22 January 2009

My Rebus Postcard

I had the great fortune of acquiring this postcard, copyrighted 1909, from an antiques dealer in Colorado. It is a rebus puzzle postcard, made as an advertisement from the Sawdey and Hartner City Market Seed Co. in Denver CO. It was copyrighted by Mrs. Stella Gilbert from Council Bluffs, IA.

A rebus puzzle is one that uses pictures or symbols in place of words or syllables. On the front of this postcard is "A Farmers Love Letter". See if you can solve the puzzle, it is pretty easy and so cute. On the back is the handwritten name and address of the intended recipient, Miss Bertha Cooper of 306 N. Seventh St Monroe LA. There is also the post stamp dated for Sep 9, and the one cent postage stamp. There is no written or stamped year, so I don't know for sure when it was sent, but I believe the postage for a postcard was one cent between the years of 1898 and 1952.

This postcard has a little more meaning to me other than its obvious charm. The Sawdey in question here is a relative of mine (although not a blood relative), Curtis Isaac Sawdey. He had this seed company in Denver for a while and then moved on the Los Angeles, where he eventually became the president of the Western Growers Protective Association.

He married Minnie H Medaris sometime around 1900 or so. Minnie is the younger sister of Lily, who is my great-grandfather's first wife (she also is no blood to me). Lily had three sons, two of which were quite young when she died. My theory is that when their mother died, these two boys went from their home in Iowa to live with their maternal grandparents in Denver. I also think that when Minnie married Curtis they took in the one boy and raised him as their own.

I have not found conclusive proof of this, but there is a lot of circumstantial proof. The boy I found living with the Sawdeys has the same first name (Burr) and birthday as Lily's son. He is living with Lily's other son, Walstein, with Lily's parents, and they are both listed as their grandsons. However, Minnie claims him as her son. I believe he is at best only her adopted son. Minnie was only 15 when Burr was born and not even married yet. Also, if this boy is actually Minnie's boy, where is Lily's boy? It seems logical that Lily's husband could have sent the two young boys to live with grandparents when his wife died. It seems unlikely that he would have split them up. It seems highly unlikely that Minnie, at 15 and unmarried, had a son who just happened to be born the same month and year as Lily's son and that she named him the same name.

My great-grandfather, Walstein Tyrrell, eventually married a second time and had several more children, including my grandfather, Fitz. Over the years I have known of Burr, but not much. I knew he existed and I wanted to find him. By the time I started researching my family everyone who knew Burr personally had died. He has been quite elusive, but I have been so determined to find out what became of him. He is my grandfather's half-brother. I want to know if he and my grandfather were ever like brothers to one another. I have found only one record of Burr Tyrrell. I have found several of Burr Sawdey. I know that Burr Sawdey moved to Los Angeles, as did all the Tyrrell boys, including my grandfather. Did they meet up? I may not ever find out for sure, but it gives me a pleasant feeling imagining that all the brothers did in fact get to know each other and hung out together.

UPDATE: The mystery of Burr has been solved and is in detail on my family tree on Ancestry.com


Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

What a whimsical little card! The rebus puzzle is not as common now among youngsters (I'm am an elementary school teacher) but it's still very popular among the French and Italians.

Sunday Girl said...

Hi Evelyn,
Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I also see that you are following. Thank you.
Yes, I think this postcard is very quaint. I'm happy to have it especially with the family connection involved.

vicuska said...

I really like this card but unfortunatelly I can't solve it. Could you please write me the solution. Thanks.

Sunday Girl said...

Hi there vicuska. Here is what I think the postcard says:

Do you carrot (care at) all for me, for my heart beets (beats) for you and my love is as soft as a squash (squash?) but as strong as an onion (onion?). For you are a peach with your radish (reddish) hair and turnip (turn up) nose. You are the apple of my eye, so if we cantaloupe (can't elope) then lettuce (let us) marry, anyhow, for I know we would make a happy pear (pair).

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