Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Sharp-Lobed Hepatica

(Click on image to enlarge)

Found in the woods in Deep River County Park. This delicate-looking flower is often the first woodland wildflower to bloom. Note the dark, half-dead leaf at the lower right of the photo — that's left over from last year, and the new leaves will grow when this year's bloom is over. The liver-like color of the old leaves is the source of the name, Hepatica, from the Greek word for liver.

I can't believe I didn't get this flower last year, but I've searched the blog and can't find it, so I suppose it's possible … and yet, I have this terrible feeling of déjà vu.


[September 2011 update — Just look at the pretty pictures in this post; don't read the history. I was a wellspring of ignorance when I wrote it.]

Since I mentioned the brickyard a while back, I thought I'd just post a few pictures. It occupied many acres east of Lake Park Avenue and west of the Deep River, north of downtown Hobart and the Pennsy tracks. All that's left now is a water-filled hole in the ground that makes a nice little lake, and thousands of pieces of broken bricks and terra-cotta blocks that you can see scattered over the ground as you walk on the footpath around the lake.

I believe it began as the Kulage Brick Works. Here it is circa 1920:

Kulage circa 1920
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

With its own rail lines, probably coming off the Pennsy line. Note the absence of crossing gates.

Here's a Kulage ad from Hobart High School's 1926 Aurora:

Kulage 1926 Aurora

Later (I don't know when) it was taken over by the National Fireproofing Company, aka Natco.

For some reason, 1924 saw a whole lot of activity at the brickyard, which seemed to involve taking down old buildings, putting up new ones and generally improving the site. Somebody took lots of photographs of that activity and passed them along to the Hobart Historical Society with detailed descriptions. Below are just a few of the many you can see at the museum.

This one is dated April 14, 1924, and captioned: "View from west side of old factory showing buildings and debris practically all cleared away."

Nat Fireproofing 4-14-1924 A A
(Click on images to enlarge)
This and the following images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

This one is dated April 29, 1924, and caption: "View looking east in front of kilns showing progress on excavation of main collecting flues." In the background, I believe that's the rear of Michigan Avenue. You can see the white frame church with its steeple, toward the left.

Nat Fire 4-29-24 B B

This one is undated. At the far right in the background — is that Hobart Cemetery?

National Fireproofing undated

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Company B Needs a Home

Now that Hobart's contribution to the Indiana state militia had been mustered in, the next step was to find a home for Company B. Early in December the Hobart papers announced that plans for the town armory were nearly completed.

The site selected for it was a triangular lot fronting on Main Street that both newspapers describe as "opposite the Nickel Plate garage." In a previous post, a commenter identified the Nickel Plate garage as standing where the town hall now stands. I don't know if the garage occupied that spot in 1917, or moved there later; I hope to be able to pin this down eventually. For the moment I can only say that the armory site was on Main Street immediately north of the Nickel Plate (now Norfolk Southern) railroad tracks.

The lot belonged to William Earle. He and surveyor William Krull got together to draw up initial building plans, then submitted them to Captain H.S. Norton of Gary, now heading up the Lake County Council of Defense.
The plans for the armory cover the entire triangular [lot] and provide for a main drill room on the north and east parts 100 × 100 feet, four store rooms, 30 feet deep in front and on the south side of the main drill room will be a dining room, kitchen, pantry, fireproof vault, squad room, cloak and smoke rooms, office and lavatories with shower baths, etc. …

The building will be constructed of brick, one story high, and a truss roof will span the drill room. The floor will probably be maple. The structure will have an attractive front. The building will be steam heated. The only basement will be for the accommodation of coal and the furnace.
The building would serve not only Company B but also a soon-to-be-formed organization to be called the Hobart Armory Club, intended "for the purpose of keeping alive the patriotic spirit in the community, to stimulate and promote military training and athletics amongst its members."

Upon review, Captain Norton gave his approval to these ambitious plans. The costs of the land and the building together were expected to amount to some $25,000. The state's financial contribution, apparently, would consist of a "creditable rental" to begin once the building was ready for occupancy by Company B. Thus the citizenry of Hobart would have to finance the building itself.

Toward that end, on the evening of December 7, William Earle and attorney Franklin T. Fetterer boarded a train bound for Indianapolis; on arrival the next day, they went to the Secretary of State's office and filed articles of incorporation for The Armory Company and the Hobart Armory Club.

