Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bronze for Woods

The entry in A Pictorial History of Merrillville about the Bartlett Woods home near 57th and S.R. 55 notes that the house was burned by the local fire department "for safety reasons" in 1956, and concludes: "All that remains today as a tribute to the 'Grand Ole Man' is a small historical marker." That marker may date to August 1922:

2016-7-31. Old Settlers' Meeting honors Bartlett Woods
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 1 Sept. 1922.

In a previous post, I showed the Woods farm on a plat map …

2015-11-24. Sam B. Woods road 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

… but was too lazy to figure out which east-west road bisected it. So now we know it was 57th Ave.

Speaking of laziness, I'm glad some nice people have researched Bartlett Woods so I don't have to. An entry at includes a photo of him and the names of his wife and children.

And the Rev. Timothy H. Ball wrote a brief biography, which speaks of Bartlett Woods as a living man though he was not by the time the Lake County Encyclopedia was published. (The free soil meeting of 1848 related to the Free Soil Party.)

Sam B. Woods, who hosted the Old Settlers' Meeting of 1922, has appeared in these pages before.

I have no idea what became of the bronze marker.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Hobart Then and Now: Bracken Riding Stable

Circa 1940, and 2016.

2016-7-29. st099
2016-7-29. sort of approximately in the vicinity of the Bracken stable
(Click on images to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The 2016 photo is vaguely approximate. Don't start telling people that the Barrington Ridge Baptist church is on the site of the old Bracken riding stable. Of course I asked Eldon Harms when we were looking at this photo, but he could not remember the exact location of the stable — only that it was along S.R. 51, north of where the CVS store is now.

And my guess at circa 1940 is very approximate, too. The car in the photo, Eldon told me, is a 1935 Ford, so the date must be 1935 or later; something about the (unidentified) woman's hair says "World War II" to me, but that's just a vague impression.

The sign above the stable door reads:


Eldon remembered the Bracken riding trail as going along 14th Street … or maybe going before 14th Street.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

For Sale or Rent: Mysterious Places

Two items from the "All kinds of Wants" column in the Hobart Gazette of Sept. 8, 1922:
FOR RENT — My farm of 100 acres, on Lincoln Highway, south of Ainsworth. Julius Triebess, 6936 Michigan avenue, Chicago.
FOR SALE — My house, barn and acre tract at Fatout, south of old Deepriver schoolhouse, on C.&I. railroad. Otis Guernsey, Route 2, Crown Point.
I've been unsure about who, if anyone, has been renting the Triebess farm; I hope one of the papers will report on its new tenant.

That second item has taken up 'way more of my time than it should have. We know that Otis Guernsey's farm lay northeast of where Randolph Street crosses the C&O Railroad. When Harold Guernsey died in 1921, his obituary used the name "Putout" — which I believe to be a simple typographical error, since my notes from 1916 carry the first mention of "Fatout":
Delbert Young has moved into the new house which he has built on the road leading south of the Deepriver schoolhouse past "Fatout," the new railroad station. His new house and barn look fine.*
And now in 1922 we see it spelled "Fatout" again. Majority wins. But Google, which knows about everything, doesn't know about the village or railroad station called Fatout.**

And what about the railroad where Otis' property lay? Is "C.&I." a typo for "C.&O."? The C&O railroad has had several names, but I can't confirm that "C.&I." was among them. There was a railroad in Pennsylvania with those initials, which I didn't want to know but had to spend the time finding out because of this stupid little want ad. Is it any wonder I can't get anything done?

Well, if you want my theory on all this, here it is: the C&O Railroad built a new station circa 1916, probably about where Randolph crosses the tracks, called it Fatout after one of its bigwigs, but — in contrast to how thoroughly the station name "Ainsworth" was adopted — the name never really took hold among the locals and was forgotten until I came along nosing around in the old microfilm.

♦    ♦    ♦

Another mystifying item from the "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of Sept. 1, 1922:
H.F. Carey, who recently moved upon his farm, has rented his house and five acres south of 10th street to Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Bracken, who have leased the place for 14 months, and moved yesterday.
I don't know where the Carey house was. I used to think it was one of the older ones on the north side of 10th but according to this news item it was the south side. Or was just the five acres on the south side?

The item goes on to say that Mr. and Mrs. Howard Bracken would continue to occupy the Bracken place, moving into the big house from the small house. I gather that Mr. and Mrs. William Bracken are the parents of Howard. William was born on that farm and when he married, he and his wife took up housekeeping there, so this was the first time he'd ever lived off the old Bracken place. But the Bracken milk route — William's, I'm assuming, though it's not clear — would continue without interruption.

2016-7-27. Bracken 1908
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Bracken land as shown on the 1908 Plat Map. The 1926 Plat Book shows the parcel on the west side of S.R. 51 belonging to someone else.

*"Additional Local News," Hobart Gazette 30 June 1916.
**It doesn't help that there was a Purdue U. professor named Paul Fatout who wrote about historical topics and whose name clogs up the Google searches.

Sunday, July 24, 2016


2016-7-24. st037
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

This photo comes from Minnie Rossow Harms' steamer trunk. The young woman is identified only by a handwritten note on the photo's cardboard frame: "Alta." The frame also bears the stamp of the photographer, Krudup of Crown Point, Indiana, about whom I know nothing.

