Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The Long-awaited Photo of South Alabama Street Weber Home Just Appeared - Almost Wordless Wednesday

    Alabama Street Home, Indianapolis, IN, Harry and Mary Weber
     For so many years we've talked about the Weber home on South Alabama Street in Indianapolis where Harry Adam and Mary Anna (Keen) Weber raised 11 children, including my grandfather, Harry Lawrence Weber.  Where so many stories have originated of gatherings, grandchildren's explorations, card games and every day living.  Yes, everyone knew where it used to stand.  Where many old homes were torn down to make way for the huge Eli Lilly complex of buildings.  And, yes, I did have one, sort of photo.  It was a photo showing the skeleton of the home as it was being scheduled for demolition. 
     Well, thanks to Carole Ditlinger Greer, a cousin of my mother and her five Weber siblings, we now have a wonderful photo for the records.  I'm so happy that Carole shared this memory with us.  Members of this large family, usually at least three people, occupied the Alabama Street home from 1893 to 1945.  There could be volumes of stories written on the happenings there. But for now, I'm going to just say…..It's so nice to finally see you.  Hooray!!!!!!


     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Reminder: 2018 Niehaus Family Reunion – Mooresville, IN – September 15

Niehaus Reunion Announcement 2018

It’s time again to gather to celebrate family ties!  The annual Niehaus Family Reunion is scheduled for September 15, 2018 at Pioneer Park in Mooresville, Indiana.
This yearly event began in 1939 thanks to the children of Joseph and Gertrude (Wilmsen) Niehaus who brought everyone to Garfield Park in Indianapolis.
Our two German immigrants (see Joseph and Gertrude below), who immigrated to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1886,
came from Emsdetten, Westphalia, with eight children.  And they added four more children to the family in Indianapolis.
Their descendants are numerous and continue to honor them by gathering the family. 
Thanks Joseph and Gertrude for your bravery and determination.

Any and all descendants of these folks are welcome to attend the reunion on September 15.
Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,
Nancy (Niehaus) Hurley

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Free Genealogy Resources From A Generous Genealogist–Thomas MacEntee

    Research books image - Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons There are many generous genealogists who provide information and education that helps us to improve our research talents.  One of those champions is Thomas MacEntee.  I’ve been gaining valuable genealogy assistance from him for many years through his newsletter, blog posts, webinars and seminars at conferences.  Anyone can take advantage of his offerings through an email signup on his website.  A recent notification I received from Thomas contained a gazillion tips on  “Useful genealogy education resources - and they're free!”  It made me think about all the sharing that goes on in this genealogy research sphere.  I thought I would pass it forward as to how you might get information on Thomas MacEntee, just in case everyone hasn’t heard yet.    Just go to this website and signup for his newsletter:
     I appreciate Thomas’s continuing education very much.
     Enjoy and good hunting to you.

    Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Announcing Weber Kuhn Reunion – August 25, 2018

It’s my pleasure to share the news of the
2018 Weber Kuhn Family Reunion
on Saturday, August 25
at the Sarah T. Bolton Park in Beech Grove, Indiana

Come One, Come All
Below are a few samples of family sharing fun at past events.
How many can you name?
Weber Kuhn 2012 (9)IMG_65402014 Weber Kuhn Photo Contest
Weber Kuhn 2012 (43)IMG_0288Weber Kuhn 2012 (49)

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

See all the reunion photos by clicking on the tab above. © 2018, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Monday, July 30, 2018

Celebrating the Life of Margaret Elizabeth “Peg” Stull, 1924 - 2018

Peg Stull, 2013, enjoying Weber Kuhn Family Reunion 
 I want to add my salute to the life of Margaret Elizabeth “Peg” (Weber) Stull.  Aunt Peg passed away on July 22, 2018, after visiting with all three of her children and several family members.  I was fortunate to be there for a time with her in those last hours.  Her eyes said “I know you.  Be strong.”
     Who was Peg Stull?  So many descriptions would fit!  To me, she was a vivacious, mischievous, loving Aunt.  Her zest for life, her independent and fun-loving attitude stand out when I reflect on her.  One prominent part of her being was how she was always ready to pass along her experience and help you to learn about anything she might be able to share.
1928, Harry L. Weber (Dad), Harry, Dolly, Peg, Gin, Rose (Sis), Bob, Tillie (Kuhn) Weber, Mom Of course, she was so prominently a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt and friend.  Her husband, Jim, left this life 28 years earlier.  Their home was always open to all members of the extended family.  Peg never missed a beat as a loving mother to Mary Anne, Rosie and Jimmy and also enjoying her life with all the spouses, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings, neighbors and friends who were fortunate to gather happy memories that will last forever. 

