Mystery Language

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. AZO stamp box. Circa 1904 – 1918. Printed in Canada.

Price:  $8.00

The snow is piled up in front of two stylish ladies (check out all the trim on the young woman’s coat) who have posed for this photo. Their dog is beside them, and prominent in the background is what looks to be a church, just from the shape of the windows, and next to the church, a house. The branches of the bare trees are beautiful in this scene, too. Possibly the postcard photo originated in the same area as the sender’s address, so the card may be of historical interest for Saskatoon history buffs, as well as any Abrams descendants.

Baffled….for now

But the note from the sender of this card is a stumper. What language is it written in?  Deciphering can be tricky for old postcards in other languages due to abbreviations and sometimes misspelled words or former spellings of words used, let alone a person’s particular style of cursive, although the name and address are easily read on this one as:   “Mrs. Wm. Abrams, Saskatoon, Sask.”

Without being able to decipher but one or two words on the back (if that) we turned to searching for the receiver of this card to find their native tongue as stated on census records. There is a William Abrams and his wife Maria and their children listed on the 1911 and 1916, residing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. This would coincide with the postcard date of circa 1904 to 1918, per the AZO stamp box (all four triangles pointing upward, along with divided back starting December 1903 in Canada.) William was born in Russia and Maria in Germany. William’s declaration of intent, in his U. S. naturalization process, appears to show that he was born in Ekaterinoslav, Russia, which is now called Dnipro and lies within Ukraine….No other possible Abrams were found to fit our postcard, so this is all good info, even though it doesn’t help us figure out the writing on the back. Hopefully, we’ll get some help on the translation from somewhere!

Sources:  Year: 1911; Census Place: 30 – Saskatoon Ward 1, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; Page: 26; Family No: 236. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1916; Census Place: Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, 03B; Roll: T-21944; Page: 22; Family No: 247. (Ancestry.com).

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Naturalization Records of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Central Division (Los Angeles), 1887-1940; Microfilm Roll: 21; Microfilm Serial: M1524.

Dnipro. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dnipro (accessed January 16, 2018).

Holiday Wishes For Verna Watkins

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked December 22, 1909, Dayton, Indiana. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $12.00

“Dear Verna – I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Lizzie Goldsberry.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Verna Watkins, Lafayette Ind. R.F.D. No 4.”

Here’s our second angel-tree-deer postcard (see prior post). Our angel in this one is again barefoot in the snow, but this time with wings very visible, and it’s a beautiful scene with wonderful color variation for the snow…dolls in the deer’s “saddle” baskets…church and sunset in background.

There’s an Elizabeth A. Goldsberry showing up in 1909 in Lafayette, Indiana at R.F.D. 3 and she is probably the sender of this card, and a Peter with wife Lizzie at R.F.D. 24 in Dayton, Indiana from the same city directory record.

Verna Watkins, is probably the daughter of Ray and Sadie Watkins, who appears with her parents and older brother Ernest on the 1910 Federal Census for Perry Township, Tippecanoe County. According to this record Verna was born in Indiana, about 1899. Perry is located just north of Dayton, both being located in the Lafayette vicinity.

Sources:  R. L. Polk & Co.’s Lafayette Directory with Tippecanoe County, 1907. p. 538. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Perry, Tippecanoe, Indiana; Roll: T624_381; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0177; FHL microfilm: 1374394. (Ancestry.com).

A Merry Christmas From J. F. Dodd in 1906

Divided back, unused, embossed postcard, 1906. Publisher unknown. Series 108.

Price:  $7.00

A merry Christmas

This card, probably printed in Germany, shows an angel in a flowing pink gown carrying a small evergreen through the forest. Accompanying her is a deer bringing Christmas presents. True, we don’t see wings for the angel but then she is barefoot in the snow ( 🙂 this line strikes me funny for some reason) but anyway angel seems to be indicated. And many other cards can be found with this type of angel-tree-deer theme. (We have another one that we’ll put up next.) But underneath this beautiful scene is something that might be easily missed:  Two seated gnome-like characters (!) appear in the yellow area, like bookends only looking the wrong way.

