Saturday, January 31, 2015

South of Deepriver

Here's the social news from Deepriver and vicinity, from the Hobart News of Nov. 24, 1921.

South of Deepriver column
(Click on image to enlarge)

I believe Maybelle Guernsey, now employed at the Ainsworth department store, was the daughter of Chester and Nancy (Hardesty) Guernsey, about 20 years of age.

Howard H. Smith apparently is sprucing up his place, with carpenter work, and a new well to be drilled by "C. Hulbert," known to us as Chester Hurlburt, second son of Milan and Mary Ann (Guernsey) Hurlburt. The 1920 Census lists Chester as 39 years old, still single, and living with his widowed father out in the countryside (possibly on the family farm, although neither gives his occupation as farming).

♦    ♦    ♦

I found the article above the "South of Deepriver" column interesting. The top part of it got cut off, but it's titled, "Chicago Motor Club Complains That Their Signs Are Being Torn Down," and you can get the gist of it — that vandals have been attacking warning signals as well as road direction signs placed along various local roads for the safety and convenience of motorists. This surprised me, in my persistent innocence. I had already learned that in the past drivers could be remarkably irresponsible, destructive, and selfish, but somehow I wasn't expecting this kind of random auto-related maliciousness (except perhaps in times of war or on Halloween).

Friday, January 30, 2015

Elizabeth Rossow Murphy

2015-1-30. img202
(Click on image to enlarge)
Date and location unknown.
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

She was the daughter of Henry and Augusta (Stolp) Rossow, thus a half-sister of William Rossow and a sister of Ida Rossow.

We find her in 1880, at the age of three, with Henry and Augusta on their farm in Hobart Township. As a child, Liz somehow survived the epidemic of diphtheria that took the lives of her older brother, Freddie, and younger sister, Annie — so we are told by Minnie Rossow Harms in As It Was Told to Me; she tells us, too, that it was Lizzy who discovered her father's body in the field where he was killed in an accident in 1895.

In 1903, Lizzie's mother married again, to William H. Carey. Liz and her sisters did not get along with their stepfather (again, according to Minnie Rossow Harms), so they moved into their own lodgings. Thus we find Lizzie in 1910, as the oldest sibling, the head of a household in Hobart composed of sisters and brothers. By 1920 Liz had moved to Chicago, and was living with her sister Clara, her brother Herman, and her cousin Ella (Minnie Rossow's sister, I suppose). They were all employed, and supplemented their income by taking in lodgers.

In August of 1920 Liz, at about 42 years of age, married John "Jack" Murphy. By 1930, I believe she and her husband were living in Hobart again.

Minnie Harms says this of her Aunt Liz:
She lived to see a great many hardships, also good times, and was always a great favorite with my father and his brothers, his two right brothers. She did not marry until middle life and she never experienced the joy or the hardships of having a family herself. She was 64 when she died of an asmethedic [sic] heart, Feb. 4, 1940.
Liz is buried in Hobart Cemetery.

1880 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index.
♦ Harms, Minnie Rossow. As It Was Told to Me. 1952 – 1978. MS. Hobart Historical Society, Hobart, Indiana.
Indiana Marriage Collection.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just Another Airplane Falling Out of the Sky

It wasn't as close to Ainsworth as usual when a U.S. mail plane fell out of the sky on November 18, 1921.

2015-1-19. Airplane falls onto farm
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 24 Nov. 1921.

The Gazette said that the plane came down in "Wm. Mohl's field," and members of the Louis Boldt family were first on the scene. I can't find the Mohl, or Moehl, land; I can't find a farm owned by Louis Boldt; but here, for what it's worth, is the William Boldt farm on the 1908 Plat Map.

2015-1-29. Boldt 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

♦    ♦    ♦

Speaking of William Boldt (who was Louis' brother, I believe) — he was up to his own activities at this time: he had just sold his house in Hobart, and was holding an auction to sell off some of its contents.

2015-1-19. Wesley: John Sr. & John Jr.
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 25 Nov. 1921.

I haven't talked about the Wesley family since the autumn of 1920, when John's sister, Anna, had married William Gernenz — except for a "South of Deepriver" column in June 1921 mentioning that John Wesley was pressing hay for H.H. Smith, and I don't know whether that's John Sr. or Jr. John Sr. was farming in the vicinity, of course, but John Jr., although a townie, earned his living by threshing and pressing hay for others with his own machinery.

