Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Detroit, 1909

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“St. Mary’s Catholic Church, on St. Antoine street, is the pioneer German Catholic church of Michigan. It is especially notable for the excellence of its organ. Adjoining are the parochial residence and school.”

Constructed in 1884 in Victorian Gothic style, this is the present day complex that replaced the earlier 1841 church. Old St. Mary’s is the third oldest Roman Catholic Church in Detroit, and the city’s first German church. It is located in Greektown at 646 Monroe St. and referred to as Old St. Mary’s to avoid confusion with other churches.

The unknown sender of this postcard wrote:   “Best wishes to you”  and addressed the card to:

“Mrs. B. Willmouth, 648 Taylor St., Sandusky, Ohio.”

From the 1900 Federal Census for Sandusky, the addressee would be Bridget Wilmoth, born April 1845 in Ireland. She is married to Thomas Wilmoth (head of household) born December 1845 in Ireland. This record indicates the couple had been married for 30 years, and that Bridget is the mother of nine children (eight living). Children on this census are Anna, William; Thomas, Nellie and Johana, all born in Ohio, and age ranging from 29 to 16. The address at this time is 650 Taylor St, with a different family living next door at 648 Taylor.

Last, but not least, the postcard header contains a distinctive circular design between the words Post and Card. This is clue to the identity of the publisher, which is unknown to us at this time. We’ll keep a look out for others.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked October 26, 1909 from Detroit, Michigan. Publisher unknown. Series or number 155 B.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  “Old St. Mary’s Church, Greektown, Detroit.”  Old St. Mary’s Detroit. Web accessed April 30, 2015.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Sandusky Ward 8, Erie, Ohio; Roll: 1264; Page: 10A; Enumeration District: 0047; FHL microfilm: 1241264. (

Holy Redeemer, Detroit 1910

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“Holy Redeemer Church, corner Junction and Dix, Detroit, Mich.”

“Am spending my vacation here. Having a fine time. Very sorry to hear that you were sick but hope you are better by this time.   Ede”  Addressed to:

“Miss Ada Seifert, 601 Murray St., Wapakoneta, Ohio.”

The 1910 Federal Census taken in Wapakoneta for the above address, shows head of household, Alois Seifert, born Ohio about 1847, occupation Laborer at a brick yard; his wife Lena M. Seifert, (Magdaline on the 1900 census) born Germany about 1849; daughters Adaline J. (Ada) Seifert, born Ohio, about 1890, and Gertrude M. Seifert, born Ohio, about 1888. Both girls are employed as Cigar Makers at a cigar factory. (We wonder at the conditions at the cigar factory at this time.) Anyway, Ada would have been about 20 years old when this postcard was sent to her.

Three very different churches

The Most Holy Redeemer church depicted here is the second of three buildings, and was built in the Gothic style, about 1896. The parish was founded in 1880. See the Holy Redeemer Parish website for photos of all three. You can see that the second image (also from a postcard) though cropped and in black and white, appears to have been produced from the same view as the one we have here.

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked August 23, 1910 from Detroit, Michigan. Publisher unknown, number 1420.

Price:  $10.00

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: Wapakoneta Ward 1, Auglaize, Ohio; Roll: T624_1154; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 0051; FHL microfilm: 1375167

Year: 1900; Census Place: Wapakoneta, Auglaize, Ohio; Roll: 1240; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 0032; FHL microfilm: 1241240

“The Church buildings.”  Holy Redeemer Parish. Web accessed April 29, 2015.

Lee T. Lasenby

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Calling card or business card. Circa 1900 – 1910s

Price:  $5.00          Size:  About 3 and 1/8 x 1 and 5/8″

A calling or business card estimated from about 1900 – 1910s; of the very plain but serviceable variety, of simply the handwritten name on a card of appropriate proportions. This was found in Salinas, California, in an antique store. It brings us around again to briefly musing on the unpredictability of finding (or not finding) corresponding records:  This name was a quick match-up, and without other likely possibilities showing up.

Lee Thomas Lasenby was born September 8, 1880 in Mason, Ingram County, Michigan; the son of Thomas Lasenby and Ella Haines. He married Mary L. Lee on August 9, 1905 in Mason. Lee Lasenby’s occupation was Farmer on the 1918 WWI Draft Registration card and on the 1910 and 1920 Federal Census records. By the 1930 census he was listed as a Cattle Buyer for a stockyard. The city directories show that he also worked as the County Road Commissioner from at least 1927 through part of 1939. He died August 25th of that year, in Detroit. Per the 1920 census, Lee and Mary Lasenby had three daughters, Ruth, Margaret and Harriet.

Sources:  Registration State: Michigan; Registration County: Ingham; Roll: 1675755. U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918.

“Michigan, Marriages, 1822-1995,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 April 2015), Lee F. Lasenby and Mary L. Lee, 09 Aug 1905; citing reference p 122, rn 1828; FHL microfilm 977,064.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Vevay, Ingham, Michigan; Roll: T625_771; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 131; Image: 448. (

Lansing and East Lansing City Directories, Vol. 27, p. 492. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989

Lansing City Directory, 1939, p. 311. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989

Find A Grave Memorial# 38058306. Find A Grave. Web accessed April 27, 2015.

