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Wish you were here!
(Postcards from Arthur:
Vine Street )


(Click on the front or back of a card to see a full-size image.)

Title Front Back Transcription/Comments
Railroad Depot Postmark:
Arthur Oct 22 1907 9AM

Addressed to:
Mrs. S. M. Hodell
Dwight Illinois

Why don't you answer my letter? We are awfully busy all the time but will be so glad to hear from you.


Margaret C. Hodell (wife of Stewart M. Hodell), was born about 1870 in Illinois.

The sender has not been positively identified, but may have been Ora McGuire, b. 1881, daughter of Isaac and Delilah E. Mcguire, of Arthur (on the Moultrie side, in Lowe Township)
Vine Street, looking north Postmark:
Arthur ILL.
Aug. 27, 1908 5 PM

Addressed to:
Mr. Harve Thomas
North Dakota

Message (on front):
Don't this picture make you wish you were back here in Arthur with all of us?

Message (on back):
Aug. 27, 1908
Dear Friend: I had begun to think you did not intend to write any more. Dan was in here talking to me this morning and asked me if I had heard from you. I got your card in about a second after he left.
We thought you had froze to death. Why don't you write me a letter? Answer soon.
Gertrude Wilson

These card images were sent by Bob Brown (RSBROWNCO [atsign] aol.com), who has also provided the following information:

I have not yet identified Gertrude Wilson. Harve Thomas (1888-1969) was 19 years old when this card was sent. He was one of four Indiana Thomas siblings (Rolla, Ross, Harve, and Jessie) who would eventually settle in the Arthur-Moultrie-Douglas County area. Like many Indiana farm boys, the Thomas brothers were attracted to Illinois by the prosperous farms and the seasonal harvest ring that moved northward through Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. The card was addressed to Harve in Wolford, North Dakota, where the ring was evidently working. A fifth Thomas sibling, Oral Thomas, the youngest brother, would later join in the seasonal work and marry and settle in Wolford. Harve was a farmer though all his working life. He married Margaret Ann Huber in Illinois in 1911. After Ann died in 1929, Harve married his second wife, Ruby Daugherty, in 1934. All three are buried in Arthur Cemetery.
O.B. Warren Company Postmark:
Arthur Nov 12 1908 9 AM

Addressed to:
Henry Jenne
Sullivan Ill.

Arthur, Ill.,November 11, 1908

Dear Sir:
Thirty thousand pounds of White Goose Flour @ $1.40 per sack, $5.50 per barrel. This is Kansas hard wheat flour and makes the best of bread. New car, all clean sacks, just received.


O. B. Warren & Co.

This is a view of the west (Moultrie) side of Vine street; though I can't make out a storefront sign, the wagons are presumably parked in front of Mr. Warren's establishment. It is interesting to note that the food cleanliness that we take for granted was once a selling point. Moreover, bread was clearly not the ubiquitous commercial project of today: here customers are invited to buy what will be the supply for a significant part of the coming year, as a barrel of flour is 196 pounds, and a sack was probably a quarter of that, 49 pounds.

Though his store was in Moultrie, Otis B. Warren lived in the village of Arthur on the Douglas County side. He and his wife Sally B. were both born in 1862 in Illinois. They were the parents of daughters Francis (b. 1885) and Emily (b. 1886).

Henry Jenne was a farmer, born in Ohio in 1848. After moving to Moultrie County, he married Catherine R. Myers, and they were the parents of Mary H. (b. 1881), Eva E. (b. 1884), Clara Maude (b. 1886), Orpa (or Orpha) A. (b. 1889), Charles (b. 1891), Ida Estella (b. 1893), Alta G. (b. 1896), Grace N. (b. 1898).
Pioneer Barber Shop Postmark:
Arthur Apr 30 1909 9 AM

Second postmark:
Ramona OK

Addressed to:
Mrs. Robert Pennock
Washington Co.

My dear B

I have been thinking to write you ever since your Mama went to Iowa and now I suppose it is almost time for her to be nearly ready to start back to Okla.

Arthur April 30

Lovingly, Ma

John C. Williamson, who lived in Douglas County, was the proprietor of the barber shop. Born about 1855, he would have been about fifty-four years old at this time. Consequently, he is probably the gentleman standing on the right.

The addressee was Berenice L., wife of Robert L. Pennock (b. MO, 1888). She was born in IL, about 1890, and was probably the daughter of John and Florence Johnson. Robert and Berenice appear in the 1910 census, in Ramona, Madison Township, Washington Co. OK, but by 1920 Robert is living without a wife, with William and Laura J. Pennock in the same town. I have not yet determined whether Berenice died or they were divorced.

The reference to 'your Mama' and the signature, 'Ma' suggest that the sender may have been her mother-in-law. Berenice's father was born in Iowa, and her mother would have had family by marriage there.

