Friday, May 26, 2017

A Young Lady from Ainsworth

Today would have been Norma Lindborg Berg's 101st birthday.

Here is a studio portrait showing her around the age of 19.

2017-5-26. Norma Lindborg ca 1935
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Norma Lindborg Berg.

She had done her hair carefully and put on her best dress, and traveled up to Gary to sit for this photo; I wonder if it was intended to mark some special occasion … perhaps her going off to college, or coming home for a visit from college?

Norma told me that her parents did not consult her about her career plans. They simply informed her, after her graduation from high school in 1934, that she would be attending Indiana State University at Terre Haute and would become a teacher. Norma was not thrilled about that — she had dreams of pursuing a musical career — but she wasn't ready to disobey her parents. They had scraped together the money to send her off, and off she went.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hobart Then and Now: The Miller Corner

1970s, and 2017.

2017-5-24. img887-d
(Click on images to enlarge)
Image above courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

2017-5-24. Miller corner 2017

I call this house the Miller house, because Eldon Harms told me that the Miller family lived there. But since I don't know when the house was built, I don't know who among the previous owners of that land might have lived there; nor do I know who might have lived there after the Millers ceased to own it. By 1950 it was part of Chester Wasy's extensive property, but surely he did not live there when he might choose the spacious Chester house or the riverside Nolte house.

If the house dated back to the early 1890s, it once housed Peter and Caroline Stolp, the maternal grandparents of Minnie (Rossow) Harms. They rented that farm for a short time. Peter may have died there (1892).

However, after that mystifying news item about John Miller moving his house, I don't know what to think.

The house was still standing when I moved here in 1990. By then it was painted green. There was a dog house behind it, and beyond the back yard a fenced-in area where a horse was kept, with a shed for its shelter. At the edge of the field to the south was a rusty farm machine — a tractor or some such thing. I liked that house. It was demolished before I began my historical research.

But getting back to the photo above — I'm dating it to the 1970s simply because of the style of photo. We have a similar photo, likewise undated, but taking in a car that looks like the sort of car you might see in the mid-1970s.

2017-5-24. img886-a
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

These two photos were taken at least a few months apart, since here the trees are in full leaf, while in the first one the leaves are changing color and falling. I think this photo was taken when the Tonagels had their store up for sale. We have some others taken apparently at the same time with a better view of the automobiles that are helping me date these photos to the 1970s.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Everybody Is Under Arrest

When federal marshals swooped down on Lake County Prohibition-flouters in January 1923, the News thoughtfully provided a separate listing of those Hobart residents caught up in the dragnet.

2017-5-21. Liquor arrests all over the place
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 25 Jan. 1923.

Apparently all the liquor violators in Ainsworth got away with it, this time.

I do not know exactly why "the Springman brothers were arrested by Marshal Rose at the Traeger place," but I wish I did. It sounds interesting. I wonder if it could be that incident back in March 1921?

Incidentally, I cannot find a William Bussey in Hobart, and I suspect this may be Adeline Busse's brother Bill.

Another story a couple weeks later explained that the conspiracy charge against the Hobart citizens had been dismissed, but the charges of violating the federal liquor law would proceed to trial (except in the case of Mike Drakovich, who had already pled guilty).

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dr. A.G. Miller

This photo of Dr. Miller is from 1934, about eleven years after he began his practice in Hobart.

2017-5-18. Dr. A.G. Miller 1934
(Click on images to enlarge)

This was a press photo, and from the copy on the back we learn that … he had rhythm.

2017-5-18. Dr. A.G. Miller 1934 verso

His name is at the top of the building at 225 Center Street.

Monday, May 15, 2017

In Miller News

In January 1923, the Gazette announced that Dr. Arthur G. Miller was planning to set up business in Hobart.

2017-5-15. Miller news - Dr. A.G. Miller, John Miller
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 19 Jan. 1923.

More germane to this blog, however, is that mystifying move by John Miller. Can that be right? The southeast corner of the Miller land would be out in the fields. Possibly what was meant was the southeast corner of the intersection where the Lincoln Highway and present-day Grand Boulevard meet. That's where the Miller house stood until it was demolished some years ago.

I'm still wondering where the house was in the first place.

2017-5-15. Dr. A.G. Miller ad
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 2 Feb. 1923.

Friday, May 12, 2017

'Twixt Love and a Car

The accident in my last post put me in mind of this postcard sent by Herman Harms to Minnie Rossow on March 4, 1915.

