February 28, 2016

Postcards From The Past

Many of us who collect vintage and antique items know the questions
that come to mind when we fall in love with a found item.
We see the names printed neatly inside old books and wonder -
whose hands held these pages of print?
We find letters lovingly written from long ago and wonder
who these people were.  Don't we?
I know I do.
It's part of the enjoyment of these found treasures.
Often, we are unable to know the origin of our finds.
Recently, I got very lucky.
This is the story of a cheeky little postcard from 1916.

Isn't this adorable?  I fell in love with it.

Miss Ode received a sweet postcard from her "Big Boy".
It reads:
"Well I'll write your letter so that it will reach you soon after your arrival
in New York.  Your long letter came today and I was glad to get it.  Here's hoping you have great success.  Nance left today for Chicago and Peyton went with her.  Saw Ralph today and he didn't or rather said he couldn't tell me what was said about picture.
Your Big Boy"

What picture?  What's happening in New York?
Did she live in Houston?
Ooooh, I love a mystery.
Thanks to an edition of the El Paso Herald dated January 26, 1916-
I have a few answers.
Miss Ode Akin did live in Houston.
In January of 1916, she was the guest of honor at a 
delightfully informal dance, given by her hostess and cousin,
Miss Nancy Edwards.
Ode's middle initial E stands for Edwards, her mother's maiden name.

 Miss Ode had just returned from several months in New York where she devoted several months to the earnest study of vocal music.
March 30, 1917
Houston Post

 Ode was mentioned quite a bit in the Society pages.
April 8, 1917
Houston Post

Ode and Henry were married in El Paso on September 10, 1919.
She 23.  Henry was  24.

They had four children:
Ode Akin Schumacher Williamson 1924-2001
Elizabeth Palmer Schumacher Woodling 1926-2011
Leila Edwards Schumacher-- 1929
 Henry Avery Schumacher, Jr. 1927-1992

I love how the marriage caused "considerable interest".
He and Ode were frequently mentioned together in the newspapers
in El Paso.

50th Anniversary announcement- 1969
Houston, Texas

I've acquired a lot of info to share from a post card in a collection, I know.
I am one of those people that just can't let it go....
I wanted to know who Ode was. 
I spent the entire day researching and reading all I could find.
I've had this postcard for years and never felt compelled
to investigate who the sender or the recipient of this funny postcard were.
But now, I had questions.

Ode lived in West U for many years and is buried in 
Forest Park Cemetery here in Houston.
I wish I could show you the house they lived in, but like many homes in West U, it seems like it was torn down and a new home built in 2008.

I have a strange urge to return her postcard.

During my search, I came across a possible relative and reached out to her
by email, hoping by some slim chance that I would get a reply.

The next morning, I received an email from Elizabeth,
the granddaughter of Miss Ode.
 I was so excited to hear from her and she was so kind to share a few photos of her grandmother with me.
Elizabeth spoke of sitting at the piano with Ode and singing as a child.
She spoke of her memory of Ode going "marketing"  
in full hat, hose and gloves.
And also of her mother's memories of Ode singing and playing piano after she had put them to bed for the evening.
A few days later, Elizabeth gifted me with a copy of her own labor of love,
a historical document tracing her family back to the 1700's.

Ninety two pages of photos and information that I poured over -
amazing facts and revelations about how the family played an
important role in the early days of Texas settlers.
Ode's grandfather, Peyton Edwards and her great grandfather, Haden Edwards, played huge roles in Texas' independence from Mexico.

The Edwards Aquifer, Edwards Plateau, Edwards County-
named for Haden Edwards.

Elizabeth did have a photo of Ode and her children 
in front of their home in Houston, so I am able to show you after all.


And currently, this home stands at the address.
I wonder if the owners know the history of the family 
that came before them.
I found it fascinating.

Thank you so much, Elizabeth.
I think your Grandmother would be so proud
of your work to preserve the family history.