Here is the Wesley land as shown in the 1926 Plat Book (it was identical in 1891 and 1908, and substantially the same in 1939):

2015-1-19. Wesley 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

Anyway, it's John Jr. who is now going to farm in Ross Township, and maybe he will provide us with better gossip than his father did (not that I have any reason to hope).

John Jr., born May 25, 1889, was the middle son of three from John Sr.'s first marriage. By the age of 21 he had moved out of his father's house and hired on to work on the farm of William and Jennie Fisher. I'd be tempted to draw an interesting conclusion from that fact (for example, that he couldn't get along with his young stepmother, or, what is worse, got along with her too well), except that it was not uncommon for young men from farming families to hire on with neighbors.

Late in June 1917, John Jr. married Frances Mattmiller in Chicago. I'd be tempted to suppose that his having filled out his draft card a few weeks earlier had given him marriage fever, but really I have no evidence of that and I ought to stop thinking such things. And furthermore, he stayed married to Frances through 1940 at least, so no doubt it was a true love match. Anyway, in 1920 there they were in Hobart with one little son, being utterly respectable citizens.

By 1940 they had three children. Let us hope at least that one of the children will commit a youthful indiscretion.

Additional Sources:
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1940 Census.
Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index.
WWI Draft Cards.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Minnie Harms and John Berndt

To complement yesterday's post, let's look at the wedding photos of Minnie Harms and John Berndt.

Minnie Harms, John Berndt
(Click on images to enlarge)
Photographs courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The Hobart Gazette of April 23, 1909, gave some details about that gorgeous dress of hers.

2015-1-28. Berndt-Harms

They were photographed by August Haase. A second photo included the flower girls, Dorothy Leiger and Minnie Bassauer (notes on the back of the original suggest that Minnie may be on the left and Dorothy on the right, but it's not clear).

Minnie Harms, John Berndt & flower girls.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Aunt Minnie Berndt

Minnie Harms Berndt had been married for less than two years and did not yet have any children of her own when she wrote this variation on an old classic in her nephew Lester's autograph album.

2015-1-27. lhauto007
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A Menu of Death

This page from the Hobart Gazette of November 25, 1921, offered up varied styles of death, from the horrifyingly sudden to the tragically premature.

2015-1-26. 3 deaths
(Click on image to enlarge)

I'm guessing that Bertha Stoltz's mother was Gust Busse's sister (Bertha's maiden name being Heiman, not Busse). Bertha had married Robert Stoltz in 1908, and early in their married life they rented a house on Center Street in Hobart, convenient to Robert's work in a brickyard. By 1920 they had moved into Morgan Township, Porter County, and were farming rented land.

The Gazette's version says the shooting was accidental, but a couple of articles I have tracked down from other sources, including a Wanatah newspaper, say it was intentional, though impulsive.

♦    ♦    ♦

Minnie Chase Smith had been born November 9, 1865, on her parents' farm, which I believe I have found on the 1874 Plat Map:

2015-1-26. Chase 1874
(Click on image to enlarge)

I wish I had figured out earlier that Sela Smith had this local connection; I could have talked about him more — not that he's done anything particularly interesting, but I think his name has popped up in the newspapers more than his wife's … which isn't saying much. They seem to have led a pretty quiet life. (Minnie's brother, Gust, is the one who would be killed in a car crash in 1927.)

♦    ♦    ♦

We saw this coming for poor Harold Guernsey, who had been seriously ill for many months. Incidentally, I have never heard of Putout, Indiana, where Otis Guernsey is described as living, nor can I find any information on such a place. (And "Mrs. Carrie Sondong" in the last sentence is a misprint for "Santonge.")

Additional Sources:
1880 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Funeral of Mrs. Sela Smith Held at Her Home Saturday Afternoon." Hobart News 24 Nov. 1921.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Mrs. Robert Stoltz Killed by Shot Gun in Hands of Orphan Boy." Wanatah Mirror 24 Nov. 1921 (
♦ "Obituary." Hobart News 17 Nov. 1921.
♦ "Youth Slays Woman." Indianapolis Star 23 Nov. 1921 (

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Language of Postage Stamps

After a comment on this post mentioned the language of postage stamps, the DeWell family archivist sent me this image …

2015-1-25. KlaasAgnes notebook
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the DeWell Family Archives.

