I wasn't sure that this Real Postcard Photograph was identifiable when I found it at a Victoria BC Antique Shop last month. I knew it would be a challenge. The photographer's name is provided on the front: Brown, Webster City, Iowa.
On the reverse we have an interesting description. Not much for dates and places, but an interesting profile of the family nonetheless:
Jeannette Bale (Meade)
+ Ma Bale -
who seems to have
been a remarkable
woman. She said -
"never let lack of
the right clothes
keep you from going
where you want to go."
Mr. Bale was called "Gum Daddy"
because (a pharmacist) he gave gum
to the kids."
I liked Ma Bale immediately from her image and even more so after I read her fashion philosophy.
I never assume the photographer's location to be the exact location of the subject's residence, even though there's always a chance the photo was taken in the subject's hometown. Sometimes, though, photographs are taken on holidays, while visiting other family members or while in a neighbouring town. In this case, I found a three-year old Jeanette M. Bale living in Webster City with her parents William S. and Flora G. Bale. Two sisters, close in age to Jeanette are also in the household: five-year-old Louise, and the two-year-old Mary. William's profession is listed as "Salesman: Drugs."
I could not find the family in the 1910 US Federal Census. However, they do appear on the 1911 Canada Census, having moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 19062. William's occupation is listed as "Salesman." The mother in the house is now recorded as "Florence." In the 1916 Manitoba-Alberta-Saskatchewan Census, his occupation is also "Salesman -- Advertising Specialist3." We seem to be getting further and further away from Pharmacist.
But, the family moves back to the US and can be found on the 1920 US Federal Census, living in Galena, IL, in the household of Mary Gratiot, presumably Florence's mother (although the way the census is recorded, she could be William's mother). This time, William's occupation is "Druggist.4" While that's good enough of a match for me, I do want to confirm that Jeanette married a Meade, just to be sure I'm not forcing the puzzle pieces.
Turns out that Jeanette didn't marry someone with the surname Meade, but rather, someone with the given name Meade. I'm sure that must count. Jeanette Bale and Meade M. Morris were married in Galena, Illinois in 19215. Can you guess which sister is which? When do you suppose the image was taken?
1 "United States Census, 1900," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M9KP-Z6G : accessed 2 May 2018), Jeannette M Bale in household of Wiliam S Bale, Webster city Ward 2, Hamilton, Iowa, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 100, sheet 5B, family 123, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,435.
2 "Recensement du Canada de 1911," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QV95-F9GD : 16 March 2018), Jeanette Bale in entry for William Bale, 1911; citing Census, Winnipeg Sub-Districts 1-29, Manitoba, Canada, Library and Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,417,671.
3 1916 census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Winnipeg, Manitoba, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 5, p.47 (penned), dwelling 335, family 557, William G. Bale family, digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed May 1, 2018), citing microfilm LAC microfilm T-21934.
4 1920 U.S. census, Galena Ward 3, Jo Daviess, Illinois, population schedule, enumeration district (ED) 43, page 3-A, dwelling 67, family 75, Mary J. Gratiot household; digital image, Ancestry.ca (http://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 30 Apr 2018); citing National Archives microfilm publication T625, roll 373.
5 "Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:Q292-Z4H3 : 8 November 2017), Meade M. Morris and Jeannette M. Bale, 03 Sep 1921; citing , Jo Daviess, Illinois, United States, county offices, Illinois; FHL microfilm 1,602,649.