Wednesday, March 9, 2016

1909-1922 Postcards Sent to Shut-in Lucie Fish or Fishe and Sisters Georgia and Beth of Jonesboro, Maine

7 postcards sent to the Fish or Fishe sisters of Jonesboro, Maine - five to shut-in Lucia L. Fish, "Lucie" - and one each to Georgia Lindsey Fish and Elizabeth M. Fish, "Beth".  

They were the daughters of George Washington Gates Smith and Lizzie Madge (Drisko) Fish of Jonesboro, Maine.

The postcard sent to Georgia shows a Bird's Eye View of Barre, Vermont and contains a long message.  See the card and a transcript at the end of this post.

Arthur's Home Magazine, Volume 53 of 1885, contains an article that described the founding and mission of the Shut-in Society in 1885, most likely by its first president, Mrs. Helen E. Brown.  The second president was a shut-in herself, a Mrs. J. M. D. Conklin.  Other members included Miss E. E. Burge; Mrs. May S. Dickinson; Miss Annie E. Fuller; Miss E. Proudfit; Miss Jennie Cassidy; Mr. W. C. Mather; Mrs. M. E. Sangster; Miss Hester Bates; Miss M. Hitchen; Mrs. Kate S. Burr; Annie S. Bartlett.

Mrs. May S. Dickinson may have been the author, educator and humanitarian Mary Lowe Dickinson, a Fitchburg, Massachusetts, native, who married New York City banker John Dickinson.

Another article about the Shut-In Society appeared in the Cambridge Tribune issue of July 4, 1896.   At that time, the secretary of the organization was Miss Mary Hamilton Hartley of 14 Lincoln Street, New Haven, Connecticut.

Lucia Leigh Fish, "Lucie", was born February 26, 1890.  She died in 1956.  Georgia Lindsey Fish was born January 14, 1895.  She married William Noland Morris, "Willie", at Jonesboro, Maine, on August 15, 1915.  Willie died in 1972 and Georgia in 1982.  The postcards sent to her were dated 1909, 1919 and 1922.

Georgia Lindsey Fish was born January 14, 1895.  She married William Noland Morris, "Willie", at Jonesboro, on August 15, 1915.  Willie died in 1972 and Georgia in 1982.

Elizabeth M. Fish, "Beth", was born October 28, 1903.  She died in 1988.

There was another daughter, Cecile or Cecilia, born in 1899, but she died in 1903, before these cards were sent.

Card sent by Ethel Ladd, a shut-in at Santiago de las Vegas, Cuba.  She notes that her father raises strawberries for market.

Ethel Arline Ladd was born October 22, 1897 in Vermont, daughter of William Porter Ladd and his second wife Sarah Agnes (Sanborn) Ladd.   Her father, according to an online reference, once lived on a pineapple farm at Santiago de las Vegas.  The family later moved to Volusia County, Florida.  Ethel must have fought through whatever kept her a shut-in, as she went on to marry Albert C. Tyler and have at least one child.  Ethel died in 1982 and is buried with her brother Eugene Philip Ladd in the DeLand Memorial Gardens cemetery at DeLand, Florida.  Hopefully a reader will have more information.

Card sent to Miss Lucie Fishe by Alice M., postmarked 1908 in Bangor, Pennsylvania, with a photograph of the United Evangelical Church of Bangor, Pennsylvania, on the message side.

Card sent to Lucia Fish in 1909 by Alonzo Cole, Superintendent of the Shut-in Society Boys at 21 Wolcott Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts

Card sent to Miss Lucie Fishe by Leo Clark, 120 Pearl Street, New York, New York, in 1919.

Card sent to Miss Lucie Fish by Mrs. W. F. Hampe at 604 McCabe Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1922

  Card sent to Miss Beth Fish with no sender information and the postmark obstructed.

Card sent in what appears to be 1913 by "Sister" to Miss Georgia L. Fishe at Salem Depot, New Hampshire, in care of E. B. Hall, R.F.D. 1.  "Sister" may have been either Lucia or Beth.

"The show that is here is just the same as when it was here last year.  Al Martz is to be here the 17th.  Ruth's cold is about the same.  Mina gets our mail for us at night.  Last eve she and H was up and talked to me quite a while.  Mina is going away next Friday.  I can't bear to think of hr going - now there is a ray of comfort in seeing her but if she goes!!  Had a note from Aunt Cora last eve.  Yes they miss you at school and everybody asks for you.  Have a lot to tell you in my letter.  Mina said last night she was going to send you a card.  Mama will write tomorrow and she sends you her bestest love.  And she says give her love to Ploma and Hannah.  I have a __ for P when I write.  I've been sewing two forty.
It doesn't seem possible you have been gone only a week.  To us it seems years.  How kind people are to you, dear, and we feel so grateful to them.  Tata, til tomorrow."

If you can supply the missing word in the message above or provide more information on the people mentioned or the Fish or Fishe sisters themselves, please leave a comment or contact me directly.

A label for L. A. Fish & Company of Jonesboro, Maine:


  1. Mary Hamilton Hartley , is buried in Forest Cemetery in Buffalo New York as Mary Hamilton Hadley ...her grave has an embossing which says she was the secretary and treasurer of the shut in society for 33years.

    1. Thank you for this information! The mission of the Shut In society must have been so important to her.