Edith Lore Blossoms: Floods, Typhoid, The “Beauty Bunch,” a Scholarship…Plus a Plot Twist – 52 Ancestors #327

The newspapers of the early 1900s often reported on the social lives of their local residents. Thank goodness, for researchers today, that they did.

There’s so much to glean about these family members – sometimes by what IS said, and sometimes by what isn’t. I’ve learned so much about my grandmother, Edith Lore, and her parents, Nora Kirsch and Curtis Benjamin Lore, a self-made man and jack-of-all-trades.

A great deal has been revealed in these old black and white pages. I wrote about unexpected discoveries in Outside the Pale: The Lore Family’s “Remarkable” Life Revealed Through the Newspaper and Curt Lore “Shoots Wells” With Nitroglycerine and Dynamite.

We left the Lore family in 1906, when their eldest daughter, Edith Lore, was graduating from high school and turned 18. 1906 was a year of polar opposites with a few curve-balls thrown in. Let’s join the family and see what was going on.

Unidentified Connection

The social scene in Rushville was sometimes reported as far away as Indianapolis, Indiana, about 40 miles distant as the train runs.

  • April 1, 1906 (Indianapolis, Indiana newspaper) – Miss Bertha Helm entertained a number of friends Saturday evening in honor of Mrs. J. F. Wymond of Peoria, Illinois who is the guest of Mrs. C. B. Lore.

Of course, I have to wonder who Mrs. J. F. Wymond was, and how she is connected to Nora. Randall J. Wymond, it turns out, was the vice-president of the Peoria Cooperage Company and his business address was Aurora, Indiana, where Nora was born. He married Mabel Criswell in 1884. Nora’s sister, Carrie, married Joseph Smithfield Wymond, the brother of Randall. Perhaps the society column got the initials wrong or another one of Nora’s friends married a Wymond.

Sometimes these articles raise more questions than they answer and I run down every imaginable rabbit hole.

Commencement

Edith Lore, oldest child of Curt Lore and Nora Kirsch graduated from high school in the spring of 1906.The Indianapolis paper tells us that Gladstone Barrett is class President, Anna Meges Vice-president and Mertha Monjar Secretary-Treasurer. The class colors are royal purple and gold. A few weeks later, the Indianapolis paper carried this article about the commencement.

For most young ladies of that time, graduation would be the end of the line for education, but, surprisingly, not for Edith.

A few days later, Edith was already employed.

  • May 31, 1906 – J. B. Workman, the tax ferret, recently employed by the city of Rushville, has a force of young ladies at work in the Recorder’s office at the court house, copying mortgage records. Those who are at work are. <names omitted>, Edith Lore.

As a genealogist, I could go to Rushville and if the old mortgage book still exists, at least some of those records recopied into that book, I’m guessing, would be in my grandmother’s handwriting.

But Edith, born a hundred years too early, had larger ambitions.

Scholarship

The local newspaper carried a fascinating article:

  • June 15, 1906

Edith, my grandmother, won a 6-month scholarship to Business College in Indianapolis.

What?

Seriously?

I never heard A PEEP about this!

For any female to aspire to attend college in 1906 was amazing in and of itself – let alone with a scholarship.

Did she attend? I would presume that she did. I certainly hope so.

I can’t imagine Edith wasting this opportunity, especially not after specifically seeking the scholarship.

The Central Business College

The Central Business College became the Indiana Business College in the 1940s, located at 802 North Meridian. Established in 1902, it was represented as, “A modern business-training organization. This beautiful college home, located in the heart of cultural downtown Indianapolis – with its spacious commodious classrooms, its numerous and convenient transportation facilities and its various other accommodations presents an attractive appeal to young people who are ambitious to prepare for business careers.”

Amazingly, this building, now apartments, still stands. It’s really not the leaning either – Google maps.

When I saw the large building at right, above, down the street on Google Maps, I thought it looked familiar. Sure enough, it’s the library, and I’ve been there. Of course, I had absolutely NO idea that my grandmother went to college just a block away, and probably lived in that building or nearby while she was attending.

The Business College is the building in the lower left corner that resembles a church.

If walls could only talk.

Edith, who would turn 18 in August, was apparently used to traveling by herself by train – but living in a big city is something else entirely.

The question remains – did Edith actually attend the Business College in Indianapolis?

We know because of what we find out later that there was a backstory going on at home.

If Edith attended, beginning immediately in mid-June, then she would have been finished mid/late December, perhaps just in time for the holidays.

If she did attend, she must have returned home with her eyes open and full of lively discussion about Indianapolis, the big city.

Living away, alone, changes you and opens your eyes to possibilities you would never see otherwise.

There is enough time for Edith to attend college in Indy, but barely.

1907

  • January 4, 1907 – Miss Edith Lore has returned from a visit with relatives at Aurora. Her mother will return later.
  • January 5, 1907 – Greensburg Review: Mrs. C. B. Lore and daughter of Rushville after a visit here, the guests of Miss Stella Wise, have returned home.
  • January 9, 1907 – Curt Lore who has been employed with the Indianapolis, Columbus and Southern Interurban line at Scottsburg has returned to this city.

