Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hard Times at the Brickyard

The Kulage Brick Works had gone through some kind of slowdown, if not shutdown, in the summer of 1921; now, in September, the brickyard is shutting down "indefinitely," throwing forty men out of work.

2014-11-30. Kulage Brick Works shutdown
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 15 Sept. 1921.

Whoever, in the midst of these hard times, could afford a car would soon have some improved Lincoln Highway mileage to drive it on.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Third-Grade Composition Book, 1905-06

Way down in the steamer trunk I came across little Minnie Rossow's third-grade composition book (from the school year of the report card we just saw). And it's just too cute!

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(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

I am not sure how the contents of the book came to be written — that is, were they a retelling of her lessons? copied from dictation? original, maybe? — some read as if they could be. There is a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson ("The Wind"); another about birds whose author I can't find, but it seems beyond what an eight-year-old could compose.

Here Minnie retells a fable of Aesop:

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I believe she cut the silhouettes out of colored paper and pasted them in the book.

Here she pretends to write a letter to a friend (I don't know if she really had a friend named Paula).

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In the letter she mentions playing Fox and Geese at the noon recess; elsewhere she explains the rules of that game:

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This is a version of an old fable … but can you image a third-grader today hearing such a story in school?

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Minnie shared a birthday with George Washington. Now, we've all heard the cherry-tree story, but have you ever heard the colt-bursting-a-blood-vessel story?

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… Those are just some of my favorite pages. Here is a PDF of the whole composition book:

Third Grade Composition Book 1905-6

Friday, November 28, 2014

Bobbed Hair in Middletown!

Was it newsworthy when three girls in Muncie bobbed their hair??

2014-11-28. Bobbed hair in Muncie
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 16 Sept. 1921.

Elsewhere on that same page — aside from the sixth wedding anniversary of George and Pearl Yager — we find a mention of a young man named Lee Thompson. I don't believe I've taken notice of this particular Thompson family before. Lee's parents were George and Nancy Thompson, who had moved with their son and three daughters into Ross Township from Porter County, sometime between 1910 and 1920. I can't really tell from the 1920 census where in Ross Township they were living; I have been told that at some point they occupied the white house on the north side of Ainsworth Road just west of County Line Road, and the News also describes Lee as an Ainsworth resident.

I don't believe these Thompsons were any relation to the five-and-ten-cent Thompsons. I am not sure if they had any relation to the 19th-century Ainsworth Thompsons. However, George was a brother of the Wallace Thompson whose daughter, Ethel, had been killed by a train in Wheeler in 1919.

There's nothing particularly interesting about Lee's visiting his uncle, but we shall be hearing more from this family as the years go by.

♦    ♦    ♦

Little tidbits about some people we've known for a long time …

2014-11-28. Paine, News, 9-15-1921
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Hobart News 15 Sept. 1921.

Lovisa Nelson and her children had probably been visiting her sister, Luella Olson, in Fort Wayne. And Alice Paine, recently graduated from Hobart High School, is off to Teachers College in Indianapolis, which I never heard of before.

Additional Sources:
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 15 Sept. 1921.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

This little cutie was Lila Bailey and she was in the first grade, according to handwritten notes on the back of the photo.

I am thankful for people who save old photos, and for people who share them. And for people who write helpful information on the back!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Minnie and Miss Fleck

Here is little Minnie Rossow's third-grade report card, from the 1905-06 school year:

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(Click on images to enlarge)
Images above and immediately below courtesy of Eldon Harms.

On the back, William Rossow duly signed his daughter's report card every month.

