1908 ended in Rushville, Indiana with Edith Lore marrying John Ferverda in November, “quietly,” the same day as they obtained their license, in the home of the Presbyterian minister.
For socialites, Nora Kirsch Lore and Curt Lore, this turn of events for their daughter was quite out of character. Why on earth did Edith and John marry in this manner? And no, in case you’re wondering, there wasn’t a baby on the way.
Perhaps it was because Curt was out of commission for several weeks in 1908 when he had typhoid and nearly died.
Perhaps an unfortunate suicide within the family had made the couple decide that sooner was better than later.
Or, maybe there was more to the story.
What was happening in Rushville in the Lore family?
Rushville in 1909
Postcard courtesy Indiana Historical Society.
Never doubt for one minute that Rushville was a fast-living high-stakes horse-racing town.
This birds-eye view from 1909 clearly shows the racetrack beside the creek, in the flood-prone area. Rushville was built around racing.
Courtesy Indiana Historical Society
That horse racing track was quite large in comparison to the village itself, perhaps reflective of its outsized influence on the citizens. Much of Rushville’s early development was thanks to “horse money.”
Curt and Nora lived in town, raising their four daughters, but Curt’s racehorses were boarded someplace nearby. This postcard, courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society, shows a typical horse farm. Indeed, for all we know, one, or some of these could have been Curt’s.
Even today, the area that was originally the horse-racing track is still quite large when compared to the rest of the city and dominates the landscape.
The courthouse is marked with a red star, then the First Presbyterian Church where Nora and the girls attended services, and finally, on West Second Street, the location where the Lore family lived.
Panning out a bit, further to the left, we see the East Hill Cemetery. Curt Lore built a mausoleum there for the Reed family in 1907. It was the last stop for Rushville citizens.
Curt himself had cheated the grim reaper in 1907. In January, he came down with typhoid. For weeks on end, the newspaper reported that he was very ill and not expected to survive. Imagine reading that if you were his wife or daughters.
John Ferverda was a pallbearer in January for a typhoid victim, probably a friend of his future wife, Edith.
The river had flooded, contaminating wells with sewage. Nora sent the girls to their grandmother’s in Aurora, preparing for the worst.
One daughter, Curtis, remained at home to help care for her father.
Did the other daughters, especially the two youngest children, realize they were being sent away to spare them the agony of witnessing their father’s death?
On March 18th, Curt was still reported to be the same, but then, on the 21st, the newspaper reported him to be out riding. Not on a horse, I’m sure, but in a buggy. Then again, a week later.
Glory be! Curt had triumphed in his battle against the Grim Reaper.
On June 10th, Curt seemed to be functioning again. He applied for a position as the superintendent of light and water that he did not get. He still, however, retained the city’s street sprinkler contract, but on the 11th his horse died.
Curt still retained his spunk, mixing it up with the local Marshall and got himself arrested in June. This is the only record of Curt actually getting into legal trouble, although I suspect he stepped quite close to that line regularly.
Life continued for his daughters and Nora like normal. Social outings, card games, meetings at the social club, church – all reported in the local newspaper. Thankfully, for me.
In October 1907, Curt bid on and was awarded bridge repair contracts. That apparently worked well, because he was awarded additional contracts in May of 1908. In June, he purchased a “large cement mixer,” so he was apparently planning on doing more construction and bridge repair.
At that point, we were beginning to see less of Curt in the newspaper, but in September he was visiting Knightstown on business and in October 1908, was involved with a political parade.
We also find fewer mentions of Nora in the social columns. Of course, one might surmise that because her grandparents were ill and passed away and because her sister’s husband met with an untimely and tragic death on Halloween that perhaps Nora was otherwise occupied.
Everything seemed pretty much normal, if somewhat quiet…right up until the extremely subdued November wedding of Edith and John.
Normally, the Rushville newspaper social column tells us who is visiting whom on the train, especially during the holidays. Not one peep about any of the Lore family. Nada. Nothing.
What was going on?
- January 27, 1909 – John Ferveda got several encores with his singing act.