… with this explanation:
I remembered seeing this in a tiny notebook my grandmother, Agnes Klaas-Hasse, kept about 1908.

She was born in Klaasville, Lake County, Indiana in 1891. About 1905 her family moved to Mississippi, searching for cheaper farmland. Agnes and several of her sisters later returned to Lake County, married and raised families there.
So here we've got a young woman who grew up on an Indiana farm; who, transplanted to Mississippi, did nothing more exotic, as far as I can tell, than get a job as a cook in the home of a moderately well-to-do family (1910 Census); and yet she knew about the language of postage stamps — it could not have been too arcane.

Poking around the internet a bit, I find some articles on the topic, including an international selection of rules and a 2005 article on the the lingering use of this language.

I have been schooled. All the same, on all the postcards I've looked at over the past few years, I haven't seen a stamp anywhere but the upper right-hand corner.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Not Jack

Neither the boy nor the dog is identified.

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

From its markings, we know the dog isn't Jack. Handwritten notes on the back of this photo identify the location as the "Old McAuliffe Farmhouse," so the boy may be one of the Hahn boys, but we don't know which one.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Schools for Sale

With the new W.G. Haan school in its second year of operation, Ross Township had no further use for the two old wooden schoolhouses that had formerly served the Ainsworth and Deep River areas. In November 1921, they were offered for sale.

2015-1-23. School buildings for sale
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 18 Nov. 1921.

Back in October, the Ainsworth school had been appraised by Charles Chester, John Gruel and William Shults at $40.00* in value, its woodshed at $3.00 and its outdoor toilet at $2.00.

2015-1-23. Ainsworth school appraisal
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society.

I already know what happened to the Ainsworth school: someone from the Foreman family bought it. I think a Niksch bought the Deep River school, but we shall see.

*The figure looks like $40.00 to me, but I might be wrong.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rose Kietzman

We've seen her wedding photo; now here's a portrait taken on some other special occasion — confirmation, or eighth-grade graduation, by the looks of it.

2015-1-22. Rose Kietzman. Photographer A. Haase.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Fred Ols.

Rose was born in 1892. Assuming she's about 14 years old here, we can estimate this photo's date at around 1906. The photographer was August Haase.

I love her shoes, but they were not meant for walking.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Charles Popp and a Series of Dances

I believe this is the first I've seen of Charles Popp doing anything in Ainsworth: a series of dances in the Ainsworth hall, which I suppose means Gust Lindborg's dance hall.

2015-1-21. Charles Popp's dances at Ainsworth
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 18 Nov. 1921.

The identity of the members of the Bruebach orchestra is a mystery, though I'm assuming it was named for one or more members of the George and Eliza Bruebach family of Hobart, whose mausoleum graces Crown Hill Cemetery. An item in 1912* described the orchestra as having three members, which might mean George Sr. and his sons, George Jr. and Paul; or it might just mean one of the Bruebachs led it.

In other news, Harvey Carey (former Ainsworth-area resident and stepson of Augusta Stolp Rossow Carey) is renting his Wheeler farm to some guy who had somehow got onto the Blachly farm earlier without me hearing about it.

And as for the birthday party for Mary Passow (who had told the 1920 census-taker she was only 89), I suppose it would be Bertha Ols, aka Mrs. Henry Ols, who baked the cake.

*"Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 25 Oct. 1912.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Andrew Melin's Fairfield Addition

CK Melin sent me this ad, which appeared in the Hobart News of April 7, 1910, and which reminds us that, although he is better known as the superintendent of the Kulage Brick Works, Andrew Melin also dabbled in real estate for a time.

2015-1-20. Fairfield Addition ad 1910
(Click on image to enlarge)

Here is Andrew Melin's Fairfield Addition as it appears on a map of Hobart circa 1960:

2015-1-20. Melin Fairfield Add.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

It is bounded by Wisconsin Street on the west and Washington on the east, Old Ridge Road on the south and the (former) Pennsy tracks on the north. These days, the Walgreen's on the northeast corner of Wisconsin and Old Ridge Road occupies the southernmost part of the Fairfield Addition.

The 1908 Plat Map shows that land owned by someone whose name is hardly legible, but looks like "R. Renahan" or maybe "Rehanan." Either way, I can't identify that person.

