All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.
Letter to J.G. Lockhart, c. 16 June 1830. Sir Walter Scott
Soon after his wife’s death, 1933, Gaylord reminisced from his home in Big Sandy, Montana, in a letter to The Rensselaer Republican:
When I was a citizen of your community in the late ‘80’s there was a paper published in Rensselaer ... Times change as the years go by.... I shall offer a letter, designed especially to come before my old friends in Jasper county and including all pupils of the schools where I taught....
I remember Jasper county as the field of my early ambition. I was setting out in life to accomplish something and was willing to pay the necessary price. My surroundings were such as to give me courage and inspiration. The school system was good and helpful. I recall many things I learned thru [sic] the teachers reading course. My recollections of the officers, teachers and pupils are very
I finished my second term at the Raymond school in the spring of 1890 and returned to Valparaiso where I remained for more than a year. Valparaiso — a name so dear in the hearts of tens of thousands of students. I completed the scientific course of study there...
During the 1880s, Gaylord took a teacher’s course and taught in more than one school while in Rensselaer, Indiana. His activities during a few years prior to his sojourn in Kansas, and the early 1880s are unknown. However, in his letter, Gaylord speaks of the year 1893 and says, “I had not seen my home folk in eight years.” So it was that after going to Kansas he did return home for a time.
The last of Gaylord’s siblings, a second baby sister, was born January 25, 1886. Alpheus was 23 years old and Gaylord was 22. Their father, Thomas, always told his boys, “Don’t just stand around on the street corner with your hands in your pocket. Get out and work. You should all get an education. The first one should help the next in line.”
It was rumored that Dr. Hiram Worstell “purchased some land up in the mountains in Indiana. Years ago we heard about it but it wasn’t anything you could cultivate. I guess nobody wanted to pay the taxes, if they knew where to send them,” said Avis, Alpheus’ daughter, Hiram Worstell’s granddaughter. About the time Thomas P. Worstell was born, Smith Price, Hiram’s brother, went to Switzerland County, Indiana. Hiram may have become interested in owning some Indiana land at that time. Indiana chose “The Crossroads of America” as its motto because it lay directly on the path of the Westward Movement during the 1800s, and it was the next state west of Ohio. Alpheus and Gaylord went west.
Alpheus James and Gaylord most likely finished high school in Uhrichsville, Ohio. Many elementary schools in the mid 1880s taught reading, writing, arithmetic, bookkeeping, geography, history, science and nature study, manual and homemaking arts, and fine arts and music. High schools added languages, Latin and Greek, English and literature, mathematics and science, technical and vocational labs and shops. Penmanship was taught in both elementary school and high school. One summer while Avis was still in high school, she took a penmanship course at Valparaiso University. Alpheus and Gaylord were both good penmen and writers. Former textbooks used by prospective teachers with a high school diploma contained sample test questions to be used in preparation for the examination required to become a teacher. Anyone who did well on material covered in those texts was academically qualified to teach elementary school and higher. Alpheus went to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, near the Indiana line north of Cincinnati. Ohio had about 35 colleges by then. After college he took a teaching job in Rensselaer, Jasper County, Indiana.
Alpheus, now going by A.J., married Ida Carrie Latto, from Uhrichsville, Tuscarawas County, in 1886. Ida was 22 when they got married. Her parents had both died when she was 18, “Just when they were ready to live,” said Ida, as reported by Avis, her daughter. The Lattos had a farm, a new lovely big white frame house and had just laid the last bit of carpet on the stairs. Avis didn’t know what Ida’s mother or father died of, but the doctors gave her mother such strong medicine that all her teeth fell out. The Latto children, eight altogether, were divided among the relatives. Ida went to live with a bachelor uncle and kept house for him. The uncle advised Ida to marry Alpheus rather than another suitor because “Alpheus had an education and could always make a living.”
Allie and Ida moved to a little farm, possibly a homestead, near Boone Grove, Porter County, Indiana. Their first child was a boy, born Jan. 31, 1887, whom they named Harry Latto. Laura Belle was born in August of 1889.
Ida inherited a share of her parents’ estate and became a “woman with a little bit of money.” This circumstance undoubtedly enabled the family to move to a larger farm in Hebron and into a two-story Georgian style home. Both farms were just south of Valparaiso in Porter County. The dowry was considerable. It allowed Alpheus to quit teaching and put his efforts into the farm. The other children, four girls, Nina, Estey Ann, Vivian, and Avis, were born between 1892 and 1905, while the family was living at this location.
