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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Following the Rabbit Trails...

Colette and I won a trip to Los Angeles through a radio station that we listen to and support. We stayed in a hotel in the financial district about 6 or 8 blocks from the Union Train Station. Across the street from the hotel was the enticing little Caravan Book Store. It had displays in the windows and inside the store, itself that screamed at me, “Come visit!” So we did. We met a nice gentleman who directed me to the train section of the bookstore. It included a few groupings of post cards. As I thumbed through them I realized that I already had most of them in my collection. He even had some Byron Harmon post cards from the Canadian Rockies near Field, British Columbia. We had a discussion about trains and I bought two post cards from his collection to add to mine.
This is one of them. I was attracted to it for two reasons; first, it had a train on the front and, second, it was from Lima, Ohio. My paternal grandfather was born in Lima, Ohio.
I have researched the train station. There were five stations in Lima, but I cannot figure out which one was known as the Union Depot. I found this in Wikipedia: Allen County's first railroad line was built by the Indiana Railroad in 1854 and later subsumed into the Pennsylvania Railroad system. By the early twentieth century, Lima was a transportation center with links to five railroads, and its economy was highly dependent on the industry-leading Lima Locomotive Works.
Then I tried to find out about the publisher: the M. Weixelbaum Co.
Searching the web I found that there have been many Weixelbaums in the United States. The closest I could come to this company was the following. This is the result of me putting together many puzzle pieces; I am not sure of exactly how accurate the picture is, but, here goes… M. Weixelbaum was born on June 19, 1883 as Milton Weixelbaum the son of Jewish parents Adolph and Jennie. He had at least one brother, probably Jesse. Milton married Elnora Betz in 1912; they had no children by 1926. He must have either gone into business with his brother(s) or they inherited the business. In the local paper there is a reference to applying for a job at the Weixelbaum Brothers Co. 20 West High Street.
I found things published by him as early as 1906. They were post cards of Muncie, Indiana. This particular post card is from the Divided Back Era (1907 – 1915). I can date it even more specifically because the postmark on the back says that the card was mailed on August 20, 1910. That makes this post card 105 years old two days ago.

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If you know anything about the history of the cards, the trains or the locations, please add them.