Held by The Filson Historical Society
Creator: Frantz, W. Harold, 1879-1959
Title: Christmas cards, 1919-1948
Rights: For information regarding literary and copyright interest for these papers, contact the Collections Department.
Size of Collection: 0.33 cubic feet
Location Number: Mss. A F836
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of Christmas cards created by W. Harold Frantz of Louisville. The cards each contain Frantz’s pencil or ink drawings and original poetry. W. Frantz sent these cards almost yearly from 1919 to the late 1940s to Estelle Hays in Baltimore, Maryland, who had been married to W. Harold’s brother, Walter L. Frantz, before his early death. Estelle (maiden name McCampbell, becoming “Hays” after her second marriage to Tom Hays) continued to live in the Frantz family home until she remarried and moved to Baltimore.
Many of the cards are in the shapes of food (such as a bunch of grapes, a walnut, a fruitcake), while two are in the shapes of Christmas gifts. Others show drawings of the interior and exterior of the Victorian-style Frantz family home on Sycamore Street in Clifton, where W. Harold Frantz lived all his life. He kept the home just as it had been when he was growing up, continuing to use gas fixtures to light many of the rooms. The 26-room house depicted in the cards contained 19 fireplaces, two of which were made from white marble. A bathroom included a wooden copper lined tub. There were four pairs of ten-feet-tall paneled walnut doors adorned with brass ornamental hinges, as well as eighty pairs of paneled walnut shutters and three gold leaf and walnut window cornices.
This collection was formerly part of the Filson Library’s Greeting Card Collection
George W. Frantz, father of W. Harold, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1844. George married Mary Magdelene Enderlin, daughter of Joseph Enderlin, in 1866 in Jefferson County and had six children: George W. Jr., born May 7, 1867, Walter L., born 1871, David W., born 1873, Edwin A., born 1876, W. Harold, born April 1879, and Emma Eugenia, the only daughter.
Harold’s brothers George Jr. and Edwin joined their father in the prosperous family tannery business, but W. Harold did not follow in his father’s footsteps. He was most likely educated in public schools and had some degree of musical training, as he was known to have played classical piano, as well as the organ for churches in the Crescent Hill area. Frantz worked as a draftsman for the Southern Bell and Telegraph Company for much of his adult life until his retirement. He never married and lived his entire life in the Frantz family home at 2143 Sycamore Street in the Clifton neighborhood, which his father George purchased in 1883.
Harold Frantz died in 1959 in the Pewee Valley Hospital and is buried in the Frantz lot in Cave Hill.
This biographical note is excerpted from an article on Frantz featured in the Filson Newsmagazine, vol. 5 no. 4, a print-out of which is included in the collection’s introductory materials.
Folder 1: Christmas cards, 1910s and undated
Folder 2: Christmas cards, 1920s
Folder 3: Christmas cards, 1930s
Folder 4: Christmas cards, 1940s
Architecture, Victorian – Kentucky – Louisville.
Christmas – Kentucky – Louisville.
Christmas cards – Kentucky – Louisville.
Clifton (Louisville, Ky.)
Colored pencil drawing.
Frantz, W. Harold, 1879-1959.
Greeting cards – Kentucky – Louisville.
Louisville (Ky.) – Buildings, structures, etc.