Friday, September 30, 2011

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Wood Clitocybe

Wood Clitocybe
(Click on images to enlarge)

Found on a fallen tree in Deep River County Park. Not entirely sure of the identification, because Wood Clitocybe is described in my guide as yellowish-grey, and these are more yellowish-brown-grey. But they don't look like anything else.

In checking on how to pronounce the name, I came across this charming mushroom site.

Wood clitocybe is not a terribly interesting mushroom, but I certainly did take a lot of pictures of it. Here are the gills:
Wood Clitocybe gills

And the caps:
Wood Clitocybe caps

The Choir Unphotographable
(Unidentified Glass-Plate Images)

Choir 1
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Choir 2

Our poor photographer just couldn't get a good shot of this choir. On one try, the light reflected off the director's eyeglasses in a ridiculous way. On another try, about half the women's faces got blurred. (How does that happen, anyway? Did they all decide to move at the same time?)

Some of these faces look familiar. If I'm not mistaken, the director is Pastor Moberg. And I think we've seen a few of the young people at the grape-eating party.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Crowded Parchment

Crowded Parchment
(Click on image to enlarge)

Found these on a fallen tree in Deep River County Park. They are small — 1/8" to 5/8" according to my mushroom guide, but it's hard to tell where one leaves off and the next begins, as they seem to run together.

I found a number of varieties of mushrooms on my walk in the woods today, but some of them were on the forest floor and it's been raining for two days straight. I am not that interested in mushrooms.

Veterinarian Stories

Just a couple random stories about what our favorite veterinarian, Mike O'Hearn, was up to in the late summer of 1918.

1. The Horse Fell Dead

One August morning, Mike drove south of Deep River to the Ted Johnson farm. Ted had asked him to look at a horse of his that was "acting queerly" and losing weight. Eyeballing the horse, Mike could see nothing obvious wrong with it, so he began a closer examination. He pried the creature's mouth open and looked inside, while Ted stood nearby watching. Suddenly Ted yelled, "Look out, Mike!" and all at once the horse fell over dead.

Having narrowly escaped being crushed, Mike apparently was determined to solve the mystery, so he autopsied the horse. When he opened the chest, he found "layer upon layer of fat around the heart."

2. Karma Is a Cow

A frantic call summoned Mike to the Liverpool area on the afternoon of September 14 — cows shot! He hurried out and found seven gunshot victims, all of them cows belonging to local residents. Mike did what he could for his patients, but one died that evening, and two more the next morning.

The shooter turned out to be one William H. Hayes. Although he worked as a barber in Gary, his home was a tent on the banks of the Deep River near Liverpool. He lived with a female companion. They had planted a garden nearby: there lay the source of the trouble. The neighbors' cows kept getting into William's garden. When they got in yet again that September afternoon, William flew into a rage, grabbed his rifle and went on a rampage.

That proved to be his downfall. He was immediately arrested, of course, for damaging the neighbors' property (the cows). But once the authorities directed their attention to him, they began to discover more unsavory facts about him. First of all, his female companion was not his wife. His wife was in Chicago and was divorcing him on grounds of desertion; he had abandoned her six years earlier. William and his girlfriend had apparently come out from Chicago to live together without benefit of marriage — an illegal and immoral purpose for which William had brought a woman across a state line in violation of the Mann Act.

Furthermore, a little checking with the draft board revealed that William had applied for exemption from military service, stating that he had a wife who needed his support. That was false — his wife in Chicago had lived without his support for six years, and though his girlfriend may have needed his support, she wasn't his wife.

In short, William found himself in big trouble. If only he had shared his garden with the cows, or found a less brutal way of driving them out, he might have stayed on for years in his little country love-nest. Now he was facing prison. The cows had the last laugh.

♦ "Barber Shoots Several Cows Near Liverpool, Gets In Trouble." Hobart News 19 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 5 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Shoots Seven Cows." Hobart Gazette 20 Sept. 1918.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Walnut Mycena

Walnut Mycena
(Click on images to enlarge)

I had to get up close and personal with the forest floor to discover that these little guys were indeed growing on the remains of walnut or hickory nut shells.

