Black Hills Wholesale Grocery Company

Real Photo Postcard, unused. AZO Stamp Box, circa 1913 – 1918.

Price:  $20.00

Addressed to:   “Ollie M. Chester, Rapid City, SD.”

Caption:   “C. E. Gray, wholesale Merchant, Rapid City, and his officers. C. E. Gray.”

You can read  “Wholesale Grocery Co.” on the building, above the man on our left. Which gentleman is C. E. Gray is unknown. Here’s an ad from February, 1914 showing they were located at Seventh Street between Omaha and Rapid (Rapid City, South Dakota):

From city directories it appears C. E. was Claude E. Gray. He shows up in 1918 as vice-president of the business. And on the 1920 Federal Census for Rapid City, we have Claude, born 1880 in Iowa, occupation grocery man; his wife, Florence L., also born 1880 in Iowa; and their daughters, Miriam, Marjorie and Helen. Also in the household is domestic servant, Ida Printz.

We’re guessing this card, like the one in the prior post, is a rare find for anyone looking for either of the two businesses. The earliest mention we found for the Black Hills Wholesale Grocery Co. is January 1913, in the Custer Weekly Chronicle. On March 3, 1914, the company published a trademark, described as “Black Hills” and a mountain scene that, barring any objection, would have been registered thirty days later. The AZO stamp box with all four triangles pointing upward, is estimated to be from 1904 – 1918, hence our card’s estimated date 1913 – 1918.

Ollie is Olive M. Chester. Could she be one of the young women in the postcard? Maybe. Or maybe just a friend or relative of C. E. Gray. Olive is found on the 1915 State Census for South Dakota, born 1899 in Nebraska.

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Rapid City, Pennington, South Dakota; Roll: T625_1725; Page: 15B; Enumeration District: 155. (Ancestry.com).

Simmons’ Spice Journal, April 1914, Volume 37, no. 4. Page 410. (Google.com/books).

Rapid City Journal. February 1, 1914. Sunday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

Keiter Directory Co’s Rapid City and Pennington County, South Dakota City, 1918-1919. p. 43. (Ancestry.com).

“Notice of Hearing Petition for Letters of Administration.” Custer Weekly Chronicle, January 18, 1913, Saturday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

South Dakota, U. S., State Census, 1915. (Ancestry.com).

Gator Wrestling

Old photo, white border. Circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $5.00           Size:  2 and 3/4 x 4 and 1/2″

The condition of this one is not great – with the crease on the bottom right and the image being pretty washed out, but it is one of a kind, and that’s always nice, since it was taken by an individual, rather than produced in numbers for the tourist trade. It shows a young man of the Seminole Nation, his legs on either side of a belly-up alligator, gator’s snout to young man’s chin; a line of spectators in the back; and another gator, under the palm tree. Enlarge the image (twice) for a better look.

See the links below for a few articles on the subject of alligator wrestling. And maybe you’ve had a similar experience, so I’ll share something here:  Rarely have I felt so overwhelmed by a photo:

I’ve been wrestling (no pun intended) with finishing this post, having re-written it several times – and have come to the conclusion that this photo is “weighty” for me. For one thing, a doorway to history – flipping back thru time with the Seminole people – life before tourism, before the tragedy of the Glades being diminished, pride for the Seminoles to have never signed a “peace” treaty with the U.S. government…..And this photo’s era – Florida in the ’20’s and ’30’s being a particular draw for me – that déja vu feeling, with it’s invariable why?……And questions for the present and future, our planet and its welfare (anguish) gators and all, and then jumping back to this particular gator and this particular wrestler, and the feelings and impressions of those spectators…. Multiple pathways to travel down. Maybe I’ll be drawn back to it all later, when I’m older and hopefully, wiser.

Some related articles:

Fitzner, Zach. “Alligator wrestling in Florida may soon become a thing of the  past.” Earth.com, April 18, 2019. https://www.earth.com/news/alligator-wrestling-florida/ (accessed November 20, 2022).

Lipscomb, Jessica. “Study, Actually Alligator Wrestling Is Bad.” Miami New Times, November 24, 2020. https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/study-says-floridas-alligator-wrestling-attractions-are-harmful-11748501 (accessed November 20, 2022).

