Main at Walker
Postmarked: 29 May 1917; Houston, Texas “C”
Stamp: 1c Green George Washington #405
To: Miss Sadye Cranford
111 S. Church St.,
Union, S. C.
Have just been up St, takeing in the sights & Scenes, With you had been with me. I made a few snaps with my Kodak will send some if they are good. Hope to make many more on My route. Will write you [torn] from New Orleans. Walter
[top] Houston, Tex.
Sadye Cranford was 26 when she received this postcard from Walter. She lived with her father on Church Street in Union, a city 50 miles east of Greenville in Upstate South Carolina. William Cranford was a furniture salesman, and he relied on Sadye as his eldest child to run the household after the death of her mother in 1905. Mattie A. Rowell Cranford was only 35 when she died at home, mother of Marie (1889, d. before 1900), Sadye Isadore (1890), Hinton Dupree (1894), Elizabeth Estell (1898), Linnie May (1901), Mary Martha 1903.
Walter J. Fillyaw, at age 27, was a little older than Sadye, and from his message, a photography enthusiast. Kodak was a pioneer in the business of making photography affordable for the average citizen, and by 1917 small cameras cost about $15, which in today’s costs would be about $350. Film would have been taken to a chemist (pharmacist), who might develop it himself or send it to a proprietary lab. Images were contact prints the size of the film, enlargers were not yet in use.
Walter was from Cumberland County, NC some 200 miles from Union, SC, and how they met across such a distance is not clear. Walter’s father was Hanson Murphy Fillyaw, a farmer well educated in clerical skills who had been the census taker for his home district in the 71st township in 1900 and 1910. Hanson had died 25 months before Walter’s postcard, and when it was sent, Walter was heading back home to South Carolina from a trip through the south including Houston and New Orleans on his itinerary. He joined the Medical Department of of the 4th Infantry stationed at Camp Greene, Charlotte, NC, and the trip may have been in connection with military duties.
After his trip they reunited and continued to court each other. On Sadye’s 27th birthday five months and 9 days later in Union, SC they married, but were separated again after only five months when Walter shipped out for service in the Medical Detachment of the 4th Infantry, 3rd Division on April 6, 1918, and returned with gunshot wounds on a convalescent troopship on February 27, 1919.
They took up housekeeping at 513 Jackson Street in Athens, GA by 1920 but returned to his origins in Cumberland County, NC. In Fayetteville he became a truck farmer and their family grew: Ethel Juanita (1921 in Athens), Hazel Mae (1923 in Atlanta), James Weldon (1925), Alexander (1928), Margery Ann (1930), S. Mildred (1939), Charles Edwin (1940).
Walter died 23 April 1972 and Sadye died 25 October 1976; they are buried in Lexington Memorial Cemetery in Lexington, NC