Sunday, May 31, 2015

I Can't Understand, Either

Here's some kind of rant about George Earle's grandson, William, and while I don't understand exactly what the problem is, it's interesting to note the lack of reverence (in 1922) for the son and grandsons of Hobart's founder.

2015-5-31. Earle rant, part 1
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart News 2 Mar. 1922.

2015-5-31. Earle rant, part 2

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ainsworth Then and Now: Summit Lawn/Indian Ridge

Circa 1898, and 2015.

2015-5-28. Dorman house circa 1898
2015-5-28. Indian Ridge 2015
(Click on images to enlarge)
First image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

I had intended to take the "now" photo in the winter, when the view wasn't blocked by all those leaves, but you know how it goes. The circa-1898 photo is not very clear, being a reprint from the Gazette souvenir edition of 1898 — how I wish we had the original. When I moved out here in 1990, there was still a house standing among those trees. I'm not sure whether it was the same house as in the 1898 photo; it was knocked down so long ago that I scarcely remember how it looked.

The stone pillars and walls remaining on the grounds may date to 1911, when "John R. Dorman … greatly ornamented his home place by erecting some tall stone posts" ("Ross Township Notes," Hobart Gazette 1 Sep. 1911).

2015-5-28. Pillars

2015-5-28. Summit Lawn pillar

2015-5-28. JFDorman pillar

The newspapers rarely referred to the Dorman place as "Summit Lawn," but I do find this in my notes from the Hobart Gazette of Sept. 13, 1907:
Dorman's Summit Lawn Stock Farm of Duroc Jersey swine captured nine firsts and two seconds, also sweepstakes making this the second year the same herd has done this. He showed against 5 different herds and breeds this year at Porter County Fair.
When I go back and read the 1890s newspapers, I hope to get a better idea of when John Dorman bought this parcel. The 1891 Plat Book shows it belonging to George Sykes, but John Dorman owned it by 1899 per the notes I have on hand, and perhaps earlier.

Another pillar, north of those shown above, has halfway collapsed. I have no idea when or why it got a horseshoe embedded in the cement:

2015-5-28. Horseshoe

Here is a picture of John Dorman in his later years, from an unidentified 1944 newspaper (clipped and pasted into a scrapbook by Minnie Harms).

John Dorman circa 1944.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

♦    ♦    ♦

[7/18/2015 update] From the Hobart Gazette of June 15, 1928, here is an article describing the types and sources of the rocks composing these pillars:

Stone pillars on Dorman (Indian Ridge) property
(Click on image to enlarge)

The description of pillars — their height and the four-sided pyramid topping them — matches the existing pillars, but I'm wondering why the article was not written until 1928 if the pillars were indeed erected in 1911. On the other hand, the article does not say they were recently built.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

John Dorman

I noticed this item about A.G.* Kemerley's new lunch counter/rooming house and thought it might refer to what eventually became the Ho-Hive house

2015-5-26. Kemerly rooming house/restaurant
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 24 Feb. 1922.

… until I checked the 1922 Sanborn map and saw that there were three houses north of the Nickel Plate Garage. Which was the MacPherson place is a mystery to me.

But here's what I found most interesting in this issue of the Gazette — an open letter wherein John Dorman, amid the name-dropping, gives us some tidbits about his life before coming to Ainsworth:

2015-5-26. John Dorman -- open letter

From the historical listing of aldermen in the Proceedings of the City Council of the City of Chicago for 1900-1901, I gather that the four years he mentions were 1891-1895.

That information led me to an on-line issue of the Chicago Daily Tribune of March 22, 1892, which, under a headline reading, "WHO THE INDICTED MEN ARE" (with a subheading, "The Record of the Aldermen Charged With Boodling"**), included this very brief biography:
John F. Dorman, Alderman of the Tenth Ward, was born in Germany forty years ago. He came to Chicago with his parents when a boy and received his education in the Lutheran parish schools of the southwest section of the city. In the winter of 1887-'88 he was one of the Representatives of the Fifth Senatorial District at Springfield, where he made no particular reputation for himself one way or another. He has been a committeeman from his ward for a number of years, has held minor appointive positions in the City Hall and other public offices, and has been more or less of a local politician for a long time. He was elected to the Council a year ago. He is a Democrat.
I gather that this indictment did not lead to any serious consequences for Alderman Dorman. Unfortunately I have neither the time nor the eyesight to read up on all the details of this case, or of John Dorman's political career in general.

