Silas D. King Calling Card

Calling Card. Circa 1880 – 1900.

Price:  $6.00

A deep blue morning glory flower, some leaves and berries, and a bird carrying “A Token of love” adorn this calling card for Silas D. King. The fringed banner displays the following:

“The cold in clime are cold in blood,

Their love can scarce deserve the name.

But mine is like the lava flood,

That boils in Etna’s breast of flame!”

This is from The Giaour, an epic poem by George Gordon, the 6th Baron of Byron, better known as Lord Byron.

There are a number of potential matches for the original owner of this card. None show in city directories with the middle initial (unexpected) but there are lots without, and then two or three possible matches in census records with the initial, so we’ll skip the major searches and be content, as is. Always interesting though, to track the source for the verse or poem.

Source:  Lord Byron. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Byron (accessed January 3, 2021).

Alfred J. Hines Calling Card

Calling Card. Circa 1880 – 1900.

Price:  $5.00

Flowers and a feather in orange and peach tones for this calling card…..

There will be multiple possibilities for who this card had belonged to……But wow, as it turns out, not as many as you’d think. City directories for a search anywhere in the U.S., that includes the middle initial, show much later records than this time-frame (1919 at the latest and that person in Saginaw was born too late to fit this card). Many hits that come up under all categories, and without the middle initial, can be eliminated right off the bat – either too young, too old, middle initial not matching, and duplicates – later or earlier records of the same person. We could spend days to really narrow it down, but won’t, believe me, that would be really too much! (But yes, it is always tempting.) So, maybe the three best possibilities are:

Alfred John Hines, born December 17, 1867 in Wolcott, CT. His obituary states he was educated in the schools of Wolcott and Montpelier Seminary and married Agnes Conant in October 1901.

Alfred Joseph Hines, born November 13, 1873, PA. Lived in Cresson, PA, occupation clutchman? for P.R.R. Co. (Pennsylvania Railroad Company) per his WWI Draft Registration Card, in 1918. See if you can figure out what that says there:

An interesting fact on the “Pennsy” Railroad:  By 1882, the company had become the largest corporation in the world, with a budget second only to the U.S. government.

Or had this calling card belonged to the Alfred J. Hines, who was married to Dorothy E., living in Rochester, NY, per the Rochester city directory, occupation engineer (but employer name not listed). We don’t know the age of this Alfred J. Hines. Oddly, no census records were found on him.

Sources:  “Alfred J. Hines.” Hardwick Gazette (Hardwick, VT). January 8, 1942, Thursday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

Registration State: Pennsylvania; Registration County: Cambria County. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Pennsylvania Railroad. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennsylvania_Railroad (accessed January 3, 2021).

Drew Allis’ Rochester Directory, 1919, Vol. 70. p. 518. Ancestry.com. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995.

Happy New Year From Stafford Hannah

Calling card. Circa 1880s – 1900.

Price:  $12.00

The holiday cards are scarce right now at my house, for website posting that is. Haven’t gone on any buying binges lately….then again it’s nice to put up ones that have only been languishing in an (acid-free, of course) storage bin, without any attention…..;-). What I like about this one is that second comma. Kind of amusing, maybe a typo? Or maybe it was on purpose – so that Stafford could write a short note under his name, or have a space for a business stamp. Also, love the “face” in semi-profile, top right corner. Like a line drawing, with a little bit of shading, of a benevolent spirit. Of course, the shells and forget-me-nots are lovely….

On to Stafford Hannah…..a nice name, and not too common, for searching purposes:

As it turns out, there’s only one Stafford Hannah that fits the time-frame for this calling card. He was Stafford Cross Hannah, son of Irish immigrants, James and Ann. He was born about 1852 in Manhattan and had older siblings Mary E., Martha J. and younger Ellen, Sarah and William. He worked as a ship carpenter and later as a grocer. His wife was Jennie, and they had two sons, William J. and Alexander. We imagine Stafford having many stories to tell his boys about the ships he worked on, due to the yacht-building mention in the obit, below:

Sources:  Census of the state of New York, for 1855. Microfilm. Various County Clerk Offices, New York. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Brooklyn, Kings, New York; Roll: 846; Page: 679A; Enumeration District: 102. (Ancestry.com).

1892 New York State Census. New York State Education Department, Office of Cultural Education. New York State Library, Albany, NY. (Ancestry.com).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 07 E.D. 20; City: Brooklyn; County: Kings. (Ancestry.com).

“Stafford Cross Hannah”. The South Brooklyn Home Talk, March 25, 1914. Wednesday, p. 10. (Newspapers.com).

