William Frederick Howat.

A standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) online

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Hammond on the 26th of May, 1899, and. as usual, have a comfortable
and homelike house for the entertainment of its mend^ers and friends.
The Elks Club, as it is popularly known, has a membership of nearly
two hundred and fifty, and the following have been its presidents: T.
Edwin Bell, John D. Smalley, J. A. Gavit, A. M. Turner, J. T. Clark,
E. M. Shanklin, V. S. Reiter, T. W. Oberlin, T. H. Jordan, John P.
Reiley, D. C. Atkinson, B. W. Chidlaw, H. C. Green and F. A. Hitchcock.

Knights and Ladies of the ^Maccabees

Knights of the Maccabees, Hammond Tent No. 2, was organized in
1892 with Alexander Shields as commander and John D. Smalley as
record keeper. The tent now numbers 167 and has as commander
Walter Hoke ; record keeper, H. A. McConnell.

The Ladies of the Maccabees have two hives. Hammond Hive No. 2
was instituted February 10, 1893, with twenty-seven charter members.
The present membership is about one hundred. Silver Light Hive No.


124 was organized July 18, 1900, with fifteen charter members ; present
membership, seventy-five.

Daughters of Liberty

Daughters of Liberty, Golden Rule Council No. 1, was instituted
Jul}' 6, 1891. its members, which number 225, meet in the Knights
of Pythias Hall.

Modern Woodmen of America

Eureka Camp, No. 5054, was organized 1897 with a charter member-
ship of twenty. Meetings are held in Moltke's Hall. Present member-
ship, 260.

Loyal Order of Moose

Hammond Lodge, No. 570, was organized in 1898 and reorganized in
1909 with a charter membership of 150 ; present membership, 550. Weis
Hall in which the meetings are held are on leased premises, comprising
the entire second floor of 160-162 State Street. The present officers are :
Dictator. J. J. Thompson; secretary. Earl E. Cole.

Knights of Columbus

This order is also well represented by a lodge of 297 members or-
y:anized in January, 1903. In 1913 a building was purchased. Among
others, Daniel J. ^Moran, John W. O'Brien, John Carroll, Thomas S.
Beyle, Joseph E. Ray and C. Moran have been prominent upbuilders
of the order.

Fraternal Order of Eagles

Hammond Aerie, No. 1252, was organized November 5, 1905, with
100 charter members ; present members number 275. The hall occupies
the entire third floor of the Imilding at Nos. 83-85 State Street and is
one of the most commodious and comfortable lodge premises in Ham-
mond. Present officers: Frank Green, president; Henry Eisner,

Other Secret and Benevolent Bodies

There are several courts for both men and women, whose membership
is drawn from English, German and Polish speaking people, connected
with the Catholic Order of Foresters. - ' ■ ■ •• ■ '


Besides these, there are the Columbian Kiiights, the Tribe of Ben
Hur and two Grand Army posts, with their auxiliaries, the Women's
Relief Corps.

As a railway and a manufacturing center Hammond has also numer-
ous labor unions and "brotherhoods" identified with railroad employes.

The Hammond Club

There are few cities of the size of Hannnond which have more social
and literary organizations of a high grade than the metropolis of the
Calumet region. One of the oldest and best known is the Hammond
Club, organized in November, 1894, under state laws. It was thus estab-
lished for the "literary entertainment and social enjoyment" of its
members, with thirty-two charter members, and it has never failed of
its purpose. The club afterward limited its membership to one hundred.

Hammond Woman's Club

The Hammond Woman 's Club was organized in October, 1896, at the
home of Mrs. B. F. Ibach. The object of the organization as then formed
and numbering but forty-five members, was to create a medium through
which the women of the city might exert their influence, and their thought
and activity have covered art, music, literature, history, education, child
welfare, and social and political economics. It has a membership of 270
and Mrs. J. S. Blackmun is its president ; Mrs. Minnie Kline, vice presi-
dent; Mrs. W. C. Harrison, recording secretary; Mrs. L. L. Bomberger,
corresponding secretary ; Mrs. H. T. Burk, treasurer. '

The Hammond Country Club

The beautiful grounds of the Hannnond Country Club adjacent to
West Hammond are so j^opular that they seem almost public in their
character. The club was organized in 1912 and its eighty acres of land
in that locality embrace both natural beauties, as well as golf courses,
tennis courts and other up-to-date means of amusement and exercise.
It has a membership of about two hundred and fifty, and the following
officers : Frank C. Deming, president ; George Hannauer. vice president ;
Louden L. Bom])erger. secretary: and Harry ^\. Johnson, treasurer.

