Thursday, January 26, 2017

What About That Wartburg Seminary Building in 1889?

Wartburg Seminary Building
F. Louis Egelhof Postcard
Wartburg Seminary Building
Dubuque, Iowa
Hand-painted Postcard

Photo by F.L. Egelhof, 1907
Publisher: B.B. Co., Printed in Germany

Blog post by Mary Katherine May

First Impression
My first impression of this antique postcard was the beauty of the hand painting that added color to the photograph by F. Louis Egelhof.

F. Louis Egelhof
Frederick Louis Egelhof bore the same name as his father and followed him into the mortuary business in Dubuque, Iowa. Born and baptized in 1885, Lutheran baptismal records show his name as Friedrich Ludwig Egelhof.

Egelhof was also a photographer who created post cards depicting scenes of Dubuque. These may or may not have been done for promoting his business, we don't know. Even without the copyright date the fact that this postcard was printed in Germany tells us that it dates to before the outbreak of World War I. Egelhof died in 1953.

Who Was J.T.O.?
Notation to back: This was Wartburg Sem. where I got my theological training 1910-1913. J.T.O.

Very Brief History of Wartburg Theological Seminary
Wartburg Seminary had its beginnings in Saginaw Michigan in 1852 when Lutheran missionaries from Bavaria opened a teacher training school. The school went through moves to several locations for financial reasons and growing enrollment, including to Dubuque, Iowa in 1853 where they remained for four years. In 1889 Wartburg Seminary returned to Dubuque and settled on thirty acres, the old Emerson estate, gifted to them by the city by the Board of Trade. With an expanding student body, new buildings were added and dedicated in 1916.

Dubuque Second Time Around
The Wartburg Seminary Building, an enlargement of the Emerson homestead, was dedicated on September 17, 1899.

Surprisingly Little Information
The question at hand for us is the origin of the building as shown on the postcard by F. Louis Egelhof, and for this I offer several accounts from documents of the period. As a general rule, educational institutions offer on the internet a great deal more historical information than is available for Wartburg Seminary, and I am surprised that I could find so little, even on their website. As a matter of fact, I found no resource telling me whether or not this building still exists.

Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa 

What We Know or Think We Know
1. 30 acres were donated to the German Lutheran Church in America by the city of Dubuque Board of Trade.
2. The 30 acres at one time were owned by people with surname Emerson.
3. The Emerson property was a homestead.
4. Wartburg Seminary Building was an enlargement of the Emerson homestead.
5. 20,000 or 25,000 dollars, or some amount was spent on buildings.

Source One
The Lutheran Cyclopedia edited by Henry Eyster Jacobs, D.D., LL.D. and Rev. John A.W. Haas, B.D. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1899. (selection from entry)
Wartburg Seminary: But when, after the lapse of 16 years, the increasing attendance imperatively demanded more spacious quarters and the city of Dubuque, Ia., made a very liberal offer, the seminary was removed to its starting-point, and the four buildings occupied at present put up at an expense of $20,000.
Source Two
Wartburg Seminary Dedication Day
Wartburg Theological Seminary Dedication Day
San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, September 16, 1889.
German Lutherans. Dedication of Their New Theological Seminary.

Dubuque (Ia.), September 15. The dedication of the new Wartburg Theological Seminary of the German Lutheran Church took place in this city today. Ten excursion trains brought thousands of people from Iowa and Illinois. Several thousand people from Dubuque were also in attendance. The seminary grounds, comprising a beautiful estate of thirty acres west of the city, are a gift to the synod by the citizens of Dubuque.

     The dedication ceremonies occupied the entire day. The main seminary building was erected at a cost of $25,000, and has accommodations for 125 students. The Wartburg Seminary is the main theological school of the German Lutheran Church in America. All candidates for the ministry of the church from the synods of nine States must get in it their theological education.

