Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Hobart Then and Now: Library/Museum Interior

1922 and 2016

2016-3-30. Library interior 001
2016-3-30. Library interior 2016
(Click on images to enlarge)

This is the east-side interior of the Hobart library, now the Hobart Historical Society museum.

I like the fresh flowers on the tables in the 1922 photo — lilacs on the table nearest the fireplace, I believe. The library had plenty of shelf space in those days.

Perhaps the photo doesn't date precisely to 1922, but the message on the verso does:

2016-3-30. Library interior 002

The signature may be "Harold Ray" or "Harold & Ray"; either way I can't identify the writer.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Old Folks Ran Away Restaurant

'Twas only half a year ago — February 1922 — when A.G. Kemerley opened his new lunch counter-rooming house on Main Street. In July 1922 we learn that, yes, his name was Arthur; and the business was called the "Old Folks at Home"; and Mrs. Kemerley had had enough of it.

2016-3-28. Kemerley -- restaurant story
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local and Personal," Hobart News 20 July 1922.

I don't know Mrs. Kemerley's first name. I can't positively identify these two people in any census, etc.

(Elsewhere on the same page, we have news of Earl Green — possibly the future bowling-alley operator — and Jake Kramer (Jr.), who could joke in trying circumstances.)

♦    ♦    ♦

Soon afterwards, Arthur Kemerley decided that he too had had enough of the Old Folks at Home.

2016-3-28. Kemerley public sale
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 3 Aug. 1922.

"L. Kemerley" was, I believe, Leroy Kemerley (Arthur's father), who was born in Ohio in 1853, moved to Hobart between 1910 and 1920, and now rests in Crown Hill Cemetery. His wife's name was Harriet until 1930, when it changed to Anna.

Additional Sources:
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

2016-3-27. Daisy
(Click on image to enlarge)

It's a happy but busy Easter here in Ainsworth, as I have a new foster family.

Here's the mother, Daisy, lying in her cozy little house with her five kittens, who are so small that they don't care anything about the outside world yet.

But they will, soon.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Walter Bros. Garage circa 1919

We've seen the Walter Bros. Garage before, but here's a slightly different view:

2016-3-25. Walter Bros 1919 a
(Click on images to enlarge)

So that would be the Lincoln Highway passing in front of the garage. It does not appear to be paved. I believe this photo dates to 1919 or earlier, based on the verso evidence:

2016-3-25. Walter Bros 1919 b

We do see "1919" in what appears to be a postmark. But also, the message was written by someone named Paul who is linked somehow to a Lina or Lena, and a little Elmer; and in the 1920 Census, taken in February of that year, we find a nine-month-old boy named Elmer, the son of Paul Bourquin and his wife, Lena, who were farming rented land in Ross Township. (They also have a two-year-old son, Paul.) Paul Sr. and Lena were both natives of Switzerland whose mother tongue was French.

The message is written in German. Now, what little I know of that language, I learned against my will in grade school, so it's not surprising that I would have trouble reading the postcard message. But I think in this case the difficulty is not just my own ignorance — this doesn't seem to be the proper German we learn in school. I have no idea whether Paul is being playful by writing incorrectly, as people sometimes do, or whether this is a regional dialect of German, or whether it's just the sort of German you might expect from a native French speaker.

Anyway, I've attempted a loose translation:
Hello there! (We) have received on Good Friday morning a healthy splendid little boy (Buebchen). Here it is Good Friday morning and we're as sound as turnips. All are doing well, all 4 are healthy and jolly. When you get married we will all quickly come across, so don't keep us waiting. When you get married, get over here right away so we won't be left suffering any longer. Lena wants to get little Elmer baptized. I hope you and all the rest are healthy, and my hearty greetings to all. Paul.
Perhaps some German-speaker will stumble across this post and help me out. [Update: the corrected sentences are from Jon Casbon's comments to this post.]

I can't positively identify Paul in any official records other than the 1920 census. Nor can I find any mention of him in my newspaper notes … until August 1922:

2016-3-25. Bourquin public sale
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 17 Aug. 1922.

To find a Goodrich farm meeting that description, we have to go all the way back to the 1891 Plat Book, where we find this parcel of land, shown on the 1908 Plat Map as belonging to Eli and Levi Boyd, owned by a Thomas Goodrich.

2016-3-25. Goodrich farm 1891
(Click on image to enlarge)
This image from the 1908 Plat Map shows the Thomas Goodrich farm as shown in the 1891 Plat Book.

