Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Finding Meta Schrubbe, circa 1908

This is Meta Schrubbe. 
I'm guessing by her clothing the year is somewhere between 1905-1910. 
Anyone out there a bicycle expert?  Can you give me more clues?

I found this wonderful photo of Meta in an antiques/collectible shop in Stevens Point, WI.  The handwriting on the back of the photo says, Meta Schrubbe.

I noticed, Meta is wearing a ring, left hand, ring finger. 

Married?  Yes, I think so, but I haven't found a marriage date for Meta Lona Schrubbe and George Barton Kelly.  They had a daughter Lona in 1910.

in 1905 Meta would be 24 years old

I like to collect photos like these, scan the photo and post it on  I write to living relatives I can find--and make an effort to return the original photo. 

Her husband George Barton Kelly died in Jan 1920 at age 42.  According to his obituary, George was ill only one week when he passed away.  No mention made of the type of illness.   He was a paper mill employee for many years.  Meta was 39 years old in 1920, and her daughter Lona was 10 years old. They were living in Cohoes, New York in 1920.

I found Meta and her daughter Lona in the 1930 U.S. Census living in Milwaukee renting 870 Meinecke Avenue for $40.  Meta, now age 49 is employed as a Department Store Salesperson, and her daughter Lona 20, is a typist for and insurance company.

I wrote a message this morning to a lady on believe she is a living great granddaughter of Meta Schrubbe Kelly.  I offered the photograph at no charge.

I found Meta's obituary.  She died in Kentucky at age 71.

Post script January 5, 2014 - I received email from Linda Brown of Kentucky, great granddaughter of Meta Schrubbe Kelly.  And tomorrow I'll mail the original photograph to Linda.  Ms. Brown talks about visiting friends in Medford, WI and may come visit us.  

I am inspired by photograph of Meta and her bicycle--because I recently received a gift from Laurie at Reflections Antiques in Nelsonville, WI.  The gift: two handwritten binders, written by our own Ragnhild Bertine Quien in February 1908. 

Ragnhild was a 1906 graduate of St. Olaf's College and in 1908 she was teaching at Scandinavia Academy in my town of Scandinavia, WI. 

Ragnhild was writing (in those binders) about physical exercise and detailed steps to complete each exercise.  I am guessing Ragnhild must have been preparing to teach a girl's fittness class.  The writings seemed to be lesson plans from month to month.

Meta Schrubbe and Ragnhild Quien were modern, independent women.   I like them.  I wish I knew more about them.  How charming--more and more items seem to return to our 1893 Queen Anne Victorian where Ragnhild lived.  I have her teacher's briefcase, and a handful of letters she wrote to her brother Peter.  Great stuff.



  1. Love the old photo. How kind of you to contact descendants and offer them the photo. Sometimes we just wish the old photos could talk.

  2. Like you, I look at old photograph portraits and wonder about the lives that were led, and how people ended up. I find old schoolroom groupings particularly poignant.

  3. What a fascinating post! Love how you told us about the photo, and all the history involved. I know this post is from July and it is now Nov. but I just had to comment and tell you how much I've enjoyed reading and skimming through your blog. I came across it on Pinterest. I, too, love history and enjoy looking at old photos as well as photographing old/historical buildings and homes. You have a lovely blog and I look forward to future posts :)

  4. Greetings, what a wonderful post. I too enjoyed the story and the photographs. I think you are doing good with you research in the stories of the lives of those who left us and left a mark. Beautiful thank you its December and I just read your post. Again Very nice!