This new Worstell home was large enough to have roomers. Alpheus and Ida opened their home to his brothers, helping them, as he had been encouraged to do by his father. The plan seemed to be that while the men lived with A.J.’s family, they would go to school for a term or two and then teach in a school for the school year. There may have been a couple of brothers, plus another boarder or two, staying with them at a time. Of course Ida boarded them, i.e., prepared the meals, and most likely cleaned the rooms and changed and laundered the linen. In the early years, this was all done while having babies and caring for four or five children. The young men paid for board and room. Those that were teaching saved for their own school expenses and possibly helped the brothers that were currently attending. The financial arrangements should have benefited everyone.
“Valparaiso — a name so dear in the hearts of tens of thousands of students...,” is Spanish for Valley of Paradise. This name may be better known as the city in Chile. Valparaiso, Indiana, about 40 miles southeast of Chicago, was settled about 1835. In 1890 it had a population of 5,090. Valparaiso University was founded in 1873. Prior to that date, it had served as Valparaiso Normal Training School, and continued under the University as Northern Indiana Normal School. In the 1890-91 catalog, the Teachers’ Department deemed itself to have overcome the objections of many teachers to the standard fare in many training schools, which were:
1st. They are held back in their classes on account of those less advanced and less interested in their studies. 2nd. they have not the privilege of selecting their own studies. 3rd. The recitations [class periods] are too short.
The following quotation was of most interest to teachers already teaching or otherwise working:
We have such arrangements as will enable those teachers who have but a short respite from their schools, to spend their time and means to the best possible advantage. Beginning, advanced, and review classes are formed in all of the branches, not at the beginning only, but at different periods during the term. This accommodates teachers whose schools close before the opening of a regular term. Such may enter at any time, begin their studies just where they wish, continue in school as long as they can then drop out, teach a term, return and take up their studies where they left off. In this way many complete the regular course.
They described further:
… [the]Teachers’ Training Class, the object of which is to give methods of presenting all of the different subjects, especially in primary work ... Evidently there is a natural order of developing the faculties, and a teacher’s success depends almost wholly upon how well he understands this natural order. It is his business to determine, as far as possible, how much the child knows about a particular subject, then it is his work to lead its mind from what it knows to what it does not know....
This being the largest Normal School in the United States, the class is necessarily made up of teachers from all parts of the land.
Avis said that Valparaiso University was called the poor man’s Harvard. She was correct, as the university was founded to furnish a practical education at a low cost. In 1910 it had 187 instructors, a total enrollment of 5,367, and this at a time when the town had a population of 6,987.
Gaylord was the first of the family to attend Valparaiso; he was 25 to 27 years old. He attended the Teachers’ Department between 1888 and 1890 and in his letter he says, “I finished my second term at the Raymond school in the spring of 1890 and returned to Valparaiso.” This most likely means that he taught a couple of years at Raymond school and took summer terms at Valparaiso. Without the dates that Allie taught school in Rensselaer, one is unable to know if both Allie and Gaylord taught in the same school district at the same time. In any case it appears one brother followed in the footsteps of another. From spring of 1890 to August 1891 Gaylord took classes in the Scientific Department, a part of the Collegiate Department. The catalog had this to say about their guiding principles.
This department has been established to bring within the reach of every one that broader culture which has always been indispensable to the highest success in professional work, and is becoming equally indispensable to the honorable discharge of the common duties of citizenship. The fundamental principles that shape the practical work of all the classes are these: Culture dissociated from some definite end in every day work is intellectual and moral dissipation; all that any school can safely give its pupils are, a practical acquaintance with the instruments of culture, an opportunity to convince themselves by actual use of the instruments that nothing can prevent their pursuing the culture unaided to the utmost limit fixed by natural ability and the duties of life, and that no pleasure is so perfect as that which comes from the unaided employment of these instruments.
The greatest care is taken to have the pupil acquaint himself with the sources of information — know how to use a library — since often the only knowledge practicable is the knowledge of where and how to look for information.
In the higher mathematics the student receives instruction in the branches indicated in the course of study for the Scientific Class.
