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Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked from Nebraska (probably Holbrook) September 7, 1910. Publisher:  Arthur Capper. Copyright 1909. Artist:  B. Bieletto.

Price:  $12.00

“If I dared to think you cared,

The thought would be divine;

And so I pray that you will say:

‘You will be mine!'”

A beautiful postcard with the nice verse above, on a country scene, showing pansies in the foreground, a river on the left, and a field with mountains in the background. The border and sky are done in gold-tone, and the artist’s signature appears at the bottom right. The artist’s last name is Bieletto. There is an Italian artist, Benedetto Busetto Bieletto, in Chicago. This is possibly the artist for this postcard. This possibility will be explored and put up in a near future post. The card is addressed to:  “Miss Lena Davis. Pomona Kanasa [Kansas]”  and J. W. has written,

“Sept 7 1910 Dear cousin. I rced your card sever day ago was kind surprise to here you had sold out what was the mater   did your folks like it there we are thursh [threshing] this week here i am up home this week i am well and hope yous get throw [through?] all right  J.W.C.”

One of ten (unless we come across more) postcards from J. W. Carter of Holbrook, Nebraska, that he sent to his cousin, Lena Davis. (There will be another category put up under Lena Davis later.) As we can see by the spelling, J. W., like many of his day, must not have had a terribly long formal education. It seems that he must have made his living as a farmer or stock hand. This is the first of a great set from J. W. In reading all ten postcards to cousin Lena, you get a sense that J. W. was a caring person. I like how he fills up the cards, and how their content shows a small slice of rural Nebraska life in the early 1900s.

This card was likely postmarked from Holbrook, Nebraska. Holbrook today is a small town in the southern area of the state; their website indicating the population at about 225. The town is about 250 miles west of Omaha, and about 300 miles east of Denver, Colorado. Holbrook was first known as “Burton’s Bend,” after Isaac Burton who opened up a log cabin trading post there in 1870. A post office was established in August of 1872, and the railroad came through in the late 1870s. The town’s name was changed in 1881, in honor of an official for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. These postcard dates range from 1910 -1914, and it is interesting to think that when J. W. Carter was writing these cards, the settlement was only just over 40 years old.

There is a James W. Carter listed in the 1910 Federal Census for Burton Bend, NE. This person was born in Illinois, about 1875; both parents were born in England; his marital status is divorced; his occupation is “Stock, Farm” and he is boarding with John A. Hudson and John’s wife Loeye[?] Also boarding with the Hudsons is a young woman, age about 16, Urlia[?] Fanholc[?] It’s interesting to note that we can see from this census, that although the name of the town may have been officially changed, it was still referred to by some as Burton’s Bend. It’s likely that this James W. Carter is the same person who has written these postcards.


Year: 1910; Census Place: Burton Bend, Furnas, Nebraska; Roll: T624_846; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0078; FHL microfilm: 1374859. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006

Two Mushrooms

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“8457. Two Mushrooms, Garden of the Gods, Colo.”

“Holbrook. Nov 26 1911. Dear cousen how are you i am well and all right. i was up to gosper last sunday and ever one as far as i no was well. you want to no when i was come down i dont no just when. i will bet i am come after a little but i dont no just when i can get away but i ame some of these days. you want to no if i was feeding this winter no not yet. i went to denver about three weeks are think of go next week agin. mabe wont get any then. from your cousen J. W. Carter. write soon.”

Holbrook is located in Furnas County and Gosper is the county just to the north. I don’t see any references to Gosper ever being a town.

Divided back, unused with writing. Publisher unknown. No. 8457. Circa 1911.

Summit of Mt. McClellan

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“6353. Above the Clouds, Nearly Three Miles High, Summit of Mt. McClellan, Colo. – Argentine Central Ry.”

Wow, quite a long way down. If you look closely you can see the images of a group of sightseers at the top. Anyway, here’s another from J. W. sent to cousin Lena:

“Holbrook Nebr. mar 24, 12. Dear cousen I received your card all right all are well here as far as i no. it is awfel mudy here now. lora mist the train yester morning i was down there and stay all night. i sow[saw?] lora will be [about?] this card there. we have ben having some high water agin. i have ben go to Elwood ever since i come from down there. ant[ain’t] gone yet but wont[want] to this week if i can   JWC”

Addressed to:  “Miss Lena Davis, Almena Kansas”

Elwood is a Nebraska town located about 26 miles northeast of Holbrook.

