Saturday, June 13, 2020

Saturday's postcard: Ghost toddler


This incredible real photo postcard is invaluable evidence that ghosts exist!

Or, wait, this incredible real photo postcard is proof that there was once a toddler with the ability to shimmer and phase between dimensions of reality!

Or, I reckon it's possible that the child just couldn't sit still while the photo was being taken, causing the blurriness. But Occam's razor can be so boring sometimes, y'all.

This RPPC was mailed in August 1915 to Mr. E.A. Zeidler of Klemme, Iowa. Klemme was a burgeoning city at the time. It grew from a population of 306 in 1910 to 468 in 1920. At that was despite the deadly influenza outbreak of 1918, during which the Iowa Board of Health essentially quarantined the entire state, forcing all public gathering places to close. (Residents of Des Moines were required to wear face masks.)

Anyway, back to Klemme. Or not. There's actually not much more to say about Klemme, except perhaps for this tidbit from Wikipedia: "Luverne Schmidt and his wife bought the school building in 2000, replaced the roof and for a period operated a restaurant there." So there.

Here's my best transcription of the cursive note on the back of the postcard:
Aug 13 — '15
Dear Eckard and Minnie,
I am sending a picture of Oscar, Lena and Helen [Halen?] — Lena doesn't know it so don't tell her ha! We are almost ready to go 20 mi to a camp meeting to camp until next Tue. We expect to enjoy it, but it looks very rainy now. We heard a good play given by the German M.E. ladies aid last night. (It is raining now.) We are well and everyone is busy.
Ada
So we know some more! E.A. Zeidler is Eckard Zeidler, and Minnie is his wife.

With some more digging, this is what I was able to determine about the Zeidlers:

  • Eckard Aloph Zeidler was born on March 26, 1883, in Minnesota and died on February 20, 1958, in Klemme, Iowa, at age 74.
  • Minnie Louise Velau Zeidler was born on June 2, 1887, in Hancock County, Iowa, and died on June 8, 1981, in Hancock County, Iowa, at age 94. She outlived her husband by more than 23 years, living to see man set foot on the moon, Joe Biden's first election to the U.S. Senate in 1972, and the release of the Village People biopic Can't Stop the Music.
  • Eckard Zeidler (age 26), of Jefferson, Oklahoma, and Minnie Velau (age 22) of Iowa were issued a marriage license in Oklahoma in March 1910. (One Oklahoma newspaper listed Minnie's Iowa town as Helena, while another listed it as "Hlemme." I think it's safe to say they both botched it and meant Klemme.)
  • There is a very nice photo of Eckard and Minnie — very likely their wedding photo — on Eckard's Find a Grave page.
  • Eckard visited the Oklahoma home of his parents (Mr. and Mrs. Carl Zeidler) in February 1917 and March 1918, according to The El Reno (Oklahoma) American. His parents lived in a region that The El Reno American called "Lovely Valley."
  • Minnie's obituary indicates that she died at "Garner nursing home," that the Rev. Don E. Griffen officiated at her funeral, and that she was survived by several nieces and nephews.

* * *

Finally, a closeup of Oscar, Lena and wispy Helen/Halen...

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