Apparently Curt found a job after his earlier challenges and illness. Those words “has been” are troubling. Is this a nice way of saying he lost that new job? What is going on? This is very unusual for Curt.

Typhoid!

  • January 22, 1907 – Curt Lore is quite ill at his home on west Second street, being threatened with typhoid fever.

Curt must have become sick after his return on the 9th and before the 22nd. Typhoid is a disease associated with consuming drinking water contaminated with human fecal matter and it’s often fatal. Ironic that Curt is the man drilling the wells for the city of Rushville to have clean water – although he could clearly have been exposed elsewhere.

Symptoms include severe headache, cough, extreme fatigue, abdominal cramping and distension, plus a range of other, more severe, symptoms. Typhoid can last from weeks to months. Generally, if the person is going to live, the fever begins to subside in the 4th week. That’s weeks, not days. Four long weeks. Holy cow!

Typhoid is highly contagious and risk of death without treatment with antibiotics is about 20%, generally in the third week of infection. Of course, they didn’t have antibiotics in 1907, so either the disease ran its course and you lived, or you didn’t. It sounds like a horribly long and dreadful ordeal.

Curt must have been miserably ill. He actually hadn’t been well since the fall, so typhoid was on top of whatever else was wrong. Later, we will learn what that “something else” is.

  • January 25, 1907 – John Ferveda pall bearer for Miss Maude Foust who died of typhoid followed by pneumonia.

Apparently, Rushville was having a typhoid epidemic.

This is the first mention of John Ferverda, Edith’s future husband, in Rushville. We don’t know when John was assigned to the depot there, although we know that he didn’t begin working for the railroad until 1904 and he was in Carthage for some amount of time.

Indeed, Rushville homes were still using outhouses and associated cesspools which was contaminating the drinking supply.

This graphic illustrates the contamination cycle.

This situation in Rushville was probably exacerbated by flooding.

An article on January 17th from Evansville regarding the severe floods stated that the conditions haven’t been worse relative to flooding since the great flood of 1884. “The present high stage [of the water] is backing the water up into the downtown sewers, and an epidemic of typhoid fever has resulted in some sections.”

Another report on January 18th says that the Ohio River is between 10 and 35 miles wide, resembling an ocean. Holy moley.

Of course, this means that Nora’s parents and sisters living in Aurora, at the Kirsch House, just a few blocks from the Ohio River were dramatically affected – as were her grandparents.

The local Aurora paper reported:

The city was entirely cut off from railroad or traction connection with the outside world, although the telephone and telegraph wires were still working. People can only get in or out of the city by boat. The last train to arrive had to feel its way along tracks covered in several places by water. The telegraph office is surrounded by water and has to be reached by boat.

That telegraph office was the depot beside the Kirsch House.

The city gas plant shut down because of the shoot and there is serious danger of a shortage of oil. Danger has been further enhanced by the toppling over of the big Standard Oil Tanks undermined by the flood.

Meanwhile, the waters continue to advance and the whole business section of the town has been invaded. About 1800 in all were rendered homeless by the flood, but those whose homes are still high and dry are generously throwing them open to the refugees. Great suffering is threatened in case of a sudden cold snap.

This picture of the 1937 flood in Aurora shows the magnitude of flooding in river towns and cities.

The Kirsch House where Nora grew up was about half a block behind the photographer.

This photo was taken from the intersection of Second and Bridgeway. You can see the same buildings.

Main Street in Aurora during the 1884 flood. Flooding occurred regularly.

Lawrenceburg, neighbor town to Aurora, that unlike Aurora had a levee, expected during the 1907 flood that if the levee was breached, the entire town would be under 6-9 feet of water. Rain was falling in torrents with gale force winds as the men attempted to reinforce the levee and keep it from breaching during the night.

Rushville too was directly on the Flatrock River, and if the rivers were flooding throughout the region, they were flooding in Rushville too. A Rushville article dated January 3 states that the “entire lowlands is flooded” with the water covering many roads and that the water is within 2 or 3 feet of houses in several places.”

These 1913 photos of flooding in Rushville, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, gives an idea of the what flooding in Rushville looked like when the Lore family lived there.

Rushville resembled a lake. Even the railroad undergirding became mucky and unstable, causing the timbers and rails to twist.

You can see the current and waves in the water. Imagine how cold this must have been in the middle of winter. Looks like meat and grocery delivery was a service as well – just not during the floods.

The rains continued for weeks, explaining how and why typhoid was introduced in the winter of 1907 in Rushville.

  • February 22, 1907 – Miss Edith Lore is suffering from the grip at her home on west Second Street. Her father, Curt Lore still continues ill.

We learn that both Edith and her father are ill, and I’d assume that they both have the grip, another word for flu. But that’s not the case.

