Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Weber & Zimmer Dry Goods Store Gains A Face -- Crestleaf.com’s 12 Months of Fascinating Family Finds: June, 2015

     I am Weber & Zimmer Dry Good Store, Virginia Ave., Indianapolisparticipating in the Fascinating Family Finds challenge of the Crestleaf.com blog.  Every month for one year they are challenging bloggers to share one blog post detailing exciting, interesting, fascinating, unique or strange discoveries from their research.   One of the most exciting and surprising discoveries that I've had lately is due to the generosity of a blog reader.  I wrote a family story that made a connection for this young man.  When he came across the story he got in touch with me and shared photos that give that story so much more detail.

    Andy Jenkins found my post about the Weber & Zimmer Dry Goods store operated by my great grandfather, Harry Adam Weber, and his partner, Louis Zimmer. (I'll post the link to that story below.)  He contacted me to say that Louis Zimmer was his great grandfather.  We don't know of any family ties as yet.  But the lives of these two men, and probably their families, were definitely intertwined.  They operated this business in Indianapolis from 1886 to 1912.  I was very pleased when Andy offered to share photos.  I had hoped to see someday what that dry goods store looked like.  But I expected I might come across it in a historical publication showing Virginia Avenue in the Fountain Square district of Indianapolis.  Weber & Zimmer Dry Goods Store, Indianapolis, 1886 - 1912What a surprise that Louis Zimmer's great grandson would bring me these pictures of the Weber & Zimmer dry goods store.  ……. Genealogy happy dance time ..…

     We don't yet know who the people are standing in front of the store.  There are more details to study and pieces to add to this story.  Isn't it a nice feeling that someone, like Andy, would decide to share with a stranger a closer look at a shared piece of our history.


Here's the link to my post that provides more background on Weber and Zimmer:  http://www.indianaties.com/2014/09/henry-adam-weber-weber-zimmer-dry-goods.html


If there are other bloggers who would like to take part in Crestleaf.com's Family Finds, go to: http://crestleaf.com/blog/crestleaf-coms-12-months-fascinating-family-finds/

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,


Copyright © 2015, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Becky Holzer Smith and Her Dad, Mel Holzer: Wordless Wednesday (Almost)

Holzer, Mel, Becky, indianaties    
     Call it serendipity or just a coincidence!  Just yesterday I decided I'd come up with another Wordless Wednesday post for today. But I got busy and didn't have time to look through the photo files. Then today…I opened Facebook for a business reason and stopped to glance at my personal page on the way.  There was this great family photo. Cousin Becky (Holzer) Smith had posted this snapshot of her as an adorable child with her loving dad, Mel Holzer. Thanks Becky. This really is one that can be "almost wordless."

     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright © 2015 Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Estate Records: The After Story of Joseph Niehaus, Indianapolis, Indiana