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Minnie's teacher was Anne Fleck. We have her portrait from 1907, as a member of the Old Maids' Basket Ball Team:

2014-11-26. Anne Fleck Ingram
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Anne (or Anna) was born in 1885, so she was about 20 years old when she taught Minnie. Per the Indiana Marriage Collection, in 1916 she married Alfred G. Ingram (the same year her brother, John, married Daisy Raschka). Sadly, it seems that Anne Fleck Ingram died in her thirties. She rests in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Six-Room Bungalow

The first I ever heard of the "E.L. Arment 20 acres" was in March 1918, when Charles Sapper and his son, John, rented that land for some unnamed purpose, probably agricultural. The land lay on the east side of present-day Grand Boulevard, south of the Bracken land that is now Barrington Ridge, north of the Dorman land that is now the Indian Ridge golf course. The 1908 Plat Map ascribes it to "E.L. Armett":

2014-11-25. Arment 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

I do not know when E.L. Arment purchased these 20 acres. The 1891 Plat Book has Annie Ford written in as the owner, over a crossed-out "A.R. Castle." If we go back to the 1874 Plat Map, we find another Castle owning the land.

Anyway, now — at September 1921 — comes the announcement that E.L. Arment intends to construct a six-room bungalow on his 20 acres, and has given Frank MacPherson the contract to build it.

I am having some trouble positively identifying Mr. Arment. I suspect he may have been Elmer Livingstone Arment, who in November 1900 had married Maud Rifenburg of Hobart. Elmer had worked as a guard at the Indiana State Prison at Michigan City from 1900 (or earlier) on through the first World War, but by 1920 he had gone to work at a steel mill in Gary. It appears he managed to get himself counted twice in the census — once at home in Michigan City, where Maud naturally enough gave his name to the census enumerator as the head of the household; and on the same day in Gary, where he was listed as a lodger in a steelworker's home.

The six-room bungalow may have been intended as a new home for his family, but I have yet to confirm that they ever lived in it. Or even that it was ever actually built, much less still standing.

♦    ♦    ♦

One report on the Arment land described it as "opposite the Richard Carlson fruit farm." As you can see from the image above, opposite the Arment place is the 80-acre farm that once belonged to Swan Peter and Hedvig Carlson. We know that 20 acres of that parcel were sold in 1919 by a daughter of the Carlsons, at which time I wasn't sure what had become of the other 60 acres. Per the 1910 census, among the Carlson children was a son named Richard, who would have been about 35 years old in 1921; perhaps he owned another parcel carved out from the original 80 acres, and used that land to raise fruit (although no census describes him as a farmer). If that's the case, it suggests the old homestead was divided up among the survivors after S.P.'s death. (The 1926 Plat Book shows that land in several small parcels — too small to show the owners' names — while one of the small parcels was owned by a Carlson per the 1939 Plat Book.)

1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 8 Sept. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 29 Mar. 1918; 9 Sept. 1921; 16 Sept. 1921.
WWI Draft Cards.

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Say, "Jump," You Say, "Woof Woof"

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

According to the notes with this photo, it was taken somewhere near Wheeler, Indiana, around May 1904. The man at right is Herman Rossow, son of Henry and Augusta Rossow, and brother of Ida Rossow Hendrix, whose grandson owns the original.

In 1904, Herman was about 22 years old. I can't find him in the 1900 census, but in 1910 he was living in Hobart in the same household with three sisters and a brother, and working as a driver for a brewery. (In As It Was Told To Me, Minnie Rossow Harms mentions that Augusta's daughters did not get along with her second husband, William Carey, whom she married in 1903; the young women moved out of the Carey home and got their own place in Hobart. In 1910 their brothers lived with them. All five siblings were then single, and Herman would remain so.)

The man at left, who has persuaded the dog to jump, is Herman's friend Perry Palmer. Perry was about 28 years old in 1904, married for some five years, father of three children (with more to come), earning his living as a bricklayer. He had moved his family from Hobart to Wheeler sometime between 1900 and 1910. Later they would move to Gary.

The photo below appears to have been taken in the same place on the same day.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Freight Train Graffiti

A freight train stopped on the Canadian National tracks through Ainsworth yesterday. That's nothing out of the ordinary, but they usually stop in bad lighting, or have no chalk graffiti, or they don't quite stop, so I try to photograph them when they are moving very slowly and the photographs come out unfocused — anyway, the point is, yesterday I finally got a few photos.

Like an owl (same person?)

(Click on images to enlarge)

Jug of moonshine.


Twenty Seven (aka Deuce 7)

Twenty Seven

Not sure if this is the same person.