  • February 25, 1907 – Miss Leah O’Neil entertained at six o-clock dinner Sunday the Misses Lucile Wilson, Fanny Gregg, Zelma Cox, Harriet Vredenburg, Curtis Lore and Lenore Wooden.
  • March 4, 1907 – Curt Lore of West Second continues quite ill.
  • March 6, 1907 – Misses Edith, Eloise and Mildred Lore left yesterday for a trip to Aurora. Miss Edith will enter a business college in Cincinnati.

Wow – so much to unpack in these articles. Business College, again, but this time in Cincinnati. And Curt is quite ill and has been now for weeks, since before January 22nd.

I suspect that the reason that these 3 daughters went to Aurora was so that they would not contract typhoid, or perhaps because Nora didn’t want the girls to see their father die, or both. Nora very clearly had her hands full.

But where was the fourth daughter, Curtis? Why didn’t she go to Aurora too? Curtis, by all reports, was extremely close to her father. Our family history says that Curtis helped care for Curt, her namesake parent. She remained in Rushville while Edith left to go to school and took the two youngest children with her. Curtis would have been 16 on March 8th. Some 16th birthday.

I find it interesting that Edith went to business college in Cincinnati, not in Indianapolis. Did she decline the Indy scholarship? Did she attend in Indy and then also in Cincy? Mom said that her aunt Carrie paid for Edith’s college in Cincy. Does this imply that Curt and Nora were having financial difficulties? That’s certainly possible, given that Curt has been very ill and unable to work.

This photo of Eloise taken at the depot in Aurora is labeled 1907, so I strongly suspect it was taken during this visit.

Eloise and Mildred in 1907.

Edith lived with her grandparents at the Kirsch House, located beside the depot, and took the train to Cincinnati each day where she attended business school.

  • Mrs. Wymond, of Aurora is visiting her sister Mrs. Curt Lore on west Second Street. Mr. Lore who has been ill some time continues about the same.
  • March 7, 1907 – Mrs. Joseph Wymond of Aurora who has been the guest of her sister, Mrs. Curt Lore on west Second street returned to her home yesterday afternoon.

If Curt was desperately ill, why was Nora’s sister visiting? Perhaps she came to take the girls to Aurora, although Edith was old enough to supervise her younger sisters.

Perhaps Carrie was helping to care for Curt. If he was bedfast, with intestinal symptoms, Nora probably needed all the help she could get.

Or perhaps she came to support her sister.

  • March 8, 1907 – Curt Lore of west Second Street is in a precarious condition, with little hope for recovery.

Given this, Nora probably asked her sister to come and take the girls so that they didn’t see their father pass away. Curtis, however, remained by his side.

Oh no!

  • March 16 and 18, the same notice – Curt Lore of west Second street remains about the same.

Curt is hanging on by a thread. It seems that typhoid is doing what oil wells, nitroglycerine and dynamite couldn’t do – lay Curt low.

Curt had been ill for over two months now and it appears obvious that the consensus is that he won’t survive.

But Wait…

  • March 21, 1907 – Curt Lore of west Second street was able to be out riding this morning.

That man is amazing. Three days ago, he was still given up for dead. This man, I swear, has nine lives.

  • March 22, 1907 – Clyde Clumber of Silver Lake has succeeded John Ferveda at the Big Four station. Mr. Ferveda is located at Rushville.

Does this mean that John was being transferred elsewhere? With Edith gone, studying in Cincinnati?

  • March 30, 1907 – Curt Lore was able to be uptown again today.

I didn’t expect to see this. Curt has obviously escaped the grim reaper and is on the mend. Close call!

Edith Receives Honors in Cincinnati

  • May 8, 1907 – Miss Edith Lore of this city who is attending school in Cincinnati has been highly complimented by the faculty of the institution.

Edith has been in school 2 months. I wish this article had provided the name of the institution.

Some creative googling with city directories shows that there are three candidates for business schools that Edith might have attended.

The Bartlett Commercial College was located near the Union Depot at 641 W. 4th, which would have been the closest distance to walk from the depot. The Mueller School of Business at 6th and Vine and Nelson’s Business College at 7th and Elm.

Edith learned office skills, specifically shorthand and administrative skills, along with bookkeeping.

I wish those academic records were available today.

  • May 10, 1907 – Daily Republican, Rushville, Indiana – Jacob Kirsch of Aurora, who has been here this week at the home of his daughter, Mrs. C. B. Lore and family, of West Second Street, returned home yesterday.

This is the only visit by Jacob that I found. He would have had a difficult time getting away from the Kirsch House even though he was clearly retirement age – 66. I wonder if there was an occasion or if he just decided to visit. Perhaps because Curt nearly died and he wanted to support his daughter.

Curt Goes Back to Work

Just a month later, Curt appears to be ready to go back to work.

  • June 10, 1907 – There are two applicants for the position of superintendent of the city water and light plant made vacant by Oliver M. Ong’s resignation. Curt Lore and T. Melville Greenlee are both aspirants for the position.

