Elmira Jean is Three – Conestoga, PA (circa 1905)

Miss Elmira Jean Campbell lived in the household of M. C. Campbell, presumably, her father.

The family lived in Conestoga, an unincorporated community between the Conestoga River and the Pequea Creek in southwest Lancaster County


For her third birthday, Elmira received a postcard greeting from Sunday School.

Mary Smith Warfel, Cradle Roll Superintendent, signed the postcard.

On the face, a girl in a layered, frilly dress holds a parasol.

Behind her, birds enjoy a bird bath.

There are several churches in and around Conestoga; Conestoga United Methodist is one of the oldest congregations (and this congregation may have been Evangelical United Brethren before the merger with the Methodist Church in the mid-20th century.  I have not found a history of the congregation this morning.)

Thousands of children, too young to join the Sunday School, were connected to the life of congregations through the “Cradle Roll”.

A sufficient number of these mailed greetings have survived that one could amass a specialized postcard collection devoted to the Cradle Roll.

One hopes that young Elmira Jane enjoyed a happy birthday and that she grew up in safety and security in the pleasant town of Conestoga.


Mary Smith Warfel (1877-1942) and her husband, Albert Warfel (1875-1954) are buried in the cemetery of Conestoga United Methodist Church.

(Mary would have been in her mid-twenties when she administered the Cradle Roll.)


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