Copyright 2010

Copyright 2010

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Going to the Fair?

Romance circa 1910 was greatly enhanced by the development of postcards.  They gave the laconic, shy and lovestruck an opportunity to communicate openly. Sometimes dubbed 'courting cards' they could be used in daring approaches and then a 'well it was all I could find' if it was clear it had been a little over the top. 

The rosey "best Wishes" card  (SB Series 2021, "Printed in Germany") was sent ca, 1910 from my grandfather to my grandmother.  She was finalizing a divorce and was staying with her brother when they crossed paths.  Ending a rocky marriage and the loss of the child of that union her normally quiet, shy and retiring ways were no doubt greatly increased. After all, divorce was still seen as very bad in those days regardless of how often a woman was beaten or abused.  So, stayed with her parents and then her brother, helping run his house and provide assistance around his farm as needed.  A man who often worked with her brother farming and harvesting was George Daniel Cochren. Apparently, she caught his eye.

On the reverse of Card #2 (Roses) "I don't know if I have your address correct or not, what days are you going to the fair. Am going the 26th for one and may be the 21st, don't know yet. (it depends on the weather). As ever, your friend, George."  Obviously early in the courtship.

It would be interesting to see what dates the state fair of Kansas fell on in Hutchinson to identify more precisely when these cards were sent.

The card labeled in this collection as card # 1 (I remain affectionately yours) was obviously a little later in the relationship.  To : "Annie B, King, Nickerson, Kansas, Rt. 3, Box 45" Text: " Dear Annie Am going to write to you a line this am, got your card last night. They were fine, so, you are lonesome are you. Wish I had my work all done."   Obviously separated by work (it may have been harvest or planting time requiring long hours of work for farmers) she had sent some card to him (none has been found) expressing the eternal plight of lovers through time.

The card is slighty 'racy' with its depiction of an office romance with the 'typewriter girl' or perhaps a forward lover who has dared to enter the sanctum of business on affairs of the heart.  The lovers of these cards married in July of 1912 in Wichita and remained happily married until 1932 when George died of cancer in Plevna. 

And all this time, I thought the romantic cards shared when my husband and I were courting had been unique!!

Annie B. Brown King Cochren Willard

From a larger photo where she is holding her first daughter, Elva Ethal Cochren, ca. 1915.

Young George with Oak Leaf Pin

Is this a membership pin? A fashion accessary of the period? Anyone know what it is?  George Daniel Cochren ca. 1890.

B.F. Brown Handwritten Obituary 1942

1914 Agreement

"Nov. 19, 1914 we agree to farm this farm for one year, in a reasonably good manner and deliver as rent for same, 1/3 of all grain, feed hay and straw, grown on the place by us. G.D. Cochren , Frank E. Brown 

I agree to rent this place for one year, to above parties, under these terms. Julia D. Robertson. The year to be from March 1st 1915 to March 1 1915"

G.D. Cochren - George Daniel Cochren, son of Newton Jasper Cochren
Frank E. Brown - Franklin Everett Brown, George's brother-in-law, son of Burgess Franklin Brown
Julia D. Robertson - being researched