Oztaskin, Murat. “How Florida’s Seminole Tribe Transformed Alligator Wrestling Into A Symbol of Independence.” The New Yorker, January 27, 2021. https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-new-yorker-documentary/how-floridas-seminole-tribe-transformed-alligator-wrestling-into-a-symbol-of-independence. (accessed November 20, 2022).

Hotel Turpin Autobus, San Francisco

Divided Back, used postcard. Postmarked July 23, 1916 from San Francisco, California. Stamp removed. Publisher:  Edward H. Mitchell. 

Price:  $12.00

Auto Bus meets trains and Steamers. Hotel Turpin Auto Bus. 17 Powell St. at Market, San Francisco, Cal. F. L. Turpin. A. W. Turpin.

This postcard was likely produced from a newspaper or magazine photo. Interesting that there are no women in this picture. Wonder what type of event it might have been? You have your businessmen on the left and some of the staff next to them; all the passengers and the driver of the bus are men, and then there’s the guy standing behind the bus. Note the suitcases on the running board. There’s a Touring Club of America sign on the hotel awning. And apparently there was a pool. The business next door was Kingsbury & Unger, (G. Kingsbury and F. Unger) a liquor store at 21 Powell St.

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Bell Brown, 1415 26th st, Bakersfield, Calif.”

The sender, Bell’s sibling, wrote:

“San Francisco, Calif. July 23rd – 1916. Dear Sister. I were in Stockton Friday. The land lady said she sent mail to the place I wrote to you from so I am going there tonight & will write from there.   M – “

Curiously, nothing definitive comes up in records when trying to find Bell (Belle). Nothing under Brown at this address in city directories. Maybe they were only there temporarily.

From the 1920 Federal Census for San Francisco, Edward H. Mitchell, postcard publisher, was born about 1869 in California, married to Idelle and they have three daughters, Gertrude, Bernice and Marion.

Sources:  H. S. Crocker Co.’s, San Francisco Directory, 1912, p. 963. Google book search.

Year: 1920; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 28, San Francisco, California; Roll: T625_140; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 278. (Ancestry.com).

Thelen, Kenkel, Goergen, Burdick, Wolf, Relatives & Friends, Iowa, Circa 1910

Divided Back, unused, cropped postcard. KRUXO Stamp Box. Circa 1910.

Price:  $20.00

What a great find for the families named above and the one unnamed young woman! (Someone knows, I’m sure.) The Thelen siblings appearing in this postcard are Josephine, Catherine, Gertrude, Mike and John – children of John (Johann) Thelan and Catherine Leick.

Left to right:  Katherine (Jonas) Nettleship, born 1888 Iowa. Married Arthur Cyril Nettleship about 1910. Kate was the daughter of Joseph Jonas and Maria “Gertrude” Thelen. Working as a domestic servant in 1910 in Stockton, CA. Single at that time.

Josephine “Jo” (Thelen) Kenkel, born 1887 Iowa. Married John Joseph Kenkel June, 1910.

Catherine (Thelen) Goergen, born 1882 Iowa. Married Matthias “Math” Goergen September 1908.

Gertrude (Thelen) Burdick, born 1880 Iowa. Married Charles Burdick May 1910.

Christine (Wolf) Thelen, born 1884 Iowa. Married Michael Thelen October 1908.

Unknown friend

Mike Thelen, born 1884 Iowa. Married Christina Wolf October 1908.

Math (Matthias) Goergen, born about 1879 Iowa. Married Catherine Thelen September 1908.

John Kenkel, born 1881 Iowa. Married Josephine “Jo” Thelen June 1910.

John M. Thelen, born 1888 Iowa. Married Eunice Davis December 1915.

Sources:  Ancestry.com Family Trees.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Baker, O´Brien, Iowa; Roll: 451; Page: 5; Enumeration District: 0077; FHL microfilm: 1240451. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Nassau, Sioux, Iowa; Roll: T624_423; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0152; FHL microfilm: 1374436. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Stockton Ward 2, San Joaquin, California; Roll: T624_103; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 0136; FHL microfilm: 1374116. (Ancestry.com).

Iowa Department of Public Health; Des Moines, Iowa; Series Title: Iowa Marriage Records, 1880–1922; Record Type: Marriage. (Ancestry.com).

Hats Galore

Old photo, circa 1900s – 1910s.

