Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Haish at the 2021 Sandwich Fair

I attended the 2021 Sandwich Fair last weekend and was so excited to see some Jacob Haish gas engines on display. Although I was unable to track down the owner of the engines, I took some photos.

Collection of Haish engines on display at the 2021 Sandwich Fair | Photo by Jessi LaRue

1 HP Jacob Haish Co. gas engine | Photo by Jessi LaRue

2 HP Jacob Haish Co. gas engine | Photo by Jessi LaRue

5 HP Jacob Haish Co. gas engine | Photo by Jessi LaRue

7 HP Jacob Haish Co. gas engine | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Backside of the Haish gas engines | Photo by Jessi LaRue

The barbed wire traveling trailer, a Sandwich Fair regular, was also at this year's event. The trailer features a variety of barbed wire tools as well as a sampling of various wires. Haish's "Ripple Wire" is featured.

Barbed wire traveling trailer features wire tools. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

"Wire that Fenced the Western Frontier" barbed wire display | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Haish's "Ripple Wire" was featured on the wire display board. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Barbed wire traveling trailer features wire tools. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Haish barbed wire splice

Spliced Haish's S-Barb Wire | Photo by Jessi LaRue

This is a piece of Haish's "original large S-Barb" wire, with a special twist.

From the original eBay listing:

"This wire features two round line wires twisted together. ... This sample also features a factory one-line splice, with wrapped out ends."

Wire is spliced by twisting two separate wires together, usually to connect the end of one roll of wire to the next. This video explains how wire can be spliced.

As this is a splice that was done in-factory, rather than by someone repairing or installing barbed wire fencing, it makes the piece especially interesting and unique.

Thanks to Kevin Haish for sharing this unique piece of Haish history.

Spliced Haish's S-Barb Wire | Photo by Jessi LaRue 

Spliced Haish's S-Barb Wire | Photo by Jessi LaRue

Thursday, July 29, 2021

What happened to the Haish mansion?

The Haish mansion in 1930. | Photo courtesy of Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives
The previous location of the Haish mansion, as it stands today. The carriage house still stands to the right side. | Photo by Jessi LaRue

When people find out that my maiden name is Haish, or that I research Jacob Haish, the number one question I hear is "what happened to the Haish mansion?" And rightfully so, as the house was razed in 1961 and many of us never even had a glimpse of it. 

Many people think there's a conspiracy story behind it, because Ellwood's mansion remains, and what do we have to show for Haish? Unfortunately for the Haish mansion, the true story is much simpler.

The house, located on the corner of Third and Pine streets in DeKalb, was three stories tall. Haish, a carpenter, chose to model his home after memories of castles from his homeland of Germany. Learn more about the house's beautiful architecture here, here, and here.

Haish built the house in 1884 and lived there happily until his death in 1926. In his will, he left lifetime use of the house to his longtime housekeeper Anna Anderson. The will also allowed for money from Haish's estate to be used to keep the home "in as good condition as when received by her." 

DeKalb historian Steve Bigolin said Haish missed one big element when preparing his will.

"He didn't think beyond when Anna Anderson would die," he said. 

Anderson died in 1953, and at that time the Haish estate trustees needed to liquidate all assets in order to make the Jacob Haish Memorial Hospital, a big intention in his will, come to reality. There were no further instructions provided as what to do with the house after Anderson's death, so it simply became another asset.

"They had the right to sell it," Bigolin said.

The mansion and the carriage house were put on the market in 1955, after the mansion had been used as a rental for a few years. There was a combined asking price of $45,000 for the two buildings, or the carriage house for $20,000 and the mansion for $25,000. The carriage house was sold to a private individual, and still stands to this day.

The neighboring First Lutheran Church purchased the Haish mansion, and the building's next life began. First, the estate held an auction to sell off items remaining in the home, and then the church would use the house for a parsonage and location for Sunday school classes, as well as other church activities. Within time, however, the large building became a drain of the church's limited resources. 

Church leaders began to realize the condition of the house was deteriorating and the work and cost of upkeep was more than they could handle. Ultimately, it was decided to put the house on the market. In early 1961 they put the house on the market for $25,000, just to recoup their original purchase cost. They were not interested in a profit. 

There were no interested buyers.

Haish house after demolition in 1961. | Photo courtesy of Joiner History Room, DeKalb County Archives

The church decided to demolish the home for a parking lot in 1961. A certainly divided decision amongst church members, a decision that is still hotly discussed to this day, but one that made economic sense for a church.

