Saturday, October 8, 2016

Various Stages of Quitting Farming

This first public-sale announcement shows that I was sent on a wild-goose chase a year ago when I came across an item in the News where "Hoffman" was spelled "Huffman" and the Sonntags had just bought the Emma Shearer farm.

2016-10-8. Public Sales
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 5 Oct. 1922.

The John G. Hoffman farm is the one I marked in this post, when it was owned by John's son, Henry. No plat map shows that parcel owned by Mike Ormond, but the 1908 Plat Map of Ross Township shows it owned by Margaret Doyle, who I believe was Mike's sister (their respective death certificates show the same parents (Indiana Death Certificates), and the 1870 Census shows them living in the same household). Straddling the border between Hobart and Ross Townships, the Ormond/Hoffman farm comprised 160 acres.

And that is where the Carl and Anna Sonntag were living when they downsized to the Emma Shearer* farm.

I am not sure how large the Emma Shearer farm was in 1922. The 1908 Plat Map shows a 36.83-acre parcel owned by E. Shearer, which probably stands for Emma (though it could stand for Elijah, Emma's father, who died in 1902):

2016-10-8. Shearer 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

The 50-acre parcel immediately north of that is ascribed to Sophia Shearer, Emma's mother, who died in 1907. The 1926 Plat Book shows Carl and Anna Sonntag's farm spreading over both those parcels. (I think the Sonntag farm is the location of Hobart's gigantic new high school.)

So I'm not sure how much of a downsize it actually was, but at any rate they were quitting dairy farming. (I suppose they were udderly tired of it.)

The second public sale advertised in the News was being held by Maude Hardesty. Recently widowed, with a new baby and several young children to raise on her own, Maude would have been hard pressed to supervise a farm as well. Whether she intended to sell the land as well as the livestock and farming implements remains to be seen. I don't know for sure where her farm was. If we look at the Union Township plat map from 1921, we see Hardesty farms all over the place, but no John N. Hardesty farm; we do, however, see a J.W. Hardesty farm:

2016-10-8. Hardesty 1921
Image from, courtesy of Steven Shook.

In the 1906 plat map, that initial looks more like an N. The 1928 plat map shows a non-Hardesty owning that land. So my current theory is that that was Maude's farm and she sold it before 1928.

♦    ♦    ♦

Two weeks later, we find Charles Shults declaring that he intended to quit farming altogether:

2016-10-8. Shults public sale
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 19 Oct. 1922.

This looks like the William Springman farm in 1921:

2016-10-8. Springman 1921
Image from, courtesy of Steven Shook.

I do not know what, if any, relationship Charles Shults had to Ainsworth's William Shults — I suspect they were brothers, but I'm going to need somebody's obituary to confirm that.

*The News was using her maiden name, which Emma herself may not have used at that time. I have recently come across some interesting information about Emma's activities in her younger days, which I will post soon.

Additional Sources:
1870 Census.
Indiana Death Certificates.
Indiana WPA Death Records Index.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There have been so many "sell the farm" stories that you should go back and count 'em, then just entering under an episode number, even though the previous weren't numbered.