Monday, October 30, 2017

Claude Bullock Quits Farming

We haven't heard from Claude Bullock since 1921, when he and Mary Ann had a daughter. Now it's March 1923 and Claude is quitting farming — not retiring, I don't think, since he is only about 42 years old; I don't know what he intends to do for money, outside of the rent he'll be getting from Alfred and Vera Shults.

2017-10-30. Claude Bullock quits farming
(Click on image to enlarge)

The last time I spoke about the Lathrop farm, I hadn't yet purchased a copy of Early Land Sales, Lake County. Checking that resource, we find Samuel Lathrop owning some of that land as early as January 1845, and all of it by April 1852. So it was the Lathrop farm for half a century; small wonder if the name stuck. According to the Lake County records, the house on that farm (perhaps the main one out front, that is slowly falling into ruin) was built in 1850.

Above the Bullock item, we see that John Harms has begun his work as Township Assessor.

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In the right-hand column we see a large ad for the new Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery, which must have been a peaceful as well as beautiful place for several decades, until I-65 came through. Now graveside ceremonies are accompanied by the continuous roar of traffic.

Friday, October 27, 2017

An Eight-Pound Gordon

On January 12, 1909,1 an eight-pound boy was born to Zora and E.R. Gordon — delivered neither by his father nor his great-uncle Pliny, but by an out-of-town physician named A.G. Schklieker.2 I find that a bit odd.

The child was named John Jackson, probably in honor of both his grandfathers. Little John would spend much of his first year in the house where his father grew up.

In March, "Dr. E.R. Gordon … moved his office from the First State Bank block to the Fiester block, upstairs in front,"3 which explains why his name appears on the second-story front windows in this photo:

236-238 Main
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

In May, as we've learned, construction began on the new Gordon house. All in all, it had been a very eventful year-and-a-half for E.R. and Zora.

[1] "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 15 Jan. 1909.
[2] Indiana Birth Certificates.
[3] "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 19 Mar. 1909.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Updated Index

Having finished indexing two of the Union Sunday School record books, I have replaced previous draft index with a new draft on the Index to Hobart Historical Society Ledgers page.

I have seven more Union Sunday School books to do, but for the moment I have to move on to something else, or I'm afraid I'll start writing silly things in my index. There's a limit to how much Sunday School a person can take without a break.

Monday, October 23, 2017

South of Deepriver, March 1923

Much innocent sociability in the countryside.

2017-10-23. South of Deepriver
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Hobart News 8 Mar. 1923.

"The Raschka barn near Leroy" might have belonged to Frank and George, William's brothers.

Arthur Bowman's radio sounds more like a ham set than something to receive commercial broadcasts — but then again, for all I know about radios, it might have done both.

Friday, October 20, 2017

E.R. and Zora

2017-10-20. Dr. E.R. Gordon, 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)
Dr. E.R. Gordon, circa 1908.
Image credit: "KatharineMRedmond,"

This item in the "Local Drifts" of the Hobart Gazette of Feb. 28, 1908, tells of Dr. E.R. Gordon making a surprise visit to Hobart with his new bride, Zora (Knopsnyder).

2017-10-20. E.R. and Zora just married
(Click on image to enlarge)

He is described as "head house physician in one of the Health Homes at the [Bernarr] Macfadden Sanatorium, Battle Creek, Mich." Earlier, we saw in his obituary that he had been a patient at an unnamed sanitarium in Battle Creek, where he met his future wife. The Bernarr Macfadden Sanitarium definitely existed, but I haven't been able to confirm E.R.'s association with it in any source except the Gazette.

2017-10-20. Zora Knopsnyder 1903
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Zora Knopsnyder, as a student at Mary Baldwin College, Staunton, Virginia, circa 1903. Image credit:

Zora Knopsnyder was born in 1882, which means we have no census record of her until the 1900 Census, where we find her in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, boarding in the home of Edward and Mattie Sowers — who may or may not be related to her; I don't know. In a family tree on, her parents are listed as Jackson Wynkoop and Margaret (Catz) Knopsnyder; the 1908 paperwork for E.R. and Zora's marriage names her parents only by their initials: J.W. and M.J. In 1900, if I've found the right people, J.W. and M.J. were living in West Virginia. I wonder why Zora chose not to live with them? She was then 18 years old and the enumerator recorded no occupation for her.

E.R. and Zora were married February 19, 1908, in Elk County, Pennsylvania.[1].

After their visit to Hobart, the young couple returned to Battle Creek for several months. In May, Zora came down alone for a visit to her in-laws, staying with them in the house on Second and Center Streets.[2]

In July 1908, E.R. came home to Hobart for good.

2017-10-20. Dr. E.R. Gordon returns to Hobart
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette 24 July 1908.

(There's another make of car I never heard of before. Looking at the 1908 models on this page, they look so exposed. I'd hate to go out on a call on a cold, rainy night with only that flimsy convertible roof to shield me.)