The Armory Company planned to issue stocks and bonds in the amount of $30,000. Their sale would bring in the money to buy the lot and build the armory. Holders of common stock would control and own the building, which would be managed by the Hobart Armory Club. All members of Company B were automatically members of the Hobart Armory Club, and a limited number of others could buy membership.

The amount of money to be raised was daunting, but supporters of the armory hoped that citizens would chip in, if not for patriotism then for civic pride. The newspapers touted the proposed armory as an impressive addition to Hobart; the News pointed out that it would be the largest open hall in Lake County and one of the largest in the state, while the Gazette called it "one of the biggest and best improvements the town ever undertook."

By mid-December the Armory Company's officers were installed: Hugo Zobjeck was president; the Rev. R. Warren Main, vice president; Franklin T. Fetterer, secretary and general counsel; and Walter MacPherson, treasurer.

♦ "Armory Officers Elected." Hobart Gazette 21 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Hobart Will Build Armory." Hobart Gazette 7 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Incorporate Armory Company." Hobart Gazette 14 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Plans Are Nearly Completed for Hobart's New Armory." Hobart News 6 Dec. 1917.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baby Squirrel (Random Pointless Photos)

The evening before St. Patrick's Day, my sister found two baby squirrels in her yard. They had fallen out of the nest. They were nearly frozen, and it was obvious that their parents weren't going to retrieve them. My sister took them both in to foster-parent them. Unfortunately, the smaller one didn't survive the first night. But it's been nearly 13 days now, and Patrick is thriving.

Patrick in his new nest.
(Click on images to enlarge)

Feeding time. His eyes aren't open yet.

Hungry little guy!


Learning to climb.

Patrick being cute. That's Grandniece holding him.

He just doesn't know how to stop being cute.

William and Amanda Scholler and Family

I promised you more on the Schollers, and occasionally I keep my promises.

Porter and Lake Counties (Goodspeed/Blanchard), published in 1882, has this to say about William Scholler:
WILLIAM SCHOLLER was born in 1831 in Germany. He is one of seven children born to Charles and Mary Scholler, both natives of Germany. The elder Scholler was in the Franco-German war of 1815. At twenty-five years of age, William Scholler came to the United States. He had served an apprenticeship of three years in Germany at blacksmithing, and worked at the trade three years. He found himself without money on arriving at Dunkirk, and shipped on board a propeller on Lake Erie for a short time. He then went to Chicago and worked at his trade in a factory for about two years, when he went to Crown Point, Ind., and after about six months' employment came to Hobart and established a shop of his own, and has remained ever since. He has now probably the finest blacksmith shop in Lake County, 24 × 60 feet, of brick. He does a general blacksmithing business, building wagons, buggies, plows, shoeing horses, etc. He also owns a farm of 100 acres near Hobart, with first-class buildings. He is a member of the Odd Fellows fraternity. His political opinions have always been strongly Republican. He was married, in 1861, to Amanda Shearer, a native of Indiana. They have eight children living — Alfred, Harrison, George W., Daniel, Carrie, Robert and Emanuel.
The biographer seems to have missed Norma, who shows up at one year of age in the 1880 Census.

Scholler family portrait
(Click on image to enlarge)
Courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

According to the caption on this portrait, we have, from left to right in the back row: Robert, Daniel, George, Harrison and Alfred Scholler; and in the front row, from left to right: Carrie, William, Calvin, Amanda and Norma. No date is given, but since Calvin was born in October 1884 (according to the 1900 Census), if we judge him to be about six years old here, then this photo was probably taken circa 1890.

The earliest I find William Scholler in the census records is in the 1870 Census, when he's living in Hobart, working as a blacksmith. In the 1920 Census, I've found Robert and Calvin Scholler, both blacksmiths, so I suppose those are at least two of the "Scholler Bros." who gave the shop its name.

I see in my notes that in the autumn of 1901 there was some sort of fracas at the Scholler farm involving attempted murder and suicide, and I shall have to look that up next time I'm at the library (which, at the rate I'm going, will probably be a few weeks).