2015-5-26. J.F. Dorman portrait
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Chicago Daily Tribune, 22 March 1892.

*He liked to go by his initials, evidently; his name might have been Arthur Garfield Kemerly but I'm not certain.
**More precisely, the charge was conspiracy to commit bribery, according to another story from the same issue.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Bijou

I wonder why I bought this postcard.

2015-5-24. img025
(Click on images to enlarge)

As the legend tells us, this is "The Bijou" in East Gary, aka Lake Station, photographed in 1909 by A. Haase. Where exactly in East Gary it was, I do not know.

Nor do I know exactly what the Bijou was. A restaurant? — you can see some tables out in the yard there, which would make a nice place to eat in the summer.

The baseball game of June 9, 1918, mentioned in this post, took place "at the Bijou grounds." I made a note of that because it concerned Company K, not because it concerned the Bijou. Now I wish I had paid more attention to the newspapers for any other information about the Bijou.

On the back of the postcard, one person I never heard of writing to another:

2015-5-24. img026

I actually looked these people up in the 1910 Census. They were sisters, Ellen being 26 and Anna 23 in 1910.

So … that's the Bijou.

♦    ♦    ♦

[8/10/2015 update] In the "Local Drifts" column of the Hobart Gazette of March 31, 1905, I came across this item:
On Tuesday [March 27], Hugo Zobjeck, administrator of the Kucaba estate, through his attorney, Asa Bullock, entered in a contract with Frank Florian for the purchase of the Bijou resort at Lake Station, the price being $5,300. The resort embraces forty acres. Mr. Florian is a wealthy hay and grain dealer in Chicago and he expects to vastly improve the property the coming season.
So I go to the next available plat map, the 1908 Plat Map, and find F. Florian owning — not forty acres, but a nice little bit of land:

2015-8-10. Florian 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

Most of this land would be in the southern part of what's now Riverview Park — yes? I can't tell exactly. Maybe just south of the park. Of course the difference between 1905 and 1908, and between forty acres and the smaller parcel shown on the plat map, means we can't be sure this is where the Bijou was. But at least now we know the Bijou was a "resort."

♦    ♦    ♦

[9/22/2015 update] I have come across a couple of newspaper tidbits relevant to the Bijou. First, from the "General News Items" of the Hobart Gazette of August 19, 1904: "Hans Thune conducted a dance last evening in the Bijou hall south of Lake Station. The Spencer orchestra furnished the music." A location "south of Lake Station" is not inconsistent with the Riverview Park area.

Secondly, this item in the "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of October 28, 1904, describes the father of Mary Kucaba Zobjeck as residing at the Bijou:
Frank A. Kucaba who lived at the Bijou near Lake died in a hospital in Chicago, where he had been for treatment, on Saturday, Oct. 22, it being his 54th birthday. Funeral services were held last Tuesday in Chicago, his former home. The deceased leaves a wife, one son and six daughters.
♦    ♦    ♦

[12/6/2015 update] This "Notice" placed in the Hobart Gazette of June 6, 1902, is mostly Greek to me, but it does seem to show Frank Kucaba owning land bordering on the land shown in the 1908 map above as belonging to F. Florian, in the southwest quarter of Section 16 … roughly in the area of present-day Riverview Park.

2015-5-24. Kucaba real estate notice
(Click on image to enlarge)

I do not know anything about Andrew Peter Larson.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Earl Blachly Quits Farming

Earl Blachly has been going back and forth between farming and other work; the last time we saw him, in October 1919, he was back to farming. Now, in February 1922, he's getting out of it again, and this time he sounds serious.

2015-5-22. Earl Blachly public sale
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 23 Feb. 1922.

In the "Local and Personal" items, one of Charles and Constance Chester's daughters is ill; she isn't named, and I believe all their daughters had married and moved out. The illness must have been pretty serious if she had to come back to her parents' home for care.

