W. S. Darling, the “Indian Curio Man”

Postcard Header W S Darling

This is the beautiful postcard back header that appears on a 1908 card that shows the following publisher information:

W. S. Darling, the “Indian Curio Man” Harbor Springs, Michigan.

It’s unknown whether this header was exclusive to W. S. Darling, or whether other publishers may have used it. (A 1909 offering, currently for sale elsewhere online does show a different header for him.)

Willard S. Darling was born in Jackson, Michigan on December 2, 1870.

On November 30, 1892 he married Bertha E. Stutsman in Harbor Springs. She was born in Indiana about 1871,  the daughter of A.R. Stutsman and Martha Byerly. Willard was the son of Christopher Columbus Darling and Louisa Felshaw. His occupation was Printer on the marriage record.

There are lots of records appearing online for Willard S. Darling but a 1903 city directory, which included Harbor Springs, confirms that he was the “Indian Curio Man.” Below is the entry evidently indicating that he was partners with Henry S. Babcock, under the name of Babcock & Darling. The second entry shows their ad that appeared at the bottom of the same page regarding the Harbor Springs Graphic.

1903 Directory


More records…

1910 census, Harbor Springs – with wife Bertha, and their daughter, Maie; occupation Printer at a newspaper;

1920 census, Harbor Springs –  with wife Bertha E., and daughters Maie and Josephine; occupation Oil Inspector for the state.

1930 census, Harbor Springs – with wife Bertha and daughter Josephine; occupation Tax Collector.

1940 census, Harbor Springs – with wife Bertha, daughter Josephine (public school teacher) and lodgers Geraldine Wolfe and Mildred Ives; occupation Rep for the sales tax department.

Willard S. Darling died in Petoskey April 8, 1943, and was buried in Harbor Springs. Occupation given on death record was State Sales Tax Collector.

Sources:  Original data: Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com)

Polk’s Petoskey City and Emmett County Directory, 1903, Vol. 1, p. 176. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Little Traverse, Emmet, Michigan; Roll: T625_763; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 161; Image: 776. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1930; Census Place: Harbor Springs, Emmet, Michigan; Roll: 981; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0007; Image: 666.0; FHL microfilm: 2340716. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1940; Census Place: Harbor Springs, Emmet, Michigan; Roll: T627_1748; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 24-8. (Ancestry.com)

“Michigan Deaths and Burials, 1800–1995.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. FHL 966505. Ancestry.com. Michigan, Deaths and Burials Index, 1867-1995.

E.T.W. Dennis & Sons, Ltd.

ETW Dennis logo closeupETW Dennis Logo circa 1908

This logo circa 1906 – 1910?  See our York Minster post for the front side.

This is an example of the newer version of the ” ‘Dainty’ Series” logo showing figure holding lantern, by publisher E.T.W. Dennis & Sons, Ltd. We’ll have to look for a postcard to buy, scan and put up here that will do the earlier version justice. But for now here’s a link to click on from the website Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City, a great site which we’ve had occasion to mention on previous posts. Just scroll down on the page to find the publisher entry in the spotlight here.

Between the two logos, there’s the obvious addition of the scroll work and company name in the later version. But though there are major similarities in the little scene with the two figures, the faces of the two appear to be different. I think the one we have shows a little girl, and the other shows a grown man.

Edward Thomas West Dennis (1847 – 1923) was a Quaker who owned the Mercury weekly newspaper in Scarborough, England. His company produced the first postcard in England in 1894. The firm’s “Dainty Series” ran from about 1902 – 1910. In April 1905 the firm became a Limited Company (Ltd.) Click here for an excellent compilation of biographical details on Dennis. And see the same site’s www.webber-postcard.me.uk  homepage for a rundown of dates and links for Dennis’ early beginnings to modern times, after year 2000 and the company being bought out by the Irish postcard firm of John Hinde.  Also of interest on Webber’s site regarding the “Dainty Series” was a postcard found without either logo. Click here for the example and possible explanation.

One more “Dainty Series” example (with those words in the stampbox) was found on Attic Postcards showing letters “D” and “S” inside a diamond shaped design. This is found on an artist-signed card entitled “Snowdon from Capel Curig.”

Sources:  ETW Dennis. Web accessed February 9, 2015. (http://www.scarborough-heritage.org/resources/Commarch/ETW%20Dennis.pdf)

E.T.W. Dennis of Scarborough. www.webber-postcard.me.uk. Web accessed February 8, 2015. (http://www.webber-postcard.me.uk/Post1900Dennis.htm)

Snowdon, Capel Curig, Wales, Elmer Keene, Dainty Series, Dennis & Sons Postcard. Attic Postcards. Web accessed February 9, 2015. (http://www.atticpostcards.com/images/RH26/034.html)