I think she resembles a young Alta Thompson, and since the families were friends, Alta might well have given Minnie a photo from her youth. If this is Alta Thompson, who was born circa 1905 and in this photo looks about — well, your guess is as good as mine; mid-teens to early 20s, maybe? — then this photo would date to somewhere from 1920 to 1927. I wish I could see more of her dress.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Lincoln Farm Again!

In the "All kinds of Wants" column of the Hobart Gazette of September 29, 1922, I came across this item:
FOR RENT — Farm, from March 1st, in East Gary, known as the Lincoln farm. Inquire of owner, John Keller, 2521 So. Lawndale avenue, Chicago.
The location of the Lincoln farm had eluded me thus far, but perhaps now we can pin it down. Here is the Keller farm as it appears on the 1908 Plat Map:

2016-7-22. Keller 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

I'm not sure the he owned all the way up to where Old Hobart Road meets S.R. 51, which is why I drew the lines lightly there. The 1926 Plat Book shows the same ownership. All my other plat maps show different ownership, but not one shows anybody named Lincoln owning that farm. Which wasn't much of a farm if the land was as swampy and uneven then as it is now. But anyway, this would seem to be the farm owned by John Keller in 1922, and if he says it is known as the Lincoln farm, I'm in no position to dispute that. shows a John Keller, 1864 – 1951, buried in Evergreen Memorial Park in Hobart, but I don't know if this is our man.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Lake George From the Dam, circa 1948

Here's an uninspired shot of Lake George from the dam:

2016-7-20. img196
(Click on images to enlarge)

Really, that's not helpful. We already knew what water looks like.

According to this website, the serial number beginning with "O" means the postcard was likely printed in 1948 or later. What little I can see of the two people's clothing is not inconsistent with that date.

Nobody we know sent or received this, either:

2016-7-20. img197

All in all, not much use. But it was for sale, so I bought it. I can't help myself.

Monday, July 18, 2016

South of Deepriver, August 1922

Today is South-of-Deepriver Day, also known as Blogger-Takes-a-Nap Day.

2016-7-18. South of Deepriver
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 31 Aug. 1922.

And at the Niksches' Deep River Hall, an old-time dance, whatever that meant in 1922.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Healthcare Costs, 1921

The "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of December 2, 1921, included this little item: "Timothy McAuliffe, who met with an accident at Gary last week, is recuperating at the Mercy hospital," which probably explains this hospital bill.

2016-7-16. img849
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

This was Timothy Jr., of course. A check of the previous week's issue failed to turn up any details about his accident.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Old Folks at Home Drove Her 'Round the Bend

On August 25, 1922, at their farm on Liverpool Road, Eugene and Carrie Chandler had a birthday party for their daughter, Mildred. A few days later, John and Ella Dorman hosted a Sunday school picnic on their lovely farm overlooking the Deep River, now the Indian Ridge Golf Course.

And the Kemerley family took a long motor trip that included a visit to Mrs. Kemerley, whose first name I still do not know, and whose hard work at the restaurant and boarding house in Hobart had shattered her nerves.

2016-7-13. Chandler et al.
(Click on image to enlarge)

Remember that undated photo of Hazard Halsted in the car sales and service business? The item in the right-hand column gives us a starting date for that venture.

Just above that … well, I know young people weren't angels even before the 1960s, but I am surprised at the number of extramarital births locally. (An article in the Gazette on the same topic explained that the area in question was Hobart and East Gary, and the time covered was the past six months; see "Shocking Birth Conditions," Hobart Gazette 1 Sept. 1922.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Update to Grape-Eating Party

Thanks to C.K. Melin, we have a name for another member of the grape-eating party.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Ahoy Matey!

Can you believe this is Lester Harms?

Lester Harms. See rf020 for verso.
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Eldon Harms family.

I wouldn't have recognized him but for the note on the back of the original:

2016-7-9. Verso of rf019.

Per, that stamp box was used between 1906 and 1913. Judging by Lester's apparent age in the photo — he was born in 1904 — I date this to 1906 or '07.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Wedding Bells for Mabel and Harry

Isn't it lovely? — our friends have gotten married.

2016-7-7. Breyfogle/Schavey wedding
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 31 Aug. 1922.

(Below that, a wedding involving Charles Kisela, which may or may not interest the Kisela-related person who contacted me a few years ago. Also, I did not know that Terre Haute was the standard by which Indiana bootlegging was judged in 1922.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The First Automobile in Lake County, Revisited

I came across this tidbit in the "General News Items" of the Hobart Gazette of December 22, 1899: "The Hammond News says Oliver W. Merrill, of Merrillville, has purchased an automobile at a cost of $1,000, which will be the first one in Lake county."

I've read the 1900 microfilm already, and failed to notice any items about the abilities of Oliver's new $1000 machine, such as those that adorned the social columns after Charles F. Blank's 1901 Locomobile purchase. So perhaps the "Hammond News" was mistaken.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Independence Day Parade, 1947

VFW fire truck
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Eldon Harms family.

Here we have the V.F.W.'s fire truck in a parade. At the wheel is Eldon Harms. No one else is identified.

While the date of the photo above was not recorded, I think it looks enough like this one, taken in Hobart in 1947, that we can safely say they were both taken at the same place on the same occasion — most likely the parade on July 4, 1947, during Hobart's big centennial celebration.

Eldon himself once told me that the fire truck had belonged to the fire department of Camp 133 before the Hobart V.F.W. bought it.