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William Frederick Howat.

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

. (page 43 of 44)
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"The finishing, material and workmanship of the high school are of



452 LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION

the very best and the plans embody the very latest and most approved
ideas in school house construction. Crown Point is justly proud of this
fine building, though it is none too large for present use, and additions
are likely to be needed in a few years. In addition to the high school
pupils the primary pupils of the South Ward of the city go to this build-
ing. A nice playground surrounds the building, but does not give room
for the athletic sports of the high school boys.

"Semi-annual promotions have recently been installed in the grades.
This is expected to save much time for many pupils, as it permits of more
rapid advancement by the stronger pupils and necessitates less loss
of time by the weaker ones who do not always make their grade. De-
partmental work has also been recently organized in grades six, seven
and eight. This allows of some specializing by the teacher and promo-
tions by subjects rather than by grades till the end of the eighth year.
Drawing, penmanship and music are well supervised by special teachers.

"Without being radical or extreme the course of study is made as
practical as possible with the size of the school and the funds available.
So far as it seems wise, work is being shifted towards vocational lines,
and while little of it is yet truly vocational, the start is made in that
direction with the hope that circumstances will permit of other advance-
ment along that line in the near future.

"In the department of chemistry study and experiments emphasize
the facts that all need to know and use in daily life, such as food
adulterations, testing drinking water, 'doctored' meats, milk, etc., san-
itation, and other kindred subjects.

' ' A year of agricultural botany includes trips into the fields to study
the growing crops, methods of cultivation, pruning of fruit and shade
trees, grafting and budding and berry culture. At other times people
who are well versed in special topics come before the class and teach
such things as seed selection and testing, spraying, etc. Large boxes
of soil are kept in the laboratory in w^hich experiments of a practical
nature are tried. In the spring gardening is taken up and the pupils
are encouraged to plant gardens at home, thus working out in practice
the things taught at school. While, in order to make this truly voca-
tional, a farm with a full complement of tools, stock and buildings Avould
be necessary, yet for those pupils interested in that kind of work it is a
step in that direction.

"A three years' course in wood or bench work is taught to both
grade and high school pupils, it being optional to the latter. This depart-
ment is partially self-supporting. Using the detailed plans and sug-
gestions of the Indu.strial Education Compan}^ useful articles needed
in every home or wanted by every boy are made. These are sold (the
boys making them having first chance to buy) at a reasonable figure,



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 453

thus yielding some return for the expensive material used. If pieces of
lumber furnished are spoiled by a boy he pays for the spoiled material
before he can have another piece to replace it. Thus they are taught
the value of material and extra care is taken with each piece.

' ' Three years of sewing are taught in the grades. Very little atten-
tion i.s paid to fancy sewing, but the cutting and making of common




ViEw^ ON Court Street, Crown Point

articles of clothing in daily use by every girl or things needed in every
home is emphasized. A room in the new building is planned for a
kitchen where cooking can be readily taught, and it is expected that
this room will be equipped for classes in the near future.

"In the teaching of German and Latin the present idea in the Crown
Point High School is that the greater value in the study of these
languages comes from the greatest possible familiarity with the language
and its literature, from the study of the life depicted by the classics
rather than in the technical grammar which the study offers. In the
study of English the attention of the pupils is directed to the broader



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By Courtesy of Frank F. Heighway. County Superintendent of Scliools.

Present High School




Old High School, Crown Point



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 455

reading, writing and speaking of good clear English rather than technical
rhetoric and logic ; not so much to know that certain forms are right and
good grammar as to get the habit of using the correct forms readily. It
is not so important to know the names of the works of a large number
of different authors and in what year these authors died as it is to get
the liberality of mind, largeness of heart, broad sympathy and general
clear understanding and accurate perception that a familiarity with the
writings of these men and women tends to give.

"The high school maintains a literary society which familiarizes the
members with the more common forms of parliamentary usage. Care-
fully prepared programs are presented at the meetings which are held
every two weeks. These consist of debates on live subjects, readings,
dramatic work, extemporaneous speeches, music, etc. Each pupil must
appear on these programs at some time in the year and is carefully
drille'd for his part by some member of the faculty.

