Almanac: This week in south Lake County history
February 4, 2014 1:02PM
Updated: February 4, 2014 1:03PM
100 years ago
February 6, 1914
The last day of January showed that winter had not entirely given up. Snow fell all of Friday night and during part of Saturday, making about 12 inches on a level, but the weather was not disagreeable. Nearly all had a trial of shoveling walks and the heavy coat before night made it seem like real winter, but luckily there was no wind to drift it. Until the road was cleaned the Interurban cars could not be depended on, and only arrived now and then. The rural carriers had a hard row to travel and clean score was not made by only a part of them on Saturday.
There are many stories of pioneer times in Lake county that will fade away if they are not preserved in our historical volumes. For instance when Judge Joe Atkin was a small boy, living on a farm between Hobart and Merrillville, he had heard many blood curdling stories about Indians and finally one day rode to Hobart with his parents after an ox team and while “rubbernecking around” he espied a wooden Indian in front of a cigar store, which set his heart to fluttering and he never stopped running until he reached home completely exhausted, a distance of four miles, and to this day he has never fully recovered from the exertion, and never thinks of an Indian without the cold chills run up his back. He certainly knows something of the hard times the early settlers experienced here, and their narrow escapes.
Although Eagle Creek township has the least votes of any township in the county, they can get up a political play that makes everybody smile, and last Thursday was the first performance. The audience filled the school house to the brim. Big handbills were scattered broadcast inviting everybody to come, and the sequel to the play was the stories concerning Commissioner Brown, high taxation, spending county money, etc. In order to make a wedge to drive into the next political campaign, the star players being from the Progressive and Democratic camps. As the bills gave a general invitation Brown and numerous ones of his friends went to the show and what didn’t happen there was only a trifle. One side claim they swiped Brown and he says instead of getting his scalp he had scalps hanging to his belt when the battle was over. The most laughable part was they blew the lights out on Brown before he had finished his arguments and next time to make sure he will take a pocket full of candles. He was told it was not his meeting and to go back and sit down, but he talked anyway, and went on an invitation on the handbills. Personal slings are quite common now with the two factions interested, which are warming up gradually, and it may be that the mole hill will finally grow into a mountain and that Eagle Creek township will take the lead in the next campaign and that the north end will simply have to look on. It is quite probable the number of votes changed over thus is quite small, but mud slinging is plenty. Mr. Brown says he is ready to answer all questions and claims, and he will only use facts and figures of record to combat stories being told. He is not afraid to be a target. The large audience had a might interesting evening and if the troupe ever comes back to play again the old school house and yard will be filled to overflowing.
75 years ago
February 10, 1939
State highway workers scored a victory during the past week in Lake county and northern Indiana when they battled snow drifts and sub-zero temperatures to keep the roads open and traffic moving. Patrolmen and other workers were on the job steadily for almost forty-eight hours with less than six hours of rest, as they operated snowplows and graders over the roads to break through the drifts and clean packed snow and ice from the pavement. Scores of special workers were employed during the emergency period and all available equipment was rushed into the storm-swept area. Only a few miles of roads were closed at any one time and they were opened for traffic within a few hours. In some places drifts were several feet deep and a mile long, requiring the heaviest snow plows and additional workers. First attention was given to the heavily traveled roads, with a single traffic lane opened first and then widened as the workers continued their efforts. Hundreds of yards of cinders, sand and other abrasive material was spread on the packed snow and ice which covered many miles of roads, reducing the danger of skidding and permitting the movements of traffic. One of the major problems encountered was in the highway routes in cities and towns which are now maintained by the highway commission. Cars parked along the streets hampered workers in the operation of the snowplows and required considerable work before snow could be removed. While highway workers in the northern part of the state were clearing snow and ice from the roads, those in the southern part of the state were watching the rising streams, pulling traffic through when water covered the road or arranging detours when the water became too deep. Preparations are already complete for any emergency that may arise during the coming weeks, if flood conditions return.
50 years ago
February 7, 1964
A tentative four-unit plan for the reorganization of Lake County schools was approved by the Lake County committee Wednesday afternoon. Committee chairman Walter Mybeck ordered the draft completed and made ready for a public hearing. The final step after state acceptance is ratification of the plan by the voters in each district at an election held for that purpose. Approval of his plan will be district by district. If any district is not approved it will not affect the formation of those districts which are approved, Mybeck said. The districts not okayed will be subject to further reorganization planning. A rough geographical description of the plan makes North township, less East Chicago, the first unit. Calumet and Hobart townships plus East Chicago become the second unit. St. John and Ross townships comprise the third unit and the fourth unit takes in the remaining six south-county townships. The fourth unit, to be known as South Lake School corporation, will combine all school corporations and township schools in Hanover, Center, Winfield, West Creek, Cedar Creek and Eagle Creek townships. The schools in this area will be governed by a seven-member board of school trustees from seven electoral districts. The electoral districts are Cedar Creek township, Center except the City of Crown Point, Crown Point, Eagle Creek, Hanover, West Creek and Winfield townships. The trustees will be elected and each candidate, nominee or member must reside within a given electoral district and be voted upon by the registered voters residing within such an electoral district and voting at any school board member election. School board members must be 25 years old at the time of election and a resident of the particular electoral district from which he is a candidate or nominee for three or more years immediately preceding the election. The member must also be a registered voter and a feeholder in his electoral district. Compensation will be $500 a year.
Crown Point city council, at Monday’s monthly meeting, approved a contract with Boyd E. Phelps company of Michigan City for engineering work in the design and installation of additional city water service. The Phelps company contract stipulates a 6 percent fee for construction work, divided 4 1/2 percent for preparation of plans and specifications and 1 ½ percent for inspection and supervision of the construction work. The fee is based on cost of construction work only and not on land purchased. Test wells have been drilled by the Phelps company on 100 acres land back of Lake County greenhouse last year and a report made to Mayor Marvin Erlenbach indicating a plentiful supply of water. Before proceeding with engineering work, however, the mayor suggested the report be brought to date. Conferences have been held with the owners of the land needed for the new well field but a transaction has not yet been made.