Bales, Huber, Oberender, and Mercer of Bloomingport, Indiana [Genealogy Photo] –
When the Bales, Huber, Oberender, and Mercer neighbors got together, they posed for photographs. Today we take photos incessantly, often multiple times a day. Most of us have a camera in our fingertips at all times on our phones. It likely would have been unimaginable to our ancestors who were yet to even have telephones in their homes that we would one day carry a device that was not only a phone, but also a camera, and in many ways a personal computer.
We’ve only had iPhones for a relatively short number of years even in my lifetime. Before we had the capability to take a million pictures a day spreading bathroom mirror selfies to the ends of the earth, photography was reserved for special occasions, usually when relatives, friends, or neighbors came for a visit or gathered for a special occasion.
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The following photo was likely taken sometime around 1910. I’m basing that date estimate on the small boy on the far left (my great-grandpa Ralph) having been born in 1901. This photograph would have been taken in Randolph County, Indiana. I suspect the location must have been near Bloomingport, Carlos, or Lynn. Bloomingport is the most likely location. You may remember from a prior post that my great-great-great-grandfather John Henry Bales (pictured on the far left) operated the Livery Stable at Bloomingport.
Bales, Huber, Oberender, and Mercer Gathering
Pictured from left to right:
Back Row: John Henry Bales, Ozro Bales, Hazel Oberander (later Engle), Lizzie (Chamness) Huber
Middle: Zella (Bales) Oberander, Estella (Sharp) Bales, Martha Ann (Batchelor) Bales, Kate Mercer
Back: Ralph Bales, Virgil Huber, Hilda Oberander (later Oler, then Huffman), Zelma Huber, Dorothy Huber (later Dyer), Blanche Bales (later Sickels)
John Henry Bales and his wife Martha were my great-great-great grandparents. You can find another picture of them and some of the other relatives pictured here in J H Bales – Butter, Eggs, and Poultry Wagon.
Of course, Ozro Bales is the same Ozro Bales pictured in Ozro Bales Driving a Buggy Fast and Bales and Others at Carlos, Indiana. I still haven’t solved the mystery of What Ethnicity Was Ozro Bales?, but hopefully I’m getting closer. My great-great grandmother Estella (Sharp) Bales was his wife. Her large, extended family can be found in the photo of the Josiah and Lydia (Neal) Sharp family reunion.
Royce, Ralph, and Blanche are the children of Ozro and Stell.
Zella (Bales) Oberander is the sister of my Ozro and also the child of John Henry and Martha Bales. Hazel and Hilda are her daughters. We discussed Hilda and Blanche in the previous Gender-Confused, Transgender, or Just Messing Around? post where we saw them dressed as men for whatever reason.
I know I keep going back and forth between Oberender and Oberander, so you might think I can’t remember how I’m supposed to spell it, but I’m doing that on purpose. The uniform spelling of names did not exist in the time of these photos. It is quite common to find a variety of spellings for the same individual. A birth certificate may use one spelling, while a marriage license may use another. Both spellings can be found for this family and their cousins. My photos are labeled as Oberander, but the more common surname found on the internet seems to be Oberender, so I’ve decided to use the more common Oberender in headings and titles on this blog for the sake of SEO (search engine optimization). Basically, it’s more likely that a person would type Oberender into Google if searching for this family.
The Hubers are found in other pictures I have of my relatives. For a long time, I assumed they were neighbors. I knew they also lived in the Bloomingport area because I’ve seen them in records, and Lizzie and her husband William are buried at Cherry Grove Cemetery near Bloomingport. I later found out Lizzie’s maiden name was Chamness. She is likely a cousin to my Ozro Bales through his grandmother Sarah (Chamness) who married William Batchelor, and then upon the death of her first husband married William Britt.
William Huber and Hannah Elizabeth (always labeled Lizzie on my photos) were the parents of:
- Fredis/Freedis (born in 1897) – died in Los Angelos, CA in 1987
- Virgil (born in 1899) – was a student at Purdue at the time of his draft registration, died in Pheonix in 1988
- Dorothy (born in 1904) – apparently married a Dyer
- Zelma (born in 1907) – ended up in Iowa married to a Freeman
Kate Mercer (or Cate on the 1910 census) is found living next door to the Hubers. I think she appears in every photo I have that includes Lizzie Huber, so maybe they always went visiting together. Kate’s household in 1910 includes a husband “Isac W” aged 59 and an 18-year-old daughter Grace. Isaac and Kate are buried at Spartansburg in Randolph County, Indiana. Grace’s marriage record to Walter Kruer lists Catherine’s maiden name as Armstrong. I don’t know of any family ties between the Hubers and the Mercers, but they could be related. I often find kinship between the people in my photos if I dig far enough.
Are you related?
If you have connections to any of these families, I would love to hear from you. Drop me a line in the comments.
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