“Meny” Mulick & John Theus
This mystery photo is a bit different for two reasons. First, I have Mary’s writing on the back of the postcard, which says “Meny (Minnie?) Mulick on the left and, on the right, it says “John Theus sooy deer I woont your pekture good boiy.”
Minnie’s spelling wasn’t the greatest, but her cursive writing is quite clear.
I’ve found Mary Mulik, living in Passaic, New Jersey in the 1900 census. As I suspected, she was a contemporary of my grandparents, born in 1893, like each of them. She also lived in “the neighborhood,” the First Ward of Passaic and, without a doubt, would have attended St. Michael’s Church, which is at 96 First Street.
The Mulik family lived at 128 First Street, which today is where Etta Gero School #9 is. You can see St. Michael’s down the street to the right:
In 1900, there is a Mary Mulik who is a perfect match to the young lady in the photo. This family, however, isn’t in the 1910 census. The fact that I can’t find them isn’t a problem because, based on my own family experience, I know that these families criss-crossed the ocean more than once and may have returned to Europe for a while.
There are no other possible Mary Mulik/Mulick candidates around.
As for “John Theus,” I keep looking. There is no likely candidate for this young man in any census from 1900-1940 anywhere. There is a German Theus family living in Cleveland in 1910, but there are no obvious ties to New Jersey.
It’s possible that “my” John Theus wasn’t here for the 1910 census (my Nana missed it because she arrived in November, after the census taker had been around) and perhaps served and died in World War I.
I would dearly love to pass this photo on to a descendant of either Mary Mulik or John Theus if I could ever pick up a solid trail for either of them.