Barbara Ann Gerhart

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. Circa December 1923.

Price:  $10.00

“Barbara Ann Gerhart. She will be 16 months old 30 of this month. She walks and sais a few words we all think she is so nice. We all enjoy that dear child, from the Gerharts”

“To Brother Herman & Alice and family.”

This charming Real Photo Postcard was never mailed but does have a Christmas sticker on it in the place of a stamp. So, it’s probable that the card was written in December, but what year? Well, just by the general look of it, it’s probably 1920s. Since the stamp box is covered by the sticker, that potential clue can’t help us, though there’s probably not anything printed there anyway, as we’ve come to find out by looking for postcard backs at Playle’s in “Unknown Manufacturers.” The match on the style indicates the time frame to be from around “unknown – 1925,” which confirms the 1920s guess as a possibility. The next clues are in the sender’s message:  Firstly, Barbara Ann will be sixteen months on the 30th of “this month,” and if the card was written in December, then her birthday is August 30th; secondly, the way the sender describes beautiful Barbara, is….a little different. We found a match in death and marriage records, and the 1930 Federal Census for Marietta, Ohio, revealing Barbara Ann Gerhart, born August 30, 1922, the adopted (now it makes sense) daughter of Walter Gerhart and Carrie (Preston) Gerhart. (The Herman and Alice reference would need a more time-consuming search to see if they were related to the Gerharts, but no other matches were found for Barbara Ann.)

Sources:  Issue State: Ohio; Issue Date: Before 1951. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014 for Barbara G. Vanpetten.

Year: 1930; Census Place: Marietta, Washington, Ohio; Roll: 1887; Page: 17B; Enumeration District: 0023; FHL microfilm: 2341621. (Ancestry.com)    Walter E. and Carrie Gerhart   adopted daughter Barbara A. Gerhart.

Marriage Records. Ohio Marriages. Various Ohio County Courthouses. Ancestry.com. Ohio, County Marriages, 1774-1993.

“Real Photo Postcard Stamp Backs – Unknown Manufacturers.” playle.com. (accessed December 16, 2017.)

Rose and Adele Triebel, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1909

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked February 13, 1909, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Price:  $15.00

Addressed to:   “Miss Amalie Ueberall, 838 – 13 Str., City.”  (The “city” in the address is Milwaukee.)

The sender wrote in German:  “Fiele Grüsse fon Rose und Adele Triebel.”  and she must have been substituting the letter “f” for the letter “v” unless maybe this was an old-fashioned spelling. Otherwise it would be written as:

“Viele Grüsse von Rose und Adele Triebel,”  translating as “Kind regards from Rose and Adele Triebel.”  And the Triebel sisters couldn’t be any cuter in their rather unusual-looking winter outfits!

The Triebel Family was found on the 1920 Federal Census for Milwaukee:  Charles, born in Germany, about 1878; his wife Marie, born Germany about 1887; and their daughters Rose and Della, born Wisconsin, about 1905 and 1906, respectively. Charles was working as a machinist for a cab company, and the family lived at 773 47th St.

Source:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Milwaukee Ward 22, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Roll: T625_2005; Page: 22B; Enumeration District: 272. (Ancestry.com)

Braunlage, Germany, January 1928

Old photo taken in Braunlage, Germany, January 1928.

Price:  $8.00         Size:  About 3 and 5/8 x 2″

The back of this photo is written in German. The first word is someone’s name but I’m unable to figure it out. Perhaps someone who speaks the language can let us know. It reads as:

….?…..und ich in Braunlage, Januar 1928….Hans.” [?]  So it’s “Me and so-and-so in Braunlage, January 1928.” I’m not sure if that says the man’s name “Hans” at the bottom right or not.

But, in any case, it’s a beautiful moment captured in time:  a smiling young man whose gaze has met the camera, in beret, plaid scarf and open overcoat and an equally stylish young woman, her smile and gaze caught looking downward, in cloche hat and fur trimmed coat, walking down a snow-lined street in the town of Braunlage. (The fur was much more lovely on its original owner, of course.)

