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Calumet Regional Archives

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CRA075 -- John Kristelli Papers

CRA 075: Photographs


3.00 Linear Feet
August 1986


The Paulsen Family has resided in Lake and Porter Counties since 1911. Family members have worked in the steel mills for most of the years from their arrival to 1975. The records in this collection cover the history of the Paulsen and Kristelli Families and include information on their work and social activities.

Property rights in the collection are held by the Calumet Regional Archives; literary rights are dedicated to the public. There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Linear feet of shelf space: 3.00 Linear Feet.
Number of containers: 5 boxes
Calumet Regional Archives
Collection 075

Processed by: John Kristelli
Date: August 1986

Scope and Content

The records in this collection primarily cover education and work experiences. Educational records cover the years 1929 to 1984 and include many schools of the Calumet Region. Work records include ledgers of people who have worked in the steel mills, spanning the years 1912 to 1958. Other material of interest includes a series of letters written by Robert Kristelli during his enlistment in the United States Army during the Second World War. A variety of paper memorabilia collected by the donor, as well as the variety of subjects covered in the photograph series, result in this collection's wide coverage of Northwest Indiana history.

Historical Sketch

The Paulsen Family arrived in Gary, Indiana in 1912, where Robert Paulsen, Sr., would become an electrician and foreman at U.S. Steel Gary Works. His family spent some years in a tarpaper shack, but the family later settled in a sturdier house in Garyton (now part of Portage, Indiana). The oldest child, Harriett, graduated from portage High School in 1936 and married Robert Kristelli the following year. Robert was born Bokslaw Antoni Krystali (alternately Krysteli and Kristeli; the name apparently changed during Robert's school years), the son of Polish immigrants living at 1638 Vermont Street in Gary. Robert and Harriett boarded in many Gary locations but settled in East Gary (aka Lake Station) in one of the many new housing developments in 1941. The surrounding area was dirt roads and forests, and the water had to be pumped from an underground well. Robert worked the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) programs of the New Deal until he entered the steel mills in 1937.

In December 1943, Robert was drafted into the U.S. Army's First Division. Harriett worked in five different businesses during Robert's service and rehabilitation, including Gary Screw and Bolt, Gary Sheet and Tube, and S.S. Kresge. When Robert returned from the military, he earned a degree in Business and established himself and a freelance accountant. The couple had five children. In 1963, Robert suffered a heart attack, aggravated by his war injuries, and died. Harriett took over as the head of the family, drawing social security and veterans benefits, and passed away in 1985.

Box File Description
1 1-2 Historical information, Paulsen/Kristelli Families
3-6 Ledgers, Robert Paulsen, Sr. ,(1911-1943)
6.5 Time book, Robert Kristelli, U.S. Steel Gary Works, 1937-1944
7 Ledger pages, Robert Kristelli, expenses, 1938-1944
8 Ledger, John A. Kristelli, Sr., 1939-1940
9 Ledger, Robert Paulsen, expenses, 1942-1958
10 Ledger, Robert Kristelli, expenses, 1947-1964
11 Address book, Robert Paulsen (inc. Conklins), ca. 1912
12 Birth/Toddler records, Harriett Paulsen; baptismal certificate, Robert Kristelli
13 Diplomas, Portage High School, 1936; Froebel High School, 1947
14 Discharge papers, Robert Kristelli, Civilian Conservation Corps, 1934
15 Discharge papers, Edward Mucha, Civilian Conservation Corps, 1937
16 Discharge papers, Robert Kristelli, U.S. Army, 1946
17 Death certificate, Harriett Kristelli, 1985
18 Housing records, 1892, 1939
19 School papers, various, Portage HS, Griffith HS, Garyton School, (1932-1963)
20 Commencement invitation, Portage HS, 1936
21 Class notes, Religious Studies, Evelyn Paulsen, ca. 1930
22 School papers, various, Hammond Baptist School, Henry S. Evans School, River Forest HS
23 Booklet, Reflector, River Forest HS poetry and artwork publication, Vol. III, 1968
24 Commencement programs/invitations, River Forest HS, (1965-1981)
25 Yearbooks, Henry S. Evans School, 1971-1975
26 Diploma, Henry S. Evans School, 1975
27 Yearbooks, River Forest Junior High School, 1976-1977
28-36 Newspaper, Ingot Informer, River Forest HS, 1976-1986
37 Correspondence, River Forest HS, 1976-1981
38 Class schedules/report cards, River Forest HS, 1976-1981
39 Handbooks, River Forest HS, 1979-1981
40 Program, River Forest HS, 1978
41 Various, River Forest HS clubs, 1980-1981
42 Class materials, Newspaper class, River Forest HS, 1980-1981
43 Various, Youth Conservation Improvement Program, 1979-1981
44 Various, Youth Advisory Council, 1979-1981
45 Newsarticles, drama productions, River Forest HS, 1980-1981
46 Newspapers, River Forest Junior HS, 1983-1984
2 47 Printed material, various, politics and railroads, (1891-1960)
48 Address/telephone planner, Gary Trust and Savings Bank, ca. 1912
49 Manual, Business Writing, 1915
50 Booklet, The Taxpayer and the Gary Schools, 1934
51 Booklet, "Home Efficiency," Ladies Aid Society, United Brethren Church, Hammond, ca. 1930
52 Booklet, "Emergency Defense Coordinators and Service Chiefs," U.S. Steel, 1942
53 Map, Hammond, ca. 1970
54 Newspaper insert, "Televisions," Post-Tribune, 1978 (first issue)
3 55-75 Correspondence, Robert and Harriett Kristelli, 1944-1946
76 Correspondence, Pvt. William Kristelli to Harriett Kristelli, 1975

Subject Tracings

  • Emerson High School
  • Knights of Columbus
  • Sports
  • Swartz, Eugene
  • United States Steel