Friday, September 29, 2017

A Funeral and a Wedding

On March 4, 1923, Maria Eickemann Kramer — a former Ainsworthite — was reunited with her husband, Jacob Kramer, Sr.

2017-9-29. Maria Kramer obit
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, 8 Mar. 1923.

On a happier note, we find sister Bertha Busse marrying George Smith — whose father, Sela Smith, had probably been born on the Smith farm southwest of Ainsworth. Mrs. Emil Scharbach was, as we know, sister Emma. Neither Bertha's father nor her sister Adeline lived to see this happy occasion.

Additional Sources:
♦ "Death of Mrs. Jacob Kramer," Hobart Gazette 9 Mar. 1923.
♦ "Smith-Busse Nuptial," Hobart Gazette 9 Mar. 1923.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sunday School Is Cancelled

That's the good news. The bad news is: you have smallpox.

2017-9-26. USUN1871-050
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The cancellation lasted two Sundays — March 24 and 31, 1872. I suppose the Superintendent who made that decision was the same person as on April 7: Orsemus H. Spencer, brother-in-law to Harriet Hanks Chester.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

A Surprise Klan Parade

Darkness had fallen on that Saturday evening, February 24, 1923, when dozens of out-of-town vehicles, including a LaPorte bus, streamed into Hobart and disgorged their cargo of Klansmen — some 400 of them. A cross burned as the Klansmen marched from Lincoln and Tenth up through downtown Hobart and circled back to their starting point, watched by silent townspeople.

2017-9-23. Klan parade
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, Mar. 2, 1923.

The "triangular park opposite the Kibler filling station," where the cross burned, is now the site of the Doughboy statue.

I like how the report includes all the rumors floating around: that no one in the parade was recognized (certainly not any Hobart citizens!); that the marchers were from Michigan City, Laporte, Valparaiso, Gary, and Hammond; that many in Hobart were frightened by this bizarre display.

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As we see in the next column, Hobart had also been invaded by a more familiar illness: smallpox. Our friend Harry Breyfogle had it. Last I heard, the young Breyfogles were living in the Guyer building; they must have moved. I have no idea which of the many houses around the intersection of East and Second Streets they occupied.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A.B. Colkitt Buys an Olds Roadster

This sales contract somehow found its way into Eva Thompson's collection.

2017-9-20. EvaT055
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

My best guess at the identify of this person is an Alfred Colkitt who shows up in a Gary city directory in 1920:

2017-9-20. 1920 Gary directory
(Click on image to enlarge) U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

… and who gave his name to a draft board in 1942 as Alford Byron Colkitt (WWII Army Enlistment Records).

But what connection did Mr. Colkitt have to the Thompsons, that his auto sales contract should end up in their hands? — I do not know. The contract was inside an envelope addressed to Nancy Thompson in Hobart, postmarked in December 1933 from Nappannee, Indiana. Was it sent to her in that envelope, or did that envelope just turn out to be a convenient storage place?

In looking around for an image of a 1921 Oldsmobile Roadster, I discovered that something similar to Alfred's car, modified into a truck, was the vehicle that carried the Beverly Hillbillies.

I also learned that a 1921 Olds Roadster was involved in the development of the "automobile exception to the Fourth Amendment search warrant rule, … less formally referred to as the Carroll doctrine."

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Toothed Spurge

This is not a wildflower of Ainsworth. This is a wildflower of the first rest stop on I-65 south of Ainsworth.

2017-9-17. Toothed spurge colony
(Click on images to enlarge)

It is called Toothed Spurge.

2017-9-17. Toothed spurge

It likes to hang out in farmers' field, so no wonder I found it among all that Indiana farmland.

It has tiny and unimpressive blossoms.

2017-9-17. Toothed spurge blossoms

So far as I can tell, it serves no purpose except its own existence.

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Of course, I was heading down to Purdue U. Veterinary Teaching Hospital when I took these pictures. I took a couple more pictures in Lafayette.

