Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday's Faces from the Past - Gertrude

"Gertrude" sent these postcards, each with this photo, to both my Great Grandmother Sadie (Mrs. Art McGrath) and her sister Alice Negley.  They must have been enclosed together in another envelope, these aren't stamped or fully addressed to have been mailed. Her longer message to Alice says she was working at a hotel, but no mention of the location. There's no date here, but Sadie married Art McGrath in 1908, Alice never married.  

These postcards were in the Old Trunk in the Attic, among other things that at one time belonged to either Sadie or Alice, or both.  I'm sure Gertrude is not a relative, but a good friend of both Sadie and Alice.  I was looking through some transcribed obituaries I have that came from a scrapbook put together by someone in the Negley or McGrath family, and I found an obituary for Ezra Ayer who had a daughter named Gertrude.  So I looked at the 1900 census for Gertrude Ayer and found her in Eldorado.  She was the same age as Sadie Negley.  They went to school together in Eldorado.  

Clara Gertrude Ayer married Carlton Henry Wood about 1902.  They had two daughters, Emma Gertrude and Vivian Effie.  For two decades, they all lived in Iowa and Nebraska together until 1930 when Carl and Vivian disappear.  Gertrude and Emma are living with Gertrude's parents in Aurora, Nebraska.  In 1940, its just Gertrude and her father in Aurora.  From his obituary I learned that one of Gertrude's daughters was Mrs. Arthur Childers of California which lead me to find that Gertrude died in California in 1959.  She is buried near her parents in the Harvard, Nebraska cemetery.

"How are you all by this time?  I am fine and dandy.  Am still working at the Hotel.  We have a new cook here now.  He is about as slow as ever was.  The waiter says he makes him so nervous he don't know what to do because he is so slow about giving him his orders.  He isn't near as good a cook as the other one.  The first cook went to take a vacation.  He says he will come back in two months if they want him.  Best Wishes for Easter and write me a letter.  Read Estella's"  

"Read Estella's"  is that present tense read or past tense read?  And who is Estella?  Stella Rath was another Eldorado student in the late 1890's, maybe that's who Gertrude was referring to.

I can't be absolutely sure that the postcard photo is Clara Gertrude Ayer Wood, but it's very possible it is her.  If you know Gertrude, please leave a comment below or send me an email. 

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