Easter Post Cards from the Past
The sending of Easter post cards became popular in the early 1900s, the main publishers being from Germany. Among some of the family pieces I possess are six Easter post cards from 1908 and 1909 that were sent to my grandmother, Hannah “Sechler” Hagenbuch. Grandma was born in 1889 and in 1909 she attended the Normal School in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania to become a teacher. She married my grandfather, Clarence Charles Hagenbuch, in 1914. The following are the six Easter postcards and the information about each one.
The first postcard with a purple outlined cross is not postmarked or stamped. Most likely it was handed to “Miss Hannah Sechler”, as it is addressed. It reads: Dear friend your cards were very pretty. From your friend Isabel.
The next card with a lovely illustration of Jesus as shepherd is addressed to “Miss Hannah Sechler, State Normal, Bloomsburg, Penna.” It is stamped with a one cent Ben Franklin stamp and postmarked from Pottsgrove, PA in 1909. It reads: I will be as good as my word. I will send you cards instead of writting (sic) letters to you. Helen is dead. Died this afternoon at three o’clock. I was there just a short time before she died. I thought she would live because she looked better than what she did this morning. lovlingly Mabel.
Postcard number 3 is in relief, has 5 pinkish chicks with a letter on each of them which spells out EASTER. It is stamped with one cent and postmarked twice: Watsontown (PA) APR 18 1908, and Milton, PA APR 18 2PM 1908. It is addressed to “Miss Hannah Sechler, R.D.#1 Milton Penna. There is no message but it is signed “Ida Moser”.
The fourth card with a vibrant red cross and daffodils has no postage or postmark. It is addressed to “Miss Hannah Sechler, R.F.D. No. 1, Milton, Pa. I reads: Hello Hannah, how are you [?] we are all well [.] was Carrie Pleased with the rabbits [?] I would have sent the card sooner but did get to town good by From Florence Geringer.
The next card with two chicks sitting in a basket under an Easter egg balloon is stamped with no postmark. The address is “Miss Hannah Sechler, R.D.#1 Milton Pa”. Written on it is “Best wishes for a happy Easter From Pearl S.” This is most likely Pearl Steinman who married in June 1914 to Franklin Walter Hagenbuch, brother to Hannah’s future husband Clarence Charles Hagenbuch. Hannah and Clarence married in November, 1914.
The last postcard has a comical picture of four chicks running across pussy willows and chased by a cat. It is stamped and postmarked with Allenwood, PA, no date. It has no message nor signature but is addressed to Miss Hannah Sechler R.F.D.#1 Milton, Pa. The handwriting is quite beautiful but there is no indication who sent it to my grandmother.
I have learned some information from the post cards just from simple research. Pearl Steinman was a friend of my grandmother Hannah Sechler before they married brothers in 1914. In 1909 my grandmother was attending what later became Bloomsburg State Teacher’s College. Along with future sister-in-law Pearl, Hannah was friends with Florence Geringer, Ida Moser, and two ladies we only know first names of: Mabel and Isabel. We also know she had friends with the names of Carrie and Helen (who died soon before Easter of 1909).
All six postcards are in excellent condition. They are a window to our past, especially to my family’s past. They are an example of simpler times when writing to neighbors was important and Easter greetings were taken seriously.