Source Three
Pittsburgh Daily Post. Monday, September 16, 1889. (selection for news article)
Wartburg Theological Seminary.
Dubuque, Ia. September 15. The dedication of the new Wartburg Theological Seminary of the German Lutheran Church took place in this city today. The dedication ceremonies occupied the entire day. There was preaching in both English and German, and singing by a choir of 500 voices.
Source Four
A Narrative History of The People of Iowa by Edgar Rubey Harland, LL. B., A.M. The American Historical Society, Inc., Chicago and New York, 1931.
     A few years after its founding Wartburg, for financial reasons, was moved to Clayton County, in the community known as St. Sebald, founded by friends of the school. Here the institution grew substantially, and with funds collected in the Baltic provinces of Russia in the early '60s by the late Dr. Sigmund Fritschel, then president of the seminary, the financial condition of the Wartburg was materially strengthened. 

      By 1874 the early storms had all be weathered, and Wartburg was permanently established as an integral factor in the expansion of the Lutheran Church in the Midwest.
     The enrollment by that year had outgrown the limited capacity of the plant at St. Sebald. A large building at Mendota, Illinois, was taken over and Wartburg again became an urban institution. Soon the enrollment, made up of both American students and students from Europe, had again doubled.
     About this time the Dubuque Board of Trade offered the old Emerson Estate on the southwestern outskirts of the city to Wartburg, provided the property be improved and devoted to educational purposes. On September 17, 1889, the old Wartburg Seminary Building, being an enlargement of the old Emerson homestead, was dedicated.

     Soon after the removal of Wartburg back to Dubuque the immigration of students from Germany and other foreign lands began falling off. Today the enrollment consists practically entirely of American born students, graduates of American colleges and preparatory schools. Only graduate students are now enrolled in the Seminary.

Information for this blog post came from,, and Google searches.

About the Blog Author
Mary Katherine May and her husband Rick operate Quality Music and Books, an internet webstore, and the shop GrandmaHen on Etsy.

Friday, January 13, 2017

1878 Antique Postal Card UX5 One Cent Liberty International Order of Good Templar Mauston

1878 Postal Card
I.O. of G.T. International Order of Good Templar 
Mauston Wisconsin 1878
Preprinted Postal Card: UX5 One-Cent Liberty
Cancellation: Mauston (Juneau County), Wisconsin, June 6 or July 6.
Size: 3 x 5-1/8 inches

Addressed to: Robert Glenn, Jr., S.D., Wyalusing, Grant County, Wisconsin.

A receipt for payment message sent by the I.O. of G.T., Grand Lodge of Wisconsin by B.F. Parker, Grand Worthy Secretary.

I.O. of G.T. Grand Lodge of Wisconsin
Office of Grand Worthy Secretary, Mauston, Wis.
Robt. Glenn Jr. L.D. No. 199

Your Report for Quarter ending April 30, 1878, and G.L. Tax amounting to $4.32 is received.
B.F. Parker, G.S.

Receipt for Payment from the International Order of Good Templars, a temperance organization
Used Postal Card with Town Cancel on Preprinted UX5 Liberty one-cent Postal Card, black on buff, issued in 1875. Variations apply to this UX5 Postal Card: No watermark, and on front: Write the Address on This Side. It was mailed to Robert Glenn, Jr., S.D., in Wyalusing, Grant County, Wisconsin.

The postal card uses a Town Cancel with no year. The 1-cent Liberty printed postage shows no killer mark.


Addressee: Robert Glenn, Jr., (1858-1915), husband of Hattie (Harriet E. Brodt) and father of many children, was a farmer. He was elected to the Wisconsin Senate in 1912 representing the sixteenth district. Additionally, Glenn was Sheriff (1905-1906) of Grant County, Wisconsin and a member of the Grant County Board. He was a Republican.