Tiny, delicate mushrooms, the largest cap being about 3/8" in diameter.
Walnut Mycena caps

Found in Deep River County Park.

Polka Dot Boys (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

Happy family    No. 25
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

This unidentified group looks like a family, and they all look happy, except for those two scowling boys at right. Perhaps they don't like having to wear the same shirts.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: White Snakeroot

White Snakeroot plant
(Click on images to enlarge)

Found along the hiking trail that used to be the EJ&E Railroad.

This stuff is poisonous. When cattle eat white snakeroot, their milk and meat become tainted by its toxin, tremetol. Since it is native to North America, European settlers were not aware of its properties; as they moved into the Midwest where it flourished, they encountered it unknowingly through the mysterious and deadly disease called "milk sickness" — tremetol poisoning caused by drinking the milk of cattle that had foraged on white snakeroot. Milk sickness is credited with killing thousands of people early in the 19th century, including Nancy Hanks Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's mother. Sometime in the 1830s, according to legend, Dr. Anna Pierce Hobbs of Illinois traced the disease to white snakeroot. The story goes that an elder Shawnee woman (name unknown) who knew all about local plants told the doctor that white snakeroot was poisonous; the doctor's own observations and experiments confirmed the link between white snakeroot and milk sickness. Once that link was understood, of course, farmers could take steps to minimize the chance of their cattle eating the poisonous plant.

Jack Sanders tells us that while dairy cattle may even today sometimes eat white snakeroot, modern dairy practices result in the milk of any one cow being so thoroughly diluted with other cows' milk by the time it reaches the consumer that milk sickness is no longer a danger.

White snakeroot blossoms:
White Snakeroot blossoms
White snakeroot leaf:
White Snakeroot leaf

Case Closed

I suppose I should take note of the passing of a Ross Township pioneer, Benjamin E. Case.
Benj. Case obituary
(Click on image to enlarge)

He distinguished himself from other Ross Township pioneers by failing to marry and/or (so far as we know) father children. He came here in 1845, so lived here for 73 years — and what a lot of changes he saw in that time.

Here is the Case farm as shown on the 1874 Plat Map — misspelled as "B.F. Cass."
Case farm 1874
(Click on image to enlarge)

The drafter of the 1908 Plat Map got it right.
Case farm 1908
(Click on image to enlarge)

Source: "Death of Ross Township Pioneer." Hobart Gazette 20 Sept. 1918.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wild Grasses of Ainsworth: Big Bluestem

It occurs to me that it's been awhile since I inflicted an artsy-fartsy foto on you all, so here goes:
Big Bluestem, artsy version
(Click on images to enlarge)

Doesn't that look like a portent of doom?

OK, if you want to know what a Big Bluestem inflorescence actually looks like:
Big Bluestem, informative version

Found in the low ground next to the Grand Trunk tracks.

Here's my attempt at taking a picture of the whole bunch of them.
Bunch of Big Bluestem

My wild-grasses book says these grow up to five feet tall. My wild-grasses book is mistaken; these were a good 5'8".

There They Are Again! (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

I believe this is our grape-eating party, this time minus the grapes and plus a young boy who wasn't in the previous photo. But the rest seem to be wearing all the same clothes, so it may be the same day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Exeunt Wollenbergs

Ainsworth saloon building circa 1920
(Click on image to enlarge)
The Ainsworth (former) saloon and Wollenberg family residence, in the summer of 1918. Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

In September 1918 the Wollenbergs evidently decided they'd had enough of Indiana. It had already put them out of the saloon business and then arrested one of them on a liquor violation.

Fortunately they had their coal business to fall back on, and William Jr. had been developing the Chicago side of that. So the Wollenberg family left Ainsworth and settled in at 11405 Prairie Avenue, in southern Chicago.