I have a few more Scholler pictures to come, however.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lesta Comes Home

Nineteen-year-old Lesta Raschka had spent over a year in Fort Wayne, Indiana, living with her Aunt Ella and Uncle Charles Olson while she underwent chiropractic treatment. During that time she had come home only for short visits.

In November of 1917 she came back home to stay. In spite of the initially optimistic reports, her treatment had not cured her medical problems, whatever they were. She was now going to Valparaiso for "special treatment." In between treatments, Lesta made herself useful by teaching a girls' class at the Church of Christ.

William Raschka drove his daughter to her appointments in Valparaiso, I believe, and on a return trip along the Lincoln Highway on December 20, they witnessed an incident that gives us a picture of the highway's uses and conditions at the time.

Westbound, they came upon the scene of a minor accident. Twenty-five brand-new autos fresh from the factory in Flint, Michigan, had been traveling single-file along the highway, also westbound, probably destined for sale in Lake County or Chicago. Rounding a curve near the Lake-Porter County line, one of the drivers had lost control. His brand-new car had swerved off the road and down the side embankment. It came to a stop among the trees, luckily right side up, the driver unhurt.

As William slowed to pass the stopped cars on this narrow stretch of road, Lesta watched a large, heavily loaded truck approaching from the other direction. Looking at the narrowness of the road and the softness of the dirt roadbed, she said, "If he's not careful, he'll go over the side, too!" — and in the next moment, it happened. The heavy truck went over the embankment, and the driver was badly injured.

1910 Census.
♦ "Big Truck 'Goes Over Top' on Lincoln Highway Last Thursday." Hobart News 27 Dec. 1917.
♦ "Church Notes." Hobart Gazette 9 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 22 Nov. 1917.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Hobart Then and Now: Main Street South from Front Street

Circa 1913 and 2011.

Looking south on Main from near Front St., Hobart IN. Postmark 1913. Rosalie Pfister.
(Click on images to enlarge)

Here's a view of Main Street I hadn't seen before. The photographer was standing near Front Street, looking south. Much of what the camera recorded is gone now.

We can date the photo as 1913 or earlier because of the postmark on this postcard, and 1907 or later because I think that's the Strattan building curtain loft peeping over the Hobart House at the center of the photo.

I think that's the same little house on the north side of the second Trinity Lutheran Church in the old photo and the Lakeview Apartments in the new photo. All the other houses are gone. At the extreme left of the old photo, I believe we're looking at the old St. Bridget's Catholic Church, judging by that arched doorway just behind the first tree, and those basement windows. Here's a photo of the old St. Bridget's:

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Here's the reverse of my postcard:


(I call it "my" postcard but it's now the property of the Hobart Historical Society.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

George Sauter Sells Out

His business was successful, but it was killing him. So George Sauter believed, and so the newspapers repeated. Day after day, week after week for the past four years, he'd worked long hours behind the counters of the store, cooped up in its narrow space, sweltering in the summer, alternately freezing and roasting in the winter. Now his health was breaking down.

The hands-on running of the business had fallen mainly to him; the contribution of Armin Mackeldey, the senior partner, apparently ran more to advice and capital than daily presence in the store. But that suited George — he was a worker. He'd begun his working life at about 13 years of age, employed first by E.H. Guyer and then by Stommel & Co., where he learned the grocery trade. From there, in partnership with Armin, he'd become an entrepreneur, like his father before him.

I do wonder if some of George's drive came from the memory of the financial disaster that had overtaken his father's Ainsworth venture. George was about 14 when his family went bankrupt — old enough, certainly, to understand what was happening and to feel the disgrace of it.

Perhaps a determination not to let the same thing happen to him drove George to devote so much time and energy to his own store. In all the four years he'd been running it, he'd never taken a day off. And the store made good money.

But George himself wasn't doing well. Though it isn't clear exactly what ailed him, his doctors told him that if he didn't ease up on the work, he'd soon be beyond their help.

He took their advice. In early November 1917, George sold his share of the partnership to Armin. That brought in enough money to tide him over while he took a rest and tried to get his health back. He could go where he liked, as he had no wife or children to be considered. First, he said, he was heading up to the woods of Michigan for a vacation. Then maybe he'd spend the winter in Florida. He had no plans yet for future employment, although he'd been offered a job as a traveling salesman by some unnamed firm.

