Anyone know of this American maker?

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Yes, it is a little hard to tell from inside the fiddle just where the longer side of the block is.  I will defer to your eye, Jacob.  Regardless, Mr. Dirking seems to have left no reminders of his time other than at least a couple violin labels (Wenberg apparently knew of one from Spokane), his wedding in Montana, and a US Patent for some type of electrical price card.  Maybe someone will stumble on this thread sometime in the future and provide some answers.  

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18 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

it looks a bit as if it were done with a knife and fork

I could imagine that this rib cage started as the "usual" bob construction, but was put apart and set together again to imitate another way of building, maybe the appearance of Mittenwald inside work and joints (but without understanding it completely). Similar alterations one can see also often at Großstadtgeigen or fiddles finished by some autodidacts from the Vogtland boxes. But the outside finish looks nicely made.

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