Finding Family in Newspapers
It’s fun to find articles in the paper mentioning one of my relatives. I have found many news items in Indianapolis newspapers about my more recent ancestors. Mostly birth, marriage, divorce and death events. But, it’s the oddball articles in the papers I like the most. Find the articles described in the image slider at the end of this post.
My paternal grandmother, Pearl Osborne LaFara, saved many newspaper clippings that are among the ephemera I have inherited. One of my favorites is a photo clipping of her father, David Louis Osborne, with President Herbert Hoover. When I subscribed to Newspapers.com, one of the first items I searched for was this photo. I quickly discovered the June 1931 issue of The Indianapolis News with the image on page 17, where it was part of a photo collage  featuring the visit of President Hoover to Indianapolis.
Other news items I have found that mention my great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, regard his voting record. He was an active member of the Grand Army of the Republic, which is how he came to be photographed with President Hoover. So, I was not surprised he voted, but the fact it was noteworthy for the newspaper seems odd. The first item from November 1932 mentions he fainted on the way to his polling location . I’m sure he walked there and it was less than a quarter mile from his home, 36 S. Ritter to the corner of Irvington Ave. and Washington St. The second is from May 1934 when he evidently went down to the poll and was recorded as one of the oldest voters, he was 87, and proceeded to tell them how voting was in “yesteryear’s.” 
I have also discovered information in the back issues of the Indianapolis papers regarding my great aunt, Sadie Osborne. Sadie was an Indianapolis police woman and my father told some pretty big tales about her. Sadie was the ancestor I first searched for in the online newspapers and I was not disappointed. I discovered the tales told by my father underplayed her role as one of two women who made history in Indianapolis by being given police powers in 1918. The newspaper articles told of her performing her duties as a police woman and some included photographs of Aunt Sadie in uniform. But, my favorite article, because it is odd, has an image of Aunt Sadie holding the “Nation’s Largest Pigeon” when it was on tour at Tomlinson Hall (the farmer’s market) in February 1923. Sadly the scan quality is poor and The Star does not have the original .
One of the more official news items mentioning Aunt Sadie was about a police report she filed for a missing child in 1926. The child was soon found, in the bed clothes!  Too funny.
Another odd item regards my grandmother Pearl Osborne LaFara. When I found this news item I was a little surprised I had never heard mention of it since it involves an event that could have been fatal. She was struck in the head by a lamppost when a truck backed into it . Since the news item does not report any major injury, I can only assume it was more of a close call, or perhaps lampposts in 1920 were much smaller than the ones we have now.
A final cute item from the Indianapolis News is a photograph of my father, Bob LaFara, and his sister, Pat, when they were children and participated in a local pet parade in May 1934 . My father had a Guinea hen and Pat had a pygmy goat. I am fairly certain the “pets” were provided by my great aunt Grace Flucawa, she had a small truck farm in Warren Park.
As more papers become digitized I expect to find more news items in the paper about my family, most are just vitals but some are more enlightening.
Gramps meets Herbert Hoover
David Osborne, far left, was part of a GAR contingent who greeted President Herbert Hoover, foreground right, in June 1931.
Faints Walking to Polls
David Osborne fainted on his way to the polls in November 1932, about a quarter mile from his home.
Among Oldest to Vote
David Osborne recorded as among the oldest voters at the polls in May 1934.
Aunt Sadie and Nation's Largest Pigeon
Sadie Osborne at Tomlinson Hall with Nation’s Largest Pigeon in February 1923.
Sadie Osborne and Lost Boy
Police woman, Sadie Osborne, takes a report of a “lost boy” in 1926. He’s found in the bed…
Pearl LaFara struck by lamppost
My grandmother, Pearl Osborne LaFara, was struck in the head by a lamp post in 1920.
Bobby and Patty LaFara with "pets"
Bob and Pat LaFara at the Irvington pet parade in 1934 with Guinea hen and pygmy goat.
