A Christmas Quotation for Josie – Zion City, Illinois (1910)

Miss Josie Mengel lived in Falls, an unincorporated community on the Susquehanna River in northeast Pennsylvania.


In December of 1910, Josie received a Christmas postcard from Nina.

Nina mailed the postcard from Zion City, an intentional community founded by a charismatic faith-healer, about forty miles north of Chicago, Illinois.


The face of the postcard is a portrait of William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), the erstwhile lawyer, newspaper publisher, poet, and essayist.

Bryant, a notable man of letters in the 19th century, is not well-recognized today.


Above the portrait is a medallion framing a rhymed couplet related to Christmas:

“O’er half the earth, in every temple, crowds shall knell (sic) again,

To celebrate His birth Who brought the message of good will to men.”

The postcard was designed by the prolific postcard artist, John Winsch, and was copyright in 1910.

On the reverse, Nina writes a long message.

It seems that Nina might be a school-teacher, as (after issuing holiday wishes) she writes, “…there doesn’t seem to be time for anything else after the school-work is done”.

Nina asks Josie, “what are you doing this winter?” and asks her to write.

Nina’s message is sent “lovingly”.

One hopes that the friends enjoyed a splendid Christmas and that they were happy and successful in 1911.


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