Organization: I.O. of G.T. is a worldwide International Order of Good Templars, now known as the International Organisation of Good Templars, whose purpose is the promotion of alcolhol-free, drug-free, good living. The first Wisconsin lodge in Sheboygan Falls was organized in 1854. A Grand Lodge for Wisconsin was instituted on May 13, 1856, with F. A. Atherley as G. W.C. T. and Seth C. Buckman as G. W. S. By 1860 the Wisconsin membership totaled 12,000 in 152 Lodges.

Grand Worthy Secretary: Benjamin F. Parker (1839-1912) came to Wisconsin from Pennsylvania in 1853 where he apprenticed Waukesha, training for the profession of carpenter.  When the American Civil War broke out he enlisted and served in Company K of the Second Wisconsin Volunteers and Company A of the First Wisconsin Volunteers, Heavy Artillery Division. When mustered out in November, 1865, Parker had attained the rank of Senior First Lieutenant. He then settled in Mauston where he was in the furniture business, married and raised a daughter, and was active in the I.O. of G.T. and Ancient Order of United Workmen.

Blog post by Mary Katherine May.
Rick and Mary May operate the shop GrandmaHen and the webstore Quality Music and Books.

Funny Vintage Postcard U R A Peach Artist Signed Chris Krogstad Menomonie Wisconsin 1906

Artist: Chris N. Krogstad
Funny Vintage Postcard 1906
Artist Signed: Christopher Nilsen Krogstad (1882-1928) of Menomonie, Wisconsin.

U.R.A. Peach!

Original Vintage Post Card
Stamp Box: 1893-1907
UDB: Undivided Back
Size: 3-3/8 x 5-1/2 inches
Laughter Is Always Great!
Chris N. Krogstad published humorous postcards using his original drawing that were hand colored.

Antique Postcard by Artist Christopher Nilsen Krogstad, Menomonie, Wisconsin
An idiom is a phrase or a fixed expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. The word peach is an idiom for someone or something wonderful. This postcard uses the idiomatic message: U.R.A. and a drawing of a peach that actually communicates “You Are a Peach” to the reader. One of the funniest Krogstad postcards I have seen shows members of the Burst family all of whom have the middle name Will. (sources:,

Krogstad postcards are to be considered scarce to rare and an excellent addition to a collection.

Blog Post by Mary Katherine May.
Rick and Mary May operate the shop GrandmaHen on Etsy and the webstore Quality Music and Books.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Real Photo Postcard 1936 Indian Home Ojibwe Wigwam Mille Lacs Minnesota

Blog post by Mary Katherine May

Here is a real photo postcard I found with the caption Indian Home Mille Lacs Lake, Minn.  It's a little dark because of the shadows from trees when taken and probably some from age. 

The photo is of a dome-shaped Ojibwe wigwam with cattail mat sides and roof of overlapping animal hides. Scene includes two children and seated woman. A cook stove is situated to the right.

Ojibwe Wigwam, Mille Lacs Lake, Minnesota
Real Photo Postcard dated July 4, 1936.

EKKP Stamp Box and Written Date
   Very helpful for the collector and historian is the date penciled on the back: July 4, 1936.  This is verified by the EKKP stamp box that was in use 1904 to 1950.

     Mille Lacs Lake has been a popular northern Minnesota vacation spot where people enjoy outdoor sports as well as activities at Grand Casino Mille Lacs owned by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. For those who don't go for the gaming there are concerts and a fabulous buffet.

     The Ojibwe have lived in the area around Mille Lacs Lake since at least the mid-1700s. Because of settlers wanting the land and the introduction of infectious diseases by the end of the nineteenth-century only a few hundred Ojibwe remained in the area. 

     During the 1930s Mille Lacs Band children were sent to boarding schools with the government’s intent being assimilation into mainstream American society. To that end the children were not allowed to speak their Ojibwe language. 

