A Happy Easter To Irving Felix

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1914 – 1919. Publisher unknown. Easter series number 36, design 103.

Price:  $10.00

“A Happy Easter – Here’s a wish from a friend

And a greeting true

Just a remembrance, – from me to –

You.”

There are layers to everything, the history of an object, for instance – who made it and how it ended up in where it did, and we’ve remarked on this thought in prior posts, but this card has a special poignancy. And it’s a strange feeling to hold a postcard in your hands that was sent over a century ago and know the fate of the little boy it had been given to. And if our perception of time is normally felt as linear, this is one of those instances that stands out as something different, as if you could walk into the next room and meet the Felix family over Easter dinner. For it was a gut-wrenching discovery to find that Irving Arthur Felix was one of the men serving on USS Houston (CA-30) the heavy cruiser that went down during the Battle of Sunda Strait, off the northern coast of Java during WWII, along with her ally, Australian light cruiser, HMAS Perth (D-29).This after a valiant and greatly outnumbered Allied fight against the Imperial Japanese Navy forces in the vicinity. The numbers vary slightly in different accounts, but of Houston’s crew of 1,068, the survivors numbered 368, surviving only to be taken prisoner and interred in various POW camps. Seventy-nine of the prisoners died, of which Irving Felix was one. According to articles in Iowa newspapers, his family (wife, parents and brother and sister) found out around March 1942 that he was reported missing in action, and learned of his death sometime before July 15th ’43. He died April 26, 1943 at age 29 and was buried in Batavia, (now Jakarta) Java with full military honors. His grave site was later moved (or added, not sure if the original still exists) to Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, Iowa.

The postcard:

Addressed to:   “Mr. Irving Felix, Floyd Iowa.”

The sender wrote:  “Dear Irving: – Here is a card for you even if you can not read it. Inez you can read it. how is that song he sings with the rooster on his arm.    Aunt Tena[?]”

 1920 census info….

Irving Felix was found on the 1920 Federal Census for Rudd Township, Floyd County, Iowa, age 6, and we’re not sure at what age he learned to read, but Inez is his older sister who, like their aunt had suggested, could have read the card to him. From the 1920:  Parents Clarence A. Felix (age 33) and Ida Felix (age 36) and children Inez (age 11) Ivan (age 8) and Irving (age 6). All are born on Iowa, and both the parents are of German heritage. Clarence’s occupation is farmer.

In closing….

To the boy who sang a song about a rooster, and to paraphrase the verse on this card,  “Here’s a wish from friends true, and a heartfelt thank you, from us to you.”  (In remembrance of all lives lost during wartime and a prayer for peace and unity of all on our planet.)

Sources:  USS Houston (CA-30). n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Houston_(CA-30) (accessed April 12, 2020).

HMAS Perth (D-49) n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMAS_Perth_(D29) (accessed April 14, 2020).

Battle of Sunda Strait. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sunda_Strait. (accessed April 12, 2020).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Rudd, Floyd, Iowa; Roll: T625_490; Page: 10B; Enumeration District: 120. (Ancestry.com).

“St. Ansgar Man Is Missing After Java Sea Battle With Asiatic Fleet; Irving Felix of Rudd, Also Reported Lost.” The Courier (Waterloo, Iowa). March 17, 1942. Tuesday, p. 7. (Newspapers.com).

“Sailor Dies in Japanese Camp.” Globe-Gazette (Mason City, Iowa). July 15, 1943. Thursday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 14 April 2020), memorial page for Irving Arthur Felix (15 Jan 1914–28 Apr 1948), Find a Grave Memorial no. 32213511, citing Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, Floyd County, Iowa, USA ; Maintained by Kathy Gerkins (contributor 39861343) .

Easter Greetings From Maebelle McFall

Set of two, divided back postcards. Unused, with writing, dated 1925. Publisher:  Wolf & Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Series 461.

Price for the pair:  $10.00

Bunny checking his look in the mirror….There don’t seem to be too many Easter-bunny-looking-in-mirror cards that had been dreamed up and printed, as we discovered after Googling for images. And we’re seeing this one, on another site, attributed to artist Ellen Clapsaddle. So that’s a possibility for both of these cards, though they are both unsigned by the artist, so it’s hard to say, for sure. Clapsaddle was a well-known illustrator for publisher Wolf & Co., also called Wolf Co. or referred to as the Wolf brothers. But both of these cards were sent by Miss Maebelle McFall to her cousins Lowell and “Jr.” and are part of The Alice Ellison Collection on this website.