Now I have to stop and ask myself who Thomas Goodrich was. Born 1826, died 1891, he was the father of Charles Goodrich, whose family has been mentioned several times already in this blog. I can't find him in Ross Township any earlier than the 1870 Census, where he and his wife, Sarah, with their three children (Anna, Levi P.,* and Charles), are farming in what seems to be roughly the vicinity of the "old Goodrich farm."

But to return to the Bourquins — that 1922 farm sale sounds as if they are getting ready to move, doesn't it? If so, I don't know where they went, any more than I know where they came from.

*Levi seems to have preferred his middle name, Perry, as evidenced by the census records and various newspaper items. I think Perry may have continued farming the old Goodrich land for some years after his father's death.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

His Awesome Alfalfa

On July 13, 1922 — about three months after the sudden death of her husband — Maud Hardesty gave birth to his last son. The child's name was not given in the newspaper; it may have been Bruce, but at the moment I'm not sure.

Three days earlier, on their farm southeast of Ainsworth, Emil and Bessie Buchfuehrer welcomed a baby daughter — she would be named Grace, I believe.

But the really surprising thing to happen in July 1922 — surprising to me, anyway — was that Henry Nolte came in to the office of the Gazette to show off his alfalfa.

2016-3-23. Henry Nolte and his alfalfa
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 21 July 1922.

That page is loaded with news, including visitors at the Paine farm, an expansion of the Wood garage in Deep River, and a thief in the night at the Hayward farm.

Additional Sources:
1930 Census.
♦ "Births." Hobart Gazette 21 July 1922.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Random Pointless Update

The internet has worked its magic on my little German hymn-book.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Ainsworth Then and Now: The Pantry/Sharp School Services Again

1937 and 2015

 The Pantry, store operated by Cecil and Ruby Tonagel, NE corner of 73rd and S.R. 51.
2016-3-19. Sharp School Services.
(Click on images to enlarge)
1937 photo courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Taken on July 5, 1937, the top photo is two years later than the first then-and-now I showed you (though the "now" photos were taken the same day in both posts).

I like this photo because it shows you the emptiness of the northwest corner of that intersection (73rd Ave./S.R. 51). Now the fields have been filled up by the Christian Assembly Church and the John Wood Elementary School.

These next photos were taken from that northwest corner.

The Pantry (undated).
2016-3-19. Sharp School Services
The Pantry, Tonagels' store on NE corner of 73rd & S.R. 51. Photographer is standing on 73rd, facing east toward S.R. 51. Posts marking cut-off joining 73rd and 51 visible at left. Undated.
(Click on images to enlarge)
First and third images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

While the older photos are undated, we can be pretty sure they were not taken on July 5, 1937! I would say that they date a bit later than that: someone has had time to put up some directional signs that weren't there in the 1937 photo. The car is not clear enough to identify, but it appears to be a late-1930s or early-1940s model.

In the foreground of the first photo you will notice a gravel road, which is not the main north-and-south S.R. 51, but a shortcut that people would take if turning west onto 73rd Ave. from southbound S.R. 51 (or turning north onto S.R. 51 from eastbound 73rd) — much the same way that nowadays they cut through the church parking lot. The posts mark off an unused triangle of land between the shortcut and the main north-and-south S.R. 51. You can see a few of those posts in the 1937 photo.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Fun with the Farm Bureau

The farming families of Ross Township enjoyed themselves in the Ainsworth school on the evening of July 17, 1922.

2016-3-17. Farm Bureau at Ainsworth school
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 21 July 1922.

I don't know for sure who "President Krieter" was; my guess is the 66-year-old Frederick Krieter (1920 Census), who farmed in northeastern Ross Township under the name "Kreiter" per the 1926 Plat Book. The Gazette editor, of course, was Andrew J. Smith.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

8 9 17 16
(Random Pointless Photos)

You can find this concrete marker among the trees north of Big Maple Lake.

2016-3-15. Big Maple Lake 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

This spot is (supposed to be) the meeting point of Sections 8, 9, 16, and 17 (of Township 35 North, Range 7 West).

2016-3-15. Big Maple Lake 2

So it also marked the meeting point of the Chester and Nolte farms … both of which eventually became the Wasy farm, and all of which is now Deep River County Park.

Here are Buddy and Robbie ignoring that concrete post and its aging metal guardian.

2016-3-15. Big Maple Lake 3

East of this spot, in what may be the tippy-top of Section 16, or the bottom of Section 9, among the ruins of the Nolte/Wasy farm, I found this:

2016-3-15. Big Maple Lake 4

2016-3-15. Big Maple Lake 5

A tree had grown up through the concrete floor of an outbuilding, then fallen over, and in doing so pulled up a section of the floor, exposing orange terra cotta tile under the concrete.

