S: Postcards from the Past: old long ago
BC: To: the memory of Jesse & Emita Sparkman | March 2012 | Beulah Parker Sparkman, and her aunt Ollie Pearce Weaver, collected postcards all their lives and, for which we are grateful, Dad kept them after their deaths. | The family letters & postcards reproduced herein were found in an old box in Dad's garage after his death in 2011. | to: the descendants | Lubbock, Texas | Santa Anna, Texas
FC: the Book of Family Memories | The Book of Auld Lang Syne
1: "Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?" -old Scottish tune c1788 | Foreword The painting on the cover was painted by Dad, c 1934. He painted the watercolor of the hill running north/south of Coleman, Texas; looking west from home in Coleman. San Angelo Highway is in the foreground. The watercolor evokes the landscape and era of the postcards & letters. -mlst
2: 1899 | 1907
3: Louisa Agnes Pearce Person b 11/6/1875 d 2/8/1950 Aunt Lou was the daughter of LC Pearce, sister to Aunt Ollie and to Gram's mother. She married Jerome Person, reputed gun fighter. The photo at far left is of her daughters, Glady, Margueritte & Nadine. A son, Harry, was born a few years later. | 1914 | This postcard is interesting. All the swimmers are men at the resort. Makes sense for 1914. At this time, our great great grandfather was in his late 70's and traveling: an active man. Dad said that the day before LC Pearce died he collected his rents. He was 90 years old. | It reads: 6-19-14 Dear Father: I don't know where to first as I heard you were going back to the Coast. We are here in beautiful San Antonio. We are traveling in the car. Will go to the coast to-morrow and start home. Hope to hear from you when I get home. With love, as ever, Lou | 3
6: 1900 | 6
7: letter from Mollie to her sister Ollie Coleman, Texas Feb 11, 1900 Dear Sister:- I received your letter this morning I was sure glad to hear you did not think it was smallpox they had there. I was so uneasy all last week I could scarcely rest. If I were you I would sure get out of it if I could. 2 I had a letter from Lou this morning. She wrote she was very uneasy about you. She also wrote Orfiales(?) Vance had moved back to Kirk and moved all his earthly belongings in one wagon. I had a letter from Laura D last week. She wrote all the news. 3 I had a letter from Ida Pearce. She wrote she had been to China Springs, Waco & Grossbeeck visiting. She wrote Julia Jacobs takes in sewing all the time. You know that girl Anna Thomas who lived at Mr. William's She married the last Sunday in Nov. She died not long since. 4 It was awful sad about Allen N dying wasn't it. I was sure sorry I know it must have almost killed his folks. Pa and I went to uncle Judge's three weeks ago and he and aunt Macy came to see us the same day. We missed each other. We went on 5 to Zed's and it turned cold and so we had to stay two days I know you would be so ashamed of Zed and Liz if you were here you wouldn't know what to do. They have almost fought. I am sure glad I don't live any closer to them. Zed and Dora 6 and the children came Saturday and stayed until Sunday eve and Zed & Dora had a big quarrel at our front gate. You would be so shocked if you only knew how close people are living to us. I was so ashamed. They say John Lee talks more about you than any of the | 7 children Beulah has been sick with a cold They had the doctor with her twice I am afraid that trip up here will cause her to relapse Ruth still sits in Dora's lap to eat. Pearl is the same only she doesn't cry as much. I believe Dock is fixed up better than 8 he was there. The move hasn't hurt them any as I can see. They picked up over twelve dollars worth of pecans. Besides the butter and eggs they have sold. John is doing better than anyone thought he would. If he will just hold out Leora seems happy 9 Well, I'll tell you a little about this place. There's eight churches here. The methodist is real close to where we live I joined the Sunday School the first Sunday I went. I have only been twice since We have been getting up so late I couldn't get ready in time. 10 There has been three ladies called on me and one told me she was going to call soon. If they call it is allright and if