Interesting that after his recovery, Curt is now hunting for a job. I wonder what he was doing before and how the family managed financially while he was so desperately ill.  Maybe Jacob Kirsch delivered money.

Curt did not get the job, but that didn’t keep him from working. Although, life’s deck of cards seemed to be stacked against him.

  • June 11, 1907 – Quite a loss sustained by Curtis Lore yesterday when one of his horses which he drives to his street sprinkler died from some unknown cause.

This is the second horse that dropped dead on Curt, 18 months apart. The first one was on a farm though, so Curt wasn’t personally involved.

About this time, Curt must have felt like if it weren’t for bad luck, he would have had no luck at all. He must have been crushed and felt defeated.

  • June 24, 1907 – Mildred Lore of West Second street has returned home from several months visit with relatives in Aurora, Indiana. She was accompanied home by her sister, Miss Edith.

This was 3 months after Edith left to attend business school. Mother said that Edith’s Aunt, Carrie, paid for Edith’s schooling. Was this the extent of Edith’s college education?  Was there more schooling yet to come?

Mildred was born in 1899, so she would have been 8 years old. How was she able to visit Aurora for months on end? What about school?

Arrested!!!

  • June 25, 1907 – City Marshal Price arrested Curt Lore this afternoon on West Second street on a charge of provoking an officer.

Oh my! This man is full of surprises!

  • June 26, 1907 – Lore Trial Will Come Up Monday – City Marshal Declares that Lore insisted on Making Provoking Declarations – Curt Lore was before Mayor Cowing this morning, charged with provoking an officer and his trial was set for next Monday morning. F. J. Hall appeared for him. The case is the outcome of an altercation between Lore and City Marshal Price. The controversy arose over a statement Lore is said to have made to Price declaring that the city officials only made arrests to secure the fees. This incensed the officer and after repeated demands of Lore to refrain from making such a statement, he was placed under arrest.
  • July 2, 1907 – Special Judge Will Hear the Curt Lore Case – The trial of Curt Lore who is charged with provoke on City Marshal Price was again postponed yesterday in Mayor Cowing’s court, and the case will be heard Friday morning by Special Judge George Young. A constable will be sworn in to fulfill the city marshal’s duties in making up a jury.

Was a special judge required because Curt or the Marshall was friends with the judge?

  • July 3, 1907 – Miss Curtis Lore of West Second street will go to Aurora Saturday for a visit with her grandparents.

I need a scorecard to keep track of where the girls are. Even though this extended family lived in separate towns, they remained very close, despite distance. This was probably facilitated by the fact that both families lived very close to the depots in Rushville and Aurora. The granddaughters spent a great deal of time with their grandparents and aunts at the Kirsch House. Their great-grandparents, Barbara Drechsel Kirsch’s parents were living as well, with Barbara Mehlheimer Drechsel passing away in January of 1906 and George Drechsel in February of 1908 at age 85.

Maybe they went to visit their grandparents because Nora didn’t want them at home during the trial. Curt Lore seemed to be a bit hotheaded and I’d wager, he was swearing a bit. Nora certainly would NOT have wanted her girls hearing that.

  • July 5, 1907

The court sustaining the motion means that the judge agrees with the motion. Quashing an indictment means that it is made void or invalid.

This is over. I guess hiring attorney Hall was worth the money for Curt. Nora was probably furious with him.

This episode leaves me with two thoughts. First, that perhaps Curt wasn’t entirely “right” after his severe illness, or maybe there is more to this story that we’ll never know.

Never Mind – Nothing to See Here

My second thought is the remarkable contrast between this drama involving Curt and the next entry about his wife who, the same day, is apparently playing cards and trying to act as if nothing has happened. “Nothing to see here. Just men being men. Carry on.”

  • July 6, 1907 – A delightful time was spent Wednesday afternoon at the Social club when Mrs. Oliver Dale entertained the 3 card clubs. A three course luncheon was served. Mrs. Curtis Lore won the honors for the Five Hundred.

Five Hundred must have become a family tradition. Mom played with her mother, Edith, and I played with my Mom.

  • July 9, 1907 – Curt Lore was in Greensburg this morning on business.
  • August 3, 1907 – Mrs. J. R. Whyman (is this Wymond?) of Aurora, Indiana is the guest of Mrs. C. B. Lore on West Second Street.

I suspect this is Nora’s sister, with the initials mistyped and the last name misspelled.

  • August 3, 1907 – Miss Eloise Lore, daughter and Mr. and Mrs. C. B. Lore returned today from 6 months stay in Aurora.

Wow – 6 months. That’s a VERY long time to be away from home, especially for a young child. This is odd.

  • August 9, 1907 – Misses Curtis Lore and Lucile Meredith are the guests of Miss Pauline Coverston at Goshen.
  • August 19, 1907 – Miss Curtis Lore will play piano at the Star beginning tonight.

The Star appears to be a movie theater where films are shown. This entry appeared under “Amusements.”

