Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Brother Walter...

One of the most popular posts on this blog, for reasons totally unknown to me, is another card sent to Walter Till.  I'm perplexed by its popularity, because I just don't understand it.

Anyway, on to brother Walter.  The birthday card that is viewed so often for unknown reasons, is from 1916. This one is from 1919.

It's a lovely card, but it wouldn't be my first choice for a 9-year-old boy.  The message on the back of the card reads:

Dear Brother Walter
I came near forgetting when your birthday was but dident. here is just a card hoping you have a happy one suppose you will be 9 years old Sun. you want to see how good a boy you can be from now on let Jesus help you
Love from Sister Laura

It started to seem more likely to me, after looking at previous cards, that "brother" was meant in a religious sense, but then I found that Walter actually did have an older sister named Laura. In fact, he had 10 siblings. The 1920 Census shows Walter, the youngest at age 9, living with his siblings, George (11), Edna (13), and Jennie (15) and their mother Julia E. Till. There is no indication of a father in the household, because the father died a few months after Walter's 9th birthday. Walter also had a younger brother who only lived to the age of four.

I looked for more information on and was surprised to find photos of Walter and his siblings. There's our little Walter on the right.

And there's Jennie on the left. Here's a postcard addressed to Jennie.

The message on the back reads:

Dear Jennie: -
Come up and see the School house fore your self. my room is where the X is. I wish you a happy easter. your friend Bertha.


  1. A name, a family and some faces to those names - perfect!

  2. I love it when you have found all the players in these little life snapshots. I don't know how you do it all, but I sure enjoy it!

  3. It's always such a delightful pleasure to see how you can get things to come full circle...and you know I just may have a copy of that so looked at postcard...or several nearly like it I just know!

  4. I agree with the above comments -- so interesting to see the cards and then find out about the people. Love that photo.

  5. It is indeed great fun seeing the pieces fall in place, all of these lives of strangers coming into focus from a simple card and message.

  6. Great post. It still amazes me that the mail was ever delivered.



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