Tuesday, March 2, 2010

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday: Gertrude Cramer Pape, Fearless Female

The Fearless Female blog prompt for March 2 is:

Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?


This photo is of a paternal great-grandmother, Gertrude Cramer Pape. She was born January 9, 1859, and baptized January 11 at Sankt Servinus Katholisch [Catholic Church] in Calle Meschede, Westphalia, Germany. Her parents were Joseph Cramer and Catharina Becker. She attended a boarding school in Paderborn when she was 18 years old. In 1885 she emigrated, and married John Pape in 1888. They had seven children. It appears that she lived almost all her life in the United States at 1043 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, Illinois, in a house that was apparently still standing a couple years ago. She died on August 20, 1919, of liver cancer, and is buried at St. Henry Cemetery in Chicago.

This image, generously provided by my second cousin Bill from his grandmother (my great aunt) Martha Pape Bleidt's collection, is actually a hand-colored postcard photograph. I chose this photo because I love hand-colored black-and-white photographs, and I love old postcards.

I also chose it because it was taken when my great-grandmother was about the same age as I am now. Based on the postmark on the back, it had to be taken on or before August 2, 1912, when Gertrude would have been 53 - my age in about a month. The postcard was mailed from what looks (from the postmark) to be Fowler, Indiana. I'm not sure why it was sent from there; perhaps one of my great aunts or great uncles was living there at the time, or Gertrude had family there. Here's the back of the postcard (also from Bill):

And here's what my father has to say about it: "The handwritten letter looks like an old German script J instead of a G which would fit. J. (John) Pape, my grandfather and your great grandfather, had his place of business in 1912 at 6949 N. Clark St. in Chicago. This is not too far from Howard St., the dividing line between Evanston and Chicago. The post card looks like it was written in old German."

© Amanda Pape - 2010

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