- February 1 and February 10, 1909 – C. B. Lore is in very poor health at his home on West Second Street.
Uh oh, now we know. Curt’s sick again.
- April 15, 1909 – Nora Lore to Curtis B. Lore, part lot 5 in the original plat of Rushville, $1, etc.
Based on a later entry where Nora sells this lot, I suspect that this transaction is reversed and Curt deeded the lot to Nora. Curt is transferring assets to Nora.
- May 14, 1909 – Newspaper states that John Ferveda (sic) is the operator at the Big 4 Station in Rushville and had at one time an assistant in the office in Carthage. Carthage is about 15 miles northwest of Rushville.
- June 1, 1909 – Misses Curtis and Mildred Lore went to Aurora yesterday to be the guests of their grandmother for several weeks.
- June 17, 1909 – Children’s Day will be observed at the Presbyterian church next Sunday. The Sunday School will render interesting exercises in the evening: “That Little Word of Don’t” – Eloise Lore
- June 21, 1909 – Misses Curtis and Mildred Lore returned Saturday from Aurora where they have been the guests of their grandparents. Their sister, Eloise, who has been visiting there several months accompanied them home.
The girls are growing up. Curtis is 18, Mildred is 10 and Eloise is just under 6. Caring for a family in addition to Curt’s apparent illness must have been extremely difficult for Nora. Edith was married, but she and John helped Nora.
- June 23, 1909 – Carrie Wieman of Aurora is the guest of Mr. and Mrs. Curt Lore and family on Second Street.
Carrie Kirsch Wymond was Nora’s sister. The daughters of the Kirsch family had been on the receiving end of grief for months. Margaret’s husband, Todd Fiske killed himself on Halloween the fall before.
Carrie’s husband was increasingly ill with syphilis which was probably quite the closely guarded family secret. Sadly, he had given it to her too.
- June 26, 1909 – Curt Lore who is also in the business, is oiling in Main Street between First and Second. He heats the oil before applying it and says that it will last longer. The summer will probably come and go and all the streets in the downtown district will never be oiled, if the weatherman continues to oppose the movement. The rain is not injurious to the oil, but stops the work and it cannot be put on while the streets are wet. An almost continuous rain fell for 48 hours shortly after the improvement was tried in front of the Daily Republican office and did no harm.
- June 29, 1909 – Tim Hiner and Curt Lore were busily engaged today oiling Main Street between 2nd and 3rd.
Curt is back at work! He recovered AGAIN. This is amazing!
- July 13, 1909 – Rushville Daily Republican – Edgar Lore of Shelbyville is the guest of his uncle, C. B. Lore and family on West Second Street.
This is a fascinating record because it gives a name to one of Curt’s nephews. I wonder if this is Lon’s son. Census and Ancestry research don’t show this Edgar in Shelbyville or nearby. There is an Edgar in Butler Co., PA who may be related. The mystery remains about Curt Lore’s brothers and their families, but this is one more puzzle piece. Maybe someday a DNA match will help answer the questions about Curt’s family.
- July 14, 1909 – Mrs. J. S. Wymond is the guest of C. B. Lore and family on West Second for several days.
I suspect that Carrie was no longer living with her husband, all things considered.
- July 18, 1909 – Edger Kirsch returned to Shelbyville today after spending a few days with C. B. Lore and family.
- July 28, 1909 – Mr. and Mrs. Russell Payne, Mr. and Mrs. John Ferveda, Miss Curtis Lore and George Kelly have established a camp a short distance north of this city.
I wonder what camping in 1909 was like? I never even considered that my grandmother even MIGHT HAVE camped.
FamilySearch offered this photo of camping and cooking, and I found a book written in 1909 about the same subject.
- Martin Kirsch and son Edgar of Shelbyville spent Sunday with Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Lore and family in West Second Street. They made the trip on motorcycles.
- August 17, 1909 – C. R. Morgan of Alexandria is relieving J. W. Ferveda, Big Four operator. Mr. and Mrs. Ferveda while on their vacation will visit relatives in Aurora and Leesburg.
Edith and John spent their vacation visiting both sets of parents.
