VINTAGE PHOTO PORTRAIT OF A BABY: SAD STORY OF MISS OTTILLIE HEDWIG BIAR

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austin-baby-1Meet Ottillie Hedwig Biar. This vintage photograph captures a cute baby bundled up in a gown and hat. The child is sitting on a wicker chair and is likely held there by a brace hidden under her clothing. The baby is holding a rattle. An inscription on the reverse of the photograph identifies the child as “Hedwig Biar”. Preliminary research revealed some biographical information concerning this little girl. Her full name is Miss Ottillie Hedwig Biar and she was born in 1906 in Thorndale, Texas. The town is forty miles northeast of Austin. Her parents were both native Texans. Her father was Otto Biar (1879-1956) and her mother was Lydia Moerbe (1885-1957). Otillie had five brothers and four sisters. Perhaps you noticed that Ottillie’s name is similar to her fathers name (Otto). Wikipedia reveals that Otillie is a given name stemming from the German boy’s name Otto. The name means “wealth” or “prosperity”. Unfortunately, poor Otillie didn’t prosper in life. In fact she lived a short life. After living in Houston for a year and a half working as a housekeeper, she succumbed to typhoid in 1927 at the age of twenty-one. She died in Houston’s Baptist Hospital and was buried in Thorndale.

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Published in: on October 31, 2016 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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