Friday, February 20, 2015

Nannie Wilson

The young woman whose likeness was captured in this Real Photo postcard image was a schoolteacher in Red Wing (or Redwing), Kansas in 1907-08. The names of her pupils are neatly written on the back of the card:

Harry Hall
Willie Ruble
Amelia Proksch
August Proksch
James Ruble
Matilda Heoffner
Blanch Cliff
Carl Winkle
Joseph Heoffner
Ethel Bailey
  Alloys Heoffner
Dell Wylie
Richard Bailey
Stella Ruble
Regina Smith
Anna Proksch
Rosine Winkle
Isabell Bailey
Joe Proksch
James Bailey

Below the names is the following inscription: "In loving remembrance of days spent to-gether in district 31./ Nannie Wilson / Teacher".

There are twenty students listed but some of the surnames are repeated (there are four children named Bailey, four named Proksch), so Wilson undoubtedly taught a range of ages at the same time, presumably in one room. Amy Bickel, who writes the Dead Towns in Kansas blog and has photos of the area as it looks now, includes Redwing today among the state's more than 6,000 ghost towns.

There are identifiable traces of a number of Nannie Wilson's pupils in census records and other online sources, but I'm not inclined to pursue them. Perhaps in this case I just feel that the stories of these people don't belong to me, that I have no right to them.

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

“In loving remembrance of days spent to-gether”: what a beautiful, heartfelt thing for a teacher to say.

I searched for one name and found a daughter who died just last month. I know what you mean about not having a right to these stories: they’re not all that far in the past.