This postcard of adorable dogs making a spectacular mess was sent to Olga Stottlemyer of Wolfsville, posted on 15 July, 1907. It was from her cousin Sadie, who mailed it in in Myersville, and reads: "Dear Cousin, Found all well at home, but I have a bad cold, could barely speak above a whisper since Wed. -?-, Tom Brown is not any better, seems to be getting weaker. Lovingly, Sadie. Mother thinks Knight Errant is fine. Have not read the news yet."
Olga Delvita Stottlemyer (pictured second from left, below), born on 15 February, 1880, in Wolfsville, was the daughter of farmer Henry F. C. Stottlemyer (1842-1927), son of Daniel James and Joanna Recher Stottlemyer, and Martha Ellen Brown (1847-1930), daughter of William B. and Elizabeth Fox Brown of Foxville. The Stottlemyers' farmhouse, to which this postcard was delivered, still stands at 12719 Stottlemyer Road, Wolfsville (pictured below in about 1992).
Olga took a degree in art at Hood College, Frederick. On the 1910 Census, she lived with her parents and sister. She stated her occupation as a landscape painter. In 1926, Olga, who was living with her brother Worth Brown Stottlemyer, was listed in the Waynesboro, Pennsylvania city directory as an artist. Art was extrememly important to both Olga and her brother Worth, a real estate agent, who bequeathed a collection that included works by Rembrandt, James Whistler, Thomas Moran, and many members of the Hudson River School to his son Quayton, who, in turn, gifted it to the Juiniata College of Art in Huntington, Pennsylvania. For a time, all of his collection resided in the farmhouse in Wolfsville.
Knowing that Olga was an artist, it is likely that Sadie chose a postcard featuring a painting, which is titled "The Art Lesson," by an unknown artist. Additionally, Sadie mentions "Knight Errant" in the message. This may refer to The Queen's Knight Errant: A Story of the Days of Sirs Walter Ralegh, a popular fiction novel by Beatrice Marshall that was published in the United States by E. P. Dutton in 1905.
In January, 1910, Olga and her sister Irma were both severely injured when their hysterical horse "ran off, overturned the buggy and threw the young ladies out," reported the Baltimore Sun. "Miss Olga sustained a broken leg and was made unconscious. She was carried to the office of Dr. M. D. Kefauver, who gave surgical aid." In 1927, the Frederick News of 11 July noted that she had sustained another critical injury from a fall whilst wallpapering.
On the 1930 Census, Olga was still with her mother and her brother Claude at the Wolfsville farm, and by 1940, she lived alone with Claude after her mother's passing. Olga died, never having married, at Valley View Nursing Home in Middletown in March 1964 and was buried in Green Hill Cemetery, Waynesboro.
The identity of cousin Sadie and Tom Brown remains a mystery for the moment, although Brown was almost certainly a cousin on Olga's mother's side of the family. If you can shed any light on these two people, please let us know.