Couple On Porch

Old photo, white border, circa early 1920’s.

Price:  $4.00           Size:  2 and 3/8 x 4 and 1/4″

We’re continuing a short couple theme, no names on the back of this one. I’m guessing the ’20s due to the cloche-style hat the woman is wearing, though it could have been earlier. Estimating dates from clothing, footwear and hairstyles can be really time-consuming, unless something specifically jumps out to pinpoint, or you’re already an expert or close-enough to one. Alas, I’m not. What was the moment? Obviously, he likes her, but she has that skeptical, “nobody’s fool” look. Nice porch columns displayed here – quite detailed and with that bit of gingerbread trim at the top.

Frank and Girlfriend, 1919

Old photo, 1919.

Availability Status:  SOLD                Size:  2 and 3/8 x 4 and 1/4″

Probably when I found this one (it was floating loose in a bin), I thought I’d be able to read the surname for Frank. Hmmm, no, not getting it. (My own scribble is just as bad.) But they’re a cute couple. (We’re on a short “couple theme” – a continuance of Valentine’s Day). At least, I think they’re a couple – no certainty there, either. But it’s a nice, “We were here….standing on this street….in the summer of 1919” photo. It would have been the summer after the end of the “Great War.” It’s a tree-lined residential road; you can see the utility pole and barely make out an old street lamp. There are train tracks, for a trolley one would guess, but we don’t notice any overhead cables, so maybe the tracks are a remnant from our horse-drawn car days, or maybe they’re old tracks, no longer used. That’s probably an old Model T in the distance (if you were betting you’d play those odds). Through the open wooden gate, we see a woman carrying something, potatoes maybe, on her way back from the garden or cellar storage.

The young woman in the photo – she’s beautiful, hair pulled up, appearing here in a long-sleeved white blouse with black cuffs (great style, yes, but think how practical that is) and in a striped, high-waisted skirt with big front pockets. Nothing fancy but it never needs to be. And Frank – he’s got that, “knows what he wants out of life” look. That direct gaze, a hint of sadness in the smile (did he lose an older brother in the war?), the confident, kind of brash stance, the backwards cap, that proprietary arm around his girl. We’re off with them, in spirit, just for a moment, to each of the many and wherever, those many possibilities led.

Cupid’s Diary

Divided back, embossed postcard. Postmarked February 7, 1914 from Pueblo, Colorado. Copyright 1909, H. or K.[?] Wessler. Publisher:  S. L. & Co. 

Price:  $10.00

Publisher, S. L. & Co. is Sigmund Langsdorf & Co.

This card, another in our Alice Ellison Collection, was one in a series that told the story of Cupid’s day – sharpening arrows, mailing valentines and breaking his bow after all the work was done. In ours, Cupid is looking quite tired, not to mention a little beat up, so the card above must have been the last one, or second to last, in the set.

“His spoils were great,

But sad to tell,

Poor Cupids’ suffered

Just as well.”

Addressed to:   “Mr. J. M. Ellison, 730 P. St., Sacramento, Calif.”

The sender wrote:  “Dear Papa. It snowed here last night. We are all well and hope you are to. It will soon be valentine day so I am sending you a Valentine card. from Henrietta Ellison. [?] got me a new pair of shoes.”

A Valentine’s Lament

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Circa 1910s. Publisher:  Whitney Made, Worcester, Massachusetts. 

Price:  $7.00

“O, Why Isn’t She Always Here”

A dejected-looking boy and his dog are missing their Valentine. (Sob!) A cute card, and another in our Alice Ellison Collection, this one from Louise to Henrietta.

Roses For My Valentine

Divided back, embossed, unused postcard. Printed in Germany. Valentine Postcard Series No. 405. Publisher unknown. Circa 1907 – 1914.

Price:  $1.00

Valentine Greetings…..

To Miss Ella Ellison from Mary Strauch.

One from our Alice Ellison Collection. (A group of about 125 cards; they’re not all up on the website yet.) This one’s a little beat up and with a coffee stain at the top but contains a publisher mystery. We’ve seen this logo before, a capital G inside a rectangular artist’s palette with brushes attached, but haven’t found proof of the company name, to date.

Vivian Mack’s Friend, Bunnie, Schoolcraft, Michigan

Divided back postcard. Postmarked November 3, 1912 from Schoolcraft, Michigan.

