Local History and Genealogy

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Carnegie Public Library of Steuben County
Local History and Genealogy Department 
Wishes All Our Blog Readers 
a Happy and Safe Holiday

From the Steuben Republican December 1929

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Stores Open Each Evening Until Christmas - Free Picture Shows Offered Children Saturdays

The merchants of Angola Formally opened the 1929 Christmas trading season Thursday evening by the unveiling of show windows and special lighting of the streets.  Angola certainly presented a handsome appearance on this occasion, and will continue to do so throughout the season.  Each one of the thirty-six lamp posts in the streets has been transformed into a Christmas tree, lighted with brilliantly colored lamps, surmounted by the large street globe.  Four handsome trees adorn the public monument place with strings of lights running from each post to the top of the monument, and a circle enclosing the mound.  Each tree has it's share of colored lights.  All of this has been prepared by the ingenuity of Cleo Gibson, city light superintendent.

Prof. Jackson's carol singers from the high school and David Hughes small band from the county schools discoursed music as the lights were turned on and the show windows unveiled at the signal of the ringing of the court house bell at 7:30 o'clock. The musicians then serenaded various business places, while merry throngs gazed in the beautiful store windows or visited the stores.

How the lights were taken to the top of the monument is a matter of inquiry from many sources.  It was first proposed to shoot an arrow carrying a piece of twine over the monument, and John Estrich was enlisted to do the Willliam Tell act.  John's aim going up was good, but the arrows were not heavy enough and the twine became entangled about the metal work of the statue.  After two arrows were hung up there in this way, the query arose, how to get them down?  This required some expert angling from a tall ladder, which was successful.  Then Virgil Wisner offered to throw a baseball over the statue, and his third attempt was successful, the ball carrying the twine which later pulled a rope over the shoulder of Miss Liberty, which sustains the light wires.

Merchants Ready For Large Trade

A visit through the stores reveals a fine array of Christmas goods brought here by our merchants.  A larger line may be found of course in large cities, but not a better line of the things that our people want.  Local shoppers will do themselves an injustice if they do not look over these stocks.

Many of the merchants are using these newspaper columns freely in carrying the message of their Christmas offerings direct to the home buyer in the home. Look over these advertisements while in the comfort of your home and make out your Christmas list.  More ads will appear next week.  

Stores Open Evenings

The Angola stores will be open evenings on every business day from now until Christmas.  In these comfortable well lighted stores you can do your shopping as conveniently in the evening as well as in the daytime.  Early purchasing is urged as it saves the customer much unnecessary last hour worry.

Free Picture Show Saturday

Angola merchants have arranged for free picture show matinees for the children commencing at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoons, at the Angola Opera House.  The theater was filled last Saturday afternoon with happy, merry children who greatly enjoyed this courtesy of the merchants and Mr. Brokaw.  Every child of fourteen or under will be admitted free again next Saturday afternoon.  The show will be "The Avenging Rider" with sound news.  Any adult who wished to attend will be admitted at the regular admission charges.

Free Poultry on Saturday Dec. 21 

The merchants committee is arranging for free distribution of poultry on Saturday afternoon Dec. 21 at 1:30 o'clock.  You may have your choice of turkey, geese, ducks, chickens, guineas, all free of charge except you must catch them youself.  They will be released on the streets - be here and get them and watch the fun if you don't get a bird.  There will be plenty of chances.

It will be to your interest to do your Christmas trading at home.

Steuben Republican December 11, 1929

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Little Mary Harp, 97 Years Old, Wants a Doll Cab from Santa

"Little Mary" Harp has lived at eighty-three of her ninety-seven years as a patient in the Steuben county infirmary, and she establishes a record for age among Indiana infirmary residents.  She entered the Steuben
County Institution at the age of fourteen years in the year 1854.

The home that "Little Mary" entered was not a public infirmary.  At that time those needing assistance were boarded out and Mary was placed in the home of Mr Cobb, who occupied the little log house on the west side of the road which runs past the present county farm.  In 1863 the county purchased the land for a county farm and built a white frame house, the construction of which Little Mary watched with interest.  Some of that house still exists as a portion of one of the barns. Later she saw the erection of the fine brick building, which has been her home since then.

"Little Mary" was the third patient to be cared for by the public, and came there with her brother, David.  In their early years, because of their small size, they attracted much attention at the local fairs and public gatherings.

"Little Mary's" mother is buried in a grave at Golden Lake.  Her father was killed in the gold fields of California in 1849, and it was two or three years afterwards before the letter carrying information of his death reached this community.  She remembers the presence of Indians in this vicinity, and incidents of the Civil War.

However, "Little Mary" in spite of her advanced years, is still very active to the extent of her strength.  She is happy, contented, loyal and honest.

"Little Mary" acquired her name because it is a description of her interests.  She is a dwarf of about the size of s 100 year old girl and lives in the same period of mentality.  She is three feet, ten inches high and weighs fifty-four pounds.  Her chief  happiness is found playing with her doll "Vera," which appears in the above picture.  She still believes in Santa Claus, and is sure he will bring her on this coming Christmas day, a doll cab for "Vera."  **

 Steuben Republican December 8, 1937

* * Mary Harp died in December 1945 just a few days before her 105th birthday.  She is buried with her brother David at Old Angola Cemetery.