they don't it is all right with me I like the one's that has called real well though They have such nice homes. It is really embarrassing to have them call. 11 I tryed to get to work in a millener shop but failed I am going to try again. There is two here. As it is bedtime I am very tired I washed to-day I will close by asking you to write real soon to Mollie PS No you did not send me the glove pattern I have a drop yoke pattern Lou also has the pattern. I haven't bought anything since I have been here except a bedticking underskirt. I put two ruffles on it. I notice they all wear pink underskirts. | 1896 | On pages 6 & 7, Mollie is writing about her nephew, John Lee Parker, & his sisters, Beulah (Gram), Pearl & Ruth. Their mother, Nannie Pearce Parker died in 1896. Dora is the sister of Zed Parker, their father. She raised Ruth. Mollie eventually married Zed Parker. | John Lee, Beulah, Pearl & Ruth Parker (youngest) c1905 | John Lee, Beulah, Pearl
8: Aunt Pearl Parker, 3rd from left with friends c 1903 | 1909 | Gram wrote: "Why don't you all write? I have not heard a word since you left Sweetwater. We are getting along O.K. The paper hanger of Dr, Fuller's house made this of Pearl in the Plum Orchard. We have our new neighbors. I must go as I hear the first bell. ans." Beulah | This postcard was written in 1909 by our grandmother, Beulah Parker, to her stepmother, Mrs. Z,A. Parker, (Mollie Pearce Parker, 2nd wife of Zed Parker) who was her aunt as well. Beulah's mother, Nannie Pearce Parker, died at the age of 27 leaving 4 orphans. Beulah, at that time, was the eldest at 6 years old. Aunt Pearl (Parker) was the 3rd oldest.
9: 1908 | My grandmother, Beulah, and her brother, John Lee Parker, in Garden City, Texas, just before she eloped with Granddad 1910 | Brownwood, Texas Going toBrownwood was going to the Big City if you were from Santa Anna or Coleman | Z.ed A. Parker, their father | Gram's friend Lucie writes: "I am just fine. How are you? I went up home Saturday but did not see anyone. everything is awfully dull up there. John Moore and that Smith girl married Sunday. How are all the Santa Anna girls down there? Tell Miss Ollie hello."- Lucie | 9
10: Ollia Poliena Pearce daughter of LC and Elizabeth Pearce b 1872 d 1951 Aunt Ollie was well educated, and well traveled. She was reviled in family lore because she left all her inherited family money to the Methodist Orphanage which disbanded a few years later. Wonder who absorbed her fortune? Dad was always cynical about church organizations and their love of money. Gram, who had suffered from the Depression, was bequeathed Aunt Ollie's home and diamond ring, two items which she much appreciated and which conferred security, comfort and status once again in the small community wherein she lived. | Graduation photo Ollie is in the center
11: I love this whimsical postcard/photo to Aunt Ollie from her friend, Edna, who most likely is one of the ladies with Ollie in the photo on facing page. I specially enjoy the way it shows that one hundred years ago women worked, supported each other and had a sense of humor! | 11
12: Pearl W. seems to be another teacher friend. She mentions Edna and also Grandpa Pearce, who is sick with an unspecified illness. It is unknown whether Aunt Ollie made it to the Christmas party. I connect with Aunt Ollie having to teach school and help her father. He was about 72 years old in 1908. He lived to be 90. Ollie did not. She was 36 years old at this time, still unmarried. | 1908 | In Jan. 1909. when this postcard arrived, Ollie was teaching the 3rd grade class above right. | Top Postcard reads: Dear Miss Pearce I had a letter from Miss Edna. She said she was afraid you couldn't come Christmas But I hope you can. I think I will have 10 days holiday. I have a cook so you all be sure and come. I was so sorry to hear your father was so sick I know you are having a time trying to teach and see about him also. Let me hear from you soon. Pearl W.. | Bottom postcard reads: Hellaw Miss Ollie, How are you all? You ought to be up here to night. we are by our selves. Buddie has gone to Santa Anna. I was disappointed in not getting to go with him. Ans. soon. Virgie | 12
