Jonas Clark Hall - I like my work very much.

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The cornerstone of Jonas Clark Hall at Clark University was laid on October 22, 1887. The next day in The New York Times it was reported that "The building ... is 205 feet long by 65 feet deep. It is composed of a central structure five stories high, flanked on either side by four-story wings. The middle section is surmounted by a clock tower which rises to a height of 102 feet, while at the extreme end of the wings are corner towers 76 feet high."

Clark University was the brainchild of Jonas Gilman Clark, who organized a group of prominent local citizens to petition the state legislature and then personally donated $1,000,000 (roughly $25,000,000 in current dollars) to establish the school. This building was the first erected on campus and was designed by architect Stephen C. Earle in the Classical Revival style.

  Jonas Clark Hall, Clark University: August 24, 2016

Jonas Clark Hall, Clark University: August 24, 2016

Jonas Clark Hall has today been joined by many other buildings on the expanded campus but is still the centerpiece of the University. Seen from the front gates at 950 Main Street, it announces both the school itself and the year of its founding in bold granite lettering.

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Sent to: Miss Marguerite Taggart
Address: Bartonsville, VT
Postmark: 12/11/1906 - Worcester Mass.
F: Marguerite Nothing else to do so I thought I would send you a picture (of my?) girl. I like my work very much. (Father?) (Fletcher?)

THE MYSTERY

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  • The paucity of letter-forms on any postcard often makes it difficult to tease out some parts of the written content. That is certainly the case here. Is the card signed, "Father" or "Fletcher?" We know from the census that Marguerite's father was living with his family in 1900 and 1920, but was not recorded there in 1910. However, since he was a railroad conductor, he might well have been missed during that particular census and no doubt traveled through Worcester on a regular basis.

THE SENDER

We may speculate that the sender was Marguerite's father, as above, but if that's not the case, then "Fletcher" will, no doubt, forever remain an unknown figure in this context.

THE RECIPIENT

Marguerite Esther Taggart, the daughter of Charles and Jennie Taggart, was born on March 23, 1891 in North Walpole, New Hampshire. She married Frank Snow on August 12, 1913 and at the time of the 1930 Federal census was living with him in Rockingham, Windham, Vermont. He owned a General Store, where she worked as a Sales Clerk, and they had one daughter, Marguerit Virginia Snow, born October 23, 1917.

REFERENCES
(1) (Jonas) Clark Hall - Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System
(2) Jonas Clark's Gift - The New York Times (October 23, 1887) [ Paywall ]
(3) Postcard History - Smithsonian Institute
(4) 1900, 1910, 1920 & 1930 Federal Census Records - Ancestry.com

The Card

The Metropolitan News Co., Boston Mass.
Manufacturers of Souvenir Postal Cards.
Made in Germany.
[5595.]