Our old friends Shearer & Emery bought out the Ainsworth coal operation. But for the moment, anyway, the Wollenbergs retained ownership of the former saloon building, in the hope of renting it out for some non-alcoholic purpose.

♦ "Additional Local News." Hobart Gazette 20 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 20 Sept. 1918.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Grape-Eating Party (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

None of these young grape-eaters is identified. But doesn't the woman standing at the right look like Tekla Anderson? And the man seated at right looks to me like Eric Carlson. And behind them is that familiar picket fence, so this might possibly be at the Carlson house on Michigan Avenue.

♦    ♦    ♦

7/11/2016 update: Another ID! The young woman standing second from the left has been identified as Mabel Carlson, daughter of Ida (Melin) and Axel Carlson, by C.K. Melin, who sent me this photograph for comparison:

Mabel Carlson
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of C.K. Melin.

Looks like a match to me!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Nellie and the Boys

I thought this was rather touching. Evidently William and Minnie Springman had no biological children, so they made a home for at least four orphans.
Nellie 9-13-1918
The article doesn't name the orphanage, but it was probably Brightside.

There were many Springmans in the area, but this particular Springman family may have been around before Ainsworth was Ainsworth. William Sr. had come here from Homewood, Illinois, "several years" after his marriage in 1862 to his second wife, Charlotte (née Windler), settling on a farm north of what would eventually be called Ainsworth. They had only one child, William Jr. (although William Sr. had a daughter from his first marriage).

In 1892 William Jr. married Minnie Collins. By 1900 the young couple were living on a farm just over the Porter County line, in Union Township. The widowed Charlotte was just then staying with them (William Sr. had died in 1897); she divided her time between her son, her relatives in Homewood, Illinois, and her "little home in Ainsworth." Charlotte died in 1912.

I don't know when William Jr. and Minnie began taking in orphans. The three boys referred to in the article above seem to have fallen between censuses. As for Nellie, she was still with them when the 1920 census came around, and they called her their "daughter" — no "foster" or "adopted" qualification — but concerning her parentage, the census-taker wrote, "Gotten out of orphan asylum" and "Don't know parents."

1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Death of Old Citizen." Hobart Gazette 19 Apr. 1912.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Obituary." Hobart News 18 Apr. 1912.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Daniel B (Semi-Unidentified Photo)

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

I did not find the original photo. I found a scan among the digital files of the Hobart Historical Society. The notes appended thereto read as follows: "Agriculture. Shown left to right: unknown; Edward Roper; Patrick O'Boyle; Fred Klaussen; unknown; Mr. Killigrew. Photo circa 1884."

Daniel B is the name of the bull, I suppose.

That's all I've got.

Mother and Child (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

Mother and Child No. 29
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

No ID on this mother and her baby. No guesses, even. All I can say is, I don't know how these women with tiny infants to care for found time to do all the dressing they had to do in those days. Beneath that elaborate blouse with all the fastenings and that long skirt with all the pleats, there's a wealth of complicated undergarments, and probably a lot of buttons on her shoes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Patriotic Vigilantes

To the list of things that patriotic Americans were expected deny themselves for the sake of the war effort — from meat and wheat to their own money, should a Liberty Bond drive be underway — the U.S. fuel administration now sought to add Sunday driving. Late in August 1918, the administration issued a request that all use of motor vehicles be suspended every Sunday for the indefinite future, with the goal of conserving gasoline so as to forestall shortages as the war effort pressed on. The request allowed some exceptions, such as doctors' and other emergency vehicles, farming tractors, trucks hauling freight, and vehicles "on errands of necessity in rural communities, where transportation by steam or electricity is not available."

The request was an appeal, not an order; but, as the Gazette noted, if the citizenry failed to respond to the appeal, it might quickly become an order, with federal penalties attached.