       Estate proceedings…a way we continue telling our life story after we've departed.  In Joseph Niehaus's case I have those documents that include some culminating details that he would, undoubtedly, be content with. I thought I would pass along this additional episode.  And, of course, I just have to add a few comments about his "after story."Joseph Niehaus, with one of his Lark family grandsons.  We believe this was taken at the West Street residence.  His daughter, Minnie, wrote on the front of the photo holder.
     Heinrich Josef Niehues (Joseph Niehaus) was born 11 February 1848 in Lage, Westphalia (Germany).  He emigrated to America about 1886 and lived the remainder of his life in Indianapolis, Indiana, expiring on 1 May 1921.  He and his wife, Gertrude Wilmsen, had 12 children.  The family moved to their home at 1135 South West Street in about 1890. Joseph set up his rug weaving loom in the home, having operated a business in Germany.  The West Street home is where both Gertrude and Joseph said their last goodbyes, she preceding him in 1895.  But that's not the end of the Niehaus home place. You'll see through his estate records how Joseph and Gertrude's legacy on West Street stretched on, totaling over 60 years. 
      I'm posting below the records of court proceedings between Sept, 1921 and July, 1922, that I located in the Marion County courthouse. The Claim and Allowance Docket from the court indicates that there was some earlier activity, in May and June of 1921, when Bernard Niehaus, the oldest living son, was bonded and approved as administrator.  But the bulk of the story is told in these documents.
    Joseph's "after story" begins with the court proceeding of September 19, 1921, when the record says:
"…And the court having heard the evidence and being sufficiently advised in the premises finds that the personal assets of said estate are insufficient to pay and discharge the debts and liabilities thereof, and that the real estate in said petition as hereinafter described is liable to be made assets in the hands of said administrator to pay such indebtedness….ordered by the court that the real estate of said decedent in said petition mentioned and described as follow (legal description of Niehaus home on West Street, see below)…be sold by said administrator at private sale, subject to the taxes of 1921, for not less than the full appraised value thereof for cash. ..."
     Niehaus Home, S. West St, Indianapolis, IN.That brings me to the legacy of the family home that I mentioned above.  The court proceedings on September 23, 1921, entitled "Order Confirming Sale of Real Estate", (below) confirms that Rose Lark, Joseph's daughter, purchased the home for $1,600, "that being the highest and best bid therefore, and the full appraised value thereof."  This transfer didn't change the makeup of the residents in the West Street home.  The Lark family lived with Joseph in the home since the marriage of Rose Niehaus and Ralph Lark in 1908.  And Rose stayed until her death in 1952.  The Larks' purchase of the home from the estate insured that the Niehaus family home established in 1890 was in the family for over 60 years. 
     There's interesting information within the legal jargon of Joseph's estate proceedings. The court records include a list of Joseph's heirs, all of his living children and, in the case of his two deceased children, the grandchildren who were heirs, and their legal guardians.  There is an accounting for each expense by the administrator from May, 1921 through May, 1922.  For instance, the accounting for claims and allowances listing, among other items, the total costs of court proceedings = $26.40.   .
     After all was said and done, the "after story" of Joseph Niehaus was one he could be pleased with.   His estate was settled without any concerns or issues.  For instance, the list of estate claims shows the Lauck Funeral Home was paid $278.85, settling his funeral arrangements.  And we all know that Joseph and Gertrude are buried side by side in St. Joseph Cemetery in Indianapolis, two miles from their home.  R.I.P.
    I am posting three pages of the eight pages of estate proceedings below, including the sale of the real estate.  Also below is my transcription of all of these court records. (Click on a page to view larger.)
    If you would like to have a look at the other originals, all of the court records are viewable on my Scribd page  -- Click Here:   https://www.scribd.com/collections/13922075/Family-History    
    Niehaus Estate, 1921, Sept 19Niehaus Estate, 1921, Sept 23Niehaus Estate, 1921, Sept 19, pg 2imageimageimageimageimage

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,
Copyright © 2015, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Oh, that makes sense now! Joseph Niehaus was a "fuller," not a "filler."

      I learned something new yesterday. And I clarified a fuzzy piece of history, too.  You know how some blurry bit of information suddenly has new meaning?  That's what happened. 

      While adding to my Nancy's Finding Aids page (above) I was checking some of my online research links.  Before I knew it I was engrossed in the "Old Occupations" page that's part of the Help For Genealogphoto credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/12403504@N02/11307181114">Image taken from page 4 of 'Views of Old Manchester'</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/">(license)</a>y Researchers page at the U. S. GenWeb Project.  Some of the names for occupations are pretty surprising and can help us to understand what our family members were actually doing centuries ago.

