Monday, August 27, 2012

My Little Fat Girl

You can be sure that few 12-year-old girls would appreciate being called 'my little fat girl' as a term of endearment today, but back in 1911 it was probably received with a giggle. Maybe.

The lovely card was sent to Miss Fanny Irene Ely of New Milford, Pennsylvania (current population 868).

The message is very amusing:

Dear Irene.
How is my little fat girl now days, any way. I am sick I talked to much I guess (?)
Jaws hurt.
Yours -

Irene was born in New Milford in 1899 to parents Charles and Jessie. Sadly, Irene's father, a laborer at the stone quarry,  died only a year after she received this card. Irene's mother remarried almost immediately, probably out of necessity, to a man named Hobert Gunn who was 12 years her junior and also worked at the quarry. Life must have been very tough in New Milford, because he died at the age of 39. Irene's mother outlived the second husband too, but died at the age of 57.

At that point it appears that Irene went to live with her sister's family, the Trowbridges, in the Johnson City/Binghamton, New York area, where she worked as a bookkeeper at the First National Bank. According to city directories, she was still working there in 1953. It doesn't look like Irene ever married though. After she died at the age of 58, she was buried with her parents in the New Milford cemetery.



  1. Now we are left with the mystery of who was L.M.L and the meaning of the upside down stamp.

  2. Ah, now THAT would have been an entry for the next Maine postcard book; too bad it's Pennsylvania! Between this and the Tiny Children of Normandy, I've been laughing for a week!

  3. it seems she never married...............

  4. Your skills in digging up genealogical info is remarkable. Times sure have changed, being thin is overrated nowadays.

  5. I do love a good mystery, and I am so very curious what became of her life, or any loves ...just what her days were like.

  6. Wow! Certainly makes one appreciate our life expectancy rates for today. My neighbors down the hall both turned 90 in May!

  7. How sad. Short lives and hard ones.



Related Posts with Thumbnails