Monday, March 30, 2015

The Wheat and the Check

Based on this brief summary, it sounds as if William Raschka did not get a fair shake, if he didn't at least get his $500 back.

2015-3-30. Raschka wheat case
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 20 Jan. 1922.

♦    ♦    ♦

Elsewhere in the same issue of the Gazette, we find a "School Notes" column written by Wayne Nelson, the youngest of Lovisa Chester Nelson's children; and a spirited letter from "Canada":

2015-3-30. School Notes

Friday, March 27, 2015

Evie, Outside the Studio

Her formal portrait was very nice, but I think we can get a better idea of Eva Thompson's personality from an informal portrait like this one:

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

She looks like fun, doesn't she?

The little child is unidentified; so is the location. We don't have a date, either, but I'm told that the car is a Chevy, probably 1927 or '28, which would also be consistent with the style of Evie's dress.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

16 and Pregnant: Feline Edition

2015-3-25. Eve
(Click on image to enlarge)

This is Eve. I am fostering her for the Humane Society of Hobart. She is about 7 months old and already expecting kittens. She is not much more than a kitten herself!

All she wants to do is cuddle. That's OK. I'm sure that cuddling a pregnant cat is better for my elbow than messing around on the computer.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Birth and Death

Nellie Peck had married Nicholas Ehrhardt, Jr. in November 1920; early in the morning of January 16, 1922, she gave birth to their first child, a daughter — but the little girl died at birth.

Nellie survived her daughter by only a few hours.

2015-3-23. Nellie Peck Ehrhardt obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 20 Jan. 1922.

I suppose the child was buried with or near her mother, but so far as I can tell neither Nellie's grave marker nor any other in the Mosier Cemetery acknowledges her child's existence, any more than the obituaries do. I would not have known about her but for the "Births" column in the News.

Additional Sources:
♦ "Births." Hobart News 19 Jan. 1922.
♦ "Funeral of Mrs. Nellie Peck-Ehrhardt Held on Wednesday Morning." Hobart News 19 Jan. 1922.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Scavenger Hunt

Mr. Hallberg says all of these people had photographs taken between December 1921 and March 1922. Some of the photos may have been destroyed one way or another, or passed down with no name written on them so that nobody knows who they are now, but surely some of them still exist and are identified, somewhere. Anybody want to try to track them down?

2015-3-19. Photos taken by Hallberg, Dec. 1921-March 1922
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 30 March 1922.

Names for search-engine purposes: Allen, Batterman, Beach, Billeaux, Black, Bloomquist, Braddock, Brahst, Brand, Brandt, Bruebach, Burnett, Byall, Calvert, Canino, Carlson, Cavender, Condon, Davis, DeFrance, Emery, Faulkner, Finding, Fisher, Fleck, Frageman, Fratzke, Friedrich, Gresser, Grieger, Gruel, Hagberg, Hamann, Hawke, Haxton, Heath, Henderson, Hulett, Ittel, Jahnke, Johnson, Keilman, Kemp, Keppel, Killigrew, Kipp, Koehler, Krull, Lee, Livingston, MacIver, Mackey, MacPherson, Manteuffel, Maybaum, Melin, Mellon, Miller, Mygren, Nelson, Newman, Owen, Pattee, Paxton, Peddicord, Penniman, Peterson, Peterson, Phillips, Pierson, Quinlan, Raschka, Rhodes, Rohwedder, Roper, Rose, Rossow, Scharbach, Scheidt, Schmelter, Shearer, Shoemaker, Shore, Shults, Siegesmund, Sitzenstock, Stocker, Stoeckert, Strom, Strong, Swanson, Thompson, Traeger, Tyler, Vincent, Voorhis, Walters, Weaver, Wheaton, Wild, Wilson, Wood, Wrobbel, Yetter

Monday, March 16, 2015

His Sweet Colleen

2015-3-16. 1913-03-15-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Herman Harms sent this from Ainsworth on March 14, 1913, addressed to his sweet colleen in Hobart. The next day, for some reason, it was up in Chicago, getting postmarked there. Perhaps Minnie was visiting relatives or friends there, and someone in Hobart kindly forwarded it to her.

2015-3-16. 1913-03-15-b

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Spring Break

I have to take a break from daily posting. I'm developing a case of Computer Elbow.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Norma Lindborg Berg, 1916-2015

Norma Lindborg
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Norma Lindborg Berg.