Porky 27

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Roads and Rhodes

As September 1921 began, the proposed improvements to Old Ridge Road got underway. Calvin C. Shearer and his son-in-law, Paul Emery, would be doing "all the grading," according to the Gazette article below, but I'm not sure why it was called the "Shearer road," and as for the "Peddicord road" that's somehow involved in this, don't even ask me.

2014-11-22. Shearer Road
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 9 Sept. 1921.

We also find our friend, George Rhodes, moving his family from one place I can't identify to another place I can't identify.

In other moving-to-an-unidentified-location news, we have Paul and Bliss (Shearer) Emery getting out of her parents house into their own home …

2014-11-22. Emery move
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local and Personal," Hobart News 8 Sept. 1921.

… while Walter Veal seems to have recovered his spirits after his recent bereavement. Franklin Schavey hasn't quite recovered his arm, but that's to be expected. (And how did Mrs. George Hatten acquire a brother with the surname Seider? — I thought her maiden name was Kipp?)

♦    ♦    ♦

The News mentioned that the Liberty Highway had been marked as planned, and a surge of traffic resulted: "[f]rom appearances there are now double the number of Autoists over this route than before, when tourists mostly followed the Yellowstone Trail, which took them through Third street and east over the north road to Valparaiso,"* also known as Cleveland Avenue. Here the Liberty Highway was described as "the south road west from Hobart." Earlier the Gazette had described the route as following "the south Hobart-Wheeler road" (as distinct from the "north Hobart-Wheeler road") and then Main Street, leading to "Chicago street westerly" (now known as Old Ridge Road). I do not know what constituted the south Hobart-Wheeler road, or the north one either, for that matter.

*"Work of Grading Shearer Road Begun Wednesday Morning." Hobart News 8 Sept. 1921.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Old College Building, Young Friends

One day in May of 1913, Herman Harms found himself in Valparaiso …

(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

… and he found himself thinking of his friend, Minnie Rossow.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Night Man's Early-Morning Adventure

It was helpful of the Wood family to have a big reunion, and so remind us of Woods we've forgotten; and it was kind of John Dorman to come down off the heights of Indian Ridge and work to lure people to travel through Ainsworth; but for thrills, you can't beat Ed Kisela's 4:30-AM adventure.

2014-11-20. Aventure at 4:30 AM
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 2 Sept. 1921.

By the way, my understanding is that the route between Chicago and Valpo via Ainsworth was to be marked but, thank heaven, not named.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Fifth Graders

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(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

We don't know the names of any of these children, nor the date the photo was taken. All we know is what's written on the slate held by the girl in the middle of the front row: "Hobart Ind. Grade 5."

Since this picture comes from the McAuliffe-Hahn collection, perhaps one of the Hahn brothers is in this photo. Arthur Hahn would have been in the fifth grade around 1909, Edward around 1916 (and I don't know when Hubert was born).

According to, the stamp box on the back of the postcard dates to 1904-1918.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

A Little Mackey

A year and a half after the loss of their daughter, Dr. Dwight and Ruth Mackey welcomed a son into the world: David Marvin Mackey was born September 5, 1921, at Mercy Hospital in Gary.

The next evening, Dr. Dwight celebrated with his buddies at the American Legion:

2014-11-18. Cigars
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 9 Sept. 1921.

Ruth and the baby came home from the hospital about two weeks later.

Additional Sources:
♦ "Births." Hobart Gazette 9 Sept. 1921.
♦ "Births." Hobart News 8 Sept. 1921.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 22 Sept. 1921.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rose and Fritz

I recently came across an article about their wedding (while looking for something else), so I may as well post this lovely wedding photo of Rose Kietzman and Fred (aka Fritz) Scharbach taken by August Haase:

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(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Fred Ols.

From the Hobart Gazette of 24 June 1910, an article entitled, "Hobart People Marry":
Fred Scharbach, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Scharbach, and Miss Rose Kietzman, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Kietzman, were united in marriage on Wednesday of this week, June 22d. The ceremony was performed at 2 o'clock at the bride's home on Kelly street in the north part of town by Rev. E.R. Schuelke and in the presence only of members of the two families.

