Thursday, March 28, 2013

Happy Easter from the Ozarks

The recipient of this Easter greeting, Miss Mae Barnett, was born in Sisson Township, Howell County, Missouri in 1889. In 1900, her father James was a farmer and the family included the mother, Sally; two siblings, Arthur and Ethyl; and one servant, Clenna Henry.

By 1910, Mae's father James no longer owned his own farm but was instead listed on the census as a  farm laborer and employee. Mae was 18 years old, living at home, as was her 15 year old sister, and had no listed occupation.

In  1920,Mae's brother, James Arthur, had married a young woman from Siloam Springs, Howell County, named Bertha E. Priddy, and had a farm of his own not far from where his parents lived. Mae was still living at home with her parents, now just the three of them.

Mae was 39 years old in the 1930 census.  She was living with her aging parents and had no occupation. Her father was now a 60 year old tenant farmer.

Mae received numerous postcards from friends all over the Ozarks and even one from Fargo, Oklahoma. She was courted for few years by a young man named Joe Russell (or Bussell), who once sent her a Valentine postcard, but apparently she never married him or anyone else.  The postcards written to her give few hints about what her life was like living on a farm with only her parents. What the postcards do reveal is that Mae was well-liked and had many friends. Not a bad  way to be remembered, is it?