Price:  $15.00

The very cute, “Bunnie,” squinting a little from the sun, posing in front of a porch trellis that is covered in two different leafy vines. (One is heart-shaped, the other, something else.) She’s on her way somewhere (or just back from) – we’re playing detective here – noted because of the small purse she holds in her left hand. Her outfit of skirt and blouse has a short scalloped-edge, “curtained” layer:  This piece is called a peplum, and was created (in various styles) to add a little flair to the hips, thereby accentuating the waist – in other words, to bring back just a little of that “hourglass” look that had been previously so popular in women’s fashion.

From TextileGlossary.com:

“The peplum can be created using various techniques, such as pleating, gathering, or ruffling fabric. It can be attached to the bodice of a garment, creating a seamless transition from the waistline, or it can be a separate piece that is sown onto the waist. The length of the peplum can vary, ranging from a subtle and short flounce to a dramatic and floor-length extension.”

Peplum examples in some of the images below, from a Google image search:

Back to our postcard:

Addressed to:   “Miss Vivian Mack, Dexter Michigan.”

Well, if only life were always that easy! Dexter, Michigan (northwest of Ann Arbor, in Washtenaw County) must have been a pretty small town in 1912 – no street or rural route was needed to get this card to its intended. (Indeed, the census taker for Dexter in 1910 had enumerated 542 persons.) Established as a village in 1830, Dexter was not incorporated as a city until 2014. As of 2020 the population was about 4500. Schoolcraft, by the way, is on the other side of the state, south of Kalamazoo.

The sender wrote:  “Dearest Mimmie :- Don’t think that I have forgotten you or that your birthday comes Sunday. I hope you will have a lovely Birthday. What did you do Halloween? Merle had a party. Everybody in S. is pretty well but Papa, who has a broken leg. Hope I will hear from you soon – Bunnie.”

Note that Bunnie has embellished three of the capital letters in the address – a nice birthday touch.

Vivian Mack

Vivian Irene Mack was born in Rodney, Ontario, Canada November 3, 1896. Investigating further, we were so sorry to learn that she had died in January of 1920, at age 23 (pneumonia with heart complications). Vivian, (and we’re sorry we don’t have a picture of her) was the daughter of the Rev. Henry Mack and Annie Sine. She had married Robert J. Ernst on April 12, 1919.

Sources:  Dexter, Michigan. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dexter,_Michigan (accessed February 11, 2024).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Hadley, Lapeer, Michigan; Roll: 724; Page: 7; Enumeration District: 0037. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Dexter, Washtenaw, Michigan; Roll: T624_677; Pages 1A – 17B; Enumeration District: 0139; FHL microfilm: 1374690. (Ancestry.com).

Michigan Department of Community Health, Division of Vital Records and Health Statistics; Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952; Film: 146; Film Description: 1919 Ontonagon-1919 Wayne. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70977302/vivian_irene-ernst: accessed February 11, 2024), memorial page for Vivian Irene Mack Ernst (–), Find a Grave Memorial ID 70977302, citing Forest Lawn Cemetery, Dexter, Washtenaw County, Michigan, USA; Maintained by Anonymous (contributor 47412861).

“What is ‘Peplum’ – Definition & Explanation.” January 19, 2023, https://www.textileglossary.com/terms/peplum.html. (Accessed February 13, 2024.)

Google.com search, “images of peplums in 1910s.” (Accessed February 13, 2024.)

Chicago Photographer Zacharias K. Urbanowicz

Zacharias K. Urbanowicz (1873 – 1962) Chicago, Illinois photographer from at least 1910 – 1940. See the prior post for an early example of his work. The following is a rough time-line from online records:

1890 – Zacharias Urbanowicz. Departure from Hamburg, Deutschland (Germany) May 30, 1890. Ship name, Scandia. Age 18. Arrival New York, U.S.A. June 10, 1890.

1896 – Became a naturalized U. S. citizen in 1896 according to the 1920 census.

1900 – Federal Census not found.

1910 – Federal Census. Zacharias K. Urbanowicz. 4841 S. Ashland Ave. Proprietor of photo studio. Living with stepfather, John Zilgiewicz and mother, Domcoly[?]. Also in household are boarders, Joseph Kozlowski and Gabriel[?] Torozynski[?], both are photographers working from a studio, most likely working with Urbanowicz. All are listed to be native Russian-Lithuanian. (Later records show Poland for Zacharias.)

1916 – No record found for Zacharias Urbanowicz. The 4841 S. Ashland Ave. shows photographer, Walter J. Narozny. Possibly associated with Urbanowicz.