2017-5-12. 1915-03-04-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

2017-5-12. 1915-03-04-b

I think this is the latest-dated card I have from their correspondence. Just about three months later, they would be married.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Sweethearts Wrecked

The country roads in Winfield Township were dark and icy on the evening of January 13, 1923, when a car full of young people bound for Ainsworth skidded and overturned. Among its occupants were Lynn Peterson and Grace Nelson.

2017-5-9. Accident on icy road
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 18 Jan. 1923.

Grace's brother, Wayne, must have been driving his own car (or a borrowed one) if he could take the young ladies home.

And in Hobart, that forward-thinking entrepreneur (and former Ainsworthite), George Sauter, was looking to put the ice-man out of a job.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Aunt Nancy's Birthday Pictures

These photos of Nancy Thompson, taken on two consecutive birthdays, survived among the many photos owned by the Harms family.

The first was taken on February 20, 1943, when she was 75 years old.

2017-5-6. redalbum147
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The second was taken exactly a year later.

2017-5-6. redalbum146

Nancy was born February 20, 1868, the first child of Valentine and Rebecca aka Anna (Winsell) Swartz, who had been married in Porter County in February 1867. The family shows up in the 1870 Census farming in Union Township.

Then they started moving around, it seems: if I've found the right people, for the 1880 Census the Swartzes were living in Cass County, Nebraska. By the 1900 Census, they had moved to Elk Falls, Kansas, and Valentine gave his occupation as a guard at a penitentiary. Valentine and Rebecca both ended their days there.

However, I would not be surprised to learn that between 1880 and 1900 they had come back to Indiana for a time — why else would Nancy, in 1898, have married George Morris Thompson of Porter County (Indiana Marriage Collection), rather than some nice young man in Nebraska or Kansas?

At the time of their marriage, the young couple planned to live in Hobart ("Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 16 Sept. 1898), but, as I have tried to trace, they moved about a good deal.

I do not know much about where Nancy lived after being widowed in 1928, nor do I know where either of the two photos above were taken.

Not two months after the second photo, Nancy died in Hobart (Indiana Death Certificates). She was buried beside her husband in Salem Cemetery.

I am classifying these photos as belonging to the Eva Thompson collection even though, technically, that's not where I got them.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

So Where Was Albert Weiler's Farm?

That was what I asked myself in a recent post.

Albert, like the rest of the Weilers, is still something of a mystery to me. Thus far I've found out that he was born on November 10, 1888* to Michael and Fredericka Weiler (Indiana Death Certificates). Per the 1920 Census he farmed rented land … which might have been a farm of some 120 acres belonging to a Michael Weiler (his father?), shown here in the 1926 Plat Book:

2017-5-3. M Weiler 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

That farm was next door to William Foreman's, so any roving dogs would not have had far to go to kill geese on both farms in one night. In terms of what's there today — I guess all those times we've visited the Albanese candy factory, we've been walking on the old Weiler farm (just my estimate; I haven't checked the legal description of that land).

Michael Weiler bought that land in late 1899 or early 1900 from heirs of J.P. Jones.** In the 1910 Census, Michael and Fredericka are living on what appears to be the same farm (to judge by their neighbors). Albert, age 21, is still in their household, along with his younger siblings, Minnie, Emory, and Emma.

Later that year Albert married Amanda Henning (Indiana Marriage Collection). Per the 1930 Census, they had two sons: Donald and Gerald. In that census, they seem to be at the same location. Someday I hope to find out exactly when Route 30 came through and bisected their farm; I think it was circa 1937. In the 1940 Census, to judge by their location in the enumerator's report, they seem to have moved a bit southeast — but that's just my guess.

As to Albert's relation to the many other Weilers of Ross Township … that is going to have to wait for some obituaries.

*Or 1889, if you believe the WWI Draft Cards.
**"General News Items," Hobart Gazette 5 Jan. 1900.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Grand Trunk, What a Big Spout You Have!

I'd heard of steam engines stopping to take on water, of course, but I must admit I never thought about the mechanism by which they did so until I saw this photo for sale.

2017-4-29. Grand Trunk waterspout
(Click on image to enlarge)

Looking at other pictures and film clips on-line, I gather that the photo above is a bit unusual in that the spout doesn't just drop down from the water tower, as in this clip. The water tower or reservoir here, while out of the camera's range, must be connected to the spout by underground pipes. I found one clip where the spout is separate from the water tower.

This photo was not taken at Ainsworth, which never had a water tower as far as I know. I believe Lottaville had one, since Lottaville had a pump man, Charles Popp, who might have been in charge of such apparatus as this — or, more likely, the simpler arrangement of a spout attached directly to the water tower. But I'm not suggesting that this photo was taken at Lottaville!

By the way, I'd always thought that the term "jerkwater town" came from this business of drawing water at some minor place along the line … but now I'm finding that I was mistaken, and also that the term has a murky origin.