2015-1-20. Andrew Melin
(Click on image to enlarge)
Andrew Melin, real estate mogul.
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Adjourned Sine Die

2015-1-19. Samuel Lathrop marriage
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 17 Nov. 1921.

I find something touching about the last meeting of the old Hobart town board, with such attention to correct procedure, being adjourned sine die — as if someday its business might be taken up again.

But that's not what we're here for. We're here to celebrate the marriage of Samuel Lathrop, the son of George and Eva, named for his grandfather. The last news I had of Samuel goes back to 1903, when he and his father moved to Michigan. Evidently, Samuel had come back to the area by 1920, when the census-taker recorded him boarding in the Gary home of Osce Amlong and working as a railroad engineer. In fact, I find a Samuel G. Lathrop listed in a 1913 Gary city directory, and again in 1918 — by which time it appears he has a spouse named Lula, so if that's our Samuel, this is not his first marriage.

However, from what I can see in the records on, Samuel and Nellie stayed married. They remained in Gary for a couple more decades at least, and then I gather they retired to Florida. At present all the Lathrops are out of my bailiwick and it doesn't look as if they intend to come back, so, in spite of my peculiar fondness for them, I shall have to consider my writing about them adjourned sine die.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rose Tolpy, 1912

From the steamer trunk.

2015-1-18. 2a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

She is identified by handwritten notes on the back …

2015-1-18. 2b

… but she is still a bit mysterious, since I can't figure out where she lived or what she was to any Rossow or Harms, that her photo would have ended up in Minnie's steamer trunk.

(I notice that the 1891 Plat Book shows the land just north of what would eventually be the Rossows' Wisconsin Street farm was owned by a Michael Torpy … hmmm.)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Schavey Farm Changes Hands

Henry Schavey had quit farming in the autumn of 1920; a year later, we find him selling his farm:

2015-1-17. Schavey farm
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 10 Nov. 1921.

"Frank Shoemaker" is better known to us under the name Schumacher. He had a connection to the Schaveys by marriage — his sister, Hattie, had married Henry's brother, William. Until now Frank and his wife, Eliza, had farmed rented land, so this purchase was a milestone for them. But the pride and happiness of finally owning their own farm would be tempered, I expect, by the grief of having lost their only child in February 1921.

♦    ♦    ♦

The same newspaper column carried news of others we know: Julius Schavey moving from one unidentified place to another; Paul Newman planning to attend the state-wide Yellowstone Trail meeting; and the Walter Bros. prospering.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Report Card, 1909-10

After the sixth grade with two teachers, Minnie Rossow spent the seventh grade in the classroom of Sena Borger.

Minnie Rossow report card 1909-10. Eldon Harms.
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images above and immediately below courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Minnie Rossow report card 1909-10. Eldon Harms.

Sena Borger, born in 1886, was the elder daughter of Charles and Henrietta (Batterman) Borger. Her only sibling, Edna, was born six years later.

The Hobart Historical Society has a photograph of Sena, nearly hidden in the back row of Hobart High School's graduating class of 1904:

2015-1-16. img068
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.
Back row, L to R: Sena Borger, Ann Fleck, Cora Saxton, Frank Reissig.
Middle row: Blanche Quinnell, Bess Hayward, Howard Carlson, Ellen Malone, Lena Michelson.
Front row: Hartley Mundell, Cora Maybaum (Regon), William Warches, Paulina Marquardt.

Sena went into teaching early, but I have just recently come across a little information about her later career, in the Hobart Gazette of Oct. 7, 1921:

2015-1-16. Sena Borger's new job

She appears in Indianapolis city directories* for 1922 through 1926. I can't find her in the 1930 census, but in 1940 she was back in Hobart, living with her parents and her married sister and selling insurance for a living. In 1945, according to a Gary city directory,* she was living in Hobart and working as a "welfare visitor" for the Lake County Dept. of Public Welfare. She had moved to Gary by 1955,* and continued with her welfare work into 1958.* Sometime during that year, it appears, she moved to California,* and spent her remaining years there. She died in California in 1968, and her ashes were brought back to Indiana for burial.

Here is her obituary, dated July 18, 1968:**
News was received by Hobart friends late last week that Miss Sena M. Borger had passed away July 2nd in her apartment at Arcadia, California. Miss Borger was a native of Hobart, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Borger and sister of Mrs. Edna Borger Lenz. She has been a resident of Arcadia for the past nine years living in an apartment near Mrs. Lenz.