Other Socl\l and Literary Clubs

The Hammond Dramatic Clul), composed of a number of talented
young people ; the Shakespeare Club, founded some years ago by the
teachers of the city, and the originators of the public library, with


numerous societies which are auxiliary to the activities of the different
churches, should fully meet the requirements of both residents and
visitors for higher development and progressive thought and action.

The Hammond Settlement

One of the practical works of benevolence, which is a special creation
of the women of Hammond, is the Settlement House, which was estab-
lished in November, 1911. It was the outgrowth of the interest aroused
in public welfare by the activities of Miss Virginia Brooks. For a year
the Elks Lodge gave a cottage on Rimbach Avenue free of rent, and in
November, 1912, it was removed to its present location at No. 9 State
Street. The financial support of the house is borne by a small group
of people who contribute regularly, and others who give occasional aid.
Its working force consists of a social worker, ^liss Alice Thayer, of the
University of Illinois, and a matron who has charge of the day nursery.
There are a large number of children cared for daily at the Settlement
House. Through the nursery an effort is made to teach mothers the
proper care of children. The settlement provides temporary shelter for
women and children and gives some material relief. It is also an employ-
ment agency. One of the principal activities of the house is to furnish
wholesome amusement for the young people of the neighborhood, and
many of the teachers in the public schools have devoted their evenings
to this work.

The officers at present are : Honorary president, Virginia Brooks
Washburn; president, Mrs. W. C. Belman; vice president, Mrs. G. L.
Smith ; treasurer, Mrs. J. M. Turner ; secretary, iNliss Alta Adkins : house
supervisors, Mrs. Ralph Pierce and Mrs. John W. Reilley.



Gary Land Company Comaiences Operations — Town Government
Organized — Increase of Corporate Territory — Mayor Thomas E.
Knotts — Work of the Gary Land Company — Light, Water and
Power — Money Expended ox Gary — First Streets Opened b\' the
Town — Extension of Broadway — Simple Financial Arrangement
— CifY Area and Topography — Street Mileage and Improve-
ments — Work of the Engineering Department — The City Hall
— Gary Public Librarv — The Gary Public School System — Emer-
son AND Froebel Schools — Syste:m Described by Superintendent
Wirt — Large Slav Element — Commercial Bodies — Hospitals — -
New Postoffice to C()M[<: — A City of CiiuRcirES — Holy Angels
Catholic Church — First Christian Church — First Methodist
Episcopal Church — Christ Church 'Episcopal) — First Baptist
Church — Baptist Churches for Colored People — The Presby-
terians — First Reformed Church — Jewish Temples — Later
Christian Churches — Other Protestant Churches — Churches
for the Foreign. Born — The Y. M. C. A. of Gary — The W. C.
T. T". — Gary as a Lodge Citv.

The founding- of the great steel mills, with their sn])si(liHry industries,
at what has heen the City of Gary since Octoher, 1909, has heen narrated
somewhat in detail. Chapters have also heen devoted to the improve-
ment of the fine waterways of the Calumet region and the great trunk
and belt railroads which make it so accessible to the world, and to which
progress the Ignited States Steel Corporation and the citizens of Gary
have so largely contributed. Gary's harbor was not opened to inter-
national traffic until July 23, 1908. and the city did not come into close
touch Avith the Calumet region and even Chicago, througli the belt and
interurban lines, until somewhat later.

Gary Land Company Commences Operations

But from the first breaking of ground for the Gary industrial plants
the work of city-planning and expansion, the platting of a town and a



municipality, the cutting through of streets, the laying of sewers, the
founding of homes, the creation of light and electric power for domestic
and public purposes — in short, the establishment of all the best modern
agencies for sanitary, comfortable and intelligent living was being
brought to pass with wonderful rapidity, ability and versatility. The
power behind that remarkable transformation, which within five years
made a finished city out of nothing tangible in the fore part of 1906,
was the Gary Land Company, which was organized in the spring of
that year as a subsidiary to the United States Steel Corporation. Its
officers were E. B. Bufiiugton, president ; J. G. Thorpe, vice president ;
and T. J. Hyman, secretary and treasurer. The Gary Land Company
was organized for the purpose of handling the 9,000 acres of land origi-
nally acquired by the corporation, through the services of A. F. Knolls
in 1905 and in the spring of 1906, and under the general superintend-
ence of Capt. H. S. Norton the first of the thousand and more homes
since occupied by employes commenced to appear above ground in the
winter of 1906-7.

