Amalie Schoenthal Wolfe and Etta Wolfe Wise: Photo Analysis Part II

Looking back at my prior post, let’s assume for purposes of this post that I have correctly identified Amalie Schoenthal Wolfe and her daughter Etta Wolfe Wise in the two photographs below.

Etta Wolfe Wise to far right, upper. Courtesy of the family

Courtesy of the Family

Then who are the other people in these two photographs? Are they other relatives of mine, relatives of Amalie and Etta?

Starting with the first photograph, which I will refer to as the porch photo, I am assuming that the older woman standing on the porch is Amalie and Etta is to her left. Who is the woman on the other side of Amalie, and who are those five adorable little children in front of them?

Looking at the second photograph, which I will refer to as the formal photograph, I identified the older woman as Amalie and the woman standing in the rear next to her as Etta. So who is the other woman? Is she the same woman as the woman standing on the porch with Amalie and Etta in the other photo?

When I compare those two women, I believe they are the same woman, and my guess is that she is Etta’s only sister and Amalie’s only other daughter, Flora Wolfe Goldman.

The hair and how it is parted and the mouth seem so similar that I think they are the same person. What do you think?

I think the formal photograph was taken some years before the porch photograph, and that the two children in the formal photograph are mostly likely two of Flora’s children. Flora had four children: Leroy (1901), Helen (1903), Donald (1905), and Marjorie (1908). I am guessing that the little boy in the photo is Leroy and the little girl is Helen. My guess is that the photo was taken between 1904 and 1905 and perhaps Flora was pregnant with Donald when it was taken.

So that brings me to the next question: Who are those five little children in the porch photograph?

Assuming that is Flora in the porch photograph, it had to have been taken before September 30, 1910, when Flora died. She died from puerperal fever—a fever caused by a uterine infection after childbirth.1 Since Flora does not look obviously pregnant in the porch photograph and since it looks like the weather must have been relatively warm or at least not wintry, I am going to assume that the photograph was taken no later than the fall of 1909, but after 1905 or so when the formal photograph was taken.

At the time Flora died, her mother Amalie had six grandchildren. Flora’s four, Leroy, Helen, Donald, and Marjorie, and Amalie’s two grandchildren through her son Lee: Lloyd, born in 1902, and Ruth, born in 1905.

I would guess that the children in the photograph range in age from about fifteen months old to four years old. If the photograph was taken in 1906 or so, Flora’s children would have been five, three, and one (Marjorie would not yet have been born).  Lee’s two children would have been four and one in 1906.  Since there are only five children in the photo, maybe they are Flora’s older three (Leroy, Helen, and Donald) and Lee’s two (Lloyd and Ruth). And although they all look like girls, I know that little boys often wore dresses back in those days.

So I have no idea. Maybe they’re cousins from another branch of the family or neighbors. Without more photographs and information, I am grasping at straws!

But I do feel pretty comfortable identifying Etta, Flora, and Amalie.

I have a few more Etta/Amalie photographs to analyze. Maybe they will shed more light.

 

 

 


  1. There was no death certificate for a baby born in 1910 to Flora Wolfe Goldman so I assume the baby was stillborn or perhaps was miscarried. If Flora had an early miscarriage that led to a uterine infection, I suppose the photograph might have been taken in the spring of 1910. 

20 thoughts on “Amalie Schoenthal Wolfe and Etta Wolfe Wise: Photo Analysis Part II

  1. I know boys often wore dresses when toddlers, but the four children on the right really do look like girls. The child on the far left might possibly be a boy. However, in the formal photo, the very young boy is definitely dressed as a boy. Also, in the second photo, the little girl is a very big girl if she is 2 years younger than Leroy. Could the children be Helen and Donald?

    Liked by 1 person

    • They could be anyone! Your points are all valid. But until someone finds me and provides photos of those children, I am just speculating. Thanks, Linda!

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  2. What I hope for you is that someone who has photographs that are identified will get in touch with you.
    I agree that the two women you identified as Flora look similar. The problem I have with them being the same person is the timeline you’ve established for the pictures. You’ve established the time between the two pictures at between 4-5 years. If both are of Flora, she seems to have aged a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Amy, the Flora photo’s would seem to suggest there is a larger gap in time than 5 years. On photo number 2,Flora’s face looks a bit thinner unless it’s someone else… my copy of Santa Fe Love Song has arrived hoorah! I’ll keep you posted as to my thoughts, well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Shirley! Others have also commented that the woman in the porch photograph looks much older than the woman in the formal photograph. I can see that but chalked it up to having four kids five and under and being not as dressed or made up as in the posted photo. But I could be wrong, and it might not be Flora. Anything is possible! And if it’s not Flora, I’ve no idea who it is.

      I hope you enjoy the book! Let me know. Thanks!

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  4. Hi Amy – read through the other thoughts with Flora looking much older than your time line. Perhaps the time line is off ? But another thought or observation, when you compare the porch photo of Etta with the formal photo she too looks much older. Also noticing their affectionate pose with ‘their’ mom, both woman have their arms around her. I am going with it may be Flora 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sharon. It’s hard to fudge the timeline if I am right that those are Flora’s two oldest children in the formal photo because she died just seven years after her daughter Helen was born. Flora would have been 30 in 1905 and was 35 in 1910 when she died. Etta was eight years younger so 22 in 1905 and 27 in 1910. I can’t figure it out. Maybe it’s not Flora—but no one else makes sense. I guess it will remain a mystery for now! Thanks so much for your thoughts.

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