1920 – Federal Census. Zachary Urbanowicz, address 4852 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago. Photographer (own account). Living with him are his mother and stepfather. All three on this record show born in Poland. The prior address of 4841 S. Ashland is not recorded on this census.

1921 – approximate year of marriage to Veronica Mackiewicz, from the 1930 census.

1922 – The following was a large ad appearing in the Lithuanian newspaper, Draugas, showing Z. K. Urbanowicz and M. Zalgewicze, partners in the photography business at 4852 S. Ashland Ave:

Translated from Google and with the help of Wikipedia:

“City by the lake for Lithuanians. Specialists – photographers. We photograph groups, weddings, funerals, and just about any individual. Since tomorrow is the children’s first communion, the prices are greatly reduced. We perform the work quickly and responsibly. Owners Z. K. Urbanowicz & M. Zalgewicze.”

1930 – Federal Census. Zachary Urbanowicz. Address 8907 Commercial Ave., Chicago. Photographer (own account). With him on this record are his stepfather and mother. Also at same address are a Leo and Irene Dudeck and son, Richard and a Chester Urbanowicz, photographer (own account).

1940 – Federal Census. Zachary Urbanowicz. Address 8907 Commercial Ave., Chicago. Shoe salesman. Zachary and wife, Veronica are living with Veronica’s daughter from her first marriage, Leona. Also at this address (renting) are Leo Dudeck and family and Chester Urbanowicz and wife, Betty. Chester is listed as photographer (own account) at studio.

1964 – Zachary Urbanowicz died February 28, 1964, age 92. See the Find A Grave link in Sources, below, which contains his obituary showing Chester, Leone and Irene are step-children.

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Sources:  Staatsarchiv Hamburg; Hamburg, Deutschland; Hamburger Passagierlisten; Volume: 373-7 I, VIII A 1 Band 067 B; Page: 523; Microfilm No.: K_1741. (Ancestry.com).

United States Government. 1890 New York Ship’s Arrivals Records Index (Rolls #543-#560, Jan. 2, 1890 to Dec. 30, 1890). Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 29, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_275; Page: 11a; Enumeration District: 1570; FHL microfilm: 1374288. (Ancestry.com).

Association News (Photographer’s Association of America),Vol. 3, No. 8, September 1916, p. 342. (Google.com book search).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 29, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_345; Page: 11A; Enumeration District: 1760. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1930; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Page: 32A; Enumeration District: 2456; FHL microfilm: 2340167. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00941; Page: 61B; Enumeration District: 103-658. (Ancestry.com).

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/256539063/zachary-urbanowicz: accessed February 9, 2024), memorial page for Zachary Urbanowicz (–), Find a Grave Memorial ID 256539063, citing Saint Casimir Catholic Cemetery, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA; Maintained by Bruce Weirauch (contributor 47898263).

Amelia Kukiewicz, Chicago

Cabinet Card, circa 1905. Photographer:  Zacharias K. Urbanowicz, Chicago, Illinois.

Price:  $20.00              Size:  About 4 and 1/4 x 6 and 1/2″

A pretty young woman in a thoughtful pose, wearing a cotton or linen skirt, belted with a silver heart-shaped buckle; the blouse, with leg-of-mutton sleeves, is topped with a high collar of white lace, pinned to which is a brooch (we’re picturing the Italian micro-mosaic style or one of dried flowers); and the short necklace, of perhaps coral-colored beads, displays a silver cross.

This cabinet card was found at the Cannery Row Antique Mall in Monterey, California. The 1905 date on the back could be correct or could be just an estimate by either the family member who had it last or the antique dealer. The photographer’s address of 4841 S. Ashland Ave appears to have been a residence address and was found on his 1910 Federal Census record for Chicago. See the next post for more on Zacharias K. Urbanowicz.

From the marriage index:  Emilia Kukiewicz, born about 1883 in Lithuania, married Bronislaw Miczewicz, age 27, in Chicago. Illinois, August 15, 1909. Sometime prior to the 1940 census Bronislaw “Bruno” Miczewicz changed their surname to Mitchell.

From the 1940 Federal Census taken in Chicago:  Amelia Mitchell, born in Lithuania about 1883; spouse Bruno Mitchell, born Lithuania about 1883; son Medard Mitchell, born Illinois about 1924; married daughter Beatrice Malloy, born Illinois about 1912; son-in-law Thomas Malloy, born Nebraska about 1909; granddaughters Kathleen and Barbara, born Illinois, about 1934 and 1935. Also in household, lodger Peter Shusko.