- August 27, 1909 – Of course the I. & C. officials did not know that George Kelly and Miss Curtis Lore had spent the afternoon together on the fairground. But the car was crowded and the officials thought that the very last one had got on that could ride. Miss Lore was the last. George stood and watched the car pull out and wished there had been room for one more. And now their friends are having a lot of fun out of it.
We know that Curtis Lore had a boyfriend from my grandmother’s stories, but we’ve never known who he was. The boyfriend’s family apparently moved “west” as in to someplace like Arizona. Curtis wanted to go along, at that time, to improve her health. Nora said no, and always blamed herself for what happened to Carrie after he and his family left. Nora regretted that decision for the rest of her life.
Was that boyfriend George Kelly? I suspect so. I do not find any George Kelly in Rush County in the 1910 census, so he could have been “the one.”
- September 1909 – Joseph Wymond, Carrie Kirsch Wymond’s husband is committed to the Wabash Valley Sanitorium near Lafayette, Indiana where he would eventually die of his “affliction.”.
- October 20, 1909 – Mr. and Mrs. Will Coverston of Goshen arrived last night to be the guests of Mr. and Mrs. Curt Lore in West Second Street.
- October 21, 1909 – Mr. and Mrs. Ed. L. Beer entertained at 6 o’clock dinner last evening Mr. and Mrs. Will Coverston of Goshen and Mrs. Curt Lore.
- October 22, 1909 – Mrs. Will Coverston has been the guest of Mrs. Curt Lore on West second street and went to Anderson before returning home to Goshen.
It seems that the Coverstons continued to be close friends of Curt and Nora. They had likely came to say goodbye to Curt and help Nora.
You see, Curt had tuberculosis.
I’m amazed given the contagious nature of this disease which was untreatable before antibiotics that so many people came and went.
- November 17, 1909 – C. B. Lore who has been ill for several months is very low at his home on West Second Street.
- November 26, 1909
Curt died. He had cheated the Grim Reaper so many times before. In 1907 and 1908 and even earlier in 1909. But not this time.
The Grim Reaper came calling, knocking on the door, intending to collect. Sadly, there was no escaping, not even for seemingly invincible Curt Lore.
Curt was only 48 years old, or so this and his obituary both say.
Ironically, even with this death certificate, there is still uncertainty about when he was born, based on the 1860 census in Pennsylvania which tells us he was born in 1856.
It’s pretty hard to be in the 1860 census if you weren’t born until a year later.
Perhaps Curt had not been entirely forthcoming with Nora. Maybe once he had subtracted 5 years off of his age, it was just easier to remain “younger” than face the music of an angry wife.
Yep, born in 1861 it was. No one would ever know – at least not until genealogists started digging. Pesky great-granddaughter, anyway:)
It’s worth noting that the obituary mentions several things and omits others. Curt’s father is noted, for example, but not his mother who outlived his father. It mentions that Curt had four brothers. That’s true, but he had at least one more and possibly two that lived to adulthood.
He also had one sister who positively outlived him.
This family is incredibly difficult to unravel due to the combination of a lack of records and becoming so fractured and scattered after both parents’ deaths.
Curt was making his way in life on his own from about the age of 12 or so.
But perhaps most interesting is that there is no mention of children other than his daughters with Nora.
My grandfather and my great-aunt used to talk about Curt’s illness. His death certificate tells us that he had tuberculosis for about 3 years. This article mentions that he has been quite ill for the past year, which equates almost exactly to the time when Edith and John married. Perhaps now we’ve solved the mystery of why they married “quietly.” Curt was becoming increasingly ill. Perhaps the young couple realized he wasn’t going to get better, so there was no pointing waiting to marry. He wasn’t going to be able to walk Edith down the aisle, nor pay for a wedding – ever.
Three years tracks back to about November of 1906, give or take. That was the fall that Edith was in business college, assuming she actually did attend in Indianapolis.
In early January of 1907, the newspaper reports that “Curt Lore who has been employed with the Indianapolis, Columbus and Southern Interurban line at Scottsburg has returned to this city.” Sounds like he was no longer working at that job. Maybe now we know why.