Boy On Front Stoop

Divided back, unused, Real Photo Postcard. VELOX stamp box. Circa 1907 – 1917.

Price:  $5.00

A door stoop seems to have been a great place to have a photo taken, and likely we have more of these type already posted, but it would be fun to view them all together. So we’ll make a separate category, thereby creating (yet another – always a good thing) point of interest to look for in our travels to paper fairs and the like. 🙂 The details in the photo, as always, are fun to pick out:  In this one we notice the very worn mat the little boy is standing on, which is atop the stone stoop which looks hand-chiseled; and the bucket on our left; the beautiful circles pattern in the screen door which is swung wide open on our right; and the nice double-breasted coat the boy wears with an anchor on the left sleeve.

Two Guns White Calf

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Copyright Hileman. Photographer:  Tomar Jacob Hileman. NOKO stamp box.

Price:  $10.00

John Two Guns White Calf (1872 – 1934) was the son of White Calf; the father is said to have been the last of the Pikuni (a.k.a. Piikáni, Peigan, Piegan) Blackfoot chiefs and, as such, was involved in the sale of Blackfeet land that would become part of Montana’s Glacier National Park. Son, John “Two Guns,” and some of the other members of the park area Blackfoot tribe, became known as “the Glacier Park Indians” through their work for the Great Northern Railway via its campaign to promote the park (thus promoting the railway and its related business properties.)  Through his travels and also his work as a greeter at the park, Two Guns White Calf became one of the most recognizable American Indians of his time; this was due in part to an advertising opportunity that had fallen into the lap of the railroad:  the noted similarity between Two Guns and the Indian on the Buffalo nickel. It’s a great story, but not one that is based in fact, and that’s part of the fascination in both past and present:  how the story came about and that the point of view is still propagating today.

Below, an early news clippings found in the Inter-Ocean (Chicago, Illinois) November 1912:

 

A skillfully orchestrated hoax

Pull up numerous historical newspaper articles on Two Guns and you can find phrases like “image is on” and “posed for” in relation to the coin, and true, Two Guns’ profile is remarkably similar to the image on the nickel……but absolutely not when looking at the shape of the nose. Two Guns’ nose was quite distinctive. (I’ve borrowed this word from someone and don’t remember quite where.) It juts downward at the bump (not the technical term, I know), as you can see in the postcard, even though his image there is not in perfect profile. Comparing his profile with that of the nickel image should lead anyone new to the topic to immediate skepticism and to dig in to further research, if needed. But, how did the story get started in the first place? See an explanation by journalist and author Ray Djuff’s in an article that appeared in Coins Magazine, February 27, 2013:  “The Big Nickel Lie; Two Guns’ Famed Mug Not Used,” and see the newspaper articles appearing further below, for a little additional background.

The Buffalo nickel’s production ran from 1913 – 1938.

Below, some images of Two Guns containing some better profile shots from a Google search:

A composite

The nickel’s sculptor, James Earle Fraser, also famous as the artist who sculpted “The End of the Trail,” clearly stated that the Indian on the nickel was not one man but a composite; naming Chief Iron Tail of the Ogalala Sioux and Chief Two Moons of the Northern Cheyenne, and a third and maybe fourth that he couldn’t remember. He also stated that Two Guns was not one of the models, nor had he ever met him, but it seems the statement about the unremembered other name or names is one reason the legend has lingered.

Below left, one of the quotes from Fraser, appearing in a December 1935 article of Davenport, Iowa’s Quad-City Times. Below center and right, two excerpts from journalist Elmo Scott Watson, appearing in a March 1938 article in The Times-Independent (Moab, Utah). The clip on the right includes a quote from “…Hoke Smith Western development agent of the Great Northern Railroad…” (See the Ray Djuff link above on “Hoke” Smith).

