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
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"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
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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.

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