Thursday, December 29, 2016

Buylden an Index

Good news and bad news again.

The good news is that the Hobart Historical Society has begun digitizing via photography a number of ledgers and record books that are too large or too fragile to scan on our scanner.

The bad news is that I have volunteered to index all the names that appear in these books. Well, this is good news for people seeking information about the mundane activities of their ancestors in Hobart; but it's bad news for my eyes and my carpal tunnel, and for this blog. I am dealing with pale ink, quirky handwriting, inventive spelling, and proper names for which context is little help. For example:

2016-12-29. HTTA1859-018-18620909
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

You have no idea how long it took me to figure out that surname of the second guy "buylden" the new schoolhouse was Vanloon. Or that "buylden" meant building.

But it is interesting that District No. 2 got a new schoolhouse in October 1862! If only I knew where District No. 2 was in October 1862.

Anyway, this project is going to slow down my blogging over the course of many months, perhaps years.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Lake Station Schoolchildren, Autumn 1901

From the Elna Hazelgreen collection comes this photograph of Lake Station schoolchildren and staff in the autumn of 1901:

2016-12-26. hazel028
(Click on images to enlarge)

The good news is that somebody wrote out all the names on the back.

2016-12-26. hazel029

The bad news is that the writer did not explain how the order of names related to the order of children. They seem to match up in terms of gender and apparent age if you start at the left side in the back row, go left-to-right in that row and the middle one, and then go right-to-left in the front row:

2016-12-26. hazel028 marked

That would mean Elna Hazelgreen is at the far left of the front row.

Here's the information I found (if any) from the 1900 Census and 1910 Census about these people:

1901 Lake Station Students by AinsworthIN on Scribd

We've met Olga Foreman before. And Edna Seydel's dad once carried Claus Ziegler around the streets of Lake Station and Hobart in a wheelbarrow.

Blogger won't let me index all these names in one post, so here's something the search engines can read: Conroy, Erlandson, Fabian, Foreman, Fritche, Hazelgreen, Horn, Johnson, Killian, Lenburg, Marquardt, Matson, Miller, Nelson, Papka, Reich, Roper, Seydel, Thorne, Whent.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wishing You a Merry Xmas

Christmas 1914 …

2016-12-24. 1914-12-23-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Herman Harms sends his best wishes to his sweetheart, Minnie Rossow.

2016-12-24. 1914-12-23-b

Half a year later they would be married.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Blessed Are the Cheesemakers

The news that Ernest Walters (or Walter) was re-elected yet again in November 1922 as Ross Township assessor leads me to pay a little more attention to him. Thus far I've mentioned him only as the father of the garage partners. As the article explains, however, he had long been Merrillville's cheesemaker.

2016-12-20. Walters
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 11 Nov. 1922.

He had been born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in 1853.[1] Having arrived in this area after 1880, he missed that census. In Lake County in 1888, he married Louisa Niksch.[2] The 1900 Census shows the two of them with their cheese factory and their three sons in Merrillville.

A Pictorial History of Merrillville has this to say about Ernest and his cheese:
Initially Ernest had a factory on Walter's Avenue but later relocated to the southwest side of the C. & O. Railroad on Madison Street in closer proximity to the Township's busy square. … Ernest traveled as far as Hammond, Indiana, in his horse and buggy to peddle his hefty rolls of cheese for $3.00 apiece.

Known far and wide by his nickname, "Cheese Henry," Ernest was much appreciated by the local farmers as they found in his business as market for their slightly sourced milk that was not suitable for shipping to Chicago on the "dummy" train.
If "later relocated" means about 1900, then the second cheese factory (south of the former C&O tracks) may still be standing.

♦    ♦    ♦

In the left-hand column of the page above, we find that Roy Hack, fresh off his victory over the paving company, has won the election for Ross Township trustee. He would succeed Alex Boyd, who after eight years had evidently had enough of trusteeship, as he did not seek re-election.

In the middle column, we find our friend Annie Peterson selling off household goods — preparing to downsize her living quarters, perhaps?