The first "gasless Sunday" was September 1. The Gazette reported on it with a tone of nostalgia for the quiet Sundays of the horse-drawn era. "If one could divert his mind back twenty or more years ago, he would appreciate the autoless day in Hobart last Sunday…. Few cars were out and still fewer on pleasure trips." Aside from a few defiant motorists, the degree of compliance had been impressive. Even the farmers had not availed themselves of the loophole for "errands of necessity in rural communities" — they had dragged the buggy out of the barn, hitched the horses to it, and driven to church the old-fashioned way.

The Lake County fuel administrator now passed along word that the federal request had been modified specifically to allow farmers to drive to church in their automobiles ("but they will not be permitted to use them for pleasure"). Still, the next Sunday saw most farmers behind horses, not motors. The newspapers coming out that week gave a possible reason why: they didn't want to be the targets of patriotic vigilantes, whose mildest response to the sight of a motorist was to yell out "Slacker!"

The News told of a party of motorists bound for Pittsburgh who stopped over in Valparaiso on Saturday night; when they asked local garage men whether it would be safe for them to continue traveling the next day, the men advised them not to because of "the treatment accorded travelers at South Bend, Elkhart and other points east on the previous Sunday."

I did a little checking of on-line newspapers to try to find out exactly what that "treatment" was, without success, but I came across an illustrative story out of Berne, a small Indiana town not far south of Fort Wayne. There a group of young men, having appointed themselves enforcers of the gasless Sunday, got the bright idea to tie strings laden with tin cans across the street to catch violators. When a "caught" motorist stopped his car to free it from the strings and cans, the young men would gather around to jeer and insult the "slacker." It was great fun for a while, but as the hour for evening services approached and people started driving to church, the town's marshal told the young men to knock it off. They responded by calling him a slacker. (The next day, a fight broke out when a man commenting on the incident again referred to the marshal as a slacker — and was overheard by the marshal's son, standing nearby; he broke the man's nose.)

In Logansport, Indiana, Sunday drivers were hailed with cries of "Slacker!" and "Pro-German!" Their licenses plate numbers were reported to local newspapers, probably in the hope that the drivers would be still more publicly shamed.

Anyway, the Pittsburgh-bound motorists in Valpo cautiously stayed over until Monday; and even Lake County Sheriff Lewis Barnes, whenever he drove out that day, thought it wise to put a placard on his car: "Sheriff's car. On official business." Reports came in from unspecified towns near Valparaiso that after nightfall, mysterious artists had painted yellow stripes on any cars found on the street.

By the following Sunday, that practice spread to Valparaiso itself, and a week later, the infection had reached Hobart. As John Berndt, Henry Fasel, Theodore Rossow and Albert Wolkenhauer sat among the congregation at Trinity Lutheran Church, their cars were attacked by patriots bearing paintbrushes and cans of yellow paint. David Frank's car got striped with yellow as he worshiped in the M.E. Church, and so did the car of a Miss Hopper who had driven to the Hobart Drug Co.

The Gazette commented on the story:
We believe that every one of those farmers who used their cars last Sunday evening to go to church did so in the best of faith in their right to do so. The incident is unfortunate and regrettable, but is what might be expected when people look differently at the [gasless Sunday] request order. The best way is to refrain from the use of cars on Sunday, as "things may go from bad to worse."
No arrests were made.

♦ "All Cars Found on Streets of Valpo Painted Yellow Sunday." Hobart News 19 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Cars Painted Yellow." Hobart Gazette 4 Oct. 1918.
♦ "Few Autos on Street Sunday." Hobart Gazette 6 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Few Heedless of Gasless Sunday Plan." Logansport Daily Tribune 10 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Gasless Sunday Is Again Strictly Observed Hereabouts." Hobart News 12 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 13 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Request of Fuel Administrator Observed Generally Over Area." Hobart News 5 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Sunday Autoing Prohibited." Hobart Gazette 30 Aug. 1918.
♦ "U.S. Appeals to Patriotism to Conserve Gasoline." Hobart News 29 Aug. 1918.
♦ Untitled. Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. 10 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Yesterday Was a Real Gasless Sunday Here." Logansport Pharos-Reporter 9 Sept. 1918.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Baby on a Blanket (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

Yep. That's a baby on a blanket, all right. Completely unidentified — no clue whose baby it might be.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's About Time!

