Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hobart's Yellowstone Trail Members

Here's something for you Yellowstone Trail fans: a list of Hobart people and businesses who in December 1922 promised five years' support for the Trail's maintenance and promotion.

2017-2-25. Yellowstone Trail; Hanna anniversary
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 28 Dec. 1922.

I can't index that many names, so here they are for the search engine: S.E. Henderson, O.L. Pattee, Brahst Bros., Hobart Bank, A.J. Newman, First State Bank, Albert Orcutt, Dwight Mackey, Clara Faulkner, Frank Reissig, Busse & Long, Phillips & Byall, Nick Ehrhardt, National Oil & Supply Co., Hobart Lumber Co., R.R. Peddicord, George Watkins, Roper Bros, Emil Scharbach, Hobart Filling Station.

Below that story is one about a wedding anniversary that draws our attention to some Deep-River-area history.

Mary (Ferguson) Hanna was a niece of Catherine Mereness Crisman, but her immediate family is elusive. The earliest I can find her parents, Ezra and Anna (aka Christiana) Ferguson, in a census is 1900, where they are recorded farming in Union Township, Porter County; yet they were married in Lake County in 1861 (Indiana Marriage Collection), and the Civil War draft registration records Ezra in Union Township in 1863. Mary had been born in 1862 (Indiana Death Certificates).

Thomas Hanna was born in Michigan in 1858. I find it interesting that his death certificate (1953) has a blank for his father's given name, and "Unknown" for his mother's name. Either the person who completed the certificate was a bit offhand about it, or his daughter Eva, who reported his death, did not know much about her paternal grandparents.

In the 1900 Census, which shows the Hanna family living in Hobart, Thomas gives his occupation as "R.R. Towerman." By the 1910 Census he had become a teamster — a drayman, as the article says — but the 1920 Census shows him back on the railroad, as a section worker.

Mary died in 1928. I can't find Thomas in 1930. If I've found the right person in the 1940 Census, Thomas had remarried, and his second wife was named Mary, too. I believe the second Mary Hanna died in 1950. Apparently nobody knew her maiden name at that time; from clues on I'm guessing that it was Moffitt and that her first husband's surname was Smith. I think I need obituaries for all of these people if I'm ever going to figure this out.

As for this Davis Peck — the Deep River justice of the peace from 1882 — I wonder if he was any relation to the Pecks who keep showing up in those "South of Deepriver" columns, but at the moment I don't know anything about him.

… And finally, burgling the home of a grieving widower is pretty darn low.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Gas Truck on a Snowy Day

For some reason I just love this photo (dated 1949) from the Tonagel collection …

2017-2-22. img888
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

… perhaps because I really want to know what its subject is, if it has one.

The fuzzy but straight line along the bottom of the photo makes me think it was shot through a window, perhaps from inside the Tonagels' living quarters behind their store. Beyond one of the tourist cabins out back, we see a gas truck* heading north on State Road 51 — at least, that's what I see. But maybe the truck barged into the frame as the photographer tried to capture the fairy-tale kingdom of snow growing out of the dull landscape of Ainsworth.

Or maybe the photographer was just testing the camera, and might have shot any old thing through the window (since it was too dark inside to photograph, and too cold to go outside).

Don't you wonder?

*Eldon Harms identified it as a gas truck, and theorized that it might have just delivered the product that the Tonagels sold from their pumps out front.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Gender Performance at the Ross Township Farmers' Institute

Here we have the program for the January 27, 1922 meeting of the Ross Township Farmers' Institute, which just leaves me wondering what would happen to a girl who showed up with some fine corn or potatoes she'd grown, or a boy with a cake baked from his own recipe.

2017-2-19. Ross Twp. Farmers Institute
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 21 Dec. 1922.

Based on what comes up when I Google "Mrs. R.M. Brown, Goshen, Indiana," I think she was going to discuss "household efficiency" or something in that vein.

Elsewhere on the same page: Ruby Fisher was offering piano lessons; Paul Emery was offering loans and insurance — was this a side job while he continued working with his father-in-law, Calvin Shearer, in the coal-and-building-materials business?