No Moultrie connection on the part of either the sender's or receiver's family has not yet been determined, though someone had a reason to visit Arthur.
Vine Street, looking south Postmark:
Arthur Aug 18 1909 12 PM

Addressed to:
Miss Elsie C. Eberhardt
Boody Ill.
% Miss Emma Zittrell

Dear little Elsie:
Papa will go to town so will send you pastels (or pistols the work is not clear, but 'pastels sounds more likely for a young girl). Have you wrote to Clor (?) and Jessie yet? Papa bailed (sic) his straw Saturday had 7 men to dinner missed you and little Emma to help out.
Mr. Thomson, Mary Karney's grandpa was buried Sat Grandpa went to the funeral we couldn't go
Mrs. Reedy and family moved back Friday night there (sic) goods came today They took dinner at Moreland's today. We made cream today. A sweet kiss to all
your loving Mama

(upside down)
We had early supper yesterday evening then went our riding
Kiss grandma for me and write soon

Elsie C. Eberhardt was the daughter of Christian Frederick and Paulina Zittrell Eberhardt, of Lowe Township, Moultrie Co. Born about 1900, she was about nine years old when this card was sent.

Her mother and Emma Zittrell, in care of whom this card was addressed, were sisters, daughters of Matteus and Christina (or Christiana) Zittrell. The elder Zittrells were both born about 1828 in Germany. Though Matteus had died by then, Christina was listed in the 1900 and 1910 Macon County censuses as living with daughter Emma, among other children Thus, the comment 'Kiss grandma for me' refers to her.

Mary E. Karney (or Kearney), born about 1898, was the daughter of Henry and Catherine S. Thompson Karney. Catherine's father, Claus J. Thompson (as usually spelled), of Lowe Township, Moultrie, died Wednesday, Aug 8 1909 at the age of 79.

Claus and Christina Thompson were born and married in Schleswig-Holstein, North Prussia, and immigrated after their children -- Christina, George, Mary, Catherine, Elizabeth, Minnie, and John -- were born. All were living in Lowe Township in 1880.

The comment 'Grandpa went to the funeral' probably refers to Christian Eberhardt, Sr.

(See the card of the Arthur Cemetery, under the Miscellaneous category, for a photo taken by Elsie's father, Christian F.)
Vine Street, looking north Postmark:
Arthur Sep 2 1910 (time unreadable)

Addressed to:
Christian I(J?) Helmuth

Sept. 2 1910
Arthur Ill
Dear Friend
I will send you this card to let you know that I am still well and hope you are the same
had a little shower of rain this morning
Well I wonder if you are coming over this fall to husk corn or not I wish you would come and shuck at the same place that I do I will husk for Jacob D Beachy he has out about 85 acres to husk that will be some picking ha ha
If you come let me know and will get you a job there if I can and I think that I can
Bye Bye

Dan Helmuth

Daniel was the son of Jacob and Lydia Helmuth, of Bourbon Township, Douglas Co. IL, while Christian was the son of Isaac and Lydia Helmuth. of Sharon Township, Johnson Co. IA. Jacob and Isaac, the fathers, were most likely the sons of Christian and Catherine Helmuth, of Johnson Co. IA.

Jacob D. Beachy, of Jonathan Creek Township, Moultrie Co., was the husband of Lydia; they were the parents of Ada, Katie A., and Emery.
Vine Street, looking north Postmark:
Arthur Oct 16 1909 5 PM

Addressed to:
Miss C. Himsel
Dane Co.


Dear Miss Himsel:

We arrived at 4 'o clock this morning. We were rather tired, but are having a great time. Give my kind regards to your people if you are out there Sunday. With love to yourself,


The addresse was Clara Himsel (b. WI, 1885), daughter of Henry and Laura E. White Himsel.
Vine Street, looking north after a blizzard Postmark:
None, but manually dated


After the storm of Feb 23, 1914, it snowed & blowed all day. This is front of J. B. Beckmans hardware store. Some places in the country roads the drifts are 8 & 10 feet deep the farmers have got to shovel a track through. Excuse spot on card, am giving this to Sal to send.

C. A. Hochstetler

These card images were sent by Bob Brown (RSBROWNCO [atsign] aol.com), who has also provided the following information:

C. A. Hochstetler is Charles Alfred Hochstetler, born 20 Jul 1888 in or near Arthur, died 2 May 1969 in San Bernardino County., California. Charles served as a helmsman on one of the ships in Teddy Roosevelt's Great White Fleet, 1907. He gave this card to Sal to give George S. Huber (1885-1959), a close friend in Arthur. Sal was probably Sal Reeder, a mutual friend of Charles and George.

I met Charles Hochstetler after he and his wife retired to California and visited my grandfather George. I recall him as a big man and that he was talkative and had a loud and booming voice. He told me that he had served as a helmsman on one of the ships in Roosevelt's Great White Fleet, and I recently confirmed the story. Charles also served as a policeman in Illinois, though I am unsure about the specific police force. I do know that he was a motorcycle cop for at least part of that time.
Vine Street, looking north Postmark:
Arthur May 30 1945 10 AM

Addressed to:
Miss Helen Hancin1729 N. Bloomington St.
Streator, Illnois

Hello, Helen:

This card shows the whole business district looking north. How's everything with you? Everything is sure swell with us. You ought to come down and pay us a visit some time. Say hello to everybody for us.

Emily & Mickey

Neither senders nor the receivers of this and the following card have been identified.
Vine Street, looking south Postmark:
Arthur May 30 1945 10 AM

Addressed to:
Miss Elizabeth Hancin1729 N. Bloomington St.
Streator, Illnois

Hi Betty:
Business section looking south. Do you see an Amish buggy there? How's everything in Streator? Nice weather down here. See you again soon.

Emily & Mickey
Vine Street, looking south Undated and unused, but appears to be of the same era -- perhaps by the same photographer on the same day -- as the other two addressed to the Hancin sisters in May 1945