Miss Borger was a native of Hobart, attending schools here and graduating from Hobart High School in 1904. She taught school here for a short time following her graduation. She became active in social service working in Hammond and later became the director of the family Welfare Program in Racine, Wis.

Because of illness in the late thirties she went to Albuquerque, N. Mex., where she regained her health. In the early 1940's she returned to the Borger home on East 3rd Street. She was active in the Red Cross and other civil affairs.

Later she became a member of the staff of the Lake County Department of Public Welfare. Upon her retirement from the Department she moved to Arcadia, Calif. where her sister and huer husband and young daughter had taken up residence.

She was a member of the Unitarian Church of Hobart and the Order of the Eastern Star of Hobart.

Cremation followed the funeral services and Mrs. Lenz has written that Miss Borger's ashes will be sent to Brunswick in the south Lake County to be buried beside those of her mother and father in the cemetery there.

*Per city directories on
**Exact source unclear; apparently a Hobart newspaper.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

First City Government

The Hobart News of November 10, 1921, gave the results of Hobart's first city election.

2015-1-15. City Gov't election results
(Click on image to enlarge)

The Hobart Historical Society has a photo-portrait of all those who made up the first city government of Hobart:

2015-1-15. City Government 1921
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Additional Source: "Henderson Honored as First Mayor." Hobart Gazette 11 Nov. 1921.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Your Aunt Mayme

Advice from Aunt Mayme Harney to little Lester Harms via his autograph album.

2015-1-14. lhauto006
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

South of Deepriver

It was probably a postcard or telegram with words to the effect of "If you want to see your brother alive, come home," that brought William Guernsey back from West Virginia to visit Harold, whose condition was deteriorating.

2015-1-13. South of Deepriver social column
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 3 Nov. 1921.

The rest of the "South of Deepriver" column was happier.

The "Local and Personal" columns included a visit from "Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Hile" — she being the former Louise Halladay. Amelia Blachly is home from a visit to her son, who, I believe, was living on the Lincoln Highway between Ainsworth and Merrillville. And the "Hobart band" — the high-school band, I suppose? — is performing to raise money for the W.G. Haan school in Ainsworth.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Computer break

My computer is in the hospital, so the blog is taking a break.

Friday, January 9, 2015

A House on Lincoln Street

Out of the steamer trunk comes this photo:

2015-1-9. sb006-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Handwritten notes on the back identify the house, though not the man in front of it.

2015-1-9. sb006-b

I'm guessing the writer was Minnie Rossow Harms, and "Ma & Pa" to her were William and Antonia Rossow.

The stamp box style dates from 1910 to 1930 according to

To me, this house looks a great deal like 726 Lincoln Street, with a little remodeling …

2015-1-9. 726

… but we've got a family story that would seem to have 726 Lincoln already occupied by October 1921. I shall be paying close attention to the 1921 newspapers for information about who rents the house, as it's possible for a family story to jump over a few months in another house. [Never mind about all that!] But for now I shall call this house, as well as the man in front of it, unidentified.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

For Rent: a House on Lincoln Street

Among the kinds of wants that existed in Hobart in October 1921 was William Rossow's wanting to rent his house on Lincoln Street — address unspecified, but maybe somebody out there knows it? I may have a photo of this house, but we'll get to that in the next post.

2015-1-8. House for rent
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 28 Oct. 1921.

The "Local Drifts" column reports that Sarah Read has gone back to keeping house for the Nolte "boys," Henry and Louis, who were then about 30 and 23 years old, respectively (1920 Census).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Jack Hahn

On an unknown day in an unknown year, in the yard of the old McAuliffe farmhouse on east Cleveland Avenue, a dog stood still long enough to be photographed — a dog who (if we judge by the handwritten caption) belonged to the Hahn brothers, and who (if we judge by the fact that someone took a photo of him) was much loved.

2015-1-7. img831
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Obscene Graffiti

It seems that Halloween festivities have gotten more civilized nowadays than they were in 1921.