Many roads to travel

To me, while researching this postcard, nothing became more apparent than the thought that the life of Two Guns would make a great subject for a book (one may already be in the works) because it’s difficult, if not impossible, to do justice to anyone really, in a (somewhat) short blog-type entry, but especially so in the case of Two Guns, because of his “association with” the Buffalo nickel, and because there is so much more to explore in context with the times:  to name just a few, the Great Northern Railway history, publicity and the American Indian, see for instance, Two Guns’ mention in authors LaPier and Beck’s City Indian:  Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893 – 1934, the history of the nickel itself, with the public reportedly clamoring to know the name of the Indian on the coin when it came out. (FYI, there was an original version of the coin, and then a “do-over” because portions of the design, specifically the “five cents,” was thought to be too indistinct; there’s the fact that not everyone loved the design of the buffalo, as some thought the animal had a forlorn, hang-dog kind of look, though if one took that view, it could be seen as historically fitting because of the buffalo’s slaughter in the wake of “progress;” and comically, in one newspaper journalist’s opinion, if you viewed the buffalo on an angle it looked like the face of a man.) Another aspect to explore in the life of Two Guns is his own stated belief that it was his visage on the coin. (He was not the only Indian claiming that it was their own likeness, of course, so there’s another major road, highway really, to explore.) But one wonders, not meaning to offend any of his descendants, if Two Guns really thought so, or if he might have privately viewed it as a “useful open-ended possibility” in any dealings he might have with the U.S. government in relation to the rights of the Blackfeet. That’s only my uneducated thought and one not necessarily adopted, and to be thorough, the history of the beliefs and ideology of the Blackfeet might also be explored. And because we’d like to know more about the man himself, to touch on the subject of family life, it was remarked in a newspaper article that he and his wife had a tender relationship when he cancelled an appearance at a New York reception to stay with her on a day that she didn’t feel well. By the way, a wonderful interview by Two Guns’ wife, who was described as “vivacious and loquacious,” can be read of her thoughts in 1913 on the modern women of New York. In answer to the reporter’s questions, she found New York women pretty, at the same time wondering at their restrictive clothing, fashion v. freedom and energy flow, noting how the “hobble skirt” that was currently in vogue, reminded her of how “when we want to keep our ponies from running off we hobble them,” and spoke in general, about the importance for women of having fresh air, un-restrictive clothing, work, and not necessarily marriage, but friendship.

Modern joys and pitfalls

The succession over the years of the many newspaper articles alone on Two Guns White Calf and the nickel is thought-provoking, not only in transporting us back to the past, seeing the similarities in reporting today v. then, getting a feel for how a myth evolved, but also in highlighting (once again) the wonder and pitfalls of the fast-paced world we now live in:  Don’t happen to have a Buffalo nickel stashed away in a drawer? Online, and bingo, there it is, and you don’t even need a magnifying glass to get a good view. But the pitfall:  with such instant information at our fingertips via the internet, it’s only natural that we’ve come to expect quick answers. I totally get this. Research is painstaking. I have boxes of photos, postcards, etc. waiting to go up on this website. (Rubbing hands together in anticipation.) Beauties, each a doorway into another dimension, and that feeling that there is never enough time. So, especially in Two Guns’ case, if one were doing a quickie post but sincerely wanting to check some sources like old newspaper articles, one could be forgiven (always, who’s perfect?) in posting misinformation or at the very least putting up a more limited view of a multi-level topic. It’s a great example of how a quickie look at something can lead us down the primrose path resulting in unknowingly becoming both victim and propagator in the “wrong info begets wrong info” trap. Even with pretty extensive research, there are dangers; for example, any archivist, or true genealogist, will tell you that all sources need to be explored (though we can’t always know what “all” is) as it’s sometimes that one census record that one didn’t bother to hunt down, or that one whatever, that turns out to be a game-changer, as in:  “Oh, a prior marriage….so such-and-such was not the maiden name,” or “OMG, this person was adopted.” But jumping down from the soapbox, my short-ish post on Two Guns is obviously not the biggest picture either, but rather just a part of a many-faceted likely as-yet-undiscovered whole.