Below that, with respect to the fire starting from the Charles Lee property, if "Nagel subdivision" in the news item = "Nagle's Addition" on the map, then the corner of Cleveland and Ohio was a good distance for a fire to travel, or an odd stopping place for the fire department — I'm not sure which from the wording. Perhaps someone flagged them down there and told them all the excitement was over, but you'd think they would go check it out for themselves.

[1] Indiana Death Certificates.
[2] Indiana Marriage Collection; Indiana Death Certificates. Louisa may have been from the Merrillville Niksch family which, as far as I know, was not related to the Hobart/Ainsworth Niksch family.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Comparative Baseball Players

In connection with our mystifying baseball player, CK Melin has sent me a couple of photos for comparison.

The first is of her great-grandfather, Charlie Glover (standing), in a baseball uniform, taken in Chicago in 1897.

2016-12-18. original
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of CK Melin.

Like our "R. Hendrix," he wears a laced-up shirt with pointed collar.*

Things get even more interesting in the second photo: here is Ralph Melin of Hobart, in a photo taken circa 1908:

2016-12-18. Ralph-Melin1

CK points out that the painted backdrop is the same as in the "R. Hendrix" photo, which suggests that both photos were taken in Hobart (as does the "H" on R. Hendrix's shirt). Possibly they date to around the same time as well, but that's only my guess.

Now we just have to find out if those painted backdrops were one-of-a-kind, or mass-manufactured. Anyone with time on their hands is invited to research that.

*Schlesinger & Mayer was the name of a large Chicago retail firm.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

W.G. Haan Staff

We've seen these people before. Now we get to see them in front of the great emptiness that used to inhabit the west side of State Road 51, opposite the W.G. Haan school.

2016-12-15. img895
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Notes on the back of the original identify them as "Mr. Garland, Mrs. Zieseniss, Miss Frame, Miss Tabor."

Mr. Garland was, I believe, George Bronson Garland, born in 1904. I can find him locally in the 1930 Census, but not at all after that. If I've found the right person, he married a woman named Esta, and they both rest in Adams County, Indiana.

Ella Zieseniss was born Ella Kretschmar (Indiana Death Certificates) in 1899. She married Wayland Zieseniss, a farmer, about 1929 (1930 Census). She became a schoolteacher after Wayland's untimely death in July 1930 (Indiana Death Certificates). More than half a century later, she joined her husband in Maplewood Cemetery, in Crown Point.

Allene Frame was born in 1915 to James and Rose (Stegmeier) Frame (Indiana Birth Certificates). She is the only one of these four whom I can find in the 1940 Census. At that time she was a teacher, single and living with her parents, but according to information transcribed from her 2010 obituary on, the following year she married George Chermak, and they had five children.

Bernice Tabor descended from a long line of locals. The 1850 Census shows her great-grandparents, George and Chloe, living in Ross Township near the Guernseys and Strongs (in the neighborhood that would eventually be chronicled in the "South of Deepriver" columns). In their household is a five-year-old Charles — Bernice's grandfather. In 1865 Charles married Margaret Hooseline (Indiana Marriage Collection), and in 1884 they became the parents of Grover Cleveland "Cleve" Tabor. Cleve married Clara Klemm in 1908 (id.), and eight years later Bernice came into the world. According to information on, after some years of teaching, Bernice married Dr. Arthur Nelson (a chiropractor), and operated the Hobart Employment Agency at 449 E. Third Street.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Caroline Campbell

On October 29, 1922, Caroline Campbell died at home on the family farm in southern Ross Township.

2016-12-13. Caroline Campbell
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 3 Nov. 1922.

Her husband was Samuel, born ca. 1867; the son was Claude, born ca. 1889 (he married Bertha Nolte); but I can account for only two daughters — Fannie, born ca. 1897, and Nora, born ca. 1899.

The Campbells had been living on that farm since 1891, perhaps earlier.

In Hobart in the following weeks, several more long-time residents passed to a better world:

2016-12-13. Deaths
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 10 Nov. 1922.

