Contributed by WHC volunteer Mike Nugent

Oregon State Reform School WHC x2013.010.0022

Oregon State Reform School WHC x2013.010.0022

WHC x2013.010.0022

WHC x2013.010.0022







Hello Alice,

We are going to see Uncle Ernie Saturday and will tell him hello for you.



Possible Story of the Card:

Fredrick G. Haas lived in Salem as a druggist and was active in politics for several years while completing studies to receive his doctorate. (9, 10, 11) After a short time in San Francisco, he received his degree and returned to Salem in 1908. (8) Less than a year earlier (16), his wife, the former Mary Joseph, gave birth to a daughter, Helen La Vern Haas. (3) They already had two daughters, Alice (their first-born), and Mary. (3) Since his wife’s name was Mary, they may have called little Mary by her middle name, Jeannette. (8)

In 1900, Fred’s father and mother, Ulrich and Magdalena Haas lived on the family farm near Hillsboro, Oregon with Fred’s brother Ernst who was 17 at the time. (2b, 8) In May 1908, when this postcard was mailed, Fred, Mary, Jeannette and baby Helen may have been visiting the family farm in Hillsboro. Alice could have stayed back in Salem with a nanny or another caregiver.

At the time of the visit, Ulrich and Magdalena were elderly (Magdalena was to pass away 8 months later in January of 1909). (4a) The visit may have been precipitated by Fred not seeing his parents since returning from San Francisco and/or to show them the new baby, Helen. Also, at the time of the visit, Ernst (Uncle Ernie) was 25 and most likely had moved off the farm. By 1910, Ernst was married and living in Sheridan, near the most common buggy route from Hillsboro to Salem. (3b, 5) There was also a nearby rail line. (14) The visit to Uncle Ernie on the way back from Hillsboro to Salem seems reasonable.

While in Hillsboro, Mary most likely wrote this postcard to Alice on behalf of Jeannette who was only 4 or 5 at the time. Mother Mary probably couldn’t help herself and added a nice little note to Alice on the upper left portion of the card.

Baby is well and Mama is better.  Be a good girl and Mama will bring you something.

The card reached Alice despite having no street address since Dr. Haas was well known in the city, being a city council member for at least the year of 1907. (15) The Haas family lived in an area of very nice houses at 1108 Chemeketa in Salem, about a block from the state capitol building. (10)

This scenario would fit the postcard contents. Still left to explain is why the writer used a postcard showing the Oregon State Reform School. (7) Could druggist Haas have picked up this card while delivering prescriptions to the Reform School? (The cost of the drugs being charged to the State). (6)

  Reference Sources

  1. Salem Pioneer Cemetery Web Site
  2. 1900 Census
  3. 1910 Census
  4. Hillsboro Pioneer Cemetery
  5. 1911 NW Oregon Road Map

Alice haas road map

This 1911 Oregon road map shows the most direct route from Hillsboro to Salem passes very near Sheridan, where Ernst lived in 1910 and most likely in 1908.

  1. The Biennial Report of the Oregon Secretary of State from Oct 1, 1904 to Sep 30, 1906 to the Legislative Assembly Regular Session.
  2. E-Bay: Posting of an example of identical post card without frontal tears and missing picture parts.
  3. History of Oregon Illustrated, Vol 3, By: Charles H. Carney, The Pioneer Historical publishing Company, Chicago – Portland 1922.

“Dr. Fredrick G. Haas, who throughout his professional career was located in Portland, where he won an enviable place as a physician and surgeon, was born in Elgin, Iowa, In 1874, his parents being Ulrich and Magdalena (Scheidegger) Haas. The mother was born in the canton of Berne, Switzerland, November 9, 1845, and on the 14th of December, 1866, she became the wife of Ulrich Haas. In 1873, they crossed the Atlantic and first settled at Elgin, Iowa, where they resided until 1896, when they crossed the continent to Salem, Oregon. In the same year, they removed to Washington County, where Mr. Haas purchased a large farm in the vicinity of Hillsboro and thereon both spent their remaining days, being most highly respected and esteemed people of that community.

Dr. Haas of this review acquired his early education in his native town in Iowa and afterward accompanied his parents to the northwest. A desire to become a member of the medical profession led him to attend college at Salem, Oregon, while later he went to San Francisco and was there graduated in 1908, on the completion of a course in the College of Physicians and Surgeons, of which Dr. Anderson was then the Dean.

When he returned to Oregon, Dr. Haas opened an office in Portland, where he began the practice of medicine, which he successfully followed to the time of death on the 19th of October, 1918. He made a close study of everything that had to do with the laws of health and the treatment of disease and was constantly broadening his knowledge and thereby promoting his efficiency. He discharged his duties with the utmost sense of conscientious obligation and won the highest respect of his colleagues and contemporaries by his devotion to the advance standards and ethics of the profession.

On the 24th of November, 1898, Dr. Haas was united in marriage to Miss Mary Joseph, the adopted daughter of David Joseph and a resident of Salem. She was born in New Zealand, where her father was a Presbyterian minister. Three children were born to Dr. and Mrs. Haas: Alice Magdalene, Mary Jeannette and Helen La Verne.

Dr. Haas, following the outbreak of the world war attempted to enlist but was rejected an account of overweight. He then systematically began to reduce his weight and accomplished this, being accepted for the service; but he was taken ill with influenza and passed away. Portland recognized that in death a citizen of value had passed on. He had not only been a successful practitioner but at one time was a druggist of Portland, having opened a drug store on Williams avenue soon after his arrival in this city, and previously he had been engaged in the drug business at Salem for many years.

His political endorsement was given to the Republican Party and he was keenly interested in everything that had to do with the adoption and success of principles in which he firmly believed. He was at one time a member of the city council of Salem and on another occasion was a candidate for the office of treasurer, being defeated by only one vote. For many years, he belonged to the Masonic fraternity and loyally espoused it teachings and its purposes. He also had membership with the United Artisans, while his religious faith was manifest in his membership in the Third Baptist church. He was yet in the prime of his life when called to his final rest, being but forty four years of age. It seemed that he should yet be spared for many years of usefulness, his passing being the occasion of deep regret to the many whose friendship he had won.”

  1. 1907 Salem City Directory
  2. 1908 Salem City Directory
  3. 1909 Salem City Directory
  4. 1911 Portland City Directory
  5. 1915 Portland City Directory
  6. Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History: Oregon, Washington, Donald B. Robertson
  7. Daily capital journal. (Salem, Or.) 1903-1919, March 19, 1907
  8. Oregon Death Index