Nonetheless, in a figurative sense, Ainsworth was a jerkwater village.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Ross Township Trustee's Report for 1922

Too many familiar names to index them all here, but I will add this to my list of Ross Township Trustee's reports and someday, someday, I will get around to creating an index.

2017-4-26. Ross Twp Trustee Report, 1922
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 12 Jan. 1923.

Looking at the Dog Fund Disbursements, I learned that Gust Lindborg kept rabbits … which I'm guessing were destined for sale, or for the Lindborg family's dinner table. On other farms a lot of geese were killed — on the Harms farm, the William Foreman farm, and the farm of Albert Weiler.

But where (I ask myself) was the farm of Albert Weiler? — and I realize I don't know. I shall have to spend some time in the near future trying to find out.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Good Old-Fashioned Barn Lowering

At some point, Lester Harms decided that the barn on his farm was too tall and needed lowering.

2017-4-23. lh029
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

I can't say I understand why he wanted to do this, but it was his barn, wasn't it?

The photo is undated, but its being in color suggests ... well, generally, I think ordinary people used black-and-white film until about 1970 or so.

Now I have to look at all the pictures I have of his barn and try to figure out if they are pre- or post-lowering.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

She That Was Sophie Mankey

Thus far I haven't learned much about Julius Triebess and his family, but thanks to this little item from January 1923, I have learned that Sophie Triebess' maiden name was Mankey.

2017-4-20. Sophie Mankey Triebess
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 12 Jan. 1923.

With that information, I can be pretty sure Julius and Sophie were married in Chicago on June 11, 1901 (Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index). According her Indiana Death Certificate, her parents were William and Dorothea* (Brockmiller) Mankey … but they are proving elusive in the census records.

Her brother, William Mankey, farmed the east side of Randolph Street south of the Grand Trunk tracks.

Reported at the bottom of that column, Dr. L.M. Friedrich had minor car crash somewhere south of the intersection of Randolph Street and E. 73rd Avenue, where the Ed Niksch place lay.

Over in the left-hand column is a (partial, maybe) listing of who was in the local dairy business in January 1923.


*In death certificates of other relatives, her name is given as Dorothy or Doris.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hobart Then and Now: Eighth and Garfield

Ca. 1909-1917, and 2017

2017-4-17. 8th Street Hobart a
(Click on images to enlarge)
2017-4-17. 8th and Garfield 2017

We are on Eighth Street, looking east toward Garfield Street.

The house on the far side of Garfield is the newest one in the photo, built in 1909 according to the county records. The house just east of it was built in 1900. The barely-visible house beyond (on the east side of Linda Street) was built in 1874; notice the windmill sticking up behind that house. The one in the foreground was built in 1907.

The house that now stands immediately north of the 1909 house was built in 1917. It hadn't been built yet when the first picture was taken — that is why we can date that picture between 1909 and 1917. Since the ground around the 1909 house looks as if it had had at least a summer's growth after the building process, I'm inclined to think the photo dates to 1910 or later, but that's speculation.

Nothing on the verso helps us date the card.

2017-4-17. 8th Street Hobart b

I think the house with the windmill is shown on the 1874 Plat Map as belonging to William Franck (more commonly spelled Frank).

2017-4-17. Frank 1874

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

2017-4-16. Sun behind Daffodil
(Click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gone But Not Forgotten

Back in September 1916, Kenneth Humes had lost a finger to farm machinery on a Blachly farm. More than six years later, his suit for damages was finally being heard.

2017-4-12. Amputation litigation
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 11 Jan. 1923.

After several hours' deliberation, the jury would award Kenneth $100 and his costs ("Local and Personal," Hobart News 18 Jan. 1923).

Elsewhere on the page above we find Herman Harms, Jr., aka "Bud" — about four years old — sick with pneumonia at his maternal grandparents' house. His own parents, having been ill so recently, might have found it difficult to care for him.

Among the deaths reported in the right-hand column was that of the infant son of John and Goldie Ensign who had probably been named for his Uncle Walter. According to his death certificate, little Walter was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery, but it seems that his grave is unmarked.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

John and Sophia Harms

In honor of John Harms' becoming Hobart Township Trustee, here's a nice portrait of him and his wife, Sophia (née Schavey).

2017-4-9. lh013
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The photo is undated, but from general appearances I'm guessing mid- to late 1930s.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lafayette Then and Now: The Wabash River

Circa 1917, and 2017.

Layffatte, 3a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Image above courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.


As Heraclitus said, you cannot photograph the same river twice. Especially when a century goes by between photographs.