The songbird of Ainsworth has flown.

Or maybe that is not a good metaphor — it's true that Norma loved to sing, and retained her sweet soprano even into her nineties; but "songbird" suggests something flighty and elusive, and that wasn't Norma. She was reliable. She was a worker.

Norma Lindborg Berg was one of the first people I talked to when I started my historical research. She was 93 when I met her. I was a stranger asking for her help; she received me graciously, and spent many hours talking with me about her family, her neighbors, and her long life in Ainsworth. In the process, we became friends.

I admired her. She was intelligent and strong-willed, but with a sense of humor; she was kind, conscientious, and tactful, and cheerful in spite of the difficulties of old age and the troubles she had gone through in her life.

But what I think of most when I think of her is this: sometimes, when we went outdoors, whether to work in the yard or to go grocery shopping, she would stop and look up at the sky — and that cost her some effort, as her spine was bent from osteoporosis, and her eyesight was dimming — she would look up and say, in a voice full of wonder, "What beautiful clouds!" Later, lying in her bed at a nursing home, she would gaze out the window, up to the blue sky and those beautiful clouds. At the age of 93, 95, 97, she was still amazed by the everyday beauty of the world — that really struck me, and stays with me.

Now the songbird has flown, or the worker has left the vineyard, but always, when I look up to the sky and think how beautiful the clouds are, I will remember Norma.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ainsworth Then and Now and Now

An update to the Sauter's Place then-and-now post.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Evie Thompson

2015-3-10. EvaT004
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

This is Rebecca Eva Thompson, a member of the George and Nancy Thompson family. The photo comes from a little collection that she gave to her longtime friend and neighbor, Eldon Harms, before her death in 1993. The photo is not dated. If it was her high-school graduation portrait, it would probably date to around 1926; but somehow to me her dress looks more like circa 1934.

Eva, born in 1907, was the youngest of four siblings in a farming family. The Thompsons never owned their own land, so far as I can tell, but rented land, and moved around. In 1900 they were in Keener Township, Jasper County. By 1910 they had moved to Porter Township, Porter County. Sometime between 1910 and 1918, they moved near the village of Leroy, in Winfield Township, Lake County. In the spring of 1918, they moved to the Sela Smith farm in Ross Township.

2015-3-10. Smith 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)
This image is from the 1926 Plat Book; the Smith land is the same on the 1908 Plat Map

They may have still been on that farm in 1920; many of their neighbors' names on the census are in this area on the maps. The Thompson children attended the Vincent school, where Eva's older sister, Alta, graduated in May 1920.

In the spring of 1928, they were reportedly living on the David L. Guernsey farm in southeastern Ross Township.

2015-3-10. DLGuernsey 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the 1926 Plat Book.

In 1930, Eva and her mother (now widowed) were living in or near Valparaiso. By 1940, Eva was living and working in the home of George and Ruth DeMar, 32 Hobart Road in Hobart — the home where she would spend much of the rest of her life. (The little brick house is still standing, but no one lives in it now; its windows are neatly boarded up and I think it's serving as a storage shed.)

Somewhere amidst all this moving and settling, the Thompsons occupied the James Chester farm, or what had been the James Chester farm in 1926:

2015-3-10. Chester 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the 1926 Plat Book.

I don't know when exactly this happened, because at the moment my only knowledge of it comes from the childhood memories of a neighbor — for here the Thompsons were neighbors of the Herman and Minnie Harms family (or "Harmes," as the above map has it), and became good friends with them — lifelong friends, in Eva's case.

Eva died in 1993, one day short of her 86th birthday.

2015-3-10. Eva Thompson death notice
The words obscured by the blot on the microfilm are "51 and 7th St.,".

The weather was bitterly cold on the day of the funeral. Among those shivering at the graveside was Eldon Harms, who had never forgotten Evie's kindness to him and his siblings when they were children. In fact, the Harmses chipped in to buy the stone that marks Evie's grave.

2015-3-10. Thompson, Eva
(Click on image to enlarge)

She rests near her parents:

2015-3-10. Thompson, Nancy and George

1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
1940 Census.
♦ "General News." Hobart Gazette 15 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Geo. M. Thompson Instantly Killed Saturday by a Falling Tree." Hobart News 22 Mar. 1928.
♦ "Obituaries." Post-Tribune (Gary, Ind.) 19 Dec. 1993.
Social Security Death Index.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Fire in the Milk House

2015-3-9. Fire in the Chester milk house
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 20 Jan. 1922.