       As I was looking at these job descriptions dating back in the ages, I noticed "Fuller -- One who fulls cloth;one who shrinks and thickens woolen cloth by moistening, heating, and pressing; one who cleans and finishes cloth."   Well, a light bulb went on in my memory bank, bringing back a bit of information about our immigrant ancestor, Joseph Niehaus.  I know positively that he's a rug weaver, before and after emigrating to Indiana.  And that's why I've always had a question about the "occupation, trade, or profession" column for him in the 1900 census.  I wondered what it meant when the enumerator wrote for Joseph's occupation "furniture fuller, or filler." The handwriting is not totally legible and I thought it might say filler.  I presumed he had some sort of carpentry skills in addition to his weaving, that he might be using in furniture production. Maybe his weaving business wasn't working out at the time and he had to find another job.  But the type of work seemed to be removed from his skilled trade.  I just wasn't sure about that listing.  It's been lurking in the background for a while.  (The inset below is the line from the census, showing his occupation on the right.)

  1900 census Jos. Niehaus, fuller

     But, I'm ready to make a speculative leap here.  Now that I've learned what a "fuller" is, and I know Joseph's skills in the textile area, my fuzzy piece of history may be focusing.  I'm willing to say that I've found a likely answer to the question about his occupation in 1900.  He was finishing cloth to be used in the preparation of furniture.  We all have to use our skills as best we can to make our living at various times in our lives.  While continuing to weave rugs on his loom in the back room of his home in Indianapolis, Joseph was also using his abilities to earn income as a fuller.  The tiny zero "0" in the column next to his occupation indicates he was not unemployed for any months of the previous year. Whether he was working full time at this fuller job, we can't know.  But the relationship of one occupation to the other is logical.  Now it fits!

     If you would like to take a look for yourself at the list of old occupations, click on my Nancy's Finding Aids above and go to the bottom of the page under Miscellaneous Helpers.  The U. S. GenWeb Project website is brimming with helpful and fun links.  Have fun.

     Let me know what you're thinking about Joseph Niehaus's occupation.  Do you have something to share about a fuller?

    Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties!



copyright © 2015, Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Monday, June 8, 2015

Weber Scrapbook -- Tillie (Kuhn) Weber - Happy Day with Gin and Bob

Virginia Weber, Otillia "Tillie" (Kuhn) Weber, Robert "Bob" Weber
     It's time to dig into the scrapbook of Weber photos again.  This photo of my grandmother, Tillie (Kuhn) Weber, with two of her children seems to portray a carefree day.  Tillie has a beautiful smile on her face as they all relax for a while during a trip to wherever. And Bob is smiling lovingly at his mother. Gin, like a teenager, just waits for the photo to be over. 
      I know this was a day they were out enjoying a park because there are other pictures that match this one where they're hiking up a hill and taking a walk through a park.  There doesn't seem to be any identification of the exact location.  The photo is taken about 1938 when Gin was 18 and Bob was 24.  Judging from their clothing it's a cool day, maybe in the spring when they were anxious to get out for a while and visit one of the Indiana parks. Maybe Aunt Clara, Tillie's sister, came along and is the photographer this time.
     Thanks again to Uncle Bob for saving a Weber photo that speaks volumes!

     Glad you stopped by at Indiana Ties,

Copyright (c) 2015 Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Did You Say Free?! Here's News About Online Genealogy Classes In A Few Days

     I came across another opportunity for free genealogy education without leaving my house.  The Southern California Genealogy Jamboree takes place June 5-7 and they are Nancy Hurley digital image, www.indianaties.comoffering free streaming classes.
     The 14-hour schedule includes several sessions that I'm interested in.  So, I registered. It was simple to do through the link below.  I can see how this program could be helpful to even those who are wondering what this genealogy stuff is all about and just want to lurk and listen for a while.  Here's the link to the website with the schedule and more information:   http://bit.ly/1MfL8EA

Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright © Nancy Niehaus Hurley