As you may remember, the first picture was taken by our anonymous friend, "Myself," whose album of photos now belongs to the Hobart Historical Society.

"Myself" noted that he took his picture "from the 'Trail' near [Lafayette]." I have no clue where that might be.

Me, I took my picture from the Main Street pedestrian bridge between Lafayette and West Lafayette. Because I had to kill some time while the nice people at the Purdue University Small Animal Hospital were tapping my dog's joints.

One hundred years ago today, the U.S. entered World War I.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Of Toilets Condemned and Toilets Installed

During 1922, Hobart had seen a splendid year's growth in its toilets.

2017-4-4. The toilet news
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 4 Jan. 1923.

In unrelated news, Leona Niksch's 15th birthday party was probably taking place in the house on her parents' farm along the Lincoln Highway.

♦    ♦    ♦

Elsewhere in the same issue of the News, we find John Harms taking office as Hobart Township Trustee. I believe his account book is at the museum and maybe one of these years we will get around to photographing it.

2017-4-4. John Harms - Hobart Twp. trustee
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 4 Jan. 1923.

Also, another plane falling out of the sky, somewhere southeast of where the new roundabout is. The Peddicord farm straddled the Hobart-Ross Township line in that area. I think the "Wm. Sonntag home" was no longer occupied by Wm. Sonntag, but was somewhere near the intersection of S.R. 51 and 61st Avenue.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

So-o-o-o Big!

Today would have been Eldon Harms' 93rd birthday.

This photo shows him at the age of two.

2017-4-1. 1f
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

His siblings had taught him to hold out his arms like that and say, "So-o-o-o big!" — a trick they probably learned from Edna Ferber's novel, which had been published the year Eldon was born.

Another photo, stored in a different album but taken the same day, I think, shows little Eldon doing his So Big trick again.

2017-4-1. redalbum012

No one else in the photo is identified.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bought of E. Batterman

Here is a receipt that Timothy McAuliffe (senior?) carried away from Ed Batterman's shop on a September day in 1908:

2017-3-30. img850
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Visions of Concrete

The new year, 1923, brought dreams of pavement:

2017-3-27. Concrete plans
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 4 Jan. 1923.

From the Lincoln Highway to Lincoln and Tenth would be the route of today's State Road 51. From the brickyards and the Chicago road to Miller would be Lake Park Avenue.

Speaking of pavement — the next column we find William Raschka winning a lawsuit against the Federal Paving Co. — the same company that had recently lost a court battle with some Ross Township farmers.

The story in the right-hand column about the lecture course interested me mainly because of who was selling tickets — among Hobart's high society, we find Lovisa Chester Nelson in her little house in the village of Ainsworth.

Friday, March 24, 2017

10,000 Kisses

Haken S. Hazelgreen's work — railway and road construction — sometimes took him out of town for weeks at a time. It was probably from a work site in Danville (Illinois?) that he wrote this letter to his young daughter, Elna, in 1904, sending 10,000 kisses and begging her to improve her handwriting.

2017-3-24. 1904-6-28 001
(Click on images to enlarge)

Danville June 28th 1904

My dear lowing Elna

How should I thank you for your kind and nice letter of the 24th inst. I am well and is glad to here that you is in the same circumstances but I am werry werry sorry I do not be able to meet your wishes and request to meet you sone but I am thinking so much more abouth you now dear lithel toddelix hwen you next writh chanse your hand a lithel wi have lithel hard to read it your lowing letter. Good by darling Lord be with you. Your afectionat pappa

10,000 kisses

H.S. Hazelgreen.

Haken was born in Sweden and came to this country at about thirty years of age, so it's no wonder if he struggled a bit with English. He was able to win contracts for significant projects and supervise American crews, but English in a nine-year-old's bad handwriting was almost too much for him.

On the outside of the folded letter, he noted that it was intended for Elna J.J. Hazelgreen, personally.

2017-3-24. 1904-6-28 002

Monday, March 20, 2017

Lots of Them

On Christmas Day 1922, over there at 61st and Arizona, the family of William and Louisa Lute had an intimate family dinner, just the 37 of them.

2017-3-20. Building summary 1922
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 29 Dec. 1922.

Over in the left-hand column we find a summary of "a splendid year's growth" — all the buildings that went up in Hobart in 1922, as well as repairs and remodeling.

Henry Smith (whoever he was) built his house of Kellastone, something I had never heard of before. A little Googling turned up the ad below, which tells us that Kellastone is "imperishable stucco." I wish I knew the location of Henry's house so I could check on that "imperishable" part … if it's still there. I don't suppose they meant that Kellastone could resist the wrecking ball.