The News reported that Charles had tried to put the fire out himself and suffered some burns to his shoulders in the process.

Elsewhere on the same page, the Nolte Bros.' calf may not be of world's record breeding like the Gruel Bros.', but its mother could produce 70 pounds of milk in one day. So there.

Meanwhile, up in Hobart, yet another lamp post has been mown down.

Additional Source: "Local and Personal." Hobart News 19 Jan. 1922.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Fourth Graders

Somewhere between the second grade and the fifth grade comes the fourth grade.

2015-3-8. img819
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

They got the littlest girl in the class to hold the slate. I like the girl in the third row from the front, fourth from the left — I can't tell what she's doing with her hands, but she's wearing an expression like the cat that swallowed the canary.

None of these children is identified, unfortunately. If this is Edward Hahn's fourth-grade class, the photo probably dates to around 1915, and that is consistent with the style of the postcard it's printed on.

2015-3-8. img820

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Ross Township Trustee's Report, 1921

2015-3-7. Ross Twp. Trustee's Report for 1921
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 13 Jan. 1922.

So many of our acquaintances here, I can't index them all. Gus Lindborg was still the go-to man for bus repairs, among other things. Bus drivers included C.S. Guernsey, Paul Fredrick, William Springman, John Miller, and Thomas Sullivan. Schoolteachers included Elsie Gruel, Olive Wood, and Evelyn Fredrick (Paul's daughter). Charles Goldman sold unspecified merchandise to the township. Robert Harper provided "advisory service." And under "Road Fund Disbursements," many familiar names.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Carrie Bullock Winters

While looking for something else, I came across the obituary of Carrie Bullock Winters, so I have added it to the post with her (possible) pictures.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Aunt Clara Is Optimistic

Well intended but unreliable advice to little Lester Harms from his Aunt Clara.

2015-3-5. lhauto009
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

I am not 100% sure of Aunt Clara's identity, but I believe she was born Clara Shumacher and married Fred Schavey in October 1892 (Indiana Marriage Collection) — so she was a sister-in-law to Lester's mother, Sophia Schavey Harms. And I think Clara was a sister of Hattie Schumacher, who married Fred Schavey's brother, William.

I can't actually place Clara and Hattie together in one census. Alas, that missing 1890 census! The 1880 Census shows Clara, 11 years old, in the home of Fredrick and Salma Shoemaker, who farmed in Hobart Township. Clara has four younger siblings (Edward, Annie, George, and Amelia) ranging in age from 9 years to 2 months. Twenty years later, the 1900 Census shows Fred and Selma Schumacher farming in Ross Township, with two children: Hattie (born shortly after the 1880 census), and Frank, 13 years old. Selma reports that she has given birth to eight children, of whom seven survive. The children listed in the two censuses add up to seven.

At the moment I have to rely on those circumstances as evidence that Clara and Hattie were sisters. Neither Fred nor Selma Schumacher's obituary named their children.

2015-3-5. Fred Schumacher
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 14 Dec. 1906.

2015-3-5. Selma Schumacher obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Mortuary Record." Hobart Gazette 8 May 1908.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Gruel Report

Elsie Gruel had been teaching since 1917, but apparently she felt she needed more training to be the best teacher she could possibly be. Because that's how the Gruels did things.

2015-3-4. Gruel news
(Click on image to enlarge)

The uncle she was staying with in Hobart would be Charles Gruel, the butcher … and ice farmer, whose dashed hopes we encounter further down in that same column.

Meanwhile, on the farm east of Ainsworth, the calves that Elsie's brothers were selling were "high grade" and "from world's record breeding." Of course they were, because that's how the Gruels did things.

♦    ♦    ♦

Among the illnesses reported in the Hobart News of January 12, 1922, was an ominous-sounding item about William and Jennie Fisher's son, Lester (a budding auto mechanic):

2015-3-4. Lester Fisher
(Click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Four Generations

2015-3-3. img949
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Fred Ols.

From left to right: Martin Ols, Herbert Ols (Martin's oldest child, born April 1914), Bertha Ols (Martin's mother), Christian Wischman (Bertha's father). The photo is estimated to date to around 1915-1916.