Something Tells Me That…

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“Sorry You’re Ill.

Cheer up, for something

Tells me that

You’ll soon be well

And getting fat.”

Here’s a nice get well card, which would be very politically incorrect today. 😉

This gardening theme card was signed  “Alice F.”[?] and addressed to  “Mary Ver Throckmorton, City.”  The “City” in this case is Columbus, Kansas.

From the 1920 Federal Census for Columbus, Mary was the daughter of Calvin and Nevada Throckmorton, and would have been about sixteen years old when she would have received this card. She was born in Kansas, as was her younger sister, Helen. (Nevada for the mom’s name is exceptionally cool! An Ancestry tree shows Nevada was Martha Nevada Throckmorton.)

Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked January 17, 1918, from Columbus, Kansas. Publisher:  Owen Card Publishing Co., Elmira, New York. Series or number 163F.

Price:  $6.00

Source:  Year: 1920; Census Place: Columbus, Cherokee, Kansas; Roll: T625_526; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 16; Image: 103. (

Brunsing, Tolle & Postel Oak Run Whiskey

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Liquor dealer advertisement for Oak Run Whiskey, San Francisco, CA, street scene, 1906, after the earthquake.

Price:  $8.00          Size:  5 x 3 and 3/4″

Here’s an old trade card, of sorts, showing a photo of a street scene described as:

“62.  View showing sink in the street near the new Post Office, San Francisco, Cal., after the earthquake of April 18,  06.”

This is on thin paper, produced from a photo that may have originally appeared in a newspaper or magazine. These types of reproductions were typically not high quality, were sometimes color-tinted, and even sometimes altered somewhat for content. Views of the aftermath of natural disasters were commonly made into postcards, and into advertisements that local businesses could give out, like the one we have here. Stamped on the back is:

“Compliments of Brunsing, Tolle & Postel, OAK RUN WHISKEY, 412-414 Kearney St., San Francisco. 423-425 — 9th St., Oakland.”

Brunsing, Tolle & Postel, wholesale liquor dealers, from the 1907 city directory were:   Peter T. Brunsing (president) Oscar A. Tolle (vice-president) and C. D. Postel (treasurer, Alameda). C. D. Postel is likely Christian D. Postel (wines) from the 1906 Oakland city directory (Alameda County) which shows S. F., (so, cross-referenced, on the S.F. and Oakland directories.) The 1907 S. F. directory also shows D. J. Greger (secretary).

Unfortunately for the company, it was evidently forced to file bankruptcy in or prior to April 1909. But on a happier note, examples of old bottles and labels for B, T & P and their whiskey brand of Oak Run were currently found online, at the time of this post.

Sources:  Crocker – Langley San Francisco City Directory, 1907. pp. 328, 1300, 1582. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Husted’s Oakland, Alameda & Berkeley Directory, 1906. p. 589. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

American Bankruptcy Reports, Vol. 22, ed. John T. Cook. Albany, New York:  Matthew Bender & Co.,1910, p. 129. (Google eBook.)

Just Missed The Rain

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Divided back, used postcard. Postmarked February 3, 1909 from Stockton, California.

Price:  $12.00

I love these type where the sender has written in their own caption, so to speak….And for me, this should be titled,  “Blessed Rain”  since we don’t get enough of it here in California. Reminds me of a bumper sticker on the back of a truck that I see often, when driving to work, which says,  “Pray for rain”  and it tickles me that I think the exact same response every time, that of  “I always do.” 

Anyway, this is a lovely, slightly comical silhouette type postcard postmarked in 1909, but the sender was still thinking 1908…it was February, and he or she was not used to writing the new year yet. It’s wonderful how much is going on in this scene…the couple kissing under the umbrella; the ladies running to the street car which is already full; the people that were prepared and have their umbrellas, and the poor guys who were caught unprepared, getting soaked, one looking a little zombie-ish, and the other one, bent over staring at the pavement. Is he marveling at the amount of water that is pouring off of him, or just thinking,  “Gawd!”  I like to think a combination of both. Not to forget to mention the kissing couple on the streetcar; the guys watching the ladies running, the one has his hand up, either waving or trying to signal to them, “Hey, the car’s full…it’s not going to work.”

The sender wrote:

“2 – 3 – 1908   Your card received. I am bound for Sonora – I’m in Stockton now – address Sonoma Ave – M.H.C.”  and addressed the postcard to:

“Roy J. Andrus – 1608 – 48 Ave – Ocean Beach, S. F.     Sea Shells”

Sea Shells?…Maybe the addressee was supposed to be saving sea shells for M.H.C. or it’s some kind of running joke, or any number of other possibilities. (I don’t see anything coming up regarding a district or neighborhood under this name.) But the address is clearly a San Franciscan one. This exact street number doesn’t show, but it’s residential, near Lawton Street. 48th runs parallel to the Coast and the addressee would have lived just a short walk from the beach. Lucky guy!…And just think, this was just a little less than three years after the Great San Francisco Earthquake, which was April 18, 1906.