My favorite tidbit that Elizabeth shared-
Henry was Big Boy, after all.
He changed it in later years to Big Man.
I found several sports news articles referring to him as 
Big Henry Schumacher.

They had a long and hopefully, happy life together.
I found mentions of them together as early as 1914.

Ode passed away in 1987 at the age of 91.
Henry later passed away in 1992 at the age 0f 97.

I loved their story.

What's in your collection waiting to be discovered?

I'm joining the ladies at these parties:

Thoughts of Home Thursday
Vintage Charm

P.S. I have joined Instagram and would love for you to follow!
See sidebar.


  1. I enjoyed this post so much. What fun for you to find a relative, from a postcard written in 1916, 100 years ago. It is amazing isn't it...memories from the distant past...

  2. I just love this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Tina, Tina, Tina!! First I always love what you do, but this one is just sensational. I have strong feelings everytime I find a treasure from the past. Except for our home, I have never followed through with any of them. I was fascinated that you got so much info and read every line. I have a post in mind for my next one (Tuesday) and funny, but it is sort of like on the same line as yours today. I have a few old post cards with the sweetest messages and I just might have to start search of my own. What a handsome looking family, BTW..Really enjoyed this and I have been wanting to start an Instagram account but don't want to put it on my phone, only the computer. Call me whatever, I can't stand using the telephone for anything!! Is that concept even possible? I will be following you for sure..Happy Sunday..xxo Judy

  4. P.S. Just tried to follow you on Instagram but can't unless I have an account. So will have to figure that out..J

  5. I'm so glad you're research provided you, not only with answers to your "I wonder...."s but also with a story about a lovely family, a happy life and a long and enduring love and marriage.

  6. Tina, I'm so impressed with your detective work in uncovering the history behind a simple postcard! Their story was very interesting, and the photos you unearthed to go with the story are amazing. That house!! So sad that it's gone, but such is life. You've given me incentive to look harder for old photos of our current home. I visited a photographer in his 90's last winter to look through his boxes of photos for one of our home. He clearly remembered taking the photos and even remembered who built it, but unfortunately we couldn't find the photos. We have a historical society in our town that has photos archived and I'm going to pay them a visit to see what they've got. Thanks for "the rest of the story" behind your sweet postcard.

  7. You know I am a history geek who traces many of the treasures I have found. This is one very special search since the family reached out to share the history. I really enjoyed the story of Ode and Big Boy.

  8. And I loved your story!

  9. This is exactly the reason I love my old stuff so much!! What a great job you did researching and story-telling!!

  10. You know I don't do any blog reading these days, but this morning I did and I loved this post. So you!!! I have this box of hundreds of letters spanning over 75 years of a love and marriage of a Missouri couple that I found in the attic of our rental property. Maybe I should just turn it over to you. Thanks for a great interesting read this morning!

  11. I was hoping that Henry was Big Boy! The society pages were like that era's Facebook.

  12. This is so very cool! I have purchased china, etc with messages that I've wondered about the story behind the messages.
    I'll be joining instagram soon!

  13. Oh Tina this post ... This post is amazing. I too play detective to learn more about legacy and ancestry of items and people. I think somehow the energy generated by our sparked interests is felt and the ones who have passed realize they have not been forgotten. Not trying to be esoteric just saying what I believe. One of the reasons we started our greeting card company (seems like forever ago) was because I had a collection of old cards and letters. Reading them let me know how something as simple as a little card or taking the time to sit down and write a note that you were thinking about them really mattered to a person. I hope some of my designs have been saved and have touched the hearts and minds of people. It's always the smallest gestures we do for people that linger in their memories, isn't it? Tina like you I would believe the postcard should be returned ... If at all possible.
    Thank you Tina for this post it was most enjoyable.

    1. Vera, I agree with you! I believe there is a definite sense of knowing for those on the other side. Writing letters seems to have gone by the wayside I think. I'm getting more practice writing to my Chemo buddies. :)


  14. How interesting! What a handsome couple they were - and I prefer their lovely little house to the one that replaced it!