In closing, we love the tongue-in-cheek expression, “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story” and variations thereof (He never lets the facts….) but in the case of John Two Guns White Calf, the truth makes a better story than the myth. We hope the book gets written.

Sources:  Piegan Blackfeet. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piegan_Blackfeet (accessed December 11, 2017).

John Two Guns White Calf. May 21, 2012. nativeheritageproject.com. (accessed November 25, 20017).

“Did the Indian, Two Gun White Calf, pose for the Indian head on the buffalo nickel?” Quad-City Times (Davenport, Iowa). December 10, 1935. Tuesday, p. 12. (Newspapers.com).

Buffalo nickel. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_nickel (accessed November 25, 2017).

“Images of Two Guns White Calf.” Google.com. Accessed December 14, 2017.

“Indian Guests in Hill Box Party.” The Inter-Ocean. (Chicago, Illinois). November 19, 1912. Tuesday, p. 12.

James Earle Fraser (sculptor). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Earle_Fraser_(sculptor). (accessed December 12, 2017).

Djuff, Ray. “The Big Nickel Lie; Two Guns’ Famed Mug Not Used.” February 27, 2013. Coins Magazine. (accessed at NumisMaster.com. November 25, 2017).

LaPier, Rosalyn R.Beck, David R. M. City Indian:  Native American Activism in Chicago, 1893 – 1934. University of Nebraska Press. May 31, 2015.

“Buffalo Nickel Now Creating A Lot Of Trouble.” The Lima Daily News (Lima, Ohio). January 26, 1914. Monday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“The New Five-Cent Piece. Indian and Buffalo Design Defended by an Admirer.” The New York Times. March 5, 1913. Wednesday, p. 16. (Newspapers.com)

Marshall, Marguerite Mooers. ” ‘New York Women Heap Nice to Look At,’ Mrs. Two Guns White Calf Explains.” The Arkansas Gazette. (Little Rock, Arkansas). March 31, 1913. Monday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com)

The Brooks Family of Newburg, Oklahoma, Circa 1916

Divided back, Real Photo Postcard, unused. Circa 1916. AZO stamp box.

Price:  $15.00

Benjamin Edward Brooks, his wife Loucinda (Oden) Brooks and their children Rosa and Leonard.

Benjamin was born in Arkansas, September 3, 1878, per his WWII Draft Registration, or 1879, according to his gravestone. He married Loucinda Oden, August 30, 1900. The marriage record lists both as residents of Gerty, Indian Territory, Oklahoma. The groom was age 21 and the bride age 14. Benjamin, according to this postcard, seems to have gone by his middle name. You can see the writing on the front, left to right, of  “Rosa, Uncle Edward, Leonard, Aunt Sendia.”  And, if you look closely, you’ll notice stenciling on the wood above the cabin door. It’s pretty difficult to make out, but it looks like it includes some numbers, so maybe it was some type of i.d. for the lumber company. The 1920 and ’30 Federal Census’ shows the family living in Newburg, OK. Per cemetery records, Rosa Mae Brooks was born May 6, 1902 and Leonard O. Brooks, September 9, 1912.

Sources:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Newburg, Hughes, Oklahoma; Roll: T625_1465; Page: 1A; Enumeration District: 72. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1930; Census Place: Hinton, Caddo, Oklahoma; Roll: 1895; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0034; FHL microfilm: 2341629. (Ancestry.com)

The National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; World War II Draft Cards (4th Registration) for the State of Oklahoma; Record Group Title: Records of the Selective Service System, 1926-1975; Record Group Number: 147.

“Oklahoma, County Marriages, 1890-1995”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVP6-LM7V : 4 November 2017), Edward Brooks and Loucinda Oden, 1900.

“Rosa Mae Dilbeck.” Find A Grave memorial #128124881. (Findagrave.com).

