Friday, July 21, 2017

Kenneth Humes Puts a Ring on His Finger

After winning $100 in damages for his lost finger, Kenneth Humes could afford to buy a nice set of wedding rings, I suppose.

2017-7-21. Kenneth Humes marriage
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart News 15 Feb. 1923.

I still don't know exactly where the Humes residence was, or is, if it's still standing. Nor do I know where the Bradley garage was — but it might have had something to do with Charles Bradley.

An item in the "Local and Personal" column of the same issue reports that a sister of Kenneth who married a William Hill came to town for the happy occasion. As far as I know, Edwin and Carrie Humes' only daughter was Gladys … but Gladys shows up in the 1930 Census, married, with the surname Stevens (living with her parents; husband not recorded in the household), and with a child old enough to have been very young in 1923, surname also Stevens. Hm!

2017-7-21. Grace Nelson

I hope Grace Nelson got well in time to attend the program at the W.H. Haan School.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Death of Henry Shearer

This veteran of the Great War died an untimely death in January 1923. He was laid to rest in Hobart Cemetery.

2017-7-18. Henry Shearer obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 9 Feb. 1923.

I am confused about what, if any, relation he had to the other Shearers I've written about. I used to think that his father, Jeronomy, was also known as Jerome and thus was the father of Ainsworth's own Calvin C. Shearer — evidently I was mistaken about that.*

His mother's maiden name being Perry leads me to wonder if she was related to Harriet Perry Chester Casbon. But I am going to have to get a faster internet connection or a better computer before I can figure that out.

♦    ♦    ♦

Beneath Henry's obituary we find a tribute to little Ramie Schumacher.
*However, I now think that Calvin Shearer's father, Jerome, was the brother of Cora Shearer Maybaum's grandfather, Daniel (Porter and Lake Counties (Goodspeed/Blanchard), 1860 Census).

Saturday, July 15, 2017

White-banded Telphusa

I do not have time to go looking for moths, but this one came to me. It was sitting on a flower catalog in front of my computer. I think it's a white-banded telphusa. Very small; usually 5-7 mm long per Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America.

2017-7-15. White-banded telphusa
(Click on image to enlarge)

The room was too dark for me to get a good picture. I had some idea of carrying it on the catalog to a spot near a window, but it flew away before I could do any such thing.

Usually when I try to type "moth" I automatically type "mother."

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Walter Davis Quits Farming

It's February 1923 — February; a good time to decide you want to join the crowd who've quit farming, and let someone else have a chance at the Krull farm for the spring planting.

2017-7-12. Walter Davis quits farming
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 8 Feb. 1923.

I just saw that reference to Ainsworth in the farm's location and thought I had better include this, but I have no idea who Walter Davis was. Never heard of him before. I think he might be the guy whose name was transcribed as "Havis" on, in which case the 1920 Census recorded him living with his wife, Edna, and their four children in Winfield Township, farming rented land. Maybe the Krull farm; I don't know. His eldest son might be the Leslie Davis whose Ford touring car made it into a "South of Deepriver" column in the summer of 1922, when Leslie was about 17.

If so, then by 1930 Walter Davis, true to his word, was in Crown Point not farming, and I have a feeling I need not pay any more attention to him.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Dame's Violet

2017-7-8. DV 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

Not so much wild as "escaped from cultivation," according to Newcomb's Wildflower Guide. But all cultivated flowers are descended from wildflowers, so these were just completing the circle.

The few specimens in my field are in a thicket of other wildflowers, which makes it hard to photograph the whole plant.

2017-7-8. DV 2

If you drive along S.R. 149 in Porter County (not far north of 130) in May, you will see areas where the side of the road is painted in shades of violet, and I think these flowers are the painters.

A close-up of the leaves:

2017-7-8. DV 3

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sarah Graham and Isaac Crisman

Early in February 1923, two old-timers passed out of this new world.

Sarah Graham was the mother of Ross Graham, among others. (The "Julian Moran" in her obituary is a misprint for "Julia.") She is buried in Maplewood Cemetery.

2017-7-5. Sarah Graham, Isaac Crisman obits
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 8 Feb. 1923.

Isaac Crisman was more socially prominent; he even had a town named after him. He is buried in McCool Cemetery. He must be some relation to John Crisman of Deep River, but I don't have time to figure it out.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Nuts to You

While indexing the Hobart Historical Society's earliest Union Sunday School record book, which appears to begin in 1868, I came across this page. Some earnest person carefully recorded something (attendance?) about these young* Sunday scholars … and then some irreverent person came and scrawled "nuts to you" and perhaps left those smudges with his or her dirty hands.