If George ever got to Florida, he didn't stay there long. His rest lasted scarcely two months. By January 1918 George was working again, now as an assistant manager in the meat and grocery department of the Lowenstine store in Valparaiso.

Lowenstine Dept. Store
(Click on image to enlarge)
The J. Lowenstine & Sons Dept. Store in Valparaiso, 1911. From the collection of S. Shook, courtesy of the Northwest Indiana Genealogical Society.

♦ "Armond Mackeldey Takes Over the Sauter & Mackeldey Grocery." Hobart News 8 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Grocery Store Changes Hands." Hobart Gazette 9 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 17 Jan. 1918.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cloud Plowing (Random Pointless Photo)

(Click on images to enlarge)

Four planes plowed furrows through that field of cloud, over Big Maple Lake.

I'm still on my quest to get the perfect shot of Maya shaking off water. This isn't it.


Scholler Bros. Blacksmith Shop

We got just a glimpse of it a while back. Here are some better photos.

Robert Scholler undated

Scholler Bros with car
(Click on images to enlarge)
All images in this post courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Neither image is dated. I wouldn't even try to guess about the first one. Based on the car in the second one, I'm inclined to think it's probably from the first decade of the 20th century.

But we do have some dated ones! This one is from 1902:

1902 Scholler

And this one was taken on June 20, 1926.

Scholler 1926

According to the caption on the display, these people are: Mrs. Calvin Scholler, Calvin Scholler, Rudolph Scholler, Robert Scholler, Isabelle Dieppe and Josephine Bracken. (It doesn't say "left to right" or anything. We have to guess.)

This one purports to show an unnamed salesman in 1927.

1927 salesman Scholler

They must have been very heavily into Maytag, to have a delivery truck painted with the Maytag logo.

This newspaper clipping tells of the historic building's demise.

Post Tribune Scholler

… It would have been nice if someone had noted the date of the newspaper.

I will have a little more about the Scholler family soon.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: False Turkey-Tail

(Click on image to enlarge)

Found on a fallen tree in Deep River County Park.

If I understand it correctly, the difference between Turkey-tail and False Turkey-tail is that there are pores on the underside of Turkey-tail, whereas False Turkey-tail's underside is smooth. I should have photographed the undersides of these things to prove that to prove that they're smooth. But no, I'm not False Blogger, so you can just take my word for it.

"Exemption Rules Revoked"

This article appeared in the Hobart Gazette of November 16, 1917. In the middle of the game, they change the rules!

Exemption Rules Revoked
(Click on image to enlarge)

Actually, it isn't clear that this would have much real effect on who was going to war. I think it may have been more a matter of bureaucratic tiresomeness.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Red Tree Brain

(Click on image to enlarge)

Found on a stick on the forest floor in Deep River County Park.

The photo in my mushroom guide shows a bright orange-red specimen, but the more detailed description says the color can range from "red to purple-brown, often with a grayish bloom."

Don't ask me what that pastel aqua stuff is. Some kind of lichen? I suppose I'll have to buy a lichen identification guide next.

It's All About Saloonkeepers

Reader, did you know that a part of Hobart is named after Claus Ziegler, the long-ago Ainsworth saloonkeeper? It's true: Ziegler's Addition to Hobart.

(Click on image to enlarge)
This map, dated 1944, shows Ziegler's Addition lying west of State Road 51 and south of 39th (Rand St.). Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

I mention this because the "Hobart Real Estate Transfers" column in the Gazette of November 9, 1917, contained this cryptic message: "Lts. 23, 24, 25, B. 3.; lts. 30, 31, 32, B.3, C. Ziegler's add. Pt. S½ NE 18-35-7. William Wollenberg and wife to Herman Suhr, $6,000."

So apparently the current Ainsworth saloonkeeper owned some lots in the Former Ainsworth Saloonkeeper's Addition to Hobart. And now he was selling them. Why should anyone care? I don't know. I suppose because Prohibition is looming, I'm just getting all sentimental about Ainsworth saloonkeepers.

Also — if I'm interpreting that telegraphic notation correctly — I think that "Pt. S½ NE 18-35-7" might be the land the Ainsworth saloon is sitting on. Hmmm….