A little history regarding the railway mentioned in the postcard caption: The Argentine Central Railway was a 3 foot, narrow gauge railroad, built from the Colorado & Southern Railway at Silver Plume, Colorado to Waldorf, Colorado, (now a ghost town) and then onward up to the summit of Mount McClellan. Construction was started for the railway on August 1, 1905 and first opened one year later. It was intended for and used to carry tourists, as well as for use in the silver mining industry that was prevalent in the area. (Wikipedia)

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked in Holbrook, Nebraska, March 25, 1912. Publisher unknown. No. 6353.


With All Kind Thoughts

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“Holbrook Aug 4, 1912. Dear cousen. I ame all right and hope you are felling better then you was or at least not so tired. well I have had some bad luck since I come home friday I lost that horse we was talk about. I docter her all day then next day after I got home she died about ten oclock at night. the little colt is just seven weeks old she was the best one I had. from your cousen J. W. Carter”

Another in the J. W. Carter series, and a terribly sad one.  We send all kind thoughts and ((hugs)) to J. W. and the colt. The horseshoe on the front of the card is appropriate, isn’t it?

On the bright side, this is a lovely, understated card of a gold-tone horseshoe with a small bunch of four-leaf clover that is caught up in a red ribbon. Below these good luck symbols is a city skyline scene, which appears way off in the distance. A white border of scroll work and clover complete the card.

Divided back, embossed postcard, unused with writing. Circa 1912. Publisher:  KLC or KL Company. Series 109.

Best Wishes From J. W. C.

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“Holbrook Nebr Aug 8, 1912. Dear Cousen, your card got here all ok. I was glad to here from you did the Dr. put Mark in a cast. I ame glad yous dont have to set up any more. I ame out hay agin it is some that i start to leave for seed and it ant no good. I have some for seen yet I will haft to cuting of hay as I can get at it – from your cousen J. W. C.”

Front shows scene inside gold-tone oval of stylish young woman in hat, carrying a basket, gathering rushes or cattails, perhaps. She is at the water’s edge and in the background, across the water, we see a house, sort of cottage-like, maybe in stone, with a taller portion on the left. Mountains appear in the distance, and in the foreground on the left we see what appears to be a duck or goose (or swan?) This lovely scene has a muted effect and is done mostly in tones of blue, green, and brown. Surrounding the oval is a beautiful embossed scroll work of white on pale greenish gray, with a white border. The lettering “Best Wishes From” appears at the bottom with a space where J. W. has filled in his initials.

Divided back, embossed postcard, unused with writing. Publisher K. L. C. or K. L. Company. Series 150. Circa 1912.

Basket of Forget-Me-Nots

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“Holbrook, Nebr Aug 15, 1912. Dear cousen I received your card today[?] and was glad to here from you. I ame well and all right. I seen ted and minie and harry and sarah to day. They went grape down on the river and seen them just a minite or to. it has rain all day on and off and to night it is rain stedy. you never said what you want to do about go to the fair. I was just redy to cut some more hay this morning but was to rain. from your cousen J. W. C.”

The line with the word grape is hard to figure out. Maybe the word is a misspelling of something else. Or could Ted, Minnie, Harry and Sarah have been picking grapes by the river? (Maybe someone else will have a better guess at this than me.)

The front of the card shows a lovely design of a draped pink ribbon with bows. Suspended from the center ribbon is a gold-tone basket that is overflowing with forget-me-nots. Center background is yellow with gold-tone framing, and a couple of clovers are thrown in for good luck on each side. The little flower drawings in the bottom corners just add to the charm, as does the caption:


of for-get-me-nots

To you alone I send;

Expressing my

most kindly thoughts

For one I call my friend.”

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard with writing. Copyright E. Nash. G-19. Circa 1912.

Price:  $5.00

Greetings From Holbrook

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“Holbrook Nebr, Sept 29, 1912. Dear cousen. I got your card last night and was glad to here from you glad your horse are get better. mine are all right yet. The cab[?] is buck yet some. I ame go to try and get it in time this week some time if I can and if i get it to working all right i ame come down sunday so i think can get there and less some happen so i cant leave. your cousen  J W C”

Addressed to:  “Miss Lena Davis, Almena, Kansas”

What was it that was bucking yet some? It sounds like it’s a vehicle that’s not running right, and if so, how do you like that for a horse type expression for a car? As, here we are in 1912, in that transitional period in rural America when the car was still in the process of becoming the established mode of transportation. Also, the distance between Holbrook, Nebraska and Almena, Kansas is about fifty miles, so it would seem like it would be too long of a trip to take by horse, for someone that is very busy making a living farming.