Every effort is made to have the work both thorough and comprehensive. In addition to the five hourly recitations each week in which every principle is carefully explained and discussed, a written review of the subject studied during the week is given each Saturday; also a complete review of the term’s work at the close of the term. The fall term is devoted to Plane and Solid Geometry, to which great importance is attached both as a means of mental discipline and as affording a basis for future investigation. During the Winter term Plane Trigonometry, Spherical Geometry, and Spherical Trigonometry are finished, and Analytical Geometry begun.... Astronomy is completed during the Summer term.... The principles ... are worked out with the utmost care, and no pupil is supposed to understand a principle till he is able to recognize it in operations going on ... Clearness of thought, real, original knowledge, is the object aimed at, and every appliance, charts, skeletons, natural and artificial, apparatus of the latest and best form, books of general reference, and monographs, are all used whenever they can be of assistance....
The whole course in the Sciences keeps constantly in view the needs of the pupil after he has left school, and everything is done to facilitate and encourage independent study.
In regard to the general character of the work done, our convictions may be expressed in this way: Let two young people of equal age and ability enter, the one our own school, and the other some other school adopting the traditional aims and methods; let each adapt himself to his surroundings, and to the spirit of his school; let the one complete the shorter course of this school, secure some position in which he can defray his expenses by working and devote the remaining time to independent study and investigation until the other has completed the longer course of the other school, and we are convinced that there can be little comparison made between the practical knowledge and skill, the knowledge that counts in the busy world, of the two young persons.
Each term included courses in Mathematics, Science, Language, Literature, Essays and Forensics. The complete scientific course could be completed in 40 weeks. Gaylord graduated, August 12, 1891. He was 28 years old.
Hiram Emerson (Emerson), the brother known as the “good looking one,” attended New Hagerstown Ohio Academy. He was the second brother to enroll in the Teachers Department at Valparaiso; it was the same year that Gaylord was in the Scientific Department, 1890-91. Emerson most likely taught school for two years before returning to Valparaiso in 1893, and after continuing in the Teacher’s Department, graduated from the Scientific Department in 1895, age 26. Emerson got married the following year, but his first wife died just a couple of months after their marriage. After Emerson became an Osteopath, he married his second wife, Harriet, who was also a Doctor of Osteopathy, in 1906. She was known as “THE Aunt Harriet,” and became a favorite with the family. She was generous, hospitable, and open, and a good doctor. Emerson’s niece, Betty Jane Bradford, remembered Dr. Harriet could relieve sinus pain by getting the sinuses to drain and could relieve earaches. Harriet must have been a good cook as well, as she had a cranberry recipe people envied.
Emerson and Harriet’s first daughter, born in 1909, died when she was five years old. She had the same disease that left Helen Keller deaf and blind, known then only as “brain fever.” Their son, Thomas Rufus, was born in 1912 and their daughter, Miriam Jane, in 1915. Emerson and his wife were living in Evanston, near Chicago, when A.J.’s daughter, Avis, was living with them. They later had their practice and real estate investments in Canton, Ohio.
In 1926, Harriet convinced Emerson to move to southern California. Harriet wanted him to help pack so she asked him to box the books. At the end of the day she found him amidst the books reading. He had fallen to temptation to read portions of the books and packed very few. This story illustrates the compelling passion that befell many of the Worstells when it came to reading. Emerson’s son Tom, who married Ruby Elser, lived in Fresno, California. Upon his retirement, he announced he was moving to Washington state to open a paperback bookstore. Tom’s daughter Nancy opened a couple of book stores and did quite well with them. She and her husband now market a gasoline additive to truckers called “The Force.” At least these two Worstells were able to make their reading passion their vocation for a time. Prior to the book store, Tom, a likable guy with a casual attitude toward business, owned Toms Trains, a model train shop. His son, Charles, now runs the store and hopes to be joined in the business with his brother Geoffrey, a lawyer who is near retirement from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Miriam married William (Bill) Bartmess, who was in the banking business. Bill later went into business with a man in Des Moines, Iowa, and then took a job with Amana Industries in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Gaylord’s granddaughter and family, the Cloonans, were living there at the time and were able to get acquainted with the Bartmesses. In conversation with Miriam, she said that many of the Worstell families had visited in her parent’s home over the years. She remembered that as a child, the adults would gather in the parlor, send her off to the next room, and then close the double doors. However, the doors didn’t close tight enough to keep out the sound if you were standing by the crack. That was where she heard many a family tale. It was where she heard about scandalous love affairs, divorces and VD, of drunks, embezzlers, frauds, and swindlers. Miriam said if she ever wrote a book, she would title it, Heard From Behind The Double Doors. Bill was eventually transferred to Tampa or St. Augustine, Florida; some of their children still live in Florida.