Interesting that among the suggested gifts for "ladies" (up in the right-hand corner) were face powder and rouge.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Updated Index

I finally finished indexing the Hobart Township Trustee's account book that begins in 1888, so I have posted an updated draft to the ledger index page.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Timber Required for a Grist Mill

For the Hobart Historical Society's digitizing project, we were photographing what I described as a "day book (owner unknown) recording sales of merchandise, payments on accounts, workers' hours and wages, other miscellaneous information, 1836-1846." Among other loose scraps stored between the leaves of the day book, we found this list of "timber required for a grist mill."

2017-2-15. Timber 1
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

"The timber to be hewn square and free from Bark & of a uniform size so as to answer without counter hewing."

On the other side, we find a date of May 20, 1846 …

2017-2-15. Timber 2

… which I suppose would put it in the time frame of the planning stages for Hobart's famous old mill. I'd like to think that here we have the recipe for the old mill in George Earle's own handwriting, but of course I can't say for sure!

♦    ♦    ♦

[1/19/2018 update] After more indexing work with the ledgers, especially those dating close to 1846, I am feeling more confident that the grist-mill recipe above is indeed in George Earle's own handwriting. I certainly could be wrong — I am not a handwriting expert, and I had to make assumptions and comparisons that could be mistaken.

Here is what I used for comparison: first, I had posted what I believed to be George Earle's signature, which I found in the ledger that begins in 1835. The signature has a distinctive style, especially in the way he forms his G. As for the text above each signature, I didn't know if that was in George Earle's hand, but was inclined to think not.

While indexing the daybook that begins in 1836 — the one where I originally found the list of "timber required for a grist mill" — I came across another interesting loose piece of paper:

2017-2-15. DayB1836 L-006a
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

There's that distinctive signature again, only this time, I think the same hand wrote the text above the signature as well. The writing just looks the same.

Comparing this loose sheet, as well as the signatures we saw earlier, to the list of timber above, I see some clear similarities in the writing — particularly in the style of the capital G and M, as well as the general slant and the joining of the letters.

But as I said, I am not a handwriting expert, and I could be wrong. If we ever get our hands on some writing that is definitely known to be George Earle's own, we will be in a better position to compare.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Chopping Bee

In December 1922, the men of the South of Deepriver neighborhood got together and held a "chopping bee" to supply Jim Jeffrey with stove wood for the winter — as Jim was in no condition to chop wood for himself, with a twice-broken leg.

2017-2-12. South of Deepriver
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 21 Dec. 1922.

I've paid so little attention to the Prescott family that I had to go look them up to remind myself that Mrs. John Prescott was born Carrie Sturtevant.

Over in the left-hand column, the Central Drug Store in downtown Hobart was selling popular recordings. I've never heard of either "Indiana Lullaby" or "Three O'Clock in the Morning" before. I guess I need to get out more.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Old Fire Truck Again

I have a couple more photos of the old Camp 133/V.F.W. fire truck, last seen on July 4, 1947.

This one was taken in August of 1957, during Eldon and Norma Harms' housewarming party on the old Fox-Harms place.

2017-2-8. mauve 024
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

At left you can see the fire truck's steering wheel, and the worn upholstery of driver's seat. As to who Bob, Jane and Buck were, your guess is as good as mine. From the looks of it, that housewarming party was a whole lot of fun.

In this photo, the fire truck is a little girl's playground.

2017-2-8. mauve 025

Saturday, February 4, 2017

"A Menace to Any Community"

We are destined to know no more of the mysterious Nathan Bosen, it seems, now that he has skipped town.

2017-2-4. Nathan Bosen skips town
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 15 Dec. 1922.

Elsewhere on the same page — a Ross Township community meeting, and an improvement in Alice Paine's health.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Not Tillie, SUSIE!

2017-2-1. rf006
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Eldon Harms family.

This is Mathilda "Tillie" Prochno with two horses, Daisy and Beauty. Judging by her apparent age (and she was born in 1911), I would date the photo to around 1920. The location may be the Prochno farm, but it is not identified.

As we know, at some point Tillie stopped being Tillie and became Susie or Sue, and it seems that someone felt pretty strongly about the name change — strongly enough to obliterate "Tillie" and write in "Susie" on this old photograph.