Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Do-Over, Twice

This housekeeping project finally gave me the push I needed to go and fix two then-and-now posts that I had got wrong. Which meant going out on a cold, windy day and taking uninspired pictures in the thin winter sun … but that's better than continuing to be wrong.

See the corrected posts here:

Main Street, Looking South from Front

Georgiana and Illinois Streets

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Renovation on Third Street

While I was waiting for my Moo Shoo Chicken at the Panda Restaurant yesterday, I snapped a picture of the building at 651 E. Third Street in Hobart. It houses law offices now (and has for many years, I believe). Recently it got a new façade.

651 E 3rd
(Click on image to enlarge)

This building is on the site of the old Scholler blacksmith shop — that link leads not only to a couple 2011 views of the façade just replaced, but also to photos of the original building. The remodeling has raised an echo of the old blacksmith shop! Some of the details — the arches over windows and one door, and the decorative patterns in the brick on the left — while not identical to the Scholler building, are reminiscent of it. This new façade could stand on its own merits, but it also pays homage to part of Hobart's history.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Housekeeping Hiatus

I thought I could keep up with daily posts and do the code-fixing in my spare time. I was wrong. It's got to be done, so I've just got to take the time to do it. Maybe I'll be able to post once in a while. Crocodile.

2/17/2014 update: I know a lot of the image previews are just error messages now ("This image or video is currently unavailable"). You should be able to view the full-sized image by clicking on the broken preview. This will eventually get fixed.

I apologize for disrupting the Ainsworth experience for my readers (all six of you).

Friday, February 14, 2014

To My Valentine

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


This little valentine card, found in the steamer trunk, was from William Rossow to his daughter, Minnie. Long after his death, Minnie said of him that "he had a wonderful personality and lived to be a successful farmer, a kind husband and a wonderful Dad." (Minnie Rossow Harms. "As It Was Told to Me." 1952-1978. MS. Hobart Historical Society, n.p.)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Centennial, West Third Street

From the steamer trunk.

st100 Centennial - Third Street
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

This is a scene from Hobart's Centennial celebration in July 1947. We are on Third Street, west of Main. In the background toward the upper right corner you can see where Third and Main intersect.

The distinguished gentleman in the light waistcoat and dark top-hat is Herman Harms.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What the Heck?

Now the 1926 Plat Book has me confused again because it shows some land being owned by Christian Heck that he reportedly sold in April 1921:

Heck land sale
(Click on images to enlarge)
From the Hobart News 14 Apr. 1921.

Here it is in 1926:

Heck 1926

I don't know why I care, except that (1) Christian, with his parents, Frederick and Doretta, lived in Ross Township (northwest of Ainsworth) in 1870 and 1880; and (2) in 1900, when he farmed his own land south of Tenth Street, he shows up as a neighbor of Augusta Rossow, the second wife (and by then the widow) of Henry Rossow, who was Minnie Rossow Harms's grandfather. Augusta was renting (I believe) the land shown on the above map as belonging to William Lute, but in her time the land had belonged to Jacob Fiester, so it was known as the Fiester farm.

♦    ♦    ♦

In other news, John and Goldie Ensign had a new baby, John Jr.

Ensign birth

1870 Census.
1880 Census.
1900 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ "Births." Hobart News 14 Apr. 1921.
♦ "C.F. Heck Sells His 187-Acre Farm to Louis Kelle of Gary." Hobart News 14 Apr. 1921.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Anonymous, Androgynous

I thought I'd scan this little photo before it fades away completely, but it may have nothing to do with Ainsworth or Hobart.

Anonymous androgynous
(Click on images to enlarge)

I bought it at a Hobart antique shop many years ago — long before I even dreamed of this blog — because I thought it unusual, in that the subject appears (to me) to be a young woman dressed in men's clothing. The suit just doesn't fit right.

Much later I would find that temporary cross-dressing was not so very unusual, and there were plenty of trouser roles for women in local amateur theater.

And, after all, it may not be a cross-dressing woman — just a pretty young man.

Here I messed with the light values and contrast to try to un-fade it a bit.

contrast altered

Monday, February 10, 2014

Master Horseshoers

Walter Veal, Gust Lindborg, and William Waldeck — master horseshoers!

Master Horseshoers
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News 7 Apr. 1921.

Over a hundred such representatives attended the convention, according to the Gazette.

(And no, the Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Daley who visited the Raschkas were not the future mayor's parents.)

1920 Census.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 7 Apr. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 8 Apr. 1921.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Otis and Minnie Guernsey

What we have today is a photograph of Otis and Minnie Guernsey, added to my last post about Minnie.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Cozy Cabin in the Cozy Camp

[1/13/2016 update] The location of this photograph was originally identified as the Cozy Camp (successor to Chester's Camp), but now it seems more likely to be The Pantry, a tourist stop on the northeast corner of S.R. 51 and E. 73rd Ave. owned by Cecil and Ruby Tonagel. I have two reasons for changing the identification:
  1. We now have photos of the Tonagel cabins, and they look exactly like the one pictured here. (The Cozy Camp cabins may have looked the same, but at present we don't know how they looked).
  2. The person who donated the Tonagel photos lived at The Pantry and directly remembers Dacre Nelson staying in a cabin there, while the donor of the photo below had his information at second hand (and his description of the cabin where Dacre stayed is not inconsistent with what we know of the Tonagel cabins).