"The new gymnasium affords an excellent place for physical train-
ing and exercise. Twice a week the girls of the high school have an
hour of exercise under the direction of a capable instructor. Both grade
and high school boys have regular periods for basketball or other
games. In the evenings organized classes or teams from the city have
their special nights for recreation in the gym.

"Although a good sized class of capable boys and girls graduate
from the high school each year, comparatively few of them are to be
found in the city. Each year finds an increasing number of them in
various colleges, universities and technical schools. ]\Iany are teachers
and others have found business openings in other places more attractive.

"It is true that many changes have beeen made in the city schools
in the last decade, but it now seems that other more radical changes will
be necessary in the near future. While the cities at the north end of
the county are establishing vocational schools for the large number of
people who are entering the various manufacturing industries located
there, there is little call for such schools here. The number from
Crown Point who would likely enter such trades would be, at the most,
a. mere handful in any one trade. It would not be wise to establish such
schools and courses here when it would be comparatively cheap and
easy to transfer the few pupils who do want vocational training in
these trades to the larger schools near by. The very conditions that
make the location of this city so fine for a county seat, coupled with
the fact that an excellent farming district surrounds the place, make
it the logical location for the much-needed county agricultural school.
The attractions of country life along an electric car line and on a stone
road a few miles out from the city will prove irresistible to an ever-
increasing number of boys and girls in the future, if they can in a few



456 LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION

years' school work, before they are old enough to go into business for
themselves, learn from a practical as well as a scientific standpoint such
industries as market gardening, dairying, general agriculture, etc.

"Holding that mere scholarship or efficiency is dangerous in the
hands of unscrupulous men and women, it is the intention of the teach-
ing corps to train not only for these things so much souglit after in the
business world today, but also to send out from the school what is even
scarcer and just as truly demanded, men and women of integrity and
character ; citizens who will succeed in business, be of importance in the
political world, and at the same time helpful in the social world and with
enough moral force and stamina to exert a powerful influence for more
consistent living upon their entire community. ' '

CroW'N Point Churches

Seven churches now attend to the spiritual and moral needs of
Crown Point — the First Presbyterian, St. Mary's Catholic, Evangelical
Lutheran Trinity, Methodist, Free Methodist, Evangelical St. John's
and German IMethodist.

First Presbyterian Church

The First Presbyterian Church, the oldest of these religious bodies,
was organized April 27, 1844, by the following members: Cyrus M.
Mason and his wife, Mrs. ]\Iary ]\IcGee Mason ; Elias Bryant and Mrs.
Ann Bryant, his wife ; Mrs. Anna Farmer and Miss Eleanor T. Farmer ;
Mrs. Ruth Eddy, Mrs. ]\Iaria Fancher, Mrs. Harriet Holton, Mrs.
Harriet Russell, Mrs. Amanda Carpenter, Jacob Gilbert and Mrs. Nancy
Gilbert, his wife ; Mrs. Sydney Hoffman, Mrs. ]Mary Wright, Jacob Har-
ter and Miss Julia Harter, Mrs. Charlotte Holton. At the initial meet-
ing the members elected Cyrus M. Mason and Elias Bryant, elders, and
Rev. I. C. Brown acted as moderator.

The list of the pastors from the founding of the church to the present
time is as follow^s: Rev. AVm. Townsley, 1844 to 1859; Rev. Joseph
Laney Lower, 1859 to 1865; Rev. A. Y. Moore, 1865 to 1871; Rev.
Samuel Fleming, June 1, 1871, to October 11, 1874; Rev. R. Beers, 1874
to 1877; Rev. W. J. Young, 1877 to 1883; B. E. L. Ely, Jr., 1883 to
1886 ; Rev. E. S. Miller, 1886 to 1889 ; Rev. L. W. A. Lucky, 1889 to
1893 ; Rev. John A. Cole, 1893 to 1896 ; Rev. Walter 0. Lattimore, 1896
to 1899; Rev. J. P. Hearst, 1899 to 1904; Rev. E. R. Horton, 1904 to
1910 ; Rev. Howard Billman, 1910. Present membership, 170.