Peg Weber & Jim Stull  -- Wedding 1941
     What a complete life she lived!  There were travels, building a family and home, a career as a bookkeeper, sewing projects, volunteer activities and all the fun times with friends and family that kept her involved and active.  She was ready at any time to give sewing instructions, to share a pattern or give pointers on quilting or crocheting.  She would gladly give out her cooking recipes or any other skill she possessed.  When Jerry and I traveled in our motorhome for several years and would visit her occasionally, she wanted to hear all about our latest adventure.  Her eyes would light up when we told her of the places we traveled.  When I wanted to know about crocheting she pulled out her stash of books and gave me not only her advice, but the written instructions and needles so that I could make some of the pieces she had enjoyed making herself.
Peg (center back row) with her Sisters and Sisters-in-law, 2001

    Of course, as most everyone knew, quilting was one of her obsessions for so many years.  She made them skillfully for friends, family and charity.  And there were also the curtains she sewed for the needy to be distributed through St. Vincent de Paul Society.  When they called to say there was a family in need, she responded by putting her sewing skills into gear to help the less fortunate. 
     After I retired  in 2000 Peg began to generously assist me with family history so that I could put together the pieces of the story.  She was always a willing source for me.  We would sit in her kitchen at 2424 Fairfax Road and talk about her younger years growing up on Singleton Street near Garfield Park in Indianapolis.  I could put together what I learned from my mom, Sis, and the other Weber brothers and sisters, Bob, Gin, Dolly and Harry.  Without Peg’s colorful and honest input the story would lack some of its luster.  And it was so much fun to have those visits with her.  For instance, one day Jerry and I went for lunch when she fixed beef stew.  He was getting interested in cooking and her stew was delicious.  She shared her personal hints and Jerry carried on using that knowledge to this day.  I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to include some of her recipes in the section on this blog named, Family Recipe Friday. (See the list at left.)
Weber Siblings in the backyard on Singleton Street, Indpls     Another important facet of the family history writing is giving additional life through photos.  Aunt Peg immediately opened her albums and shared whatever I wanted to assist in that respect.   That’s when we were able to gather Uncle Shad’s WWII  Army history and mementos. Her memories of the war years were so interesting and personal.   She told of her experiences in following Shad to various training sites in California, Texas and Georgia before he was shipped overseas. And she generously included her feelings about the hardships of being married through those times.
      As we looked through her photos, Peg had sketches for me of years of experiences.  How she and my mother, Rose, shared certain traits.  How she enjoyed her job at Stokely Van Camp. How her sister, Dolly, shared quilting joys with her.  And on and on…..   She filled in the gaps in my knowledge of early years in her life, as well as sharing her joys with current grandchildren and great grandchildren. I gained valuable insights about our family and the happenings that make the story complete.

     I’m so happy that Peg chose to make these differences in my life and in all of our family.  I feel that she left a lasting mark.

Another Story You May Enjoy: Best Afternoon With Two Aunts
See Weber History in left column also.

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,
© 2018 –

(Throughout this post are photos that are a glimpse at the life of Peg Weber Stull.  They begin with her Weber family in the 1920s and 30s and continue through her life in the 1940s – 2018.   They include a mixture of photos of quilts she made, gatherings with siblings and nieces and nephews, and recent family reunions.)IMG

Rose's 85th birthdayPeg's birthday lunch at MCL Cafeteria with her nieces and nephew: Marilyn Schuster, Marti Fleetwood, Bill Niehaus, Nancy Hurley and Peg
2012, Peg Stull & Ruth Weber, Weber Kuhn Family ReunionNancy's quilt- A gift from Aunt PegPeg's Flowers 2013 - 2424 Fairfax Rd, Indpls - Her Family Home
Family Reunion Heritage Quilt 2002 by Peg StullPeg Stull and Rosie Walters, Quilt winner

Peg with family - Son Jimmy, Wife of grandson, Jennifer Jackson, Great grandson, Logan, daughter, Rosie Walters

