This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Park plans and more

The Park Board held its public comment meeting on Monday evening. Plans for the development of the Monnett property were the topic of the evening. Below is the current draft. (For a discussion of what is on the map, see here.)

Most of the people there had connections to the City, the Park Board, or the Jasper Foundation. There were not many questions or comments from the audience.

Last week I sat in on a bit of a conversation at the Historical Museum with a lady who was researching her ancestors, the Traubs. From about 1915 until 1932 William (or Wilhelm) Traub ran a clothing store where Unique Finds is now. For some of that time he had as a partner his brother-in-law Victor Selig. After his first wife died in 1918, he married again in 1922 and the daughter from that marriage (who is still living) was the mother of the lady doing the research. William Traub had some ownership in a local bank and some farm holdings, but in 1932, near the depths of the Great Depression, everything fell apart. The bank failed or at least the stock became worthless, his farm tenants could not pay rent, and people stopped buying clothes. He had a bankruptcy sale for the shop and left Rensselaer. However, both he and his daughter Wilhelmina, who was disabled and I do not know how, are buried in Weston Cemetery.

I got involved in this because the lady found an old post on this blog and I directed her to the Jasper County Historian. The post has a picture of the store early in the century. Below is a better look at the Traub and Selig part. I had to leave conversation so I did not get the full story, but I did find it interesting that the Depression hit this area hard enough to cause one of the better-off citizens to fail financially. (He was one of two Jewish merchants during this time. The other was Abraham Leopold, who died in 1921. There is a lot of local history in Weston Cemetery.)

Next to the Traub clothing store was the Columbia Shoe Store, and next to it was Rhoades & Son Hardware. Both of these spaces are now occupied by the bakery.

In current business news, Sol Seekers in the Town Mall has announced that they are closing on May 27. The building on Drexel Drive west of the Laundry Room has a new owner and there is activity in the building. A reliable source says that a business now in the College Mall will be relocating there.

Did you see any good April Fools posts or jokes. The best I saw was this one on youtube done by Google. The worst was also by Google.

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