St. Mary's Catholic Parish

St. ]\Iary's has been a Catholic parish at Crown Point since 1865,
when Father Wehrle performed the first baptism according to the rites



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 457

of his church. In 1890 Rev. Philip A. Giiethoff erected a substantial
church of stone and brick, with a 145-foot tower, at a cost of $30,000.
This is the present house of worship of St. Mary's Church, which is
still in charge of Father Gruethoff. Most of his parishioners are German
and they number some one hundred and fifty families. Connected
with the church is a large school conducted by sisters; both they and
the resident priest have substantial and comfortable residences.

Evangelical Luther^vn Trinity

In August, 1868, the Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church was
organized under the following: John Mangold, William Struebig and
Leonhard Bierlen, trustees; J. C. Sauermann and F. Hildebrandt,
elders; Valentine Sauermann, secretary. Rev. C. F. W. Huge was
called to the pa.storate in 1869, and was succeeded in 1871 by Rev.
George Heintz. In ^lay, 1887, was completed the church edifice still
in use. Succeeding Mr. Heintz were Rev. August Schuelke, 1890-1906 ;
Rev. Arthur H. C. Both, 1906-10 ; and Rev. August Biestler, the present
incumbent, since the latter year. Evangelical Lutheran Trinity Church
has a voting meml)ership of 109 ; communicants, 600.

Other Churches

The Evangelical people in and about Crown Point first organized and
built the St. Paul's Church, six miles southeast of town, in 1883. Henry
Seegers, Christopher Ziesenirs, William Riechers and August Schmidt
were the first trustees. Rev. F. A. Reimann was the first minister, and
he was followed by Reverends Neuhaus, Schlesinger, Blum, Weil, Reller,
Pfeffer and Klug. In 1905 another Evangelical congregation organ-
ized at Crown Point and a former Baptist church was bought, in which
the society conducted services under the name of St. John's Congrega-
tion. For a number of years both organization.s were maintained, but in
1910 a union was effected under Rev. J. Lueder, Crown Point was made
the center of the work, a parsonage was purchased, and since then St.
John's Church has been one of the religious bodies of the countj^ seat.
Present number of members about seventy.

The Methodist Church mentioned is in charge of Rev. C. W. Stock-
barger, and is old and well established.

Lodges

Crown Point has several lodges which are progressive and fairly
strong, among which are representatives of the Foresters, Masons, Odd
Fellows and Knights of Pythias.

Altogether, the town is one of the most desirable of the smaller places
in Northern Indiana.



CHAPTER XXIX

TOWN OF HOBART

Incorporated as a Town — Industries of the Place — Light and
Water Supply — Hobart Township Public School System —
Churches of Hobart — St. Bridget's Parish — Swedish Evangelical
Lutherans — The Christian Church — The Lodges.

Hobart, the thriving- town in the northeastern part of the county,
is south of the sandy region of the Calumet rivers in the midst of a
rich dairy and stock growing section. It is surrounded both by prairie
lands and belts of timber and lies chiefly east of Deep River.

Hobart is one of the oldest towns in Lake County, having been
platted as early as 1849. Its founding and early history have been
given. As its population is now about eighteen hundred, obviously its
growth has been slow. The town's first real impetus was received when
the Pittsburgh & Fort Wayne line reached it, in 1858, and the coming
of the Nickel Plate, nearly twenty-five years afterward, and its still
later connection with the Chicago Outer Belt Line, have given it thorough
facilities for shipping and transportation.

Incorporated as a Town

Hobart was not incorporated as a town until 1889, and since then
has made steady progress. Its site is sufficiently elevated so that good
natural drainage is afforded toward Lake INIichigan (eight miles to the
north) by means of Deep River and the Calumet. Her citizens have
therefore always claimed that there is no location in the county which so
thoroughly combines the advantages of health, adequate transportation,
residence advantages, good manufacturing sites, comparative nearness to
Chicago and adaptability to agricultural pursuits, as Hobart and the
adjacent country.

