Moonlight view of D&C Co's Steamer "City of Cleveland", Lake Erie, originally uploaded by morgazgc.
July 18, 1911, originally uploaded by morgazgc.
Sun. Night [June 5]. Was out driving this afternoon with Jamie [James? Jamil? -- appears to be a dotted i]. We are going to theater Tues. night. Just when I am having a good time I will have to start for home. Sis sat up all day & ate at the table today. Robert is getting along fine. I made the cake yesterday & it was very good all gone this evening. R.G. made the ice cream. We went to church this morning & I wore my best white dress. I may write later if I do not, expect me home Friday if nothing [indecipherable] G.H.
The 1910 census records show "Lana" Mitchell (~1876) living in Mound City and married to Robert G. Mitchell (1871). In 1920 her name on the census records is listed as "Luria" but by 1930 the name is correctly spelled. In 1910, she and Robert are listed as the parents of Ellen (1902), Roberta (1904) and Lois (1908).
Wed. Evening. [June 1, 1910] I received your letter all O.K. Was glad to hear you were going to the class play. Mamma please do not worry about me working too hard for I have not done hardly a blessed thing since I have been in M[ound]. City, but go down town for the mail twice a day. I am invited to a birthday party Friday. Girls and I got ice-cream soda this afternoon. Robert picked 12 gallons of strawberries out at farm today & is not yet through. Sis getting along fine going to sit up in bed Sat. Took a drive Monday evening. Received a
letter postal from Donna [?] today & also a letter from Cecil & Helen G. sent a postal. G.H.
Grandma is visiting Aunt Luna (her Sis) in Missouri, evidently Luna has had surgery or been very sick as one can infer she has been/is bedridden. No mention of a new baby. Perhaps they had some household help if Grandma is to believed that she hasn't been working too hard. Who is taking care of the girls, Roberta and Ellen? Who is doing something with the 12 gallons of strawberries? Glad Granddad is staying in touch. Where (or who) would we be if they had not gotten together!
I like Grandma's use of the word blessed, as in "blessed thing". Not an expression you hear anymore. And of course I like the book related postcard which is in excellent condition. The silver design around the edges makes it look like something battered and torn. This card says in tiny print on the bottom (as pictured) of the message side something about London and "printed in Germany." As for going for a ride, there is no indication it is an "automobile" ride which I think might still have been uncommon for 1910. There is at least one more card from this trip which should be arriving (to us modern day folks) via blog next week.
Mary, your guess is as good as mine as far as interpreting Ira's handwriting. I don't think there are any more postcards from him or we might get more clues.
Ira to his son Dorsey
Oct. 26, 1909 Will start home to-night
arr. [arrived] o.k. -- I. H
You can Gslef [??best guess] home the rest of the folks.
You can give this card to Gladys.
Here's a card from a man who was probably more used to writing notes than postcards, we do know at least that Gladys was given the card since we are now reading it a mere 100 years later. I have studied the indecipherable word and can't come up with anything better than "Gslef" -- any guesses on what he was trying to communicate? We will assume that he is traveling by train and perhaps he (and his wife? since the card is addressed to their son) had gone to visit oldest daughter Luna after getting in the fall harvest on the farm.
Mound City appears to have a wide electrified unpaved Main Street with one of those new-fangled traffic signals or warning lights at the near and far end of the street. In 2008, Mound City's population was 1,074, so perhaps about the same size as New Vienna, 24% with German ancestry according to City-data.com accessed 11/14/09.
Hello Cecil! Did you get to see "Old Santa" in the city today? I will write as soon as possible. Received your card yesterday. G.H.
Now that Halloween is over we'll move on in the postcard life of 17-year-old Gladys to Christmas, five months after the trip to Niagara Falls. This is the first card I have from Grandma to Granddad. I'm assuming that by "the city" Grandma means Hillsboro. Don't know if any of their letters were saved.
Wed. night (11:00 P.M.) Have packed up things again ready to move on to Buffalo tomorrow at 8:30. If nothing happens will arrive home Fri. night. We are all visiting, talking & eating candy, pop corn, cracker jacks & fruit. do you think we will sleep any tonight? G.H.
Grandma eating candy and popcorn? I'm glad she added fruit to the end of that sentence! And this card gives us the approximate travel time from Niagara Falls (leaving for Buffalo at 8:30am Thursday) to Hillsboro (arriving Friday night). I'd love to know the route and connection details, just like it would be nice to know WHO she was traveling with -- the "We" sounds like a group of girls.... At least we know she made it home safely.
Today's History Lesson: By 1900, Buffalo was the 8th largest city in the country, with a population of 352,000 and went on to become a major railroad hub, the largest grain-milling center in the country, and the home of the largest steel-making operation in the world. In the 2000 census, Buffalo, with a population of 292,000 ranked 69th in population, between Newark NJ and Plano TX (Glendale AZ ranks 74th). Buffalo's population topped 580,000 in the 1950s and has been declining since then. At the peak of the railroad era Buffalo had 319 passenger trains, and 476 freight trains arrive and depart daily. (Facts obtained from US City Guide: Buffalo New York and the references listed therein, accessed 10/26/09)
Those of you with sharp eyes will note the green markings at the top of the picture part of the postcard -- something is stuck on the card but I'm reluctant to scrape too much off for fear of damaging the card.
American Falls from Goat Island, Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Weds. eve. Have had a fine time today. Went out riding on "The Maid of the Mist." .60 [cents] more gone. But it was worth the money. G.H.
Considering inflation, today's cost of $13.50 seems fairly reasonable and might not even horrify Grandma. At least she thought it was money well spent at the time of her dwindling funds!
For today's history lesson, I'll add that both Canada and the US made Niagara Falls a park in 1885, in the US it was and is called Niagara Reservation [State] Park. In 1892 Niagara Falls, NY was incorporated and the fourth Maid of the Mist was built (1892-1955). Made of white oak, 89 feet long with a 19-foot beam and powerful double engines, it was christened Maid of the Mist II. President McKinley was assassinated in 1901 at nearby Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition and Theodore Roosevelt road the Maid of the Mist. Eight years later our grandmother was a passenger. Both Maid of the Mist I (1885) and II were destroyed by fire from a welder's torch in 1955.
For a hint of what the future holds, there is one more postcard from this trip yet to post and two years later in 1911, Grandma again visits Niagara Falls.