     In 1934 with passing of the Indian Reorganization Act that recognized the Indians’ right to self-government, six Ojibwe bands, including the Mille Lacs Band, joined together to form the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe. In the early 1990s, the Band opened Grand Casino Mille Lacs and Grand Casino Hinckley. Since then, casino revenues have allowed the Mille Lacs Band to strengthen its cultural identity, return to economic self-sufficiency, rebuild its reservation, and increase the prosperity of the entire region. (Sources:;

Rick and Mary May operate the webstore and on Etsy, GrandmaHen's Treasure Shop.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Twin Mountain House New Hampshire Vintage Postcards and American History

Twin Mountain House, New Hampshire
Vintage Postcard ca. 1943-1960
The Twin Mountain House
Twin Mountain, N.H.

Vintage Divided Back Postcard
Eagle Post Card View Co., New York 1, N.Y.
Photo Duo-Tone

3-5/8 x 5-5/8 inches

Blog post by Mary Katherine May.

Dating the Post Card
One of the first orders of inquiry for a deltiologist is dating the postcard. This can be done by type of paper and printing, the stamp box, how the back side is arranged, and also by ascertaining when the manufacturing company was in business.

For this postcard I used the caption on the front as a clue: Eagle Post Card View Co., New York 1, N.Y. The 1 is a postal zone number used by the United States Post Office from 1943 to 1963, after which the ZIP Code was introduced. The ZIP being an abbreviation of Zone Improvement Plan.

According to the website, the zones were started in 1943 during World War 2 to aid all of the newly employed postal clerks who replaced the men now in military service. In 1963 the United States Post Office began using a 5-digit Zip Code. The ZIP is an abbreviation of Zone Improvement Plan.
Twin Mountain House Vintage Postcard Back

Twin Mountain House is no longer in operation. The Mount Washington Hotel at Bretton Woods is one of the few grand hotels remaining. In the publication Field Trip Stop and Drive-by Site Descriptions, 64th Highway Geology Symposium, North Conway, New Hampshire, 2013, there is a fabulous image of the Twin Mountain House viewed from across the Ammonoosuc River (p. 71) and the dates of 1868-1960 are given as years in operation. This allows me to date the postcard between 1943 and 1960.

Twin Mountain House
The Twin Mountain House in Twin Mountain, New Hampshire, was one of many lodging places where people would come for a visit or a season to get away from the heat, noise and dust of city life.  The air in the mountains allowed relief from hay fever.  

The post card back describes the excellence of the Twin Mountain House: 
A landmark hotel of distinction... The utmost in comfort, good service and unsurpassed cuisine.
Henry Ward Beecher spent many seasons at the Twin Mountain House where he offered daily morning devotions and Sunday sermons as well as comfort and counsel to the resident lodgers, or as one publication called them, inmates. Beecher's sister, Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of the pre-Civil War novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, also visited the House, as did many prominent people. Notices were placed in newspaper's announcing their impending plans to visit.

Historical Source 1: Twin or Not a Twin?

Selected Text:
The Twin-Mountain House is on a little terrace north of the Ammonoosuc River, and in the vicinity of a group of saw-mills. It is provided with post and telegraph offices, billiard and bowling rooms, and croquet-grounds; and keeps a band during the summer.  It is equal to the Glen House or Bethlehem as a refuge for people affected by hay-fever, though it is much lower than either of those points.

The house was built in 1869-70.

The view from the Twin-Mountain House includes on the left the symmetrical knolls known as the Sugar Loaves (and sometimes locally called the Baby Twins), on whose right is the massive Mt. Hall.

The Twin Mountain House, Twin Mountain, N.H.
Food better than the view?
The situation of the Twin Mountain House was not well chosen, with reference to mountain-views, but its cuisine is justly celebrated; and to the usual amusements of a summer-hotel it adds the pastime of boating, on an adjacent mill-pond of considerable length.

The people about the house stoutly maintain that the two mountains nearly opposite are the Twin Mountains, but they are not, since the Twins lie in a line nearly North and South, and the North Twin only is visible, Mt. Hale being the other “Twin” (as regarded by the hotel people).  The Twin Mountains are seen from Mts. Washington and Lafayette, and other points East or West of their line, but not from the Twin-Mountain House.

