Monday, November 19, 2018

Finally, a Golf Course

Late in June 1923, the golf course on the Dorman farm was nearing completion.

2018-11-19. Golf course, News, 6-28-1923
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Hobart News, June 28, 1923.

It was opened to the public on July 4, 1923 ("Local Drifts," Hobart Gazette, July 12, 1923).

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Klan Everywhere

The Ku Klux Klan of the 1920s, unlike its earlier and later forms, was a national phenomenon and most powerful in the Midwest, "especially Indiana, where, by all accounts, the Klan gained its greatest influence and highest level of membership for any state."[1] In late June 1923 we find the Klan continuing its heavy local campaign of public relations and recruitment. The rally that had been blocked in Gary took place in Hobart on June 26.

2018-11-15. 6-26 mtg, News, 6-28-1923
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Hobart News, June 28, 1923.

2018-11-15. 6-26 mtg, Gazette, 6-29-1923
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Hobart Gazette, June 29, 1923.

The previous Friday (June 22), a Klan meeting drew a large crowd to the little village of Deep River.

2018-11-15. Deepriver, Gazette, 6-29-1923
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Hobart Gazette, June 29, 1923.

The News reported that the passing of the hat brought in about $80.[2]

[1] Leonard J. Moore, Citizen Klansmen: The Ku Klux Klan in Indiana, 1921-1928 (Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 2.
[2] "Largest Crowd in History Attend Klan Meeting at Deepriver," Hobart News, June 28, 1923.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Grief and Glory

One hundred years ago today, the joyous news of the Armistice reached our shores. The Great War was over. Celebrations broke out all over the country.

In Lake Station, one family's joy was tempered by a recent loss: Christina Blank Hazelgreen had died on October 31, 1918, and was laid to rest on November 3.

Christina's daughter, Elna (now about 24 years old), received from a friend in Chicago this letter dated November 12 that expressed a range of emotions from private grief to public joy to horror at the flu epidemic that was still going on.

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 001
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2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 002

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 003

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 004

2018-11-11. 1918-11-12 005

The letter reads:
Dear Elna:

Received your letter Sat. telling the sad sad news of your bereavement, in the death of your dear mother.

You have our sincerest sympathy and our hearts truly ache for you, and with you, for we feel that we, too, are bereft of a sincere friend, one whose true womanly influence was always felt in the desire she gave one, to do better and be better. How glad you are now of the years of devoted services rendered.

If we had only known of your sorrow, we would have been with you and yours in those last sad rites.

In trying to lighten the burden of others, we find our own load grows less heavy, and you will find it so in this "7 in 1" drive.[1] Wish you the greatest success.

Will come to see you at the first opportunity. You know we left E[ast] Gary sooner than we expected, and I intended, as much as could be, returning on the following day, to say "Good Bye" to all old friends, and neighbors, but on reaching the city that night, found Jay had made plans to go to Detroit instead. On our return, was a victim of the "flu" and for four weeks, was in the house every minute. Am feeling fine now and glad to be alive. So far, we have made no plans for the Winter, but will probably remain with Hazel. And I want you, Clara and Malcolm to be sure and come to see us. Take a Hammond car to Grand Crossing, then transfer to a 75th street car, last get off at Jeffery, walk to Chappel and we live the sixth door from the corner in a little brick bungalow.

Isn't it glorious the war is over? This was some mad town the 11th. I understand there wasn't much of a celebration in Gary. Well, dear will be glad to see you or hear from you at any time, it seems odd not to have one of our "weekly midnight conflabs" [sic].

Was sorry that Esther Olson had been so ill. Oh that epidemic was something terrible – in many cases it was impossible to bury the dead on account of no caskets being available.

Hazel is waiting for me to make button holes, so will close.

With love and best wishes.

Yours Sincerely,

Belle Lewis.
Belle Lewis appears in the 1910 Census as a resident of East Gary (Lake Station). She and her husband, Jay, had come there sometime after the 1900 Census (which recorded them living in Michigan). Hazel was their only daughter, born circa 1890.

Clara and Malcolm were Elna's siblings.

Esther Olson was some relation to Elna — either the wife or daughter of Elna's cousin on her mother's side, Floyd Olson (also an East Gary resident).

[1] I don't know exactly what she is referring to, but it may have involved the Fourth Liberty Loan Drive.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Meadow Fritillary

Here is a Meadow Fritillary on my garden shed.

2018-11-8. Meadow fritillary
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Before it flew there, it was drinking nectar from a Maximillian Sunflower.

I was poking around for an explanation of its name — fritillary — and found this:
The common name comes from a Latin word, fritillus, which means chessboard or dice box. Fritillary is also the name of a flower with an interesting checkered pattern; it is obvious that both the flower and the butterfly get their common name because of such pattern.
Their larval host is the violet. I do have lots of violets growing by the shed; I shall have to look for caterpillars on them next spring.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Conflict of Interest

I just can't get over the fact that ambulance service used to be provided by funeral homes rather than fire departments or other dedicated emergency responders.

2018-11-3. South of Deepriver, News, 6-21-1923
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Hobart News, June 21, 1923

Also, the rural social news from south of Deep River. Ellen Smith, whom Emily Strong helped with housecleaning, was the widow of Cyrus and by now nearly 80 years old. Per the 1920 Census, she lived alone; if she still lived in that big farmhouse, I expect she could use help in cleaning it.