The bride was attended by the groom's cousin, Miss Helen Scharbach of South Chicago and the groom by the bride's brother Charles.

The happy young couple left that evening for Chicago but returned on the late train to take up their residence on Devonshire street where their new home has been furnished for their occupancy.

Both have been raised in Hobart and possess a large circle of friends who wish them a happy wedded life. The Gazette extends hearty congratulations.
Rose was then just 17 years old, and Fred 21. According to the 1910 Census, in spite of Fred's father owning a lumber yard, Fred himself worked for a railroad as a section "boss."

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bus Drivers

We see some familiar names among the bus drivers (Hobart Township, I believe) as the 1921-22 school year begins. Also, a Lincoln Highway progress report, and general social news. "Mrs. Bertha Bodamer" and "Mrs. Ben Bodamer" are the same person.

2014-11-16. Bus drivers
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 1 Sept. 1921.

The previous year's annual report for Hobart schools gives us an idea of how much extra money bus-driving brought into a household. Beyond that, lots of people we know earned money by work or supplies furnished to the schools.

2014-11-16. Hobart Schools Annual Report
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 15 Sept. 1921.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chicken-Wire Fence

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(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Fred Ols.

Left to right: Bertha Ols, Martin Ols, Elizabeth Ols (Bertha's daughter, Martin's older sister). This photo is estimated to date to about 1910, at which time Bertha was 45, Martin 16 and Elizabeth (Lizzie) 21. At that time they were living in Gary, Indiana. A 1911 Gary directory shows them at 2136 Adams St. This is probably their house — Bertha would not do her mending on somebody else's porch, would she? I don't know whether it's the front or back porch. If it's the front, it's a very plain house. But they do have a beautiful lace curtain in one window.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Oscar Carlson v. Linda Street, Episode III

Oscar W. Carlson's quarrel with the town of Hobart over Linda Street first came to my attention in 1915, and Episode II happened in 1919. Two years later and Oscar is still at it, and now he has recruited Sam Tree (among others) to join the fight.

Linda St. dispute
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 26 Aug. 1921.

Fetterer's New Home Sub
(Click on image to enlarge)
This 1960 map shows Fetterer's New Home Subdivision.
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Oscar and his allies lost this battle too: the remonstrances against the opening of Linda Street were unanimously voted down at a Board meeting on September 27 ("Town Board Doings," Hobart Gazette 30 Sept. 1921).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Streetcar Pictures

A recent purchase. This first one, according to handwritten notes on the back, is Gary Railways Car #5, formerly of the Gary-Hobart Railway, now* used on the Gary-Hobart run.

Gary Railways streetcar
(Click on images to enlarge)

We have no date and no location for this photo, but from the buildings in the background I would venture to guess it was taken in Gary. It's bound for Hobart, as you can see by the sign in the window.

The second is of lesser quality, apparently a photograph of a printed photograph. Per the handwritten notes with it, it's a former Gary & Hobart Traction Co. car, now* owned by Gary Railways. I don't have a source for the original, nor a date, and I won't even guess the location.

Gary & Hobart Traction Co. car

*"Now" being relative to the writing of the notes, of course, not this post.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Weekend Wreckage Report

2014-11-12. Car wrecks
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 25 Aug. 1921.

The first accident occurred at the intersection of present-day E. 73rd Ave. and Grand Blvd./S.R. 51. That spot may have been particularly dangerous, with Lincoln Highway tourists adding to the traffic, and heaven knows if there was even a stop sign at the intersection.

William Fisher (husband of Jennie Hurlburt) was innocently getting the honey from Joe's bees when an anonymous driver struck his car on Old Ridge Road.

The column to the left of the "Week-End Accidents" relates the adventures of the local young men in the National Guard. I believe the John Fisher mentioned in that story was William's nephew.

♦    ♦    ♦

In other auto-related news, I now learn of yet another named highway that (like the Yellowstone Trail) I'd never heard of before; but the "Liberty Highway" is so obscure that I have not been able yet to determine whether it, too, was a cross-country route, or ran only between Kokomo and Chicago.