Today, the carriage house remains as an apartment complex. The church's parking lot remains, along with a small residential home on the property. Various remnants of the Haish mansion live on in places like DeKalb and even Rockton, Illinois.

Click to see more blog posts about the Haish mansion.

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Haish barbed wire canes

Jacob Haish manufactured barbed wire canes as a promotional item. The canes and their toppers vary in shape and size. It is unknown just how many were made, and how many are still in existence.

These are photos of two canes that belong to Kevin Haish. Photos by Jessi LaRue.

You can learn more about Haish canes by clicking over to my previous post here.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

"More & More Barbed Wire" song

This song, written by Art. Edwards, is featured on the first pages of his barbed wire book "Unusual Fence Wires," published in 1979. Fans of the Glidden story, as well as barbed wire collectors, will enjoy this charming song.

"A brief history of barbed wire in song with a little humor added"
By Art. Edwards

"More & More Barbed Wire"
Use tune of Casey Jones

"There was a Mister Rose from up in Illinois
He had had a dream ever since he was a boy
He said to his wife we'll go to the fair
We'll take the buggy and the old grey mare

So he took a stick and he drove it full of nails
He sharpened the points and hung it on a rail
He said now boys step up and take a look
This will be something that will go into the book

Then up stepped Mr. Glidden and some more of the boys
They looked the thing over until their eyes were sore
They each had a plan to beat the other man
They would put on some barbs and fence in the land

So after a short stay they went their own way
They each got busy the very next day
Now Mr. Glidden said to his hired hand
Just slip on the barbs with either hand

Well more and more wire more and more barbed wire
We'll keep on collecting' til our boards are full

Then Joseph said honey we'll make ourselves some money
If you're not going to grind we'll twist several kinds
We'll fence in the yard and we'll fence in the barn
I don't think those barbs will do much harm

Then people came out to see this fence
Mostly on Sunday and other days since
It began to catch on and the first thing they knew
This barbed wire wasn't anything new

Then Bet a Million Gates went to San Antonio
He had no partner he just went alone
He built this pen and they put the cattle in
He bet a lot of money and he took them all in

They found a piece of wire in the Trinity River Bank
They took it to the station and they all begin to think
We need to get together and organize a club
So they called the darned thing a barbed wire club

Well more and more wire more and more barbed wire
We'll keep on collecting' til our boards are full

So they met at Fort Worth each and every month 
They didn't drink much just a little punch
They traded old wire and told tall tales
There weren't any ladies just a bunch of old males

Then others heard about it and begin to do the same
They gave the darned thing the same old name
They have so many shows we can't see them all
Just one in the Spring and one in the Fall

Now Mr. Jack Glover he made himself a book
And on the front cover you ought to take a look
It's really not a bible it's just another book
Several preachers bought it and simply got took

Then Mr. Allison thought he would try it
But his wife Jimmie says do you think they'll buy it
Yes with all these traders I think they'll try it
They'll look the thing over and then they'll buy it

Well more and more wire more and more barbed wire
We'll keep on collecting' til our boards are full

They went down the road to look for old wire
And about that time they had a flat tire
They walked around behind and what you think they saw
Twas an old piece of wire wrapped all around the tire

They got out the jack and raised up the wheel
That's when Payne said Bill I'll make you a deal
Now Bill was pretty slow but finally said no
We'll take the wire and pay for that tire

We do mostly tradin' but also some sellin'
That's why we need the trends to know what to tell 'em
If we couldn't trade 'em we'd just have to sell 'em

Now if you trade by mail you'd better know your man 
They'll tell you anything just to get some more strands
They'll find some old wire and give it a fancy name
And when it comes in you'll have a lot of the same

Then I got myself some marbles and put them in a sack
Then locked up the doors of my old shack
I found some Crandalls it was in short lengths
So I left some marbles for two of those links

Them came to the creek and stopped at the bank
And that's when I really began to think
I hadn't found much just mostly old Decker
I had lost all my marbles and become a wire collector

Well more and more wire more and more barbed wire
We'll keep on collecting' til our boards are full

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Advertisement: Haish Engines

Advertisement provided by Kevin Haish

This advertisement for Carlson & Anderson, of DeKalb, Illinois, lays out their extensive list of tractors, implements, and other machines they have available.  Most notably, they list Haish Engines in the column to the left. Advertisement from eBay.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Book recalls Haish's wire story

I've been reading the book "Early United States Barbed Wire Patents" by Jesse S. James, and I must say, it has become one of my favorite books on the topic. From the clever index that features drawings of every included patent, to the interesting stories throughout the book, it's a good reference! I thoroughly enjoyed, and laughed out loud, to this story that begins by referencing Henry Rose's creation, which inspired Haish, Glidden and Ellwood to create barbed wire, once they saw the display at the county fair. 