Here's a mural called Sunday morning Wabash River, painted by Zach Medler, after Seurat.

2017-9-17. Sunday Morning Wabash River

And the flowchart outside Main Street Books.

2017-9-17. Flowchart

(I was not charged for this picture since I bought some books.)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Work ID and Chauffeur Badge, 1936

A collection of photos and other items relating to the Fleck and Halfman families of Ross Township has come to the Merrillville/Ross Twp. Historical Society through the Fleck family. The collection includes this photo ID (undated) used on the job by Nicholas Fleck, Jr. (1887-1955):

2017-9-14. N. Fleck Jr. work ID
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Merrillville/Ross Twp. Historical Society.

And here is the badge he wore as a truck driver in 1936:

2017-9-14. N. Fleck Jr. work badge

A family legend holds that Nicholas, as an employee of the Lake County Highway Department, worked on building Broadway up to the steel mills; the family is now researching to try to determine whether that's true, or just a good story. Neither the ID nor the badge indicates who his employer was when he used them.

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Although I have mentioned the Flecks of Hobart several times already in the blog, I find I have neglected the Flecks of Ross Township. They are related, all being descended from Peter and Anna Fleck. Our truck driver's father, Nicholas Fleck Sr., was the brother of the Michael Fleck who ran a coal business in Hobart (and whose ledgers I expect to be indexing sometime in the future).

Nicholas Sr., born circa 1854, married Frances Wilde in 1876 (Indiana Marriage Collection). The two of them, with a young daughter, were farming in Hobart Township (near his father and brother) when the 1880 Census was taken. By the 1900 Census, their family had grown to nine children, including Nicholas Jr.; they were farming in Calumet Township.

The family first shows up in Ross Township in the 1910 Census, farming their own land, with five of their children still at home. Judging by their neighbors, the Flecks were on the land that showed up as theirs in the 1926 Plat Book:

2017-9-14. Fleck 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)

The 1908 Plat Map shows different ownership, so unless that map lagged behind purchases and sales, the Flecks bought their Ross Township farm between 1908 and 1910. On the south, the Grand Trunk Railroad cut across their land; on the north it was Turkey Creek. Today, the old Fleck farm is occupied by some businesses and part of Hidden Lake Park.

Although in 1910 Nicholas Jr. was described as single, when he shows up in the 1920 Census with a wife (née Anna Halfman), their children include an eleven-year-old son. I have not been able to find a marriage record for Nicholas Jr. and Anna, so I don't know how to explain that. Nicholas and Anna were farming rented land near his father's farm — or maybe part of it?

Nicholas Jr. seems to have been among those who quit farming in the 1920s. In the 1930 Census he described himself as a truck driver for a hardware store. He and Anna, with their nine children, were living on rented property in Ross Township described as being in the "north corner of [the] township, east of Broadway," which could still be the old Fleck farm. The year after that census, another daughter joined the family. In the 1940 Census, Nicholas Jr. said he was a clerk at a hardware store. His death certificate (1955) gives his occupation as "truck driver," his employer as "Highway Dept." — but does not specify which highway department, and he died in LaPorte County.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Harnessed Tiger Moth

This critter came to visit my porch light a few weeks ago.

Tiger moth
(Click on image to enlarge)

I believe it's a Harnessed Tiger Moth.

My moth book has information about how to catch nocturnal moths and put them in the refrigerator overnight so they get sluggish and you can photograph them properly in daylight. Where do people get the time to do stuff like that?

I hope to be back to historical posting soon.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Kitten Cuteness

Here are some cute pictures to look at until I can get myself in gear.

Eliza is looking much better than when she first came home. You can still see where they shaved her legs to put in the IVs.

(Click on images to enlarge)

Every four hours, a syringe feeding.

Eliza syringe feeding

Here's Mama Emily, who doesn't like having her picture taken:

Mama Emily

Freewheelin' Franklin, an ankle-biter:

Franklin scratching up my ankle

Travis, a mighty mouser:

Travis caught a mouse