2014-11-12. Liberty Highway
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 26 Aug. 1921.

In addition to a reminder of the hard times the nation was experiencing, the "Local Drifts" column notes the purchase by Joseph Wegesin of the Thomas Roper farm "south of Deepriver." The only farm I can find matching that description shows up in the 1891 Plat Book in the northeast corner of Winfield Township:

2014-11-12. Roper land in Winfield Twp.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image from the 1939 Plat Book.

Blog-wise, I've ignored the Wegesin family up until now. In my newspaper notes, I've recorded only two mentions.* One was in 1911, when Mrs. Conrad Wegesin (Joseph's mother) came down from Chicago to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fasel, Sr. for Mrs. Fasel's 54th birthday party. The second was in May 1920, when Joseph's oldest daughter, Gladys, attended a birthday party for Lillie Fasel, who was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Fasel, Sr. (I wonder if the Wegesins had a family connection to the Fasels?)

From a brief look at the official records, I gather that sometime after Joseph's birth in Ohio in 1881, his parents, Conrad and Mary, moved the family to Chicago, where 1900 census found them. About a year later, Joseph married Martha Semmer, who also went by the name Magdalen in some censuses. By 1910 Joseph and Martha-Magdalen had moved to Hobart. Ten years later, they had seven children of their own, plus a niece and a nephew living with them.

I'm not sure I'm going to have to pay much more attention to this family, as it appears that by 1930 they had moved to Muncie, Indiana.

*There may have been more, but I did not record them.

Additional Sources:
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 3 Feb. 1911.
♦ "Young Lady Surprised." Hobart Gazette 28 May 1920.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hobart Centennial Program

The Hobart Centennial celebration took place from July 3 through July 6, 1947. The program printed up for the occasion outlined the schedule and listed the people who participated, organizing and funding it, and performing in the festivities.

The program also listed Hobart men who served in wars from the Mexican War through World War II, and those who lost their lives.

Centennial Program July 1947

Courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hides Behind Bulls

Another dip into the steamer trunk brought up this intriguing series of photos.

First, we have this man dressed in work clothes but sporting a fabulous fedora as he shows off a bull.

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(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

No ID on him. Another picture, however, has these notes on the back:

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The Nolte brothers, as we know, were Henry and Louis. Could Fedora Guy be one of them? The steamer trunk's owner examined the picture and said, "That sure looks like Henry Nolte … but maybe you shouldn't bet money on it." He was a boy of ten the last time he saw Henry, and that was 80 years ago. (The fact that the photos are printed on Velox paper doesn't help us, since that type of paper was in use throughout Henry's lifetime and for decades after his death.)

This is the photo with the notes on the back:

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In this and many other photos, Fedora Guy adopted the technique of crouching behind the animal he's showing off, so that his hat won't distract from the bovine beauty.

Let's play "Spot the Guy Behind the Cattle"!

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Well, that was fun!

Another way not to outshine the cattle was to hold the animal by a long rope or pole and stand outside the shot:

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… Oops. (From what I can see of that man, he's dressed differently — overalls — so it may not be Fedora Guy, or it may be another day. He's wearing a hat, but you can barely see its shape.)

Practice makes perfect:

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Give the guy a hand!

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There's a few more like that, but I think we've seen enough.

One last picture! It's similar in subject matter and style, but the physical photo seems to have a different finish.

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Is that even Fedora Guy? He's dressed differently from the first picture (hat included). Really, I can't see his face clearly enough to judge whether it's the same man.

One last comment: in the first photo in this post, there is a one-story building in the background that appears to sit on a cement foundation. The building is long; if it is also narrow, then it might possibly be the source of that long, narrow cement foundation that remains among the trees between Big Maple Lake and the Deep River. However, beyond the handwritten note suggesting a link between the Nolte brothers and these photos, we have no information about where these photos were shot, and I can't say I recognize any of these buildings from the 1947 property assessment report, so I have little basis to assert that this is the Nolte farm. On the other hand, if Fedora Guy is Henry Nolte, then at least 13 years of possible alterations passed between these photos and the property assessment photos.