West Point, PA
 Edna Wasser


This post card may date to around 1918. Who sent it? Who was Edna Wasser? Where did she live?

There is no postmark. Of course not. The card would have been intercepted by Edna's parents if it had gone through the mail.

The sender didn't sign his name but if he'd "leave his happy home in West Point" both he and Edna lived near each other. What if Edna had no idea who it was from?

Edna may have thought the post card was from some fellow she fancied and their relationship blossomed because of it. Years after they were married she mentioned the post card. Her husband asked, "What post card?" Upon producing the card her husband stated, "That's not my handwriting."

(Obviously, the preceding paragraph was an attempt at humor.)

We can trace the Wasser family using US Census information. In 1900 Emmanuel and his wife Lizzie Wasser lived on East School Street in North Wales, PA. They had two children; Claude, age 6 and Edna, age 3. Emmanuel was 31 years old and a teamster. (He managed teams of horses.)

By 1910 they had moved to Garfield Avenue in West Point with their son Claude (age 16) and daughter Edna K.(age 13). Emmanuel was a teamster in a coal yard. (He actually worked for Mattern and Knerr Coal and Feed on Cottage Avenue in West Point)

In 1920 the Wassers still live on Garfield Avenue with daughter Edna. Emmanuel is now a truck driver. Edna is 22 years old. In the 1930 census Emmanuel and Lizzie are still on Garfield, but Edna isn't.

According to the 1940 census, Emmanuel and Lizzie Wasser still lived on Garfield Ave. The census states that Emmanuel had worked in the trucking industry, and was retired.

Unfortunately, it's not possible to derive an exact address from the census, as the households are listed in order of visitation. If we use the Fenstermacher's (614 Garfield) and the Shepherd's (640 Garfield) as "anchor addresses" (because they appear in all the census records) it seems the Wasser's lived between West Point Pike and 2nd Street on Garfield.

That's somewhat helpful. There are three places they could have lived. 612, 615 or 619 Garfield Avenue.

The Ambler Gazette has some information about Edna.

According to the Ambler Gazette dated Thursday, April 1, 1915, Edna Wasser visited friends and relatives in Norristown.

The West Point column of the Gazette, dated December 13, 1917, states Manuel Wasser, who drove a truck for L. W. Mattern (the hay press operation on Cottage Avenue) was ill with a severe attack of lumbago (low back pain). On March 17, 1921 he was once again laid up with illness. In December of 1926 he had been suffering for months with Rheumatism in his arm. It was noted at this time that he had worked for Lesher Mattern for over 21 years.

An article dated January 10, 1917 states that the annual meeting of the Grace Reformed Sabbath School was held at the home of miss Edna Wasser. She was elected secretary during the meeting.

In June of 1917 Edna Wasser spent some time at Black Rock as a guest of  her aunt.

A column printed on September 26, 1918 describes "Liberty Loan registration day." All persons over the age of 18 were expected to register. The "Fourth Liberty Loan Committee of Upper Gwynedd Township" had been organized, with Edna Wasser as a member.

A news article dated October 3, 1918 describes a parade to be held October 12 in honor of the boys from West Point, PA who were fighting in France. These were Raymond Hoot, Claude Liester and Elmer Fox. Edna Wasser was part of the music committee. It was to be the greatest event ever held in the history of Upper Gwynedd Township. (Why didn't they have the parade after the boys returned??)

The parade was organized by Camp No. 33 of the Patriotic Order of the Sons of America. This was the West Point, Pennsylvania camp, located at 2nd and Garfield next to the firehouse. Emmanuel Wasser was the Assistant Recording Secretary. Both he and his daughter Edna, now 21 years old, worked together on this event.

In early January, 1919 Grace Reformed Church elected Edna Wasser as both secretary and assistant organist.

The April 24, 1919 edition of the Ambler Gazette says Edna Wasser was elected treasurer of the Young People's Society of Grace Church.

After 1919 there are no more accounts of Edna Wasser in the Ambler Gazette, yet the news of her father having Rheumatism was from 1926. Was it because her last name had changed or was it because she had left her happy home, or both?

The mystery has been solved, thanks to one time West Point resident Joy Boileau. The man who sent the post card with the distinctive handwriting was Edward P. Schuman, who lived on Main Street (West Point Pike) in 1920. After Edward and Edna were married, they moved to Lansdale, PA.

The Ambler Gazette didn't cover Lansdale, which explains why news of Edna and her accomplishments ceased to be reported. However, we find in the edition dated October 31, 1918 that Edward Schuman was in the U. S. army in the Motor Supply Train Corps. His brother Joseph had enlisted in the Marines.

Edward, like Edna's father, was also a member of Camp 33 of the P. O. S. of A. In 1919 his title was "Inspector".

Edward Schuman died in 1957. Edna Kensley Wasser died in 1978. Both are buried in Whitemarsh Cemetery.