Tow^K Government Organized

Within a few weeks from the time of the inauguration of actual oper-
ations (such as clearing the land and grading), or to be more exact, on
June 9, 1906, an enumeration was taken of those who had enrolled them-
selves as residents, and the result was an announced population of 334.
That was a sufficient number to ensure a village, or town form of govern-
ment, if the residents so desired. The matter was put to vote on July 14,
and only one of the thirty-eight votes cast was against incorporation.

The first corporate election was held July 28, 1906. Millard A. Cald-
well, Thomas E. Knotts and John E. Sears were chosen as town trustees
from the First, Second and Third wards respectively without opposi-
tion. C. Oliver Holmes was elected town clerk and Louis A. Bryan, town
treasurer. The newly chosen town board met and effected an organiza-
tion on July 30. Thomas E. Knotts was elected president of the board;
Louden L. Bomberger was appointed town attorney; A. P. Melton, town
engineer ; and Frank C. Chambers was named as town marshal and act-
ing street commissioner. The first members of the school board were
T. H. Cutler, C. 0. Holmes and Edward Jewell.

Later Town Marshal Chambers was retired and Joseph D. Martin was
named in his stead, a position which he continued to hold under the
different Knotts administrations. Other appointments were those of
William H. Kliver as building commissioner, Joseph J. Feely as fire
marshal and Walter Hunter as inspector of plumbing.


Increase of Corporate Territory

AVhen first incorporated the Town of Garj- contained less than fifteen
square miles, or the tract originally held by the Gary Land Company.
But during the first summer of its corporate existence all that territory
lying west of Gary and north of Tolleston, including Buffington and
Clarke was annexed to the new town. This gave Gary an area of ap-
proximately twenty-five square miles, extending east and west along
the lake shore a distance of seven miles and having a maximum width,
north to south, of about three miles. Tolleston was afterward annexed
to the City of Gary, which also incorporated a considerable tract of
land on the south side of the Little Calumet River.

Becomes a City

In October, 1909, the Town of Gary was incorporated and organized
as a city of the fifth class, and in December, 1910, it became a city of
the fourth class under the state law which places municipalities whose
population has reached 10,000 in the class named.

The officers who first served under the latter organization were as
follows: Mayor, Thomas E. Knotts; clerk. Harry G. ]\Ioose : treasurer,
E. C. Simpson: city attorney, Harvey J. Curtis: city judge, Ora L.
Wildermuth ; chief of police, Joseph D. Martin ; chief of fire department,
Joseph J. Feely : city engineer. A. D. ]\lelton : building commissioner,
William H. Kliver; street commissioner, P. C. Finerty (office abolished) ;
city comptroller. Joseph Dunsing (office abolished) : acting street com-
missioner. John J. Nyhoff: board of public works, John J. Nyhoff,
Thomas E. Knotts, A. D. Melton : board of safety. H. H. Highlands, E.
N. White. Frank Bormau : board of health. Dr. I. Millstone, Dr. M. S.
Foulds, Dr. W. P. Laue : board of education. A. P. Melton, president;
T. H. Cutler, secretary : W. A. Cain, treasurer.

City Council — Councilmen-at-large : William Feuer, Dominiek
Szymanski, Anthony Baukus. First Ward. Emerson L. Bowser; Second
Ward, Ralph E. Rowley: Third Ward. Michael Walsh; Fourth Ward,
John Seimasko ; Fifth W^ard. ^Maurice N. Castleman : Sixth Ward, Walter

Mayor Thomas E. Knotts

Mayor Knotts was one of the first to settle on the site of Gary. An
energetic and educated man of Ohio nativity and Indiana training, he
located at Hammond in 1S91, there engaged in the real estate and insur-

Vol. 1 — 2.-.


ance business, and served in various capacities on the police force of
that city, including the commissionership, or head of the department.
When Gary was founded in 1906, he resigned that position and moved
with his family to the site of the future Steel City, erecting a small
frame house for his household and at the same time opening a real estate
and fire insurance office. He served as Gary's first postmaster, and at
the first election, as noted, he v/as chosen a member of the Town Board
and president of that body. When Gary became a city he was chosen
its mayor and held office until the fall election of 1913. when he was
succeeded by Roswell 0. Johnson.