Though not the next in age, Everett Crumley Worstell was the next to attend Valparaiso. His first terms, when age 22, were during the school year 1894-95 in the Teacher’s Department; he would have been attending Valparaiso during the same time as Emerson. (The brothers had a cousin, Henry Delano Worstell, one of James’ sons, who was also attending college that year and who graduated in the Commercial Department. Henry married Katherine Search and they had only one child, who died in infancy.) Everett attended summer school in 1897 and 1898 and surely was teaching school during the school year. He graduated from the Scientific Course, Valparaiso, in 1899, age 27. He received his DDS from Chicago Collage of Dentistry in 1904 and established his dental practice in Chicago; he never married.
Edwin (Ed) Hamilton, though older than Everett, did not matriculate at Valparaiso until after Everett had already taken the first Teacher’s Course. While Everett was teaching, Ed enrolled for the four terms of the school year, 1895-96, in the Preparatory Department. He completed the course of study in the Teacher’s Department in 1897 at age 27, and was probably attending a summer quarter with Everett. After attending Valparaiso, Ed became a policeman for the Pittsburgh Police Department in 1898. He was possibly drawn to Pittsburgh since a number of second cousins were still living in that area.
Ed’s younger brother, William Reynard, was living with Ed in Pittsburgh in 1900. Will was just thirteen years old at the time. Their names appear in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania city directory, Ed a patrolman, Will a laborer. On March 17, 1904, Ed married May (or Mae) Dorothy Trunik; they had two children. Will married Kitura Harrah on Dec. 19, 1904; their residence became Crafton, Pennsylvania, on the outskirts of Pittsburgh, where he was a car inspector. Will’s only son, Wilbur Glenn Worstell, became a dentist and served as a dentist in the Army in World War II. Wilbur Glenn later practiced in Kansas City, Missouri, a city where his Aunt Jane Bradford, Gaylord’s youngest sister, was living. When Gaylord’s daughter Grace was in her 60’s, she was suffering with her false teeth and no one seemed able to help her. Grace’s daughter, Rachel (Jane), said Dr. Worstell was famous. “He performed dental surgery to reshape the gums and fit her (Grace) with new teeth,” she said. William died in 1937.
There were several redheads in the Worstell family. Ed was red-haired and freckled. His daughter, Virginia Elizabeth was also a redhead. Virginia was a teacher and Avis said that she hated every minute of it [teaching], but with a raise every year, she couldn’t make as much money doing anything else, so stayed with it. “That was kind of sad. If you’re going to stick with it, you might as well learn to like it,” said Avis. Virginia was a refined and handsome looking woman. A favorite memory of hers was her Southern Pacific Tour she took with three college friends. They stayed at the University of Southern California, and then went north to the University of Washington. On their return home she visited relatives in Valparaiso and Chicago. Virginia married Clinton Newman, but they never had any children. Her brother, Kenneth Trunik Worstell, was a commercial artist for a greeting card company. Kenneth and his wife had two sons: David, an attorney in Denver, and Kenneth, who lives in Pittsburgh. Each has one child. Virginia and her brother, Kenneth, resided next door to each other in Pittsburgh.
Many of the Worstells were very large men and Ed was especially so. After Ed retired from the police department, he moved to St. Petersburg, Florida. Ed visited the Richard Worstell home in Great Falls, Montana, about Thanksgiving time, c.1943. Someone remembered him telling about his visit and how cold it was. He had not taken an overcoat with him and had to purchase one on the trip. (He purchased it in Chicago, according to one account.) After Ed’s wife, Mae, died, Mae’s sister, Ida, was his caregiver.