About six or seven years after he lost her love and gained $2,000, Fred Yager finally got around to divorcing his wife.

9-19-2011 Fred Yager divorce 9-12-1918
(Click on image to enlarge)

Why had he waited so long? — was it just to make his alienation-of-affection case look legit, or was he, deep down, hoping she'd come back to him? Or perhaps he now had his eye on someone new and had to free himself up?

Maybe he just hadn't gotten around to it before. It slipped his mind. You know how that goes.

♦    ♦    ♦

From a little item in the following week's Gazette, we gather that Fred's nephew, George Jr., was thus far a more fortunate man. Three years after his marriage to Pearl Severance, they still seemed madly in love and he was still lavishing costly gifts on her:

9-19-2011 George Yager 3d anniversary 9-20-1918
(Click on image to enlarge)

♦ "Celebrate Wedding Anniversary." Hobart Gazette 20 Sept. 1918.
♦ "Notice to Non-Resident." Hobart News 12 Sept. 1918.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Brickyard Photos

Today you don't get a proper post. Today all you get is me telling those of you who don't read my other blog to go look at the 1924 brickyard photos that I've spent the past two days slaving over. I swear, I never want to see another terracotta block as long as I live.

(All the photos are 3000 pixels wide. If you want to see detail, make sure you're looking at them in "Original" size under "View all sizes.")

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wild Mushrooms of Ainsworth: Russula

(Click on image to enlarge)

I believe this is some species of Russula. It looks like the picture of Shellfish-scented Russula in my mushroom guide, but I didn't smell shellfish! Maybe you have to get closer to it than I did.

The cap is about 2" in diameter.

Found growing all by its lonesome on the forest floor in Deep River County Park.

I Don't Want to Be Here (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

These young people are not identified, and I have no clue who they might be.

What struck me about this photo is how uncomfortable the young woman on the left seems — gazing toward the floor, her hands twisted around to clutch her own forearms, even her shoulders looking tense. Is she just shy, perhaps? Or maybe she doesn't like that guy standing behind her, with his hand on the back of her chair … or maybe she really, really does like him.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Common Cocklebur

I noticed this plant growing in my privet hedge. I was waiting for it to blossom so I could identify it. Eventually I concluded that it had blossomed all it was going to, so I just went with "Parts indistinguishable" to describe the flower, and that did the trick.

This picture captures what I think is the blossom — that whitish blob. I think there are tiny individual blossoms on it.
Common Cocklebur blossom
(Click on images to enlarge)

Here's the whole plant.
Common Cocklebur

Also known as Common Clotbur.

Nothing remarkable about it. Just another spiny seed to get entangled in your sweater or your dog's fur.

A Soldier's Letter of Condolence

The Hobart News of September 12, 1918, reprinted a letter of condolence that Charles and Caroline Goodrich received from the commanding officer of their son, Harold.

9-16-2011 Goodrich letter 9-12-1918
(Click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Hetson Baby (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

This image is identified only as the "Hetson baby," or maybe it's "Hitson."

I can't find much under either spelling. The 1910 Census shows a Florence Hitson who was born in 1906 living with her parents in Gary.

But early-20th-century conventions in babies' fashions were such that we can't even be sure this is a girl.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A New Lee Baby

9-14-2011 Lee baby
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of August 22, 1918.

9-14-2011 Lee baby
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette of August 23, 1918.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sam Tree and His Best Friend

Sam Tree No. 41
(Click on image to enlarge)

From the collection of glass-plate negatives. This is identified as Sam Tree. The dog's name is not recorded.

Sam Tree was born in Canada around 1863. I don't know when he came to "Canada" in Hobart, but he and his wife, Lauretta, and their son Louis lived on Michigan Avenue and were neighbors of the Carlsons. If he's standing out in front of his own house in this photo, that's probably Michigan Avenue.