  • September 5, 1907 – Festival Queen Voting Lively: First Day Marks Many Nominations and Many Votes are Cast

At first, I thought of this as trivial, but then noticed the prize – a piano. Clearly NOT trivial, but Curtis isn’t in the lead.

Edith had returned home in June. The youngest daughter, Eloise was sent to Aurora as well in February, about the time that the Typhoid epidemic hit and returned home in August. Both Curtis and Mildred, the middle daughters, seem to have remained at home.

Building Bridges

By October, Curt was bidding on bridge repair contracts and traveling again.

  • October 7, 1907 – There were two bridge contracts awarded. The building of the Hinchman Bridge was let to Curtis Lore at $828.
  • October 9, 1907 – Curt Lore made a business trip to Indianapolis and Columbus yesterday.
  • October 11, 1907 – Curt Lore has received the steel for the construction of the HInchman bridge and work will begin immediately.

How did Curt know how to build bridges? Bridges and oil wells don’t seem connected. Apparently Curt became a contractor, either intentionally or accidentally during this time.

If money could be made, Curt, the consummate entrepreneur, figured out how and executed on that plan.

Courting

By November 1907, we know that Edith was at least flirting with John Ferverda. She sent him a postcard with her photo on the front. This at least suggests that she is living back at home, and her schooling only lasted for three months.

  • November 20, 1907 – Curt Lore, the contractor, has just completed the excavation for a vault being built for Theo. Reed at East Hill cemetery. It will be constructed of concrete and have nine receptacles for caskets in it. The vault will be located on the side of a hill in the new part of the cemetery.

Ok, add mausoleum builder to Curt’s lengthy resume. This substantial building still stands today.

  • December 18, 1907 – Miss Estelle Brehm, of Spokane, Washington comes this week to spend the holidays with her cousin, Mrs. C. B. Lore in West Second Street.

Estelle Brehm, born in 1884 in Chicago, is the daughter of Nora’s mother’s sister.

  • December 19, 1907 – Dear Santa Claus: Please bring me a doll, a go-cart, a sled, some candy and oranges. Your friend, Mildred Lore

1908

This oh-so-cute photo is labeled “Mildred and Eloise, Rushville, 1908.” Given the winter scene, I’d suspect it was January or February. I surely wish I recognized one of those houses today.

Of course, I have to laugh. Is Mildred sitting on a sled? Maybe she had been good and Santa delivered!

  • January 24, 1908 – Mrs. J. S. Wymond of Aurora is here the guest of her sister, Mrs. C. B. Lore in West Second Street.
  • February 26, 1908 – George Drechsel, Nora’s grandfather, died in Aurora and was buried on the 28th. There is nothing in the paper to indicate that either Nora or her sister went home to Aurora and attended his funeral, but I bet they did.

The Watson Beauty Bunch

Based on various newspaper articles, it appears that there were two groups of women called the “Watson Beauty Bunch.” The first group was disbanded on February 8, 1908 where it was reported that “they got their last pay envelope and an honorable discharge this evening.” However, that certainly wasn’t the end of the line.

The “Beauty Bunch” appears to have been reconstituted shortly thereafter with new women. Edith Lore was a member of the second group which was formed in an effort to garner publicity and get candidate Jim Watson elected.

  • March 12, 1908

  • March 20, 1908 – In a local minstrel talent show that packed the theater, we find “the Misses Curtis Lore and Mabel Condon played piano for the various acts and songs.”
  • April 2, 1908 – Watson Beauty Bunch:

Edith’s schooling paid off in that she secured a high-profile position with Jim Watson’s political campaign. Today, we might look askance at this characterization, but in the time and place where she lived, being part of the “Beauty Bunch” would have been far more exciting that what the other young women in Rushville were doing.

These young ladies were able to travel and meet exciting people.

Watson had a crew of young women, stenographers, who wrote his flyers, probably his speeches, and worked as his staff to get him elected.

By reading this newspaper account of Watson’s nomination, we can share in some of the heady atmosphere of that day as Edith pinned badges on supporters at Watson’s headquarters. How she must have loved the energy generated by doing something she believed in.

She must have been so excited. This next article conveys some of that electricity, even 113 years, almost to the day, later.

The Watson Beauty Bunch group photo was published many times.

The Watson Beauty Bunch would have been considered very sexist today, in essence exploiting women, and not for their benefit. I don’t know how Edith felt about this, then or later – although she often told stories about this time to her family. For Edith, these seemed to be “the good old days.” My mother mentioned this, and never in a negative context, simply as something interesting involving her mother’s involvement with politics before women even had the right to vote.

Edith and the other “Beauty Bunch” ladies experienced some amount of notoriety and their involvement was exciting and unique for that time.

This experience shaped Edith. In 1920 and 1921, she focused on obtaining Indiana’s ratification of the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote, then registering women the following year and working the polls. She provided a welcoming, friendly face at the polling location, explaining the voting process to women uncertain about how to vote that first time.

Edith clearly believed in what she was doing and she made a difference. Maybe a bit of Curt’s tenacity and “can do” attitude rubbed off on her.