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wild Grasses of Ainsworth: Scouring Rush

Scouring Rush
(Click on image to enlarge)

"Not a true rush," my guide says. I wonder what you have to do to be a true rush. Well, Equisetum hyemale may not be true, but it's evergreen … which sounds like a description of gossip.

Found these in Deep River County Park, in the same perpetually wet area where the Skunk Cabbage and the Spotted Touch-Me-Not grow.

I'm about ready to implement Summer Posting Time again, I'm so busy. I've been doing that to some extent, posting so many pictures lately. It's easier to post a picture than write a story. Probably more interesting, too, though less informative, but that's usually the way life is.

Hobart Then and Now: Second and Center, SW Corner

1881 and 2011

(Click on image to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The caption of the 1881 photo, on display at the Hobart Historical Society Museum, reads:

The John Gordon House

This picture was taken in the summer of 1881. Mrs. J.M. Gordon is on the porch. (Dr.) E.R. Gordon, 4 years old, is on her right. Ten-year-old Frederick W. Gordon is standing by the gate. Mr. Gordon, Hobart's first druggist, built this home in 1872. (Now the parking lot for Edward's)"
I gather that Edward's has likewise passed into history. And I don't know whether the house faced Center or Second Street. But it doesn't really matter.

Too bad the 1881 photographer didn't know how to focus a camera.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Company B … Eventually

In our last episode of A Well Regulated Militia, some prominent Hobartites had begun the work of organizing a militia company to help make up for the loss of the Indiana National Guard (now drafted into the regular army). The response of the local populace was somewhat disappointing — only half the men who signed up actually presented themselves for the first drill on August 21.

As the weeks passed, the organizing effort went on, and the response continued disappointing. The embryo company's numbers still fell short of the minimum 55 needed to be recognized by the State of Indiana.

By late October, some echo of disappointment was heard in the otherwise cheerful reports of the local papers. One editor even invoked the dreaded term, "slacker."

The News gently chided — and reassured: "Capt. Chas. Allen … does not understand the seeming lack of interest that has been shown by so many of the young men. … Mr. Allen wishes it explicitly understood that this is strictly a home defense company, and is not to be mustered into the regular service…."

The Gazette was less tactful: "Hobart company should be a credit to the town, county and the state, and it is urged that all young men and all business and professional men of lawful age should show their patriotism by at once joining the company. … When the war is over, every one will be asked, 'What did you do for your government?' Young man, now is the time to show your colors. Don't be a slacker, but be enrolled among the patriots."

A week later, the Gazette threatened the "slackers" with public shaming. "Capt. Allen of the Militia company expects shortly to publish the names of those who have subscribed their names and are not attending drill and also those who are attending the drills. If you have subscribed to the roster and are not attending the drills you had better do so at once so your name will not appear in the wrong list."

The next week's Gazette published the names of the current militia members, presumably in good standing. Those 42 names were printed beside the current Roll of Honor.

A Grand Army of the Republic organization at Hammond now came forward to provide the Hobart militiamen with two dozen guns, each of which would become a member's property upon payment of two dollars. The little company itself purchased some additional guns, and made plans for a public dance on November 24 in Odd Fellows Hall to raise more money. The loyal public rapidly bought up their 50-cent tickets.

Over the space of a couple weeks, something had the desired effect: either the threat of humiliation, or the desire for prestigious recognition, or a late flowering of genuine patriotic enthusiasm, or a combination of those three. A surge of enlistments brought the company's number up to and then well beyond the minimum required. The Gazette noted that the men signed up from a range in ages and "nearly every walk in life."

And on November 24 it became official. At a ceremony in Odd Fellows Hall on that Saturday afternoon, Colonel Gerard of the First Indiana Infantry, assisted by Captain H.S. Norton of Gary, administered the oath to some 80 militia members. Now they were Company B, Indiana State Militia.* (Those who did not attend this ceremony would be sworn in later, by the company itself.) The Hobart company was only the second in the state to be mustered in, the Gary company's ceremony having taken place the previous evening.

The state promised to provide the company with new blue uniforms and enough guns to equip all the members — "guns that will kill, too," said the Gazette. And the state was to provide funds for an armory, which might be either space fitted out in an existing structure or a new building for that specific purpose.