2017-7-2. USUN1868-009, 010 - nuts to you
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The expression, "nuts to you," seems out of place in 1868. We know it was in use in 1930s-40s — I keep running across this example:
"Please eliminate the expression 'nuts to you' from Egbert's speech." [Request from the Hays Office regarding the script of "The Bank Dick," 1940]**
However, my internet research doesn't turn up any information about how far before 1940 it goes back. So I shouldn't jump to conclusions. But I picture a bored 13-year-old circa 1940 nosing around in the attic when the adults were away, finding this ancient record of good little children, and writing something impertinent for the sheer fun of it.

*Just to look at a few: John Shearer would have been about 12 years old in 1868; George Shearer, 10; John Frank, 11 (he was the son of William and Salinda Frank; and Simeon Brown, 13.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Mary McAuliffe and Dr. A.G. Miller

Or: When Posts Collide.

I was trying to think of what to write about, when I remembered that I had just posted about Mary McAuliffe … and not so very long ago, about Dr. A.G. Miller … and I have them both together in a few documents from the early 1940s.

Dr. Miller sent this bill to Mary at the old McAuliffe farm on Cleveland Avenue.

2017-6-29. img851
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society and Jocelyn Hahn Johnson.

She (or perhaps her adopted son, Edward Hahn) paid it in full.

2017-6-29. img852

A couple months later, Dr. Miller sent a bill to Mary at 1123 Devonshire.

2017-6-29. img853

My 1947 directory lists Edward Hahn at that address.

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Burgling Spree

As clocks in Hobart ticked into the last day of January 1923, houses in Hobart were being burgled.

2017-6-26. Burgling
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 1 Feb. 1923.

The story in the next column about the accident on the Pennsy Railroad still calls the Wisconsin Street crossing "the Rossow crossing" even though the farm next to it was no longer the Rossow farm.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Updated Ledger Index

I finally finished indexing the Hobart Trustee Account ledger, 1892-1895, and it only took me four months! So I have updated the draft index over there on the index page.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Elna at Twenty-One

2017-6-21. hazel021

2017-6-21. hazel020
(Click on images to enlarge)

Handwritten notes on the originals identify this young woman as Elna Hazelgreen at the age of 21. Since Elna was born in 1894, the photographs must have been taken in 1915. The photographer's imprint shows they were taken at the Koch Studio in LaPorte, Indiana (operated, I suppose, by Henry E. Koch).

2017-6-21. hazel022

I know that Elna's sister, Esther Hazelgreen Babcock Anderson, was living in LaPorte at the time of the 1920 Census. Perhaps she had already moved there by 1915, and Elna came for a visit, and during the visit had these photos taken.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Keep Smiling, Dad

This comic postcard shows a father whose fussy baby has gotten him out of bed in the middle of the night.

2017-6-18. casco015
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

This postcard was glued into one of Minnie Rossow Harms' scrapbooks. I could lift only partially, but we can see enough of the back to learn that the card was sent to Herman Harms in Ainsworth, with the exhortation: "Keep Smiling."

2016-6-18. casco016

The sender's initial look like G.H. — I can't even guess. The year is illegible, but presumably it was one in which the young Harmses became parents … perhaps for the first time.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Cow Parsnip

This blooming plant, about four feet tall, was growing next to the intersection of Ainsworth and Country Club Roads (aka Spencer Street), on Deep River County Park property.

2017-6-14. Cow Parsnip 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

Per Newcomb's Wildflower Guide: "Very broad (4-8" wide) cluster of white flowers. The petals are indented at the tip, and the outer petals are apt to be larger and deeply cleft."

2017-6-14. Cow Parsnip 2

"Base of leaves enlarged into a clasping sheath. … Stem woolly."

2017-6-14. Cow Parsnip 3

It doesn't say anything about those slender little salmon-colored bugs that seem to be very fond of the flowers.

2017-6-14. Cow Parsnip 4

Cow parsnip can cause a nasty rash — like wild parsnip.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Knightstown, of All Places

In January 1923, the Hobart Gazette tells us, John and Mary (Baird Chester) McDaniel moved from Ainsworth to Knightstown, Indiana, near Indianapolis. But the Gazette fails to give us even a hint of why.

In other moving news, the Arment house and 20 acres, recently abandoned by its previous tenant, had just been leased for two years to Edward Maicke … who might possible be the brother of Otto Maicke, but I don't know for sure.

Source: "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 26 Jan. 1923.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Louis H. Sullivan in Lafayette

Random pointless photos from my latest visit to the Purdue U. Small Animal Hospital in West Lafayette. I tried to capture the charm of this "jewel box" bank with a cell phone camera.

2017-6-6. Plaque
(Click on images to enlarge)

2017-6-6. Terra Cotta

2017-6-6. ATM

I did capture a bit of the road-work project that has State Street all torn up.