13: Hard to believe, but above we see the very 3rd grade class that Aunt Ollie was teaching when the postcards from Pearl W. & Virgie were written to her. It strikes fear to my heart just to look at those little darlings! Aunt Ollie stands at right, looking up to the task of staring them down with her eagle eyes....... 50 students of different ages!!!! | At right is photo of Gram's students for 1908-09 Dad wrote on back: "classes (entire student body) | taught by (Gram) in country 1-room school near Burkitt, Texas. Arrow points to Beulah Parker (Gram). She was 18 years old." | Love the bare feet & straw hat! | back of photo
14: This delightful postcard to Aunt Ollie from her cousin is very revealing. It reads: "Well I have begun work again, but never had the blues so bad in my life. I sure hate to get back to work. I had too good a time xmas. I will write you later when I recover and have more time. Su-pose I will get down to work though in a few days." your cousin WMP | Over 100 years ago working women were connecting and sharing their feelings about work and men. Ca. 1909
15: Granddad, William Burl, was considered quite the ladies man when Gram married him in 1910. He was red haired and she, raven haired, and they both agreed, he was very handsome. Who was C.? We'll never know. | 1908 | 1902 | This postcard to Granddad reads: | "I received the pretty Easter card. Don't suppose you went to Westphalia. Why wasn't you at the party Sat. night? C. was there." -Ethel | 15
16: 1909 | Christmas Past
17: 1910 | This postcard and the one opposite were from Aunt Ollie's friend, Maggie Caldwell | Nancy Clementine Pearce ("Aunt Tinie") was born 8/14/1854 in Jackson Parish, La. She was the younger sister of L.C. Pearce, Aunt Ollie's father. She married Thomas M. Nash 12/7/1874. They moved to Limestone Co, Texas in 1879 & later to Mart, McLennan Co., Texas. She died Nov. 28, 1933 in Merryville, La from injuries suffered in an auto accident. She was buried in the Kirk Cemetery, Limestone Co., Texas. | c 1910 | This postcard reads: "I am thinking of you tonight...hope you have a fine time why didn't you and Bul (Beulah?) come to see us with Ali a" Your aunt Tinie | 17
18: Elizabeth (Liles) and Leroy Columbus Pearce The correspondence in this album is due in large part to their daughters, Ollie Pearce, Mollie Pearce, Lou Pearce Person and their granddaughter, Beulah Parker Sparkman | L.C. Pearce as an old man
19: 1912 | 1909 | This postcard from 1909 reads: "Dear Friend: I rece'd a very pretty Birthday card last week for which I want to thank you. I rece'd eleven in all from friends & relatives. Was glad to hear from you & to know you must be very busy indeed. Are you expecting much Christmas? We are not, but are going to have a Tree. We are all well, happy & comfortable. hope you & yours are the same. I haven't any white | flowers so don't be too hastey. Your friend. Gussie Henderson. | 19
21: Mollie Pearce Parker Mollie was the 2nd wife of Zed Parker,. His 1st wife was Gram's mother, Nannie Pearce Parker. Mollie was in her 50's when she woke up one morning and was no longer in possession of her mind. Her husband put her away, but her sister, Ollie, went to visit her and was so overcome by compassion that she immediately brought her home to live with her in Santa Anna where Mollie lived for the rest of her life. The cause of her sudden incapacitation is unknown, but affected her only child, Aubrey (aka "Hawk") Parker who was unwilling to have children. | 21 | 1911 "Dear Father- I have made you two every days shirts for a Christmas present. I hope they will fit all right. wishing you a Merry Xmas. I am as ever" -Mollie | Garden City, Tex June 4, 1911 Dear Sister I have been thinking for sometime I would answer your welcome letter but have neglected it. We are needing rain bad out here.. Zed has his cotton chopped and his feed is looking very well. It has begun to wilt. We have had a very good garden. are having English peas and beets to eat every day. My flowers has been mighty pretty. I sure | 2 have a lot of poppy plants like I had last year. I am not having any luck with chickens. Those old Blue bugs are so bad here my sewing is most all stacked up. I just haven't had time to sew and felt very well. I have made Pearl a