Before moving to Hobart, Frank Bayor had spent some three decades in Ross Township; "the farm" belonged to his wife's parents, James and Mary Adams. Early Land Sales, Lake County shows James Adams buying, in 1847, the 80 acres shown here on the 1874 Plat Map:

2016-12-13. Adams 1874
(Click on image to enlarge)

The Bayors lived on the Adams farm from the 1880 Census through the 1910 Census. The 1926 Plat Book shows the farm owned by F.J. & M. Bayor — perhaps their son, Floyd James, and daughter, Mamie (for if Floyd was married by that time, I can find no proof of it).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Streetcar Snowplow

(Click on image to enlarge)

When I found this photo for sale, I emailed Dan Kleine to ask if he knew anything about it, and what I got back from him was its whole biography:
When the photo was taken it was Gary Railways car, not Gary & Hobart, before that it was a Gary & Southern car.

This is car 8, bought new by the Gary & Southern, 45th to Lottaville, in 1912. Cars 6 & 8 were converted to snow plows for Gary Railways in 1929; car 8 was renumbered P4. Before 1929 the individual lines had merged and were know just as Gary Railways, although the car may have been used on the Hobart tracks. P4 was scrapped in 1939. Car 6, renumbered P3, had the plow at the opposite end of the car and was scrapped in 1941.

Railroads would take old cars and convert them for maintenance service in their own shop, so many of them were one-of-a-kind. They often looked strange and jerry-rigged; that's why photographers and modelers like them.

This is probably a rare photo, there are very few Gary & Southern photos. It has a Merrillville connection. Gary & Southern had 4 cars, 2 coaches numbered 2 & 4, and 2 combines numbered 6 & 8 (a combine has baggage door & compartment). Coach 2 ended up as the KAY-BEE-EATER (photo upstairs in the [Merrillville History] Museum). These cars had steel frames with wooden bodies made by Niles in Cleveland.
So this car ran on the line that eventually connected Gary and Crown Point, and this photo must date between 1929 and 1939.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Stop Signs on Main Street

Is it possible that traffic through the intersections of downtown Hobart was not controlled until the autumn of 1922, when Fred Rose, Sr. installed six stop signs?

2016-12-8. Stop
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 3 Nov. 1922.

In the next column we learn that Charles Shults, having quit farming, moved to the Buchfuehrer house on Lillian Street, and I hope someone comes along pretty soon to tell me where that was.

We also learn that Charles' wife had been a Lute. Per the Indiana Marriage Collection, Charles Shults married Lydia Lute in Porter County in March 1897. The same source tells us that William Shults married Vena Lute in February 1896. I wonder if these were two brothers marrying two sisters?

In the far-right column, we recognize our friend, John Killigrew. I believe he won that election.

♦    ♦    ♦

Elsewhere in the "Local Drifts" of the same issue, we find this little item:
Jacob Yeager [Yager] and son, Adam, and John Sturtevant of near Deepriver, left Monday in a Ford touring car for Frederick and Baltimore, Md. They were equipped for camping out, and may not return for several weeks.
Jacob Yager was in his mid-60s, John Sturtevant about 52 (1920 Census); if they could stand camping out, well, good for them.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Rose Mathew Dorman

I was curious about Rose Mathew Dorman so I started poking around in my notes and on the internet.

Born in 1896, Rose was the eldest of the four children of William and Edna (Tobey) Mathew* and grew up in Plymouth, Indiana (1900 Census, 1910 Census). Sometime after 1910 the family moved to Gary. According to her marriage announcement, Rose had begun working as "society editor" for the Gary Tribune around 1914.

2016-12-5. Lake County Times (Hammond) May 12, 1917
(Click on image to enlarge)
Lake County Times (Hammond, Ind.) 12 May 1917.

Her father, William, was an attorney. According to his obituary, he served as "special prosecutor" in the murder trial of Harry Diamond (former owner of the Berghoff roadhouse).

2016-12-5. valparaisovidettemessenger-19310219-3
(Click on image to enlarge)
Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso, Ind.) 19 Feb. 1931.

However, in A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana: The Tragic Betrayal of Nettie Diamond, Jane Simon Ammeson depicts William Mathew as acting for the defense.

That's the extent of my research thus far.

*The surname also shows up as "Matthew" and "Matthews"; I'm sticking with the way Rose wrote it.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Old Lutz House: On the Corner or Down in the Gully?