The front side of the card shows a red rose, framed in gold tone, surrounded by an embossed pink and white roses design, white border and lettering at the bottom that says “Greetings From ____” where J. W. has written “Holbrook.” The overall framing (because of the diagonal lines in the corners) resembles a carved wooden frame where the frame juts out and the center part with the rose is flat against the wall. Not that this is anything earth shattering, but I just think that the glimpses into the artists’ ideas for the postcards are interesting.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked in Omaha, date not appearing, approx. September 30, 1912. Publisher:  KLC or KL Company? Series 153.

Thoughts Of You

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“Holbrook Nebr, Nov 10, 1912. I got your card last night and was glad to here from you. You are lonesome down there are you. paw and maw are up in country they went up wednesday and ant come back and tell tomorrow or next day they are all well as far as I no. I got 35 head of cattle and lost one since i got them here. I got him[?] heart in come and never got over it he live week after I got here. I got 16[?] bushel of alfy seed. I ame husking corn now. I have ben having a bad cold but are get better of it now. your cousin  J. W. Carter”

A really nice one from J. W. that says a lot, including how he was noticing that Cousin Lena sounded lonesome, Pa and Ma are up in the country, he lost the one cow or bull that sounds like had a heart problem (poor baby), he is busy husking corn, he got what looks like sixteen bushels of alfalfa seed (love the “alfy”  expression), and his bad cold is getting better.

This beautiful postcard bearing the inscription “Thoughts of You”  shows a thatched roof cottage scene with a visitor being greeted at the door. (If you look closely you will see some figures there.) The heart-shaped scene is surrounded by brown or gold ivy (not sure why the ivy was done in this color but it’s still nice) and then by forget-me-nots. There’s a light blue bar at the top and bottom of the card. The forget-me-nots and ivy are highlighted with silver-tone lines, (a nice departure from the more common gold) and their placement on the card is elegant.

Divided back, embossed, unused with writing. Publisher unknown. No. 184.

May The Golden Sunrise . . .

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“Holbrook Dec. 11, 1912. Dear cousen. I got home all right and found ever thing all right to. I got home at haft past five. I thought it was to be snow storm be fore wood get home. I dont no wheather I told you to write or not. your cousen   J W Carter”

Addressed to:  “Miss Lena Davis, Almena, Kansas”

You can see where J. W. had started to put something like “write soon”  but then changed his mind while wondering whether he had already asked that of cousin Lena before he left.

On the front is a small, muted country scene of a golden sunrise reflected off of a lake or pond, a rustic fence in the foreground and a castle ruin type building in the background. There is a branch with blue forget-me-not type flowers artistically displayed behind the “painting.”  The card has a gold border, and shows the lovely sentiment below:

“May the golden sunrise bring

happiness into every day

of your life.”

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked December 11, 1912 in Holbrook, Nebraska. Publisher:  E. Nash. Series G-15.

Price:  $5.00

Cordial Good Wishes

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“Holbrook Nebr, Nov 15, 1914. your card came some time ago. I ame well and all right and hope this finds yous all the same. I have my corn all husking and have ben husking out. I have husk a week and have one more day there at that place. and another feller want me to word for him at holl cane hay. we are have reveting meeting here now I have tend most all week and expect to attend quite little this week. I have lost 37 head of hogs. your cousen  J. W. Carter”

The date on the card is either the 15th or the 18th. And I think J. W. was saying “hawling cane hay” with the phrase “holl cane hay” and of course, he meant “work” not “word.” As for “reveting,” this sounds like it might of been a Christian revival meeting. (Too bad about the poor hogs.) This is the last card in the series, unless we ever come across more. It’s been lovely getting to know J. W. (I love the way he says “I am well and all right”) and in getting a small glimpse into rural life in Holbrook, Nebraska in the early 1910s.

Country scene centered within an embossed hexagonal, lace-type white design. The scene shows a couple of trees next to a rustic wooden fence. A woman and child are walking up the path from the cottage-like home in the background. Underneath is the lettering “Cordial Good Wishes.”

Divided back, embossed, unused with writing. No. 805 from an unknown publisher. Circa 1914.