Foggy February IV

I found this lonely quonset hut after driving south on Branstrator Road until I reached Allen County, Indiana’s southern boundary. This was taken looking south into Wells County from South County Line Road on Feb. 5th. I got rained on pretty hard, but it was worth it.

a lonely quonset hut used as a barn sits in the middle of a field in Wells County, Indiana just south of the Allen County Line Road on a foggy winter day in the rain

Richard Youse

In 2002, I was driving down Barkley Road in rural southeast Allen County, Indiana near the town of Hoagland. I was on my way to an abandoned schoolhouse that I knew about further down Barkley road, when I spotted the roof of an abandoned farmhouse sticking up above some trees far in the distance to the south.

I turned down Emenhiser Road and headed for the house. I got out of my car and got out my camera and tripod; the house was incredibly rundown and weathered looking. As walked behind the house, I came upon an old man sitting in a plastic chair with a cat on his lap!

Mr. Richard Youse was 87 years old and had lived in the house since his parents bought it in 1924. He never married and never had children, so he lived with his parents until they died. He told me that he was a retired farmer and that he had 15 cats.

I visited him several times over the next couple years but eventually stopped going out to see him as life got too busy and I went on to other projects. I later learned that in 2004 his family put him in a nursing home and bulldozed his house. I had seen the site before moving to Santa Fe in 2006 but was not able to photograph it then. I went back earlier this week and photographed the empty cornfield that covers what was once Mr. Youse’s yard.

All that remains is his windmill tower and the remnants of his driveway.

The empty field where Richard Youse's house once sat. The remnants of the driveway are visible in the tall grass and weeds in the lower right that stretch to the windmill tower. The house sat in the field in the lower left in front of the windmill. Located on Emenhiser Road near Hoagland, Indiana.

Below are a couple of the photographs I made of Mr. Youse and his house. I do not know if he is still alive or not. He would be 92 or 93 now.

Richard Youse in his doorway. old man living in an abandoned house, allen county, indiana

richard youse in the doorway of his abandoned farm house with a cat on the roof of the entryway. old man living with cats in an old house

white cat sits on two rusty oil drums under a window of an old farmhouse in allen county, indiana. Richard Youse, an 87 year old man lived here in this ruined house that looked abandoned and unsafe.

richard youse's abandoned farm house, allen county indiana. A white cat walks in front of the house in search of mice.

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