Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Mrs. H.M. Stauffer's visiting card tucked inside an old book

It's been almost 11 months (!!) since the last Tucked Away Inside post; I just haven't had much luck finding cool things inside books lately.

But I came across one while putting together the "All my books" post — an added bonus of making that list.

It's a tiny visiting card/calling card — just a shade under three inches in width — for Mrs. H.M. Stauffer of Leola, Pennsylvania.

I found the card inside John L. Stoddard's Lectures, Volume 7 (of 10), which was published in 1913 by Geo. L. Shuman & Co. The 336-page book contains lectures on the Rhine, Belgium, Holland and Mexico. Stoddard (1850-1931) was a Massachusetts native whose travelogues were quite popular back in the day. (Traveling around the world and documenting your trips with pen and camera is great work, if you can get it!)

Getting back Mrs. H.M. Stauffer, there's an excellent chance that it's the same person who was the wife of Leola's H.M. Stauffer, who was in the lumber, coal and feed business and founded H.M. Stauffer & Sons in 1890. Beyond that, I can't find any definitive genealogical information on the Stauffers. But I'm sure there are Lancaster historians out there who could help, given H.M. Stauffer's rank in society.

Of course, we'll never know if this was actually Mrs. H.M. Stauffer's book. Anyone could have put her visiting card inside it. The name Martha H. Davis is written in cursive in black ink on the front endpapers. So there's another lead for a future historian.

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