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William Frederick Howat.

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

. (page 44 of 44)
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dence of potential energy and an earnest of greater unseen development.

"Since the erection of the new building the boys and girls of the
high school especially, but of the grades also, have had the advantages
of the gymnasium. This room is 38x63 feet and has a gallery with
comfortable seats for nearly two hundred spectators. The gymnasium



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 463

is used by the high school pupils and often by other young people of
the town during the winter evenings chiefly for basketball, but during
the day the children of the grades have various drills and games that
furnish recreation and training when no outside play is possible. Con-
nected with the gymnasium are two dressing rooms, one for girls and one
for boys. In each of these rooms are both hot and cold water and jjerfect
facilities for shower bathing. Physical development and good health
are set above mere amusement.

"A year ago, in compliance with the provisions of the state law, the
trustee employed a physician to examine the children and give advice
to both teachers and parents when help is needed. In this examination
there is an effort made to solve the problem of the relation of each
child's intellectual development and his physical condition. Besides
the annual inspection the physician is also in attendance in special
cases on the call of the superintendent. A complete record of each
examination is kept in the superintendent's office.

"Within the past twenty years this high school has sent out two
hundred graduates. One hundred and forty-three of these belong to
the last ten years. The banner class was that of 1912, which numbered
twenty-one. A glance at the list reveals the fact that one-fourth of the
alumni hold responsible positions which their high school training placed
within their reach; twenty-five are teachers; eleven are in business;
seven are practicing law or medicine ; six are farmers ; four hold govern-
ment positions; and another one-fourth of them preside in homes.
Thirty graduates of Hobart High School have entered higher institu-
tions of learning, ten of these are now in college, and fifteen of the
number hold degrees from universities. It is, perhaps, too early to say
what place the graduates of more recent years deserve, but those who
have reached mature years give evidence of noble ideals and sound
character. They have proved themselves efficient citizens.

Churches of Hobart

Hobart, as a residence town able to meet the wants of all kinds of
people, is well supplied with churches for a place of its population.
The list includes the following: St. Bridget's Catholic, Rev. William
Hoff, pastor; First M. E. Church, Rev. G. S. Goodwin; German
Evangelical Lutheran, Rev. E. R. Schuelke ; Swedish Lutheran, Rev. G.
Lundahl; German M. E. Church, in charge of Rev. Heileman, of Crown
Point; Christian Church, Rev. W. A. Howard, and Swedish M. E.
Church, Rev. John M. Pearson.



464 LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION

St. Bridget's Parish

Both the Catholics and the Lutherans obtained a foothold at and
near Hobart many years ago. In 1855 Rev. Paul Gillen came from
Michigan City and celebrated mass in the home of John Mellane near
Hobart, and a few years afterward Rev. John Force, a priest from Val-
paraiso, performed the same religious offices at Mr. Mellane 's residence.
Later John Ormond 's house was thrown open for the same purpose, and
in 1871 Rev. Michael O'Reilly, of Valparaiso, was placed in charge of
the mission at Hobart. He was followed by Rev. F. X. Baumgartner
and Rev. H. ]\L Rhote, who came from Turkey Creek, and Rev. Joseph
Flach, who held services from 1885 to 1888 ; from the latter year until
1903, the local pastor was Rev. Charles V, Stetter. Rev. Thomas F.
Jansen, now of Gary, located at Hobart as resident priest in July, 1903,
and about that time Turkey Creek was made a mission, supplied from
Hobart. Father AYilliam Hoff has been in charge since July, 1908.

On the three lots bought by Father O'Reilly in 1873 stood an old
picture gallery founded by John G. Earle, which was converted into a
church, is still standing as a landmark of St. Bridget's parish and is
now used as a club house for young men. That old building was used
as a church until May, 1912, when a new house of worship was dedi-
cated. It is a substantial structure costing $15,000, and contains a
residence for the sisters. A new school house has also been completed.
The parish now covers about seventy families, or 350 souls.