Price:  $5.00          Size:  4 x 2 and 3/8″

Just an old snapshot that has been around for over a hundred years – it had lived most of its life in one of those old photo albums with the black pages, before being picked up at a paper fair. No writing on the back at all, and it’s blurry (but imagine you are bringing the scene into focus!) And what a great time these eight ladies are having….all in some of the most wonderful hats, no two are alike. And we get a sense that the woman in the dark satin blouse was the focal point of this photo – it was some type of special occasion for her.

Having Fun Yet?

Old photo, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $8.00          Size:  About 4 and 1/4″ x 2 and 1/4″

Continuing on with a mini-theme of families or groups of people. This one is a stumper. Where were they? The major clue, if we can call it that, appears on our left….something Ranch. Had the camera been pointing slightly more in that direction (or the photographer further back), we probably could have figured it out. Maybe “something-or-other Ranch” was a restaurant. Do we imagine we see a small outdoor dining table there covered in white cloth? The other clue (for some ingenious person) is the out-of-place looking geometric metal? phone booth-ish (space ship, time portal, 😉 ) thing at the far right, that we only see a portion of. What the heck was it? Then the people depicted here….Looking like, I hesitate to say it, a family of con-artists. Maybe it’s the younger girl – the stony-faced look and the cool octagonal sunglasses, note her grip on her grandma’s arm (yes, we remember that smiling into the camera was not mandatory, like it pretty much is today – refreshing, really – scowl if you want to) and her sister – with that trick of the eye – one eye closed, the other squinting slightly, not a wink though, but different….how did the camera catch that? Now, the dark-skinned gentleman on our right, is he the dad of the girls and the (nice-looking) older brother? Dad sun-bronzed from years of outside work…..or are they a wealthy bunch and this man is their driver (but part of the family) and native to (imagining) Central America. Well, idiotic questions like these are in abundance. Notice, too, how the whole gang is dressed in white except for the matron of the bunch. Makes you think this snapshot was taken in one of the southern states, Florida or southern Calfiornia, perhaps? Anyway, every picture tells a story, as they say, and what this one tells is……open to impression….flashes of insight appearing and disappearing…..in the end, I’d say they’re a nice, very stylish family with a million stories to tell. Oh, and this photo had been in the family album for some time, as evidenced by some of the black paper still stuck to the back.

Paul Jones Harrison And Friends

Old photo, circa mid-1890s.

Price:  $15.00          Size:  About 4 x 4″

A fun time with friends and siblings…..guessing this photo may have been taken around the mid-1890s due to the large puffed sleeves for some of the women, and from the following research, possibly taken near Socorro, New Mexico:

Just as I was about to call it a day search-wise, the Harrisons were found in records. (Funny how it can take you awhile to find the answer, and if it had been a different day, you’d find it right off the bat. A difference in mindset maybe. Interesting, though.)

Madge Harrison is Esther Matilda Harrison, born April 14, 1875 in Missouri. She marries Samuel C. Edwards. Her brother, A. Houston Harrison, was born about 1877, also in Missouri and their brother, Paul Jones Harrison, was born about 1883 in New Mexico. Their parents are Andrew T. and Julia Harrison. The family is on the 1880 Federal Census living in Trinidad, Las Animas County, Colorado and on the 1885 New Mexico Territorial Census in Socorro.

From the same 1885 census for Socorro, name spelled Wickam:  Anna Wickham was born about 1874 in Pennsylvania, and brother Andy, also a PA native, was born about 1876. Their parents are Joseph and Mary Wickham.

The Tingleys would be brothers, Albert Tinguely, born about 1864 in Nebraska and Samuel Tinguely, born about 1871 in Colorado. Parents Charles and Anna, were born in Switzerland. The 1885 NM Territorial Census has them in Polvadera, Socorro County.

Jennie Cook is possibly the Jennie Griffith that married George E. Cook. George later served as mayor of Socorro, 1924 – 1928. The names on the back of the photo may have been written later, since Jennie and George were married in November 1900. That is possibly Jennie on our right, just above left of the man who is clowning around in one of the girls’ bonnets (maybe he and Jennie exchanged hats). And could this person be George Cook?