The last time we heard of the old Bragington farm was in December 1920 when it served as an emergency landing strip. At the time I concluded that Ed Maybaum was occupying that farm, and I don't know how I figured that out, but now it seems I'm right. And Ed, like others, was finding himself at least partially priced out of farming in the autumn of 1922:

2016-12-3. Maybaum/Lutz
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 26 Oct. 1922.

And with a new brick house to live in, the Lutzes were sending their old house off to become a Fasel house … which is why I think "the corner west of their place" referred to the south side of the intersection of Tenth Street and South Hobart Road. But both corners of that intersection are "west" of the Lutz house, so it might have been either the east or west corner. These days, the west corner is occupied by a house built (according to the county records) in 1890.

However, more than once when we were driving through that area, Eldon Harms told me there had been a house on the east corner. Somebody's — I forget the name and oh, how I wish I had Eldon back again to tell me — somebody's mother-in-law lived in that house, and when the house had finished its usefulness it was pushed down into the gully.

An item in the "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of Dec. 15, 1922, noted that "Henry Fasel, Jr., moved his family last Friday into their new home on 10th street." This may have been the new-to-them old Lutz house, since I haven't noted any reports of new construction there.

In conclusion: I don't know.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Dorman Story

Today, courtesy of Leslie Dorman Hagerty, I am bringing you part of a mysterious pamphlet or book — it looks professionally typeset, but there is no title and we don't know when it was written or if it was part of a larger work (and how much preceding the first page was cut off).

It relates some of the background and experiences of John F. and Ella (Waltz) Dorman of Summit Lawn/Indian Ridge. The writer was Rose Mathew Dorman, who in 1917 married John and Ella's son, Harold C. Dorman. Rose's article here seems to be addressed to her children (and maybe their cousins), and when she says "your grandfather" she means John F. Dorman.

A Dorman History by AinsworthIN on Scribd

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Index to Lake County Recognizance Bonds, 1877-1895

I have previously posted at least one image from the Book of Recognizance Bonds, Lake County, Indiana, owned by the Merrillville/Ross Township Historical Society. There is some interesting material in there, but the book is so large and fragile that trying to scan the whole thing would damage it (and me). Last summer I got the idea to photograph the pages instead of scanning them, and that's where Dan Kleine (local historian-photographer-railfan) came in; he provided the equipment and expertise that made the project work. So now we have digital images of 460 pages of recognizance bonds. And here is an index of what those pages contain:

Index to Book of Recognizance Bonds, Lake County, Indiana, 1877-1895 by AinsworthIN on Scribd

If you find your relative in the index and would like a digital image of the page(s) he or she is on, please contact me.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Steam Shovel, National Fireproofing Co.

2016-11-27. Steam shovel postcard
(Click on images to enlarge)

The caption at the bottom of this postcard reads: "Steam Shovel/National Fireproofing Co., Hobart, Ind." The photo is attributed to "M.L. Photo," which isn't very helpful since I still don't know much about that enterprise.

The back of the postcard is no help, either, in narrowing down a date.

2016-11-27. Steam shovel postcard verso

No postmark, no stamp box, no printer's name. The vertical dividing line at center seems to be composed of letters, but even at 4800 dpi I can't read them.

The postcard is now the property of the Hobart Historical Society.

I wonder if this steam shovel was ever operated by our friend, Charles Dewell?

Friday, November 25, 2016

Why They Are All Quitting Farming

This notice about yet another public sale by another soon-to-be-ex-farmer includes some comments about the difficulties the farmers were facing in the early 1920s.

2016-11-25. Mionske
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 26 Oct. 1922.

In a previous post I identified the Theodore Henning farm:

Henning-Sitzenstock 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

It lay on the west side of the intersection of Colorado Street and Harms Road.

This is the first I've heard of Paul Mionske, but he may have occupied the Henning farm when the 1920 Census came around; he appears on rented land (with his parents) in that vicinity. I've a feeling this will be the last I hear of him.