“Leonard O. Brooks.” Find A Grave memorial #14574732. (Findagrave.com).

Thanksgiving Cheer

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked November 27, 1916 from Santa Cruz, California. Printed in Germany. Series 0758.

This poor card is really beat up, but it’s the only one we have at the moment, for the holiday, so Happy Thanksgiving! And it’s another in the Ethel Main Collection. Ethel’s nickname was “Tottie.” The sender wrote:

“Dear Tot, Just a line of greeting, recd your letter today, enjoyed it very much. Yes I have just finished my [?] I will send you the pattern. Glad you have such good luck. I don’t know what I will start next. Maybe a purse. The birds are singing gayly this morn. I will write……..Blanche.”

Addressed to:

“Miss Ethel Main, 3622 18th St., San Francisco, Calif.”

Snake River Bridge At Blue Lakes, Idaho

Divided back, unused postcard, circa 1911 – 1915. Publisher:  Wesley Andrews, Baker, Oregon. Series or number 305.

Price:  $12.00

 I. B. Perrine’s Blue Lakes Bridge

Started in 1910 and completed in 1911, is the steel bridge seen in this postcard, spanning the Snake River at Blue Lakes. It replaced I. B. Perrine’s ferry and was known as I. B. Perrine’s Blue Lakes Bridge or Perrine’s Bridge, and was a toll bridge until Perrine’s building costs were recovered. It was closed to the public in 1921. Ira Burton Perrine was a renowned fruit rancher and is credited as having founded Twin Falls, Idaho.

Below, a clipping from The Oregon Daily Journal, October 1910, informs readers that the piers for the new bridge were completed, and the work on the structure would soon be undertaken by a Minneapolis company. According to the article, the bridge’s length was going to measure 600 feet.

Watermelon in the desert and where was Blue Lakes?

Below, two newspaper clippings:   On the left, a partial clip from The Evansville Press, September 1906, on Perrine’s mineral-rich fruit ranch where fruits too numerous to mention were grown in the volcanic soil. On the right, a partial article from The Minneapolis Journal, September 1903, and the best description found online of Blue Lakes. According to the unknown journalist, Blue Lake was not a town, but a post office established for the fruit farmer, whose ranch was referred to as Blue Lakes, located about four miles below the Shoshone Falls on the Snake River, north of the city of Twin Falls, and who’s name derives from the two almost pond-size bodies of water, so poetically described below, as “….blue with a blueness that defies description…….the water is sparkling, transparent indigo shading into purple….”  And the million-dollar question in 2017:  Are the lakes still there? (Hopefully someone will comment and let us know.)

Sources:  “Bridge The Snake At Blue Lakes.” The Oregon Daily Journal (Portland, OR). October 30, 1910. Sunday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com)

Matthews, Mychel. “Hidden History:  First Perrine Bridge.” MVMagicValley.com. July 7, 2016. (Web accessed November 18, 2017).

I. B. Perrine. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I._B._Perrine (accessed November 18, 2017).

Gardner, Gilson. “Romance Of An Idaho Eden.” The Evansville Press. (Evansville, IN). September 28, 1906. Friday, p. 4. (Newspapers.com).

“An Idaho Romance.” The Minneapolis Journal. September 26, 1903. Saturday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

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).

A U. S. Navy Man, WWI

Real Photo Postcard, unused with writing. Circa 1914 – 1918. EKC stamp box.

Price:  $10.00

For Veteran’s Day….

“Best Wishes & Good Luck to a splendid Bunk Mate, Charles Ed. Sickler. Paxton, Ill. R-R-I.”

Most likely we’re looking at Charles Ed. Sickler in the photo (at least one presumes!) as it sounds like this writer of best wishes was giving this remembrance of himself, along with his mailing address, to his buddy, “the splendid Bunk Mate.” A cool guy, Charles, you can read his perhaps dry sense of humor in the card. The RR1 would be Rural Route 1. But no confirmation was found for him in census, military or city directory records, and that is surprising.