This also tracks back to almost exactly the time that Curt contracted typhoid, in January of 1907.
Curt managed to beat typhoid, but unbeknownst to us, it appears that he beat BOTH typhoid AND tuberculosis at the same time. I can’t even begin to imagine the fortitude required to beat not one, but both diseases.
He worked through the next two years – sprinkling the streets, repairing bridges, and otherwise earning a living. I’m sure Curt simply tried to work through his misery until he was simply too sick to get out of bed.
Having recovered from simultaneous diseases earlier, I have immense respect for this man’s stamina. Sadly, he simply wasn’t able to do it again. His body was ravaged.
According to family members, when Nora realized how ill Curt really was, and the eventual prognosis – she quietly approached the city fathers and ask them not to award Curt more contracts. She was concerned about the legal ramifications if he were to die with a half-fulfilled contract. It’s not like she could repair bridges herself.
Nora once told my Mom that she thought Curt contracted TB when he went to Kentucky on horse business.
Curt lived fast and died relatively young.
Following Curth’s death, Nora’s life would become immensely more difficult. Their daughters at home were Curtis, 18, Mildred 10, and Eloise 6.
Curtis, named for her father, adored Curt and helped Nora care for him.
Daughter Edith, Curtis’s sister, and best friend was married of course, but lived locally and could help her parents.
The two youngest girls were sent to their grandparents in Aurora during Curt’s illness. Probably both to protect them and because Nora simply could not do any more. Caregiving is incredibly difficult and all-consuming, especially when taking into consideration that Curt was carrying a lethal disease and quite contagious.
Now we know why any mention of the couple ceased in the newspaper. Their social life ceased too – not just because of the illness itself and care requirements. Everyone in Rushville would have known to keep a safe distance.
The 1900 census does not give a street address for Nora and Curt, so it was only through his death certificate that I was able to discover where they actually lived.
The map shows the location, given that “West” begins at Main Street. I can’t read the last digit of the street address, but it’s clearly 421, 427, or 429. Based on the other numbers on the same certificate, I believe it’s 421.
The property has to be the one outlined in red above. The houses to the right are 417-419 and the house to the left is 431, so too far west.
This earlier 1879 map shows the same property along with the depot and nearby warehouses. This makes sense, especially considering their good friends were station-masters and Edith, their daughter, married John Ferverda, the railroad station agent.
Regardless of which address was theirs, the house stood on this piece of land, and it looks like they had an extra-large backyard, extending onto what is now the lot 424 First Street, behind 423 Second Street.
It’s here that Curt and Nora lived for at least a decade, probably closer to two decades, and most of their married life.
While those properties hold contemporary buildings today, the neighbor house, at left, looks like it was probably standing when Nora and Curt lived next door.
- November 27, 1909 – C. B. Lore who died Thursday evening held a $1000 policy in the State Life of Springfield, Mass. The funeral of Curtis B. Lore who died of tuberculosis on Thursday evening will be held at the home in West Second street Sunday afternoon at 2:30, conducted by the Rev. J. F. Cowling. Burial will be in East Hill Cemetery.
Curt would be buried in East Hill, like the rest of the Rushville folks, near the mausoleum that he had built just two years earlier.
I am very glad that Nora had this life insurance policy, but it would not last long. Ever darker times were ahead. However, first, she had to bury Curt and probably pay some large number of overdue bills.
There’s no record of Curt working beyond summer, and he likely could only work less and less as he became increasingly ill.
It’s interesting that Curt’s funeral was not in the Presbyterian Church, although his obituary said that he was a member. Perhaps he was a member in name only to placate Nora.
Curt’s father’s family had a traumatic emotional journey due to differences between Catholicism and the Protestant faith, literally severing the family, cleaving them clean in half like a religious saber. Curt’s father left the family and left Canada after his mother died. I doubt he ever looked back.
Curt’s avoidance of all churches may have been a result of those family experiences and a deeply ingrained suspicion of everything church-related held by the Lore family for generations.