While Ed was still at Valparaiso, Addison Noble enrolled. Addison attended all terms in the Teacher’s Department as well as the Scientific Department, all in succession. He also took a term in the Medical Department. He was apparently enrolled in at least one class, starting at age 21, for every term for eight years, between 1896 and 1904. His obituary says he enrolled in 1900 and graduated from the university in the scientific course, age 29. He married Luella (Lulu) Cooper, from Valparaiso, in 1904. Lulu Cooper inherited 210 acres in Morgan Township. The government originally acquired the Cooper family homestead from the Potawatomi Indians. The Potawatomi were the last of the many Indian tribes to come into Indiana, first from the east and then from the north and the Great Lakes region as whites displaced them. The Potawatomi established villages in northern Indiana about 1795. By 1836 some had sold their land to the government; those who didn’t were driven out by military force in 1838. The abstract showing the land passing from the Indians to the government and then to the Coopers, plus the tax records, are  in the possession of Diane Worstell, former wife of Addison’s grandson, John Worstell, both of Valparaiso. Addison taught school for several years in various school districts of Porter County. He was a dark complexioned, handsome man, very well liked by friends and family. He was the guest of honor at an Acacia dance in 1920. Whether that indicates that he had been a member of a precursor group of the college fraternal organization is unknown. Acacia was a national college fraternal organization associated with the Masons until the 1950’s.
Material from a news article of Addison’s death on June 9, 1930 states, “Addison was at one time connected with the Farmers’ State Bank, being its cashier, but resigned to enter the real estate business.” His interest lay in politics, and he became chairman of the Republican central committee, “... and because of his untiring efforts in behalf of the party was rewarded with appointment of postmaster. [He was reappointed to a second term.] He was prominent in Masonic lodge circles, being a member of all the various Masonic branches.” His death announcement on the ninth read:
Addison N. Worstell, serving his second term as postmaster of Valparaiso, died suddenly at 2:45 o’clock this afternoon just as he was being taken into Christian hospital after having been stricken as he was about to enter the Sievers Drug store....
Mr. Worstell was seen to cross Lincolnway to the Sievers Drug store, in front of which a number of men were seated, about an hour prior to the stroke or collapse.
He appeared dazed and uncertain and as he was about to step upon the sidewalk, turned about and retraced his steps to the opposite side of the street. He was returning to the drug store when he toppled over. Men were at hand to grab him and prevent a fall to the pavement. He was taken into the drug store and the Bartholomew ambulance summoned to take him to the hospital.
The June 10th paper reported,
A retracing of the postmaster’s appointments and acts of yesterday but served to increase the uncertainty connected with his tragic passing.
By a peculiar turn of circumstance, three postal inspectors were in the city, at the time of Postmaster Worstell’s death, making a periodical check over of department affairs.
That he was hastening to the office to assist in the audit at the time he drove his automobile into the Standard Oil company’s service station triangle, where State Roads 30 and 2 intersect, west of the city, is one of the possibilities.
Whether Mr. Worstell, in this crash, which completely severed the telephone pole and toppled over a heavy station sign, embedded in cement, received internal injuries that caused his death is another of the questions raised and which the autopsy may ascertain.
In the crash, the Worstell machine, a Buick sedan, turned over, but Mr. Worstell was able to climb out over the side of the machine a few seconds after the collision. He bore no outward marks of injury.
Nelson Edmond, attendant of the gas station was the first to reach Mr. Worstell’s side. Virgil McCrosky, attendant at the Trail Inn station across Road 30, and Read Salyer, local sign painter were also quickly at his side. All report that Mr. Worstell although considerably shaken and somewhat dazed, made light of the affair.
Finally Mr. Salyer offered his car to take Mr. Worstell to his home on Indiana Avenue. Worstell accepted the offer and rode home with Mr. Salyer’s assistant. Arriving at the residence Mr. Worstell directed that he be driven to his garage. He got out of the Salyer car and entered the garage, closing the door.
He did not enter his residence or inform his family of the mishap.
The next that is known of Mr. Worstell’s movements is that he made his way down town. Mr. Salyer placed a call to the Lincoln Highway garage to call for the wrecked machine. Not a glass was broken.
Many friends and close associates report having met the postmaster following the crash, which happened about 10 o’clock as he was driving home from his second trip to his farm, located southeast of the city, in Morgan township.
While everyone who saw him and conversed with him noted that he appeared dazed and uncertain in movement, Mr. Worstell was able to carry on a connected conversation on what ever subject was presented.
According to Lynn Allenbrand who was made assistant postmaster following the retirement of Ben Smith, last month, he located Mr. Worstell at his home about 9:30 o’clock yesterday morning and notified his chief that the postal inspectors were in the city. “I’ll be down,” Mr. Worstell responded. Mr. Allenbrand had tried to notify Mr. Worstell an hour earlier, but he was not at home, having been on his first trip to his farm.
Apparently the postmaster decided to make one more trip to the farm before reporting at the office. The accident resulted, and Mr. Worstell never went down to the post office, inspectors and postal employees hearing nothing from or of the postmaster prior to his death.
