Thursday, July 30, 2015

Frederick Doepping

Frederick Doepping was an "aged Ainsworth citizen" when he died in March 1922.

2015-7-30. Obit of Frederick Doepping
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 23 March 1922.


Per my own imaginative reading of the 1920 Census, I'm guessing Frederick and Mary occupied one of those little houses on the west side of Grand Blvd./S.R. 51 just north of the Canadian National tracks, either of which is old enough to accommodate them. But that's just a guess.

I am a bit confused about the Doepping family. According to the obituary, Frederick had no daughters (if a daughter had died before him, you'd still expect her to be mentioned). And yet the 1900 Census shows Frederick and Mary sheltering under their roof a schoolboy of 13 named Henry Kastner, described as their grandson. With only two sons, how did they get a grandson with a different surname? Or is that just a mistake by the census enumerator?

You may have noticed some mention in this blog of a Reinhart Doepping, most notably in connection with tree-related crime. I'm beginning to suspect that "Reinhart" was the newspaper's mistake for "Rheinholdt." It appears that the enumerator of the 1900 Census made the same mistake, while the 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940 Census got the name more or less right.

Rheinholdt/Reinhart had a son named Richard Doepping (and I've encountered more than one reference in the newspapers to "R. Doepping," which isn't illuminating). In January 1919, Richard Doepping bought a farm belonging to Chester Guernsey — exact location unknown, but my guess is that it was somewhere close to the Ross-Winfield Township line and the Lake-Porter County line. ("South of Deepriver," Hobart News 23 Jan. 1919.)

The other son, Emil, is elusive. He may be the Emil Doepping born Dec. 24, 1880, who married a woman named Bertha between 1910 and 1920 (though I can't find the record of their marriage). But in that case, the official records would seem to place him in Chicago, not south of Ainsworth.

This is where I stop trying to figure out the Doeppings.

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Moving on to the items in the "Local and Personal" column, Mrs. Mike Foreman was married to a man who liked to confuse historians by going by Michael, Mike, or Helmuth, as his fancy took him. She had been born Mary Mau (Indiana Marriage Collection).

James Jeffrey had indeed bought some Guernsey land, but I wouldn't describe it as being near the old Deepriver schoolhouse.

Elizabeth Fredrick was my favorite census enumerator; Sadie Baker helped her husband, William, run their general store in Deep River. I have no idea who Mrs. Carl Harper was. Mrs. Lulu Crisman was married to Thomas, who was a son of John and Elizabeth (Small) Crisman of Porter County … which would, I think, make him a brother of John Crisman of Deep River.

And, of course, we all know the Raschkas and the Shearers.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Aunt Louise, Whoever She Was

2015-7-28. lhauto012
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.


Once again I don't know exactly who this aunt was. My best guess is that she was Louise Sapper Schavey, married in 1908 to Edward Schavey and thus sister-in-law of Sophia Schavey Harms (Lester's mother).

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Scrambled-Egg Slime

Also known as dog-vomit slime, this stuff popped up overnight a couple of times when the weather was miserably hot and humid.

2015-7-27. Scrambled Egg Slime
(Click on image to enlarge)

It soon becomes dark and crusty, and when it's dried and you run over it with the lawn mower, it sends up a dark cloud of spores.

OK, so it's not a true mushroom, but it's in my mushroom identification guide.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Vote of the Ladies Is Respectfully Solicited

Several acquaintances were running in the primary election in the spring of 1922, and every candidate was asking for the vote of the recently enfranchised women. Earnest Walter was the father of the Walter Bros. Robert Harper lived near Ainsworth and, last I heard (1917), served as its marshal. John Harms lived on Cleveland Avenue and was part of the large Harms family that populates this blog.

2015-7-25. Harper et al. running in primary
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 23 March 1922.