After looking at the census records and city directories, it appears most likely that the addressee is John R. Andrus on the 1910 Federal Census. He is divorced, occupation Cutter at a paper box factory, born in California, about 1882, and living with his parents, John and Gertrude Andrus. The address given is 1612 48th Avenue, so 1608 might have been a designation for a separate entrance or the numbering could have changed or even have been incorrectly written by the sender. By 1911 Roy had changed occupations and was working as a manager for the Golden Gate Butter Co., and by 1912 was listed as a Horse Dealer.

Sources:  Year: 1910; Census Place: San Francisco Assembly District 39, San Francisco, California; Roll: T624_100; Page: 15A; Enumeration District: 0241; FHL microfilm: 1374113. (

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1911, p. 192. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Crocker-Langley San Francisco Directory, 1912, p. 193. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

A Nice Light Job

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A funny postcard from an unknown publisher showing two drawings of a guy:  On the left he’s put pen to paper and written,  “I struck a nice light job working for the city…”  while on the right, in “real life” he is up on a ladder lighting the city lamps and thinking,  “Gee Whiz – Here it is eight o’clock and I ain’t got ’em half lighted yet.”  Very clever!

Divided back, unused postcard. Circa 1910s – 1920s.

Price:  $4.00

The PocoLocoFotoFono Company

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Divided back, unused Real Photo Postcard, with photographic studio stamp on reverse. Circa 1916.

Availability Status:  SOLD

Here’s another mystery:  A Real Photo Postcard from maybe the late 1910s through the 1920s, showing a beautiful family portrait of a mother with her daughter and son. The mom is posed in the center with the kids on either side; the boy is probably seated on the arm of the chair; the kids are leaning in – a lovely example of a mother and child relationship. The young girl, perhaps about twelve years of age, wears a sailor-style blouse with a large bow, that looks like it might be of velvet, and wears her dark hair in a long braid off to the side. The mother wears a white lace blouse and a choker dangle-style necklace with pearls or faux pearls. And the boy, about five or six, is dressed in striped shirt and narrow tie, probably with his blond hair slicked into place for the shot. There are no names to identify these people, but we do have the photography studio’s name and location:

PocoLocoFotoFonoCo Exchange. Photographs, Phonographs. 2105 Lincoln Ave, Chicago.

Curiously, and as was the case with another postcard put up a few days ago, there was nothing found regarding this company. City directories, census records, and Google books were searched online under various possible formats, but nothing turned up. To top it off, this Chicago address evidently no longer exists. So, here’s another for the mystery category, but what a great, and rather unforgettable name for a business!

Update Feb 23rd, 2016:  See posted comment re the studio name listing in a 1916 phone directory.

Birthday Greetings For Maggie Miller

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“Dear Sister, we are all vell [well] and hope you are the same we would like to see you. we pretty near for got you Birth days. write sone [soon] from Bessie.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Maggie Miller, Gentryvill, MO.”

There’s a common name (for an uncommon girl, no doubt!) Maggie or Margaret Miller. Nothing shows up in city directories or census records in Gentry Village for Maggie, or even under just the last name and with this exact location. We have an earlier post that went to a Maggie Miller in Saint Joe, and it’s possible they are the same person. The postmarked date and place are unreadable. It’s a beauty of a card, though:  roses, forget-me-nots and daisies frame a view of a home (ever so commonly depicted) at river’s edge, and with a foot bridge in the foreground.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Printed in Germany. Series 1620b. Circa 1907 – 1911.

Price:  $4.00

The Keystone Craft Shop

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This postcard is a double mystery – for the postcard artist and the whereabouts of the shop that was giving out these complimentary cards.

J. Leslie Melville’s signature appears at the bottom left of the card – a little difficult to read on this one here; however, one or two current eBay offerings clearly show the name. The other Melville examples, all under the theme of  “The language of flowers,” date from around 1908 – 1910, with one like ours postmarked in the year 1909. A couple of advertisements show up also; one from 1908, Gleanings in Bee Culture (below) and the other from 1907. So, that gives us a time frame for the Melville-signed postcards of at least 1907 – 1910. The ’07 publication comes from a volume of The American Farmer, and was written as,  “…with reproductions taken from the famous paintings by L. Leslie Melville.”  The “L.” seems to have been a misprint.

Flower Language Postcard Ad 1908  1908 advertisement from Gleanings in Bee Culture

The second part of the mystery is regarding the shop that’s listed on the back of the card:

“Compliments From:  The Keystone Craft Shop. Pictures And Picture Framing A Specialty. 828-830 Jason Street”

Oddly, no historical references were found whatsoever for the shop mentioned. City directories for the street address (searched without the city) did not even bring up any possibilities.

Divided back, unused postcard. Artist:  J. Leslie Melville. Printed in Saxony. Circa 1909.

Price:  $6.00

Sources:  Gleanings in Bee Culture, Vol. 36. January 1, 1908, p. 1527. Google eBook. Web accessed April 20, 2015.

The American Farmer, Vol. 24., No. 5., March 1909, p. 4. Google eBook. Web accessed April 20, 2015.