He described himself to census-takers as a laborer — day (1900 Census), then in a terra cotta yard (1910 Census), then in a steel mill (1920 Census).

There was another family of Trees living next door, but I don't know what relation they were to Sam. The head of that household, Stephen Tree, also came from Canada and immigrated the same year as Sam, and they were only a few years apart in age, so perhaps they were brothers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Four-Minute Speech

I've already talked a bit about the "four-minute men" enlisted by the federal government as part of its pro-war public relations campaign; locally, John Killigrew was just one of them.

My understanding is that, for the most part, the four-minute men composed their own speeches, taking suggestions from the government bulletins regarding themes and rhetoric. But in August 1918 the Gazette printed the entire text of a scheduled "four minute men's speech" — written by some unknown hand — and so we know what patrons of Hobart's Gem Theatre could expect to hear before each performance for several nights.

9-12-2011 Four Minute Man's Speech
(Click on image to enlarge)

The men scheduled to deliver that speech at the Gem over the next two weeks were attorney John W. Thiel (Aug. 28), the Rev. A.H. Lawrence (Aug. 31), attorney Franklin T. Fetterer (Sept. 4), and the Rev. R. Warren Main (Sept. 7).

♦ "Four-Minute Men Schedule." Hobart Gazette 23 Aug. 1918.
♦ "'Where Did You Get Your Facts?': A Four-Minute Men's Speech." Hobart Gazette 23 Aug. 1918.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
(Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

Perhaps these unidentified guys with motorcycles are about to race, or just go on an outing.

The guy holding the dog (fifth from the right) looks a lot like our tire seller.

Two others are wearing the HMC sweater I wondered about in the yearling-calf picture. Perhaps "HMC" stands for "Hobart Motorcycle Club"!

I think the guy in the HMC sweater at the far right of this picture looks a bit like the guy at right in the yearling-calf picture, but unfortunately here he's too out-of-focus here to tell whether he's got that distinctive dimple in his chin.

Actually, I feel this whole setting is familiar, from the picket fence with the trees beside it, to the house in the background. I think we've seen it before, as the setting for portraits of Eric Carlson and Pastor Moberg. And that picket fence looks like the one around the house identified as the Carlson house. (On the other hand, picket fences were probably even then mass-manufactured….)

Speaking of Eric Carlson, I see a resemblance between him and the guy fourth from the left in the photo above. That could be Eric, or a brother of his.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Death of Claus Ziegler

Since coming to this country from Germany some 35 years earlier, Claus Ziegler had spent most of his time in the Lake Station-Hobart-Ainsworth area, but in September 1917 he moved to south Chicago. As a former saloonkeeper, he may have been motivated by Indiana's going dry, or perhaps the move was a concession to his health: he had developed heart trouble in 1916 and could no longer work much. He had two brothers in south Chicago, and had lived there with his second wife, Mary, before coming to northwest Indiana.

His heart trouble carried him off suddenly after Sunday dinner on August 18, 1918. He was 62 years old.

His widow held the funeral on Wednesday at her Chicago home, assisted by Claus' "brothers" in the local Odd Fellows lodge, then she sent his remains to Hobart on the milk train. A number of Hobart Odd Fellows turned out to escort Claus on his last journey — to Crown Hill Cemetery, where we've already seen his grave marker and family monument.

Claus had no surviving biological children, but on an earlier trip to the old country, he and Mary had more or less adopted a niece, Minnie Ziegler, bringing her back to live with them in Hobart. In 1915 she married James W. Harrington, and they were now settled in Gary.

The Ziegler name will live on for as long as people transfer property in Ziegler's Addition to Hobart.

