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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.