Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sentimental Sunday - Women with Hats - Big Hats in Clay Center, Kansas

This real photo postcard shows four, very stylish ladies from Clay Center, Kansas wearing extremely large hats and is dated on the back April 4, 1912.  Evidently it was cold in Kansas that April as each of these women is dressed for cold weather, perhaps an outing or for travel.  Besides their hats, they are wearing floor-length overcoats, carrying purses and gloves.  It is a wonderful photo of early 1900's fashions and appears to have been taken in a studio.

On the back someone has very nicely identified three of the women as Ellin Wickstion, Ida Ericson and Abbie Swenson.  Unfortunately, they did not note which name went with which woman.  To make matters worse the penner has placed an ink star on the front and noted on the back, "I starred beneath Mom."  We can assume one of those names belongs to "Mom," but that is still no help.  These names all appear to be of Swedish origin and I found the last woman, Abbie Swenson, in the 1910 Clay County, KS census on  She was born in 1889 in Kansas which would make her about 23 years old in this photograph, perhaps the one in the back left.


  1. I would guess the 3 names are the other 3 girls and the star for Mom needed no name -- the person knew Mom. I hope you'll work on finding the others. Maybe they'll appear near one another in a census. But heaven help you if they married later.

    1. You make a good point, Wendy, I hadn't thought of it that way. Perhaps the writer did assume that as she knew her Mom's name she didn't need to write it down, but made a point to list the other three.

  2. I love looking at old photos and the styles of clothing and accessories people wore back then. I have one photo in particular where a women is wearing a big hat with a lot of flowers on them. There are so many flowers on the hat, it seems like the hat would weigh 5 - 10 pounds.

    Regards, Jim
    Woman with a big hat at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

  3. That Norwegian GuyAugust 03, 2012 6:55 PM

    I firmly belive that the name is Wickström (prob. Elin Wickstrom in the censuses).


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