Earlier census records were not found, though there’s a possibility that the following (a crop from the 1920 in Chicago) could be correct. This is from Ancestry.com and the surname here is transcribed as “Muizo” but as you can see it’s pretty hard to read. The occupation for the Bruno on this record is “gas fitter” at a factory, which is certainly in line with him as a pipe fitter on the 1940. The daughter on this 1920 record is listed as Bernice rather than Beatrice, however the ages of the family members and their places of birth fit the later record:

Sources:  Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Marriages Index, 1871-1920.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Chicago Ward 29, Cook, Illinois; Roll: T624_275; Page: 11a; Enumeration District: 1570; FHL microfilm: 1374288. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 20, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_331; Page: 12A; Enumeration District: 1131. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1940; Census Place: Chicago, Cook, Illinois; Roll: m-t0627-00945; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 103-800. (Ancestry.com).

Clark’s O. N. T. Black Spool Cotton Trade Card

Trade card for Clark’s O.N.T. Spool Cotton. Lithograph, M & K Company. Circa  1880’s – 1890’s.

Price:  12.00                Size:  About 2 and 3/4 x 4 and 1/4″

“Across the line from pole to pole the children’s clothes depend upon it.”

A gorgeous design for this one and clever. It’s a windy day. (Those clothes will dry pretty quick!) Actually, it looks like a storm’s coming in – maybe a further illustration of the point – strong thread, strong enough to make a clothesline 😉 and withstand the storm. If the back had no wording and you were just looking at the shape, would it make you think of a spool of thread? Maybe so.

O.N.T. stands for Our New Thread. See Sources below.

At the bottom right the print reads, “Copyright Secured”  and at the bottom left is the lithographer name of M & K Co.

Major & Knapp

M & K was the very successful New York City lithography firm of Major & Knapp. The company began life as Sarony & Major, headed by lithographer, artist, draftsman (and later photographer), Napoleon Sarony. Major was James Major and then brother, Henry B. Major. The name then changed to Sarony, Major & Knapp (sometimes called Sarony & Co.) and then when Sarony left the firm in 1858, it became Major & Knapp, the full name of which seems to have been The Major & Knapp Engraving, Manufacturing and Lithographic Company, but we often see them as the Major & Knapp Co. and Major, Knapp & Co. And here it’s unclear whether that last was an actual name change or just sometimes reported incorrectly. Major were brothers Henry Broughman Major and Richard Major and Knapp was Joseph F. Knapp.

Sources:  Clark O.N.T. Thread. historyatyourfingertips.education. (accessed December 19, 2023).

Coats Group. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coats_Group (accessed December 19, 2023).

Napoleon Sarony. n.d. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_Sarony (accessed December 19, 2023).

Spooner, Ken. (2010). “The Knapps Lived Here.” Elm & McKinley Books, New York. Google.com books.

“Sarony, Major & Knapp:  New York City Lithographers.” https://ahpcs.org/publisher/sarony-major-knapp/ (accessed December 16, 2023).

The National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Internal Revenue Assessment Lists for New York and New Jersey, 1862-1866; Series: M603; Roll: 56; Description: District 4; Monthly and Special Lists; June-Dec 1865; Record Group: 58, Records of the Internal Revenue Service, 1791 – 2006.

Clara Louise McDonough and Her Sister, St. Louis, Missouri

Oval photo, circa 1865, St. Louis, Missouri. Photographer unknown.

Price including wooden frame (not shown):  $40.00

Size of photo:  About 6 and 3/4 x 4 and 3/4″

Two beautiful young girls, Civil War Era…..

This photo was an unusual find at a Goodwill store in Salinas, California. In tracing the lineage of the girl on our left, we believe we’ve possibly uncovered the identity of the unnamed sister on the right, and believe them to be the daughters of James McDonough, former Chief of Police for the city of St. Louis, Missouri. See Find A Grave’s entry for him below, in Sources.

Displayed in a wooden oval frame and behind glass, the photo surely must of hung on someone’s wall for a number of years. It appears to be a copy, albeit an older one, and is held in place by small diamond shaped metal tabs, which are called points. The back of the photo has no writing but does have a bit of an aged look to it, as does the cardboard backing which, as shown above, gives the name of the girl on our left, Clara Louise McDonough. One look at the photo and we immediately think Civil War time-frame due to the dress and hairstyles for the girls, and this agrees with the family member’s estimate written on the back as “186?”.

Frances “Fanny” McDonough…..