458



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 459

Industries of the Place

Within the limits of the township are also hundreds of acres of
superior clay lands, whose utilization has long been a large source of
income and prosperity to Hobart as a community. It has obtained
quite an extended reputation for its production of brick, terra cotta
and pottery, these lines of manufacture being more than thirty years
old. For many years Hobart 's largest industry was W. B. Owen's
Hollow Porous Clay Tile Works, which were established by Mr. Owen
in 1886. At one time its kilns covered thirty-five acres and the daily
capacity of the works was seventy tons of finished product. Its busi-
ness has been succeeded in 1902 by that of the National Fire Proofing
Company, which is managed by the son of the founder, also W. B. Owen.
At the cliange of ownership important additions were made to the plant.
About one hundred and thirty men are employed at the factory.

The Kulage Brick Works also represents a large industry which is
more than twenty years old. It employs 100 men and its proprietor is
Otto Kulage.

Toward the end of the Civil War Hon. W. H. Rifenburg established
a lumber yard, planing mill and contractors' supply house at Hobart,
which since 1893 has been in the hands of William Scharbach, father
and son.

Hobart has thus become somewhat of an industrial center, as well as
a leading financial and shipping center outside of the Calumet region.
The Hobart Commercial Club, of which E. G. Sayger is president, is
doing much to promote the industrial and commercial interests of the
town.

Light and Water Supply

Hobart has good light and water and has been thu.s blessed for nearly
twenty years. For the main facts connected with the establishment of
its electric lighting plant and water works we are indebted to the Hobart
Gazette.

In the summer of 1897 John P. Dales, of Chicago, secured from the
town trustees a franchise for an electric lighting plant. Water works
were an equal necessity, and after much hard and intelligent work on
the part of ]Mr. Dales and progressive citizens, a contract was made by
him with the town trustees for the construction of a combined light and
water plant, upon the plans and specifications furnished by George C.
Morgan, a leading water works engineer, the plant to become the prop-
erty of the town upon its completion and acceptance. In due time,



460 LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION

both systems were completed, thoroughly tested and accepted by the
town authorities.

As originally completed, the electric plant was operated by a 100-
h. p. Ball high-speed engine. The incandescent dynamo is of STi^ kw.
capacity, the arc machine is a 40 lighter ; both machines and all electric
apparatus being the product of the Fort Wayne Electric Corporation,
and of the most modern type. The power house is a model one, well
arranged, complete and attractive, the switchboard and connections
being worthy of more than this passing notice. The arc circuits extend
to all parts of the town, furnishing street illumination. The incandes-
cent system was introduced to nearly all of the store-s, offices and public
buildings, and many residences.

The construction of the water works was placed in the hands of
C. M. Seekner, formerly of the Seckner Contracting Company and then
of the Western Engineering and Construction Compam^ of Chicago. As
completed, the plant consisted of a 750,000-gallon Worthington pump,
three miles of eight, six and four-inch mains, thirty fire hydrants, and a
combined brick and metal standpipe 125 feet in height with a 60,000-
gallon tankage capacity. The mains, laterals and hydrants were thor-
oughly tested to 160 pounds pressure.

The water works and lighting plant occupy the same power-house,
using in common the two 60 h. p. Harvey boilers, and the water supply
is obtained in adequate amount and perfect purity from wells driven
to the water-bearing strata which underlie this entire locality at a
moderate depth.

HoBART Township Public School System

The fir.st section of the Hobart public school was erected in 1878
and the high school was established in 1881:. An addition was made
to the building in 1892 and an improved heating system incorporated.
The consolidated high school w^as completed in 1910.

G. H. Thompson, the superintendent of schools, describes the town-
ship system, of which Hobart is the center, as follows : "A unique
feature of the Hobart Township school system is that there is not a
country school remaining. Consolidation was begun here more than
fifteen years ago and the results of that movement were so satisfactory
that now wagons bring all the school children within a territory of
seventeen square miles to the central township school in Hobart. In
this centralized school there are sixteen teachers, besides the superin-
tendent, having charge of some four hundred and fifty children. Eleven
teachers are required in the grade work and the others are in the high



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 461

school department. At the beginning of this movement five teachers
were employed in the grades and two in the high scliool, but the country
schools then maintained required five other grade teachers and no special
work could be done in any of the schools.

