Chebeague Island, Maine, 1923

Divided back postcard. Postmarked 1923, Chebeague Island, Maine.

Price:  $15.00

“Dear Louise: – Received your letter. I printed this on this Post Card and I think it came out well. I sprained my wrist and put a couple of bones out of place. Now I have an absess on it and don’t know how it will turn out. Will write later. Lots of love to all. Beatrice.”

Addressed to:   “Miss Louise Gunaris, 101 Edgehill Road, East Milton, Mass.”

Louise was Marie Louise Gunaris, born June 16, 1903 in Melrose, Mass.; parents Andrew Gunaris, born in Greece and Frances (Ott) Gunaris, born in Boston. We don’t know Beatrice’s last name but we imagine she might have been vacationing here and now we’re conjuring up images of her old photo album that still exists somewhere, with this very photo in it, and others, that she took, summer of ’23, on Chebeague Island. And the house – how about that wrap-around porch and the beautiful stonework? What a beautiful spot, with the wildflowers blooming in the foreground! And in looking for other Real Photo Postcards taken on this island, there don’t seem to be too many, so this card may be of historical interest and/or maybe we’ll find someone who can tell us if this house still exists and who it belonged to back in the day.

Sources:  Chebeague Island, Maine. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chebeague_Island,_Maine (accessed April 15, 2018).

Original data: Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. (Ancestry.com).

Mildred Simpson’s Home, Beverly, Mass.

Old photo, white border, circa 1910s – 1920s. Beverly, Massachusetts.

Price:  $5.00

On the back is written,  “This is the Front of her house.”  And by a relative, most likely from a younger generation,  “cousin Mildred Simpsons Home Beverly, Mass.”

Well, we hope this lovely home is still standing, as we couldn’t find it still in existence from satellite photos, that is if cousin Mildred was the Miss Mildred Simpson born January 1, 1905 in Beverly, Massachusetts to Howard Simpson and Christina (Devine) Simpson. Mildred married Donald Benjamin Livingston in 1929. One thing for sure, this Mildred had moved a lot as she was growing up. One would have to check the microfilm with the Library of Congress or maybe local or Boston libraries for all the city directories from 1905 to 1929, but the ones online (with the addition of census records and the WWI Draft Reg) show eight different addresses in that span of time, with most of the directories being missing, so probably more moves than eight….not that that’s a bad thing, all the moving around, that is – just wondering what it had been like for her. Maybe exciting, or maybe sad sometimes, or a little of both.

The house itself, now I’m not really sure what style it’s in:  a little like Craftsman but not –  what with those porch supports (not that I’m an expert). But it’s a two-story with hipped roof (though the photo cuts off much of it) and shingle siding. And note the stairway jutting out from the back of the house, so there must have been a deck or back porch.

Sources:  Original data: Massachusetts Vital Records, 1840–1911. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. (Ancestry.com).

Original data: Department of Public Health, Registry of Vital Records and Statistics. Massachusetts Vital Records Index to Marriages [1916–1970]. Volumes 76–166, 192– 207. Facsimile edition. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. Massachusetts City Directories.

The Taylor Family At Home, Endicott WA

Divided Back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked July 20, 1908, Endicott, Washington. Photographer:  Hutchison, Endicott, Washington.

Price:  $15.00

“The old Lady is Mrs. Taylor. the Babe belongs to Fannie. I hope you are feeling better. Lovingly, Orpha.”

Addressed to:   “Mrs. A. H. Anderson. Coeur d’ Alene Idaho.”

Figuring out who is who

Orpha, the postcard sender, is Mrs. Thomas F. Taylor, born in California, about 1866, to Edward Irwin and Leah Stark. She and Thomas (that’s likely him in the image above) married in Diamond, Washington (about 13 miles east of Endicott) on April 18, 1896 (it’s April 14th as I’m typing this…so almost 122 years ago.) Thomas, born in Illinois about 1872, was the son of William J. Taylor and Sarah Barnett. His occupation was farmer, at the time of his marriage to Orpha, and it’s possible that the farmhouse we see here is Tom (let’s just say Tom from here on out) and Orpha’s. They had a daughter, Frances, born January 1897, near Endicott, so her age would fit perfectly for the young girl standing on the porch. If she’s Frances, then the dark-haired woman in the photo is probably Orpha, since the girl resembles her so much, and because we see the photographer’s embossed stamp on the side of the card, so in other words, Orpha may have been in the photo, definitely not taking it. The older lady (let’s not say old!) on our left must be Tom’s mother, Sarah (Barnett) Taylor. Last, but not least, what was the babe’s name?