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

History’s Worst Flu Epidemic Hit The Niehaus Family

    Winter months often bring the flu into families, passing from one to another until it leaves the household finally and everyone’s functioning normally again.  These past few months have been that way for many families.  In fact, my husband and I are fresh from episodes of body aches, head colds and coughing.  It was no fun, but we’re on the other side now and resting better. 
     However, we know that thousands have died in this latest flu season, as they do each year.   The body’s reaction when the flu virus attacks is to fight it off.  Sometimes when your immune system is already flagging under the weight of a viral infection, bacteria already existing in the body can spread to the lungs and take hold. This secondary infection is called pneumonia.  Pneumonia is often the eventual cause of death when the flu is the initial culprit.  We read each year the warnings about the latest flu virus and the urgings to be vaccinated.  This year, both of us in this household got our flu shots.  Maybe we would have been even more ill if we hadn’t.  Who knows?!
     The risk of a flu tragedy is definitely one that should garner attention in any family.  History’s worst flu epidemic occurred 100 years ago and killed between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide.  This flu strain was a bit unusual in that it attacked young adults in their twenties, people whom flu more rarely kills. One of those young adults was Louise Albers Niehaus, a twenty-five year old mother of four and my paternal grandmother. Louise and her son Walter, seven months old, were victims of the third wave of this deadly epidemic that began in 1918, finally ebbing out in spring 1919. Louise and Walter Niehaus died three days apart in February of 1919 and the cause of death for each of them was broncho pneumonia.  Louise died in the Indianapolis City Hospital three days after admission.  Walter died at their home at 1123 Keystone Avenue. This mother and son share a grave at Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, Indiana. (Their burial permits are posted below.)  The story is told in the family that Walter was buried in Louise’s arms.   It must have been an agonizing time for my grandfather, John, and his other children, 7 year old Charlotte, 4 year old Robert and 2 year old Frank, my father.  
Burial Permits, Louise and Walter Niehaus, 1919 

     This is a tragic and momentous event that shaped my Niehaus family history dramatically. I’ve been told by those who knew Louise that she was a loving and gentle person. Never having known Louise or Walter I can only imagine how they would have played roles in the lives of not only my grandfather, my aunt and uncle and my father, but all of us who have followed.   I hope that writing about these two family members who were struck down much too soon in their lives recognizes their part in this complicated world.
     If you have more of the life stories of Louise and Walter Niehaus to share, let's do so.  Send me a message!
      Thank you for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright © 2018, Nancy Niehaus Hurley
     There are literally volumes written about the 1918 Flu Pandemic.  Could it happen again?   Where and how it started.  What might have caused the three waves of this strain.  There is research relating to the cultural contributions to the severity of this outbreak.  and on and on…..  An interesting piece of information contained in The Smithsonian Magazine article of November 2017 is about the government’s role in keeping people from recognizing and dealing with the flu epidemic.   Here’s a few sections of that article and I am posting a link to the full piece along with others at the bottom of this page.
Excerpts from The Smithsonian Magazine, November 2017:
Initially the 1918 pandemic set off few alarms, chiefly because in most places it rarely killed, despite the enormous numbers of people infected. Doctors in the British Grand Fleet, for example, admitted 10,313 sailors to sick bay in May and June, but only 4 died. It had hit both warring armies in France in April, but troops dismissed it as “three-day fever.” The only attention it got came when it swept through Spain, and sickened the king; the press in Spain, which was not at war, wrote at length about the disease, unlike the censored press in warring countries, including the United States. Hence it became known as “Spanish flu.” By June influenza reached from Algeria to New Zealand. Still, a 1927 study concluded, “In many parts of the world the first wave either was so faint as to be hardly perceptible or was altogether lacking...and was everywhere of a mild form.” Some experts argued that it was too mild to be influenza.
Yet there were warnings, ominous ones. Though few died in the spring, those who did were often healthy young adults—people whom influenza rarely kills.
In fact, it was more like a great tsunami that initially pulls water away from the shore—only to return in a towering, overwhelming surge. In August, the affliction resurfaced in Switzerland in a form so virulent that a U.S. Navy intelligence officer, in a report stamped “Secret and Confidential,” warned “that the disease now epidemic throughout Switzerland is what is commonly known as the black plague, although it is designated as Spanish sickness and grip.”
The second wave had begun.
What proved even more deadly was the government policy toward the truth. When the United States entered the war, Woodrow Wilson demanded that “the spirit of ruthless brutality...enter into the very fibre of national life.” So he created the Committee on Public Information, which was inspired by an adviser who wrote, “Truth and falsehood are arbitrary terms....The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters very little if it is true or false.”
At Wilson’s urging, Congress passed the Sedition Act, making it punishable with 20 years in prison to “utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United State...or to urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production in this country of any thing or things...necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war.” Government posters and advertisements urged people to report to the Justice Department anyone “who spreads pessimistic stories...cries for peace, or belittles our effort to win the war.”
Against this background, while influenza bled into American life, public health officials, determined to keep morale up, began to lie.
Across the country, public officials were lying. U.S. Surgeon General Rupert Blue said, “There is no cause for alarm if precautions are observed.” New York City’s public health director declared “other bronchial diseases and not the so-called Spanish influenza...[caused] the illness of the majority of persons who were reported ill with influenza.” The Los Angeles public health chief said, “If ordinary precautions are observed there is no cause for alarm.”
In Goldsboro, North Carolina, Dan Tonkel recalled, “We were actually almost afraid to breathe...You were afraid even to go out...The fear was so great people were actually afraid to leave their homes...afraid to talk to one another.” In Washington, D.C., William Sardo said, “It kept people apart...You had no school life, you had no church life, you had nothing...It completely destroyed all family and community life...The terrifying aspect was when each day dawned you didn’t know whether you would be there when the sun set that day.”
Then, as suddenly as it came, influenza seemed to disappear. It had burned through the available fuel in a given community. An undercurrent of unease remained, but aided by the euphoria accompanying the end of the war, traffic returned to streets, schools and businesses reopened, society returned to normal.
A third wave followed in January 1919, ending in the spring. This was lethal by any standard except the second wave, and one particular case would have an exceptional impact on history.
On April 3, 1919, during the Versailles Peace Conference, Woodrow Wilson collapsed. His sudden weakness and severe confusion halfway through that conference—widely commented upon—very possibly contributed to his abandoning his principles. The result was the disastrous peace treaty, which would later contribute to the start of World War II. Some historians have attributed Wilson’s confusion to a minor stroke. In fact, he had a 103 degree temperature, intense coughing fits, diarrhea and other serious symptoms. A stroke explains none of the symptoms. Influenza, which was then widespread in Paris and killed a young aide to Wilson, explains all of them—including his confusion. Experts would later agree that many patients afflicted by the pandemic influenza had cognitive or psychological symptoms. As an authoritative 1927 medical review concluded, “There is no doubt that the neuropsychiatric effects of influenza are profound...hardly second to its effect on the respiratory system.”
After that third wave, the 1918 virus did not go away, but it did lose its extraordinary lethality, partly because many human immune systems now recognized it and partly because it lost the ability to easily invade the lungs. No longer a bloodthirsty murderer, it evolved into a seasonal influenza.
Scientists and other experts are still asking questions about the virus and the devastation it caused, including why the second wave was so much more lethal than the first. Researchers aren’t certain, and some argue that the first wave was caused by an ordinary seasonal influenza virus that was different from the pandemic virus; but the evidence seems overwhelming that the pandemic virus had both a mild and virulent form, causing mild as well as severe spring outbreaks, and then, for reasons that remain unclear, the virulent form of the virus became more common in the fall.
Read more:
Ten Myths About the 1918 Flu Pandemic ---

