Saturday, August 8, 2015

Reuben George Bridle

I have a feeling that I might have more in my notes about Reuben Bridle if I had paid more attention while reading the microfilm. Now it's too late; poor Reuben is dead.

2015-8-8. Reuben Bridle obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 6 Apr. 1922.


The article above says that Reuben bought a farm; if that is true, I have yet to find it. The 1900 Census shows him farming rented land east of Ainsworth. We have already seen his daughters, Blanche and Edith, attending school in 1900-01 with other east-of-Ainsworth children. (Blanche became Mrs. Earl T. Ramsey in October 1911; Edith married Joseph Glynn a year later; and their brother James had married Fredona Koch of Hobart in March 1904. I don't know about the other children.)

This article has him living on a farm south of Hobart for 17 years; the Gazette says 15 years. Perhaps if I went back and read the newspapers more carefully, I would find him arriving. I've already found him departing, in the autumn of 1907, when he held a public sale on the farm "one and one-quarter miles north of Deepriver on the county line road" to dispose of livestock, farming implements and various household goods.

The next autumn, this ad appeared in the Gazette: "FOR RENT. — A 200-acre dairy farm on Porter county line about a mile north of Deepriver. Enquire of R. Bridle, Hobart, or Mrs. James Lennerts, Valparaiso, Ind." I cannot find any farm ascribed to James Lennerts on the plat maps, but I do find one belonging to James Leonard or his estate, and it's in the proper location to have been the Bridles' home.

2015-8-8. Leonard 1906
(Click on image to enlarge)
1906 Union Township plat map, from http://www.inportercounty.org/Data/Maps/1906Plats/Union-1906.jpg, courtesy of Steven R. Shook. I have drawn in an additional 40-acre parcel in Ross Township, shown on the 1908 Plat Map.


The Gazette obituary has Reuben running an ice business for two years after moving to Hobart, which I believe is true — in January 1909 we hear that "R. Bridle has succeeded in filling his ice house, which holds about three thousand tons. The ice is about eleven inches thick and the quality is pronounced the best in many years." After quitting the ice business, according to the Gazette, Reuben bought a farm and resumed farming for a while before retiring completely, which may be true but I have no other source backing that up.

Because of the Casper connection (brought to my attention by that 1900-01 school souvenir and the 1900 Census, which showed grandchildren named Vivian and Clarence Casper in the Bridle household), I was intrigued by the obituary's mention of Mr. and Mrs. Claus Casper of Chicago, who attended the funeral. They showed up in the 1910 Census in Chicago with a 17-year-old daughter, Vivian; no mention of a Clarence, though.* Mrs. Claus — her name was Rose — said she had only one child and that child was still living. I suppose this could have been Clarence, who was one year younger than Vivian. If I'm reading the enumerator's notes correctly, this marriage was the second for both Claus and Rose. So, I can theorize that Claus' first wife was one of the two deceased Bridle children, who gave birth to Vivian and then died; Claus quickly remarried and produced Clarence. The only problem is the fact that in the 1900 Census, when Clarence and Vivian (seven years old) showed up in the Bridle household, Rose reported having no children. So any child of hers living in 1910 would have been ten or fewer years old — really too young to have left home, unless that child was staying with another grandparent somewhere. Either that, or a mistake on a census is what's needed to make my theory work.

I don't know if the Mr. and Mrs. George Haggerty who attended the funeral were any relation to Reuben, but in 1910 a George "Hegerty" showed up as a servant in the Bridle household.

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*[9/1/2015 update] I have since learned that Clarence was not living by the 1910 census. From the "Mortuary Record" of the Hobart Gazette of February 19, 1904:
Clarence Casper, grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Bridle, died last week Thursday, Feb. 11, of diphtheria, aged about 9 years. A private funeral was held on Friday following. The boy and a sister whose father lives in Chicago have lived with their grandparents since the death of their mother.
According to the NWIGS listing, Clarence is buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, with dates on his grave marker of 1894 to 1903.

Additional Sources:
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
♦ "Death of Reuben Bridle." Hobart Gazette 7 Apr. 1922.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 29 Nov. 1907.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 1 Apr. 1904; 18 Sept. 1908; 22 Jan. 1909.

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