Pearland High School

The photo above is the Pearland High School, in Pearland TX, built in 1912. It’s an impressive sized building for a rural farm town, and was surely intended to last a lifetime. Pearland was a farming town that grew various crops, such as pears, strawberries, oranges and figs. It lies within the Houston area, about 23 miles from Houston. It is also close to Galveston, TX, and in 1915 a hurricane destroyed much of the town. This storm is not to be confused with the massive one in 1900. The Pearland High School was a victim of that storm. The high school was never rebuilt.

This postcard was found in a photo album I have recently scanned and will be posting more out of over the next little while. The postcard was sent from Mazel Reasoner to Verva Sipple. Unfortunately, the card was torn out of the book, but the glue used was strong, as you can see on the scan below.

It is unfortunate we can’t see what Mazel wrote to Verva, but I am able to make out something like “after the storm” toward the bottom of the note. The card is dated November 8, 1915, postmarked in Texas. Mazel Reasoner was born around 1891 in Indiana. Her husband John W Reasoner was also from Indiana, and they may have been attracted to Pearland by an advertising campaign in the midwestern states to attract settlers. I found a little bit of information on their family, as follows:

John Wesley Reasoner, born November 2, 1891 in Sugar Creek Indiana, to Charles and Hester Reasoner. He was the oldest of 5 in the 1900 census. Between 1900 – 1912 there didn’t appear any information.

December 23, 1912, John W married Mazel Melvina McCormick, also born around 1891. They were married in Houston, TX.

November 28, 1914 Mazel was appointed Postmistress of the Pearland Post Office, a position she continued for many years from what I can tell.

November 15, 1918 Mazel was reappointed Postmistress.

May 26, 1918 John shipped out on the Glasgow as part of the US Army.

May 26, 1919 John shipped home from St. Nazair France on the Santa Cecelia. He was a cook in the Company B 345th Machine Gun Battalion, US Army.

The 1930 Census tells us that Mazel is still the Postmistress and John is an electrician. Living with them is their niece Mazel McCormick. Their neighbors were Francis A McCormick and William McCormick.

1940 saw them at the same house as in 1930, but the McCormicks were no longer their neighbors. Mazel’s name was misspelled as Hazel.

In 1942 John completed his World War II draft card.

In 1943 Mazel was once again appointed Postmistress.

After this, nothing turned up until John’s death February 17, 1971. He was buried in Pearland and his marker shows he had been a Master Sergeant in the Army during World War I.

Mazel found her way to Farmingham, NM where she died in June 1978.

I didn’t find any children for this couple, although that doesn’t mean they didn’t have any. I have discovered that old records aren’t always accurate.

Stay tuned for more out of this album, which I think belonged to Verva, who lived in Los Angeles, CA.


Kids with the flag, around 1915

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt is from roughly the same time frame as my contribution, but illustrates how in just a few short years the world can change drastically. The prompt photo, below, is from circa 1910, and shows a woman quietly stitching on a flag. The image is romanticized. She is the lady at home caring for the details while her man is away. As the prompt suggests, the image is comforting, shows care and contentment.

Woman with flag

And next we have a photograph of children with a flag in Ocean City, NJ, around 1915. In 1914 the Great War started with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie while they were visiting Bosnia. While the US resisted being drawn into the conflagration, certainly it was on the minds of Americans who had family and friends back in Europe. This was a time of massive emigration from the Old Countries to the USA and many families had to leave loved ones behind until they could earn the passage to come over themselves. Additionally, Americans were welcomed into the armies of allies in Europe. All told, millions of people died, countries were decimated, cities were destroyed.

Ocean City, NJ

Ocean City, NJ

Some of the boys here have on caps and helmets, the mood is a bit more somber. These kids aren’t jubilant with patriotic fervor. They are showing their support and concern for Americans at war. In 1917, USA would officially enter the war.

This photo is from the private collection of my family, scanned by Cousin L. She had written on the back “Ocean City” but so far no one has identified any of these kids. This is a Velox real photo postcard.

For more flags from near and far, click the button below to Sepia Saturday. You will be happy you did!

Hail to the chief…

Another rescued photo

Rudd 27


Here’s another real photo postcard from the Rudd collection that has yellowed with age.  I figured since I was so successful with Picnic the other day I’d give this one a try.

Rudd 27-1

More detail visible

I still need some practice as this is a bit too purple and blue for my liking, but you can now really see the sweet smile on the baby’s face, the way he or she is tweeking his toes together, and the layers of fabric in the dress and padding. Again the photo is unidentified, unfortunately.


A boy and a dog

Hi Fella

Hi Fella

This real photo postcard from the Rudd collection is an AZO brand with the triangles all pointing up, so that dates it to between 1904-1918. The boy and his dog pose in the yard or field. The dog looks like a retriever of some kind. In the background there appears to be a picnic taking place. It’s a lovely, pastoral image that makes me think of easier, slower times, warm sunshine and the smell of outdoors – sun baked grasses, trees, wet earth and flowers…


Women with guns and axes

Guns 'n axes

Guns ‘n axes

You really need to spend some time studying this great Rudd family picture. It’s a real photo postcard of a brand that is unfortunately unidentified by my regular source. Regardless, take a good look here. At first blush it looks like four women sitting outside a camping tent. Now, look in their laps.

Do not mess with these women! :-)

Three children, one very big bow

Three children, one big bow

Three children, one very big bow

This real photo postcard of the AZO brand shows three children somehow connected with the Rudd collection. Unfortunately, no one took the time to write on the back of the photo identifying who they are. The stamp box has the triangles pointing up on top and down on bottom, so that dates the card between 1910-1930. I’d guess this is somewhere in the middle of that range. I love how the socks are all a bit saggy, which to me indicates these are normal, rough and tumble kids who dressed up for this particular occasion.

My latest photo

Rudd 23

Jack Dicaslito?

The back of this real photo postcard indicates this is possibly Jack Dicaslito, or it could have been sent to Jack. The exact text is:

Jack Dicaslito


B. F. Rudd

Green Forest, Ark

The city there could also possibly be Drum Forest or Rain Forest, but I’m leaning toward Green Forest. The postcard itself doesn’t have any of the nice stamp box insignia that helps date these postcards. My guess is it was somewhere between 1910-1930.

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