Swedish Evangelical Lutherans

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Church was founded in Feb-
ruary, 1862, its first deacons and trustees being Carl Wilson, Guth. Isak-
son, John Carlson, Gust. Danelson and Andrew Peterson. Its successive
pastors have been Rev. A. Shallman, Rev. J. A. Berg and Rev. G.
Lundahl, who has occupied the pulpit for eight years. The church has
a membership of about seventy and its home was completed in 1870.

The Christian Church

The Disciples of Christ formed a church at Hobart in 1913. In
October of that year the Calumet district organization of the Christian
Church sent Rev. Claude E. Hill, of Valparaiso, to the place and he soon
formed a society of sixty members. They now worship in rented
quarters under the pastorate of Rev. 0. 0. Howard.



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 465

The Lodges

Hobart has a number of lodges well supported by both men and
women. Both the Odd Fellows and Masons have auxiliaries sustained
by their wives, sisters and other members of the sex who aspire in that
direction. The I. 0. 0. F. instituted Earle Lodge No. 333 in July,
1869, and of its charter members Thomas T. Stearns and John G. Earle
are still alive. The lodge owns a building valued at $10,000 and has a
membership of about seventy. AVilliam Devonshire is the present noble
grand ; he was also its first secretary. Ed. Reissig, who at present holds
that office, is one of the old and leading Odd Fellows of the place.

The Independent Order of Foresters of America, the Modern Wood-
men of America, Royal Neighbors, Ladies of Maccabees and other bodies
of a secret and benevolent nature are also established in Hobart.



CHAPTER XXX

TOWN OF LOWELL

Represents Southern Lake County — Foundjng of the Town —
Pioneer Local Institutions — Largest Buildings in the County —
Strongest Temperance Towni — Effects of 1898 Fire — Better
Fire Protection and Water Service — The Lowell High School —
Oakland Park — Churches and Societies.

Lowell, in the southern part of the county, has about fourteen hun-
dred people and is far enough away from the Calumet region to be
called an agricultural town; and it is by far the leading center of that
class in Lake County. All around it, and for miles to the north,
stretches a fine country of prairie land and groves, thickly dotted with
farms, dairies and truck gardens. It is the acknowledged trading center
of the three southern townships, as it also is the nucleus for many of the
social and religious activities of that section of Lake County.

Represents Southern Lake County^

Lowell has two substantial banks, a number of prosperous business
houses, two newspapers, municipal water works, thorough electric
service (both for light and power), a good Union School for the accom-
modation of Cedar Creek and West Creek towaiships, and churches and
societies to meet the requirements of the various faiths and social in-
clinations.

It is quite fitting, also, that Lowell should be the site of the soldiers'
monument which was dedicated in June, 1905, to the memory and
patriotic services of the soldiers of .West Creek, Cedar Creek and Eagle,
Creek townships, who have fought in all the wars except the Revolu-
tionary to which the United States has beeen a party. The monument
records the names of those who have either gone forth alive to defend
their country, or whose bodies have been buried within this territory,
as well as the splendid services of ]\Irs. Abbie Cutler, the devoted nurse
of the Union army and the first wife of Dr. A. S. Cutler.

466



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 467

Founding op the Town

The foimdiug of Lowell dates from 18-48, when Melvin A. Halsted
and 0. E. Haskius purchased a mill privilege of A. R. Nichols and
built a dam and saw mill on Cedar .Creek. Mr. Halsted, an energetic
New Yorker who had been in the county three years, discovered the
commercial value of the clay lands at Lowell and in 1849 the first brick
was burned in that locality, the material being built into a residence for
the Halsted family. That home was always the most prominent land-
mark in Lowell, marking as it did the abiding place of the founder of
the town and most worthy members of his family. In 1850 ]\Ir. Halsted
went to California, returned with added capital in 1852, bought Mr.
Haskins' interest in the water-power, erected a flour mill and in 1853
platted the town of Lowell.