- “Woman Who Shook Hand of…” The Indianapolis News, Indiana; 16 June 1931, page 17, photo collage.
- “Man, 86, Faints…” The Indianapolis Star, Indiana; 9 November 1932, page 17, column 6, on the fold.
- “One Of Oldest” The Indianapolis Star, Indiana; 9 May 1934, page 15, column 4, top of page.
- “Largest Pigeon in U.S. Here” The Indianapolis Star, Indiana; 8 February 1923, page 12, column 6, top of page.
- “Urchin Found ‘Lost’ in Bed” The Indianapolis Star, Indiana; 25 August 1926, page 7, column 1, bottom of page.
- “Struck by Lamp Post” The Indianapolis News, Indiana; 19 April 1920, page 11, column 4, bottom of page.
- “Irvington Pets Vie for Honors…” The Indianapolis News, Indiana; 31 May 1934, page 4, column 2, top of page.
Born Takeo Furukawa on 15 March 1883 in Tottori-Ken, Tokyo, Japan, little is documented of his early childhood. Family oral history stories say that the young Takeo experienced hunger, poverty and the loss of his family. Additionally, the stories tell of friendship, spiritual learning and scholarship.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne, lived at over 20 addresses around Indianapolis between 1876 and 1942. I thought it would be interesting to see all the old buildings and homes where he lived in my hometown of Indianapolis.
My great grandfather, David Louis Osborne (1848-1942), was a widower with two young sons in 1886 when he married Jennie Warbington (1857-1918) in Minneapolis on the 27th of May. I decided it was time to put sources to the story.
While working on a family photo project I decided it would be fun to compare side-by-side my father and his parents, at similar ages, to try and discover a family resemblance.
Jesse King was born in Ohio (probably in the vicinity of Chillicothe) in 1805, he was a son of Philip King and Mary Leah Wright, both of Pennsylvania. Philip King was a farmer, he married Leah Wright in 1801 in Somerset, PA, they had six children, of whom Jesse was the third.
A handwritten letter from Sarah Tucker Lafary to the then president of the United States, Grover Cleveland. It was her last appeal for a War of 1812 pension, sadly the pension was denied. The letter gives a glimpse of a woman who had no formal education, a poor farmers wife, then widow, mother of nine, she probably just wanted some independence through an income of her own.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 2: Challenge
So much about genealogy research is a challenge, perhaps the most common challenge is the ‘brick wall,’ meet Sarah Smith. 18?? – 1846
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 3: Unusual Name
The surnames in my tree are typical of common western European names. However, the name that is unusual among these names is MY surname: LaFara.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 6: Surprise!
Just when you think you know everything about an ancestor, surprise! I thought I knew most everything about my paternal great grandfather David L. Osborne, 1848-1942.
For all of us who are procrastinating about labeling photos I have one thing to say, “Be considerate of the genealogist of the future!” My maternal grandmother was very good about labeling old family photos, and there is one, in particular, I found very informative.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 10: Bachelor Uncle
My uncles are the marrying kind, sometimes more than once!
I had to go back four generations for a bachelor uncle, my great-great-great uncle Conrad Rumple, 1833-1911.
Conrad was an older brother to my great-great grandfather on my matrilineal line, William Rumple, 1839-1912.
My great-great grandparents, George Lafary and Catherine Landon, had a relatively small family, three of their six children survived to adulthood. However, they both came from large families of nine siblings and nearly all survived to marry and have children.
52 Ancestors, in 52 Weeks – Week 14: Brick Wall
We all have a brick wall, that one ancestor who defies all research. I decided I would work at my brick walls by generation, I broke through the last of my 3rd great grandparent brick walls, now I am working on 4th great grandparents.
I realized I did not have a date of death for my great, great grandmother, Catherine Landon Lafary. A fresh search uncovered the date and much more. Out of place, but once discovered, everything fell into place.
I have many favorite photos among my collection of family artifacts. Currently, my favorite photo is of two little children from 1916 who were a complete mystery to me until last spring.