Sunday, July 24, 2016

Find of the Week: Sophia's Cane

Ron Klein has always had an interest in local history. Klein grew up among members of the Haish family that lived in Hinckley; Klein's great aunt, Mary (Maynie) Klein, married Jacob Haish's nephew, William R. Haish, who was a trustee of Jacob Haish's estate.

Jacob Haish had also loaned money to Klein's great grandfather so he could purchase a Hinckley farm. That farm has been in Klein's family since 1875.
"I've always been interested in our connection to Jacob Haish," Klein said.

Klein, of DeKalb, is an avid book collector with more than 3,500 books in his collection, but he's also the owner of one rare piece of local history: the cane that belonged to Jacob Haish's wife Sophia. The cane came from a cousin of Klein.
Ron Klein, of DeKalb, holds a cane that belonged to Sophia Haish. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
A replica of Sophia Haish's wedding ring is at the base of the cane's handle. | Photo by Jessi LaRue
Klein said some of the cane has had to be refurbished, and a recreation of Sophia's wedding ring has been added under the handle of the cane.

"Local history has been an interest of mine for all of my life," Klein said. "But Jacob's story is very interesting."
Ron Klein, former chairman of the Kishwaukee Community Hospital board of directors, is pictured in a 1980 newspaper receiving a check from Haish Board President C. Edward Raymond. The money, from Haish's estate, was given to the hospital's surgery unit and at the time was believed to be the largest check presented in the county, according to the July 1980 edition of the Kishwaukee Kommunicator.

1 comment:

  1. Just learned about this project about a month ago, so great to see new work being done on local History! I'm on the board of the Gurler Heritage Association, we were just looking at some of the old items we have (sort of a hodge-podge, not strictly Gurler artefacts) and we have one of the barbed wire "Haish Canes" I'm sure you're aware of! I don't think there was a familial connecting between the Gurlers and Haishes, but I know that Beatrice Gurler's filmed commentary on the tragic loss of Haish's home was played before the DeKalb City Council to help pursuade them to assist with saving the Gurler House from the same fate. Keep this great information coming!