♦ "Death Comes to Three Homes During the Past Week." Hobart News 22 Aug. 1918.
♦ "Death of Former Citizen." Hobart Gazette 23 Aug. 1918.
Indiana Marriage Collection.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Who Was Delia? (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

Delia 1
Delia 2
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

The top image is identified only as "Delia"; the second not identified at all, but it's obviously the same young woman. Who was Delia? What was she, that our glass-plate photographer tried twice to reproduce her image? — local beauty? literary character represented by nameless model? flash-in-the-pan celebrity?

And if she was a local girl, why wasn't Delia herself available for photographing? And then who asked for the reproduction? I can think of several sad, romantic stories to explain all that … but people don't come here for fiction.

In the second image, you can see there's something printed in fancy lettering on the lower right of the page, but it's hopelessly out of focus and no amount of monkeying with the image can make it legible. At least, not with the poor monkeying tools I've got.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"He Won't See France"

9-8-2011 August 1918 draft
(Click on image to enlarge)

This August 1918 list of local men bound for the army training camps contained some familiar names. Frank Booty was the son of Constance McClain Booty Chester; I don't know whether he was living apart from his mother and stepfather, or the News simply didn't bother to acknowledge Ainsworth's existence. Edward Louis Gruel was, I believe, the 21-year-old son of Ainsworth's John and Louisa Gruel. We've already seen George Sauter trying once again to take a rest before going off to war. And we've seen Fred Rose, Jr. in uniform; now I know why.

George's sister Lizzie came down from Grand Rapids with her second husband, Alfred Epps, probably to bid her brother farewell. Now both Sauter boys would be in the army.

The shipment of men leaving on August 26 for Camp Sherman in Ohio included Frank Booty and Edward Gruel. On the 28th, George Sauter and Fred Rose, Jr. were among the 30-some men who left for Camp Custer in Michigan. The local draft board (which included former Hobartite Lewis E. Barnes) appointed George "Marshal" of the group by — his responsibilities included arranging transportation to the camp (they traveled on the Michigan Central Railroad) and otherwise having "full charge of the quota." Three men failed to appear at the designated departure time, but they would be "apprehended," the Gazette assured its readers.

Just as George was leaving, Augusta Sauter Fiester received a letter from his younger brother, Edward, now near the front, with a hopeful message: George would "never see France" — the Allies were "going so strong" that the war would be over before he got out of training.

♦    ♦    ♦

Word came that our flyboy, George Severance, Jr., had been doubly honored since going overseas. First, he and the rest of his company had been received by the King of England before leaving for the front. More importantly, he had been promoted to lieutenant.

George had been "on the firing line in France since May 25," according to the Gazette. "While we are not permitted to say exactly where his company is fighting, we are pleased to learn that he was with the first American soldiers to plant foot upon German soil."

♦ "Boys Leave in Good Spirits." Hobart Gazette 30 Aug. 1918.
♦ "Boys Off to War." Hobart Gazette 30 Aug. 1918.
♦ "Crown Point District Quota Called for August 26th." Hobart News 22 Aug. 1918.
♦ "Hobart Boy Honored." Hobart Gazette 30 Aug. 1918.
♦ "Hobart Boys Leave for Different Cantonments This Week." Hobart News 29 Aug. 1918.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 29 Aug. 1918.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 23 Aug. 1918.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Doorweed

(Click on image to enlarge)

AKA Common Knotweed. Found in my garden. None of the pictures I took came out very well, but I don't intend to devote any more of my life to photographing this ugly little thing.

Phil Roper with Team and Wagon

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

Notes on the back of the original read: "Philip Roper mail carrier/Phil Roper dairy wagon." Whether he used this wagon for both purposes, I don't know. There is no date on the photo. <> Along the Route (Ballantyne and Adams) mentions Philip Roper as a mail carrier during the time that Harry Carlson was postmaster (1929 – 1933); I wonder whether rural mail was still being delivered by horse-drawn wagon at that late date.

Notice the long fringes on the horses' harness. What a fancy get-up, just to deliver the mail or the milk.

♦    ♦    ♦

Here is Philip Roper Sr.'s obituary, from the Hobart Gazette of October 11, 1918. (I think it was Philip Jr. who carried mail.)

