Monday, October 29, 2018

Thou Shalt Not Spit Tobacco Juice on the Floor

I'm back to indexing Sunday-school record books, which are usually pretty dull. But then you come across something like this:

2018-10-29. Tobacco USUN1873B 006, 007
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Evidently, the spitting of tobacco juice in Hobart's Union Sunday School was such a nuisance that the school's officers had to form a committee to collect all the offenders' names. Sort of brings you down from the realms of glory, doesn't it?

This meeting took place April 13, 1873, at which time Mathew W. Jory was superintendent. Of all the committee members, I can identify only P. Roper: I'm pretty sure he is Phillip Roper, who also shows up frequently in these records as a Sunday-school teacher. In 1873 he was about 27 years old. I have previously posted his obituary, and a photo of his sons, one of whom (Phillip Jr.) married Bliss "Dollie" Newman.

Phillip's father, James Sr., is described in the 1870 Census as a butcher, but there was also a James Jr. in the family; and James Jr., I believe, later took up his father's occupation and built the building at Main and Third.

Mrs. Meister was also a regular teacher of Sunday-school classes, and I believe her husband's initials were J.S., but that's as far as I can get with her.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Yellow Bear Caterpillar

Here's a Yellow Bear on a pokeweed leaf in my back yard.

2018-10-19. Yellow bear
(Click on image to enlarge)

It will grow up to be a Virginia Tiger moth.

And on this warm(?) fuzzy note, I am going to take an Internet break for a week or so.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Death at the Rossow Crossing … Again

Two years after witnessing a deadly train-vs.-automobile wreck at the Pennsy crossing near his home on present-day Wisconsin Street, William Rossow was among the first on the scene of another, equally horrifying, at the same crossing.

2018-10-16. Rossow crossing, Gaz, 6-22-1923
(Click on images to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, June 22, 1923

This story establishes that it was indeed Herman Harms who bought the cottage being moved from New Street, although here its destination is given as the "H. & S. subdivision." So Herman, along with his father Henry, his father-in-law William Rossow, and his brother-in-law Ed Niksch (Miksch is a misprint) were at work on the house a short distance southeast of the Wisconsin Street crossing.

♦    ♦    ♦

An item in the next column to the right mentions the filming of a 1915 celebration in Hobart. That film still exists, I am told, somewhere in the archives of the Hobart Historical Society. It hasn't been digitized, and trying to run the original through a projector would be foolhardy. Someday, perhaps, when both the film and the money to digitize it are found, we'll be able to view motion pictures of Hobart in 1915.

In the right-hand column, we find T.H. Grabowski building an addition to his home — an addition that, fortunately, is identifiable on this current sketch from the Lake County Assessor's website.

2018-10-16. Grabowski house sketch 2018

This confirms what I conjectured: that the old Carlson house is at 6430 Grand Boulevard. Per the county records, it was built in 1879.

Finally, a new bridge was going up over the Deep River where Ainsworth Road crosses it, known as the Nolte bridge since the road passes through the Nolte property there. When I first moved out here in 1990, there was a metal truss bridge similar to the one at 73rd Avenue — I wonder if that could have been the 1923 bridge? It was replaced within about a year of my moving here, and I never thought to take a photo of it.

I am curious to know what sort of bridge was there before 1923.

Additional Source: "Two More Victims of Grade Crossing Saturday When Mrs. John Clark and Daughter Margery Meet Death," Hobart News, June 21, 1923.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Dingy Cutworm Moth

I scared up this moth while mowing the lawn, and when it landed again I photographed it with my cell phone.

2018-10-14. Dingy Cutworm moth
(Click on image to enlarge)

I thought its markings were wonderful! Then I found out that it's called a Dingy Cutworm moth, and somehow its markings stopped being so wonderful. They ought to give it a better name.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Wheat from the Twenty-Mile Prairie

In December of 1848, H.N. Wheeler brought almost two bushels of wheat to the store at Liverpool, or Hobart, or wherever it was. For the wheat he got store credit, I gather, although the ledger-keeper did not record the dollar amount of the credit, or what it paid for.

2018-10-10. 20-mile prairie DayB1840 218, 219
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

What puzzles me is: why mention that the wheat was from the Twenty-Mile Prairie? Was wheat from the Twenty-Mile Prairie especially good? — especially bad?