Though the sister’s name in the photo is not given, a death record was found for a Frances McDonough, single, age 32, who died in St. Louis, Missouri, May 31, 1890. This record fits with the 1860 Federal Census for St. Louis which shows a Fanny McDonough, age two, daughter of James and Mary Jane McDonough. Other children in the household are Mary C., James R. and Clara K. McDonough, age three months. Unfortunately, the 1860 census did not contain the question of occupation for the head of household.

James R. McDonough on the above-mentioned 1860 census record is significant in supporting Frances “Fanny” as the sister in our photo:  In former St. Louis’ Chief of Police, James McDonough’s obituary, a surviving son is listed, James R. McDonough (a Sergeant for twelve years on the force at the time of his father’s death). Also listed is surviving married daughter, Mrs. E. J. Peckham, who we know to be Clara Louise (McDonough) Peckham. Clara K. McDonough on this 1860 census is believed to be Clara Louise:

Clara Louise…..

Possibly, Clara K. on the 1860 census, died very young and the parents had another daughter that they named Clara Louise. However, it seems more likely that there was one Clara and the parents changed the middle name for her in infancy, or that it had just been recorded incorrectly on the census. To support this, the children’s mother, Mary Jane (Waters) McDonough died November 5, 1861 of consumption (not childbirth) and Clara Louise’s 1900 census record shows she was born in April, which matches Clara K.’s age of three months on the 1860. Note:  Years of birth on Clara’s census records vary (which is not unusual) and the 1900 Federal census was the only one that recorded the month the person was born in (the month being most often correct). The 1870 census, which would certainly be helpful, has never been found.

Clara Louise McDonough married Edward J. Peckham on June 21, 1886 in Coles County, Illinois. Their record of marriage shows she was born in Missouri, about 1862, and her parents were James McDonough and Jane Waters. Edward was born in England, about 1851, and his parents were Henry Peckham and Elizabeth Brode. If Clara is about five years old in this photo, then the approximate date the original was taken would be about 1867.

By 1910, Edward and Clara Peckham have a daughter, Clarissa E., born in Kansas, about 1888. The family are living in Cheyenne, Wyoming. By 1920 Clara is widowed and living with daughter, Clarissa; son-in-law, Charles Lawrence; and granddaughter Charlotte. Charlotte, who married Robert George Fergusson, died in 2013, in Pebble Beach, Monterey County, California. (See the last entry in Sources below.) It’s likely then, that our photo, in its wooden frame, came from her estate.

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Sources:  “Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KFKX-MHC : accessed 18 January 2015), Edward J. Peckham and Clara Louisa Mcdonough, 21 Jun 1886; citing Coles, Illinois, United States, county offices, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,301,518.

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/7387314/james-mcdonough: accessed 06 February 2024), memorial page for James McDonough (16 Mar 1816–21 Mar 1892), Find a Grave Memorial ID 7387314, citing Bellefontaine Cemetery, Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA; Maintained by Tim (contributor 46772461).

Year: 1860; Census Place: St Louis Ward 5, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: M653_651; Page: 193; Image: 197; Family History Library Film: 803651. (Ancestry.com).

Year: 1880; Census Place: Saint Louis, St Louis (Independent City), Missouri; Roll: 733; Family History Film: 1254733; Page: 174B; Enumeration District: 335; Image: 0710. (Ancestry.com).

“A Big Chief.” The St. Joseph Weekly Gazette (St. Joseph, Missouri) March 24, 1892. Thursday, p. 2. (Newspapers.com).

Year: 1900; Census Place: Perth Amboy Ward 1, Middlesex, New Jersey; Roll: 984; Page: 13A; Enumeration District: 0048; FHL microfilm: 1240984. (Ancestry.com).

Ancestry.com. Kansas State Census Collection, 1855-1925.

Year: 1910; Census Place: Cheyenne Ward 3, Laramie, Wyoming; Roll: T624_1746; Page: 16A; Enumeration District: 0084; FHL microfilm: 1375759

“United States Census, 1940,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/K943-2WQ : accessed 18 January 2015), Clara Peckham in household of Charles Lawrence, Carmel-by-the Sea, Monterey Judicial Township, Monterey, California, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 27-25, sheet 3B, family 110, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 268.

Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/124188417/charlotte_elizabeth-fergusson: accessed February 7, 2024), memorial page for Charlotte Elizabeth Lawrence Fergusson (–), Find a Grave Memorial ID 124188417, citing United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, Orange County, New York, USA; Maintained by SLGMSD (contributor 46825959).