white dress and waist and ordered her a skirt and waist and she made her another waist the other day and has another white dress to make. I wrote to Lou to send her a hat. She got it last wk. It cost 6.00 besides express charges and paying Mail courier total 6.55 I wanted | 3 her to have a nice hat and we couldn't get anything like a hat here. we are talking of visiting you all this summer and going in a wagon that Zed, Pearl, the baby and myself. Don't get scared and run off. I am going to let P. stay and take music. She and Ruth both. that is if it rains so we can make anything. The man on your place lost one of his horses but got another to work. His crop is late. Zed has to go over there tomorrow to help fix the windmill. He has fixed it | 4 three times since I wrote you. it pumps sand with the water all the time. Zed said he believed you would have to have it drilled deeper sometime. I had a card from aunt Macy and she said you had been down with rheumatism. I hope you are well by now. It is certainly bad to be sick. My side is so sore from having a mustard plaster on it I can hardly move. Tell Ina to come to see us soon and you come too. ans real soon as ever yourSister Mollie | The letter reads:
22: 1910-1911 | This postcard reads: Burlington, Tex 1-18-1910 Dear Friend, I will come to your card party even though I am a little late, of course I believe the old saying "better late than never." We are having some cool weather at present. How is it up there? Say! do you know a Miss Cordelia Nicholson near Santa Anna? Yours, Mrs. Minnie Logan
23: Ollie Pearce | This postcard reads: Bellevil, Texas 2.5.1911 Dear Friend, as I have just finished reading your letter in the news I thought I wood send you a card. your letter shure was good. I would be glad to hear from you. -John Mayo | 23
24: 1913 Special Postcards | The Easter missive reads: 3/17/1913 Dear friend - I don't want you to think I didn't appreciate your good letter for I did. The letters of love and sympathy from friends were a great comfort to me. I will write you | a long letter as soon as I get to where I can. I am well but oh so lonely & heartbroken. No one knows how much Wiser was to me & how hard it is to be reconciled to my loss. My father is with me. (He) came in a few days ago after Wiser died. But will go home soon. With much love, Your friend, Mrs. R | Facing page, 2nd postcard reads: Hubbard Tex. Dear Ollie I was reading the news & found a letter written by you on how to make home pleasant - a good subject if we all would. I want you to write and tell me about all your family is Miss Mollie at home(?) I haven't eney birthday card here. Your friend Mrs Craig Whiteside | Facing page, 1st postcard reads: July 9, 1913 My dear Miss Ollie - your lovely letter rec'd & read with such pleasure. I gave your respects to Mr. J. He said so many nice things about you. Expect to be home in about two weeks. Go the gaits with you in Corpus? Well, believe me. You know me, dear girl. We will take "a swim" twice a day. if we get to go. Have so much to tell you. Loads of love, from Alicia
26: Photo of Aunt Ollie as a young teacher. This postcard was to her father, Leroy Columbus Pearce. It reads: Corona, Col. 7-8-1911 "I am now 12000 feet above sea level in the region of perpetual snow. I will be home in a few days." | 1911 | 1937 | Postcard to Gram on the way to Cuba
27: Volcano Paracutin Michoacan Mexico | Aunt Ollie was very well traveled. Even after she married Sam Weaver in her 40's, she continued to travel with friends. When Ollie heard of the birth of a new volcano in Mexico, she had to | see it up close and personal. She was the one who first gave Gram a taste for traveling. Ollie took Gram on a train ride to Galveston, Tx. when Gram was a young girl, to view the destruction of the hurricane that occurred in 1900. | Postcard at left reads: Miami, Flordia "I've arrived here today will leave for Havana Sunday afternoon. Everything is very beautiful here." Love, Ollie | 27
29: 1930 | Notes | 29 | 1937
