Saturday, August 26, 2017

Sick-Kitten Break

This is Eliza, my foster kitten.

(Click on images to enlarge)

This is Eliza's daily schedule of medication and feeding:

Eliza schedule

And that's why I have to take a break from blogging.

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[9/14/2017 update] Sadly, little Eliza didn't make it, in spite of our best efforts. She was a sweetheart and in her short life was loved by many people.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Truss Bridge on the Old Lincoln Highway

Courtesy of Daniel Kleine, here are some photos taken circa October 1981 showing the truss bridge that used to carry the old Lincoln Highway (East 73rd Avenue) across the Deep River.

2017-8-21. Bridge 1
(Click on images to enlarge)
Photographs by Daniel Kleine. Used with permission.

The photographer and subject are in Deep River County Park.

2017-8-21. Bridge 2

2017-8-21. Bridge 3

A similar bridge carried Ainsworth Road over the river when I first moved out here in 1990. It was soon replaced — around 1991, I think, but I was pretty oblivious to my surroundings back then. I do not know when the bridge in the photos was replaced.

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Here's my attempt at the "now" part of a then-and-now, rendered difficult by the lush vegetation of August:

2017-8-21. Block of concrete near the Deep River bridge
(Click on images to enlarge)

The block of concrete is still there. The railroad-tie stairs are gone.

You can just catch a glimpse of the new bridge through the greenery.

2017-8-21. New bridge over Deep River

About ten feet north of the new bridge stands the crumbling abutment of an old bridge.

2017-8-21. Abutment

That, I am told, held a wooden bridge that was replaced after the mill-pond dam broke — which may refer to the 1922 break — but since this is third-hand information, told to me by someone who heard it from someone who has since died, I'm stating it as legend rather than fact.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Mysterious Case

Or: When an Amateur Historian Runs Out of Microfilm Material

I have been too busy to get over to the library and read more in the 1923 newspapers, so I have to post random things, such as from the digitizing project (which is a part of what's been keeping me busy).

In the Union Sunday School records of August 1868, I came across a Madora Case:

2017-8-18. USUN1868-053, 054
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

I had not encountered Madora before, but naturally I wondered if she was one of the Ross Township Cases.

After some quick research, all I can say is: maybe.

We first find Madora in Ross Township in the 1860 Census, where she is four years old. Her father, Hiram A. Case, is a 36-year-old farm laborer. Her mother, Amanda, is 26. Her sister Eunice is 7.

Also is the household is a 21-year-old Derias Case, who surely can't be Hiram and Amanda's son. In the 1850 Census, we find a ten-year-old Darias in the household of David and Daty Case … who live near the young married couple, Hiram and Amanda. All of this suggests a family relationship between Hiram and Darias — perhaps they were brothers? But I can't find a record to prove that.

Looking forward to the 1870 Census, we find our Madora Case, along with Eunice and a little seven-year-old Hiram, in Joliet, Illinois; Amanda is there, with her new husband, C.J. Coburn — Cornelius J., that is, whom she married in Lake County in either 1865 or 1868, depending on which record in the Indiana Marriage Collection you want to believe.

So something happened to the elder Hiram … but we're not sure exactly what. Turning to Alice Flora Smedstad's book, Soldiers & Veterans Memorialized at the Merrillville Cemetery, we learn that Hiram enlisted in the 99th Indiana Regiment during the Civil War. Per the official regimental history, he died on March 10, 1863. Around that time, Alice reports, the 99th was near LaGrange, Tennessee, guarding a railroad. "Conditions were very hard and over fifty men died of typhoid fever. Most likely this group included Hiram Case."

According to the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society's index of Ross Township Cemeteries, there was a grave marker in the Merrillville Cemetery bearing the name of Hiram Case, but without birth or death dates, so it could possibly be for another Hiram. On a recent visit to the cemetery I could not find the grave marker at all.

The widowed Amanda Case, with three minor children to support, likely could not afford to bring Hiram's body back from Tennessee. If she placed a stone in the cemetery, it probably marked his memory, not his earthly resting place.

As for Madora, I believe she married Byron S. Frey of Joliet in 1871* and never returned to this area.

Finding out for sure how these Cases were related to the other Cases, not to mention what exactly happened to Hiram, would require more research than I have time for.


* Illinois, Marriage Index, 1860-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2015.
Original data: Illinois State Marriage Records. Online index. Illinois State Public Record Offices.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

What Is This Name????

USUN1868-091, 092
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

This page in the Union Sunday School record book probably dates to 1869.

The surname name looks like "Heterman" or "Hetirnan" or something, but I can't find anything resembling that in the 1870 or 1860 census. As for the first name, I'm not sure if it's "Fritz" or "Trity," the latter of which sounds like a nickname for — what?

How am I supposed to index when people won't write legibly?

(On the other hand, it's nice to see little six-year-old Calvin Shearer going to Sunday School.)