The "Local and Personal" column is crammed with people we know. The John Crisman, Jr. with rheumatism may be Dorothea's father … or perhaps her 16-year-old brother. Earl Blachly and his second wife, née Annie Witt, had recently shed all their farming-related possessions. Mrs. William Killigrew and Mrs. Dwight Mackey had grown up east of Ainsworth as Etta and Ruth Bullock. And apparently Otto and Lesta (Raschka) Maicke have moved back to Ainsworth, after living in Hobart for some time.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Larvae of Ainsworth: Cecropia Moth Caterpillar

Found this thing when I was pruning the privet hedge. The red knobs are at its front end.

Cecropia 1
(Click on image to enlarge)

It will grow up to be a large night-flying moth of a kind I think I have seen once or twice in my life.

Cecropia 2

While researching this critter, I came across this photo-essay by someone who raised some Cecropia caterpillars to maturity.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Daisy and Lesta

Let's move forward two years from our earliest pictures of the young Raschka family. Now it's 1898, and William and Carrie have two little girls.

2015-7-23. image012
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of John Fleck.


Lesta had been born in December of 1897.

As we know, in the spring of 1921 she became Mrs. Otto Maicke.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Update re: Huffman's Mill

I have updated the entry about Huffman's Mill with higher-resolution scans of the 1981 photographs of what was left of the mill building, courtesy of the photographer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Peck & Ehrhardt

John Naumann's sudden death left behind a prospering auto-repair and tire-vulcanizing shop. Scarcely two weeks later, that shop was bought by Clinton Peck and Nick Ehrhardt (who himself had gone through sudden bereavement just a few months earlier).

2015-7-21. Peck & Ehrhardt
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 23 March 1922.


To the best of my knowledge, the "Morton block" was at 308-310 Main Street.


A bit puzzled by why, in 1922, vulcanization was still being done in shops and not at the tire factory, I did a little research on it and, while I didn't get an answer to my specific question, I came upon an interesting article about how Charles Goodyear discovered the process (and also one about the "rubber" industry that resulted from this discovery).

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Elsewhere on the same page, we see complaints about the condition of the roads. The "Ainsworth road near the township line" would be Grand Blvd./S.R. 51 near 61st Ave.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Update: The Dick Sykes Farm

I have updated the post about the lye incident on the Dick Sykes farm with information about where the farm was.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

William and Carrie and Daisy

These are the earliest photos I have ever seen of William and Carrie Raschka, taken in 1896.

2015-7-19. image010
(Click on image to enlarge)
Images courtesy of John Fleck.


2015-7-19. image011


William Raschka married Carrie Chester on May 2, 1894. Here we see them with their first child, Daisy, born January 30, 1895. To me she looks about a year-and-a-half old, or maybe a little more. William would have been about 27 years old in this photo, Carrie about 22. They both look so young!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Update: Stone Pillars at Indian Ridge

I have updated the post about Indian Ridge then and now with a 1928 article that talks about what those stone pillars are composed of.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs

Among the people selling eggs in March 1922 were our friends Mary McAuliffe and "Mrs. L. Nelson," whom I believe to be Lovisa Chester Nelson.

2015-7-17. Eggs for sale
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 23 March 1922.


My print-out cut off the "Births" column, which contained the announcement that on March 17 a daughter had been born to Vernon and Anna Bodamer. No name was given for the baby. After about 45 minutes of research, I have concluded that her name might have been Thelma, or maybe Selma.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cousin Caroline

2015-7-15. lhauto011
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.


We met Caroline Sapper earlier when she signed Lena Busse's autograph album.

I'm not sure exactly how Caroline was Lester Harms' cousin, but I think it might have something to do with the Springman connection.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The Lye Accident, and an Update

I was nosing around in old issues of the Hobart Gazette, looking for any mention of Daisy Chester's marriage to E.D. Scroggins that I might have missed the first time around, when I came across this item in the January 4, 1907 issue that I definitely missed the first time around:
A week ago last Sunday the 2-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Chester who live on the Dick Sykes farm pulled from a table a can of concentrated lye which flew upon the little fellow's face and severely burnt him. The right eye seemed to be the worst for the accident and for several days it was feared he would lose its sight but it is now thought the eye will be all right in time.
Based on the 1910 Census, I conclude that the unnamed two-year-old was Robert Chester.