I smile and think of her every single time I vote. I’m grateful to her and the other women who advocated for that right.

Based on this next short article, perhaps these ladies felt that they were involved in something larger than themselves – that they were able to be recognized contributors instead of remaining invisible and anonymous.

  • March 17, 1908, Indianapolis Star

Mother said that James Watson wanted Edith to accompany him to Washington DC to work for him permanently, but she declined – a decision she always regretted. Watson, a Republican, was defeated in his 1908 bid for Indiana governor after resigning his seat in the House of Representatives to run for governor, but continued to be very influential in politics, eventually returning to Washington in the Senate.

Edith married John Ferverda just 10 days after James Watson’s defeat. I wonder if those two items are in any way connected.

It’s sad that in 1908 the extent of these women’s acknowledged contributions were as stenographers and eye candy.

Another perspective would be that while Watson certainly couldn’t help how women were socially perceived and the institutional discrimination that existed at that time, he was giving credit where credit was due, allowing those typically marginalized to the shadows to experience some limelight. I can’t speak to his motivation, but I’m certainly delighted to have this information about an extremely interesting and inspirational chapter in Edith’s life.

Her skills opened doors and her example paved the way for others.

A stenographer was “one who transcribes,” according to Wikipedia, “such as a secretary who takes dictation,” often in shorthand.

Edith’s stint in business school wasn’t really about business at all, but focused more on secretarial skills that were supportive to those in business. Few jobs or career opportunities were available to women at that time, and stenography was one that was.  The barrier to entry was apparently “business school.” Even secretarial jobs required skills and training beyond what most women were likely to possess. Today, people who fill these types of positions are more aptly called administrative assistants. They were often the glue that held everything together.

Despite the restrictive nature of these positions, it was this skill set that saw Edith’s family through the Great Depression. Aunt Carrie would have been very pleased that her investment reaped life-saving benefits for her niece, years after Carrie had passed on. Perhaps that early scholarship had, indeed, been life-changing.

  • April 2, 1908 – Story covering the convention: Miss Mae Bebout and Miss Edith Lore of this city…officiated at headquarters, pinning Watson badges on all who entered.
  • April 9, 1908 – The Watson Beauty Bunch will have a “Dissolution Dinner” at Whitehead’s Saturday evening.

Building Bridges

Then as now, road maintenance begins in the spring, just about Easter time, and continues through late fall when the ground freezes.

  • April 18, 1908 – Easter Sunday reading at the First Presbyterian Church by Mildred Lore: “Daisies in the Meadow”
  • May 7, 1908 – Curt Lore was in Connersville yesterday evening on business.
  • May 25, 1908 – Mrs. C. B. Lore and daughter Mildred left Saturday for a visit with relatives at Aurora.
  • May 28, 1908 – A number of contracts were awarded…C. B. Lore was successful on the Rudy Arch, $214, Booth bridge $514, Kennedy bridge repair, $410 and Kiplinger, $750.

The Library of Congress shows this drawing of the Kennedy Bridge, built in 1881. Curt repaired it in 1908.

Of course, today, drivers don’t even realize they are crossing a body of water.

  • June 5, 1908 – Miss Ethel Walker of Shelbyville is visiting Miss Curtis Lore this week.
  • June 6, 1908 – Curt Lore who was recently awarded a number of bridge building contracts went to Cincinnati today where he purchased a large cement mixer.
  • June 7, 1908 – Curt Lore was in Connersville yesterday evening on business.

I can’t help but wonder what Curt was doing in these various locations where he traveled regularly throughout his residence in Rushville.

  • June 10, 1908 – C. B. Lore has returned from a trip to Columbus and Indianapolis
  • June 10, 1908 – C. B. Lore who purchased a large concrete mixer at Cincinnati this week began work today on the Booth bridges, south of this city.

Frog Hunting

  • June 12, 1908 – Took Wagon Along to Haul Greenback – Party Went Frogging But Horse Did Not Suffer Hauling Bagged Game. – In a frog hunting party that started in a spring wagon but only captured six of the green backs last night along Flatrock were <names omitted>, John Ferveda and Edith Lore. The usual catch for a small boy is 50 frogs in one night, but this throws no discredit on the party as it was not a good night for greenbacks.

So John Ferverda took Edith on a frog-hunting date??? In those long skirts?  And she married him anyway! Must have been true love!

Maybe they weren’t really concentrating on those frogs…hmmm.

Summer in Rushville

  • June 13, 1908 – Recitation at Presbyterian Church by Eloise Lore – “The Party”
  • July 2, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore will go to Lake Tippecanoe tomorrow to spend a two week vacation with relatives and friends.

If Edith spent two weeks at Lake Tippecanoe, she clearly wasn’t employed someplace.

  • July 3, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore went to Lake Tippecanoe today for a visit with relatives.

I’m unclear as to who, but I think someone in the family owned a cottage on the lake.