Dacre Nelson at Tonagel's
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of a friend.

This is Dacre Nelson at The Pantry Cozy Camp in 1937. Dacre and his brother had come up from Missouri looking for work. They stayed in these rough accommodations for a while.

The owner of the original photo tells me that the cabins were "octagon shaped with each side about seven feet long, not real roomy. They had a heat source but I'm not sure if it was wood, oil, kerosene or what. The heaters were also for cooking. I think the bathrooms were in another building that was shared."

Dacre went back to Missouri in 1938 and stayed there long enough to be married. Soon he and his wife, Dorothy, returned to this area, first renting an apartment in the Ainsworth general-store building, then moving to Lake Street in Hobart, where the 1940 census found them.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The Soft-Drink Hub

The more people I get to know, the more often I run into newspaper pages that are just jam-packed with news about … people I know.

First, I gather that liquor prohibition had turned The Hub in Hobart into a "soft-drink emporium." About 45 minutes' worth of research tells me that its owner, John Hillman, had lost his first wife, Mary, in 1917, and married his second, Sarah, circa 1918. Sometime before 1920 John had given over the operation of The Hub to his son, Fred (the only child of his first marriage). Fred was now about 25 years old; in 1917 he had married Bessie Ellington, but they had no children yet. So now you know who is leaving the flat over the soft-drink emporium, and who is moving in.

Hillman flat over soft-drink emporium
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of 7 Apr. 1921.

Among the social news in that "South of Deepriver" column comes a report of a whooping-cough (pertussis) outbreak in the W.G. Haan school.

And a happy birthday to Robert Rossow, whose picture can be seen in the new Images of America: Hobart book. Robert was born in 1870, so this was his 51st birthday. If I've got the genealogy right, Robert was a brother of William Rossow, and thus an uncle of Minnie Rossow Harms. I recently learned, from Minnie herself, that her parents once farmed just south of Ainsworth (at the intersection of E. 73rd and S.R. 51) which as far as I'm concerned gives me not merely an excuse but an obligation to talk endlessly about the Rossows. All of them.

For the moment, however, I'm going to shut up about the Rossows and get back to Bessie Ellington Hillman. I learned her maiden name by accident:

Farmer Ellington's accident
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of 4 Mar. 1921.

Just a week later, Farmer Ellington was reported to be "recovering nicely."

Can I fit in one more random piece of news? It concerns the Tabbert grocery store (photo still uncorrected!). Early in April 1921 Emma Tabbert and her son George sold their grocery business to Edward Grieger and Adolf Siegesmund of Wanatah. Edward Grieger reportedly had eight years' experience in general merchandise business with his brother, but I know nothing about his experience or his brother.

1920 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ "E. Tabbert & Son Sell Grocery and Market to Grieger & Siegesmund." Hobart News 7 Apr. 1921.
♦ "Farmer Ellington Seriously Hurt." Hobart Gazette 4 Mar. 1921.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 7 Apr. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 11 Mar. 1921.
♦ "South of Deepriver." Hobart News 7 Apr. 1921.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It's Too Late to Roller Skate

Here's another skate-case sticker for you.

Oak-Ridge Roller Dome sticker
(Click on image to enlarge)

I have checked for this business in the directories at the Hobart Historical Society museum. The earliest listing I can find, in a 1952 directory, is a masterpiece of minimalism: "Oak Ridge Roller Dome, Route 6, Ph." — but no phone number is given. Next is a 1956 listing: "Oak Ridge Roller Dome (Donald and Harold Shurr) 37th Ave. [phone number] 82."

A 1962 directory gives the address as "2275 US Hwy 6," naming Harold T. Shurr as president of the business and Daniel Shurr as vice president.

A 1968 directory has no listing for the business, but Harold Shurr's personal listing describes him as president of the Oak Ridge Roller Dome.

By 1970, apparently, it was too late to roller skate.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Caroline Abel and Her Carpenters

Caroline Abel obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette 1 Apr. 1921.

Aside from being an early settler, Caroline (Feiler) Abel was the wife and mother of carpenters who were responsible for a lot of building in the vicinity of Ainsworth; my notes are full of "Contractor Abel" and "F. Abel" shipping lumber to Ainsworth and putting up this house and that barn in the surrounding area. Problem is, I'm not sure exactly which Abel is being referred to, since all these references are after the 1900 census, in which both Frank Abel, Sr. and his son, Frank, Jr., described themselves as carpenters. In 1910 they both described themselves as contractors doing carpentry work (Frank Jr. being married with his own household), and 16-year-old Edward Abel also called himself a carpenter.