I do not know where the Dick Sykes farm was. Per the 1891 Plat Book, there had been farms belonging to Sykeses in Ross, Hobart and Winfield Townships — not to mention any that may have been in Porter County — but which was known as the "Dick Sykes farm," I do not know.

[7/20/2015 update] Suzi Emig has solved the mystery of the Dick Sykes farm! She writes:
Climb into the time machine ... we are going back to April of 1912. I have attached the newspaper account of my dad's parent's wedding. It was extremely yellowed and fragile when I got it years ago from my aunt. Fortunately she laminated it, so it survives. You will see many familiar names in the list of wedding guests. There is one error. The bride's mother, Mrs. Susan Casey, was a sister to Constance Chester, not to Mr. as stated. If you refer to the 1908 plat map (which you so conveniently provide!) the SE corner of 61st and Colorado is owned by a William Sykes ... maybe Dick was a nickname or he was incorrectly named in the lye incident article. William is shown in the 1880 census to be living on this property as a 21 year old with his mother and siblings, 3 brothers and a sister. Their neighbors are the John Schnabels. Their main house was on the SW corner of the intersection. It appears that William and his family were living here per the 1900 census, as the Fred Schnabels are listed as neighbors. Evidently William decided to give up farming and leased his home and land ... he is in Mississippi, working as a public road contractor in 1910, then in 1920 is back up north residing in Gary as a city clerk, and a garage owner there in 1930. He died in 1940 in CA. My dad always referred to that SE property as "the old Sykes farm", so I guess to the old timers that name stuck. The Charles Chesters were living in Stark Co., IN per the 1900 census. In 1910 they were somewhere in Ross Twp., and evidently relocated by 1912 to the Sykes property. By 1920 they were in the old house that Henry built.
2015-7-20. Schnabel Casey
(Click on image to enlarge)
I believe this clipping is from the Hobart Gazette of April 19, 1912.


Here is the William "Dick" Sykes farm on the 1908 Plat Map:

2015-7-20. Sykes 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

Here's a clipping from the "General News Items" of the Hobart Gazette of July 5, 1907 (I didn't miss it the first time around; I just didn't post it) in which "Dick" is enclosed in quotes, as if to mark that it is a nickname.

2015-7-20. Chester-Sykes, Gaz, 7-5-1907

Here ends this update. If I find out how William got his nickname, I will update again.

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Thanks to our identifying-est commenter ever, we now have IDs on the people in the Chester-house-then-and-now pictures. (I have also added Chuck's IDs to each picture's description on Flickr, for ease of reference.)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Old Farm Home Traded

I have been unsure of where William and Antonia Rossow have been living lately. They sold much of their farmland in 1918, but retained their farmhouse, so they may have occupied it. In the summer of 1919, they bought the Ray Halsted house on Lincoln Street in Hobart (which may have been this one), but as late as October 1921, that house was available for rent (assuming they did not own two houses on Lincoln Street).

However, in March 1922, they finally traded in their old farm home, along with a piece of property at Garfield and Eighth Streets that I can't identify, for a three-flat building, and went to live in their Lincoln Street house.

2015-7-11. Rossow farm home traded
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 17 March 1922.


The report on the Hobart City Council proceedings, in the left-hand column, has the new owner of the old farmhouse trying to get it electrified.

I do not know exactly where the three-flat was — somewhere in Gary, according to a "Local and Personal" item in the Hobart News of March 16, 1922.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Update: Silver Wedding Anniversary Photograph

I have updated my post about the surprise silver-wedding-anniversary party for William and Carrie Raschka with what is probably a photograph of the party.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Update to Boat Story

A little more information has come in about the backyard ship of Deep River.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Update to Chester Farm, From the South

In addition to an enlarged scan of the Chester farm photo, we now have (via a comment to the post) IDs and an approximate year!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Deep River Swimming Hole

Swimming hole in Deep River
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.


This photo comes down to us with no identifying notes on the back, but its present owner recognizes the spot — it was the swimming hole in the Deep River, where it ran along the southern border of the Harms farm east of Ainsworth. Up the bank behind the swimmers, you will notice two fence posts next to each other; they mark the boundary between the Nolte land and the Harms land.