Here's Big Maple Lake.

2016-3-15. Big Maple Lake 6

Here's an artistic shot of sunlight sparkling on Big Maple Lake.

2016-3-15. Big Maple Lake 7

Here's Robbie getting in the way of the sparkles.

2016-3-15. Big Maple Lake 8

Sunday, March 13, 2016

"Bowl Your Cares Away"

Here are three tiny men bowling their cares away.

2016-3-13. img007 c
(Click on image to enlarge)

They have to be tiny so as to fit on the flat top of the cover of book of matches.

Here is the whole cover:

2016-3-13. img007 a

2016-3-13. img007 b

I can't attempt to date this because I can't find this bowling alley listed in any Hobart directory. Moreover, it seems not to have made an impression on any of the old-timers who reminisced for the Hobart Historical Society in 1979, so perhaps it did not last long.

George Dewey Gradle was born in 1898 into the large Porter County farming family that also produced Forrest and Homer. By 1920 he had moved to Hobart and was working as a carpenter. Around 1921 he married and started his own family. In 1930 he described himself as a building contractor. I can't find him in the 1940 census, but the 1947 telephone directory shows him living at 913 Lincoln.

His 1969 obituary confirms that he was indeed a bowling-alley operator, among other things:
George Dewey Gradle, a member of the Hobart City Council from 1930 to 1934 died on Sunday, May 18 at North Manchester, Indiana. He was 71 years of age.

He was a veteran of WWI, and a charter member and Past Commander of American Legion Post 54. Born south of Hobart, Gradle for many years was associated with his brothers in Gradle Bros. Construction Co. He also operated a bowling alley in the 500 block of Third Street.

He is survived by his wife, Emma; two sons, Robert of Maryland and Lester of Schaumburg, Ill.; 4 brothers, Forrest of Valparaiso, Homer of Carmel, Ind., Charles and Jesse, both of Hobart; 3 sisters, Mrs. Elsie Phillips of California, Mrs. Florence Piske of Washington, and Mrs. Caroline Haxton of Hobart; and 6 grandchildren.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 21, 1969 at Rees Funeral Home with Rev. John Holzman officiating. Burial in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Earl Green is more difficult to identify as there were two Earl Greens roughly contemporary with George Gradle in Hobart: Earl J. and Earl T. The latter shows up only in the 1930 census, describing himself as a house painter working for wages, and then vanishes, without ever showing the entrepreneurial spirit that we eventually find in the former. For that reason, and because Earl J. lived in Hobart for a longer time, I am tentatively identifying the bowling-alley owner as Earl J. Green.

He had no siblings, as far as I can tell. His mother's name was Frieda; his father's name was John (but I do not know if he was the John H. Green of the flats on Center Street). John Green shows up only in the 1910 census, where he describes himself as a cattle buyer. In 1900 we find Frieda living with her one-year-old son Earl, married, but the enumerator does not record John in the household. Nor does John appear in 1920, where Frieda's status is not clearly legible but may be "widowed."

Earl married a woman named Emma sometime in the 1920s.* In 1940 he described himself as a bartender working on his own account in a tavern, while she was a waitress in a tavern; this leads me to wonder whether they had anything to do with the Green Café so offhandedly mentioned in the 1979 reminiscences.

Here is Earl's obituary, from 1959:
A former Hobart businessman, Earl Green, died of a heart attack last Wednesday [February 18] in Stuart, Florida, where he had made his home for more than 10 years.

He had done some contracting and building work in Stuart, and at the time of his death was operating a tavern and a variety store there.

In addition to his widow, Emma, he is survived by one daughter, Mrs. Betty Jenkins of Cuttyhunk, Connecticut; two grandchildren; and his mother, Mrs. Fried Green, also of Stuart.

Rev. Howard Palm officiated at funeral services in Pflughoeft chapel Sunday afternoon, and burial was in the Hobart cemetery."
Interesting that both of them were brought back to Hobart for their eternal rest.

I can't believe how many hours of research this little matchbook cover has cost me.

*This is assuming I've found the right people in the 1930 census, which would require that the enumerator had been a bit confused about the couple's ages. I can't find a marriage record for Earl and Emma.

1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
1930 Census.
1940 Census.
♦ "George Gradle Passes Away." Hobart Gazette 22 May 1969.
♦ "Heart Attack Takes Earl Green in Fla." Hobart Gazette 26 Feb. 1959.

Friday, March 11, 2016

What Happened to the Strikebreaker

The Great Railroad Strike of 1922, which began on July 1, was marred by violence on both sides. One act of violence took place in Hobart on July 17.

