highway Death

On September 19, 1921, at the crossing of the Lincoln Highway south of Ainsworth (the present-day intersection of Grand Boulevard/S.R. 51 and E. 73rd Avenue) a speeding car struck a turning car, and the result was death.

12-4-2014. Fisher accident on Lincoln Highway
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 22 Sept. 1921.

William Raschka* came upon the scene just after the wreck and probably helped organize the rescue. Maria Fisher was carried to the Hobart doctor in John Chester's car, Alvah Fisher in a car belonging to George Hall of South Bend (probably the "man from South Bend" mentioned as a witness in the above article).

Maria was too badly injured to attend her husband's funeral. A week later she was still in the hospital but reported to be "improving nicely."

"Wm. G. Fisher, brother of the dead man," who sought to have the other driver charged with manslaughter, had experienced a car accident of his own, though much less serious, just a few weeks earlier.

♦    ♦    ♦

Happier things were going on elsewhere; e.g., George Sauter's grocery store. I never heard of the Wilson & Co. meat-packing company before, though I've certainly heard of Wilson sporting goods.

Just above that article — another race at the Hobart Speedway, and Everett Newman continues to win.

*William had previous experience in dealing with a bad accident.

Additional Sources:
1920 Census.
♦ "Death of Alvah Fisher." Hobart Gazette 23 Sept. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 30 Sept. 1921.
♦ "Reckless Driving Again Brings Death." Hobart Gazette 23 Sept. 1921.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Another Year with Miss Fleck

Minnie Rossow spent the fourth grade in Anne Fleck's classroom, as well as the third. Let us hope they were both pleased about that.

2014-12-3. reportcard005
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

2014-12-3. reportcard006

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Carolyn Sykes Guernsey Santonge

We now get another glimpse of life in the Otis Guernsey family, thanks to Annamarie Dunford, great-great-granddaughter of Otis and Amanda by their youngest daughter, Carolyn (aka Carrie), born circa 1901.

This is the daughter whom Otis and Minnie visited in St. Louis in the spring of 1921, by which time apparently she was married to Joseph Santonge. I reported on that visit so off-handedly, knowing none of the background … but Carrie's oldest daughter Irene has left us an idea of the years of unhappiness and separation preceding that visit, in these few lines written at some point in her life (and I wish she'd written more):

Text by Irene Santonge
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Annamarie Dunford.

My transcription:
Carolyn Guernsey ran away from home at the age of nine. Her father Oatis kept track of her but never forced her to return. Her mother [Amanda], a full blooded Cherokee, had been burnt to death when [Carolyn] was only two. Amanda worked in a shoe factory on the second floor to help supplement their income during a drought year. When fire broke out she had no chance. Oatis married a woman [Minnie] who mistreated and abused the younger children. Oatis was found in his cornfield in 1926 with his head bashed in. Assailants unknown.
You will notice, first of all, that the story of Amanda's death came down to this granddaughter in an altered version — retaining the essential horror of death in a fire, but scrubbed of the scandalous details of her lover and their elopement.

That's an interesting remark about Otis being attacked in his cornfield, isn't it? It sounds as if Irene was telling about his death — which actually occurred in 1927, but that could easily be misremembered by a grandchild. This is the first I've heard of any attack on Otis that may have killed him, but then again I haven't read the 1926-1927 newspapers in any detail. Annamarie relates that her grandmother told her Otis was killed because he had married an American Indian (Amanda). And yet his death certificate contains no mention of head wounds:

Otis Guernsey death certificate

"Chronic valvular heart disease" is the cause of death. Surely Dr. Dwight Mackey would have known a fractured skull when he saw one. This is very intriguing, and perhaps as I continue to read the microfilm I will eventually find out what really happened — or what was reported at the time, which is the best I can hope for.

While reading the binder of genealogy notes at the Merrillville museum, I came across another little portrait of life in Otis Guernsey's household, apparently from an undated interview with his oldest daughter, Nellie:
They all worked very hard. They were without a mother from the time Nellie was two. Father [Otis Guernsey] had to care for them. Nellie grew up in Deep River — her father raised them and was very strict with them. He really raised the switch to them. They were very poor, so poor that Otis put bibbed-overalls on Nellie and sent her to school. Nellie worked hard on her childhood home and had very little enjoyment like most young girls. She worked hard all her life. Also after marriage she just got used to hard work. Raised 6 children and worked hard for them.
I don't know quite what to make of that remark about being without a mother "from the time Nellie was two." Nellie was born in June 1895 (1900 Census), so she was eight when Amanda died in October 1903. It's possible the interviewer misunderstood Nellie, or made a mistake in the notes; it's possible that, so many years later, Nellie was a bit confused about dates; or perhaps this means that Amanda was not consistently in the home throughout her marriage to Otis, so Nellie felt motherless even while her mother was still living.

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So, getting back to Carrie: by 1921 she had married Joseph Santonge. I can't find a record of the marriage, so I don't have an exact date. Though I can't find either of them in the 1920 census, we know from the spring 1921 visit that Carrie was living in St. Louis (and that she was on good enough terms with her father and step-mother to allow them to visit her).

Carolyn and Joseph Santonge had three children: Irene was born March 26, 1921; Dorothea June 25, 1923, and Anna Marie September 18, 1925.

Here is Carrie with her three young daughters in 1925:

Carolyn and the kids

Here are the children in 1928:

Santonge kids + 1

Front row, left to right: Dorothea, Anna Marie, unidentified; the tall girl in back is Irene.

And this is Carolyn in 1939:

Carolyn Guernsey Santonge

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For Guernsey genealogists, Annamarie has sent me some of her research:

Guernsey-Garnsey family tree

Chester Smith Guernsey was Otis Guernsey's father.

Guernsey, Chester Smith

C.S. married Elizabeth Dibble.

Dibble, Elizabeth

C.S.'s father, Hosea …

Garnsey, Hosea

… had married Seviah Cunningham.

Cunningham, Seviah

Details of Otis' marriage to Minnie:

Guernsey-Jones marriage

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12/6/2014 update — Just a little more information to add, from Annamarie:

(1) An interesting detail about Amanda Rex (McDonald?) Guernsey has been handed down through the descendants of her daughter, Caroline — namely, that Amanda used to ride horses at the state fair.

(2) Carolyn Guernsey married Joseph Santonge in 1920. They divorced sometime time after the birth of their third daughter (Anna Marie). Sometime in 1934 Carolyn married Albert Berendt; they lived in St. Louis City, Missouri. She was born 4-3-1902, and she died 12-25-1941.

Here is her death certificate:

Berendt, Caroline - death certificate
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Missouri Digital Heritage.