Richard Gunderman, Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, Indiana University

How the Horrific 1918 Flu Spread Across America:

The ‘greatest pandemic in history’ was 100 years ago – but many of us still get the basic facts wrong:

Other Indiana Ties posts you may want to read:  
Ladies In My Line: Louise Charlotte Albers Niehaus
Walter Johnnie Niehaus:

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Treasure Chest Thursday: My Mom’s Plastic Wallet Photo Holder

Rosemary Weber Niehaus, Martha Niehaus, Linda Niehaus, Nancy Niehaus    Are you the same way I am about the meanings or feelings connected with a few items that have no monetary value?   Maybe they remind you of an event, such as a visit with someone special.  Or there’s  somehow a lasting attachment to a family member. 
     Well, I don’t have very many of these types of keepsakes.  But the ones I do have are fantastic at conjuring up memories.  In order to bring me back into the swing of my family history writing after quite a while of disconnection here, I’m revisiting some of these treasures.   
     The item I’ve chosen gets directly into that nostalgic realm  --  my mom’s plastic wallet photo holder.  Do you recall having one of these in your wallet? I do.  But who knows where mine got to.  But fortunately, I have the one belonging to Rosemary Ethel Weber Niehaus.   My mom carried these photos below in her purse for many years.  They are all photos of her children, my brother, my two sisters and me. There’s a myriad of stories in this little packet that folds into the size to be carried in her wallet.  
     She kept these photos close by.  And, of course, they were each marked with names and years.  Some even have writing on the front, as she was known to do occasionally.  Here we are below  in various stages of our youth and young adulthood, approximately 1942 through 1968.  Rose had these special photos until her death in 2001.  The photo on the bottom right (sideways color shot)  is Mom with her three daughters at Christmas 1966, the photo featured at the top of this post.

     Rosemary Weber Niehaus Wallet Photos, her children
    Rosemary Weber Niehaus Wallet Photos
     It’s fun thinking of the many, many stories wrapped up in each one of these folds, especially Mom’s cherishing the memories.  Realizing that storing photos in plastic can be destructive, I removed them to scan them into my digital archives.   But, for now anyway, they need to stay just where they are.  There’s so much more history that’s going on with them in this format.

     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

     Copyright © 2018, Nancy Niehaus Hurley