The Gazette and the News each printed a membership list. Some of the names appear in one and not the other, and while generally I consider the Gazette to be the more reliable source, in this case the News list appeared a week later and some members may have joined after the Gazette printed its list. Anyway, I have made a list of all 117 names that appeared in either paper, or both. (The News did not give ranks, so if a name appeared only in that paper, I don't know the person's rank.)

Militia Roster 1917

Some of these are Ainsworth/Ross Township men. For example, two of Charles Chester's sons, George and Sela, are on the News roster. The "W. Hooseline" was perhaps 42-year-old William Hooseline, of a southern Ross Township farming family. "A.M. Boyd" may have been Alexander M. Boyd, of the Merrillville Boyds. Ed Scroggins we know from his marriage to Daisy Chester.

*Within a few months the Hobart militia would be designated Company K.

I suppose I'd better put the names in text for search-engine purposes: Allen, Charles; Andyer, Eugene [Andro, Eugene (News)]; Arnold, Floyd [L.C. (News)]; Ballantyne, E. [Elmer (News)]; Ballantyne, Milton; Bartholomew, H.C.; Baumer, Fred; Beck, Geo.; Blanchard, Chas.; Boyd, A.M.; Bracken, Howard; Brown, E. [E.T. (News)]; Brown, G. [Glen (News)]; Bruce, Geo.; Carlson, Axel; Carlson, Richard; Carnder, F.; Chester, Geo.; Chester, Seely; Clark, John; Clark, Leon; Clifford, Chas.; Cook, Roy; Cooper, Chester; Davis, Cloyd; Deering, H.F.; Dewey, C.S.; Diedell, John; Dixon, Harvey [Harwood (News)]; Earle, Wm. [Earl, Wm. (News)]; Fetterer, F.T. [Franklin (News)]; Fetterer, F.T., Jr.; Fiester, Frank; Fifield, Hugo; Fifield, Leo; Fleck, John; Fleming, Harry; Fuller, John; Gradle, Chas.; Gradle, Dewey; Gradle, Homer; Gradle, Jesse; Gustafson, Wm.; Halstead, Ray; Harrington, J.W.; Hartine, Philip; Hartnup, John; Hawke, Harry; Haxton, Dan; Helm, W.H. [W.S. (News)]; Henderson, S.H.; Hite, W.A.; Hooseline, W.S.; Humes, Kenneth; Johnson, C.G.; Kibler, John; King, Dick; Kossow, Wm.; Krull, Howard [Wm. (News)]; Lennertz, J.; LeReu, Harry [LaRue (News)]; Mackey, Dr. Dwight; MacPherson, W.; Main, Rev. R. Warren; Martin, H.D.; Martin, Harley; Mayne, R.F.; McClelland, D. [G. (News)]; McCormick, Francis; McCormick, Joe; McLinn, B.K. [McGlynn, Burt (News)]; Messick, C.H. [Messig, C.H. (News)]; Nelson, Algot; Niksch, Elmer; Norgren, John; Ochanto, Joe [Ochante (News)]; Pflughoeft, Herman; Pierce, John; Poulton, M. [Poulton, F. (News)]; Reeves, Charles; Reich, Edward; Reissig, Frank; Rinker, R.A.; Ripley, E.W. [E.N. (News)]; Robinson, G. [Gilbert (News)]; Rodman, Gilbert; Roper, Robert [C.B. (News)]; Rowe, Hartley; Schlobohm, Louis; Schuknecht, Geo.; Schwan, A.; Scroggins, Ed; Semi, P. [Sem, Peter (News)]; Sensenbaugh, John; Shearer, Harold; Shearer, Herbert; Shely, R.H.; Slater, Leslie; Stevens, Willard; Swan, Albert; Taylor, Frank; Taylor, John; Taylor, Wm.; Thiede, J.W.; Thompson, B. [Bert (News)]; Thompson, Philip; Traeger, Ed; Veresh, Joe; Vinegar, Sam B.; Wade, Wm.; Wagoner, J.; Wall, Lloyd; Walters, Leslie; Wilson, Lightner; Young, Val; Zander, Paul; Zobjeck, Hugo.