Maxwell B. McClain’s Calling Card

Calling card, circa 1870s – 1900.

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

Amazing that the rather delicate fold-back portion, the hand offering violets (with a flower faerie choosing to be viewed) of this calling card is still intact.  After peering under or folding back (we tried to be careful when scanning) we see the full name, Maxwell B. McClain. And I was getting ready to type in how many entries under this name were found in census records, city directories, etc. but curiously, none were found that would fit the time-frame for a card of this type, which would probably have been from the later 1800s to the turn of the century.

Rany Lammers Calling Card

Calling card, circa late 1880s – early 1890s

Price:  $10.00            Size: about 3 and 7/16 x 1 and 7/8″

Here’s an old nautical-themed calling card for Rany Lammers, which is probably from the late 1880s to the early 1890s. It’s certainly not in the best of conditions, but could be the only card for this gentleman still in existence, and is a wonderful piece of family history.

Venus Loraine Lammers

A good number of records can be found for Rany, whose full name was Venus Loraine Lammers. (Middle name also spelled Lorraine, Lorain, Lowreen). Most records show him under Venus L., however, the 1880 Federal Census, when he was age eight, shows him as Rany. He was born in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, May 3rd 1872 and died September 21st 1944 in Los Angeles County, California. He married Charlotte Swanman around 1884. The 1900 Federal Census shows Venus L. Lammers, salesman at a department store and wife Charlotte living in Luverne, Rock County, Minnesota. By 1912 the couple had made their way to California and were living in San Jose.

Lammers importance to Sheboygan County, Wisconsin

Rany’s parents were Garret Lammers (1844 – 1917) and Anna Mary Zeeveld (1848 – 1874). (By the 1880 Federal Census Garret is remarried to Harmena “Mena” Claerbaut.) Garret Lammers twice visited his native Holland, both times bringing back with him a large number of Dutch emigrants.

Venus in the U. S.

The boy’s given name, Venus, is not as unusual as one might assume:  For instance, federal census records in the U. S. for year 1900 show about 130 males under this name.

Sources:  Year: 1880; Census Place: Holland, Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Roll: 1447; Family History Film: 1255447; Page: 45D; Enumeration District: 203 (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Luverne, Rock, Minnesota; Roll: 787; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0256; FHL microfilm: 1240787 (Ancestry.com).

Minnesota Historical Society. Minnesota State Population Census Schedules, 1865-1905. St. Paul, MN, USA: Minnesota Historical Society, 1977. Microfilm. Reels 1-47 and 107-164. (Ancestry.com).

Zillier, Carl (ed.) History of Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, past and present, Vol. 2 (1912) pp. 567-569.

Venus Lowreen Lammers. Find A Grave Memorial# 85446771 (Findagrave.com).

Charlotte Swanman Lammers. Find A Grave Memorial# 85446768 (Findagrave.com).

J. J. Mahoney, Trainmaster, Chicago & Alton Railroad

Business card. Circa 1900 – 1910.

Price:  $15.00               Size:  About 3 and 5/8 x 2 and 1/4″

A nice piece of history involving the Chicago & Alton Railroad:  the business card for Trainmaster, J. J. Mahoney. What’s a trainmaster you might ask? Here’s a definition from the Houston Chronical:

“The railroad industry employs many professionals that ensure the safety of trains, their passengers and cargo. A trainmaster oversees the safe departure and arrival of trains at a specific train terminal. They work with yardmasters, conductors and engineers to ensure trains arrive and depart in a timely manner. While other railroad professionals work outside on the train or in the railway yard, trainmasters spend a large majority of their time indoors communicating with staff on the trains.”

So, we did some web searching (per usual) for the full name of our trainmaster, but no luck. However, we did find him mentioned in the publication Railway Age Gazette, that was put out for the first half of the year, 1910:

“J. J. Mahoney, assistant superintendent of the Chicago & Alton at Bloomington, Ill., has been appointed superintendent of transportation of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, with office at Newton, Kan. The office of assistant superintendent of the Alton at Bloomington has been abolished.”

And we’ll add this post to our Unusual Occupations category, not that trainmaster is necessarily so unusual but rather in the probability that many (like myself until now) have never heard of this particular job title.

Sources:  Alton Railroad. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alton_Railroad (accessed September 22, 2017).

Michael, Elvis, “What Is A Railroad Trainmaster?” Houston Chronical. http://work.chron.com/railroad-trainmaster-20446.html (accessed September 30, 2017).

