Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flapper Bride

This wedding portrait is particularly interesting to me.  I knew before I started searching that this had to have been taken in the 1920s.  The wedding dress is indicative of the flapper style of the time, with the dropped waistline.  I love the way the streamers from the bouquet hang down, looking like they are a part of the dress.  I love  the way her veil pools on the floor.  I love the little vase of flowers on the pedestal.  The composition of the entire photo is just so pleasing.

There is no photographer's mark on this photo, so I don't know who deserves the credit.

The identification on the reverse reads:  "_____? Richter, Minnie Pillack" and an additional note beneath reads:  "Minnie baked Martha Zschech's wedding cake 5/28".

There was plenty to work with here, so it did not take me long to identify the couple.  Clara Minna "Minnie" Pillack was born August 8, 1905, in Fedor, Lee County, Texas, to parents Carl Edward Andreas and Clara (Faske) Pillack.  On November 4, 1928, in Fedor, Minnie married Max John Christian Richter, born February 16, 1904, in Walburg, Williamson County, Texas, to parents Traugott and Minna Magdalene Hulda (Schneider) Richter.

Perhaps the name Pillack rings a bell?  This was another case of connecting to another photo in my collection.  Minnie's sister Bertha was featured in an earlier post, Photo Anomalies.

Minnie and Max seem to have lived an average life.  They relocated to Alice, Texas, where Max worked as a farmer.  I was able to locate evidence of several children born to the couple.  In the 1930 census they are brand new first time parents.  Max, age 26, and Minnie, age 25, have a one month old daughter, Doris.  By 1940 the family has grown considerably.  Daughter Doris is 10, daughter Joyce is 8, daughter Mary Ann is 6, daughter Elfrieda is 4 and Edward (shown as a daughter in the census, but I suspect is really a son) is seven months.  At least one more child is born, in 1941, son Lawrence Ray Richter who I found searching the Texas death records.  There may be others, but records are harder to dig out past 1940 due to privacy restrictions.

There was not much more to be found for this couple, but I did find a mention in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times on July 2, 1961.  Max Richter tied with another local farmer in Jim Wells County for the honor of "first bales" of cotton for the season.

All in all, it appears they lived a normal farming life in Alice.  Minnie died in 1984 and Max in 1991.  Both are buried in Zion Cemetery in Walburg.

I had one more tiny mystery to solve before I left this couple.  I wanted to see if I could find Martha Zschech, whose wedding cake was baked by Minnie Pillack in May of 1928.  It did not take me long to find her, and when I did I was astonished to find a photo that is very reminiscent of the photo here.

Martha Zschech married Edwin Wagner on May 20, 1928.  Martha and Edwin are buried in the Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery in Fedor and their burial information and wedding photo is posted on Find a Grave.  I hope that Minnie baked Martha's wedding cake because they were close friends, although I realize that Minnie might just have been a gifted baker who was hired for the job.  But my gut tells me that these two girls had grown up together and were close friends who both just happened to get married in the same year.


1 comment:

  1. I just read (20 Oct 2014) your blog comments on Rev William Brookman. It is a decent summary highlighting his immediate family and some of his religious activities.

    WM Brookman, Jr is my gg grandfather. The picture of him on site is very similar to others I have of him.

    best regards

    Cliff Huber
    Kakabeka Falls, ON