2017-3-20. Kellastone
Image credit:

Hey, search engine, over here: Banks, Baumer, Brahst, Bruhn, Burris, Campbell, Carey, Carlson, Ciesilski, Demmon, Dewell, Fasel, Fasel, Ferren, Fleming, Flick, Gransow, Gresser, Gruel, Harney, Henderson, Jahnke, Kasonovich, Kibler, Killigrew, King, Kozub, Kramer, Kucaba, Lutz, McAfee, Metaxis, Miscevich, Mundell, Newman, Niksch, Norris, Palm, Peddicord, Phillips, Popp, Ream, Scharbach, Scholler, Schuelke, Schuknecht, Schwuchow, Scull, Smith, Smith, Sohn, Thompson, Verplank, White, Zelibor

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bobsled on a Snowy Day

In honor of the (let us hope) last snowfall of the season, which is now turning the ground into mud, here's a picture of some snowy transportation.

2017-3-17. EvaT032
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

The photo is undated; based on general appearances I'd put it in the 1920s. The location is not specified. It might possibly be the old James Chester place, but I can't say for sure.

The woman second from the right looks like "Aunt" Nancy Thompson (as she was known to the young Harmses), Eva's mother. The rest of the people are unidentified.

The sled was probably a wagon for three seasons out of four. When snow fell, you'd take the wagon wheels off and put on skids.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Streetcar on Third at Main, 1939

Here's a scan of a negative I bought recently:

2017-3-14. Car 2
(Click on images to enlarge)

The negative appears to date to 1939, based on the envelope it came in:

2017-3-14. Car 2 envelope

As interesting to me as the car is the background — the south side of 238 Main, with a barn-looking outbuilding that has since vanished.

Dan Kleine points out that it would be natural for someone to photograph a streetcar in February 1939, since the line was going to be shut down in March of that year. He also did some research on the names listed on the envelope, and found that John A. Rehor was a published Nickel Plate historian and photographer. W. Lupher Hay was described as a "rail photographer" by Dean K. Fick in The Lakeside and Marblehead Railway (2003), and it seems he once used a railroad car as a summer cottage — how cool is that?

The negative has been donated to the Hobart Historical Society.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Welcome Back, Zobjecks

The Zobjeck family had moved to a farm somewhere in Porter County in the spring of 1921. Less than a year later, they were coming back to Hobart.

2017-3-11. Zobjeck family returns to Hobart
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 28 Dec. 1922.

Also in that column, we find Herman and Minnie Harms both sick with quinsy — but, of course, they recovered, unlike poor Daisy Chester Scroggins.

After the family reunion at the Sauter home, it looks as if Mrs. Frank Severance (née Clara Sauter) and Mrs. A.G. Epps (née Lizzie Sauter) left for Grand Rapids. Somehow, I don't think Ed Sauter, Sr., was part of the reunion.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Spaghetti House

Or: It Came from New Zealand, Part 2.

2017-3-8. Spaghetti 2
(Click on images to enlarge)

2017-3-8. Spaghetti 1

The interior of the matchbook:

2017-3-8. Spaghetti interior

Don't know who ran this place, can't find it in any of the few directories I've checked, can't date the matchbook cover.

In the 1979 article on downtown Hobart, nobody seemed to remember any connection between spaghetti and 337 Main St.

Anyway, here's some cute New Zealand stamps.

2017-3-8. NZ stamps

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Augusta Juhnke Lewin

The day after Christmas 1922, Augusta Lewin passed away at home in the Shearer house.

2017-3-4. Augusta Juhnke Lewin
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 28 Dec. 1922.

Here we learn that in addition to her daughter, Ida, and her son, John, she had suffered the loss of three other children.

See also "Death of Mrs. Lewin," Hobart Gazette 29 Dec. 1922.

♦    ♦    ♦

The News of December 28 also carried this less depressing item:

2017-3-4. Fred Yager

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Make Abbott's a Habit

Today's random old matchbook cover has come to us all the way from New Zealand. Don't ask me how it got there.

2017-3-1. Abbott 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

2017-3-1. Abbott 2

Of course we've all heard about Abbott's, and some of us have experienced it.

I took down some of what Eldon Harms told me about John and Sarah and their restaurant:
That Sarah, she was a worker. She cooked, she waited tables, she swept and mopped and cleaned. John was what you might call the PR guy. He'd stand at the cash register, dressed up all sharp, watching Sarah work.

When we went to Abbott's, we'd park where the bank is now, then walk up the back alley, come in through the back door, walk right through the kitchen and go sit down in the dining area. Nobody ever objected.
I can't find any information to help me date matchbook covers produced by the Ohio Match Co.