“Jr” and Lowell are George Louis Mugridge and Lowell J. Mugridge, born 1923 and 1924 respectively. Maebelle McFall, born in Colorado in 1912, is the daughter of Jennie May Ellison and Ernest V. Pearsall McFall (biological name Pearsall, stepfather’s name McFall). The boys are her cousins on her mother’s side.

“Dear Little Cousin Jr. I hope the bunnies stope in to see you and bring lots of eggs. I know you are an afful cute boy and I would like to see you. Your Loving Cousin Maebelle McFall   1925  (Lots of xxx and ooo)”

Baskets of eggs….and a bun that seems to minding the store…

“Lowell, I hope the bunnies brings lots of Easter eggs to you. I hope your big enough to walk so you can hunt your Easter eggs. Lot of Love from your cousin Maebelle McFall   1925   Plenty of ooo and xxx for Lowell” 

Easter Greetings To Betty Dow

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked April 15, 1911 from Oakland, California. Number or series 626.

Price:  $10.00

Heehee, what an expression on this guy! Easter bun on his way (with a handkerchief full of painted eggs and artist’s palette over his shoulder) to your house in 2020 and that of Betty Dow back in 1911.

Betty’s address was found in city directories under Wallace H. Dow, 82 Mesa Ave, Piedmont, CA. The 1910 Federal Census for Piedmont shows Wallace as head of household and vice president of the Dow Pump Co., wife Helen, children Elizabeth age 7, Wallace A., age 5, all native to California, and their Portuguese maid Marama de Azavedo, age 20. So, this postcard, signed from Lloyd and Herbert, was sent to Betty when she was about 7 years old. Betty went on to marry Frederick Cooper Green in 1924 in Alameda, CA. Their marriage certificate show’s Betty’s mother’s maiden name was Crocker.

Sources:  Polk-Husted Directory Co.’s Husted Oakland, Berkeley and Alameda Directory 1910, p. 318. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Oakland, Alameda, California; Roll: T624_72; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 0151; FHL microfilm: 1374085. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. California, Marriage Records from Select Counties, 1850-1941.

Easter Greetings To Elsa From Matilda

Undivided back, used postcard. Postmarked March 30, 1907, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Publisher:  Raphael Tuck & Sons’ “Easter Post Cards.” Printed in Germany.

Price:  $12.00

Here’s another beauty, mega-charming…two bunnies setting off from shore in an eggshell boat. One rowing and the other at the rudder, off to deliver some eggs on Easter. The caption in light script in the clouds is  “Loving Easter Greetings”  and is signed at the bottom,  “From Matilda.”

Addressed to:  “Miss Elsa Bendschneider, 273 Belleview Pl, Milwaukee, Wisc.”

Yes, that surname is a little hard to read for handwriting but the city directories took the guesswork out of it. William H. Bendschneider is at this address in 1907, occupation janitor. An alternate or maybe earlier spelling of the family name is Bendtschneider. The 1905 Wisconsin State Census shows William Bendschneider, occupation janitor, born 1863 Wisconsin; his wife Sophie, born 1863 Germany; daughter Elsie, born 1889 Wisconsin; and son William born 1895 Wisconsin. Guessing our Elsa is the person on this census, and not the other Elsie in Milwaukee that is Elsie Bendtschneider under different parents’ names.

Sources:  H. C. Wright’s Wright’s Directory of Milwaukee for 1907. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.

Wisconsin Historical Society; Madison, Wisconsin; Census Year: 1905. (Ancestry.com).

Easter Greetings For Annetta

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Printed in Germany. Series 1520a. Postmarked March 25, 1910, Monmouth, Illinois.

Price:  $10.00

We can’t do Easter without bun-buns! So, here’s a brown bunny wearing a blue bow tie in a red Easter egg, doing his magician’s trick with that ribbon-wrapped egg. The sender writes:

“Dear Annetta :- How are you. Our spring vacation commences today. I am going out to Grandpas. Mamma and Mildred have allready gone. Give my love to all. Your Cousin, Helen.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Annetta Stevenson, 1912 Leland Ave., Ravenswood, Chicago.”

Ravenswood is a neighborhood on the North Side of Chicago. The address of 1912 Leland (if the numbering hasn’t changed down thru the years) today appears to be roughly at the present day Chicago Northside Church of the Nazarene at 1200 W. Leland. This is coincidental (or maybe not, depending on the history of the building and if it’s the same structure) because Annetta’s father’s occupation (from the 1910 Federal Census) is church minister. Annetta was born in Pennsylvania, about 1903, and is with parents Curtis R. and Mildred B. Stevenson, so she was about seven when she received this card from cousin Helen.