Theodore Henning was born in Germany in 1855, came to the U.S. in 1871, and married Wilhelmine "Minnie" Mau in Chicago in 1884. They bought their Ross Township farm sometime between 1891 and 1900: the 1900 Census shows them there with seven children (Charles, Frank, Amanda, Albert, William, Fred, and Lillian). Theodore died in 1916, at which time he and Minnie were Crown Point residents. The old farm was being operated by their son, Albert, who in 1912 had married Florence Gradle.1 (Two of their children, Theodore and Delmer, were photographed at the Vincent School.) In January 1917, Albert himself held a public sale on the farm2 and apparently got out of farming — the 1920 Census shows him in Gary, employed at a steel mill — but he held on to the land, renting it out. Which is where Paul Mionske comes in, and goes out.


[1] "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 7 June 1912.
[2] "Public Sale," Hobart Gazette 12 Jan. 1917.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Before It Was the McAuliffe Farm

The reason George Earle had 80 acres to sell to Timothy McAuliffe, Sr., in 1867 was because he had bought those 80 acres from the State of Indiana in 1854:

2016-11-23. 1854 - NW Q NE Q Sec 33 combined
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

(The verso can be seen here.)

2016-11-23. 1854 - SW Q NE Q Sec 33 combined

(The verso can be seen here.)

So it was considered swampland, apparently, when George Earle bought it.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Farmers Win One

It's an old story, you see. Little guy criticizes something big guy did, big guy sues little guy for defamation to shut little guy up. Sometimes little guy shuts up, since fighting a lawsuit is expensive and big guy's pockets are deep. Sometimes little guy fights it out.

2016-11-20. Farmers
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 26 Oct. 1922.

All right, I admit that Sam Woods, Alex Boyd, and Roy Hack were not exactly little guys in Ross Township, but when they went up against the Federal Paving Co. "backed by practically all of the large contracting companies of the United States," I suppose you could say it was a David-versus-Goliath situation.

Over in the left-hand column is a little notice for a community Halloween masquerade to be held in the basement of the W.G. Haan School.

♦    ♦    ♦

At the top of the left-hand column is a fragment of a story out of Hammond that, even though it nothing to do with Ainsworth, I was considering writing about just because it was so bizarre. However, a little Googling into the Hazel McNally "twin-doll murder case" revealed that other bloggers have saved me the trouble, and if you are interested, you can read about the case in various places, like this one.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Baseball Player

2016-11-18. img028
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Tom Rainford.

A handwritten note on the back of the original photo identifies this young athlete only as "R. Hendrix." At first I thought that the "R" must stand for Roy or Ray — that this was one of the three little Hendrixes, all (or half) grown up.

Only … this fellow couldn't be younger than about 16, could he? — which means, if he is indeed Ray/Roy, the photo must have been taken about 1930. And doesn't it all look a bit old-fashioned for 1930? I mean the laced-up jersey, and the painted backdrop of the photographer's studio … it makes me wonder.

[12/18/2016 update: compare the photo above to these.]

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Let's Get Some Electricity Out Here

From this report on the doings of the Improvement Club of Ross Township, we can gather that by October 1922 Ainsworth still did not have electricity, and its citizens either went without or made their own.

2016-11-16. Electricity
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, 27 Oct. 1922.

I believe that the Eliza Wood Mackey who "Strangled Herself to Death" was the wife of Robert Mackey, twin brother of the late Richard Mackey. If I have found the right grave, she is buried under the surname Wood, though her maiden name, per her death certificate, would have been Powers. I believe she married Thomas Wood in 1872 (Indiana Marriage Collection).

Sunday, November 13, 2016

John Wood School ca. 1962

The John Wood School looks freshly built in this aerial view:

2016-11-13. John Wood
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The image is not otherwise dated.

Here is the same image with a couple of features marked.

2016-11-13. John Wood - marked

The old Foreman house is still standing, though its outbuildings (aside from the pump house) are gone. I have marked the location of the old wooden Ainsworth school according to what I have been told. I can't clearly see it in those trees, though I do see something that looks like a small building.

The Triebess house lies just outside the left border of the photo. That house was built in 1849 according to the county records. If that date is correct, we may also call it the old Horace Marble house (per the 1874 Plat Map) and maybe even the old Booth house, since members of the Booth family owned that land in 1848 and 1850, per Early Land Sales, Lake County.

The white house along the left border was built in 1939 according to county records, and I haven't yet found out yet who built it.