Work op the Gary Land Company

At the present time the limits of the City of Gary extend southward
from the lake a distance of about five and a half miles, Avith a distance
of seven miles between the eastern and the western limits. The first
and greatest improvements within that area were prosecuted by the Gary
Land Company, which laid off and improved what is known as the First
Subdivision of Gary, embracing a tract of land approximately a mile
in width from north to south and a mile and a half in length, from east
to west. Streets sixty feet in width were laid out in rectangular fashion,
and under the supervision of competent sanitary engineers a sewer
system was planned and installed throughout the territory controlled by
the Gary Land Company. All the sewer, gas and water pipes were laid
under the alleys, so as to avoid the necessity of disturbing the street
pavements for repairing purposes. The land company's subsequent addi-
tions were developed and improved in the same manner.

The principal street of Gary, running north and south through the
property of the Gary Land Company, and designated Broadway, is
100 feet in width, paved with concrete, and for over a mile is a fine
metropolitan thoroughfare. The principal street running east and west
named Fifth Avenue, is eighty feet wide and similarly paved. All of the
thoroughfares running in that direction are "avenues," designated
numerically, and all streets are numbered according to the ' ' one-hundred-
in-a-block" system.

Besides laying out the main section of Gary, building sidewalks and
pavements and constructing the entire sewer, gas, electric and water
systems of the city, the land company has erected more than a thousand
residences for employes of the industries controlled by the corporation,
as well as several business blocks on Broadway and Fifth Avenue. Two-
thirds of the private houses have been erected in the First Subdivision,
and vary in cost from $1,500 to $25,000. About three hundred houses
in the Sixth Subdivision cost from $1,800 to $8,000.


■ <:^■i■^i:J^iify^^l::'<^^iiSBSU|^^

About to Break GROrxD at Gary

Broadway in the Rough


As a matter of general interest, it may be stated that the Gary Land
Company offer building lots at prices representing- approximately the
cost of the land plus cost of improvements, and a special discount is
allowed employes of the companies controlled by the United States Steel
Corporation. There are strict requirements as to the character of build-
ings to be erected, and purchasers of lots are required to erect buildings
of approved character within eighteen months after purchase. The title
does not pass to the purchaser until the completion of the building. In
the business district the requirements concerning improvements make it
necessary for the purchaser of each twenty-five foot lot to construct a
building valued at least ten thousand dollars. During the first four
years of construction, buildings of two stories were permitted in the
business district, while at the present time the requirement is for at
least three stories.

With the opening of 1907, the gathering people of Gary saw energetic
preparations being made to supply them with water, gas, electric light
and heat. This was soon accomplished through the Gary Heat, Light and
Water Company, a subsidiary of the corporation, whieh was organized
January ], 1907. and operates uncU^r fraiu-hiscs granted l)y the City of
Gary. "

Light, Water and Power

At the present time there are tliirty miles of gas mains extending
from the company's plant, and forty-one miles of water mains within the
city limits. The supply of water is obtained from Lake Michigan,
through a tunnel 15,000 feet in length and seventy-two inches in diam-
eter. The pumping station is located at Jackson Park, in the lieart of
the resident district and within a few blocks of the business center. The
waterworks tower and power house are handsome structures and the
adjacent grounds of the park are beautifully improved with landscaped
mounds, sunken lawns, and artistic arrangements of foliage, shrubbery
and flower beds. The station has a capacity sufficient to supply a popu-
lation of 100,000; and, with all Gary's swing and ambition, it will prol)a-
bly be some time before it will be called upon for the limit of' its service.

The gas supplied the city is manufactured in the comi^any's own
plant, with a present daily capacity of 50.000 cubic feet, whih' the eh'c-
tricity for both lighting and ])Ower is su]q)lied from the woi'ks of the
Indiana Steel Company.