♦ "Capt. Allen Requested to Report Progress He Has Made." Hobart News 25 Oct. 1917.
♦ "Hobart Militia Co. Mustered in Last Saturday Afternoon." Hobart News 29 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Hobart Militia Co. One of First in State to Be Mustered In." Hobart News 22 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Hobart Militia Mustered Into Service." Hobart Gazette 30 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 15 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 2 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Militia Company Has Guns." Hobart Gazette 16 Nov. 1917.
♦ "New Militia Doing Fine." Hobart Gazette 26 Oct. 1917.
♦ "The Militia Roster." Hobart Gazette 9 Nov. 1917.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inventive Liars

The completely made-up story about Mary Bruce and her Red Cross sweater was the fruit of a prolific vine. So many similar tales were circulating in the region that a Chicago spokesman for the Red Cross, Marquis Eaton,* felt the need to publicly contradict them.

According to Mr. Eaton, these stories usually involved some item of apparel, often a sweater. In one such tale, a sweater sent to a soldier through the Red Cross was later seen being worn by a Red Cross employee or by someone who claimed to have bought it from the Red Cross. Another typical story told of how a dear old gray-haired mother who had sent a hand-knit sweater to her soldier son got a letter from him telling her that the Red Cross made him pay for it. "Very often the tale is adorned by a five dollar bill or a ten dollar bill sewn into the sweater" — the sort of little detail that gives a story the air of truth.

Mr. Eaton denounced all such story-tellers as liars and "anti-patriotic propagandists." The Red Cross was cooperating with the Department of Justice in an investigation, he said, and if the originators of these stories could be found, they would be brought to justice.

♦    ♦    ♦

The Hobart Red Cross was pleased to report that no matter what gossip might be circulating, the local community was still donating generously. Volunteers were hard at work assembling Christmas boxes to send to training camps and overseas. Among the articles the boys would receive were bed shirts, pajamas, socks, "nightengales" (per Webster's, "a kind of flannel scarf with sleeves, for persons confined to bed"), sweaters, mufflers, wristlets and helmets. Some of these items, I suspect, were less valuable to soldiers as wearing apparel than as reminders that they were loved.

*I believe Marquis Eaton was a Chicago attorney, a partner in a prominent law firm who also sat on the board of directors of the Chicago Savings Bank & Trust Co. and several other businesses.

♦ "'Liars!' Is Red Cross Reply." Hobart Gazette 26 Oct. 1917.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 9 Nov. 1917.
♦ "Make Second Shipment." Hobart Gazette 9 Nov. 1917.
♦ Marquis, Albert Nelson (ed.). The Book of Chicagoans: A Biographical Dictionary of Living Leading Men of the City of Chicago. Chicago: A.N. Marquis and Company, 1911. (accessed 19 Dec. 2010).

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hobart Then and Now: SW Corner of Third and East

Circa 1930 and 2011


(Click on image to enlarge)
Top image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Someone must have cared for that little house, to take a picture of it in all its plainness, don't you think? And the little house definitely is the star of this picture. Not the Ballantyne Repair Shop next door, nor the Scholler Blacksmiths, and certainly not the massive two-story brick building with the bay windows.

I left the image fairly large so you can see some of the details better. Notice the tricycle by the front porch, the milk bottles on the back porch, the little boy on the back steps, and the beautiful lace-curtained window of the house behind the corner house. And the sign: "School children cross here. Drive carefully."

Now it's a parking lot. Well, we need those, I suppose.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Leaving Already? — You Just Got Here!

(Click on image to enlarge)
This image from the 1926 Plat Book shows two things: (1) the 185 acres of land the Buchfuehrers bought from Sylvester Casbon in 1908, and (2) how truly creative the 1926 mapmakers could get with the spelling of people's names.

Louis and Frederike Buchfuehrer had been farming in Ross Township, just west of the village of Deep River, for not quite nine years when they announced in the autumn of 1917 that they were making plans to leave. Compared to some of the long-timers we've seen leaving lately, they were relative newcomers.

The Buchfuehrers were both German immigrants. They came to this country in 1887 as a couple, having been married in the old country in 1882. I don't know where they settled at first. They don't appear in the 1891 Plat Book. By 1900 we find them farming rented land west of Hobart. After several years they were doing well enough for themselves that they also purchased a lot in town, on State Street, and built a brick house there. In 1908, when they bought Sylvester Casbon's 185-acre Ross Township farm, that new brick house was included in the purchase price. But in the years that followed, the Buchfuehrers were able to buy their Hobart house back from Sylvester.

