Thursday, December 29, 2016

Buylden an Index

Good news and bad news again.

The good news is that the Hobart Historical Society has begun digitizing via photography a number of ledgers and record books that are too large or too fragile to scan on our scanner.

The bad news is that I have volunteered to index all the names that appear in these books. Well, this is good news for people seeking information about the mundane activities of their ancestors in Hobart; but it's bad news for my eyes and my carpal tunnel, and for this blog. I am dealing with pale ink, quirky handwriting, inventive spelling, and proper names for which context is little help. For example:

2016-12-29. HTTA1859-018-18620909
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Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

You have no idea how long it took me to figure out that surname of the second guy "buylden" the new schoolhouse was Vanloon. Or that "buylden" meant building.

But it is interesting that District No. 2 got a new schoolhouse in October 1862! If only I knew where District No. 2 was in October 1862.

Anyway, this project is going to slow down my blogging over the course of many months, perhaps years.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Lake Station Schoolchildren, Autumn 1901

From the Elna Hazelgreen collection comes this photograph of Lake Station schoolchildren and staff in the autumn of 1901:

2016-12-26. hazel028
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The good news is that somebody wrote out all the names on the back.

2016-12-26. hazel029

The bad news is that the writer did not explain how the order of names related to the order of children. They seem to match up in terms of gender and apparent age if you start at the left side in the back row, go left-to-right in that row and the middle one, and then go right-to-left in the front row:

2016-12-26. hazel028 marked

That would mean Elna Hazelgreen is at the far left of the front row.

Here's the information I found (if any) from the 1900 Census and 1910 Census about these people:

1901 Lake Station Students by AinsworthIN on Scribd

We've met Olga Foreman before. And Edna Seydel's dad once carried Claus Ziegler around the streets of Lake Station and Hobart in a wheelbarrow.

Blogger won't let me index all these names in one post, so here's something the search engines can read: Conroy, Erlandson, Fabian, Foreman, Fritche, Hazelgreen, Horn, Johnson, Killian, Lenburg, Marquardt, Matson, Miller, Nelson, Papka, Reich, Roper, Seydel, Thorne, Whent.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Wishing You a Merry Xmas

Christmas 1914 …

2016-12-24. 1914-12-23-a
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Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

Herman Harms sends his best wishes to his sweetheart, Minnie Rossow.

2016-12-24. 1914-12-23-b

Half a year later they would be married.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Blessed Are the Cheesemakers

The news that Ernest Walters (or Walter) was re-elected yet again in November 1922 as Ross Township assessor leads me to pay a little more attention to him. Thus far I've mentioned him only as the father of the garage partners. As the article explains, however, he had long been Merrillville's cheesemaker.

2016-12-20. Walters
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Hobart Gazette 11 Nov. 1922.

He had been born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in 1853.[1] Having arrived in this area after 1880, he missed that census. In Lake County in 1888, he married Louisa Niksch.[2] The 1900 Census shows the two of them with their cheese factory and their three sons in Merrillville.

A Pictorial History of Merrillville has this to say about Ernest and his cheese:
Initially Ernest had a factory on Walter's Avenue but later relocated to the southwest side of the C. & O. Railroad on Madison Street in closer proximity to the Township's busy square. … Ernest traveled as far as Hammond, Indiana, in his horse and buggy to peddle his hefty rolls of cheese for $3.00 apiece.

Known far and wide by his nickname, "Cheese Henry," Ernest was much appreciated by the local farmers as they found in his business as market for their slightly sourced milk that was not suitable for shipping to Chicago on the "dummy" train.
If "later relocated" means about 1900, then the second cheese factory (south of the former C&O tracks) may still be standing.

♦    ♦    ♦

In the left-hand column of the page above, we find that Roy Hack, fresh off his victory over the paving company, has won the election for Ross Township trustee. He would succeed Alex Boyd, who after eight years had evidently had enough of trusteeship, as he did not seek re-election.

In the middle column, we find our friend Annie Peterson selling off household goods — preparing to downsize her living quarters, perhaps?

Below that, with respect to the fire starting from the Charles Lee property, if "Nagel subdivision" in the news item = "Nagle's Addition" on the map, then the corner of Cleveland and Ohio was a good distance for a fire to travel, or an odd stopping place for the fire department — I'm not sure which from the wording. Perhaps someone flagged them down there and told them all the excitement was over, but you'd think they would go check it out for themselves.

[1] Indiana Death Certificates.
[2] Indiana Marriage Collection; Indiana Death Certificates. Louisa may have been from the Merrillville Niksch family which, as far as I know, was not related to the Hobart/Ainsworth Niksch family.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Comparative Baseball Players

In connection with our mystifying baseball player, CK Melin has sent me a couple of photos for comparison.

