. . . but 60 years ago this coming Friday, Mildred Franke Tyler gave birth to Dr. Dosido, the only son and second child of Wade Edward Tyler. They named him Paul Leslie. They brought him home to a warm and comfortable house at the very eastern edge of Hoagland, Indiana. Only the school, Madison-Marion Consolidated School, better known as Hoagland Elementary and Hoagland High School (all in one) stood between the Tyler house and the flat, fertile farmland that stretched east about a dozen miles to the Indiana-Ohio state line and beyond.
Fields of crops, mostly corn and soybeans, were visible across the road and right behind the long back yard of the Tyler house. Hoagland was not very big in 1950. And even when Paul left for college, beginning the trek through higher education that would transform him into Dr. Dosido, the town’s population numbered only 500. However, Hoagland itself was always bigger than the houses set within the limits of the unincorporated entity known as Hoagland.
If you measured Hoagland by the public school, two whole rural townships were Wildcat territory. If you measured it by the rural postal routes covered by the Hoagland post office, it was a bit smaller, as some “Hoaglanders” addresses were Rural Route 10 from Fort Wayne (the big city), or Rural Route 2 from Monroeville (home of the rival Cubs).
Hoagland was and still is, in fact, a community of feeling. It encompassed a large open country network of farm families, former farm families turned to factory work and other occupations, and new arrivals, mostly escapees from Fort Wayne. Many people identified their networks as Hoagland, because of the draw of the school or Three Kings, the local tavern with a family room that enjoyed a near monopoly. The world of officialdom did little to define the boundaries or even recognize the importance of Hoagland. But people did. Hoagland was a community enacted through regular assemblies that met the peoples’s needs for local organization. It could be the Volunteer Fire Department or the Hoagland Area Advancement Association or the baseball diamonds filled every summer evening with youth games or church league softball. An important nexus in all these networks was the Hoagland Hayloft, a bank barn refurbished as a reception hall.
The Hoagland Hayloft is where many wedding receptions, anniversary parties, and club socials were held. The first floor of the Hayloft had a large kitchen and plenty of long tables for the feeding of guests. The whole upstairs was a sprung wooden dance floor with a raised platform for the band set in the middle of the long east wall. The bands who were booked to play the Hayloft had to be good for three kinds of dances: slow dances (for the older folks), fast dances (for the young folks), and square dances (for everyone).
This is where Dr. Dosido’s journey began. To be continued.