Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Bull Named David Crockett

It's 1844, and a local man has named his bull after David Crockett … a folk hero even in Indiana, it seems.

2018-5-31. DayB1840 132, 133
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

H.D. Palmer was Dr. Henry Disberry Palmer, "the first graduate or regular physician to reside in Lake County," according to History of Lake County and the Calumet Region (which also says he was a judge for 17 years). At the approximate location of his home on 73rd Avenue is a historical marker that also credits him with being "a member of the underground railroad aiding escaped slaves." (The Indiana Historical Bureau reviewed that statement and found it unverifiable.[1])

Lake County Encyclopedia has a sketch of Dr. Palmer's life … which brings us back around to J.V. Johns, whose orphaned son Dr. Palmer reared to adulthood.

(And the second page in the image above brings us back to Richard Earle, if I'm not mistaken.)

[1] Investigating the history of the underground railroad in Indiana (or anywhere) must be frustrating, since this network was very loosely organized, operated in secret and kept no written records.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Moses Frank, Brickie

Among the siblings of F.F. Frank was a brother named Moses, who was born in Michigan in 1852, died in Hobart in 1874, and was buried in the Hobart Cemetery.

This is not that Moses Frank. This is the other Moses Frank of Hobart.

2018-5-27. Frank, Moses
(Click on images to enlarge)

This Moses Frank was born in Canada in 1848. Per the 1910 Census, he came to the U.S. in 1862. He seems to have been in Indiana by 1865. I do not know whether he came directly to Hobart — and if so, he was away for several months in the Union Army, having joined as a substitute in March 1865[1] — but by 1868 he had been here long enough to court Sarah Peters, who married him the day after Valentine's Day (Indiana Marriage Collection).

2018-5-27. Frank, Sarah (Peters)

Sarah's parents were native to New York, then moved their family to Michigan where Sarah was born circa 1847, but moved back to New York by the 1850 Census and were still there in 1855.[2] When Moses arrived in Hobart, Sarah's family had been farming locally for at least two years (1860 Census).

The 1870 Census shows the young couple keeping house in Hobart; Moses worked as a "brick maker." Sarah's sister Debby, a dressmaker, is listed in that household.[3]

When the 1880 Census came around, Moses was still making bricks. He'd also made a couple of children (May Zaretta and Winfield). His mother, Hannah, lived in his home.

Sometime between 1880 and the 1900 Census, Moses left Hobart and brick-making forever. He and Sarah moved to Chicago and he went into the railroad-car-inspecting business. Moses died in 1917, Sarah in 1931, and both are buried in Chicago.

These photographs are undated (and I have failed to trace the photographer), but judging by Sarah's very full sleeves I'd say they were taken in the late 1890s.

If there is any family connection between this Moses Frank and the other Moses Frank, I have not uncovered it.

I guess the point is … once a brickie, not always a brickie. Or maybe there is no point, but I bought these photos a long time ago and so obviously I simply had to write a blog post about them. Yes, sometimes I even bore myself with this stuff.

[1] Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2009.
[2] New York, State Census, 1855 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Census of the state of New York, for 1855. Microfilm. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
[3] Deborah is also listed in the household of her parents, who were still farming near Hobart. By the 1880 Census, it appears that all members of the Peters family had either left the area or changed their surnames, except possibly brother George. After 1880, I lose all track of them.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Speaking Frankly

Since I learned that the house on the northeast corner of Linda and Eighth Streets was the Frank house, I have gotten interested in the Franks. Here is F.F. Frank getting his birthday in the news in 1923.

2018-5-24. Frank
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, April 27, 1923.

Since the item doesn't give his age, we have to do some research ... it turns out that per his Indiana Death Certificate, Franz Fredrick Frank (no wonder he went by his initials!) was born April 22, 1859 to William and Salinda Frank — who likely built the house at Linda and Eighth, in 1874 per the county records. So F.F. was celebrating his 64th birthday.