Historical Source 2: Building and Location

Selected Text:
Oscar and Asa Barron, brothers, largely identified themselves with the building up of the hotel business of the western side of the White Mountains, and did much to develop summer travel.  Both were active and energetic men, and were connected with the erection and conducting of the Twin Mountain House, Fabyan's, Mt. Pleasant House, Crawford's and the Mt. Washington Houses. Both are now dead. Col. Oscar G. Barron is their successor.

Twin Mountain House takes its name from two prominent peaks of the Franconia range.  This house is well known as a quiet, secluded mountain retreat, and a pleasant resting-place for invalids.  It was built about 1870, stands upon a terrace, faces east, is surrounded by ornamental grounds, and has room for 300 guests.  The boating on the mill-pond is very enjoyable; the cuisine is excellent, and this hotel well merits the favor it meets with the travelling public.

The Twin mountains are nearly 5,000 feet in height, and from the northern summit can be seen a vast panorama of valleys, highways and villages; on the west the Presidential range, and eastward, the Connecticut valley, while on the south an almost boundless stretch of craggy and wooded mountain forms a pleasing variety to the views.

Historical Source 3: Twin Mountain House and Henry Ward Beecher
Source: Pinehurst Outlook, Pinehurst, North Carolina, 14 January 1898. ( clipping)

Selected Text:
Henry Ward Beecher: The Celebrated Plymouth Pastor’s Summer Parish. Services conducted by him in the parlors of the Twin Mountain House. Interesting Recollections of his special reporter, T.J. Ellinwood.

For a number of seasons it was my pleasant duty to report the discourses of Mr. Beecher at the White Mountains. During a large portion of his vacations he preached regularly on Sundays at the Twin Mountain house, whither he resorted from year to year on account of hay fever, with which he was afflicted. The services were generally held in the great parlor of the hotel, and were so largely attended that many were obliged to occupy seats or standing-room in the halls or on the piazzas. A part of the time the accomodations for the audiences were so inadequate that an immense tent was procured under which the services were held.

In addition to his Sabbath discourses Mr. Beecher gave to guests of the hotel week-day morning talks, which were very much prized, and were often attended not only by the inmates of the Twin Mountain House but also by people from a distance.

We had there a good many people of the world, who were not habitual attendants at church, because, as they said, religion was ordinarily presented in a way that violated their common sense, their observation, and their highest reason.  I have ground for believing that there were some among them who entered into the Christian life under the influence of the preaching in the parlors of the Twin Mountain House.

Which Twin Mountain House?
Source: The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Brooklyn, New York, 12 June 1904 ( clipping)

Imagine my surprise when I looked at what I thought was the only Twin Mountain House that could house at least 200 and saw a structure that appeared it could hold at most maybe 40 people?

The confusion cleared quickly when I realized the Twin Mountain House I was looking at was in the Catskill Mountains in New York that was in operation the same time as the one in New Hampshire.
Twin Mountain House in the Catskill Mountains
From the Pinehurst Outlook, 1898

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

General Brock Hotel Niagara Falls Canada Vintage Color Halftone Postcard

General Brock Hotel ca. 1948
General Brock Hotel
Niagara Falls, Canada
No. 307
Printed in Canada
3-5/8 x 5-1/2 inches
Divided Back, Blank Stamp Box

Blog Post by Mary Katherine May. Rick and Mary May operate and the GrandmaHen Treasure Shop on Etsy.

Here is an example of a vintage post card which is not in the best condition due to a major corner crease that can be creatively used as an educational tool.

Historical Niagara Falls, Canada
The General Brock Hotel has a magnificent, unobstructed view of the Niagara Falls. Luxurious, spacious suites and the renowned Rainbow Room that it one of the world’s outstanding hotels.  Adjacent to the Oakes Memorial Garden Theatre, the Lookout Point Golf Course, the Rainbow Bridge and the Niagara Parkway.