31: Who would have ever guessed that our (we thought stern and staid) great great Aunt Ollie would be the recipient of this letter and the dispenser of "advise to the lovelorn" 100 years ago. She had a varied and rich correspondence with many friends. This letter to Ollie provides a very interesting glimpse into a certain male mindset of times gone by. Did he ever marry? We won't know without further in depth investigation. I'd love to know how she answered this letter. | Ca.1895 | Aunt Ollie | 31
32: 1910 | Churches and church life were constant topics. There also seemed to be a fascination with bridges, specially metal bridges which were perhaps a novelty at this time. | Postcard B reads: 12/13/(19)10 "Dear Ollie-How are you. These days I'm fine. It is looking like rain to-day. I wish it would rain. You come and spend xmas with us. Would be glad if you would. Will ans your letter soon. With Best Wishes." Tinie (Aunt Clementine "Tinie"Pearce Nash) | The lines on postcard B indicate it was used to make a painting from it. Dad liked to paint, so did Ollie. | A | B | Postcard A reads: 11-26-1910 Dear Sister - Was glad to hear you were coming to visit me xmas. I attended Thanksgiving services at this church yesterday. Rev Truette conducted services. It was grand. They gave a reception at the Girls Industrial Home. I also attended that. It was from 3 o'clock until 5. I had a nice time. Did Pa get the last card I sent. As ever
33: the missive reads: "Dear unseen friend- again I am sending you a card wheather it will be appreciated or not, I don't know. we all went a phaetaing (sp?) a while back and I thought I would send you card of the views. " A Friend, Jesse Walton | 1911 | On the front, Aunt Ollie's gentleman friend numbered and named the people with him. he typed: 1. my sister 2. Myrtle Watson 3. my sister 4. my self 5. Zula Braden 6. D. Broughton 7. L. Watson | 33
34: Postcard A "Hello Ollie: are you coming to see us xmas? It seems to me you would want to behold your possesion in this Garden of Eden. I have written for me $5.00 (worth) of books to read this winter. Write sometime" Lou | 1909? | Postcard B "I arrived here safely and like everything fine so far. You aught to see me doing English I. I'm sure working hard on it. I have been to the City only once Mon. P.M. Let me hear from you and I'll write a letter next time" Dove | A | B | 34
35: These postcards, and others from a century ago, are humorous today, though probably not back then: the Grand Stand at Dallas?, the cemetery at Waco?, the Texas state capitol at Austin?, the church at Abilene?, Ballinger High | 1913 | School? This was their life. Small town folks did visit the cemeteries often, did love to see 4th of July rodeos, did visit the state capitols and did like to see new school buildings. The amazing thing about great, great Aunt Ollie is how well traveled she was for that time and place. | A | B | Postcard A Austin, Nov, 14, 1913 My Dear Lady: your letter just received. I was sorry to learn that you had not gotten well from the results of your marlin trip. It may take two or three trips to cure you. It has done me more good than all the Austin Doctors. I wouldn't have written this card but was writing it when the "Postman" brought your letter. I am better now than I have been for two years of course may have an attack any time. Will answer your letter as you did mine after a long delay. Yours, Maggie s. Caldwell Postcard B Aunt Ollie: I am in Ballinger now going to the Normal like it fine.Also my boarding place, am boarding with Mr W.C Jones. You had better come and study with me. I have to study the new books. Rose
36: Uncle John Bob was a Freshman at Texas Tech in Lubbock when he wrote this postcard to his mother. "Mom: I can't find 1 cent postcard. Arrived safely. Am baching at Wimberlys. Haven't noticed address. Need pillow, skillet, dishes, hotplate. Guess I can buy dishes. Please send Radio as soon as possible. No dinner yesterday, no breakfast this morning. Yours, John" He was 17 years old and expressing a young man's eternal lament: no money. Dad always felt that there was a little more money when John Bob went to college & this is obvious in this card. | 1938 | Dad often spoke of the years following the Depression when he had no money for food. His younger brother expressed it best: "no dinner yesterday, no breakfast this morning." But John Bob was still a teenager: "..send radio as soon as possible".