  15. Oh Tina, I cannot express how much I love this!!! I'm always wondering about the history of an item but have never attempted to research. Maybe I will in the future. :) I just love that Elizabeth responded to you and shared more information. Perhaps returning the postcard to her would be a sense of completion for Ode and Henry. Their house was adorable! I love those homes of yesteryear. My dad and step-mother lived in Houston for eons as did an aunt and uncle. I do have some great memories of my visits in early Houston.

    As an aside, my cousin married a guy with the last name of Schumacher. Now I'm wondering...


  16. Hi..I'm brand spanking new to your blog...this was so interesting. .I love it. and the research you did and what came out it is simply wonderful. I had to laugh when her granddaughter said she wore a hat,hose and gloves. .my mother always said hose too for nylons. ..Oder picture kinda reminds me of my grandmother picture ..again you did a beautiful presentation of Ode.

    1. Hi Melissa and welcome! I tried to reply but you are a no-reply. Google + is likely the culprit.
      Thank you for following WWK - I look forward to hearing from you again soon!

  17. What a wonderful story Tina! You had me at that postcard. So sweet and sassy! Totally enjoyed this post. I always wonder about the original owners of the vintage treasures that I find... especially books with inscriptions in them. How great that you were able to find out so much. Loved it!

  18. Tina, the postcard was so cute to start with but the research and reporting you did is amazing! I think it's so neat that you found all of this information. Speaking with a family member is the best part. Thanks for sharing this! One of the best things I've read on a blog in a long time.

    I'd love it if you'd link this special post with Thoughts of Home on Thursday. ♥

  19. Tina,
    So many of us do collect, cherish and then wonder so much about the people who lives have now become part of ours! This was so interesting and touching as well.
    Thank you for providing me with "food for thought." Just in time for my morning walk!

  20. What a fabulous post & read! My favorite thing about my vintage postcards is the written message. Wow, I have never even thought to search for information. Thank you for sharing this. Visiting from Vintage Charm.

  21. Oh Tina I loved their story too! I have a habit of asking about the family when I attend estate sales as I want to know the history of anything I might purchase.
    Thank you ever so much for linking up at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Your presence adds such a ray of sunshine!

  22. Love this story. I am a new follower!

  23. How very interesting
    I never thought to look up the history of persons on my vintage post cards

  24. oh man...I love this post...I have tons of old postcards..the writing is so beautiful and I love to think about where they are now...you are so wonderful to bring it all to life..poetic!

  25. Hey Tina. I'm just popping back in to let you know I'm featuring this post on Vintage Charm tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing the wonderful history behind that adorable vintage postcard.

  26. I've so often wanted to know more about the people who owned those vintage finds like books and postcard that have writing and names in them. I think it's so cool that you actually did, this story was precious. I just loved it!! PS Following you on Instagram now - Happy weekend!

  27. What a wonderful story woven from one little postcard. Thank you, Tina.

  28. Tina, I clicked on this past post and so happy I did. Wow, what a story! I applaud you for your history search. I'm amazed at all you found. Looking at the news clips made me think that sadly this is rarely done in current times. Only the notable and famous are written about. We have a monthly newsmagazine in my neighborhood. It's a rather recent thing. One of the editors found copies of editions of our neighborhood's newsmagazine from early years and reprinted some articles. Seems they reported on such things as dinner parties, dances, travel, etc.
    I think it is wonderful that you followed your instinct on this. That you are in contact with the granddaughter is even more amazing. It was meant to be. I can imagine how excited Elizabeth was to know you reached out considering she obviously was interested in family history. I live in Austin, so knowing this piece of information about Edwards Aquifer and Edwards Plateau is of interest to me.

  29. Oh, what a lovely treasure !!!! It's nice when a family member retains their history and how nice of her to share it with you...


Thanks for taking the time to leave me your thoughts. I appreciate each and every one!