Sunday, January 17, 2016

Harriet Towl Ragen

An early resident of Ross Township, Harriet Ragen died in June 1922, just short of her 79th birthday.

2016-1-17. Harriet Towl Ragen obit
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 30 June 1922.

Here is the Ragen farm as it appeared on the 1874 Plat Map.

2016-1-17. Ragen 1874

This map suggests a house in the approximate location of 4012 E. 73rd Ave., where there now stands a house and large barn along with other outbuildings, most of which date to 1921 if the county property records are correct.

After moving to Hobart in 1896, the Ragens rented out their farm. Charles and Lovisa (Chester) Nelson rented it in the spring of 1903; by August of that year, the Ragens had rented it to a Wilhelm Neuman (or Newman), reportedly for a five-year term. By December 1908 George Ragen was advertising for a new tenant. In September 1914, the widowed Harriet, now living in Gary, offered it for sale or rent. She sold it in January 1915 to May Blachly (who sold it to S.J. Craig, who sold it to Emil Wojahn … who probably built that house and barn, etc.).

I believe "Mrs. Cora Maybaum of Gary" was married to Louis Maybaum, the streetcar motorman whose photo we've seen.

Harriet Ragen's husband, George, was not only a veteran of the Civil War but also a brother of Amanda Ragen Bullock, as we learn from his obituary:

2016-1-17. George Ragen obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 1 Mar. 1912.

That would explain why Joseph (aka Josiah) Halladay came down from Chicago in June 1922 to attend Harriet Ragen's funeral — he was the husband of Amanda Ragen Bullock's daughter, Ruth. (I don't know why Ruth did not accompany him.)

From George's obituary, also, we also learn that the "Mrs. Mary Stevens of Gary" who survived Harriet was the wife of Hobart's one-time baker and restaurateur, Willard Stevens (so I suppose she is the Mate Stevens identified in one of the photos in that first link).

In closing, I will add this random item I came across in the 1901 microfilm: "A carload of laborers, men and women of the African type, have pitched camp upon George Ragon's farm near the Grand Trunk railroad and will be engaged in work on the double track grading. They are said to be a jolly crowd."

♦    ♦    ♦

The second story marked on the 1922 image above tells us that the elder Severances, George and Anna, had celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. I believe Bunge is a misprint for Burge — the married name of their daughter, Mary.

Additional Sources:
1920 Census.
♦ "For Sale or Rent." Hobart Gazette 25 Sept. 1914.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 19 Apr. 1901; 24 Apr. 1903; 28 Aug. 1903; 11 Mar. 1904; 11 Dec. 1908.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 6 July 1922.


Janell Heldt said...

Yes, my grandfather, Emil Wojahn built the house, barn and all the out buildings which are all still standing.

Ainsworthiana said...

Thank you for the information!

Steve Peterson said...

In George's obituary it says his mother was Jemima Clauser. Her maiden name was actually McFarland. I understand why Goerge's family didn't know her maiden name since she died when he was young.

One of George's Aunts, Huldah McFarland married a Daniel Closser and they lived in LaPorte County. George Ragan was in LaPorte county in the 1850 census with his father (George) and other married siblings.

Ainsworthiana said...

Thank you. I have added "McFarland" to the index.