Online I found a photo of the bank from 1956.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Thyme-leaved Speedwell

2017-6-3. TL Speedwell 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

I think this might be the stuff I hesitantly identified as Corn Speedwell five years ago.

A few more years, and maybe I'll think it's something else.

The leaves:

2017-6-3. TL Speedwell leaves

Here it is compared to the ruler in Newcomb's Wildflower Guide so you can see how tiny the blossoms are — maybe 1/8" across.

2017-6-3. TL Speedwell v ruler

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Myiel Pierce, Jr.

2017-5-31. Pierce Myiel as an old soldier
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Alice Smedstad.

In a resolution honoring him after his passing, the Ross Township Farmers Institute described Myiel Pierce, Jr. as "the first white child born in Merrillville" ("Merrillville," Lake County Times (Hammond, Ind.) 30 Jan. 1923). And Myiel Jr. was a Civil War veteran. So you'd think he'd get a more substantial obituary than this:

2017-5-31. Myiel Pierce Jr. obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 23 Jan. 1923.

But thanks to his descendant, Alice Flora Smedstad, we know a bit more about him. In her book, Soldiers & Veterans Memorialized at the Merrillville Cemetery,[1] Alice mentions some military events that Myiel may have participated in — since they were were circled in his own personal copy of Daniel R. Lucas' History of the 99th Indiana Infantry (1865). She also includes a poem that the soldier Myiel sent to his sweetheart, Maria Prudence Muzzall.

This page from the Crown Point Register of September 2, 1862, lists the then members of the 99th.

2017-5-31. Pierce crownpointregister-sep041862-3
(Click on image to enlarge)

Maria Muzzall must have liked the poem, and the young soldier who sent it: she married him on November 12, 1866. The 1880 Census shows them with five young children: Alfred, Marion, Claudie, Arthur, and Maud. (Little Arthur died in 1882, Maud in 1883, Claude in 1916.) About 1884 they had another daughter, Nora, who would become the Mrs. Herbert Saxton of Myiel's obit.

About two months short of their 40th wedding anniversary, Maria died suddenly.[2]

2017-5-31. Pierce, Maria (Muzzall)
(Click on image to enlarge)
Portrait of Maria (Muzzall) Pierce courtesy of Alice Smedstad.

A year later, Myiel married Alice Coffey (sometimes spelled Coffee). Since she was then 50 years old, it is not surprising that they had no children. Alice survived her husband by about seven years. It is interesting that, although the Pierce family grave marker bears her name and year of birth, her date of death was never added, and Alice's remains rest in the Coffey family plot. According to the gossip handed down through the family, Myiel's relatives did not like Alice (reason unknown), and perhaps she'd had enough of the Pierce name.

Our subject's father, Myiel Pierce, Sr., had built the California Exchange Hotel in Merrillville in the 1840s. Before the decade was out, Myiel Sr. met an untimely death, leaving his widow, Marcia, with young children in difficult circumstances — she being, in the words of Timothy H. Ball, "compelled to go into the hayfield and do a man's labor in order to maintain her family and home" (Lake County Encyclopedia). Even Marcia's obituary, over 40 years later, did not fail to mention that early hardship:

2017-5-31. Pierce crownpointregister-jan311890-7
(Click on image to enlarge)
Crown Point Register 31 Jan. 1890.

The fact that the California Exchange Hotel served liquor suggests that Myiel Sr. was not abstemious. Now Alice Smedstad has a pet theory that the father's attitude toward alcohol and his early death and the son's Prohibitionism are all somehow connected. I love this theory as if it were my own, but of course we'll never know if it's true.

♦    ♦    ♦

Here is Myiel Pierce's farm as it looked in 1908:

2017-5-31. Pierce M 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the 1908 Plat Map.

The western and southern boundaries coincided with Broadway and E. 73rd Avenue, but there are no modern streets marking the other boundaries exactly; the closest would be 68th Place on the north and Delaware Street on the east.

Clifford Pierce Middle School is on land that was once the Pierce farm. So is Maxim's Restaurant.

Finally, an accidental shooting in May 1921 may or may not have happened on his farm, depending on whether you believe a Hammond newspaper ("Death From Forgotten Revolver," Lake County Times (Hammond, Ind.) 19 May 1921).

[1] On sale at the Merrillville History Museum (and can be ordered through their website).
[2] "General News Items," Hobart Gazette 14 Sept. 1906.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Common Cinquefoil

Back in 2010 I identified cinquefoil without knowing which variety I had found. Now I believe that one was rough-fruited, aka sulphur, cinquefoil.

And this is common cinquefoil.

2017-5-28. Common Cinquefoil
(Click on image to enlarge)

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.