Sources:  Ravenswood, Chicago, IL. Google maps. Accessed April 21, 2019.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 26, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_271; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 1121; FHL microfilm: 1374284. (Ancestry.com).

An Easter Of Sunshine

Divided back, lightly embossed, unused postcard. Made in the U.S.A. Series or number 556. Circa 1919 – 1920.

Price:  $8.00

From a bygone (but not forgotten) era……a young couple all decked out in their Easter Sunday finery stroll along a bright cobblestone path. In the distance is perhaps a church. Note how the buildings are elongated. We’ve seen this style before in May Your Christmas Be Merry, but the artist or artists are unknown. The stamp box for this postcard is printed as “Postage NOW one cent” and is the key to the card’s approximate date. The price for mailing a postcard in the U.S. went from 2¢ back to 1¢ as of July 1, 1919. It was changed to 2¢ again in 1925 and returned to 1¢ in 1928, so there is the possibility that this card could be from 1928 but we’re guessing the earlier change date applies. For the USPS list of changes for postcard stamp rates see Rates for Stamped Cards and Postcards. 

But, in any case…..

A Glad Easter To You

“An Easter of sunshine

Of skies that are blue

And and Easter of Gladness

I’m wishing for you.”

O Rhyme Of Sweet Saint Charity

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1913. Number or series 7212.

Price:  $12.00

Looking more like a Saint Patrick’s Day card in design than Easter……a beautiful bouquet of lilies of the valley with a country home scene in the background and the following verse by James Russell Lowell:

“O rhyme of sweet Saint Charity,

Peal soon that Easter Morn,

When Christ for all shall Risen be

And in all hearts New Born.”

“March 15     Dear Sister, How are you. We are well, hope you are getting along all right. let me here as soon as it happens. have James to write, from Indie.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. Maggie Dice, Neosho Falls, Kans.”

From Indie’s note to her sister, Maggie, it sounds as if Maggie is about to deliver a baby, which is a major clue for the year this card would have been written. Appearing on the 1915 State census for Kansas are James Dice, age 26, with wife M. R. Dice, age 22, and their son Morris M. Dice, age 2. Looking back to 1913, Easter was on March 23rd, and this card was written on the 15th. In 1912 Easter was not till the 31st of March, so 1913 seems to be the best fit….From later records, Morris is Merris Myron Dice and Maggie’s maiden name is Miller.

Sources:  James Russell Lowell. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Russell_Lowell (accessed April 21, 2019).

Kansas State Historical Society; Topeka, Kansas; Roll: ks1915_257; Line: 6. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1930; Census Place: Iola, Allen, Kansas; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 0017; FHL microfilm: 2340427. (Ancestry.com).

From Mother to Roas and Mike

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Printed in Austria. Circa late 1900s – early to mid-1910s.

Price:  $5.00

Hearty Easter Greetings

A sheep pulling a cart (note the wheels are made of or covered in flowers) holding a large red Easter egg. Underneath is a beautiful embossed spray of violets, roses, forget-me-nots and lilies of the valley, and in the background green snow-topped mountains and embossed snow falling in a  pink (!) sky. The age of this card is just an estimate, guessing it might be pre-WWI. And the recipients of the postcard, Roas? and Mike. Guessing Roas might have been short for Rosalinda (with odd spelling). Notice how two lines were drawn with a straight edge for the sender to write on. (These details seem to transport us back to the moment it was being written!)

Hauskaa Pääsiäista

Divided back, used postcard. Paletti, Sarja Pääsiäinen. Circa 1930.

Price:  $10.00

An Easter card from Finland of a proud rooster with all his baby chicks, and the caption translating to merry, fun or amusing, or maybe just Happy Easter. The cancellation date is difficult to read, however the stamp should be from 1930. Paletti as you’ve guessed is Palette (not sure if this is the publisher name or not) and Sarja Pääsiäinen, as you’ve probably also guessed, is Easter Series. The card is addressed:

“Herrasväki Sivulat, Helsinki, Laivurinkatu 39.”  And on the front (we need a native speaker) it appears to say  “F:  Utriaiset.”  Below, the location this postcard went to in 1930. If we could time travel to be there as it was being received….(!)

Sources:  Stamps of Finland: Definitives of 1930 – 1946. Stamp-Collecting-World. (accessed April 1, 2018).

“Laivurinkatu 39 00150 Helsinki, Finland.” Google.com maps. (accessed April 1, 2018).