Friday, November 11, 2016

From a Soldier to His Mother

2016-11-11. Harms misc 001
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

2016-11-11. Harms misc 002

We know that Walter Ensign served in the armed forces during World War I. Evidently he sent this postcard "From Walter to Mother" while he was in camp in Mississippi. (According to his 1921 passport application on, he was eventually sent to France.)

I think that much is in Walter's own handwriting. Someone else came along and added the surname, thank goodness, or we might not have known who Walter was. And I don't actually know which of these soldiers is Walter.

"Mother" was Elizabeth-or-was-it-Nora (Shearer) Ensign.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


2016-11-8. Kittens 1
(Click on image to enlarge)

Here are two of my foster kittens wishing everyone a Happy Election Day.

As for me, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm taking a blogging break.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

For Sale at Goldman's

The Ainsworth general store was promoting sales in late October 1922.

2016-11-3. For sale at Goldman's
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, 27 Oct. 1922.

I did not know what crash toweling was. According to, crash is "a plain-weave fabric of rough, irregular, or lumpy yarns, for toweling, dresses, etc."

Peters shoes from that era are still floating around, along with the boxes they came in, to my surprise — e.g., men's shoes from the 1920s, and children's shoes from the turn of the century.

Elsewhere on the page above, we learn that the newlywed Walter and Hazel Veal were moving into a house I can't identify.

And south of Ainsworth, Caroline Campbell was "seriously ill."

I don't think I have ever shown the Campbell farm on a plat map. And now that I set about trying to, I can see why I might have avoided it, since I'm having trouble pinpointing its location in relation to modern-day roads. This image from the 1908 Plat Map shows the Campbell farm lying over the border between Ross and Winfield Townships [corrected image posted 11/28/2016]:

Campbell 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hobart Then and Now: Radio Field/Southlake Mall

1937, and 2016

2016-11-1. rf007
(Click on images to enlarge)
Image above courtesy of the Eldon Harms family.

2016-11-1. Southlake 1
2016-11-1. Southlake 2

I can't do a precise then-and-now shot because I can't identify exactly where the first photo was taken. Thanks to notes on the back, we know the year — 1937.

2016-11-1. rf008

"Les" is Lester Harms (with his back to the camera), and "Dad" is his father, John Harms (in the driver's seat). They did not own this land; they may have rented it, or plowed it for hire. The field was called "Radio Field" because there were radio towers somewhere in it.

In the 1937 picture, there seems to be a road in the right background, with a house and farm outbuildings in the distance. We don't know which road that is, or whose house.

I never had a chance to look at this picture with Eldon Harms. It had been mislaid in his house, and in spite of the time he spent searching, it didn't turn up until after he had gone. "Where Southlake Mall is now," is how he described it, and "near I-65." I'm not sure if he himself, looking at the photo, could have told me exactly where it was taken.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Clouded Sulphur

2016-10-30 Clouded Sulphur
(Click on image to enlarge)

This is some kind of Sulphur butterfly on a milkweed. I think it looks most like the Clouded Sulphur in my butterfly book. I could be wrong; it wouldn't be the first time.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Quitting Farming: Part XVIII or Whatever

Now we learn that back in the autumn of 1921 when an airplane fell into "William Moehl's field," it was technically George Hayward's field on the northeast corner of Liverpool Road and 49th Avenue.

2016-10-27. Moehl, Gruel, Fredrick
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, 19 Oct. 1922.

The renters vacating the flat were, I believe, Lloyd and Mamie Arnold (1920 Census). I have mentioned Lloyd before in passing. He was from Wheeler, where his father had been a blacksmith (1900 Census). I don't know anything about Mamie (maiden name unknown). Lloyd seems to have spent just a few years in Hobart, then moved to Gary to stay.

♦    ♦    ♦

Elsewhere in the same column on the page above, we have some teacher news — Elsa Gruel teaching in Chicago, and Evelyn Fredrick entertaining her colleagues in the Fredrick home on S.R. 51. Bunco, in case you didn't know (and I didn't), is played with dice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tall Nettle

This plant, which manages to be both graceful and ugly, sprang up in my raspberry bed.