Monday, June 1, 2015

Inside the Genealogy Society of Marion County - Family History Assistance

     Since I believe that there are many researchers (historians, genealogists, folks…) in and around Indianapolis who could be benefiting more from the Genealogical Society of Marion County (GSMC), I'm sharing the wealth here on my blog.  Jerry and I volunteer two Thursdays per month to keep the library open.  Here's another one of those stories:
      The GSMC library was bustling last Thursday.  There were interesting family history questions from visitors.  And, in our down time, I pulled a book off the U. S. History shelf and came across beautiful depictions of migrations across the National Road.  We keep exploring those shelves and new donations arrive all the time.
     But about those research questions, Jerry and I were glad to have the opportunity to help people who stopped in searching for answers and new sources.  Our first visitor came with notes in hand that his deceased father left him about a half brother. He gathered some preliminary background based on sketchy information. Now, he's looking for leads or advice on his next step.  We put our heads together to analyze and plan.  First, we explained that due to privacy laws, he may run into some issues with birth records.  Or, the family connections may never happen for these two brothers.  But we had a few suggestions.  His bits of information included a cause number from Marion County so we suggested he start there with a visit to the Marion County Archives in the sub-basement of the City County Building, downtown on Market Street.  To confirm the answer on a birth record, we also gave him the location of the Marion County Department of Health at 3838 North Rural in Indianapolis.  Contacting living relatives is a personal decision he has considered but hasn't made yet.  He seemed glad to have a discussion of his research; and was planning to see where these next steps led. I hope he comes back to let us know. 
     Our other two visitors were brothers, one from Ohio visiting the other in Indianapolis.  They are on a quest to not only complete their own family history but to piece together the stories of a few people that they knew as students at Lawrence Central High School on the east side of Indy.  We had fun discussing with them their father's history with the City of Indianapolis and also touching on these friends that have passed on.  Of course, like many other people they would prefer to find sources that are free.  So, we answered a few questions about familysearch.org and some cemetery websites.  Then we shared information on the Indiana State Library and Marion County Public Library resources, such as microfilmed newspapers and city directories.  We all had some fun browsing the yearbooks and other books on the shelves at GSMC, prompting a little sharing of our own high school stories. Of course, we pointed out the genealogy resources on the GSMC website (www.genealogyindy.org) so that they could take their time at home to look over everything there. 
     During the time we had on our own at the library, I came across a history book that helps complete the picture of my Keen family's life as they moved from the east coast through Ohio and into Indiana. Anyone who has ancestors that followed the migration path through Maryland, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois on the National Road might gain some understanding of their lives from the descriptions inside this book.  The title of the book is "The National Road." In the forward the author, Philip Jordan, says: "Leading straight toward the western sun and running through a frontier back of beyond, the National Road yoked together the states of the Union.  It helped open the West to settlement, and it pointed to thousands of acres of rich land."   In my photos below you can see the map that shows the path from Baltimore, MD, to Vandalia, IL.
     I enjoyed the portraits Jordan created through his characterizations of people, the terrain and the circumstances during this development of the country in the 18th and 19th centuries. The book tells the story of Ebenezer Zane forging Zane's Trace in the 1700s when emigrants were flowing into Virginia and eastern Ohio.  Followed by the history of the U. S. government allotting funds for the National Road and then the states taking over before the railroads ended that progress in the 1850s and 60s. He explains how settlers traveled the road, first in wagons, then in stage coaches, stopping at roadside inns and choosing their new homes.  In one place the author is describing the migration of the 1800s; he says, "It looked as if an entire nation were on the move."  The book's written in an engaging style that makes for easy reading.    The table of contents below gives an idea of some of those stories.  I'd recommend The National Road by Philip Jordan to give some context to your family history.  Stop by the GSMC library if you'd like to take a look.
GSMC Library, The National Road by Philip JordanGSMC, National Road Map, The National Road by Philip Jordan
GSMC Library, The National Road by Philip D. Jordan, Table of Contents

     We invite you to the GSMC Library on Wednesday and Thursdays from Noon to 4 p.m.  Free webinars are planned on Wednesday, June 3 and June 13.  Go to the website for details: www.genealogyindy.org.
     Thanks for visiting Indiana Ties,

Copyright© 2015 Nancy Niehaus Hurley