These days, if you go through the Ainsworth Road entrance of Deep River County Park and follow the path that goes along the river (on a day when it's not flooded), at some point not too far along you will be walking opposite to the swimming hole, but I couldn't tell you exactly where it was.

No one in the photograph is identified. In my opinion, the man fourth from the left looks like Lee Thompson, and fifth from the left looks a bit like Herman Harms, Sr.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Freight Train Graffiti of Ainsworth

A freight train westbound on the Canadian National tracks stopped on its way through Ainsworth last Friday afternoon, blocking S.R. 51 for a long, long time.

2015-7-5. Colossus of Roads
(Click on image to view set)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Independence Day Parade

July 4, 1915, Hobart, Indiana
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of John Fleck.


This photo, showing the July 4, 1915 parade in Hobart, was sent to me by John Fleck, son of John and Daisy (Raschka) Fleck. He says that the driver of the car is his Uncle Bill Fleck, and the young woman in back is Mayme Brand, who would become Bill's wife in 1921.

Here is an account of their wedding, from the Lake County Times (Hammond) of June 23, 1921.

2015-7-4. Brand-Fleck
(Click on image to enlarge)

Bill Fleck and his father-in-law, Henry Brand, were the Brand & Fleck who sold meat and groceries from the Guyer Building.

The car in the photo has been traveling west on Third Street and is turning south onto Main. Concerning the car itself (which can hardly be seen for all the decorations on it), John Fleck has some interesting tidbits for us:
That old car is a 1912 Michigan & belonged to my grandfather, Michael Fleck. The car sat in his barn on West Third St., Hobart until the 1970's — I saw it many times when I was a kid. The car was later bought and moved to Hebron where it remained until two years ago. It was purchased by a cousin and moved to California where it is being restored. There are only a few 1912 Michigan's left in existence.
I believe the manufacturer of this car was the Michigan Buggy Company.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Electrocution on Water Street

The evening of March 10, 1922, former photographer John J. Naumann turned off the light.

2015-7-3. John Naumann death
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 16 March 1922.


The nearly illegible line in the second paragraph reads, I think, "dining[?] room in the Banks home, Mr." — the Banks home being, I suppose, the home of Nathaniel P. Banks, who was John Naumann's father-in-law (and who had lost his wife a year earlier). The 1920 Census shows the combined Banks and Naumann families living on Water Street, but does not note the house number. The address given for N.P. Banks in the 1930 telephone directory is 600 S. Water Street.

By contrast, the Gazette's report did not mention recent rains, suggesting instead that the tragedy might be explained by the discovery, the next day, of "crossed wires on a pole near George Stoecker's flats, one of the wires carrying a high voltage for running motors." ("John J. Naumann Accidentally Killed Friday Night," Hobart Gazette 17 March 1922.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Levi Randall Huffman x 2.5

In trying to remedy my ignorance of the Huffman family, beginning with Levi Randall Huffman, whose 1903 obituary we have already seen, I find that we can learn much about his life from birth until 1882, when this biography appeared in Porter and Lake Counties (Goodspeed/Blanchard):
LEVI HUFFMAN was born in Hunterdon County, N. J., February 1, 1830, and is one of the nine children of Nathaniel and Mary Huffman, both of whom were natives of New Jersey and of Dutch descent. In 1840, the family moved to Wayne County, Ohio, and later to Henry County, Ohio, where Nathaniel Huffman died. After this, Levi being eighteen years of age, he, with his mother, moved back to Wayne County, where, at the age of twenty, he began the milling business. In 1853, he went to California, by way of the Isthmus, remaining three years, the first in the mines, the last in the grist-mill at Sacramento. In 1856, he returned to Wayne County and the milling, and in 1859, worked in the Etna mills at Valparaiso. Soon after, he returned to Wayne County, and in 1868 again to this county. On December 4, 1868, he married E. F. Hammonds,* of Valparaiso, by whom he had two children — V. Estelle and Levi R. In 1875, he purchased the farm in Union Township on which he now resides, giving attention to farming for three years, when he took charge of the Cascade Mills, which he purchased in 1882, and is doing a prosperous business. Mrs. Huffman is a member of the Christian Church. In politics, Mr. Huffman is a Democrat, and also an esteemed and worthy citizen.
The 1880 Census enumerator recorded Levi ("works in grist mill") and Emily in June of that year with their two children, Estella (8 years old) and Levi Jr. (5 months).