This photo was taken near the end of Christ Wischman's life: he died in the spring of 1917. Here is his obituary from the Hobart Gazette of March 16, 1917:
Christ Wischmann, who has been ill for a couple of months, died at his home in the Ryan subdivision yesterday morning, March 15, following an attack of pneumonia, aged 78 years last November. He was born in Germany, Nov. 27, 1838, and came to this country in 1867. He lived a number of years in Hobart following his coming here, but most of his years thereafter were spent in Milwaukee and on a farm nearby. His last residence in Hobart has been about eight years.

He is survived by wife and three sons, William, Arthur and Frank, by his third marriage; a son, Christ, Jr., who lives in Wisconsin, by a second marriage, and a daughter, Mrs. Henry Ols of Gary, by his first marriage; besides a brother and a sister, William Wischmann and Mrs. Christ Passow, who reside in Hobart. Fred Wischmann, who lives here, is a nephew.

The funeral will be held this week Saturday from the German Evangelical Lutheran church at 2 o'clock. The burial will be at Crown Hill.
His first wife's name was Mina — probably short for Wilhelmina; maiden name unknown. That marriage also produced a son, Robert, who died in 1887 per the genealogy compiled by Fred Ols. It may be Mina's gravestone in the Hobart Cemetery, bearing a date of death of Jan. 26, 1872, and an age of 30 years, 9 months and 12 days, per the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society's transcription. In 1873, in Lake County, Indiana, Christ married Amalia* Schroeder, and sometime before 1880 they moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By that time they had three children: Herman (whose fate is unknown**), Martha,*** and Christ Jr., named in the obituary as a survivor. In 1891, Christ Sr. married another Amelia, and by 1900 they were farming in Juneau County, Wisconsin, and had five children: Willie, Louie, Charlie, Arthur and Frank. Louie apparently died between 1900 and 1905. In 1910 the family was still in Wisconsin, but they must have moved to Hobart very soon after the census, if the Gazette could reasonably attribute about eight years' recent residence to Christ. Charley Wischman died in Hobart in 1914 at the age of 21 (the cause of death being tuberculosis), and is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery under the name Wishman, as is his father.

That more or less accounts for Christ's wives and children at the time of his death. His son Arthur would not outlive him by long: he died of Spanish flu in September 1918. Here is Arthur's obituary, from the Hobart Gazette of October 4, 1918:

2015-3-3. Arthur Wischman obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)

*Her name is given as "Mina" in the marriage record transcription, but "Amalia" in the 1880 census.
**He died in December 1910 according to a very helpful family tree compiled by the Dewell family archivist on, but I have not been able to find any independent confirmation of this. I doubt that the Herman Wischman buried in Crown Hill Cemetery is Christ's son, since his birth year (1883) doesn't jibe with the 1880 census.
***This was not the Martha Wischman who married William Dewell, and died of the Spanish flu in 1918; that Martha was the daughter of Christ's brother William. (Thanks to the DeWell family archivist for straightening me out on that!)

1870 Census.
1880 Census.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
♦ "Additional Local News." Hobart Gazette 25 Dec. 1914.
♦ Wisconsin, State Censuses, 1895 and 1905 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
♦ "Funeral of Christ Wischman Held Saturday Afternoon." Hobart News 22 Mar. 1917.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
Indiana WPA Death Records Index.

Monday, March 2, 2015

South of Deepriver

Random news from the countryside south of Deep River, and elsewhere.

2015-3-2. South of Deepriver
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 5 Jan. 1922.

Melvin and Verna Guernsey are moving back into my bailiwick, so maybe I will start paying attention to them again. But if they are moving to the Howard H. Smith farm, where is Howard H. Smith going?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

M Is For Mystery

From the steamer trunk.

I don't know anything about Fairbury, Illinois

2015-3-1. 1913-07-26-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

… but evidently its business district had no shortage of loafers in the early 20th century.

Minnie Rossow received this postcard from a friend or relative who signed herself "Elsie M."

2015-3-1. 1913-07-26-b

I can't identify her.

I think the postmark is July 26, 1913. There are (or were in 1913) two towns called Weston in Illinois, but she's probably posting from the McLean County one, since it's closer to Fairbury. Not that it matters, because I have no idea who she was or what she was doing in either of those desolate places.