Monday, September 21, 2015

Zobjeck Family Portraits

Until this summer, we had no photograph of Hugo Zobjeck, the Hobart soda bottler and town trustee. But through a network of Zobjeck descendants, we have recently received two lovely portraits of the young Zobjeck family.

Zobjeck family
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Mary Zobjeck Steffey.

The two adults are Hugo (senior) and Mary Zobjeck. The oldest girl, standing in back, is Carolyn, known as Carrie (per the 1910 census, born ca. 1900). The baby is Edward (born 1908). The little boy at left is Hugo Jr. (born 1905), and the little girl at center is Marguerite* (born 1907).

In this photo Edward appears to be about one year old, so we can date it roughly to 1909.

Another photograph shows the same family members, probably taken at the same sitting:

Zobjeck family
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Mary Zobjeck Steffey.

Before the family assembled for these portraits, the Zobjecks had lost at least one child, a little girl, in 1904. The newspaper account of her death does not mention her name, only that she was buried in "the Lake [Station] cemetery." I cannot find any Zobjeck buried in Lake Station; however, in the Zobjeck family plot in Crown Hill Cemetery, we find an Emma Zobjeck, who must be the little girl in question.

Zobjeck, Emma
(Click on images to enlarge)
This image, and the ones below, were photographed in Crown Hill Cemetery, Hobart, Indiana.

In the same area in Crown Hill Cemetery, we find a Frank Zobjeck (1903-1904), and the death records show Frank Zobjeck dying on February 16, 1904 — but I have been through the Hobart Gazette around that time without finding any mention of him to confirm that he was indeed the child of Hugo and Mary.** His being buried in the Zobjeck family plot would very strongly suggest it, though.

Zobjeck, Frank

As if that weren't heartbreak enough, the Zobjecks would lose three more babies after these portraits were taken. In 1913, a daughter, Mabel Frances, was born November 20 and died December 14.

Zobjeck, Mabel

A son, Wilbur, was born January 19, 1915, and died on January 31.

Zobjeck, Wilbur

On February 22, 1917, a ten-month-old son, Robert, "died rather suddenly."

Zobjeck, Robert

As we've seen, in July 1919 Mary Kucaba Zobjeck was laid to rest with her little ones. She was survived by eight children: Carrie, Hugo Jr., Marguerite, Edward, Marie, Helen, Annie, and Claire.

Zobjeck, Mary

Hugo Sr. later remarried, but in death he rejoined his first wife and children.

Zobjeck, Hugo

♦    ♦    ♦

The Hobart Historical Society has a number of bottles from Hugo Zobjeck's enterprises on display at the museum. The Zobjeck home on Water Street, along with the building where the bottling was done, are both still standing. (The Hobart Historical Society has the information about their location, but I will leave its publicity to their discretion.)

*I'm not sure of the correct spelling; the census-takers in 1910 and 1920 spelled it Margaret.
**I may have missed it, and should probably go back and read through the microfilm, but that will have to wait until I can get myself cloned.

1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Births." Hobart Gazette 22 Jan. 1915.
Cook County, Illinois Marriages Index.
Indiana WPA Death Records Index.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 19 Dec. 1913; 5 Feb. 1915; 2 Mar. 1917.
♦ "Mortuary Record." Hobart Gazette 12 Feb. 1904.


LLoyd Puchek said...

Thank you for posting about this family. I personally know a descendant of this family and she lives right here in Hobart, She told me she has photos and I have to get over to her home to see them .

Ainsworthiana said...

Two other descendants are coming to Hobart Oct. 14 through 16. Your friend should get in touch with Rita McBride.

LLoyd Puchek said...

That is correct , this descendant I know of just informed me of their arrival.

rebecca hackleman said...

I sm meeting with them on oct 14. Im excited about this meeting.

Ainsworthiana said...

I'm glad to hear it!

Laurie C. said...

Hello, I am a decedent of the Zobjeck family. I do not know if there is any relation to the family that is in the blog. I would like to find out. I do not know much of our family history, I do know my father Henry George Zobjeck had 1 brother Ray, and 2 sisters Arlene and Rose, they were born to Loretta and George Henry Zobjeck. They lived in Woodstock, Il. My father was born in East Chicago Indiana in 1931. If anyone could point me in the right direction for information I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

Ainsworthiana said...

Laurie C., if you will send your email address to me at, I will forward it and your information to the Zobjeck descendant who visited us last October. She is in touch with other descendants, and together they might be able to figure out if you're related to this Zobjeck family.

Lora said...

Hi Laurie - Please do send your email address to - she has mine too, and I would love to connect with you! I'm not sure I can help with your specific questions but I'd sure love to try. Thanks so much and very BEST wishes from my branch of the Zobjeck tree to yours! - Lora