The Witching Hour


Happy Halloween!  This cabinet card, along with two others decorated in the same manner, was found at Freckle Farm Antiques in La Porte, Indiana.  The young woman is identified on the reverse as ‘Berta Kurtz’ (sic).  I have to wonder what Bertha would think about someone adding a witch hat to her image.  I can only say that if it were me I’d love it!

1907 Oct 25 KURTZ Bertha RECITAL The Marion Star OH
The Marion Star (OH), Oct. 25, 1907


What’s great is that thanks to a newspaper article we know what Bertha was doing 112 years ago today.  She was twenty-seven years old and was giving a recital at a church.  I wish we knew more details!  Three years later, on the 1910 census, it listed Bertha’s occupation as an elocutionist, which is a public speaker trained in voice, gesture, and delivery.  Maybe she was speaking that night about an important issue of the (WCTU) Women’s Christian Temperance Union, such as prohibition, women’s right to vote, or family values.  But I really hope it was something in the Halloween spirit instead, maybe a lively, animated ghost story!

Bertha married Russel Myers in 1910 and had two children, Kurtz and Hester.  She died of arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) at the young age of 48 and is buried in Oak Grove cemetery in Hillsdale, Michigan.

I used my best amateur photoshop skills to remove the black marker witches hat before adding Bertha’s photo to her Find a Grave memorial.

Census records
Find a Grave
Michigan death records
Ohio marriage records

8 thoughts on “The Witching Hour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s