Orpheus C. Taylor on the 1910

An unusual female name, either way, Orpha or Orpheus, but the 1910 Federal Census shows Tom, Orpheus and Frances, living in Garfield, Washington, near the border of Idaho. Tom, at this time, is running his own blacksmith shop.

Who was Mrs. A. H. Anderson?

Possibly Jessie, maiden name Dobbins, that married Andrew H. Anderson. In 1910 the couple was living in Coeur d’ Alene with their daughter, Fern (or Sweet Fern, as she is officially named on one of her records. Love these names! And, we’ll add this post to our Unusual First Names category, on account of both Sweet Fern and Orpheus.)

Sources:  Washington State Archives; Olympia, Washington; Collection Title: Washington Marriage Records, 1854-2013; Reference Number: eawhmr350. (Ancestry.com).

Original data: Washington Births, 1891-1929. Various county birth registers. Microfilm. Washington State Archives, Olympia, Washington. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Precinct 42, Whitman, Washington; Roll: T624_1674; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 0264; FHL microfilm: 1375687. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Sherman, Kootenai, Idaho; Roll: T624_225; Page: 11B; Enumeration District: 0173; FHL microfilm: 1374238. (Ancestry.com).

“Sweet Fern Cruze.” California, Death Index, 1940-1997. (Ancestry.com).

A Proud Owner

Divided Back, unused Real Photo Postcard. Circa 1910s – 1930s.

Price:  $5.00

“The window is not broken, it is the reflection of the sun.”

This is a Tudor-style house, as we can see from the steep-pitched roof, the tall windows, and the decorative half-timbering on the gable. If you look at the upper portion of the side of the house you might think you’re seeing wood shingle siding but that overlapping effect must be just an illusion – look at the lower half and you’ll see brick. There’s a small built-in front porch with a rounded archway, and the front facade of the house is stuccoed above the, would one say, brick wainscoting? The top segments of the bay windows are called awning windows, and it’s one of these that appears to be broken, but like the proud owner says, it’s a reflection of the sun. And there’s the gentleman himself, posing to the side, in suit and fedora. There are two small potted evergreens that look like they might be for planting elsewhere, and note the key that’s hanging in the door. Looking closer still, we see a zigzag pattern of tile for the porch floor. And the windows in the door and on each side (does this remind anyone of the 1960s or ’70s?) are done in some type of privacy glass with a pebbled effect.

Jack My Boy, We Are Here

Undivided Back, Real Photo Postcard. Postmarked September 17, 1905.

Price:  $12.00

“Jack – my boy – we are here – Gaff.”

Addressed to:   “Schuyler B. Jackson, Esq. Somerset Farm, Peapack, N. J.”

A great caption by the sender, and better than what I was thinking….but still, “A Grand Old House.” Jack seems to have been Schuyler Brinkerhoff Jackson, son of Philip and Margaret, born in New Jersey, August 18, 1900. The postmark year is almost impossible to read, that may be the hint of a “5” there, so 1905 maybe, but since this was an undivided back-type card, if sent timely, it was mailed before the postal regulations changed in December 1907. So, the recipient of this card might have been about five years old.

My old gaffer?

Who was Gaff? Could he have been the grandpa of young Schuyler? (Gaff or Gaffer has been used as a nickname for grandfather) or could there have been an older version (the 1.0 😉 ) of SBJ and Gaff was a friend or rellie of Jack’s own generation?

In the sun and shade

And what of the grand old house? A two-story Colonial(?) in brick (or stone) with dormers, wood shutters, and a wood-shingled roof. The possible location Peapack, NJ, is not ruled out, per the postmark, but she could just as well have been situated in any number of other places, though likely in the Northeast. Some other details:  If you click on the image to enlarge it, you’ll notice a chair or chairs to the left of the stairway (can’t you just picture yourself walking up the 7 or 8 steps) leading up to the front porch? On our right, the wood-sided sloped portion must have been an addition, with the semi-enclosed patio area added on, too. But back to the front porch – maybe the steps were added later and the original entrance had been (or still was) on the ground floor.

Sources: Year: 1910; Census Place: Bernards, Somerset, New Jersey; Roll: T624_907; Page: 23A; Enumeration District: 0109; FHL microfilm: 1374920. (Ancestry.com).

The National Archives in St. Louis, Missouri; St. Louis, Missouri; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service System, 147; Box: 1198. (Ancestry.com).

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).

An Easter Message Just For You

Easter greeting card. Circa 1930s – 1940s.

Price:  $5.00         Size:  Folded into four sections, 5 and 1/4 x 3 and 7/8″

This card is prettier “in person” (huh? lol) with the shimmering gold tone when you hold it at an angle. No publisher name or any writing on it at all, other than the inside printed verse:

“Thinking of you?