Driving Up and Down Second Street
Wanting to see as much of Rushville as I could, I “drove” up and down Second street on Google, looking at homes. Second Street isn’t very long, extending left to right (west to east) on the north side of the courthouse, below.
Their home is the red star at left, and the courthouse at far right.
Would Curt and his family even recognize Rushville today? I think so. There’s a lot new, but the courthouse was build in 1896 and hasn’t changed much. Curt was certainly in this building a lot.
Driving down Second Street towards their house, then turning around and looking back at the courthouse gives is a peek, if you ignore the vehicles, at what the town might have looked like back in the day.
Many of these buildings in the downtown area likely stood when Curt watered these streets before they were paved. The courthouse is at right two blocks in the distance.
Turning around and looking westward on second, we pass by the Knights of Pythias Hall where Curt attended meetings.
The first actual homes today begin in the 200 block of West Second.
Most homes are gone and have been replaced by more contemporary buildings, but a few remain.
Looking west from Second and Harrison into the area that today remains residential with vintage homes. Curt and Nora lived about 2 blocks further west.
I love this house. This wasn’t where they lived, but they certainly would have passed by. Their home had to be spacious because they had 2 servants living with them in 1900, plus 4 children, and Curt was a successful businessman.
That old 1879 Rushville map shows that the area where the 400 block of West Second is today was at that time a warehouse and the train tracks were laid right down the side of what is today Second Street. The depot is shown too, near the stockyards. I’m sure that there was some sort of industrial or animal noise at all times. If I close my eyes, I can hear it.
In 1900, Nora and Curt’s neighbor was the railroad agent, so this location makes sense. Edith married John Ferverda, the station agent, so I should be extremely grateful that they lived where they did.
A lot changed in Rushville between 1879 and 1900 as well. At some point, those tracks down the street were removed and the warehouse replaced with homes.
It’s also possible that the houses have been renumbered sometime between 1909 and today. I’ve seen that happen more than once, and it plays havoc with dealing with early original records and trying to find current locations.
Google Maps shows that the entire 420 section of West Second appears to be gone now, replaced with a contemporary home and garage. The brick house on the left is probably where their house stood.
The house on either side looks to be original.
Standing in the street where they lived, looking downtown at the courthouse, I realize just how small this town was. Curt probably walked many places, or took the buggy, of course. Curt’s daughters are shown in the buggy with one of their horses, below
Standing in this very place on Second Street back in their day, horses would have been clip-clopping, carriages creaking perhaps, and the train whistle in the distance. You would have been able to hear people talking, especially in the hot summertime with windows open. Maybe smell dinner cooking too.
Now, Nora and the girls would have to navigate without Curt.
- December 14, 1909 – East Hill Cemetery Company to Mrs. Nora Lore, lot in cemetery, $35
This lot was Curt’s burial plot and where Nora would eventually be brought home to rest by his side as well.
Mom is standing by Curt’s stone in the cemetery, probably not long after Nora was buried in 1939.
Before the spring of 1910, according to the newspaper, Nora and her three girls would move from where she lived with Curt on West Second Street to 324 West First Street.
The house was smaller, cute as a button, and certainly less expensive to rent.
Plus, Nora may have needed a change of scenery. While moving was difficult, the fact that they didn’t own the West Second Street property probably made the move easier.
At least Edith still lived in Rushville, and John would have helped his mother-in-law.
In fact, it was here, in this house, that Nora received a visitor.
John Ferverda was sitting in the kitchen, drinking coffee and visiting with Nora, when someone knocked on the door, asking for Curt.
Nora told the young man standing there, hat in hand, that Curt had, unfortunately, passed away.
Curt was well-liked with a charismatic personality and had hundreds of acquaintances, given his broad spectrum of business dealings. Nora assumed, of course, that this caller was another business associate dropping by to say hello or see what kind of horse-trading might be in order.
This young man was different. He shuffled, hesitated a bit, and a wave of disappointment visibly washed across his face. He was crestfallen.
This man, you see, had come to find his father.
I’d wager that was one incredibly awkward moment. A tongue-tied young man standing on this porch at the door, probably wishing he was absolutely anyplace else – face to face with the grieving wife – neither one of them knowing exactly what to do or say.