Pioneer Local Institutions

The year before Mr. Halsted laid out Lowell into town lots a small
brick schoolhouse had been built, which was also used as a church, and
soon after its platting J. Thorn built a small hotel and opened a store
near the grist mill. Other places of business were opened, and in 1856
the Baptists built a church. In 1869 and 1870 appeared two new
houses of worship, and educational facilities were progressing parallel
with the religious institutions.

Largest Buildings in the County

By the early '70s Lowell was as prosperous and prominent as any
town in the county. Its two-story brick schoolhouse, costing $8,000, was
considered the largest and most complete in Lake County, and the three-
story brick building within the limits of the place, designed for a fac-
tory, had no superior as a business structure. Mr. Halsted, then town-
ship trustee, had superintended the construction of both. There were
then in Lowell about one hundred families, a third as many as at
present.

Strongest Temperance Town

At that time, also, there were a Good Templars' Lodge, with 160
members, and a Grange of Patrons of Husbandry, with eighty members.
For some years Lowell was the strongest temperance town in the
county.



468 LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION

Effects of 1898 Fire

But it was not until Lowell obtained railroad and telegraphic com-
munication through the Monon Railroad in 1882 that the town showed
anything like a broad expansion. Until 1898 it grew steadil}', if slowly,
but in that year had a temporary setback in a large fire which swept
away a number of the older business houises. In many ways it was a
blessing in disguise, for, although the loss was $60,000 and one side
of its business street was swept clean, more durable and presentable
buildings arose from the ruins.

Better Fire Protection and Water Service

The fire also had the effect of forcing to the attention of citizens the
necessity for better fire protection and water service. A volunteer fire
department had been organized in 1896, but its inadequacy became so
manifest during the fire that in October, 1898, the town commenced the
building of a water system. The present supply is from two deep wells,
from which the water is pumped into a standpipe, the plant being
located on a hill in the western part of the city. Both the power and
electric lighting are furnished through the Crown Point Electric Com-
pany, and its operations are continuous; the company gives what is
known as a "twenty-four hour service." The water is clear, having
mineral properties, and the protection against fire is now considered
sufficient.

The Lowell High School

Lowell has a handsome high school building erected in 1896, at a cost
of $16,000, and in 1913 was completely remodeled as to its heating and
ventilating systems, which now meet all modern requirements as to
comfort and sanitation. The present structure was erected on the site
of the old building constructed by Mr. Halsted, "who," says one who
knows, "made the bricks, broke the ground and courageously stood by
the enterprise until it was completed, largely at his own expense."

As stated, the school building at Lowell is arranged for the accom-
modation of high school pupils from Cedar Creek and West Creek
townships and the Town of Lowell, its upper floor being thus devoted.
The other rooms are given over to the instruction of primary and grain-
mar classes, drawn from the local community.

Superintendent A. T. Elliott thus speaks of the high school work
and pupils:



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION



469



''In arranging the course of study for our high school, local condi-
tions and needs have been kept constantly in mind. It is apparent that
a course of study suitable to meet the conditions in our high school may
not be suitable for other schools. It is true college entrance requirements
have been kept in mind, so that those desiring to attend college will
receive proper recognition. Aside from the college entrance require-









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By Courtesy of Frank F. Heighway, County Supi'imten Iti t nt s li

Lowell School



ments our course has been made very flexible by providing for elective
subjects.

"Realizing the need of industrial education, courses in sewing, house-
hold economics, and agriculture have been added. As a great number
of our pupils come from the rural districts, special attention has been
given to the arrangement of a three years' course in agriculture.

' ' The first year is devoted to the study of agricultural botany, which
treats of the identification and classification of the common plants; the
method of propagation and improvement ; the plant and animal enemies ;
the rate of increase and growth of noxious weeds; the time and manner
of destroying the same, etc.



470 LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION

"The second year is devoted to the study of soils, field crops, fruit
growing and vegetable gardening.