The first is of her great-grandfather, Charlie Glover (standing), in a baseball uniform, taken in Chicago in 1897.

2016-12-18. original
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Images courtesy of CK Melin.

Like our "R. Hendrix," he wears a laced-up shirt with pointed collar.*

Things get even more interesting in the second photo: here is Ralph Melin of Hobart, in a photo taken circa 1908:

2016-12-18. Ralph-Melin1

CK points out that the painted backdrop is the same as in the "R. Hendrix" photo, which suggests that both photos were taken in Hobart (as does the "H" on R. Hendrix's shirt). Possibly they date to around the same time as well, but that's only my guess.

Now we just have to find out if those painted backdrops were one-of-a-kind, or mass-manufactured. Anyone with time on their hands is invited to research that.

*Schlesinger & Mayer was the name of a large Chicago retail firm.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

W.G. Haan Staff

We've seen these people before. Now we get to see them in front of the great emptiness that used to inhabit the west side of State Road 51, opposite the W.G. Haan school.

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Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Notes on the back of the original identify them as "Mr. Garland, Mrs. Zieseniss, Miss Frame, Miss Tabor."

Mr. Garland was, I believe, George Bronson Garland, born in 1904. I can find him locally in the 1930 Census, but not at all after that. If I've found the right person, he married a woman named Esta, and they both rest in Adams County, Indiana.

Ella Zieseniss was born Ella Kretschmar (Indiana Death Certificates) in 1899. She married Wayland Zieseniss, a farmer, about 1929 (1930 Census). She became a schoolteacher after Wayland's untimely death in July 1930 (Indiana Death Certificates). More than half a century later, she joined her husband in Maplewood Cemetery, in Crown Point.

Allene Frame was born in 1915 to James and Rose (Stegmeier) Frame (Indiana Birth Certificates). She is the only one of these four whom I can find in the 1940 Census. At that time she was a teacher, single and living with her parents, but according to information transcribed from her 2010 obituary on, the following year she married George Chermak, and they had five children.

Bernice Tabor descended from a long line of locals. The 1850 Census shows her great-grandparents, George and Chloe, living in Ross Township near the Guernseys and Strongs (in the neighborhood that would eventually be chronicled in the "South of Deepriver" columns). In their household is a five-year-old Charles — Bernice's grandfather. In 1865 Charles married Margaret Hooseline (Indiana Marriage Collection), and in 1884 they became the parents of Grover Cleveland "Cleve" Tabor. Cleve married Clara Klemm in 1908 (id.), and eight years later Bernice came into the world. According to information on, after some years of teaching, Bernice married Dr. Arthur Nelson (a chiropractor), and operated the Hobart Employment Agency at 449 E. Third Street.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Caroline Campbell

On October 29, 1922, Caroline Campbell died at home on the family farm in southern Ross Township.

2016-12-13. Caroline Campbell
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Hobart Gazette 3 Nov. 1922.

Her husband was Samuel, born ca. 1867; the son was Claude, born ca. 1889 (he married Bertha Nolte); but I can account for only two daughters — Fannie, born ca. 1897, and Nora, born ca. 1899.

The Campbells had been living on that farm since 1891, perhaps earlier.

In Hobart in the following weeks, several more long-time residents passed to a better world:

2016-12-13. Deaths
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Hobart Gazette 10 Nov. 1922.

Before moving to Hobart, Frank Bayor had spent some three decades in Ross Township; "the farm" belonged to his wife's parents, James and Mary Adams. Early Land Sales, Lake County shows James Adams buying, in 1847, the 80 acres shown here on the 1874 Plat Map:

2016-12-13. Adams 1874
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The Bayors lived on the Adams farm from the 1880 Census through the 1910 Census. The 1926 Plat Book shows the farm owned by F.J. & M. Bayor — perhaps their son, Floyd James, and daughter, Mamie (for if Floyd was married by that time, I can find no proof of it).

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Streetcar Snowplow

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When I found this photo for sale, I emailed Dan Kleine to ask if he knew anything about it, and what I got back from him was its whole biography:
When the photo was taken it was Gary Railways car, not Gary & Hobart, before that it was a Gary & Southern car.

This is car 8, bought new by the Gary & Southern, 45th to Lottaville, in 1912. Cars 6 & 8 were converted to snow plows for Gary Railways in 1929; car 8 was renumbered P4. Before 1929 the individual lines had merged and were know just as Gary Railways, although the car may have been used on the Hobart tracks. P4 was scrapped in 1939. Car 6, renumbered P3, had the plow at the opposite end of the car and was scrapped in 1941.

Railroads would take old cars and convert them for maintenance service in their own shop, so many of them were one-of-a-kind. They often looked strange and jerry-rigged; that's why photographers and modelers like them.

