The Blosser family of Nappanee Indiana: The Blosser Family connects with the Field Family through Hazel Blosser. Hazel married Floyd Grasz 31 December 1931. Floyd’s first wife was Tressa Ethel Wilson. Tressa died of breast cancer 11 March 1931. Hazel was the daughter of Elias and Amanda Culp Blosser. Elias owned a shoe store on E. Market Street in Nappanee. He actually made shoes in his shop. He owned the store from 1893 to 1928. Hazel worked in the store for many years. Floyd worked as a shoe cobbler for Elias. Later Floyd opened his own shoe repair shop in the garage of his house on West Market Street.

Hazel was one of four children. Her siblings were Merrill, Lowell, and Blanch. Merrill was the creator of the long running cartoon strip Freckles and His Friends. The cartoon was syndicated and ran in news papers all over the United States. Merrill often made reference to places in Nappanee such as Johnson's Drug Store. Lowell was a professional photographer. Blanch married Harry Frick of Wawaka, Indiana. Harry owned a grain company in Wawaka and the business is still owned by the Frick family. In the summer of 2007, I visited Wawaka and talked to Dan Frick at the grain company. At that time Merrill Frick, a son of Harry and Blanch was still very active in the company. Dan told me that he had an aunt, Rosemary, living in Oregon.

There is an interesting connection between the Field and the Blosser family. Blanch Blosser Frick's oldest son, Harry Jr., married Emma H. Dye. Emma's mother was Emma L. Hinkle. Emma Dye Frick and Eugene Allen Field are 6th cousins once removed. They have a common ancestor in Johann Gerhard Anthonius Henckel a son of Anthony Jacob Henckel the progenitor of the Hinkle family in the United States.

Hazel was born in 1889 in Nappanee. For a time after Floyd and Hazel were married they lived with Hazel's parents. Floyd had used all of his savings on medical expenses during Tressa's illness. At the time of Tressa's illness the family was living in a large home at the corner of W. Market and Nappanee Street. During the time they lived with the Blossers the Grasz family home was rented out. Eventually they moved back into their home. When they got older they sold the large home and divided the lot. Floyd and Hazel built a smaller home on the back of the lot next to the shoe shop. Floyd continued working in his shoe shop until he had a stroke. The home and shop were eventually sold and Floyd and Hazel moved to Greencroft Manner in Goshen, Indiana.

Hazel was not my biological grandmother but she was my psychological grandmother. She was always very kind to me. I loved her large home. She always kept a clear glass candy jar full of spiced gum drops on a shelf by the phone. The phone was mounted on the wall and you had to stand to talk into it. You had to hold the receiver to your ear and talk into a horn. Of course it was not a dial phone but controlled by an operator. I remember standing on a chair and saying to the operator, "I want to talk to my other grandma." The operator would then connect me to my paternal grandmother, Marie Field, who lived a few blocks west on Market Street.

Grandma Grasz, Hazel Blosser Grasz, seemed to be related to everyone in Nappanee. She was a member of the Church of the Brethren. She was one of the first people born in Nappanee. Later in her life she was interviewed by a local librarian. She made the statement on the tape that at one point she knew every single person living in every house in Nappanee. I asked my mother about this and she said the statement was correct, Grandma Hazel knew everyone.

Written by Eugene A. Field. This sketch of the Blosser family was written by memory. I was only four years old when we moved to California from Nappanee and really do not remember much about Merrill. I do remember going to visit him in La Verne, California at some point when he lived there.

The photograph is Merrill and Hazel Blosser. They are children of Elias and Amanda Culp of Nappanee, Indiana. Hazel became the second wife of Floyd M. Grasz who was the father of Miriam Grasz Field.

Links by State and County

Elkhart County, Indiana

Elias Blosser Shoe Store, East Market Street, Nappanee, Indiana

Floyd M. Grasz in the Blosser Shoe Store

The home of Elias and Amanda Blosser, W. Market Street, Nappanee, Indiana

A coach decorated to advertise the Blosser Shoe Store, Nappanee, Indiana

Hazel and Merrill Blosser as children

Freckles & His Friends, original cartoons

Hazel Blosser

Hazel Blosser and Floyd M. Grasz

The Blosser, Field & Frick Families

Amanda Culp Blosser as a young woman

Amanda Culp Blosser with a group of people

Noble County, Indiana

The Blanch and Harry Frick home in Wawaka, Indiana

Merrill Blosser

Merrill Blosser: photo

Merrill Blosser as a young man

The Elias and Amanda Blosser Family

Blosser women, Hazel, Amanda & Blanche

Link to Stripper's Guide, a blog about cartoonists.

A Picassa Web Album by Ilovecomix with over 100 cartoon strips of Freckles & His Friends from 1945. Click on Ilovecomix's Gallery for more from 1924.

Wikipedia article on Merrill Blosser

Wikipedia article about Merrill Blosser's cartoon strip, Freckles & His Friends

A painting by Merrill Blosser