Let's just take a look at what we can attribute to one or more of the Abels:
  • Nov. 1901: "Walter Blachely [Blachly] will build an addition to his barn on the Mid Harper farm. Frank Abel sold him a carload of lumber with which to do the work."
  • March 1902: "On Wednesday Contractor Abel began building a house for John Miller at Ainsworth, having the contract for the labor and the furnishing of lumber."
  • April 1902: "Contractor Abel … has just shipped a carload of lumber to Ainsworth for C. Hill for repairs on a house and several outbuildings, which he will shortly build."
  • May 1902: "Contractor Abel received another carload of lumber this week for his contracts. He is building an addition to the house of Wm. Foreman, south of Ainsworth."
  • May 1902: "Contractor Abel has just shipped two carloads of lumber to Ainsworth to be used in a large barn that he will build for Frank Bayor…."
  • June 1902: "Contractor Abel this week finished Fred Miller's new house at Ainsworth."
  • September 1902: "An old-fashioned barn raising was held at John Gruel's yesterday and both of his new barns were raised. Quite a number from town attended. Contractor Abel is doing the carpenter work."
  • May 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."
  • August 1904: "Contractor Abel is building the new Deepriver church."
  • June 1906: "A week ago Contractor Abel began building a big barn for Chas. Sievert who lives southwest of town. The building will be 34 by 84 feet, with 20-foot posts."
  • September 1906: "Contractor Abel has begun the erection of a new barn, 32 by 48 feet and 18 feet high, on the Mike Ormond farm southeast of Hobart. The dwelling is also to be raised about eighteen inches and a new addition built thereto."
  • October 1909: "Contractor Abel who is building a new barn on the Kramer farm south of town hopes to have the structure completed within a few days."
  • March 1911: "Abel & Sons have been doing a lot of repair work on the Chas. Chester farm near Ainsworth and are now doing work for Ed Batterman."
… and those are just the projects I happened to make note of over the years.

Frank Sr. died in 1915; Edward died in 1918; and Frank Jr. died in 1919 of tuberculosis.

♦    ♦    ♦

Just look at all those Ross Township names in the "Notice of Road Petition" on the Gazette page above. Many acquaintances, some farmers, some Ainsworth businessmen such as Gust Lindborg and Charles Goldman, and even William Wollenberg, who I suppose still owned the saloon building in Ross Township though he lived in Chicago.

I suppose the road in question is E. 101st Avenue.

1880 Census.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
♦ "Early Settler Passes Away." Hobart Gazette 1 Apr. 1921.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 8 Nov. 1901; 21 Mar. 1902; 4 Apr. 1902; 2 May 1902; 23 May 1902; 15 May 1903; 26 Aug. 1904; 8 June 1906; 21 Sept. 1906.
♦ "Hobart." Hammond Lake County Times 22 Jan. 1919.
Indiana WPA Death Records Index.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 27 June 1902; 19 Sept. 1902; 29 Oct. 1909; 10 Mar. 1911.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Carl Junke

From the steamer trunk.

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

This solemn young man is identified by a note on the back of the postcard:


Junke was the maiden name of Minnie Rossow Harms' maternal grandmother. In a conversation recorded in 1982, Minnie mentions a Carl Junke as her grandmother's nephew — that is, a son of her grandmother's brother — and it sounds as if he spent time in Hobart, but I can't find identify him in any census.

The style of stamp box on that postcard was in use between 1910 and 1930. I'm inclined to date this closer to 1910 than to 1930 mainly because I think painted background scenery for formal photos was out of style by 1930.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Raymond Triebess

1921 was a year of significant progress toward the use of insulin, the first effective treatment for diabetes in medical history. But this progress came too late for Raymond Triebess. He would never return with his family to "our farm."

Raymond Triebess obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of 25 Mar. 1921.

Sunday, February 2, 2014


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

I must say, the young lady in the picture doesn't look all that enthusiastic.

But Herman Harms was pretty enthusiastic, as he begged Minnie to "WRITE" to him and to "ans[wer]" his postcard.


I think what's he's written down the right side of his message is "Macht gut," or "Mach's gut" — a friendly goodbye.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Mrs. and Mrs. Maicke of Ainsworth

Having been properly showered, Lesta Raschka soon became Mrs. Otto Maicke.

Raschka-Maicke wedding
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of 18 Mar. 1921.

Moving to Ainsworth would be something of a homecoming for Lesta, as she had spent 13 years of her childhood there, in the living quarters over the Ainsworth general store. The store, of course, had been sold to the Goldmans, but William Raschka still owned a grain warehouse — a reliable source of employment for sons-in-laws and nephews.

Before the homecoming, however, a honeymoon:

Mr. & Mrs. Maicke
From the Hobart News of 31 Mar. 1921.

… And the address of Fremont B. Price's insurance office in Gary.

♦ "Hobart Girl Married." Hobart Gazette 18 Mar. 1921.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 31 Mar. 1921.