Elsewhere, we learn that John and Lulu (Strong) Aley had left Hobart sometime after their marriage in 1919 and gone to live in Argos, Indiana. I wish I knew what a "nervous breakdown" was, in the terminology of the day. The condition was not uncommon.

Additional Source: "Public Sale." Hobart Gazette 24 Feb. 1922.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Chester Farm, From the South

I may never get a better scan of this photo, so I may as well post what I've got. [Update: I despaired too soon. Here is a nice enlarged scan of the photo.]

Chester homestead enlarged
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of John Fleck.

[7/7/2015 update — information from a comment to this post] In the one horse carriage are Charles E. Chester & Lovisa Chester Nelson. Standing (L to R) Luella Chester Olson, Carrie Chester Raschka, & John J. Chester. On the milk wagon are James & Jerome Chester. In the wagon on the right are Henry Wm Chester and Daisy Chester Fleck. Picture was taken around 1905.

This undated photo shows the Henry Chester farm as viewed from well south of Ainsworth Road. I would not have recognized it, had not it come from a Chester descendant who identified it as such. But once you know enough to look, you can recognize, in the right-hand background, the Chester house as it looked before Charles Chester someone remodeled it.

They may or may not be the traces of these buildings that you can still find on the south side of Ainsworth Road, across from the house. I don't know what demolitions and rebuildings went on between this photo and the final knock-down.

Nobody in the photo is identified.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Amelia's Mother

The Goldmans left the Ainsworth general store in the hands of their clerks, I suppose, when they went to Chicago for the funeral of Amelia's mother.

2015-5-18. Amelia Goldman's mother
(Click on image to enlarge)

Elsewhere, Harvey Carey is holding a public sale on his farm near Wheeler, as he prepares for the mysterious Ainsworth-area resident, Adrian Austin, to move onto it; and his son, Lee, who is moving off of it, plans to go farm near the village of Babcock, which I never heard of before.

Below is part of the 1921 plat map of Portage Township, showing Harve Carey's farm outlined in red. The land outlined in green formerly belonged to W.H. Carey, Harve's father and the second husband of Antonia Stolp Rossow Carey.

2015-5-18. Carey 1921
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image from, courtesy of Steven R. Shook.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Young People's Reading Circle

2015-5-16. Continental001
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Herman Harms was about 12 years old when he completed the course of reading that earned him this diploma.

These photos, of George H. Thompson and his office, come from the 1915 Hobart High School Aurora yearbook, which I just happen to have lying around.

2015-5-16. G.H. Thompson

If Etta B. Henderson was any relation to Sherman Henderson, Hobart's ice-cream mogul and first mayor, I haven't found it out. Here is her obituary, from the Hobart Historical Society's files. (Unfortunately the newspaper it was clipped from was not identified.)

2015-5-16. Henderson, Etta obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

♦    ♦    ♦

Minnie Rossow Harms kept the certificate above in a Continental Airlines "complimentary flight packet" that (I'm guessing) she saved from an airline trip to visit one of her children in California. And I just had to scan the cover of that packet, because it's so fabulous.

2015-5-16. Continental-folder
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

According to my quick internet research, Continental Airlines did not use the Boeing 707 before January 1959, and judging by those fashions, I would date that photo pretty close to 1959.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Little Busselburg

The "Births" column of the Hobart News of Feb. 16, 1922, included this item: "Born — To Mr. and Mrs. George Bisselberg of Ainsworth, Feb. 12, a daughter." That would be George and Alma (Sitzenstock) Busselburg (that's how I spell it), and I suppose the daughter would be their eldest, Dorothy, who shows up in the 1930 Census at the age of nine.

The "Local and Personal" columns in the same issue enticed the public to the W.G. Haan School:
A box social will be given at the Ainsworth school, Friday evening, Feb. 24th. A sateen comforter will be given away. Tickets 10¢. Ice cream and cake. Ladies with boxes or cakes admitted free.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rose Kietzman(?)

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

This photograph comes down to us identified as Rose Kietzman. We have already seen a photo of Rose as a teenager, and there's some resemblance between the face of the girl in that photo and this one.

