Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Alone With a Sore Throat

2015-4-29. 1914-02-10-a
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Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

2015-4-29. 1914-02-10-b

I don't know where in Chicago Minnie would be alone … unless the people she was visiting all went out to have fun while she stayed inside nursing her sore throat.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hard Times Party

2015-4-27. Hard Times
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Hobart Gazette 27 Jan. 1922.

I would admire these people for being able to make light of the post-war depression that they and the rest of the nation were emerging from — only I'm not sure how many of the organizers and attendees actually had been laid off from the local brickyards or the Gary mills, or were dealing with falling prices for the milk they produced, or otherwise directly experienced hardship.

Anyway, the hard-times partiers had a good time, and our own William Rossow won a prize.

2015-4-27. Hard Times
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Hobart News 9 Feb. 1922.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lena Rossow

2015-4-23. img204
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Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

Someone has written on the front of this photo: "Lena Rossow." Who was Lena Rossow? I wish I knew.

The photographer was August Haase, so the photo probably dates between 1902 and ca. 1912. It looks like a confirmation portrait, or maybe eighth-grade graduation, so Lena was probably about 14 years old. And it has come down to us through a descendant of Clara Rossow Hendrix, so Lena was probably related to Clara.

That's as far as I've gotten.

♦    ♦    ♦

[4/24/2015 update] Mystery solved — see the comment to this post, and the DeWell family archivist reached the same conclusion independently.

Monday, April 20, 2015


When last we met Alfred Shults, on a summer's night in 1921, he was being held up by highwaymen.

Now it's noon on Saturday, January 21, 1922, and if we go to the German Lutheran parsonage in Hobart, we shall meet Alfred under much happier circumstances, as he stands before the Rev. E.R. Schuelke to exchange wedding vows with Miss Vera Kasch. The groom is 20 years old, the bride only 17.

Just a month earlier, Vera's older brother, Helmuth Jr., had married into the Baessler family. Now her second brother, Edward, witnesses her marriage, along with "Miss Leola Wilson of Blachly's Corners," about whom I know nothing except that she was the same age as the bride.

The young couple planned to live at Alfred's parents' home, and he would "assist his father in farming the Shults farm, near and southeast of Ainsworth." Their residence in 1930 was on the north side of the (old) Lincoln Highway, so the Shults farm may be the former Kruse farm.

♦    ♦    ♦

Elsewhere in the same issue of the Gazette, some random items … including the happy news that after nearly seven years of marriage, George and Pearl Yager have a baby. Also, some miscreant stole the pump from the Cleveland Ave. campground, and the Roper Bros. hold a tractor-bobsled party.

2015-4-20. Local Drifts
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1920 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 3 Feb. 1922.
♦ "Quietly Married." Hobart Gazette 3 Feb. 1922.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Plein-Air Barbering

Lee Thompson cutting unknown person's hair.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The man standing is Lee Thompson, Eva's only brother; born in 1902, he was six years her senior.

I don't know when Lee picked up the barbering trade. The 1920 Census describes him as a laborer on the home farm (his parents'). I can't find him in the 1930 Census. In the 1940 Census we find him living in Hobart with his wife, Doris (maiden name unknown), and 14-year-old daughter, Betty. Lee is a barber with his own shop, Doris a "beauty operator" with her own shop. They live and work at 348 Main Street, where they have lived (and perhaps worked) since 1935.

A Hobart city directory for 1940-41 at the Hobart Historical Society Museum includes a classified listing under "Barbers" for Lee Thompson at 348 Main St. That is the only directory I could find listing Lee or Doris.

We know very little about this picture: no date, no location, no identity for the man getting his hair cut. The fact that Lee is cutting hair in the open air on a farm suggests he didn't have his own shop at the time … though I suppose he could still have made house calls.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sarah Read

At 76 years of age, Sarah Read had still been trying to make herself useful while she struggled with heart disease; but as January 1922 passed into February, Sarah gave up the fight.

2015-4-15. Sarah Read obituary
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Hobart News 2 Feb. 1922.

She had no biological children, I gather, but her stepchildren did not make the distinction in thanking those who helped them in their bereavement:

2015-4-15. Read family card of thanks
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Hobart News 9 Feb. 1922.

Arthur J. Newman (brother of Paul and Lillie, among others) was named executor of Sarah's estate. I don't know of any family relation between them.