The Twenty-Mile Prairie is an area of Portage and Union Townships, Porter County. Porter and Lake Counties (Goodspeed-Blanchard) explains its name:
This was so named because, as an old settler facetiously said, it was "twenty miles from anywhere" — meaning of course, that it was twenty miles (or some multiple of twenty) from the nearest trading post, being twenty miles from Michigan City and Laporte, and forty miles from Chicago.

H.N. Wheeler may have been the Horace Wheeler who appears in Center Township, Porter County, in the 1850 Census and subsequent censuses, and who is now buried in Kimball Cemetery — but I don't know that Horace's middle initial was N.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Asiatic Dayflower

I'm a bit late in identifying this little wildflower, which I've seen in many places. This individual was growing in the shade of my privet hedge.

2018-10-7. Asiatic dayflower 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

2018-10-7. Asiatic dayflower 2

Not very good pictures, and I had to lie on the wet ground to get them. If you want better pictures, try here.

These small and timid-looking plants are considered an invasive species.

They are edible. This creamed dayflower dish looks interesting, but I don't have the patience to pick half a pound of these things.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

But Not in Gary!

A large crowd gathered in Hobart on the night of June 12, 1923, to hear a KKK representative give a rousing speech on "Americanism."

2018-10-4. Americanism, Gaz, 6-15-1923
(Click on image to enlarge)
Hobart Gazette, June 15, 1923.

The Hobart News reported that as many as 4,000 people may have attended. "It was estimated that there were 500 automobiles at the field and the streets leading to the grounds. Machines were there with Illinois licenses, as well as Ohio licenses."[1] The News described the location as "the open field north of the Fifield addition" — the Fifield addition lying south of Home Street between Linda and Illinois; that location is compatible with the Gazette's "open field east of Michigan avenue."

♦    ♦    ♦

The following week the Hobart papers reported that the KKK had been rebuffed by Gary officials, having sought permission to hold meetings on private or public land and been refused by both Mayor R.O. Johnson and Park Board President W.R. Gleason.[2] That is not so very surprising. We should remember that the 1920s Klan, in addition to being white supremacist, was strongly anti-immigrant and anti-Catholic, and the people it targeted could be found in significant numbers in Gary, working and voting. A historian of the 1920s Klan in Indiana notes that "the Gary Post-Tribune, which operated under the control of U.S. Steel … usually sought to avoid antagonizing Gary's many foreign-born and black workers."[3]

We should also remember that the 1920s Klan vociferously supported Prohibition and sexual morality, and I have the impression that the flouting of both of those principles was big business in Gary at that time. In a brief historical sketch of R.O. Johnson on the I.U. Northwest Calumet Archives website, we learn that he was first elected Mayor before Prohibition, but failed to be re-elected after his "indifference to the prevalence of prostitution and gambling in Gary" lost him the support of U.S. Steel officials. The sketch goes on to cover his career in the 1920s:
Johnson's second term of office (1922-1925) was rocked by prohibition scandals, and subsequently Johnson was among those indicted and arrested by Federal authorities for conspiracy to violate the national prohibition laws. In March, 1923, Johnson was convicted in the Federal District Court in Indianapolis. Mayor Johnson received the heaviest sentence, a fine of $2,000 plus 18 months in the Atlanta penitentiary. He left for Atlanta in April, 1925, to serve his term; however, he was released from prison in November, 1925, having served one third of his original sentence. Johnson received a presidential pardon from Calvin Coolidge in March, 1929, which restored to him the privileges of a U.S. citizen. Shortly thereafter, a Superior Court Judge in East Chicago ruled that Johnson was legally eligible to hold public office.

R.O. Johnson won the Republican nomination for Mayor of Gary, and was elected by a substantial majority in November, 1929.

The disappointed Kleagle of Gary announced plans to hold a meeting in Hobart instead.[4]

[1] "Estimated There Were 2,500 to 4,000 at Klan Meeting Here Tuesday Night," Hobart News, June 14, 1923.
[2] "Mayor Johnson of Gary Refuses to Allow First Klan Meeting," Hobart News, June 21, 1923; "Klan Meeting at Gary Prevented," Hobart Gazette, June 22, 1923.
[3] Leonard J. Moore, Citizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, 1921-1928 (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 31.
[4] "Klan Meeting at Gary Prevented," Hobart Gazette, June 22, 1923.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Reaper Dart Moth

Found this thing on a bell pepper in my garden during the summer. It took me a long time to identify it. I finally decided it's a Reaper Dart.

2018-10-3. Reaper Dart moth
(Click on image to enlarge)

My tomato harvest was pretty poor this year, but I got a lot of bell peppers.