I'm just wondering about photographer, and the style of her dress. Her sleeves suggest the fashions of the 1890s, and, while I still don't have a definite ending date for L.K. Showman's career, he seems to have been most active in the 1890s. Well, let's suppose the photo was taken in 1900 — Rose was eight years old. I don't think this girl could pass for eight, and moreover she's holding what looks like a diploma or certificate of some kind. So I'm puzzled.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Walter Blachly Quits Farming

I believe that now — February 1922 — is the first time Walter Blachly has quit farming, unlike his brothers, who made a hobby out of quitting farming.

2015-5-9. Walter Blachly public sale announcement
(Click on image to enlarge)

Since their daughter, Mildred, had married in September 1920, Walter and Eva Blachly had only one child remaining at home: their son Wilbur, who was now about 10 years old.

Apparently they sold only the farm's contents, not the land, as the 1926 Plat Map shows W. & E. Blachly owning 77 acres west of Ainsworth on the Lincoln Highway.

After the sale, the family moved to "one of the Anders flats on South Main street" in Hobart.

♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 9 Feb. 1922; 23 Feb. 1922.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart News 9 Feb. 1922.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Superior Farms and Certified Milk

Jumping around in time as I do with the blog, I've long associated the Gruel farm with the name Superior Farms, but apparently it did not get that name until early in 1922:

2015-5-7. Gruel dairy
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 27 Jan. 1922.

(And apparently Fred Scharbach objected to his mention in the previous week's letter from Canada.)

2015-5-7. Gruel dairy
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 9 Feb. 1922.

2015-5-7. What is Certified Milk?
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 24 Mar. 1922.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

EJ&E Crossing at Lake Street

2015-5-5. img159-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

2015-5-5. img159-b

2015-5-5. img160-b

These three photos appear to be taken at the same place — the Lake Street crossing of the EJ&E Railroad, where Ezra Gilpin worked in 1923, according to the caption of one of the photos.

As we've already noted, he was still working as a railroad crossing guard when the 1930 census came around, though perhaps not at the Lake Street crossing.

I can't read the name on the sled in the last picture — King something? (Anyway, it's not Rosebud.)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

William Ezra Gilpin

2015-5-3. img152
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

Here is Rose's husband and Charles' stepfather. Born circa 1856, he was some six years older than Rose, and the third of four (surviving) children of Washington and Mary Gilpen. His father and mother were from Pennsylvania and Ohio, respectively, but by 1850 they were married and farming in Adams County, Indiana. I believe Mary died in the 1870s, and Washington remarried circa 1881.

The casual researcher has some trouble tracking down this particular Gilpin child, since he sometimes went by William and sometimes by Ezra. After his marriage to Rose, apparently he settled on Ezra.

I have mentioned elsewhere that Ezra described himself in 1900 as a day laborer. By 1910 he was a railroad section foreman. His occupation is illegible in the 1920 Census — perhaps "Laborer" for a "Railroad," but I can't be sure. In 1930 he was a railroad crossing guard.

An entry at shows 1934 as the year of his death, but I have not been able to confirm that.

1850 Census.
1860 Census.
1870 Census.
1880 Census.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Larvae of Ainsworth: Ctenucha Virginica

Found this critter out in my field:

2015-5-2. Virginia Ctenucha 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

2015-5-2. Virginia Ctenucha 2

After checking with an on-line caterpillar identification tool, I believe it's going to grow up to be a Virginia Ctenucha.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Rose's Social Life, Spring 1922

"Mrs. Ezra Gilpin attended the funeral of a relative at Plymouth last Saturday," said the Hobart Gazette of February 10, 1922, but never got around to telling who the relative was.

On Sunday, March 5, the Gilpin house was full of visitors: "Mr. and Mrs. E.O. Berg, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Carlson of Inwood, Mr. and Mrs. R.D. Stoler of Bourbon, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Barnhouse and niece, and Mrs. Chas. Hendrix and children of Gary" — the latter being Rose's daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Little Jack Hendrix stayed with Grandma for the week.

Two days later, Rose had a visit from Augusta Stolp Rossow Carey and her daughter, Mrs. Lillie Hasselbar of St. Louis, Missouri. And two days after that, Rose went back to Plymouth (taking Jack along, I suppose) to visit an unnamed "old schoolmate."

Sources: "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 10 Feb. 1922; 10 Mar. 1922.