Now that Louis was 57 years old and wanting a break from the hard work of farming, they planned to move into their Hobart home. Their eldest son, Emil, would live on the farm with his wife Bessie and their three small children; he would operate the farm for himself and pay his parents rent.

Louis placed a detailed ad for the auction of his livestock and farming equipment.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Although Louis and Frederike themselves spent less than a decade on their Ross Township farm, they had put down roots; they had planted a family tree that still grows on those acres.

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[1/17/2013 update] Image my surprise when I learned that this auction had been photographed!

This first photo shows, at left, the Buchfuehrers' brick farmhouse on the north side of the old Lincoln Highway, aka E. 73rd Ave. So here the camera is pointing more or less eastward, and if you stepped onto that road and started walking into the background of the photo, you'd eventually find yourself in the village of Deep River.

Buchfuehrer auction 1917 1
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Norma Buchfuehrer Collins.

That brick house, I suppose, was built by Sylvester Casbon and came with the farm that the Buchfuehrers bought from him. It is no longer standing.

The second photo was taken from the south side of 73rd Ave., looking north. Once again we can see the original house, in the background at left.

Buchfuehrer auction 1917 2

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[1/18/2013 update] After I posted the two photos above, another Ainsworth historian volunteered the following four pictures of the same event.

I believe this first one shows some of the buggies and farm equipment to be auctioned.

Buchfuehrer auction 1917 02
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of R.F.

The newspaper announcement mentioned that lunch would be served by the Ladies' Aid Society (of Deep River, probably), so I think that's what we're looking at in this next photo. "Sadie Baker" may be the wife of William Baker, who later bought a general store in Deep River.

Buchfuehrer auction 1917 03

In the following photo, the caption and mark in blue ink suggest that the man at center with his hand on his hip is John Call. We do have that other photo of John, but this one really isn't clear enough for me to declare them a match.

Buchfuehrer auction 1917 04

That is the front porch of the Buchfuehrer house at the extreme left, so we're on the north side of 73rd Ave., looking eastward.

The last photo includes a nice shot of the front of the house. The auction announcement didn't mention any automobiles for sale, so perhaps the photographer just liked cars, or just wanted to show what fine vehicles the local farmers drove.

Buchfuehrer farm auction 1917 07

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[1/25/2013 update] Still more photos of this auction! Thanks to Suzi Emig for sending these in, and thanks to the unknown photographer, wherever he/she may have been, for taking all these photos in the first place.

Here we're looking eastward along the old Lincoln Highway, with the old Buchfuehrer house at center-left.

Buchfuehrer farm auction 1917
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Suzi Emig.

In this one, I'm not sure which way we're facing. More interesting is the condition of the road. It looks as if it might have some gravel among the dirt … and a nice dip down the center.

Buchfuehrer farm auction 1917

I suppose there's bidding going on in this next one; I just wish it were a little clearer, so that maybe we could see what they are bidding on.

Buchfuehrer farm auction 1917

And that's all the Buchfuehrer auction photos for now. The way things have been going, I expect another batch to turn up soon.

1891 Plat Book.
1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Auction Sale." Hobart Gazette 26 Oct. 1917.
♦ "General News Items." Hobart Gazette 4 Sept. 1908.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 18 Oct. 1917.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 26 Oct. 1917; 15 Feb. 1918.
♦ "Public Sale." Hobart News 25 Oct. 1917.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Taste for Human Flesh (Random Pointless Photo)



It appears the beavers have laid a trap for hikers! That leaning tree has caught its upper branches on the limbs of a tree across the footpath … a good gust of wind could separate them.

Who knew that the gentle woodland creatures had a taste for human flesh?

Alice Estelle Bullock

Estelle Bullock, undated.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

We haven't seen this picture yet, have we?

It's undated. She looks to be maybe about 40 years old here; her face being a little out of focus makes it hard to tell. The sleeves of her dress have a sort of 1890s style, though I can't get too specific. (And that may have served as her best dress for some years.) The imprint on the photo's paper sleeve tells us that the photographer won an award in 1897. So, hmm, let's say circa 1898.

Rather interesting dress, with that asymmetrical bodice, but doesn't it look uncomfortable?