With E.R. came a 15-year-old boy, formerly a bell boy at the sanatorium, who would work as office boy (in E.R.'s office, I expect).[3] The Gazette gives his name as Ormer Thaker, the 1910 Census as Omar Thenker. I can't find him elsewhere.

E.R. rented an office in the First State Bank building and went about his business as doctor and coroner.

2017-10-20. Advertisement - Dr. E.R. Gordon
(Click on image to enlarge)Hobart Gazette 2 Oct. 1908.


[1] Pennsylvania, Marriages, 1852-1968 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2016. Original data: Marriage Records. Pennsylvania Marriages. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, UT.
[2] "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 22 May 1908.
[3] "Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette 31 July 1908; 1910 Census.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"The Marriage of Her Brother"

I have previously gotten pretty well convinced that Julius Triebess married Sophie Mankey in Chicago on June 11, 1901. Thus, this little item from the "Miller Murmurings" column of the Hobart Gazette of June 14, 1901, pretty well convinces me that Julius and Lena Triebess were brother and sister: "Miss Lena Triebess went to South Chicago to attend the marriage of her brother."

Although that item does not specify June 11, it would be a great coincidence if two Triebess men with local ties were married in Chicago during the same week … and no mention of such a coincidence appeared in the local paper. Ergo, I am pretty well convinced.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Gordon House

As some of you already know, the Gordon house has new owners, who have begun the difficult process of restoring this lovely old place. Because they have enough work to do, I volunteered to look into the microfilm and other records in search of some background on the house to share with them … and with the readers of this blog.

Let's get straight to the good part: the spring of 1909, when construction first began.

Construction of Gordon house begins
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Hobart Gazette May 7, 1909.

The electric-line franchise is discussed in more detail in the left-hand column of this page. As we know, the streetcar line ended up taking a different route — passing a block south of Dr. Gordon's house, rather than right past it.

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He went by "E.R." and I'm beginning to wonder if it's because he himself didn't know whether his first name was Edwin or Edward. It shows up both ways. With the help of Paula Isolampi of the Hobart Historical Society, I've come up with a theory: he was christened Edwin after his paternal grandfather, but he didn't like that name, and as soon as he was old enough to impose his will on others, he started making them call him Edward, or just Ed. Professionally and publicly, he used his initials — a common practice at the time.

E.R. Gordon was born December 7, 1878 (Indiana Death Certificates). His parents were John and Lushia (aka Lucy) Gordon, whose brick house used to stand on the southwest corner of Center and Second Streets (and where four-year-old E.R. was photographed on the porch). His father was a druggist, and his uncle, Pliny P. Gordon, a doctor, so medicine ran in his blood, I suppose you could say.

To find out the details of his life, we must look to his death — which came early; the poor soul had scarcely three years to enjoy living with his family in his beautiful house. Here are his obituaries from the two Hobart papers of 1912.

E.R. Gordon obit
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Hobart News 26 Dec. 1912.

E.R. Gordon obit
Hobart Gazette 27 Dec. 1912.

It's interesting that E.R. went to Battle Creek originally as a patient. He did more there than rest and recuperate, according to accounts at the time of his marriage (1908), which described him practicing his profession in a sanatorium. But we'll get to that later.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Something You Didn't Know About Jay Sharpe

Since he proved so elusive in the census and other records, we had nothing to prove that Jay Sharpe ever existed except that one glass-plate negative, taken in April 1906.

Now we have a little more, which I have added to the post with his glass-plate image.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

August 15, 1976, 4:15 a.m.

Here is another view of Hobart's water tower … watching over an alien landscape, in another world and another time.

2017-10-10. Lake George 15 Aug 1976 0415
(Click on image to enlarge)
Photograph by Thomas Wells. Used with permission.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Mrs. Jacob Hurlburt's Mother

Mary Louise Gustafson's obituary gave me the maiden name of Jacob Hurlburt's wife, Augusta.

2017-10-6. Gustafson obit
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Hobart Gazette Mar. 9, 1923.

The obit describes Augusta as well as Mary as a resident of Union Township, Porter County; if that was true, I suspect it was only temporary. As we know, by 1923 Augusta and Jacob Hurlburt had plenty of their own land in Ross Township, and the 1920 Census shows them living there. However, if we look at a 1921 plat map of Union Township, we find land belonging to Claus Gustafson and a residence of Linder Gustafson:

2017-10-6. Gustafson 1921
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Image from

And indeed, the 1920 Census reports Mary Gustafson living there with her 32-year-old son, Linder, who was unmarried.

However, if Mary's health was seriously declining, I doubt that the family would leave her nursing to a bachelor son — quite possibly Augusta Hurlburt stayed there to tend to her mother in her final illness. That may account for the confusion about where Augusta lived.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Hobart's Second Water Tower

This undated photograph shows the town's second* water tower (now gone) at the east end of what is now Jerry Pavese Park. The building to the right of it is, I believe, the water filtration plant (now gone) and to the right of that, the NIPSCO building (still standing).

2017-10-2. rf005
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Eldon Harms family.

*The first one was on New Street.