Railway Age Gazette, January 1 – June 30, 1910, Vol. 48, no. 13. p. 916. (Google eBook).

George Gordon Bemis

Set of three:  Two photos size:  About 2 and 1/2 x 3 and 1/4″  and 2 x 6″ and calling card.

Price:  $18.00

Three wonderful finds from Hollister, California:  Formal photography of George Gordon Bemis, as a boy in a sailor suit (name written in pencil on the back) and as a young man in a photo taken by the Bauter photography studio in Antigo, Wisconsin, and lastly, his calling card, showing “G. Gordon Bemis.”

Much can be found online for George Gordon Bemis, born December 2, 1896 in Antigo, Wisconsin, including photos from college yearbooks, WWI Draft registration, census records and a detailed obituary on Find A Grave. The obit states he had married Mary Ross, they had one son, George, Jr., who like his father, became a doctor. G. Gordon Bemis graduated from Harvard with a degree in medicine in 1925. He died in the Bronx, New York October 31, 1982. Backtracking to 1910, the Federal Census taken in Antigo, Wisconsin, shows Gordon with his parents, George M. and Matie E., and sisters Grace M. and Mildred H. His father’s occupation is listed here as timber inspector.

As for the photography studio, we see that it had belonged to photographer Fred W. Bauter, listed on the 1920 census in Antigo, born about 1870. We’ll see if we can find more details for Fred Bauter in an upcoming post.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Antigo Ward 1, Langlade, Wisconsin; Roll: T624_1718; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0039; FHL microfilm: 1375731. (Ancestry.com)

Fred W. Bauter. Year: 1920; Census Place: Antigo Ward 2, Langlade, Wisconsin; Roll: T625_1993; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 109

Registration State: Wisconsin; Registration County: Dane; Roll: 1674749. Ancestry.com. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

Find A Grave Memorial# 114936131. Findagrave.com. (accessed August 28, 2017).

Flora J. Van Fossen Calling Card

Victorian Era Calling Card, circa 1893

Price:  $7.00         Size:  About 3 and 3/8 x 1 and 5/8″

A lucky horseshoe, a spray of single-petaled pink roses and love….

This card appears to have been made for the Miss Flora J. Van Fossen, born Worcester, Pennyslvania, August 21, 1876, daughter of Josiah Van Fossen and Sarah Louise Jones. Flora married James Stroh January 5, 1894 in Camden, New Jersey. The marriage index record shows “Stroak” as the groom’s surname, no doubt a transcription error when viewing the original.

Sources:  “New Jersey, Marriages, 1670-1980,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FZ2S-B31 : 31 March 2016), James R. Stroak and Flora J. Vanfossen, 05 Jan 1894; citing Camden, Camden, New Jersey, United States, Division of Archives and Record Management, New Jersey Department of State, Trenton.; FHL microfilm 495,719.

Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 004651-007200. Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964.

John Adams Handmade Calling Card

Handmade Victorian Era Calling Card

Price:  $6.00       Size:  4 and 3/4 x 1 and 1/16″

Some people collect old handmade cards; here’s our latest offering, and it’s sure a beauty. And certainly not by the early U.S. president but isn’t that what comes to mind when you hear the name John Adams (unless of course you are someone or know someone by this name?!)

T. A. Stephens Calling Card, January 1886

New Year’s Calling Card, January 1, 1886

Price:  $7.00         Size:  3 and 1/2 x 2″

It’s not often that you find a calling card with a date printed on it, and this one was made for the new year that was 1886. It’s not in pristine shape but in nice condition except for some soiling marks, especially considering its present age of 131 years old. The gold-tone edging has also held up well.  “A Happy New Year”  in block lettering is printed on the little fold, as well as a spray of pink flowers with stem and leaves artistically displayed to appear as if fastened to the card, bringing the bearer this small floral offering along with good wishes. The name  “T. A. Stephens”  and the date  “Jan. 1, 1886”  appear in printed script. Most likely it would have been made for a Mister rather than Miss or Mrs. and it’s tempting to start a search in records, if only to come up with a ballpark, maybe comical number of possibilities….

Okay we’ll cave, somewhat:  From U. S. city directories was he the attorney, T. A. who is (Thomas A.) Stephens in Portland, OR, the T. A. in Manatee, FL, the lady in Hennepin, MN? From the T. A. or Thomas A. possibilities from the 1880 Federal Census:  Was he the farmer in Bell County, TX, the clerk in Wilmington, DE, the attorney in Bodie, CA? The list goes on, and there’s probably about 25 possibilities within just the common first name possibility of Thomas and including T. A. It’s fun to imagine though….