In January, 1929 construction began on the General Brock Hotel, the first high rise hotel on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.  On the top floor of the eleven-story structure was the glass-enclosed Rainbow Room, a banquet hall offering a superb view of the Falls and Niagara Gorge.  

The hotel opened for business in July, 1929, after which two more floors were added to the building. Over the years many prominent celebrities stayed at the General Brock Hotel including Walt Disney, Shirley Temple, Queen Elizabeth, Marilyn Monroe, Bruce Willis and Jackie Chan. Today the hotel is known as the Crowne Plaza Niagara Falls Fallsview Hotel.

General Brock Hotel, Niagara Falls, Canada
History and Biography: Isaac Brock, War of 1812
Major General Sir Isaac Brock (1769-1812) was a British Army officer and colonial administrator from Guernsey. He became responsible for defending Upper Canada against the United States.  When the War of 1812 broke out, quick victories at Fort Mackinac and Detroit defeated American invasion efforts. 

At the Battle of Queenston Heights Brock was struck in the wrist of his sword arm by a musket ball but continued to press home the attack. His height and energetic gestures, together with his officer’s uniform and gaudy sash given to him eight weeks earlier by Teccumseh after the Seige of Detroit, made him a conspicuous target. An unknown American stepped forward from a thicket and fired at a range of barely fifty yards. The musketball struck Brock in the chest and he fell. His last words have been reported (though unlikely spoken) as “Push on, brave York Volunteers!”  The hole in his uniform suggests that the bullet entered his heart and he died immediately.

Canadians regard Brock as one of their greatest military heroes. Though not born or naturalized as a Canadian, he was voted number 28 on the television show The Greatest Canadian. 

The question when dating this postcard is to look at its photograph and count the floors. In 1948, two additions stories were added to the original eleven. A verification is easy to do by looking at contemporary internet photos. I found used two copies of this card for sale with postmark dates of 1949 and 1951.

The number 307 shows it to have been one card in a series. The series could have been about scenic sites in Canada or part of a souvenir set showing views of Niagara Falls. 

An interesting research project would be to look for 1948 information and photographs of Niagara Falls to put the building into the context of the time.

Looking at the scene with a magnifier tells me it is a halftone print made with little dots of color on a white background that when looked at from a normal viewing distance appears as solid color.

General Brock Hotel, Niagara Falls, Canada. No. 307. Printed in Canada

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Real Photo Post Card Man Framed with Leaf Shaped Border

Real Photo Post Card
Real Photo Post Card Man Framed with Leaf Shaped Border

Blog post by Mary Katherine May

     An interesting variation of the Real Photo Post Card is the photo portrait with uniquely shaped borders.  The one shown here is of a handsome, clean-cut man with classic features from the sometime during the first two decades of the twentieth century.

According to a MetroPostcard Guide (highly recommended site) the border shapes were created by using stencils:
LINK The most common exception to this were cards shot through a stencil to provide a decorative white border. These stencils were usually cut out of tin or heavy paper and would be sandwiched between the photo paper and negative during exposure to the sun. While these stencils could be purchased in stores and came in various designs, many forgoed the expense and made their own. Homemade stencils were rarely perfectly symmetrical and are a tell tale sign of non-commercially printed cards.
     The attractive shape, such as a leaf, apple or scroll, immediately draws the viewer's curiosity to look inside as though peering through a window.

For the collector of real photo post cards acquiring a group using different shapes might be an interesting subset group.

This particular post card has no message on its divided back, yet I feel drawn to wonder about what kind person this man was--tall or short? professional or dressed up for the photo? quiet? happy? a loner?

Divided Back
Real Photo Post Card: People
AZO Stamp Box: 4 Triangles Pointing Up
Post Card as Two Words
Leaf-shaped Border

Rick and Mary May operate the webstore Quality Music and Books, and also the GrandmaHen Shop on