Well I guess!

Always wish you happiness!

Like to see you?

Would I? Say –

That would be a real joy today!”

To Ilma From Edna

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked April 12, 1911, San Francisco, California. Publisher:  International Art Publishing Co. Series 1262. Printed in Germany.

Price:  $7.00

Fond Easter Greetings

“Hope and gladness, peace and rest

Make your Easter truly blest.”

Wow, where did the time fly? Easter already! Here’s the first offering for this year, and we’ll try to get a few more up today. This one hearkens back to 1911, a beautiful card of a bunny in an Easter egg, framed by lilies of the valley and a few violets, from the International Art Publishing Co. It was sent by Edna Steacy to Miss Ilma Rogers of 3651 20th St., San Francisco, CA.

Ilma, an unusual name (I kept trying to type Alma) was found on the 1900 Federal Census, born in California, January 1893, the daughter of Charles S. and May C. Rogers. In the household are the parents Charles and May, Charles’ mother Jenny M. Rogers and children Oris R., Ilma F. and Charles S. Rogers, address 227 Chattanooga, San Francisco. So, Ilma was eighteen when she received this card.

Source:  Year: 1900; Census Place: San Francisco, San Francisco, California; Page: 11; Enumeration District: 0108. (Ancestry.com).

Artist Ruth Welch Siver (1871 – 1933)

Cropped from an earlier post, an illustration by artist Ruth Welch Siver, circa 1922.

Signed, Ruth K. Welch, Ruth Welch Siver, Ruth W. Siver and Ruth Siver….

Numerous examples of this artist’s work can be found on old postcards and valentines, but nothing was showing up about the artist. So, we went hunting and found the answer in the puzzle pieces that are made up of newspaper archives, census and vital records. We discovered that Welch was Ruth’s maiden name and that she had established herself as an artist prior to her marriage, so it only made sense that she kept Welch in her signature, at least for some time. (And perhaps her prior work, for which we find no example, would have been under Ruth K. Welch.)

Below, the clipping from The Topeka Daily Capital, dated March 26, 1920 which confirmed the artist’s identity:  “Mrs. Siver, who is an artist, is having much success making post cards for the New York trade.”

Native Pennsylvanians

Ruth K. Welch was born September 9, 1871 in Pennsylvania, to Pennsylvania natives James M. Welch and Mary E. Mason. From census records Ruth was the middle child of seven:  oldest to youngest was Viola, Jessie, Edward, Ruth, Grace, George and Florence. The 1870 census shows the parents, and children Viola, Jessie, and Edward, living in Curwensville, Clearfield County.  Sometime after Ruth was born in 1871 and before Grace was born in 1876 the family relocated to Iowa, and relocated again after George was born in 1878 in Iowa, to when youngest child Florence was born in Kansas in 1883.

Early career

Ruth was teaching in WaKeeney, Trego County, Kansas in 1894 – 1895.

The 1900 Federal Census for the Welch family in Topeka shows their address as 709 Topeka Avenue, and Ruth’s occupation as artist.

Below, two clips from The Topeka State Journal, November 1900 advertising Ruth’s exhibits at Unity Church. The Sichel reference is to German-born artist Nathaniel Sichel (1843 – 1907). (And we wonder what happened to Ruth’s “The Queen of the Harem” painting.)

A specialty in  posters and ad designs

The following clips from The Topeka Daily Capital, Jan. 4, 1905 and The Ottawa Daily Republic, Jan. 3, 1906 inform us that Ms. Welch was working in the poster, advertisement and calendar field; of particular mention in both articles is the well-known Santa Fe railway calendars. See D.L. Briscoe’s tribute:  “Santa Fe Calendar History” for background.

Below, two 1904 ads, run by the artist, that appeared in The Topeka Daily Capital, June 1904 and February 1905:

Ruth married Stephen H. Siver on December 21, 1909 in Topeka, Kansas:    Stephen was born February 27, 1884 in NY and died March 20, 1981 in FL. They had no children.

From census records….

1915 – occupation housework, in Albany, NY at 56 Elberson Place, with husband Stephen.

1920 – occupation artist, with husband, at 215 109th St. in Manhattan, NY with Ruth’s sister, Jessie Landers.

1925 – occupation writer, with husband, living at 231 W. 96th St. in Manhattan.

1930 – occupation artist in modeling industry, single, living at 231 W. 96th St., Manhattan.

Ruth Welch Siver died October 7, 1933 in the Bronx, New York, and though we wonder what became of her earlier work, her charming illustrations in the valentine and postcard industry, with their cute, funny/quirky captions, live on.