37: The Great Depression | I can only write of the effect that the Great Depression had on our family. Our grandfather, Wm. Burl, lost his grocery, but even worse, he gave up his home, which was paid for, to pay for debts incurred with the business. This left the family homeless. Dad and his brother Wendell were the most affected. Wendell lost all his money that he had in the bank for college. Dad was the 2nd son and never had money for college. He always said that his mother did the best she could. (Gram went back to teaching and lived away from the family during the week. Granddad took care of John Bob.) But there were many days of hunger. Dad finally finished college in Chicago at night. Wendell got a job as a night watchman in Lubbock and finished his degree at Texas Tech. By the time John Bob was ready for college, the family was living in Coleman instead of Santa Anna and was beginning to recover. However, no one really recovered until after World War II. | 37
38: 1939 Dad had had to drop out of Howard Payne when he suffered burns on his left arm from an explosion in the chemistry lab. After he got out of the hospital, he applied for a job in the Food and Drug and was accepted. He was sent to New Orleans. The head of the Chicago Lab came to New Orleans and hired four personnel. Dad was the only one without a degree, so when he went to Chicago, he began taking classes at Loyola University. He graduated in 1941 in Chemistry. In these postcards to his mother, he describes where he works.
39: 39 | After Dad graduated from Loyola University, he requested and was granted transfer back to New Orleans. Within months WWII broke out and Dad enlisted in the Navy as he wanted to be an aviator. He received his training at Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas. Two days after graduation, he & mom were married. These postcards were kept as part of his memories.
40: To a Man | I had no idea that Gram called Granddad "Man" and he called her "Gal". My cousins remembered this, but I did not. I remember her calling him "Mr. Burl" which I found different enough. These postcards are from 1941 (dad's graduation in Chicago,) through visits to New Orleans to see me, her first grandchild, and again in 1946, to Oklahoma City visits in 1947 and a trip back West to Colorado. | From His Gal
42: Mom and the Spy who loved her | Mom saved all her letters from Oswald, even telegrams that he sent to her. However, I am not willing to open that private window to her past & so have chosen only the wonderful postcards for "auld lang syne".
43: 8/4/1939 Mom still living in Mexico | 43
44: Mom met Oswald in Mexico while she was staying with the family of her friend, Merceditas Valenzuelo. The Valenzuelo's were part of the Mexican Consulate. It is obvious now that Oswald, who was a member of the German Consulate in Mexico, met Mom through them. He spoke German, Spanish & English. They also continued to see each other in New Orleans. | Mom & Oswald c 1938 Mexico
45: Dad always teased Mom that she used to date a German spy. We never took it seriously. However, the scope of Oswald's travels throughout the Western Hemisphere as evidenced in these postcards sent to Mom from 1939-1940 leads to speculation. | 45
46: Oswald Hampel
47: The only mention of the War is in the final postcard from Rio. Mom never saw Oswald again after the War began. | 47
48: War Bride | Brulatour Courtyard 520 Royal Street New Orleans | Mom liked to paint in oils, and in particular she liked to paint scenes of Old New Orleans. The painting above was done in 1940 at the Little Theater; | however, the postcard indicates that she must have done another pointing later after she and Dad were married for her new mother-in-law.
49: 49 | Mom and Dad knew each other eight months before they were married on November 15, 1942. No two people could have been more different: Dad was from a a middle class family in a small Texas town and Mom was from Nicaragua, where her mother's family had arrived from Spain in the early 1500's. Her cousin predicted the marriage would last two weeks. It lasted until her death, 56 years later. | Night out: the French Quarter
50: These postcards from Washington DC date from 1943, when John sent the 2 postcards as he was passing through during the war to Gram, to 1950 from Aunt Ruth to Aunt Dora, and finally to 1959 from me to Otramamita | Washington, DC
51: Neither Dad nor Uncle John Bob would have ever imagined, when they sent their postcards to their mother in 1943 (John Bob from Washington DC) and in 1944 (Dad from Puerto Rico) that they would eventually work and raise families in those places. | Dad sent this postcard from Puerto Rico on his way to his tour of duty in Brazil | 1959 | 51
52: Comments and Memories | At left is the one postcard that I found addressed to only Granddad that wasn't from Gram - and it was from me! I did not know Granddad well, but in 1959 I spent over a month with Gram & Granddad in Santa Anna, Texas. He was always chasing away the boys! Gram said it scared him to death to have the charge of a teenage granddaughter. I never saw displayed the charm & humor he was known for in his youth. | Granddad | Mexico 1931
53: 53 | The 2 postcards on the top of these 2 pages are addressed to Mom and to Otramamita (from uncle Omer) in San Francisco. It would be interesting to see the locations today, 80 years later.