  • July 9, 1908 – Ed Kirsch has returned to his home in Burnsides, Kentucky after a visit with his sister, Mrs. C. B. Lore in West Second Street.

This is Ed’s only visit that I’ve found. Nora’s other brother, Martin, apparently never visited or if he did, it didn’t get reported in the paper.

  • July 27, 1908 – Miss Chloe Ferveda has returned to her home near Lake Tippecanoe after a visit here with Miss Edith Lore.

Aha – perhaps Edith’s visit to the lake was to spend time with John Ferverda’s family.

  • July 18, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore has returned from a visit with friends at Lake Tippecanoe.

Chloe Ferverda is John Ferverda’s sister. Was the family checking Edith out as possible in-law material? Is that why Edith visited Lake Tippecanoe?

  • August 5, 1908 – Miss Curtis Lore will go to Aurora next week for a visit with relatives.

Curtis would have been 17 years old and probably traveled on the train by herself. When she stepped off the train at the depot in Aurora, she was literally on her grandmother’s doorstep.

Amusement Park Summertime Fun

We don’t think of our ancestors a century ago visiting amusement parks, but they did. In fact, that was the beginning of that summer tradition.

  • August 10, 1908 – Misses Curtis Lore and <names omitted>, of this city were in Indianapolis yesterday. They visited Wonderland and Riverside Park.

These two amusement parks were new at that time. Riverside opened in 1903 and didn’t close until 1970. Wonderland, a trolley and water themed park, shown below, opened in 1906, was raided for selling illegal liquor in 1911, and subsequently burned.

I can’t imagine visiting an amusement park wearing those long multi-layered dresses.

  • August 29, 1908 – Misses Mildred and Eloise Lore returned Friday afternoon after a visit with W. R. Coverston and family at Goshen.
  • September 23, 1908 – C. B. Lore is at Knightstown on business today.
  • September 24, 1908 – The new Republican headquarters on the ground floor of the K of P building are the most adequate ever secured. County Chairman Charles A. Frazee is in charge and Miss Edith Lore is officiating as stenographer. Drop in and do a little dictating, is the slogan; talk it over and pass your hand around. Everybody made welcome.
  • September 25, 1908 – Mrs. Theodore Bosse of Aurora is the guest of Mrs. C. B. Lore.

Mrs. Theodore Bosse was “Aunt Lou,” Nora’s aunt, her mother’s sister who was widowed and had remarried on May 3, 1908 to Theodore Busse/Bosse in Aurora. I’m sure Nora was thrilled to see her aunt who arrived with Nora’s mom, Aunt Lou’s sister.

  • September 25, 1908 – Mrs. Jacob Kirsch visiting her daughter Mrs. C. B. Lore.

Tragedy

Nora’s mother, Barbara Drechsel Kirsch was having a tough year. Her father died. Barbara’s daughter, Lou, and husband, Charles “Todd” Fiske, had come home to live. Todd had lost his job as a civil engineer, a situation he found devastating, forcing the couple to return to the Kirsch House to live. A few weeks later, on October 31st, Halloween, tragedy struck. It’s a good thing Barbara visited Nora when she did.

  • October 15, 1908 – Circuit court allowances – Edith B. Lore – court stenographer $8.00

I had no idea my grandmother was a court stenographer, recording trials by taking shorthand, a specialized skill.

  • October 28, 1908 – Night Parade for Saturday Republican Rally – Fireworks Committee – Curt Lore.

On Halloween evening, October 31, 1908, Todd Fiske, husband of Nora’s sister, Lou Kirsch Fiske, committed suicide by shooting himself in the courtyard at the Kirsch House in Aurora, Indiana.

November 5, 1908 – Seymour Indiana Tribute

Three days later, on November 3rd, the Indiana election was held in which James Watson was defeated. While the Watson Beauty Bunch had apparently been officially disbanded, meaning they were no longer paid – they continued to appear in at public events and are mentioned often in the newspaper. They participated in parades, riding floats, performed readings, and were generally front, center and visible.

Edith must have been extremely disappointed with the outcome of the election. Not to mention heartbroken for the grief her family was experiencing as a result of two deaths.

A double whammy, especially since the girls spent so much time in Aurora with their grandparents and aunts.

  • November 9, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore left this morning for a visit at Aurora.
  • November 10, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore went to Aurora yesterday for an extended visit with relatives.
  • November 14, 1908 – Miss Edith Lore returned today from a visit with her grandparents in Aurora.

Did Edith have news to share with her grandmother or was she simply going to participate in the funeral? Where was Nora and the other Lore daughters? Why didn’t they travel to Aurora?

Is something else going on?

  • November 15, 1908 – Fine musical program rendered at the First Presbyterian church Sunday might was a quartette…John Ferveda, tenor.

I never knew my grandfather sang, outside the general choir, or that he was a tenor.

The paper has consistently misspelled his name in every entry. Goes to show the value of searching for variants of names.

Surprise Wedding!

Three days later, we find at least some answers.

