A Postcard Legacy from 1908

Cameron WV postcard

The Bank Panic of 1907 led to the temporary loss of jobs in the potteries in Trenton, NJ, where William Mulhern was a skilled potter. Desperate to provide for his young wife and year-old daughter Nellie, he moved the family to a farm in the Titusville – Pennington area outside of Trenton, and left for Cameron, West Virginia, where he heard employment was available.

While there, he sent Nellie a postcard in September 1908, shortly before her first birthday. The card was saved. William was able to return soon, and continued to develop his skills as a fine painter. Some of his rural scenes were based on the beauty of the farm’s surroundings. Some paintings were based on photos he took, some of which have survived.

Nellie raised a family of her own, and was a skilled writer. The card and skills were passed on to succeeding generations. William’s grandson Jim Alexander only saw his grandfather several times as a tot, but is proud of the postcard, what it represented, and of his heritage. This is only part of the story.

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