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Divided back, artist-signed postcard. Postmarked from Nebraska (probably Holbrook) September 7, 1910. Publisher:  Arthur Capper. Copyright 1909. Artist:  B. Bieletto.

Price:  $12.00

“If I dared to think you cared,

The thought would be divine;

And so I pray that you will say:

‘You will be mine!'”

A beautiful postcard with the nice verse above, on a country scene, showing pansies in the foreground, a river on the left, and a field with mountains in the background. The border and sky are done in gold-tone, and the artist’s signature appears at the bottom right. The artist’s last name is Bieletto. There is an Italian artist, Benedetto Busetto Bieletto, in Chicago. This is possibly the artist for this postcard. This possibility will be explored and put up in a near future post. The card is addressed to:  “Miss Lena Davis. Pomona Kanasa [Kansas]”  and J. W. has written,

“Sept 7 1910 Dear cousin. I rced your card sever day ago was kind surprise to here you had sold out what was the mater   did your folks like it there we are thursh [threshing] this week here i am up home this week i am well and hope yous get throw [through?] all right  J.W.C.”

One of ten (unless we come across more) postcards from J. W. Carter of Holbrook, Nebraska, that he sent to his cousin, Lena Davis. (There will be another category put up under Lena Davis later.) As we can see by the spelling, J. W., like many of his day, must not have had a terribly long formal education. It seems that he must have made his living as a farmer or stock hand. This is the first of a great set from J. W. In reading all ten postcards to cousin Lena, you get a sense that J. W. was a caring person. I like how he fills up the cards, and how their content shows a small slice of rural Nebraska life in the early 1900s.

This card was likely postmarked from Holbrook, Nebraska. Holbrook today is a small town in the southern area of the state; their website indicating the population at about 225. The town is about 250 miles west of Omaha, and about 300 miles east of Denver, Colorado. Holbrook was first known as “Burton’s Bend,” after Isaac Burton who opened up a log cabin trading post there in 1870. A post office was established in August of 1872, and the railroad came through in the late 1870s. The town’s name was changed in 1881, in honor of an official for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. These postcard dates range from 1910 -1914, and it is interesting to think that when J. W. Carter was writing these cards, the settlement was only just over 40 years old.

There is a James W. Carter listed in the 1910 Federal Census for Burton Bend, NE. This person was born in Illinois, about 1875; both parents were born in England; his marital status is divorced; his occupation is “Stock, Farm” and he is boarding with John A. Hudson and John’s wife Loeye[?] Also boarding with the Hudsons is a young woman, age about 16, Urlia[?] Fanholc[?] It’s interesting to note that we can see from this census, that although the name of the town may have been officially changed, it was still referred to by some as Burton’s Bend. It’s likely that this James W. Carter is the same person who has written these postcards.


Year: 1910; Census Place: Burton Bend, Furnas, Nebraska; Roll: T624_846; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0078; FHL microfilm: 1374859. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006

Greetings From Holbrook

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“Holbrook Nebr, Sept 29, 1912. Dear cousen. I got your card last night and was glad to here from you glad your horse are get better. mine are all right yet. The cab[?] is buck yet some. I ame go to try and get it in time this week some time if I can and if i get it to working all right i ame come down sunday so i think can get there and less some happen so i cant leave. your cousen  J W C”

Addressed to:  “Miss Lena Davis, Almena, Kansas”

What was it that was bucking yet some? It sounds like it’s a vehicle that’s not running right, and if so, how do you like that for a horse type expression for a car? As, here we are in 1912, in that transitional period in rural America when the car was still in the process of becoming the established mode of transportation. Also, the distance between Holbrook, Nebraska and Almena, Kansas is about fifty miles, so it would seem like it would be too long of a trip to take by horse, for someone that is very busy making a living farming.

The front side of the card shows a red rose, framed in gold tone, surrounded by an embossed pink and white roses design, white border and lettering at the bottom that says “Greetings From ____” where J. W. has written “Holbrook.” The overall framing (because of the diagonal lines in the corners) resembles a carved wooden frame where the frame juts out and the center part with the rose is flat against the wall. Not that this is anything earth shattering, but I just think that the glimpses into the artists’ ideas for the postcards are interesting.

Divided back, embossed, used postcard. Postmarked in Omaha, date not appearing, approx. September 30, 1912. Publisher:  KLC or KL Company? Series 153.

Cordial Good Wishes

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“Holbrook Nebr, Nov 15, 1914. your card came some time ago. I ame well and all right and hope this finds yous all the same. I have my corn all husking and have ben husking out. I have husk a week and have one more day there at that place. and another feller want me to word for him at holl cane hay. we are have reveting meeting here now I have tend most all week and expect to attend quite little this week. I have lost 37 head of hogs. your cousen  J. W. Carter”

The date on the card is either the 15th or the 18th. And I think J. W. was saying “hawling cane hay” with the phrase “holl cane hay” and of course, he meant “work” not “word.” As for “reveting,” this sounds like it might of been a Christian revival meeting. (Too bad about the poor hogs.) This is the last card in the series, unless we ever come across more. It’s been lovely getting to know J. W. (I love the way he says “I am well and all right”) and in getting a small glimpse into rural life in Holbrook, Nebraska in the early 1910s.

Country scene centered within an embossed hexagonal, lace-type white design. The scene shows a couple of trees next to a rustic wooden fence. A woman and child are walking up the path from the cottage-like home in the background. Underneath is the lettering “Cordial Good Wishes.”

Divided back, embossed, unused with writing. No. 805 from an unknown publisher. Circa 1914.