2015-1-6. Obscene Graffiti
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local and Personal." Hobart News 27 Oct. 1921

The Gazette likewise scolded local boys for writing "'smutty' and obscene words upon store fronts and windows," as well as marking up cars with chalk or soap, or otherwise damaging them. And the Town Marshal, in a published warning, suggested that even girls could be guilty of such things:

2015-1-6. Warning

♦    ♦    ♦

The "Local and Personal" column above included news of more innocent activities: William Raschka is campaigning for office in the new City of Hobart (as is his son-in-law, John Fleck), but takes a day off to go hunting; Louis Wojahn is proud of the potatoes raised on his farm near Ainsworth — though they might have been raised by a tenant, Louis having announced his retirement from farming in 1917; and Bertha Rossow gets a surprise birthday party.

Additional Sources:
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 28 Oct. 1921.
♦ "Warning Notice." Hobart Gazette 28 Oct. 1921.

Monday, January 5, 2015

They Are Nervy

From the steamer trunk.

2015-1-5. 1913-12-11-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

It's December 1913; the weather is cold, the nights are long, there's no radio, TV, or internet; and Herman Harms isn't "nervy" … he's just missing his Minnie.

2015-1-5. 1913-12-11-b

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Death Comes for the Groom-to-Be

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

Let us go back for a moment to a couple of those wonderful old glass-plate negatives — specifically, the two that include William Olson, Andrew Melin, Tekla Anderson, and a young woman whose identity we don't know. In the photo above, William is standing at left, Tekla is standing at right, and Andrew is seated at right. The young woman seated at center, wearing a high-necked white blouse and an amused expression, is unidentified. They are all together again in the photo below, a trick shot that makes William (standing) appear twice.

Train of Thought

CK Melin has furnished me with William Olson's obituary from the Hobart News of October 6, 1910, and pointed out that it may contain a clue as to the possible identity of that mysterious young woman in the images.

2015-1-4. Wm. Olson obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)

That article is largely reprinted from the Hammond Times. The Hobart Gazette followed the next day with its own article, which included a few more details:
Wm. A. Olson who formerly lived in Hobart was found dead in his room last week Thursday, Sept. 29, at the home of Mrs. W.H. Rifenburg at Hammond where he had roomed several years. Mr. Olson had passed the evening before at the home of his aunt, Mrs. Eric Melin, in Chicago, and was in his usual good spirits and health. He did not arise at his usual hour the next morning and after forcing in the door to his room his body was found upon the floor, face downward, and it was evident that he had died in an epileptic paroxysm, of which he had been afflicted from youth although of late years he was much improved. The remains were shipped to Hobart via the Nickel Plate Friday afternoon and conveyed to the home of his cousin, Andrew Melin, on Michigan avenue. The funeral in charge of Rev. Otto A. Johnson was held at 10:30 last Sunday forenoon at the Swedish M.E. church, but the sermon was preached by Presiding Elder Anderson of Chicago. The burial was in the Hobart cemetery.

Mr. Olson was thirty-two years old. He was born in Sweden and came to this country when a youth of ten years and had made his home at the Melin residence. He learned the tinner's trade when a young man and was employed by his cousin, Andrew Melin, when he conducted a hardware store in Hobart some years ago and then by A.J. Swanson the hardware dealer but for the past five years he was employed by P.H. Mueller at Hammond. He was a young man of excellent habits and was an expert tinner and plumber. At the time of his death he was secretary of the Tinner's union at Hammond and a social member of the Maccabees in Hobart. He was engaged to be married to Miss Theresa Lindgren, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Lindgren of Lake street and the ceremony was set for Saturday of this week. His death is very regrettable. He is survived by a mother, a sister and a brother in Sweden.
Well, after reading all that, one can't help but jump to the conclusion that the lovely young woman in the photos is the fiancée, Theresa Lindgren. It's such a cozy and intimate little group there, and in the first photo William is resting his elbow on her chair in an almost proprietary gesture. Knowing what we know now, we see the poignancy in these playful images, as they capture the happiness of young lovers spending a perfect summer afternoon together, never suspecting how close they are to death and heartbreak.

Officially, however, I still have to consider her unidentified.

There are a few more photos in which I believe she appears …

I think she is seated at the far right in this one (while William Olson is standing at the far left) (original post here):

Young Peoples Meeting  No. 39

In this one, she's second from the top (original post here):

Just Us Girls 3

Here she's at left (original post here):

Just Us Girls 2

At left again (original post here):

Just Us Girls 1

And again (original post here):


I'm not 100% sure, but that might be her standing second from the right in this one (original post here):

Odd Man Out

In the choir photos, I think the young woman at right in the middle row might be her (and William Olson is at right in the last row) (original post here):

Choir 1