My Great Grandmother, Nora (Nellie, Nell) Ellen Baley was a person who must have held on to family relationships and was interested in people. I feel extremely fortunate to inherit a large stack of postcards that she received as a young lady living on a homestead in Oklahoma and up to the 1920's when she and her husband, Will had ended up settling in Salem, Oregon. Nora was born in 1885 in Iron County, Missouri and moved to Ellis County, Oklahoma in the early 1900's when her father, John Riley Baley, filed a homestead claim. Her mother, Harriet Susan Buxton died in 1908 and perhaps because of being on a lonely claim, and trying to keep in contact with relatives, she resorted to writing and sending out dozens of postcards. What I have in my collection are the ones that she received. Most of them date from 1905 to the 1920's. There are only short snippets of notes on these cards but a wide variety of people who wrote her; cousins, friends and siblings. It must have been a very fashionable way to communicate during that era. Some of the cards depict holiday, birthday and just everyday greetings. Alot of the cards are pretty and some are panoramic scenes of various Midwest cities. Here is a post card that Nellie received from her sister, Fannie Malone who was widowed very early in her marriage and supporting two daughters in Afton, Oklahoma as a laundress. Written on the post card and postmarked with a date of April 17th, 1910: "April 17th. The goods cost 25 cts a yd it will take 8 yds and will cost 10 cts to mail and money order 3 or 4 cts all are well will write soon" -Fannie

I am assuming that Nellie was asking her sister the cost of dress goods in her town of Afton. My imagination at this point wonders if she knew she was getting married soon and was planning her wedding dress? (She married William Ball on October 2, 1910 in Oklahoma). Or just freshening up her wardrobe.

I really enjoy these post cards and consider them a real treasure trove!

5 comments:

Becky Jamison said...

I'm so happy that you own these postcards, Delia! What a treasure. I even love to hold them and remember whose hands they've rested in. Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to reading about more of them.

Judith Richards Shubert said...

What a beautiful card. Who is the gentleman in the upper right hand corner? Do you think he is the one who designed the card or wrote the verse at the bottom? Yes, I think you are very fortunate to have inherited so many postcards from your great-grandmother, Nellie!

Sheila said...

I enjoy cards which talk about everyday life in the message, especially when it's totally unrelated to the picture on the card. It seems such a unlikely card to choose for a relatively mundane message.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

This postcard is of a completely different design than those I find for Quebec and New Brunswick - especially the ornate detailing at the bottom.
I hope we get to see more of your collection!
Evelyn in Montreal

jane said...

My husband's grandma had kept 20 or 30 of her old postcards dating from around 1900 when she was about 20. He placed them in an album with see-through plastic pages (you know the sort of thing) and lent them to a cousin, but forgot which one! If we had them now, we would publish them with Lulu/Blurb so we could all have a copy!