' ' Fifteen years ago the high school was commissioned. Since then the
school has not only kept pace with the changing standard but has gone
far beyond the requirements of the State Board of Education. Some
of the elective studies maintained are : a year and a half of phonography ;
a year of typewriting ; four years of German ; two 3'ears each of manual
training, free-hand drawing, and mechanical drawing; and four years
of vocal music. In addition there are classes in bookkeeping, civics,
physical geography, commercial arithmetic, American history, and
physiology. The required subjects are: Three years of mathematics;
four years of English ; three years of science ; two years of history ; and
four years of Latin or German. The science department is especially'
strong. The equipment for botany, chemistry, and physics is scarcely
equalled by any other school having twice the number of pupils. Nothing
is lacking in apparatus, convenience, or supplies. One feature is a
powerful projectoscope which is used both in the auditorium and in the
laboratory. The facilities for work in the laboratory are of prime con-
sideration and a great majority of the boys, and the girls, too, rather
than avoid any of the science work, elect the course complete.

"Two principles which the teachers keep constantly in mind are —
(1) that each child must be led to express himself, and (2) that he must
be taught to interpret the expression of others. Certain applications
of these principles are recognized in the amount of supplementary read-
ing required and the dramatic work done in the daily reading lessons ;
also, in the amount of time devoted to the study of the phonetic value
of letters. This phonetic work begins when the child enters school and
is continued with increasing independence on the part of the pupil.
However, to accomplish the greatest good, the teachers believe that the
study of the child is of prime importance and the subject the child
studies is secondary. Teachers endeavor to see the subject from the
standpoint of the child and they place the work on the child's mental
horizon.

' ' In the upper grades and in the high school the work is arranged on
the departmental plan. The chief advantages derived from this plan
are that the child comes in daily contact with teachers differing in tem-
perament and per.sonality and each subject is given its due attention.
The plan also insures uniform interest and efficiency in the presenta-
tion of such subjects as penmanship, drawing, and music. Likewise
other subjects are developed in a more systematic manner and time and



462 LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION

energy are saved that would be needlessly wasted if an entire change
of teachers accompanied each promotion.

' ' One of the most interesting features of the new high school building
and one which is most highly prized by the community is the auditorium.
This room has excellent provision for light either night or day. The
heating and ventilation are perfect. An audience of nearly five hundred
can be safely seated. No school seats have been placed in this room,
but instead are comfortable opera chairs. The stage and its artistic
equipment of scenes and property awaken expressions of admiration and
surprise on the part of every visitor. Aside from the school work the
auditorium is used for many social and municipal functions, and our
citizens are coming to recognize that a school building may become an
educational and economic and cultural factor beyond the daily lessons
and exercises of the school children. The auditorium serves the school
in many ways. Besides the study of music and public speaking, the
pupils frequently assemble here for talks and debates. Educators and
friends of education visiting our school have here delivered a message
from without under circumstances inspiring alike to pupils and speaker.
A lyceum course is maintained and every year two plays are given by
the pupils of the high school ; also, many entertainments by the grades.
Here is the best possible accommodation for the annual high school
oratorical contest, the class day exercises, and the commencement.

"For a number of years the school has been interested in dramatic
work. Besides popular plays by the pupils in general, the class plays
given by the seniors have attracted wide attention. The high standard
of these plays approaches collegiate work, and thus they are believed to
have an uplifting effect in the development of power and character.
Among the plays given in recent years are 'The Princess,' 'As You Like
It,' 'Queen Esther,' 'The Captain of Plymouth,' and 'The Miser of
Raveloe.' These have been given with appropriate stage settings and
complete costumes. Dramatic work awakens anticipations of delight
in the undergraduates and nourishes pleasant memories in the alumni.

"Besides the oratorical, dramatic, and other literary work already
mentioned, each senior class for the past six years has had charge of the
preparation and publication of the 'Aurora,' the high school annual.
The literary and artistic qualities of this publication are praised by all
friends of education in the community. In this book is tangible evi-



Online LibraryWilliam Frederick HowatA standard history of Lake County, Indiana, and the Calumet region (Volume 1) → online text (page 43 of 44)