2016-10-25. Tall Nettle
(Click on images to enlarge)

I identified it as Tall Nettle. I wanted to photograph the hopelessly tiny blossoms, and I figured that since this nettle didn't actually have "stinging" in its name, it wouldn't hurt me if I took hold of its stem to position the flowers better, right? … Wrong. And ouch.

Anyway, here's the best photo I could get of the blossoms.

2016-10-25. Tall Nettle detail

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Breaking Camp

Mrs. George Thompson was Lee's (and Eva's) mother. Her maiden name was Swartz and per the 1900 Census she had married George Thompson in 1899, but I've not yet been able to find the record of their marriage.

2016-10-23. Nancy Thompson
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, 19 Oct. 1922.

The little Amlong family started camping out near the village of Deep River in June. They must have spent a few chilly nights in their tent before finally moving into a house for the winter. The "Humes residence south of the city" was likely on what's now State Road 51, though I still don't know exactly where.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Morning-Glory Plume Moth

Most of my adult life I have been letting dogs out at night, and while they take care of business, looking at the living things that congregate around dusk-to-dawn lights in mild weather, and saying to myself, "Strange creatures come out at night" — usually while looking at one of these:

2016-10-21. Morning-glory plume moth 2
(Click on images to enlarge)

Finally I have learned that they are not so strange after all. They are just moths; specifically, plume moths, and this one is a Morning-Glory Plume Moth — so called, I gather, because its caterpillars feed on plants in the morning-glory family.

They roll their wings up when not using them.

2016-10-21. Morning-glory plume moth 1

My moth-identification book helpfully includes a ruler printed inside the back cover.

A couple of weeks after I took the photos above, I found a morning-glory plume moth that had gotten into my house.

2016-10-21. Morning-glory plume moth on screen

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

What Was It About Seattle?

The "Local and Personal" column of the Hobart News of October 5, 1922, included this item: "Lee Thompson, residing south of Ainsworth, formerly of Hobart, left Monday evening for Seattle, Wash. where he expects to be employed in the markets in that city."

I think "south of Ainsworth" referred to their rented farm near the Vincent schoolhouse.

Perhaps Lee had heard from the Hazelgreens how great Seattle was. Or maybe there was some boom going on there in 1922 that could draw him out of Indiana.

This might explain why I couldn't find him around here in the 1930 Census; on the other hand, we already know he was back in Hobart by 1940.

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The fact that 60 property owners were petitioning for an "asphaltic concrete top dressing" for Cleveland Avenue in October 1922 suggests that it was still a gravel road at the time … if not a dirt road.

2016-10-18. Road improvement petition
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 6 Oct. 1922.

That was the route of the Yellowstone Trail, competing for traffic against the Dunes Highway (still under construction, I think) to the north and the Lincoln Highway to the south. And crews had been at work on the Lincoln Highway during summer of 1922, pouring fresh cement.

The "south road … between Hobart and the Lincoln Highway" refers State Road 51.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Steam Engine Running Beside a Plowed Field

Here's another entry in my series, "Not Ainsworth But Could Be."

When I first saw this photo, I thought: That's how the Grand Trunk steam engines must have looked running past my field, back when Henry Chester farmed it!

2016-10-16. Grand Trunk steam engine
(Click on images to enlarge)

Unfortunately, the notes on the back give Grand Haven, Michigan as the location and 1947 as the year …

2016-10-16. Grand Trunk steam engine verso

… so I was way off as to place and time. But still — let exactitude fall to the side, let our eyelids droop, and that's a westbound Grand Trunk train slowing down for the Ainsworth depot.

The first car behind the tender belongs to the Pennsylvania Railroad, the third one to the C&O Railroad — both lines that would have been a part of life in Ainsworth, though not quite as large a part as the Grand Trunk Railroad.

Friday, October 14, 2016


I am indebted to Rita McBride of the Hobart Historical Society for finding and printing out this story. Back when I was reading the 1916 microfilm, the name Hazelgreen meant nothing to me.

2016-10-14. Dynamite
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 16 June 1916.

We've already met Malcolm Hazelgreen. The sister living in the same home was probably Elna.

The last paragraph mentions a similar event happening to Fred Kappelman "nine years ago," which would take us to about 1907; this is why I think Fred was still alive some years after his marriage to Nora Ensign.