When I found this postcard, I wanted it to be a whisper in a love story. There’s nothing to say it isn’t, but as is so often the case with my antique-store finds, I can’t prove a thing.
The first time I read Humphrey’s postcard, it struck me as a shy overture. His note isn’t about mountains or exams. It’s about distance and time.
Right now, I’m close to where you are, but before long we’ll both be back at school.
However, he didn’t make an appeal. Maybe he feared rejection. Maybe I am mistaken.
I tried to skip straight to their happily-ever-after. The first thing I sought was a marriage license for Humphrey and Katharine, but I didn’t find one. I couldn’t even find them both associated with one place at the same time, other than while temporarily vacationing in the Adirondacks. They had school in common, but not the same school: he went to Harvard; she went to Vassar.
They both married other people in weddings that received huge society write-ups, and that is how I discovered what else they held in common. Abridged for length:
J. F. Adams Weds Katharine Place
“Miss Katharine Place, daughter of Ira A. Place, vice-president of the New York Central Railroad, and Mrs. Place, was married to James Fairchild Adams, a son of Mr. and Mrs. William Crittenden Adams, yesterday afternoon in the Church of the Messiah by the Rev. John Haynes Holmes, pastor of the church. . . .
“The bridegroom was graduated from Princeton in 1915 and the bride from Vassar last June.
“After the marriage ceremony there was a reception at the Hotel Biltmore. . . .”
Wedding of Miss Wood And Capt. J. H. Hustis Jr.
“Miss Elise Wood, daughter of Mrs. Wood and the late Dr. Philip M Wood, who was a prominent physician of Long Island, was married last evening to Capt. J. Humphrey Hustis Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Hustis of Winchester, Mass. It was a home wedding, taking place at the Wood residence, 431 Fulton st., Jamaica. The Rev. Rockland Tyng Homans, rector of Grace Episcopal Church of Jamaica, officiated. . . .
“A reception followed the ceremony. Upon their return from a honeymoon tour, Mr. and Mrs. Hustis will reside in Manhattan.
“The bride was graduated from Packer Collegiate Institute, class of 1917. She is a member of the Motor Corps of the National League for Women’s Servise (sic), and during the war was active in Red Cross work.
“Capt. Hustis’ father, James H. Hustis, is receiver for the Boston and Maine Railroad and District Director of the United States Railroad Administration for New England.
“Capt. Hustis was graduated from Harvard, class of 1915, and is a member of the Harvard Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. When the United States entered the war he was granted a leave of absence from the New York Central Railroad to take a commission in the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army. He sailed for France in July 1917, with the 14th U.S. Engineers, which was among the first regiments to see active service at the front, being brigaded with the British Army. Capt. Hustis returned from France in April of this year, and will resume his connection with the New York Central Railroad.”
How . . . Romantic?
Humphrey and Katharine were the well-connected children of important railroad executives, and both had ties to the New York Central Railroad. It makes me wonder if their relationship might have been different than I first imagined. Perhaps they were “a sensible match,” but the spark just wasn’t there.
Ah, well. I’ll end it my way: star-crossed at Star Lake.
We’ll always have the Adirondacks. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.
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Is this 1911 postcard a whisper of young love? We may never know. [Tweet this]
No skipping to the Happily Ever After of this love story… [Tweet this]
Question for You
Be honest: got any old love notes that might end up in a genealogist’s future research?