  • November 17, 1908 – A marriage license was issued yesterday evening to Miss Edith Barbara Lore and John Whitney Ferveda.
  • November 18, 1908 – Miss. Edith Barbara Lore and Mr. John Whitney Ferveda were quietly married at the Presbyterian church parsonage in North Harrison Street last night by Rev. J. L. Cowling.

No one in the family ever knew that this wedding was “quiet.” Edith was assuredly not pregnant, so that wasn’t the reason. Their first child wasn’t born for more than 7 years.

If this wedding had been being planned previously, there would have been invitations and the entire event would have been a social happening in Rushville. The Lore family was well known.

Why was did the marriage occur at this time, in the parsonage and not the church, and “quietly?” Why subdued with no celebration? The same day as the license was issued? A Tuesday. Did they decide to get married on the spur of the moment? Did they tell ANYONE in advance?

Did her parents and sisters attend? Clearly, her aunts and grandparents did not.

This is so out-of-character for this family. Why?

And what about John Ferverda’s family?

  • November 21, 1908

Why is this article titled, “Left a Deep Impression?”

I suspect that quietly married meant that it was a private, not public, service, with just the bride and groom and perhaps her parents.

I wonder if, given Edith’s father’s illness that they simply couldn’t afford a wedding. That may well have been true, but perhaps there were other factors involved too.

The suicide three weeks earlier surely affected everyone in the family. Jim Watson lost the election. Edith married just 10 days later. Did Edith have other plans had Watson won? Did Todd’s suicide make Edith realize that life was short and perhaps she should marry her love?

Maybe some combination?

We’ll never know.

Or perhaps it was quiet for another reason.

John Ferverda’s family was Brethren, so they would not have been pleased about this marriage. Was the “quiet” wedding an effort to spare his family, or for his family’s disapproval not to be made public by their conspicuous absence at a wedding?

John wasn’t the only Ferverda brother to marry outside the faith and inform his parents later. The Ferverda family had met Edith during her summer visit. Edith’s stenography, attending college and Beauty Bunch membership would have rubbed against the grain of expected female behavior within the Brethren faith.

John and Edith could have married at the Kirsch House, but then again, given Todd’s untimely death, that wasn’t such a good idea either.

The other tidbit in this article is that Curt drilled the first gas well in Greensburg. I wonder when? We know he resided in Findlay, Ohio but had been drilling in Greensburg for several months when he married Nora in January of 1888.

Research in newspapers and historical books indicates that 1889 and 1890 were years of intensive gas drilling in adjacent communities. I would guess that the gas well is what prompted the family’s move to Greensburg between 1888 and 1890.

Reception

Four days after her wedding, Mrs. Edith Lore Ferverda hosted her friends. That “Mrs.” is a coveted status symbol, so important to note.

  • November 23, 1908 – The Watson Beauty Bunch were entertained by Mrs. Edith Lore Ferveda at her home in West Second street last Saturday evening.

This was probably Edith’s wedding reception, of sorts. The newlyweds didn’t even have time for a honeymoon – even a short trip. Nothing was mentioned in the paper.

By now, with the newspaper announcement, everyone would have known that Edith and John had married. They were living with her parents, at least temporarily. Even though today, we don’t know what was happening behind the scenes – trust me – everyone in Rushville did.

For now, we fade to black for the next few months.

There was more going on than met the eye.

In the frozen depths of the 1909 winter, we’ll find out exactly what…

_____________________________________________________________

Disclosure

I receive a small contribution when you click on some of the links to vendors in my articles. This does NOT increase the price you pay but helps me to keep the lights on and this informational blog free for everyone. Please click on the links in the articles or to the vendors below if you are purchasing products or DNA testing.

Thank you so much.

DNA Purchases and Free Transfers

Genealogy Products and Services

Books

Genealogy Research

7 thoughts on “Edith Lore Blossoms: Floods, Typhoid, The “Beauty Bunch,” a Scholarship…Plus a Plot Twist – 52 Ancestors #327

    • I haven’t been back there since the 80s when I went with Mom. I could kick myself. My great aunt was still alive and I want to ask her so many questions now. I didn’t even realize I had those questions back then.

      • I know what you mean by that! Like I said, I could help. Also, I have ancestors that were in Greensburg and in Rush County for a bit. I know we’re not related, but I kind of need to visit down there anyway, possibly even next month. Email or text me.

  1. My grandmother Mary N Hague Manley (1872-1916) was also a stenographer at the relevant time in Canton, Ohio. As it turns out, she was the 3rd cousin of Mae Bebout who appears in the newspaper articles with your grandmother! Small world. Saw that unusual name and just had to track it backwards to the common ancestor 😉 What else is there to do in lockdown here in France?!

  2. WOW! Love your stories. So much research. In the 1950’s, I did go to Riverside Park in Indy.

  3. Aghhh, another cliffhanger! I am so glad Curt survived that illness, yet I am sad to hear about the situation with Charles Fiske. I love the photo of Edith with the umbrella, too! Looking forward to the next installment!

Leave a Reply