As for the names on the back:  the card was from J. F. Dodd, Christmas 1906, for Stanley….Tisette/Tintle/Tintte…or ? His surname is pretty hard to read.

Warmest Wishes From Kate And Charles Tegtmeier

Christmas card, circa 1920s – 1930s.

Price:  $5.00

A charming American Colonial or Old English style illustration in black and green….

“With warmest wishes

and a hope sincere

For a Merry Christmas

and a Glad New Year.”

Deciphering the surname of Kate and Charles was a good challenge, and after some tries we found the best guess to be Tegtmeier, or not quite so likely, Fegtmeier, and there are at least two couples that might fit, one in New York and the other in Illinois, from census records.

Mrs. Delia Hoak, Idaho, Circa 1930

Two old photos, circa 1925 – 1935.

Price for the pair:  $15.00           Size for photo on left: 2 and 5/8 x 4 and 3/8″

Size for photo on right:  3 and 1/8 x 5″

“Delia on her mount…..Taken after Ernest’s & Cleo’s wedding when they went to Rupert.”

Most likely these are photos of Delia Olive Bull, born September 12, 1909 in Rupert, Idaho, daughter of Walter A. Bull and Victoria Virginia Howell. Delia married John William Hoak October 25, 1926 in Minidoka County, Idaho. Though the back of the photo on our right shows “Delia or Mrs. Coke,” no matches were found, so the correction in pencil to “Hoak” would be correct. The photo on the left might have been taken before Delia married, as she looks younger in that snapshot. The 1930 Federal Census for Boise shows John, Delia and their two young sons, Willis and Kenneth.

As for the newlyweds, Cleo and Ernest, there are a few possible couples that fit the time period with these given names, in Idaho.

Sources:  Idaho State Department of Health; Boise, Idaho; Idaho Birth and Stillbirth Index, 1913-1964. (Ancestry.com).

Upper Snake River Family History Center and Ricks College; Rexburg, Idaho; Idaho Marriages, 1842-1996. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1930; Census Place: Boise, Ada, Idaho; Roll: 395; Page: 2A; Enumeration District: 0012; FHL microfilm: 2340130. (Ancestry.com).

W. J. & Family At Old Home On Colorado

Photo from 1911 printed to canvas on wooden board and frame

Price:  $20.00        Size:  10 x 7 and 3/4″    

Condition:  Some scratches, markings and canvas tears

Surname mystery

This was an unusual find at, it was either an antique store or a thrift store. (Yikes, I guess this means I have to start writing them all down.) So, it was somebody’s cool idea to take an old family photo (their family or one they just found and liked) and have the image transferred to a canvas (or canvas-like) type of surface. It was then glued onto a thin board on a wooden frame, so that it could go up on that person’s wall. (Now it’s on mine.) It’s the fourth for me, of those that are not family but have become family. A couple have names but nobody’s claimed them yet, another has no name, and then there’s this one:  What in the world is this family’s surname? Ferris, Harris, Ferix misspelled as Farrix (can’t find surname Farrix). Even with a magnifying glass, and in the sunlight, it’s hard to say. The location could be almost anywhere, too, since it appears to say “on Colorado” rather than in Colorado or on the Colorado, as in River. Well, but whoever they are, they’re a beautiful group of seven people and two dogs (didn’t the dogs do well to not move too much while the photo was being taken? 🙂 ) Love that wooden fence, and the porch running the length of the house. The home seems to have been pretty big, and it’s rustic-looking. Was it originally a log cabin? We can’t see the details. You’ll notice a windmill behind the house on the right. But, it really strikes me with an impression so significant, a feeling that we could wave to the family and they’d wave back across this current span (insignificant, really) of six and one hundred (going old-school here) years.

Our Horseback Adventure

Old photo, white border. September 1922.

