W. S. Darling, the “Indian Curio Man”

Postcard Header W S Darling

This is the beautiful postcard back header that appears on a 1908 card that shows the following publisher information:

W. S. Darling, the “Indian Curio Man” Harbor Springs, Michigan.

It’s unknown whether this header was exclusive to W. S. Darling, or whether other publishers may have used it. (A 1909 offering, currently for sale elsewhere online does show a different header for him.)

Willard S. Darling was born in Jackson, Michigan on December 2, 1870.

On November 30, 1892 he married Bertha E. Stutsman in Harbor Springs. She was born in Indiana about 1871,  the daughter of A.R. Stutsman and Martha Byerly. Willard was the son of Christopher Columbus Darling and Louisa Felshaw. His occupation was Printer on the marriage record.

There are lots of records appearing online for Willard S. Darling but a 1903 city directory, which included Harbor Springs, confirms that he was the “Indian Curio Man.” Below is the entry evidently indicating that he was partners with Henry S. Babcock, under the name of Babcock & Darling. The second entry shows their ad that appeared at the bottom of the same page regarding the Harbor Springs Graphic.

1903 Directory


More records…

1910 census, Harbor Springs – with wife Bertha, and their daughter, Maie; occupation Printer at a newspaper;

1920 census, Harbor Springs –  with wife Bertha E., and daughters Maie and Josephine; occupation Oil Inspector for the state.

1930 census, Harbor Springs – with wife Bertha and daughter Josephine; occupation Tax Collector.

1940 census, Harbor Springs – with wife Bertha, daughter Josephine (public school teacher) and lodgers Geraldine Wolfe and Mildred Ives; occupation Rep for the sales tax department.

Willard S. Darling died in Petoskey April 8, 1943, and was buried in Harbor Springs. Occupation given on death record was State Sales Tax Collector.

Sources:  Original data: Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867–1952. Michigan Department of Community Health, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics. (Ancestry.com)

Polk’s Petoskey City and Emmett County Directory, 1903, Vol. 1, p. 176. Ancestry.com. U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Little Traverse, Emmet, Michigan; Roll: T625_763; Page: 5A; Enumeration District: 161; Image: 776. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1930; Census Place: Harbor Springs, Emmet, Michigan; Roll: 981; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0007; Image: 666.0; FHL microfilm: 2340716. (Ancestry.com)

Year: 1940; Census Place: Harbor Springs, Emmet, Michigan; Roll: T627_1748; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 24-8. (Ancestry.com)

“Michigan Deaths and Burials, 1800–1995.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2009, 2010. FHL 966505. Ancestry.com. Michigan, Deaths and Burials Index, 1867-1995.