Nora invited him in, and they sat at the kitchen table and talked, but she took that conversation to her grave.
It wasn’t Nora who revealed this incident – nor was it ever spoken of while she lived.
It was John who told Edith and her sister, Eloise. One of them told my mother years later.
Mom and Eloise were under the impression that this son was previously unknown to Nora and might have been from Kentucky. Somehow the dots were connected and it was presumed this son has been fathered when Curt was involved with racehorses in Kentucky sometime after Nora and Curt were married.
So Nora discovered that Curt caught more than tuberculosis in Kentucky. Or, at least, that’s what everyone thought. Apparently, judging from this information, Curt had visited Kentucky regularly for decades.
Well, Did He or Didn’t He?
Before I discovered Curt’s marriage in Pennsylvania, Mom was certainly unaware Curt had been previously married, let alone still married when he married Nora in 1888. Imagine her shock!
Was this man knocking on the door Curt’s son from his first marriage, Herbert Judson Lore, who would have been age 30? Kurt Lore and Mary Billings are given as Herbert’s parents on his death certificate in 1968.
Herbert looks incredibly like Curt. I can see my mother in his face too. No DNA test needed here.
Was the man at the door Curt’s son that I’ve never been able to locate, John Curtis Lore, born January 20, 1881?
Was he Curt’s son Seldon B. Lore, known as “Sid,” born in June of 1886 and found in 1904, as a laborer in Oil City, PA?
Or, was this yet another young man?
If the young man had been born after Curt and Nora were married, he would have been 22 or younger that day he stood nervously on Nora’s porch, looking for answers.
One John Curtis Lore who lived in Kentucky registered for the 1918 draft giving Mary Galliland as his next of kin. Mary Bills, Curt’s first wife married Allen Galliland after their divorce in 1888. In 1900, Herbert J., John C., and Seldon B Lore were living in Warren County, PA with Mary and Allen and their half-sister, Alta Gilliland. In 1910, Mary and Allen were living in Cowlitz, Washington with Alta, but the boys were on their own. In 1918, Mary was living in Crewe, Virginia.
John Curtis Lore certainly seems to be Curt’s son, but this record is from 9 years after Curt died. Who knows where John was living in 1909 or 1910 when that young man appeared on Nora’s porch.
What happened to John Lore?
The May 1, 1924, Franklin County, Pennsylvania newspaper tells the story.
Tragedy seems to follow the Lore family like an ominous ever-present dark shadow. An 11-day old baby? His poor wife.
Is this the same John Lore? The name is slightly different.
There’s a lot of incorrect information in this article, but I found this man’s death certificate based only on his death month and year. His nickname was apparently Jack or was misrecorded on the delayed death certificate.
John died of tuberculosis too. How heartbreaking. Even more tragic, his young wife, Annie Jewell Cox Lore died in May 1927 of tuberculosis as well. The children were raised by their Cox grandfather.
Hmm, given the circumstances, I’m doubting if John Curtis Lore or his wife have a tombstone, but let’s take a look.
I didn’t find them, but I did find that child buried in that same cemetery 42 years later.
That baby, born just days before his father’s demise was James Harold Lore, according to FindAGrave.
John’s son also died at age 42 in a motorcycle accident, striking a truck.
Tragedy seems to have run generations deep.
Nora forgave a lot while married to Curt, like the fact that he was still married to another woman when they were married in 1888, assuming she discovered that fact.
Nora certainly stuck by him through thick and thin. Multiple business ventures, that embarrassing horseracing scandal, a lawsuit or a few, then multiple illnesses.
Regardless of all that, I do believe Curt was Nora’s true love with his infectious impish smile, curled locks, and piercing blue eyes that melted her soul.
My grandmother, Edith, spoke of Nora’s intense grief surrounding Curt’s death. Nora wanted to be buried beside him and with the Lore surname on her stone, even though she eventually remarried.
She would join Curt in the East Hill Cemetery almost exactly 30 years later.
It would prove to be a very long 30 years.
So, what happened to Nora?
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