Hope you enjoy this story about Haish, even if the author may have taken some creative liberty with the dialogue!

"...Jacob Haish also developed and patented a two-strand barbed wire similar to Glidden's. This was the famous 'S' barb. (Patent No. 167,240.) He had previously patented other wires and he believed Glidden's patent infringed on his patent. 

He said, 'It seems to me that old Joe Glidden is trying to steal my idea! Well, I just won't let him do it! I'm gonna see him in court about this!' 

This started the legal battle over barbed wire that lasted many years.

In the meantime both of these guys had their small factories going like mad, and working overtime! They would buy plain smooth wire from back east, fasten their patented stickers upon it and the stuff would sell like hotcakes!

In fact they bought so much of this wire from one large company, that the sales aroused the curiosity of the company's management, and they said, 'Just what the heck's going on out there at DeKalb anyhow?' and, 'What does this Glidden feller and this upstart of a Haish think they're up to?' 

They could easily see that this barbed wire business was going to be a big thing! 

And so at a special meeting of the executives of the Washburn and Moen Manufacturing Co., it was agreed by all that Charles Washburn, who was Vice President of the company, should go to DeKalb and attempt to buy the patent rights and factories of Haish and Glidden.

When Washburn arrived in the busy little town of DeKalb on that day in February 1876, he went first to Jacob Haish and ask him if he would sell. Haish answered, 'Of course, Mr. Washburn, I would sell my patent rights and factory but I would have to have $200,000.' 

'I'm sorry,' Mr. Washburn said, 'But that's quite a bit more than I could pay.'

Haish later told his friends, 'Had Washburn been a typical Yankee and offered me $25,000, I believe I would have accepted it.' Then he added, 'I believe Washburn would have been ahead if he had paid me the $200,000, I asked for, as I've been told that the lawsuits alone have cost his company $1,325,000!'"

Below are images from the book:

Monday, March 8, 2021

Jacob Haish Co. postcards

These two postcards advertise products from Jacob Haish Company: the poultry fence and the twin tie woven wire. "Jacob Haish Co." and "DeKalb, Ill." are printed on the image side of both postcards.

Front side of Twin Tie Woven Wire postcard. | Image provided by Jessi LaRue
Back side of Twin Tie Woven Wire postcard. | Image provided by Jessi LaRue

Twin Tie Woven Wire postcard:

This postcard, above, shows the twin tie woven wire fence, and a cowboy who has been thrown from his horse and right over the fence. In the background you can see a woman running over to help.

The backside of the postcard reads: 

"C. Fischer & Son, Lancaster, Wis. 
Haish Wire Fence, Haish Barbed Wire, Nails, etc."

Front side of Poultry Fence postcard. | Image provided by Jessi LaRue

Back side of Poultry Fence postcard. | Image provided by Jessi LaRue

Poultry Fence postcard:
This postcard, above, shows a well-dressed young boy and his dog. The boy appears to be saying "cock-a-doodle!" with the rooster, who is on the other side of the fence.

The backside of the postcard reads:

Adjustable square mesh chicken fence does not bag, buckle or sag. No top or bottom rails or line posts needed. Only corner posts necessary. Costs no more than old style netting and makes a heavier, more durable fence. Sold by A. Driesens & Son, 338 W. Leonard St., Grand Rapids, Michigan."

Monday, January 18, 2021

Photo: Haish School students and Hattie Chesebro

This photograph of students sitting in front of Haish School was found on eBay. The image, according to writing on the backside, features "Class of 1913, Haish School, S. 9th St." It also names teacher Hattie Chesebro.

According to an article in the March 15, 1990, edition of the Daily Chronicle, in which the paper highlighted local leaders for Women's History Month, Chesebro attended Northern Illinois State Normal School (now known as NIU) and taught eighth grade at Haish School from 1908 to 1943. 

From the article:

"A former student described her as 'a small person who exerted great influence on her pupils.' Someone else called her a 'once-in-a-lifetime teacher.'"

Also from the article:

"Loyal to Haish School, she organized the annual Haish School reunion that took place every summer. Today that school has been razed, but her memory lives on at the newest school in the DeKalb District, the Hattie Chesebro Elementary School." 

Today, this school building is vacant.

Stella Hattie Chesebro was born in DeKalb and lived 1876-1956.