Friday, September 30, 2016

Cora Maybaum

We've seen the interior of the Main Street Trinity Lutheran Church before.

2016-9-30. Maybaum a
(Click on images to enlarge)

I finally took the trouble to figure out the text across the top of the front wall — it's the beginning of 1 Corinthians 1:23, "But we preach Christ crucified."

Once again, I didn't buy the postcard for its front but for the mystery on its back (and this time I didn't wimp out).

2016-9-30. Maybaum b

The postmark is 1909. The writer signs herself Cora M. From the text we can gather that she has two daughters, Mary and Margaret, and that Mary is old enough to go to school. Looking in the 1910 Census records for Hobart, we find all those elements in the household of Fred and Cora Maybaum. They have two children: Mary, who in 1909 would have been just old enough to go to school (about six years of age), and Margaret, about three years old. They lived at 1122 Devonshire Street.

According to Fred Maybaum's death certificate (Indiana Death Certificates), his mother's maiden name was Maasch, which would explain why Cora was writing to Mrs. F. Maasch.

Fred was not one of the Ainsworth Maybaums. He was one of the many, many Hobart Maybaums. I believe his brother, Louis, had also married a Cora.

The postcard-writing Cora's maiden name was Shearer (Indiana Marriage Collection), but if she was related to the Ainsworth Shearers, I haven't found out about it yet. Her father was Harrison Shearer; I think Amanda Shearer Scholler was her aunt. Her grandparents were Daniel and Sarah (Ream) Shearer, who came to Union Township, Porter County, sometime between the 1850 Census and the 1860 Census.

Here is the Daniel Shearer land in 1876:

2016-9-30. D. Shearer 1876
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image from, courtesy of Steven R. Shook.

Note the road I've marked with a question mark. If that road ever existed, it has long vanished. But the map fails to show Duck Creek, which runs about the same route as that road; so I'm wondering if somewhere between the surveyor and the printer, the creek got mistaken for a road. We find the same marking in the 1895 and 1906 plat maps, but with the 1921 map the road is replaced by Duck Creek.

Also with the 1921 map, we find some of the former Shearer land in the hands of Theodore and Annie Rossow, whose niece, Minnie Rossow, married in the Harms family of East AINSWORTH — ha! I've finally brought this back around to Ainsworth, so I guess those 6 hours I spent researching this little postcard weren't all wasted.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pearl Crescent

2016-9-29. Pearl Crescent
(Click on images to enlarge)

This is a Pearl Crescent butterfly — a small thing, as you can see by its size in relation to a clover blossom.

♦    ♦    ♦

A bonus artsy photo of a Monarch butterfly feeding on a Tithonia blossom:

2016-9-29. Monarch on Tithonia

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

130 Center Street

In the Hobart News of September 28, 1922, we find this little notice: "Wanted — Roomers and boarders. Mrs. W.G. Fisher, 130 Center Street."

Her giving the address settles the question of where the Fisher family lived. Evidently even a family of eight left space in the two-story Stocker house for roomers and boarders.

And Jennie Fisher may have felt the need to supplement the family income after her husband's disappointment with the Nickel Plate Garage business.

♦    ♦    ♦

Elsewhere in the same issue of the News, Everett "Mickey" Newman declared that he intended to quit racing. We shall see.

Monday, September 26, 2016


Here's another photo of Noland White and one of his furry friends, this one named "Flash" according to the handwritten note at the bottom.

2016-9-26. lh052
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

A note on the back of the original gives the date as 1937. Eldon Harms identified the car as a Ford Model A, probably a 1930 or '31.

♦    ♦    ♦

Speaking of furry friends — mixed in with the other photos in the Lester Harms collection was this 1931 photo of Rin Tin Tin …

2016-9-26. lh092 a

… apparently a promotional item distributed by Chappel Bros., Inc., producers of the first canned dog food (according to this source).

2016-9-26. lh092 b

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cabbage White

This is a Cabbage White butterfly feeding on a wild aster.

2016-9-24. Cabbage White
(Click on images to enlarge)

These things look pretty enough fluttering around the garden, but their caterpillars spent the summer demolishing my kale.