2016-3-11. Railroad strike
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 20 July 1922.

The following day's Gazette described the victim as "Ross Gray, the Valparaiso car inspector."

By early August, trains had entirely stopped running on the EJ&E Railroad due to the strike ("E., J. & E. Trainmen on Strike — No Trains Running," Hobart News 10 Aug. 1922), but the strike would last only a few more weeks before collapsing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Another View of the Pennsy Bridge

Pennsy bridge 1914
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

I hadn't seen this photo before I came across this postcard that had strayed from the steamer trunk and got itself into a little random collection hidden away in a closet. You never know!

I believe the photographer is standing on the northerly-westerly bank of the Deep River (everything runs at angles in this section of Hobart), pointing his camera northerly-easterly toward the bridge. And there those people are standing on the railroad tracks waiting to be run down.

The postmark is November 17, 1914.

Verso of Pennsy bridge 1914

I have no clue about that cryptic message.

Monday, March 7, 2016

This Is Why He Couldn't Have a Gas Station

While the human race exists, there will be jerks. At the time we are concerned with — 1922 — jerks had found a relatively new way to be jerks, involving that relatively recent invention, the gas station. But already this avatar of jerkitude was so well known that the neighbors of John Kibler's triangle rose up to prevent his building a gas station where jerks could be jerks.

2016-3-7. No gas station in my neighborhood!
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 13 July 1922.

Also, news from the countryside south of Deepriver, some of it involving huckleberries in a way that I interpret to mean they grew wild around here. News to me!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

"The First Automobile in Lake County"

Charles Fabian Blank (Elna Hazelgreen's uncle) died on March 4, 1922, of injuries he suffered when struck by a car — karmically, one might say, since his obituary in the Gazette credited him with owning the first automobile in Lake County.

2016-3-5. Charles F. Blank obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 10 Mar. 1922.

I do not know if that claim is precisely true, but Charles certainly owned one of the first in this area. In mid-April of 1901 the Gazette reported that "Mr. Blank of Millers" had placed an order for an automobile, which at the time was as much a novelty as a seven-man bicycle. The auto in question was a steam-powered Locomobile, which, when delivered in May 1901, proved to be "a very neat affair and a successful traveler." The news from Miller was soon full of Charles Sr.'s Locomobile. In July 1901 Charles and son drove it to Valpo; Charles and wife drove it to Crown Point ("They found good roads all the way except in Crown Point"); and Charles drove himself to Chicago. By then he had become Miller's Locomobile agent.

In September, Charles Jr. drove the Locomobile to Chicago to have "several new devices" installed — and what those new devices might have been, I cannot imagine.

In October, Charles Sr. and wife (her name was Johanna) drove their Locomobile on a flying trip to Valpo, leaving Miller at one o'clock in the afternoon and returning by 6:30 p.m.!

Here is a clip of a restored Locomobile in motion, and another one from the occupant's point of view.

Additional Sources:
1900 Census.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 19 Apr. 1901; 26 July 1901.
♦ "Miller Murmurings." Hobart Gazette 31 May 1901; 12 July 1901; 19 July 1901; 26 July 1901; 13 Sept. 1901; 11 Oct. 1901.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Timothy McAuliffe, Jr., Gets a Divorce

The Hobart Gazette of October 11, 1901, quietly noted that on "Oct. 7th, Timothy McAuliff[e], Jr., was granted a divorce from his wife, Esther McAuliff[e]."

I knew Timothy Jr. had been married, but it didn't occur to me to wonder what happened to his wife that he would end his days living as a single man with his brother and sister on the old family farm.

He had married Esther Peterson in Porter County on December 13, 1897, according to the Indiana Marriage Collection. The 1900 Census does record him as married for two years, but his wife was not listed in the same household with him.

So far as I can tell, there were no children from the marriage. None are mentioned in his (very brief) death notice ("Hold Rites for Porter Farmer," Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso, Ind.) 25 Feb. 1938).

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Death of Calista Smith

Calista Jane Strong Smith was a native of Ross Township, born in the countryside south of Deep River in 1843. She favored voting rights for women and Prohibition, and lived long enough to see both become the law of the land.

2016-3-1. Calista (Strong) Smith obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 13 July 1922.

We have seen the Smith family farm before:

2015-3-10. Smith 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

That image is from the 1926 Plat Book. "S.A." was Sela, the son; on the 1874 Plat Map the name is "D.A." — Dorman, Calista's husband.

We've also located Calista's parents' farm.

Additional Source: "Life Sketch of Calista J. Smith." Hobart Gazette 14 July 1922.