Names on the back of the photo:

Paul Jones Harrison; Madge Harrison (Edwards); Jennie Cook; Price (surname or possible given name); Andy Wickham; Anna Wickham; A. Houston Harrison; and surname Tingley.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Trinidad, Las Animas, Colorado; Roll: 92; Page: 54B; Enumeration District: 066. (Ancestry.com).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Schedules of the New Mexico Territory Census of 1885; Series: M846; Roll: 5. (Ancestry.com).

Indiana, Marriages. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Socorro, Socorro, New Mexico; Page: 2; Enumeration District: 0135; FHL microfilm: 1241003. (Ancestry.com).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Schedules of the New Mexico Territory Census of 1885; Series: M846; Roll: 5

“The Cook –Griffith Wedding In Socorro, N.M., A Swell Society Event Attended By 200 Guest.” Richwood Gazette (Richwood, OH). November 29, 1900. Thursday, p. 4. (Newspaper.com).

Mayors of Socorro. https://www.socorronm.org/notable-local/mayors-socorro/ (accessed June 6, 2021).

Rev. Anthony C. Stuhlmann and Friends, 1918

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked May 21, 1918 from Arkansaw, Wisconsin. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $6.00

Addressed to:   “Rev. Father A. C. Stuhlmann, Catasauqua (Pa.) St. Mary’s Rectory”

The handwriting is hard to decipher without knowing German, but it starts off,  “Arkansaw May 12 1918….” 

We’re presuming the gentleman in the priest’s raiment (dark suit, white collar, to our right of the tree) to be the addressee. The card may have been sent by William (nearest relative, maybe a brother) from the record below. (Wilhelm from the sender’s signature?) And we’re presuming this photo was taken in either Catasaqua, PA or Arkansaw, WI, when one had gone to visit the other. In either case, it’s a pretty happy group, and the Reverend has raised his glass (are those beer mugs in the shot?) so, it seems like they were all celebrating something, or maybe just the happy event of getting together. But what was the ladder for?

Anthony Christian Stuhlmann, from the WWI draft registration, was born September 17,  1879 in Germany. His occupation was Catholic priest, and home address 122 Union St., Catasaugua, Pennsylvania. Nearest relative, William Stuhlmann of Arkansaw, Pepin County, Wisconsin.

Sources:  Roth & Weaber’s Directory of the City of Allentown, Comprising Allentown, Rittersville, South Allentown. Also Directory of Catasauqua and Lehigh County, 1916. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Lehigh; Roll: 1893745; Draft Board: 1. September 12, 1918. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Memorial Day Parade, Hazel Park, MI, 1966

Divided back postcard, unused, 1966. Photo by:  Southeastern Michigan Business & Professional Women Association. Series or number 12842-C. Publisher:  L. Goldberg & L. Wilson, Hazel Park, Michigan. Printer:  Dexter Press, Inc., West Nyack, New York.

Price:  $5.00

“1st Prize Float, Memorial Day Parade. May 29, 1966. Hazel Park, Michigan.”

That’s a helicopter represented in this flower-covered float, honoring the “Fighting Soldiers From The Sky.” Note the rotor blades that are blending in with the crowd.

One Of My Luncheons

Old photo, circa 1900.

Price:  $5.00          Size:  About 4 and /14 x 3 and 1/4″

“One of my luncheons. I am not in it.”

…..or Twelve Ladies and the Floating Tea Cups…..

A beautiful moment in time, of twelve lovely women gathered round the hostess’ dining table for lunch and conversation. Wonder what the topics of the day were? Men and children, politics and fashion, books and art, friends and family….Don’t you love the varied expressions, some looking at the camera, one in profile, all with the hair swept up, and then the ruffles, the polka dots and the high-necked collars…..But the icing on the cake, so to speak, is the floating teapot-teacup effect:  the big teapot just left of top-center and the teacups to our right (hanging from hooks in the tall cupboard) and directly above them….some kind of reflection between the cupboard glass and the mirror above the buffet?…..And note the beautiful pitchers resting on the buffet with their reflection behind them, not to forget to mention the wallpaper, most easily noticed behind the set of four cups and saucers displayed on the small wall shelf.

Love and gratitude

Like the image two posts ago, this one was scanned with a background we grabbed that was handy. In this case the photo rests on the back of a coupon we got yesterday from Second Chance Thrift Store in Monterey, where the most wonderful book was found:  The True Power of Water by Masaru Emoto. I feel compelled to mention this book here, check it out if you haven’t yet, highly (ever so) recommended (!).