Way Back Wednesday: Bales and Others at Carlos, Indiana –
Carlos is barely a blip on the map in Randolph County, Indiana today, but at one time it was a booming metropolis. Okay, maybe it wasn’t a metropolis, but it was definitely a substantial town with a number of businesses and many residents.
Even when I was a child, there was still a gas station, and shortly before that, there was a bank, grocery store, beauty salon, creamery, skating rink, doll museum, and post office.
I have been told the barns in the following photo were (maybe some still are) across from the old elevator that’s still standing today. When I was a child, I believed the elevator was a castle. The elevator was still in operation when I was small. My dad’s uncle worked there, and we sometimes saw him there. I don’t know why we went to the elevator. Maybe we were buying feed. We had cattle then. It’s a memory from when I was really little.
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The Elevator in Later Years
By the time I was a teenager, the elevator was falling apart. In its time, that elevator was state-of-the-art. It was supposedly one of the very first grain elevators to have an actual working elevator to take you to the top. The cargo elevator was long rotted by the time I was a teen, but there were still wooden rungs going up to make a ladder to the top. My brother and some of my cousins climbed to the top once.
Those rungs were rotting. Half of them were missing. There was absolutely nothing to support someone if they fell. It was just the open shaft with those wooden rungs attached to a crumbling concrete wall. It was so dangerous. They could have easily fallen to their deaths. Trespassing is a bad idea anyway, and trespassing and then doing something so dangerous you could die is an even worse idea. HORRIBLE IDEA!
The basement of the elevator was completely flooded last time I was in there, and there were dead rats floating in the water. The elevator shaft went straight to the basement. If the boys had fallen while trying to climb to the top, they would have landed in the basement, but that water would not have been deep enough to keep them from hitting the concrete bottom at way too much speed. It could have been really bad.
Fortunately, they survived. I, on the other hand, turned back after two rungs of the ladder. I’m not that insane. I may have been known as the tattletale of the family while growing up, but I like to think of myself as the one who kept everyone else from dying.
If there had been cell phones in my childhood, I would have called my mom to stop the boys from climbing that elevator shaft. Instead, I just had to wait at the bottom praying no one was seriously injured from their own stupidity. And it’s our generation wondering how kids today can be stupid enough to eat Tide Pods. Every generation has its own version of the Tide Pod Challenge.
For some generations, it was drag racing on the country roads. For other time periods, it was dueling with swords or pistols. Some teenagers climbed decrepit towers. Others eat Tide Pods.
Bales at Carlos Photo
But back to the picture of the barn in Carlos – remember you must pronounce it Car-lus. If you pronounce Carlos with a long o sound, we will definitely know you have never been to Carlos in your life.
The photo is labeled on the back, “Oz Bales on wagon without top, Bill Myers farthest to right with top, among them were Minnie “Hinshaw” Frazier, Ada Throckmorton, Nancy Daily, Ab Throckmorton, David Allen Clevenger”
Ozro Bales was, of course, my great-great-grandfather mentioned in Way Back Wednesday: Ozro Bales Driving a Buggy Fast. He looks about 20 in this photo, so it was probably taken about 1895.
The sign on the barn says “John Adams Dealer in Poultry & Eggs We Pay Cash.” I can only read it if I use a lighted magnifying glass on the original photo.
They tell me the writing on the back of the photo is that of my great-great-grandma Estella (Sharp) Bales. This is likely true.
A Few Tidbits About the Others
Minnie “Hinshaw” Frazier is likely the one listed here who married Oliver Frazier.
Ada Throckmorton is probably the one here who married Charley Wright in 1881.
David Allen Clevenger is very likely the one listed in this census record.
The other names are more common, and it’s not as easy to track down records that I’m fairly sure are that correct person.
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I would love to hear from others with connections to these lines, so drop me a note in the comments if you find your family here.
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