A Joyous Christmas to All – Arcadia, Nebraska (1909)

Mrs. E. A. Easterbrook lived in Arcadia, a village in central Nebraska.

The community was platted in 1885 with the coming of the railroad.

In 1910, Arcadia was twice as large as it is today – an example of the great depopulation that has taken place in the prairies since World War II.

At Christmas of 1909, Mrs. Easterbrook received a postcard from her friend, Ella, in Loup City.

Loup City, named for the Loup River, lies in central Nebraska.  

Loup City is 17 miles southeast of Arcadia.

(In the 1930’s, Loup City was the site of fierce clashes between townspeople and labor activists who were attempting to unionize a local poultry plant.)

Ella’s postcard was published by the E.P. Dutton Company of New York.

The face of the postcard bears a quotation (in ornate lettering) from a poem of Henry Van Dyke.

(Van Dyke, a noted Presbyterian clergyman, was a much-read author of short stories, essays, and memoirs.  He graduated from Princeton, was a friend of Woodrow Wilson, and served credibly as American Ambassador to the Netherlands when World War I began.)

This quotation is from the collection, “Music and Other Poems”, published by Charles Scribner & Sons in 1904.

On the reverse of the postcard, Ella writes simply, “Merry Christmas to All from All” – suggesting that Ella and Mrs. Easterbrook were each a part of larger households.

One hopes that both households experienced a Joyous Christmas.

(The postcard appears to have been pasted into an album.

Although that has preserved the good condition of the face, it has left a mark on the reverse.)


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