9-7-2011 Phil Roper obit
(Click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More Than a Farmhand

Mains, Louis
(Click on image to enlarge)

Wandering around in Woodvale Cemetery, you may come across this lonely grave, not part of any family plot, the only one in the graveyard with that surname.

Louis Mains was a farmhand, working for the Buchfuehrers southeast of Ainsworth. They had taken him from "a home in Terre Haute" — whether private or institutional isn't clear — when he was just 11 years old. His parents were both living, but separated, and apparently neither could provide him a home. At the same time Louis came to Ainsworth, his older sister, Lucile, went to stay with the Frank Schumacher family in Hobart.

When Louis and Frederike Buchfuehrer retired from farming in 1917, their son Emil kept Louis on at the farm. Over the years, Louis had so impressed the Buchfuehrers with his good character and serious work ethic — he "was a splendid boy to work," they would later say — that they had grown quite fond of him. They probably expected him to make a success of his life, in spite of its rather shaky start.

The end came on August 11, 1918. It was a bright Sunday afternoon. Louis and a friend, Ralph Edwards (a hired hand on the Julius Triebess farm), walked over to the Deep River to go swimming. Ralph knew how to swim, but Louis didn't, so he wore "wings" — probably a cork version of our modern-day inflatable water wings. The boys plunged into the water, heading toward the opposite bank. And then something went wrong. Louis yelled; Ralph looked back; Louis' arms flew up; the "wings" had slipped off and were floating away; suddenly Louis disappeared under the water. It all happened so fast — Ralph couldn't reach his friend before he sank, and once he sank, he was lost.

Ralph ran to get help. As the alarm spread, a number of men left their Sunday-afternoon activities to join in the search. After about an hour, William Wood found Louis' body, in about 10 feet of water, and with Robert Thorpe's help pulled it out. They carried the drowned boy home to the Buchfuehrers. Dr. C.C. Brink was summoned from Hobart, but it was as deputy coroner — there was no hope.

The Buchfuehrers, deeply grieved, behaved as if Louis had been their own son. They hired Alwin Wild as undertaker, arranged for the funeral to be held in the Deep River church, and laid the boy to rest in Woodvale Cemetery, near their home.

The funeral was "largely attended." Among the mourners was Louis' father (name unknown); he came up from Covington, Indiana. If sister Lucile was still living with the Schumachers in Hobart, she likely made the short trip down to Deep River that day. But the boy's mother, who resided in either Covington or Terre Haute (depending on which newspaper you read), apparently did not attend.

I don't know who bought that nice grave marker for Louis. I'm inclined to think it was the Buchfuehrers.

♦ "Boy Drowns in Deep River." Hobart Gazette 16 Aug. 1918.
♦ "Louis Mains Loses His Life by Drowning Sunday Afternoon." Hobart News 15 Aug. 1918.

Monday, September 5, 2011

When an Amateur Historian Has a Good Day
(Random Pointless Photos)

… It has nothing to do with being an amateur historian. I finally got the mortise lock on my kitchen door replaced. It only took three days and one trip to Hobart Lumber for new chisels and wood filler.

They make these old-fashioned-looking doorknob/lock sets, where they even pre-scratch the finish for you to make it look all worn and historical.
New doorknob
(No, I cannot paint my door! If I painted it, it wouldn't be shabby chic anymore; now, would it?)

I hate to lose any original part of my house, but with this old doorknob I had gotten to where I was afraid to close the door all the way for fear I wouldn't be able to get it open again.
Old doorknob

The Blaemire Kids (Unidentified Glass-Plate Image)

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

The photographer identified this image only as "Blamire Kids." Obviously, one of them isn't a kid. If she's the kids' mother, perhaps she's Jessie Blaemire, or Annie Blaemire. Without a date, there's no point in trying to get more specific. And it's difficult to judge the date on this one; I can only get a general impression, mainly from the clothing, of the first decade of the 20th century.