Levi Randall Huffman, the father, went by his first name. His son was christened Levi Randall too, and called "Levi" as a child, but as an adult he went by "L.R." or "Randall." Thus we find the elder Levi, in the 1900 Census, living with Randall Huffman, his son. Both give their occupation as miller. Levi is widowed, Emily having died sometime after 1880 — I do not know when, nor where she is buried.

L.R. Huffman, the son, was born on Christmas Eve 1879 (WWI Draft Cards).** In 1899 he married Nellie Edwards (Indiana Marriage Collection). They had five children — Estella, Enoch Randall (who I believe usually went by his middle name as an adult), Richard, and twins Thelma and Zelda (who survived influenza in the winter of 1920).

Back in January 1922, when young Richard Huffman bagged a fox, I casually tossed off some information about his parents' farm, and indeed in the 1920 Census, L.R. gave his occupation as farmer.

2015-7-1. Huffman farm 1921
(Click on image to enlarge)
L.R. Huffman's farm as shown on a 1921 plat map. The map also marks a structure belonging to L.R. Huffman on the south side of Taylor Creek.
Image from http://www.inportercounty.org/Data/Maps/1921Plats/Union-1921.jpg , courtesy of Steven R. Shook.


As we've seen, in 1900 L.R. had been a miller, and in the 1910 Census he had been a miller, working his own mill. In the 1930 Census he would again be a miller.

In the 1940 Census, L.R. gave no occupation. He had moved to Valparaiso, living with his unmarried daughter, Zelda. On his WWII draft card, he described himself as a self-employed carpenter.

Nellie Edwards Huffman was still living at the time of the 1940 Census, but she was not listed in the household with L.R., who described himself as single. (I cannot find Nellie in the 1940 Census.) And yet, she was called "Mrs. Nellie Huffman" when she died suddenly on July 13, 1950, at the age of 68, while visiting at the home of her daughter, Thelma Rettinger ("Mrs. Nellie Huffman Dies in Elburn, Ill." Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso), 13 July 1950).

From the "Deaths" in the Valparaiso Vidette-Messenger of Dec. 2, 1955:
Levi Randall Huffman, 75, 406 Michigan, a retired miller, died Thursday [December 1] noon in Porter Memorial hospital after a short illness.

He was born in Porter county Dec. 1, 1879,** the son of [Levi] Randall and Emily (Hammons)* Huffman. On April 10, 1899, he married Nellie Edwards, who preceded him in death in 1950.

Surviving are two sons, Enoch R., Stockton, Calif., and Richard M., Hammond; three daughters, Mrs. Estella Kenworthy, Porter township; Mrs. Thelma Rettinger, Santa Monica, Calif., and Mrs. Zelda Reynolds, Valparaiso.

He is also survived by 11 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.
Concerning L.R.'s son, Enoch Randall — well, I had heard stories that a Huffman son know as "Randall" or "Randy" was involved in criminal activity in the 1930s, and I found some confirmation of that, assuming I have the right person, since the newspaper identified him only as "Randall Huffman" (see, e.g., "Hold Porter County Man for Robbery," Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso), 17 June 1938). In his defense I will also say that I found newspaper evidence that he served in the military during World War II, which always goes toward restoring a person's good name. But we'll get to all this excitement in due time, assuming this blog lasts until I get to 1938 in my regular reading.


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*I do not know whether Emily's maiden name is correctly spelled "Hammonds" or "Hammons."
**L.R. himself gave his birth date as Dec. 24, 1879, when he registered for the draft in World War I and World War II; his obituary gives a different birth date.