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Sept. 1, 1909: Foundling showered with love and gifts

Posted by: Ben Welter under Minnesota History Updated: August 9, 2013 - 7:04 PM
 
Part 3: More than a dozen neighborhood women gathered at the Sanford home on Aug. 31 to present a variety of “useful gifts” and extend their kind wishes to the little foundling. The Tribune representative, “Quentin,” stopped by to record the scene and bestow two gifts: a lace cap and a handsome baby carriage, “one of the best that Boutell Bros. had in stock.”

The adoptive father, Carl Sanford, offered his sincere thanks to all in attendance, and explained why he and his wife chose “Tribuna” as the girl’s name: “The Tribune has been especially good and kind to the baby and my wife, and I want to say that we are grateful for all it has done for us. We have named the baby after The Tribune because we think it is a pretty and appropriate name.”

Still no details on the unidentified woman who left the infant on the confectionery counter. But, in the last paragraph, the reporter unknowingly foreshadowed the heartbreak that was to come.

[read part 1]  |  [read part 2]
 

Little Tribuna Sanford
Has a Wardrobe Shower


Neighbors Make Many Gifts to Baby and Delight Parents’ Hearts.

Infant is Presented With a Go-Cart by Its Namesake, The Tribune.
 
Little Tribuna Sanford was the recipient of a unique wardrobe shower at her home, 3401 Lyndale avenue south, yesterday afternoon.
 
Amid heaps of fluffy baby lingerie and silken little garments, the wee baby coddled in a large clothes basket, temporary substitute for the carriage soon to arrive – the admired of a crowded room of kind hearted neighbors and friends – blinking an unknowing gratitude.
 
 
  Boutell Bros., "a Minneapolis Institution Owned by Minneapolis People," advertised regularly in the Tribune. This ad appeared on Saturday, Aug. 21, 1909.
The little home was crowded to the doors by the women of the neighborhood who brought their useful gifts and paid their respects and gave their kind wishes to the little foundling – and its new mother. Everyone was spruced up for the occasion, and the dignity and solemnity that prevailed at the little ceremony was impressive enough to have been the christening of a European princess.
 
Swathed in delicate baby things, her fists tightly clenched into a cluster of dimples, her blue eyes gazing in wonderment at her benefactors, tiny Tribuna drew forth from each visitor exclamations of delight and congratulations.
 
The proud mother, Mrs. C.C. Sanford, her face flushing with pleasure, stood at the door of the audience room by the side of the little crib and displayed the little girl who has won her way into the woman’s heart as completely as if she were really her own.
 
Neighbors Delighted.
 
One neighbor loved the little one so much that at first sight, she exclaimed: “O why wasn’t she left with me?” Others were delighted at the good temper of the little lady, as her new mother says she has not cried yet, and gives them absolutely no trouble, even though yesterday was her 22nd day alive.
 
Mr. Sanford, the little girl’s new father, who has not found it in his heart to give the baby up, stayed home from work to celebrate the occasion, and moved busily about the house among his guests, telling of the new light the wee foundling has brought into the Sanford home.
 
After the daintily embroidered little jackets, the petite stockings, minute knit slippers to keep pink toes warm throughout the coming winter, soft quilts, and many other useful and pretty baby things, were harvested from the visiting throng, the two presents from The Tribune arrived and were formally presented.
 
The Tribune, showing its appreciation of the honor conferred on it by the name of such a charming young woman after it, was represented at the shower by “Quentin.”
 
A lace baby cap with long white ribbons and an inner blue silk quilted hood for cold weather was first presented. Then the large baby cab was rolled into the room and made soft and warm by many eager and deft feminine hands.
 
Presentation Made.
 
“Quentin” took the little white bundle in her arms and addressed it as follows:
 
“Sweet little girl, Tribuna, The Tribune and all your many friends connected with it gives you this carriage, hoping that it will often take you out into the pure air and bright sunshine, and that by their influence and the loving care of the good people among whom you have fallen you will become as healthy, beautiful, pure and true as all those who love you will want you to be. Many happy, bright days for you, little girl! Good-by.”
 
The pretty, dimpled little face opened its blue eyes wide during the presentation speech, and chubby arms were reached out just a wee bit as though Tribuna really craved that all the good wishes spoken of come true to make up for her unfortunate start in life.
 
After all the gifts were given, Mr. Sanford expressed his gratitude to all the kind friends and The Tribune for their timely thoughtfulness.
 
He said: “The Tribune has been especially good and kind to the baby and my wife, and I want to say that we are grateful for all it has done for us. We have named the baby after The Tribune because we think it is a pretty and appropriate name. We expect to add a third name to Tribuna Sanford, but we have been so busy that we have not been able to decide what it will be yet.
 
Nickname Will Be Una.
 
“No doubt the name Tribuna will be shorted to Una, which is a good nickname, if the other proves too long for common use. Mrs. Sanford also wants to thank the newspaper and all her neighbors who have deluged her with pretty things for the little baby. We have been made very happy indeed.”
 
Following the giving of the presents, Mr. Sanford raided his confectionery store for candy, ice cream cones, and other good things which went the rounds and wound up the afternoon in a delightful manner.
 
The baby cab given to little Tribuna was a handsome, large-sized, top-covered, rubber-tired vehicle, one of the best that Boutell Bros. had in stock.
 
During the proceedings a fluffy-haired 5-year-old girl rushed into the home with a ribbon decorated rattle for the baby and a note from her mother, and exclaimed to Mrs. Sanford: “Here’s a rattle for the baby. I’ve got a note here, too, but the ink on it ain’t dried yet – oh, yes, now it is, because I’ve been running and the wind dried it. Now you can have it.” And she laughed and ran to peek into the crib.
 
Names of Contributors.
 
The names of some of the women who contributed to the shower are as follows, all living near the Sanford home: Mrs. H. Keniston, 3443 Garfield avenue; Mrs. D.A. Erickson, 3416 Lyndale avenue; Mrs. L Hofften, 3411 Lyndale avenue; Mrs. C.P.H. Rowe, 613 Thirty-fourth street; Mrs. G.H. Carr, 3418 Garfield avenue; Mrs. E.W. Patten, 3401 Lyndale avenue; Mrs. Herman Fechnic, 3413 Lyndale avenue; Mrs. J.D. Friedheim, 3422 Garfield avenue; Mrs. W.H. Smith; 3413 Lyndale avenue; Mrs. H.S. Thompson, 3449 Aldrich avenue; Mrs. Ella McWhorter, 3427 Garfield avenue; Mrs. G.E. Hansen, 3466 Garfield avenue; Mrs. F. Carroll, 3308 Garfield avenue; Mrs. Burdette Latham, 3419 Garfield avenue; Mrs. Peter Carter, 3415 Lyndale avenue.
 
Two days ago a woman living at Linden avenue and Seventeenth street called at the Sanford home saying she was positive that she knew who the mother of the child was, as a girl mother had left the neighborhood the same afternoon the baby had been found and had not returned; but when she looked at little Tribuna she said the child bore no resemblance whatever to the child that was taken from her neighborhood.
 
No trace has yet been found to the tall woman in black that left the bundle on the store counter and fled beyond reach of the friends of the finders and the city police.
 
When it seemed that the rightful mother might be found, Mrs. Sanford was grief stricken at the thought that after all the baby might be taken from her, and she was wholly unready to stand the shock of a separation from the little one that had brightened her life so beautifully. She had lost a child of her own about a year ago, and the strange arrival of little Tribuna brought joy again into their home.
 
Read Part 4: A thriving tot
 

 

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