Seemingly Mr. Worstell never got farther down Lincolnway than the Sievers Drug store. Many observed him standing opposite the Gast & Grieger grocery. Others saw him on the opposite side of the street. Among these was Doctor G. R. Douglas who later was to be summoned to attend him when stricken.
Several members of the Masonic lodge, located upstairs over the McCormick Home Furnishing store, reported having observed Mr. Worstell in the alley opposite the club rooms. Mr. Worstell was a member of the lodge.
Apparently the postmaster wandered aimlessly within the limits of the block between Michigan and Franklin streets, stopped in at various stores, among them the Sievers Drug store where he purchased a cigar and departed just a few minutes prior to his attempt to make a second trip to the store, when he collapsed.
He died a few minutes later upon reaching Christian hospital.
Addison was only 55 years old. The tragedy is that he could possibly have been helped if someone recognized he was having a problem and gotten him medical help.
Addison and Lulu had a son, Addison Nathan (Nate), who attended the University of Michigan. Nate married Anita Sievers and worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad for 20 years, including eight as freight traffic manager, before going to work at Sievers Drug Company. Nate and Anita had two children, Eileen and John.
Addison Noble Worstell was still in school when Dias Pittis Worstell enrolled in the Teacher’s Department in 1899, age 20. Dias did four terms there and three terms in the Commercial Department. While shorthand was not listed in the catalog, Dias picked up the shorthand skill along the way. Dias married Bertha Marie Dietrich of Cincinnati, Ohio.
Alpheus had five girls, Laura, Nina, Estey, Vivian, and Avis. Four of the five girls went to V.U. Laura was 15 years old when she enrolled in the Teachers’ Department at Valparaiso. She attended six terms between 1904 and 1906. A term was 10 weeks and she could have enrolled in the Preparatory Department while still in high school. “This department [Preparatory Department] is designed to receive students of any age, and at any stage of advancement. ... the only preparation necessary before entering the School is, that the student be able to read in common school books,” stated the catalog. Laura could have attended summer school for three terms and a full year after high school. Laura Belle married Clarence A. Ludington and they had three daughters.
After Nina, A.J.’s second daughter, completed her work at Valparaiso, she became a practical nurse and dietitian before marrying Kenneth Dilley; she and her husband had four children. She continued working until 1967 and died in 1992. Estey Ann, the third daughter, a strawberry blond, worked on the farm and went to Valparaiso high school and then the University Teacher’s Department between 1913-14 and the Commercial Department between 1917-18. Estey went to Washington D.C. at age 19, stopping on the way to visit Edwin and his family. She had a career as a government worker and never married. When Avis, the fourth daughter, graduated from high school, she said to herself that it wouldn’t be any fun if she couldn’t attend college away from home, and if she couldn’t attend college away from home, she wasn’t going to go to college. So that summer she got a job in the office where her sister, Vivian, was working. Vivian was the only daughter of Alpheus who did not attend Valparaiso. Vivian married Erwin A. Gorges, and Phyllis was their only child. Phyllis married Matanich and they had six children, including twins who died at birth. By the end of the summer, Avis had changed her mind and “was mighty glad to be attending V.U.” After completing her undergraduate work, Avis was unable to get a job, so figured she might as well be going to school. She went to law school at V. U., received her degree in 1929, and took the bar examination. Avis was told that she did not pass and to “go on home, little girl,” or words to that effect. She happened to know that she had done better than a male student who had taken the exam at the same time and passed, so she made plans to take it again. She studied for the test, but when she took the examination, she felt she had not really done as well as she had the first time. However, this time the board passed her — “Well, if she wants it that bad, I guess we ought to give it to her,” they reportedly said. Soon after Avis graduated from college the stock market crashed and the bottom fell out of the economy. However, with a teaching degree and a law degree, she was able to get a job as a legal secretary. Later while working in Chicago, she lived with Uncle Emerson and Aunt Harriet, the osteopaths, who were practicing in Evanston, north of Chicago. In 1930, Avis was living in Wilmette, north of Chicago.