________________________________________________________________________

Sources:  The Topeka Daily Capital, March 26, 1920. Friday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

Year: 1870; Census Place: Curwensville, Clearfield, Pennsylvania; Roll: M593_1327; Page: 325B; Family History Library Film: 552826. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Trego, Kansas; Roll: 398; Family History Film: 1254398; Page: 306C; Enumeration District: 314. (Ancestry.com).

 “Trego Teachers.” Western Kansas World, (WaKeeney, Kansas) October 27, 1894. Saturday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Topeka Ward 4, Shawnee, Kansas; Roll: 500; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 0158; FHL microfilm: 1240500. (Ancestry.com).

“Nathaniel Sichel.” (http://www.artnet.com/artists/nathaniel-sichel/) Web accessed April 1, 2018.

“Art Exhibit.” The Topeka State Journal. November 17, 1900. Saturday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

“The Queen of the Harem.” The Topeka State Journal, November 17, 1900. Saturday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

“Santa Fe Calendar History.” (http://dlbriscoe.com/santa-fe-railway-calendars.html) Web accessed April 1, 2018.

“Artistic Calendar By Miss Welch.”  The Topeka Daily Capital, January 4, 1905. Wednesday, p. 3. (Newspapers.com).

“A Kansas Artist’s Work.”  The Ottawa Daily Republic (Ottawa, KS). January 3, 1906. Wednesday, p. 6. (Newspapers.com).

“Attention.”  The Topeka Daily Capital, June 1, 1904. Wednesday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

“Lessons.”  The Topeka Daily Capital, February 26, 1905. Sunday, p. 10. (Newspapers.com).

“Welch-Siver.”  The Topeka Daily Capital, December 23, 1909. Thursday, p. 5. (Newspapers.com).

“Stephen Henry Siver, Jr.” Florida Death Index, 1877-1998. (Ancestry.com).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 03; Assembly District: 01; City: Albany Ward 18; County: Albany; Page: 22. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Manhattan Assembly District 11, New York, New York; Roll: T625_1205; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 822. (Ancestry.com).

New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 14; Assembly District: 09; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 20. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1930; Census Place: Manhattan, Manhattan, New York; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0459. (Ancestry.com).

“New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2WGR-XV3 : 20 March 2015), James Welch in entry for Ruth Welch Siver, 07 Oct 1933; citing Death, Bronx, New York, New York, United States, New York Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 2,155,816.

Anna (Gibson) Ely, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Cabinet Card, circa 1883 – 1885. Photographer:  Lewis & Gibson, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Price:  $15.00

Photographers, Jefferson Gibson and Emerson Lewis, had reportedly teamed up for only about three years, giving us a very good estimate for this Cabinet Card date, 1883 to 1885, with this portrait of the beautiful Anna Gibson (no relation to the photographer that we know of). Though she wears a ring that might indicate that the photographic duo continued into late 1886, just as likely, this image was taken before her marriage to John Young Ely, December 22, 1886. The marriage record lists both bride and groom as being native residents of Farmington, Michigan, he age 22, occupation farmer, and she age 20. John, died very young, we’re sorry to report, at age 32 of peritonitis. Anna was the daughter of Joseph Gibson who was born in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland (an inadvertent Irish connection with our last few web posts) and Martha Morrison, of Michigan.

The 1900 Federal Census shows Anna, widowed, with her three children, Martha, William and Joseph, renting at 304 N. Hamilton, Ypsilanti, with her sister, Mary Gibson and three lodgers, though numerous later records show a longer residence at 307 N. Hamilton (including some that show Anna’s occupation as nurse).

Sources:  “Jefferson Gibson.” Portrait and Biographical Album of Washtenaw County, Michigan. Biographical Publishing Co. Chicago 1891. pp. 228 – 229.

“Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3K4-MP8 : 10 March 2018), John Young Ely and Annie Jennie Gibson, 22 Dec 1886; citing Farmington, Oakland, Michigan, v 2 p 38 rn 1121, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,479.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Ypsilanti Ward 3, Washtenaw, Michigan; Page: 6; Enumeration District: 0112. (Ancestry.com).

Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 27 March 2018), memorial page for Anna Jane Gibson Ely (27 Jan 1867–22 Jul 1956), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11715472, citing Oakwood Cemetery, Farmington, Oakland County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Kätzchen (contributor 47304829) .

“Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QVVD-GQWR : 13 December 2015), John Young Ely, 1897; Burial, Farmington, Oakland, Michigan, United States of America, Oakwood Cemetery; citing record ID 11715471, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com.

Death Records. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing, Michigan.

R. L. Polk & Co.’s Ypsilanti City Directory, 1931. p. 84. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1822-1995.