2016-9-24. Kale post-caterpillars

That's a kale leaf after the little green caterpillars got through with it.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Women Voters and a Woman Pioneer

The mid-term election of 1922 was approaching, which may be why the Ainsworth League of Women Voters planned a meeting in the W.G. Haan school; but then again, in those days people held meetings for any reason.

2016-9-22. League of Women Voters meeting
(Click on image to enlarge)
"Local and Personal." Hobart News 21 Sept. 1922.

The death of Mrs. J.E. Small, mentioned at the bottom of that column, got a fuller treatment from the next day's Gazette.

2016-9-22. Mary Jane Riley Small obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 22 Sept. 1922.

Her daughter, Mrs. Crisman — christened Elizabeth — was the wife of John Crisman, Sr., and the grandmother of Dorothea.

Mary Hardesty, the daughter with whom Mrs. Small had lived, was a widow (1920 Census), but I'm not sure of her deceased husband's name. It might have been Adolphus (Indiana Marriage Collection).

Mary Jane Riley Small rests in Mosier Cemetery.

In the pages above and elsewhere in old newspapers I have come across references to "Small's Crossing," and thus far nobody I've asked has known exactly where it was. Based on the people whose names came up in connection with Small's Crossing, I gathered it was in Porter County but not far from the village of Deep River. In common parlance around the turn of the 20th century, the name likely referred to a road crossing a railroad line near a piece of land owned by a Small. So, let's take a look at the plat map of Union Township, Porter County, in 1895, by which time all the railroads were in place:

2016-9-22. Small 1895
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image from, courtesy of Steven R. Shook.

There's a Small farm, there's the Grand Trunk Railroad, there's the road now known as N 725 W crossing the railroad. Just over the county line is the village of Deep River. I think this is a pretty good candidate for Small's Crossing. If you can find a better one, please let me know about it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Family Picnic on the Milkweed

2016-9-20. Milkweek bugs 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

Those two Milkweed-Bug adults look like parents caring for their young, but I would be surprised if that were actually the case. Insect parents involved in their children's lives are pretty rare.

Here's a couple other random pointless artsy pics … a dewy Sundrop:

2016-9-20. Sundrop

… and wild grapes growing on my old barn.

2016-9-20. Wild Grapes

Monday, September 19, 2016

Receipt from Smith & White

Here we have evidence that Timothy McAuliffe (senior, probably) paid his $1.00 for a year's subscription to the Hobart Gazette in 1896.

2016-9-19. img848
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

That is beautiful.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Yellowstone Trail Campground Report

Here's something for you Yellowstone-Trail fans …

2016-9-17. Yellowstone Trail campground report
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 21 Sept. 1922

… and something for you baseball-and-ice-cream fans:

2016-9-17. Home Run ice cream ad
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 21 Sept. 1922.

I wonder whether anyone in Hobart saved enough wrappers to get a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth. Such a baseball would sell for five figures these days, but even the ice-cream wrapper might be worth something.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Maple Spanworm

This moth getting into my house a couple weeks ago motivated me to buy a moth-identification book.*

2016-9-16. Maple Spanworm 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

It belongs to the Geometer family. I believe it is a Large Maple Spanworm moth.

2016-9-16. Maple Spanworm 2

What I have learned just from paging through the guide is that there are more kinds of moths around here than I ever knew, and some of them have names as interesting as mushroom names, e.g., Wanton Pinion, Deceptive Snout, Confused Eusarca, The Bride, The Infant, and The Slowpoke.

*David Beadle & Seabrooke Leckie, Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2012).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Papa, Mama, Malcolm, Elna

2016-9-15. hazel014
(Click on image to enlarge)

Notes on the back of the original photo identify these only as "Papa, Mama, Malcolm, Elna." Since the photo was in the Elna Hazelgreen group, and the Hazelgreen family included a Malcolm, I think we can reasonably conclude that this is a partial family portrait.

"Papa" would be Haken (aka Henry or H.S.) Hazelgreen, and "Mama" Christina (Blank) Hazelgreen.

No date is given, but since Haken died in June 1913, the photo must have been taken before then — not long before then, I would say, based on Elna's fashions and apparent age; at any rate, not before about 1911.

The location is not identified, either. I wish I knew if that was the Hazelgreen house in the background.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

Found, on a branch of wild parsnip along Ainsworth Road, a Black Swallowtail caterpillar.