I'm trying to determine whether this Arthur Newman, who ran a confectionery shop, was the same Arthur Newman who ran the news stand. At the moment I think they were different people — I have the impression that Confectionery Arthur's middle initial was "J" but News-Stand Arthur's was "A," only I can't lay my hands on anything in writing to prove it.

Additional Sources:
♦ "Mrs. Read Dies at Mercy." Hobart Gazette 3 Feb. 1922.
♦ "Notice of Administration." Hobart Gazette 3 March 1922.
♦ "Obituary." Hobart Gazette 10 Feb. 1922.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Till We Shall Meet Above

2015-4-13. lhauto010
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Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Lester Harms would have many years of remembering his Aunt Mollie (Schavey) Ahrens before their meeting above, as she died before her time.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Trails and Roads

A local historian who prefers to remain anonymous sent me this interesting layered map. He took Ross Township section of Solon Robinson's Descriptive Map of Unsold Lands (from, courtesy of Steven R. Shook), which dates to circa 1838, and layered it over the circa-1874 plat map made available by the Merrillville-Ross Township Historical Society. Both maps have the sections outlined, making comparison easier, but Anonymous Historian had to do a little tweaking of the images to get the section lines to match.

Comparison of Ross Twp. Maps, ca. 1838 and ca. 1874 by AinsworthIN

One thing that surprised me concerns the "Juliet Road," aka the Joliet Road, which developed out of the Sauk Trail and eventually became the route of the (old) Lincoln Highway, now better known as 73rd Avenue. Back when I found out that Ainsworth Road had been an Indian trail, I got the impression from a map in Ken Schoon's Calumet Beginnings that it was only a minor branch. The 1838 map above suggests that the Joliet Road left the 73rd-Avenue route around modern-day DeKalb St. and followed the Ainsworth Road route instead. This would have made Ainsworth Road a main route for people coming into Ross Township from the east circa 1838 — who would ever have suspected?

Harms Road may be a remnant of the "Road to Laporte." You can see on the 1838 map some swampy areas that the Road to Laporte avoided. But west and east of Harms Road, no trace of that older road survives.

The unnamed road running diagonally north-south, crossing the Joliet Road just east of Merrillville, seems to correspond to the "Potawotami Trail" on Ken Schoon's map. Our anonymous historian points out to me that some remnant of that trail may survive in Merrillville Road, between Merrillville and Crown Point.

You will notice that the roads/trails in the two maps don't match up perfectly. We have differing theories about this, Anonymous Historian and I. He thinks the roads may actually have shifted as shown between the two maps; they had almost 40 years to do so. I'm inclined to attribute at least some of the differences to the difficulties of mapping in 1838 and the idiosyncracies of the drawers of the two different maps. While it's quite possible that the settlers changed the roads, I'm wondering whether the rivers and creeks, which also vary somewhat between the two maps, could actually have moved so much in only 40 years.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Eve and Her Kittens

Eve and kittens
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Eve has turned out to be a good mom in spite of her youth. She had six kittens the night of April 1/2. All kittens are cute, of course, but these are extremely, excessively cute.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Ross Twp. Farmers' Institute

I gather that in January 1922 Mary Baird Chester McDaniel was still living on the Chester farm, or somewhere in Ross Township, with her granddaughters, since one of them — Helen, now about 13 or 14 years old — walked away with three first prizes at the Ross Township Farmers' Institute.

2015-4-6. Ross Twp. Farmers Institute meeting
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Hobart News 2 Feb. 1922.

Glen Peterson didn't do so badly either. About 13 years old, he was the youngest son of Mabel Peterson, Secretary of the Institute and writer of this report.

Vernon and Emery Hurlburt were the only children of Jacob and Augusta, who farmed some 80 acres at the northeast corner of E. 73rd Ave. and Grand Blvd.

Irvin Wojahn was the oldest child of Louis and Lena (Fasel) Wojahn, who had supposedly retired from farming in 1917 — but I can't find them in the 1920 census to see what they were up to.

Dorothy Mankey was the only daughter of William and Lena (Springman) Mankey.

Additional Sources:
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Ross Twp. Farmers Hold Big Meeting." Hobart Gazette 3 Feb. 1922.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Timothy McAuliffe, Sr. Buys the Farm

Here we have Timothy McAuliffe, Sr., buying 80 acres from George Earle in 1867:

2015-4-2. 1867 Indenture front
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Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

2015-4-2. 1867 Indenture back

And Timothy Sr.'s 80 acres, from the 1874 Plat Map:

2015-4-2. McAuliffe 1874
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