Monday, August 14, 2017

More Glass-Plate IDs

C.K. Melin has been looking over the glass-plate negatives and has come up with more possible identifications, which I have noted in the applicable posts: Town Cousins and Odd Man Out.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Lumber and Groceries of Yore

The news of Allie Mason's death in February 1923 including some new information (new to me!) about Hobart's past.

2017-8-12. Alfaretta Dickerson Mason obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 23 Feb. 1923.

From the Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths Index, we learn that Allie's given name was Alfaretta. Her father was David Dickerson; her mother's maiden name was Tilitha McClosky.

Going by the 1895 Sanborn map, I guess the Dickerson lumber yard/grocery was about where the American Legion post is now — 208 S. Linda Street.

In one of the Hobart Township Trustee's account ledgers that I've indexed, we find D.H. Dickerson supplying a broom for a school in 1874 …

2017-8-12. Dickerson HTTA1859-075-18740212
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

… and in 1875, lumber for a bridge over Duck Creek.

2017-8-12. Dickerson HTTA1859-083-18750319
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

And in the Indiana Marriage Collection, we find Alferetta Dickerson marrying George D. Mason on March 6, 1877.

If the Dickersons did indeed move to Hobart in the 1860s and were still around in the mid-1870s, you would expect to find them in Hobart in the 1870 Census … but instead we find them in Allen County, Ohio: David H. and Talitha, with daughters Marietta and Alfaretta, and sons Franklin and Wellington. In the 1880 Census, Talitha, now widowed, is living in Putnam County, Ohio. Marietta, unmarried, is still with her; so are the married Alfaretta and her two-year-old daughter, Grace (where's George?), as well as two male boarders.

I can't find the Dickerson family at all in the 1860 Census.

My theory is that the Dickersons moved to Hobart only for a few years between 1870 and 1880. More than forty years later, someone's memory misplaced the Dickersons in the 1860s.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Mary Munch's Sorrows

I can't figure out Mary Munch. In my notes I find a report[1] from the autumn of 1922 that the barn at her home "in South Hobart" had burned, although the fire department managed to save the house and the chicken coop; the fire was allegedly caused in her absence by her son-in-law burning rubbish. If she had a son-in-law, she must have had a daughter. But I can't find her daughter in a census.

A few weeks later, Mary traveled to Battle Creek, Michigan, to bring her son to a hospital in Gary.

2017-8-9. Mary Munch
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 24 Nov. 1922.

Her son's surname being Wilson suggests a previous marriage, but in the 1910 Census, Mary Munch is described as being in her first marriage, and having no living children. In the 1920 Census, Mary was widowed and no questions about children were asked.

Joseph Wilson died December 23, 1922 (Indiana Death Certificates). The informant was Mary Munch, who gave her maiden name as Mary Maurice and Joseph's father's name as Paul Wilson. I can't find the Wilson family in the 1900 Census, the earliest place I would have any hope of finding them (since Joseph was born in 1891). The death certificate states that Joseph was married to a Josephine, about whom I know nothing.

After the loss of her son, Mary had a little more than a month of peace before she was caught up in a Prohibition raid.

2017-8-9. Still raid
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News 22 Feb. 1923.

According to the next day's Gazette, Mary claimed she was only storing the unused still on her place as a favor to Nick Drakulich.[2] If that was true, then she suffered for a crime without having had the fun or the profit from it.

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Over in the right-hand column of that Feb. 22 News, we see that Mary was not the only one having bad times that week. The old Wesley Spencer homestead may have been on Center Street near the Nickel Plate tracks — that location seems to be associated with the Spencer name. And I never heard of Thomas Scott before, but I can't help but be interested in a suicide whose wife, according to her death certificate, died of "acute alcoholism."

I'm a bit confused about what Paul Newman was planning to build (left-hand column above). That sounds like the building on the southeast corner of Third and Center, but the county records don't give 1923 as the year it was built. The 1922 Sanborn map shows a substantial building already there.

[1] "Barn Burns in South Hobart," Hobart Gazette 3 Nov. 1922.
[2] "Locate Two Stills," Hobart Gazette 23 Feb. 1923.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Huldah Shearer's Mother

This is Augusta Juhnke Lewin …

2017-8-5. sb125-a
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Eldon Harms.

… or, as notes on the back identify her, Huldah Shearer's mother, and Ma's second cousin.

2017-8-5. sb125-b

Now, who was "Ma"? Antonia Rossow? Minnie Rossow Harms? All I know is that Minnie's maternal grandmother's maiden name was Juhnke (and thank goodness I wrote that down because I would never have remembered it otherwise).

There is no date for this photograph. The stamp box on the back was in use between 1908-1924. I am inclined to place the photo circa 1910, based on Augusta's apparent age — she was born in 1841, and here I would say she looks about 70. The bodice of her dress is a timeless black silk that an elderly lady might have worn anytime in the later 19th or early 20th century.

I ought to have posted this photo back when I posted her obituary … but honestly, I forgot I had it.