Price:  $15.00            Size:  About 2 and 1/2  4 and 1/4″

A great remembrance of a wonderful day:  Three friends, identified on the back as Florence Gallison, Zilda Smith and Maude Fields, September 1922. The three cowgirls at heart are posed on horseback in front of a scenic view in, it’s a safe bet to say, the Sierras, maybe in or near the Stanislaus National Forest, or Yosemite National Park. Reason being is that the three were only found in reasonable proximity, living in the Central Valley of California: Florence and Maude in Turlock and Zilda in Stockton.

Note: There were two Florence Gallison’s in the area, but Florence G. Gallison was ruled out as she was a Gallison by marriage, and was not married until after 1922.

Below, a short news blip that appeared in the Modesto Evening News, June 17, 1914, informing that Florence (she would have been about fourteen) was spending the summer in Sugar Pine, California (near the south entrance to Yosemite National Park.)

Sources:  Florence Gallison. Year: 1920; Census Place: Turlock, Stanislaus, California; Roll: T625_152; Pages: 1B; Enumeration District: 188. (Ancestry.com).

Maude Fields. Year: 1920; Census Place: Turlock, Stanislaus, California; Roll: T625_152; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 184. (Ancestry.com).

Zilda Smith. R. L. Polk and Co.’s Stockton City and San Joaquin County Directory, 1925. Vol. 18, p. 59. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Modesto Evening News, June 17, 1914. Wednesday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com)

Walter Wetzel, Red Lodge, Montana, 1922

Old photo. August 8, 1922, Red Lodge, Carbon County, Montana.

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

Here’s a beautiful photo of a man in jeans and cowboy hat, standing, holding the reins of two horses. On the back we have the i.d. showing,  “Aug 8/22. Walter Wetzel. Red Lodge, Montana.”  To our right, in the photo, is a rudimentary-looking log cabin (no windows) and in the background, snow covered mountains of the (assuming) Beartooth Mountain Range. In searching records for a Walter Wetzel that might fit this photo we find a Walter W. Wetzel (1902 – 1953) a well-known forester, who married Elva Ellis. A newspaper clipping from 1927 that announced the couple’s marriage license, stated Elva was a resident of Red Lodge. But how old is the man in the photo? My first impression was of someone about age fifty, albeit a very fit age fifty. But he could certainly be much younger. It’s hard to tell because of the lighting and the distance the photo was taken from.

At The Rodeo

Vintage photo, white border, circa 1950s.

Price:  $3.00         Size:  About 3 and 1/2 x 2 and 1/2″

A great vintage snapshot:  a cowboy, or maybe vaquero would be more appropriate, riding a saddled bull or steer, posing for the camera, with a great smile. Looks like this was taken at a rodeo or rodeo fairgrounds due to the loudspeaker behind the bovine and rider. Hopefully someone will fill us in on the breed of the animal.

Ezra Meeker’s Ox Team, 1910

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked July 9, 1915 from Oakland, California. Publisher:  Ezra Meeker, Seattle, Washington. Number or series: A-14670.

Price:  $3.00

“This view represents a snap shot of the team in motion at the head of the Industrial Parade, Kansas City, Mo., Oct. 5th, 1910.”

Ezra Meeker (1830 – 1928) was a pioneer from Iowa, who traveled the Oregon Trail, and who worked later to memorialize it. He was also an author, served as Puyallup, Washington’s first mayor and its first postmaster, was one time known as the “Hop King of the World” and was also the publisher of this postcard.

Addressed to:   “Miss Ella Ellison, 1415 – G St., Sacramento, Calif.”

“Dear Ella, Went to the Fair to-day. Am coming home Sun. and going away Tues. (write) Muriel.”

Straight and to the point, the comings and goings of Ella’s friend, Muriel in July 1915. Love the order to “(write)”. This is one of many in the Alice Ellison Collection.

Source:  Ezra Meeker. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezra_Meeker (accessed November 12, 2017).