F.F. had married Lydia Bach in 1890 (Indiana Marriage Certificates), hence the Bach connection. Lydia's sister, Henrietta, married Henry Kuehl. As for a Mulfinger connection, I haven't looked into it and don't intend to, not with my slow internet!

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The story directly below the Frank birthday got me wondering where the Charles Berndt house was, and whether Charles was related to the Ainsworth-area Berndts. I believe the answer to the second question is yes, since it appears that Charles and John (Jr.) were children of John (Sr.) and Hannah (e.g., 1900 Census). (And their sister, Bertha, married a Rossow.)

To find Charles' house, we need to find a Berndt farm west of Hobart, beside the Nickel Plate tracks … like this:

2018-5-24 Berndt 1926
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the 1926 Plat Book.

The home that sits on the east side of Liverpool Road, north of the railroad tracks, was built in 1923 according to the county records, so perhaps it was built by Charles to replace the one that burned down.

Monday, May 21, 2018

To Eulalia White, a Long Way from Home

Among the random old stuff I've collected is this little envelope with nothing in it:

2018-5-21. White, Eulalia
(Click on image to enlarge)

No date on the postmark from Pittston, Maine, but whoever addressed it was taught to write no later than the early years of the 19th century: note the way the ss in Miss is formed.

In the 1860 Census of Ross Township, we find a 23-year-old Eulalia White in the household of Joseph Henney — or is it Kenney? It's indexed the first way, but looking at the handwriting, I think it really is Kenney. (In the same census we also find a 25-year-old Eulalie White in Pittston, Maine — maybe the same person counted twice?)

The Merrillville Eulalia is a teacher. She is presumably boarding in the Kenney household. Joseph Kenney describes himself as a merchant; some of his neighbors give occupations that would be practiced in town (clerk, shoemaker, physician) and among the farming neighbors are names that we find in the general Merrillville area on the 1874 Plat Map. From all of this I conclude that Joseph lived in the village of Merrillville, and Eulalia taught at the Merrillville school.

I cannot find Eulalia White before or after 1860. However, in the 1850 Census, in the household of David and Sophronia White of Pittston, Maine, is a 15-year-old Mary E. — was her middle name Eulalia, I wonder? In the same household is a 79-year-old Hannah Kenney — Sophronia's mother, maybe?

I cannot positively identify Joseph Kenney (or Henney) before or after 1860.

On the envelope, above the address, someone has written very lightly in pencil: "Oh my brother." This makes me wonder whether the letter brought Eulalia bad news of her family. (She did have one brother, David Jr., but I can't determine when he died.)

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Clymene Moth Caterpillar

2018-5-17 Clymene moth larva
(Click on image to enlarge)

I found this caterpillar on a clover plant in my field. After some on-line searching, I believe it's the larva of the Clymene moth. I don't remember ever seeing this moth in person, and you'd think I'd remember such a striking creature.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Howard H. Smith and the Union Center Cemetery

The "South of Deepriver" community was shocked when the news began to spread on the morning of April 20, 1923, that Howard H. Smith had died in his sleep.

2018-5-14. Howard H. Smith
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, April 26, 1923.

"A large procession followed the remains to their last resting place in the Union Center cemetery" — where??? I asked myself, never having heard of such a place. But then I remembered that little cemetery marked on plat maps near the location of the Walnut Gardens. So I consulted the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society's listing of Union Township cemeteries, and found it there among the "Small Cemeteries" with this information: "The [Union Center] cemetery could not be found in 1994. It was located on the northeast corner of Route 30 and 600 W. '… When Hiway 30 was built any stones left there were buried or were moved.'"[1]

Naturally my mind formed a picture of Howard H. Smith lying there at the corner of Route 30 and 600 W, trying to get some eternal sleep beneath the rumbling traffic of Route 30.

However, a little more investigation convinced me that the News simply got their information wrong, and that Howard has been resting peacefully in Mosier Cemetery all these years, where his death certificate and the April 27 Gazette placed him …

2018-5-14. Howard H. Smith
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, April 27, 1923.