While Avis was still attending Valparaiso, she met a woman student from Chicago. They became good friends and the student introduced Avis to her brother, Carl Kaub. Avis married Carl W. Kaub on Dec. 20, 1936. Her bridesmaid was Miriam Worstell, Emerson’s daughter, with whom Avis remained very close all her life. Her flower girl was Phyllis Gorges, her sister Vivian’s little girl. After Avis and Mr. Kaub got married, they lived in Park Ridge, just east of Evanston. Avis and Carl had two children, Karen and Karla — no middle names. Avis was originally named Nellie Avis Worstell. She hated Nellie, so after she married she used Avis W. Kaub for her signature. She said, “Girls should have the family name to identify them and use it for their middle name after they’re married,” and “Children should take the name of the mother, because they know who their mothers are. It would erase a lot of the stigma.”
The Kaubs lived in Chicago on Lake Shore Drive on the shores of Lake Michigan. Avis opened their home in the summers for several vacationing Worstells. Jane Worstell Bradford and her daughter Betty Jane were guests every summer for most of those years. Phyllis Gorges, Alpheus’ granddaughter, was always there at the same time as Bradfords, since she and Betty Jane, both young girls of the same age, were close companions. The girls spent many summers enjoying the beach of Lake Michigan.
Mr. Kaub was a salesman. He was short and stout, but could sell anything, from chocolate to real estate. He called himself “Carload Kaub.” He had a partner in a real estate deal selling lots in a subdivision. The partner took the payments, didn’t tell Carl, then left town. Carl tried to collect from the people a second time before he realized what had happened.
About 1957, the Kaubs moved to Southern California. At one time, Karl was associated with a Dutch chocolate company. The Kaubs lived in Beverly Hills for years. When sales were slow, Avis rented rooms; a job she said was “... the easiest thing to do. Just make up the bed daily, and clean the room and change the sheets once a week.” The Kaubs retired to a gated community in Laguna Hills in 1977. After Karl died in 1981, Avis got a condominium in the same community. Avis hosted a small family reunion in March or April of 1989 in her condo. A small group of Worstell descendants has met nearly every two years since. The year 2000 was the most recent year and they met in Havre and Big Sandy, Montana. Avis died in November 1989. She might well have been the communicator that kept members of Thomas’ family and their children in touch.
Others who studied at Valparaiso were Gaylord’s second cousins, Margaret B. Pittis, author of the Pittis Genealogy, and her younger sister and brother. Although Gaylord may not have known at the time, his future wife’s uncle had attended the school while it was yet Valparaiso Normal Training School. Also a cousin, Eva Worstell, Henry’s granddaughter, was studying music at Valparaiso in 1913-14 and by the fall of 1917 or 1918, Gaylord’s son matriculated at Valparaiso — about the same time as Alpheus’ younger girls.
Alpheus and his wife were of help to nearly all of his younger brothers while they attended Valparaiso, and all but one of their own daughters attended college. He was considered a hard taskmaster. Bitterness toward Alpheus on the part of some may have been because of the circumstances surrounding the death of the older brother. Harry, the eldest and only son, was 23 when he became ill. The weather was cold. Alpheus insisted Harry get on with his chores in the barn and outside. His sisters felt that because of this, Harry developed pneumonia and died April 5, 1910. After that, it’s said the farm just sort of ran down hill. They finally sold the farm in 1914 and moved into Valparaiso. Tom Jachim and his wife from Hammond, a city near Gary, Indiana, purchased the farm in 1985. The Jachims restored the c.1865 Georgian style house to its former state.
While living in town, Ida continued to take in boarders. She kept chickens in the back yard and sold both eggs and chickens. Alpheus’ obituary read: “In 1915 he moved from Hebron
to Valparaiso, and served on the Valparaiso city council from 1922 to 1926. He was a member of the official board of the First Methodist church for 20 years, and also was affiliated with the Saturday Evening club.” He was obviously a man with community interests. Still the girls seemed glad to leave home, though they were not out of touch with family. Allie was quite a visitor — a freeloader, some said — going from relative to relative. He liked to “visit for a couple of weeks at a time and enjoy the cooking.” Perhaps he thought he’d earned the privilege. Besides the visits, Alpheus was one of the letter writers in the family, which kept the family in touch with each other. Gaylord was one of his correspondents and they exchanged family information. Alpheus’ occupation in Valparaiso after the family moved to town is elusive, but Avis spoke of her father as a teacher. He was 87 years old when he died on July 4, 1949.
Gaylord completed his work at Valparaiso and saw a succession of family members follow in his footsteps. Although a prudent man and careful with his money, Gaylord later gained a reputation for his generosity and no doubt helped and encouraged the others to acquire a good education.