"The study of soils treats of the origin, formation, composition, and
classification of the soils in the community; their physical properties
and methods of treatment in relation to their behavior toward moisture,
air and heat; and the improvement of soils and the maintenance of soil
fertility.

"The study of farm crops treats of corn judging; simple germina-
tion and purity tests of seeds; the study and identification of all kinds
of seeds; and a study of the bulletins put out by the state experiment
station and the U. S. Department of Agriculture.

"The study of vegetable gardening treats of the study of varieties
and management of vegetables; the home garden; and the construction
and management of hotbeds and cold frames.

' ' The study of fruit growing treats of the principles of plant propa-
gation; laboratory work in grafting, layering, cutting, and pruning;
care and cultivation of fruits for home and market ; and means of destroy-
ing insects and fungus diseases.

' ' The third year is devoted to the study of live stock, dairying, poul-
try and the principles of feeding.

"The study of live stock treats of the breeds of horses, cattle, sheep
and swine ; the scoring and judging of individuals ; and the methods of
improving the live stock upon the farm.

"The principles of feeding is a study of the classes of animal feeds;
the function of each in the animal 's body ; the study of bulletins put out
by different stations ; and the compounding of balanced rations.

' ' The study of poultry treats of the origin and history of the breeds ;
winter and summer care of poultry; feeding for growth and egg pro-
duction; and the treatment of diseases and methods of housing poultry.

' ' The study of dairying treats of the improvement of the dairy herd ;
the judging of the dairy cow ; the testing of milk for butter fat ; and
the care of milk on the farm.

"The purpose of this course as outlined above is to make agriculture
comparable in extent and thoroughness with the courses in physics,
botany, history, literature and other subjects. The subject is not one
that can be memorized or even acquired in the ordinary methods of
school study ; it relates itself to the actual work and business of the
community in such a way as will develop the students' judgment of
affairs and conditions. We hope by the introduction of this course to
bring the school in touch with the daily life of the community, and to
lead more boys to choose agriculture as a profession.

"We now have forty-five pupils taking the work and hope to enlarge



LAKE COUNTY AND THE CALUMET REGION 471

and strengthen the course for next year by the addition of more labo-
ratory equipment. ' '

Oakland Park

Within the town limits is a thinly wooded tract of thirteen acres^
known as Oakland Park, which is a favorite resort for picnics, camp
meetings, athletic contests, religious gatherings and public occasions
which may be conducted out-of-doors. It is an attractive piece of land
naturally and has been improved so as to meet all local and neighbor-
hood requirements.

Churches and Societies

At present Lowell has four churches, all of which are faithfully
meeting special spiritual wants. The Methodist Church is under the
pastorate of Rev. V. B. Servies; St. Edward's Catholic Parish, including
a large parochial school, is in charge of Rev. Fr. Hoestman ; the Chris-
tian Church is under Rev. AV. H. Van Deusen, and the Presbyterian is
ministered to by Rev. John J. Simpson.

Both the Odd Fellows and Masons have old lodges in Lowell. Lowell
Lodge No. 245, I. 0. 0. F., was instituted in January, 1866, and has a
large membership. C. U. Ragon is its present noble grand. The
Rebekahs are also organized.

Colfax Lodge No. 378, F. & A. M., was chartered May 27, 1868, and
has a membership of over one hundred. Present worshipful master,
Earl C. Pulver.

Lowell Chapter No. 360, O. E. S., was instituted in March, 1909, and
already has a membership of more than one hundred. Present worthy
matron. Marietta Davis.

The Modern "Woodmen of America, Cedar Camp No. 255, were organ-
ized in November, 1897, with Dr. W. C. Quincy as consul. Present pre-
siding officer, John INIiller. jNIembership about thirty.

The Independent Order of Foresters has an organization of about one
hundred members at Lowell, and the Knights of Pythias and Pythian
Sisters are also in active work.



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