The Orphaned Images Project: Ethel’s postcard home

This postcard was sent to Mrs. J.W. Noland in Laketon, Indiana on March 2, 1911 from their daughter Ethel in Wabash, Indiana. The postcard reads:

Dear Papa & Mother,
Received Saturday’s check—many thanks. Expect I will be home Saturday.
With love, Ethel

I’m not sure which woman on the front of the postcard is Ethel. I have several other photos from the same source with the family name “Noland” written on the back of each. Alonzo Noland, John Noland and George Noland are three of the names mentioned in several photos. I’m assuming they are brothers, based on photos.

During a cursory web search, I discovered a Mary Ethel Noland in Missouri (known to her friends as Ethel), who was President Truman’s first cousin, a fervent genealogist and keeper of all things related to her cousin’s presidency. The Mary Ethel Noland Papers (4,800 pages!) date from 1672-1971 with the bulk of material spanning 1893-1971. The collection includes postcards, printed materials, correspondence, charts, photographs and newspaper clippings relating to her genealogy of Harry S. Truman. She donated the collection to the U.S. government.

I got a tad excited about my Ethel (remotely) being that Ethel, but I really can’t connect them because Truman’s Ethel was in Missouri for most of her life; my Ethel appears to remain in Indiana throughout the series of postcards. That Ethel did have a sister (Nellie) and this postcard shows that my Ethel possibly had a sister, too. I’ve seen a few photos of Truman’s Ethel and none look quite like either of the young women in the postcard below.

It’s rather fun to research (if even just for five minutes) some background information for these orphaned photos—and they’re not even my relatives! I am consistently amazed at how much information can be found if you have a name, city, state or even a studio name written on a photo—even one dating back to the late 1800s. I know I owe most of this gratitude to the multitude of fervent genealogists out there!


About cindydyer

Self-employed graphic designer and photographer Never bored: Oil and acrylic painting, photography (portraits, glamour shots, nature, macro, floral/botanical, travel), cement leaf casting, crocheting hats like crazy come winter time (what else can a gardener do when it’s cold out?), needle felting, sewing, murals, faux painting, making jewelry, Polaroid transfers (if it’s something crafty, I’ve probably at least tried it once), biblioholic (any topic, you name it–--I probably have at least one book on the subject…don’t even begin to guess how many gardening books I’ve amassed!), animal lover (3 cats---Pixel, Lobo and Queso), used to have ferrets, several goldfish, two other beloved cats (Jasper and ZenaB), and one white rat named Lucky Fred Chewy Ratatouille), handy with power tools and do-it-yourself projects, obsessed with gardening and gardening books (reference, how-to, essays by other gardeners), writing poetry, entertaining (all my parties must have a theme, dress code, and guests pose in front of related theme backgrounds for their photos!), animal lover; magazine addict (covering photography, graphic design, Photoshop, Mac, home and garden, food, crafts, travel)…love to travel (so far: Iceland (most beautiful place on earth!), Italian and French Riviera, Rome, Chile (Buenos Aires), Argentina (Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia), Antarctica, Alaska, the islands (Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St. John, St. Thomas, St. Lucia, St. Barts), southwest U.S. several times over (Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah), all the eastern states, Ohio, California (San Diego, Monterrey, Carmel, San Francisco, Napa/Sonoma Valley, Death Valley), Texas (mostly South Texas and Mexico), Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Point Pelee for bird migration, Maine (and all New England states), Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida, Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon), Wisconsin….love a good road trip…need to do more...who wants to join me on the next one? In a nutshell, I live to create.
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