This is probably a rare photo, there are very few Gary & Southern photos. It has a Merrillville connection. Gary & Southern had 4 cars, 2 coaches numbered 2 & 4, and 2 combines numbered 6 & 8 (a combine has baggage door & compartment). Coach 2 ended up as the KAY-BEE-EATER (photo upstairs in the [Merrillville History] Museum). These cars had steel frames with wooden bodies made by Niles in Cleveland.
So this car ran on the line that eventually connected Gary and Crown Point, and this photo must date between 1929 and 1939.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Stop Signs on Main Street

Is it possible that traffic through the intersections of downtown Hobart was not controlled until the autumn of 1922, when Fred Rose, Sr. installed six stop signs?

2016-12-8. Stop
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Hobart Gazette 3 Nov. 1922.

In the next column we learn that Charles Shults, having quit farming, moved to the Buchfuehrer house on Lillian Street, and I hope someone comes along pretty soon to tell me where that was.

We also learn that Charles' wife had been a Lute. Per the Indiana Marriage Collection, Charles Shults married Lydia Lute in Porter County in March 1897. The same source tells us that William Shults married Vena Lute in February 1896. I wonder if these were two brothers marrying two sisters?

In the far-right column, we recognize our friend, John Killigrew. I believe he won that election.

♦    ♦    ♦

Elsewhere in the "Local Drifts" of the same issue, we find this little item:
Jacob Yeager [Yager] and son, Adam, and John Sturtevant of near Deepriver, left Monday in a Ford touring car for Frederick and Baltimore, Md. They were equipped for camping out, and may not return for several weeks.
Jacob Yager was in his mid-60s, John Sturtevant about 52 (1920 Census); if they could stand camping out, well, good for them.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Rose Mathew Dorman

I was curious about Rose Mathew Dorman so I started poking around in my notes and on the internet.

Born in 1896, Rose was the eldest of the four children of William and Edna (Tobey) Mathew* and grew up in Plymouth, Indiana (1900 Census, 1910 Census). Sometime after 1910 the family moved to Gary. According to her marriage announcement, Rose had begun working as "society editor" for the Gary Tribune around 1914.

2016-12-5. Lake County Times (Hammond) May 12, 1917
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Lake County Times (Hammond, Ind.) 12 May 1917.

Her father, William, was an attorney. According to his obituary, he served as "special prosecutor" in the murder trial of Harry Diamond (former owner of the Berghoff roadhouse).

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Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso, Ind.) 19 Feb. 1931.

However, in A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana: The Tragic Betrayal of Nettie Diamond, Jane Simon Ammeson depicts William Mathew as acting for the defense.

That's the extent of my research thus far.

*The surname also shows up as "Matthew" and "Matthews"; I'm sticking with the way Rose wrote it.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Old Lutz House: On the Corner or Down in the Gully?

The last time we heard of the old Bragington farm was in December 1920 when it served as an emergency landing strip. At the time I concluded that Ed Maybaum was occupying that farm, and I don't know how I figured that out, but now it seems I'm right. And Ed, like others, was finding himself at least partially priced out of farming in the autumn of 1922:

2016-12-3. Maybaum/Lutz
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Hobart News 26 Oct. 1922.

And with a new brick house to live in, the Lutzes were sending their old house off to become a Fasel house … which is why I think "the corner west of their place" referred to the south side of the intersection of Tenth Street and South Hobart Road. But both corners of that intersection are "west" of the Lutz house, so it might have been either the east or west corner. These days, the west corner is occupied by a house built (according to the county records) in 1890.

However, more than once when we were driving through that area, Eldon Harms told me there had been a house on the east corner. Somebody's — I forget the name and oh, how I wish I had Eldon back again to tell me — somebody's mother-in-law lived in that house, and when the house had finished its usefulness it was pushed down into the gully.

An item in the "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of Dec. 15, 1922, noted that "Henry Fasel, Jr., moved his family last Friday into their new home on 10th street." This may have been the new-to-them old Lutz house, since I haven't noted any reports of new construction there.

In conclusion: I don't know.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Dorman Story

Today, courtesy of Leslie Dorman Hagerty, I am bringing you part of a mysterious pamphlet or book — it looks professionally typeset, but there is no title and we don't know when it was written or if it was part of a larger work (and how much preceding the first page was cut off).

It relates some of the background and experiences of John F. and Ella (Waltz) Dorman of Summit Lawn/Indian Ridge. The writer was Rose Mathew Dorman, who in 1917 married John and Ella's son, Harold C. Dorman. Rose's article here seems to be addressed to her children (and maybe their cousins), and when she says "your grandfather" she means John F. Dorman.

A Dorman History by AinsworthIN on Scribd