2016-9-13. Black Swallowtail 1
(Click on image to enlarge)

Meanwhile, over in the tall grass …

2016-9-13. Grasshoppers
(Click on image to enlarge)

Get a room, you two!

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Casbon Blog

Jon Casbon, who has previously helped me out, has just started his own blog about his research into the Casbon family history, entitled Our Casbon Journey. I'm hoping for some interesting stories about the local Casbons!

Over in the right-hand column I have added a permanent link to the Casbon blog and to Steven Shook's Porter County history blog.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

A New Type of Bungalow

I found this story about a steel bungalow interesting, but not interesting enough to reprint the page when I noticed I had cut off the bottom.

2016-9-10. A New Type of Bungalow
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 21 Sept. 1922.

I wonder if the factory in question is the old one on South Indiana Street (now the home of Midwest Products, I believe). The oldest building on that parcel was built in 1916, according to the Lake County records … which fits the general description of the roller-bearing factory in the story above.

However, I could not find any home in that area with a building date of 1922 that could be described as "just across the street from" that factory.

And here I shall drop the investigation so someone else can pick it up, because — why should I have all the fun?

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Here we have a young Minnie Rossow Harms, wearing an apron with a "HONEY" label pinned to it.

2016-9-8. redalbum039
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

As I've mentioned, the Rossows and Mundells were neighbors, and the most likely explanation I can think of for the "HONEY" apron is that Minnie was working at Joe Mundell's honey-producing operation. However, if she did so, her son Eldon Harms could not recall her ever mentioning it, nor have I heard of it from any other source.

The photo is printed on a postcard with a stamp box style dating between 1904 and 1918.

2016-9-8. redalbum040

Though I can't see much of her dress, her skirt nearly touches the ground, which moves the photo back from 1918;* but I don't think Minnie (born 1897) could be less than fourteen here … so I would guess at 1911-15 for the date of this photo.

*That's assuming she hasn't got herself up in some sort of fancy-dress costume, to which current fashion would be less important.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

300-Plus Acres on the Lincoln Highway

Late in the summer of 1922, F.F. and A.M. Pierce left their homes in California to return to the Ainsworth area for the first time in 47 years. They were "two of four brothers left heirs to the Wheeler Pierce farm of 386 acres lying on the old Joliet road, now the Lincoln Highway, that was purchased by the pioneer Pierce nearly 80 years ago."

Looking at the 1874 Plat Map, we can see that Wheeler Pierce once owned a great deal of land at the intersection of the Sauk Trail (now 73rd Ave.) and the section road that is now Colorado Street.

2016-9-6. Pierce 1874
(Click on image to enlarge)

The week after the Gazette reported on their visit, the News carried this item:
For Sale — On the Lincoln Highway, 383 acres farming land two miles east of Merrillville; also 40 acres of timber. For particulars call on Simeon Bullock, Hobart, Ind.
By 1922 there was no Bullock land on the Lincoln Highway, so Simeon must have been acting for someone else. My guess is the Pierce heirs.

♦ "Are Here to Sell Old Farm." Hobart Gazette 8 Sept. 1922.
♦ "Wants — For Sale, Rent, Etc." Hobart News 14 Sept. 1922.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

"Other Useful Sites"

I have been asked to put links to my postcard-dating references in a place where they can be easily found, so I have added a new page on the right-hand side of this blog, labeled "Other Useful Sites" and containing not only the postcard reference sites but other sites I find myself referring to often.

To the "Land Ownership" page, I have added a general link to an excellent collection of Porter County maps.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Hobart Schoolchildren, Grades 2-3

None of the children in this photograph are identified:

2016-9-3. lh003 a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Since it comes from the Lester Harms collection, I'm more or less expecting to see Lester Harms among them. I can't say that I recognize him. But someone has penciled in an arrow pointing to the boy on the far right in the middle row:

2016-9-3. lh003 a detail

Could that be Lester? Possibly.

In the second or third grade, Lester would have been around seven or eight years old — circa 1911-12. I can't see anything in the photo inconsistent with that date. It is printed on a postcard, unused, but with a stamp box of a style that Playle's dates between 1904 and 1918.

2016-9-3. lh003 b

So, again — possibly, but not definitely.