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From the Hobart Gazette of December 9, 1971 "First" Bottle Located The bottle, lent for this picture

by Paul Robinson of Lake Street, is one of the originals from the Zobject Bottling Works, run by Hugo Zobject and his wife and children in the basement of the northeast corner of 3rd and Main between the years of 1904 to 1908. The site is now the location of The Jewel Shop, but when the Bottle plant was in the basement, the first floor was occupied by Roper's Meat Market. In response to a call for details about the bottling plant, Carl Krausse wrote a fully detailed letter on the subject, the correctness of which exactly matches the memories of the oldest Zobject daughter, now Mrs. Carolyn Skebo of 306 N. Guyer. Hugo Zobject was a highly respected business man in downtown Hobart for many years. He operated a saloon where The Browne House is now located on the east side of Main St. On one side was Baumer's Bakery and on the other was Newman's Hardware, separated by a 5 ft. walk through with a high wood fence on Zobject's side. Krausse remembers hungrily the days when Mrs. Zobject would give handouts of big baloney sandwiches to neighborhood kids and, as Krausse writes: "With all this and Baumer's Bakery next door, THAT was a neighborhood to grow up in". Mrs. Carolyn Skebo remembers helping her Mother clean the pop bottles in the 3rd and Main location when she stood on a high platform to reach the table of operations. The cleaning technique was to put B-B shot into the bottles and shake them before washing. The pop was then mixed from syrup and water and carbonation added under pressure and the bottle put under a machine which pumped the rubber stopper and shut the wire holder down to hold the carbonation. Krausse remembers one had to push down hard to get the top to snap open. In 1908 the family moved from above the saloon to a new home on Water Street. In the alley between Water and Lake, a new Bottling plant was created. The horses and the delivery wagon were also kept there and Mrs. Skebo remembers how she and her brother used to start out before daylight to take deliveries as far as Miller, Crown Point and Gary. The trip to Miller meant getting home at dark by horse and wagon. As large pop customers were usually saloon, both the saloon and the pop bottling business of Mr. Zobject fell victim to the Volstead Act of 1919, at which time the family turned to farming and then the father joined the workers at Carnegie Steel. Remembered as a big, affable man, Mr. Zobject was, to quote Krausse: "the anchor man on the Hobart Volunteer Fire Force". When it came time to lift the heavy ladders into place, Zobject had "the umph", Krausse recalls. He also served in Company K of the Indiana Militia during W. W. I. He was cited during W. W. II for returning from retirement to fill in at the steel mills while the younger men went to war.

One incident remembered about Mr. Zobject was the occasion when he was shot by a village character. Temporarily deputized by the Town Marshal who had to be out of town, Zobject heard shooting out in Main Street and stepped out of his saloon into the path of the gun wielding character. The man shot Zobject in the chest, the bullet passing through to lodge behind his left shoulder, where it stayed the rest of his long life. Ignoring the bullet, the temporary Marshall overpowered his assailant and saw him off to jail. Krausse remembers the incident because it happened right under his bedroom window and Mrs. Skebo remembers it because the Zobject kids used to ask their father to "wiggle the bullet" for their amusement. A devoted family man, Zobject and his wife had 15 children, 8 of whom grew to maturity. He married a second time after the death of his wife, fathering two more children. These 8 are still a very close knit and devoted family, the girls of which now hold regular meetings and parties, calling themselves the "Sister's Club". The 2 brothers, Hugo and Edward, live on Hugo's cattle farm in Kentucky, but all of the sisters are still residents of Hobart. They are: Carolyn Skebo, Marge Hodges, Marie Sherer, Helen Burkhart, Ann Zander, Claire Jaros, Lydia Hansen and Ella Lowery. So the old bottle shown here represents more than just an article for collectors. It also represents a lifetime of memories for citizens who loved "red pop" when they were kids and the saga of a hardworking but fun sharing, love sharing family of the kind that are the backbone of America.

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