Money Expended on Gary

Various estimates have been made as to the total amount expended
in Gary during the eight years of its existence, including the invest-


ments made by the industries under the wing of the United States Steel
Corporation, a very few independent plants, and by the Town and City
of Gary. The houses, industrial plants and public utilities which repre-
sent the gigantic labors of the corporation are estimated to stand for a
money value of fully eighty million dollars, outside expenditures twenty
millions, or a total of one hundred million dollars expended on an "eight-
year old'': surely rather an expensive young city! But the child prom-
ises to pay an even greater interest than it has in the past on this mu-
nificent investment.

In April, 1910. when the Federal census was taken, the population of
Gary was 16,802.

First Streets Opened by the Town

As stated in the annual report of the heads of municipal departments
for the year ending December 31, 1910 : "One of the first problems that
engaged the attention of the first town board in 1906 was that of secur-
ing better connnunication with the outside world. The most pressing
need was a road westward and this was secured by opening and grading
Eleventh Avenue from Broadway to .Main Street in Tolleston. This
avenue was macadamized and made passable for teams at a cost of $3,200.
Then Broadway was roughly opened up, through a succession of sand
hills and sloughs, at an expense of $875, and Washington Street was
graded from the ]Michigan Central tracks to Nineteenth Avenue to afford
a traffic route for terms while Boardway was being paved.

Extension op^ Broadway

"The town board early realized the necessity of a wider and longer
Broadway. At first this now famous thoroughfare extended with a width
of one hundred feet from the mill gates to the AVabash tracks. The first
step toward a greater Broadway was the condemnation of a strip fifty
feet wide between the Wabash tracks and the Pennsylvania Railroad,
and this was followed b-y the widening of the street from the Pennsyl-
vania tracks to the Little Calumet River. Later, Broadway was widened
to the full width of one hundred feet to the southern city limits and the
board of county commissioners last year was induced to extend the great
Broadway southward to jMerrilville and it is planned ultimately to extend
it as far south as Crown Point. Broadway is now paved for a distance
of four miles and has no equal of its kind in the country.

Simple Financial Arrangement

"The old tow^l of Gary began doing business without a dollar of its
own, although having an assessed valuation of nearly three million dol-


lars. Arrangements were made with the First National Bank of Ham-
mond whereby all warrants of the town w^ere cashed without the necessity
of a. bond issue. Then as fast as the taxes came in the town treasurer
was directed to take up the outstanding warrants with accrued interest.
For this accommodation the town was charged but 5 per cent interest and
it may be said that the arrangement was unique in simplicity and

City Area and Topography

The city civil engineer has incorporated much suggestive and striking
information in his 1910 report, of which the following are illustrations :
' ' Gary has included within its corporate limits 31 square miles of terri-
tory, its greatest length being 7 miles from east to west and lyo miles
from north to south. The area has been increased during the year by
about 101/2 square miles, having annexed the Town of Tolleston contain-
ing 5V2 niiles, also 4I/2 square miles lying south of the Little Calumet
River and about one-half s(|uare mile of other contiguous property.

"As to topography, the city is traversed from east to west by the
Grand Calunu't river about one mile south of Lake Michigan and by the
Little Calumet river about four miles south of the Lake, the intervening
territory consisting of sand ridges with depressions betM'een, the eleva-
tion above lake level varying from 20 feet to 70 feet. The Little Calumet
river runs through a broad marsh or valley a mile or more in width, the
elevation above lake level being from 12 to 18 feet. South of the Little
Calumet river the sand ridges rise to an elevation of 100 feet while the
intervening depressions have an elevation of about 40 feet.

•'The soil consists entirely of sand in the higher portions and is easily
graded and makes an excellent foundation.

"Of the 31 square miles, several are being held in reserve by the
Steel Corporation for future industrial developments, while six square
miles have been subdivided, making about 36,000 building lots.

Street ^Iieeac.e and Improvements

"The total mileage of all streets is 151, of which 36 miles have been
improved with first class city pavements, also in addition to these pave-
ments the city has 19 miles of stone and gravel macadam roads, making
a total of 54 miles of roads and pavements. [Editor: This was written
in 1910; at the close of 1913, Gary had 180 miles of paved streets.]

' ' On the first contracts that were let by the Board of Trustees in 1907,
difficulty was had in getting bids, on account of the undeveloped condi-


tion of the country, difficulty of hauling materials through the deep sand,

Online LibraryWilliam Frederick HowatA standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) → online text (page 37 of 44)