… and where today you can find his grave marker.

If I live long enough to read the microfilm from when Route 30 came through, I hope to learn more details about what happened to the Union Center Cemetery.

♦    ♦    ♦

Howard's death notice partially answers the question of what happened to his siblings. Mildred Smith had married John Dick in 1898 (Indiana Marriage Collection); the 1920 Census shows them farming in Porter Township, with a son (Sherman) and a daughter (Margaret). Abbie and Rudie apparently died before Howard — but when, and where they are buried, I do not know.

[1] NWIGS does not identify the source of that last sentence.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

It Could Go Either Way

The merchant of the 1840 daybook occasionally sold medicine along with the various household goods, hardware and tools, farming implements, cloth and clothing, and footwear he carried. But in the autumn of 1843 he seems to have sold little else besides medicine.

Note the entry for September 24, 1843, where Nicholas Nichols buys medicine … and writes his will.

2018-5-10. DayB1840 118, 119
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

If the "ague pills" he bought contained quinine, they might actually do some good. The "cathartic pills" — if Nicholas intended to use them to treat fever — were part of the accepted medical standard at the time, and worse than useless. However, from the next page, we see that Nicholas survived at least until November 12, when he bought more ague pills.

Just below that second entry, we find Eli Sigler coming in for other examples of the era's standard medical practice: bleeding and blistering.[1]

I found a rather interesting blog post about such treatments here.

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Since I haven't been able to find Nicholas Nichols (or Nickels) at all in the census records, I don't know how long he survived beyond 1843.

Eli Sigler was the son of Samuel (Sr.) and Ann Sigler. He survived his bleeding and blistering to reach a ripe old age, and now lies in Hebron Cemetery.

[1] Long ago I posted a story showing that even in 1904 folk medicine still used a cousin of blistering: namely, the counterirritant of a mustard poultice.

Monday, May 7, 2018

The Historical Hound of Hobart

This photo was taken in the basement of the Hobart Historical Society museum, formerly the library.

2018-5-7. Dog in the basement
(Click on image to enlarge)

This must have happened while the library building was under construction, from 1914 to 1915. The workers had just poured the basement floor when a curious dog came trotting through the site and got into the wet concrete.

Maybe the men didn't notice the pawprints until the concrete was set. Or maybe they looked at the damage, shrugged their shoulders and said, "Eh, it's not worth fussing about."

The basement served as a "social room" where various groups could meet. Over the years, I'm sure, many human feet have walked over these pawprints at the east end of the basement, just outside the kitchen area. But the women preparing food in the kitchen were busy; the men were absorbed in their talk; did anyone ever notice the pawprints? Perhaps they did — and laughed, and said, "That's old Rover."

However it happened, Rover's pawprints have been preserved for posterity.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Arthur Loves Elsie

Just a month after his brother's wedding, Arthur Hahn tied the knot with Elsie Fifield.

2018-5-4. Hahn-Fifield
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart News, April 26, 1923

Elsie was the daughter of Zacheus H. and Harrietta Fifield. Her brother, Leo, owned an ice-cream parlor in Hobart, and in October 1920 Elsie had been an attendant at his wedding — she was photographed in the wedding party, standing at the left.

Coincidentally, since we have recently mentioned the Wolf family in the early days of this area — below the Hahn-Fifield announcement, another tells of a wedding on "the Wolf farm east of Hobart in Porter county." Just glancing over the 1921 Portage Township plat map, I see three Wolf farms that seem to have homes on them.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Wolf Scalps

Porter and Lake Counties (Goodspeed-Blanchard) mentions that in the early days of this region's European settlement, the government paid bounties for wolf scalps (pp. 49, 53, 421). A page from one of the Hobart Historical Society's daybooks shows William Watkins taking steps to collect such a bounty in November 1841.

2018-5-1. DayB1840 104, 105
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

He was also doing business with some of the local Wolfs.