A Cryptic Message


The above postcard, postmarked six P.M., 10 August 1909, contains a cryptic message from S.S.H. to Miss Julia Fowler of 1310 Myrtle Avenue, Baltimore MD.

Hear’s one for
luck hoping that
you have changed
your mind about
a certain subject
Will see you to-
morrow night.

We may happily assume Julia did change her mind “about a certain subject” because she married Samuel Stewart Hoopper (1884-1972) on 7 June 1910. The wedding took place at the Third Reformed Church in Baltimore with the Reverend Clayton H. Ranck officiating.

In the 1910 Census Julia Leas Fowler (1886-1974) was unemployed and living at 1310 Myrtle Avenue, Baltimore, with her father, Isaac Fowler (1853-1922) , her mother, Julia Amelia Leas (1857-1932), and her sister, Lotta A. Fowler (1882-1938). She graduated from Western High School in 1905 and probably followed in her mother’s footsteps by attending Western Maryland College (McDaniel College).

Stewart, as he was known, was the son of Samuel James Hoopper (1861-1862) and Susan Lee Stewart (1862-1943). Stewart was an accountant by trade and a Mason. He served on the board of the Baltimore Coin Club. He was an amateur photographer and cache of his photographs from the early 20th Century was donated to the Maryland Historical Society in 1978.

Julia and Stewart had one child, Julia Fowler Hoopper (1913-2004). She never married and lived with her parents until they died. A graduate of the Maryland Normal School (Towson University), she was a teacher and librarian in Baltimore City public schools.

Stewart, Julia, and Julia were modest people who lived quiet lives. That doesn’t mean they had no impact. The esteemed newspaperman Jacques Kelly of The Baltimore Sun lived next door to the Hoopper family when he was a boy and occasionally mentioned them in his columns. In 1999 he wrote about Julia Fowler Hoopper’s Easter rituals and you can read that here. In September 2004 he wrote a lovely memorial to Julia Fowler Hoopper and I highly recommend you go here to read it.

Below is the front of Stewart’s postcard. I purchased the postcard at an antique store on The Avenue in Hampden, the coolest neighborhood in Baltimore.


A Cryptic Message

Letter: Moul Family of New York

The following letter is one of two I bought on The Avenue in Baltimore at Millbrook Antiques & Prints in October 2015. I did a little genealogical research on the family. Please contact me if you’re interested in further information, or if you would like to own the original letter.

The Moul family was very prominent in Rensselaer County, NY.

The town of Cato Four Corners is now known as Meridian and is located in Cayuga County, NY.

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Here is my transcript of the letter:

[Address on the front]

Mr. Frederick Moul
Cato Four Corners
Cayuga Co., NY

Sand Lake, NY

[Page 1]

January the 1, 1836, Sand Lake

Dear Cousin,

I take this opportunity to write to you that I am well at present and hoping these few lines will find you enjoying the same blessing. I have just left aft working for Mr. Hillard yesterday. Now I am uncle Henry and expected our folks after me but has been so stormy they did not come. I am now going to work about the neighborhood. I should be very much pleased to see you all but if I never see you on earth I hope to meet you in a better world than this.

Eliza Moul
Margaret Moul

Dear Cousins,

It is with much pleasure that I embrace this opportunity of writing a few lines to you on this storm New Years evening, being very comfortably situated in our room and thinking you had forgotten us. We would remind you of what you promised when last we parted. My health with the rest of our cousins is good at present. Hoping these few lines through the goodness of God will find you enjoying the same blessing. Dear cousins, I should be pleased to see you all yet we re at some distance from one another so that we cannot visit as we once did although we can recollect the past enjoyments we have had together, but know not that we shall ever enjoy them again on the shores of time. How important it is that if we meet no more on earth that we be prepared to meet in heaven. My best respects to you all.

Mother sends her best respects to your mother and says she would be pleased to see her. Her health has been very good this summer. Write to us as soon as you can.

Your Affection Friend,

Abigail Moul

[Page 2]

Sand Lake, January the 1 1837
Thomas M. Moul

Dear Uncle,

On this ((snowy)) day being new years day I take this opportunity to inform you that we through the goodness and mercies of god are enjoying tolerable good health which I think is the greatest temporal blessing on earth and hoping these few and broken lines will find you enjoying the same blessing. We have not heard from you since we received your letter. Your mother has been very unwell this last fall so that they sent up word father and uncle Peter and Jacob went down, but she has recovered her health again. Also, ((Mary)) has been sick but has gotten better. I have been down since and grand mother has been very much grieved thinking that you did not come and see her before you removed to the west. Grandma Measick is very sick the last that we heard from her. I suppose that you have heard that Sally is married. Cousin Frederick has bought a farm not far from the lower aqua duct. Father says that you must come down and he will go with you to Rhynebeck [Rhinebeck]. You must write us a letter how the prospects are there and how your crops were last summer and whether you think we had better sell yet or not. Thomas Measick offered us 50 dollars an acre for our farm. Charles and Hannah has been down and stayed with us one night and were all well. The rest of our friends are well as far as I know of. The snow fell about 15 inches on new years day.

I remain your humble servant until death.

Frederick Moul, Cato

Letter: Moul Family of New York