Chin-Chin starts the new year at the Empire Theatre, Edmonton

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” play at the Empire Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 1 – 3 January 1920

 Vaudeville/Chin-Chin

We know Donna and “Chin-Chin” played at the Avenue Theater in Vancouver for three days beginning Christmas Day. There are still four days that we don’t know where the company was and it is unlikely that they would travel the 750 miles between Vancouver and Edmonton with no stops between. However, I was able to find “Chin-Chin” at the Empire Theater in Edmonton starting New Year’s Day.

Article transcription:

Edmonton Journal, Thu, Jan 1, 1920, Page 9.

BY PRESS AGENTS

CHIN CHIN AT EMPIRE

There appears to be no doubt that Mr. Charles Dillingham’s stupendous production of “Chin Chin” with Walter Willis and Roy Binder in the lead, will duplicate its record of absolute capacity audiences at the Empire theatre where it will open a three-day engagement with a holiday matinee today.

Though the title of “Chin Chin” suggests a Chinese setting, it appears that the scenes are not laid anywhere near the Celestial Land.

There is no leading lady in this organization, although a number of beautiful women, principals and otherwise, song birds and actresses are in the cast, it appears that the who is to enjoy the place of honor as first favorite is left to the choice of the public.

Tom Brown of the Six Brown Brothers’ famous Saxaphone clown band, composed “That Moaning Saxophone Rag” which is one of the hits of the play.

It is estimated that 250,000 people all from points more than one hundred miles from New York have already seen “Chin Chin” while it was presented at the Globe theatre in New York, and not Mr. Dillingham is actually bringing this his only company in its entirety to the Empire theatre.


CLEVER FANTASY
     “CHIN CHIN” HAS
           MANY BIG SCENES

Musical Comedy at Empire
Says Farewell
Today

Do you remember when you were just a tiny chap, how you would read the “Thousand and One Nights,” or the wonderful adventures of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and “Sinbad, the Sailor,” and all the rest of those fasci­nating characters, and how from out of them all emerged “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp’* as the prime adven­ture of them all? And now Aladdin—a very modern Aladdin—very much in love with on American girl, appears in Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin,” which closes its engagement at the Em­pire theatre with matinee and evening performances today. In this musical concoction, everything comes Aladdin’s way upon wishing and rubbing the won­derful lamp, thereby causing many strange and wonderful situations.

Walter Wills and Roy Binder, as the two slaves of the lamp, keep the audience in constant laughter through seven scenes and the three acts that cover one hundred and fifty minutes of the most enjoyable fun.

Among the many features in this gigantic show are also the Teddy Bear Dance, Tom Brown’s Clown Saxophone Band, a real circus tent with an “honest-to-goodness” big white circus horse circling around the ring, while Mlle. Falloffski performs the most daring and screamingly funny bareback stunts.

Empire Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

The Julius Cahn – Gus Hill Theatrical Guide 1913-1914 indicates there were three theatres in Edmonton in 1913. All three were managed by W. B. Sherman. Bert Russell was the Res. Manager at the three theaters also. The theaters were the 1700 customer Sherman Theatre, the 1200 customer Empire Theatre, and the 900 customer Lyceum Theatre. Of the three, the Empire had the smallest stage, only 27×27 and 25 feet front to the back wall.[i]

History of Theater

Empire Theatre ca. 1919. Photo from the Glenbow Archives via LostYEG
(The Country Cousin was released in November, 1919.)

There were three different Empire Theatres in Edmonton.

The first Empire opened in 1906 at McDougal Avenue & Cristabelle Street (100th Street and 101st A Avenue. Three years later the building was abandoned and later demolished.

The second Empire was built as the Edmonton Opera House on 103rd Street north of Jasper and changed its name to The Empire about 1909. This was the theater that “Chin-Chin” played at in January 1920.

A third Empire was built in 1920 and opened in late December 1920.

Further Research

Learn the final disposition of the (second) Empire Theatre

Endnotes & Sources

[i] The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide 1913-1914; Page 695

Edmonton Journal (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) Jan 1, 1920, Page 9 via Newspapers.com.

Today’s History Lesson – Pantages Vaudeville Theatre – Connect to Edmonton (Powered by Yeg Tel)

 

Donna in the News – Delayed by Train Crash on way to Fort Armstrong

Montran Monday

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I learn of a new venue for my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.

Three New Venues discovered.

Another great week of Donna in the News with three new venues discovered and an intriguing note about Donna having been in a train crash.

The Rock Island Argus (Rock Island, Illinois) newspaper dated 29 March 1924 shows that Donna Darling and company played in a song and dance revue at the Fort Armstrong theatre. In another article, from March 31st, the paper indicated that she missed her first show at the Fort Armstrong because of a train crash. I wonder how bad of a crash was it? The crash has the potential of making another great story. I’m looking forward to additional research.

Next, is an ad from the News Record (Neehah, WI) newspaper dated 5 December 1924. The ad shows that the California Motion Picture Bathing Beauties, featuring Donna Darling played at the Neehah theatre on December 8 & 9.

Finally, from the The Record (Hackensack, NJ) dated 23 February, I learned that Donna Darling and Company played at the Lyric Theatre in Hackensack, for three days beginning February 24th.

Three new venues added to her Career List:

  • March 29, 1924 – Rock Island, Illinois – Fort Armstrong – Donna Darling & Company. com
  • December 8-9 – Neenah Theatre, Neenah, Wisconsin – Bathing Beauties featuring Donna Darling. com
  • February 24-26, 1927 – Lyric Theatre, Hackensack, New Jersey, Donna Darling & Co. com

Ancestor Bio – Sally Ann Darling (c. 1822-18??)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-45

By Don Taylor

Tracking down women in 19th Century records is often difficult. Over the past week or so, I’ve been searching for records about Sally Ann Darling, the sister of Rufus Holton Darling as part of my Darling research in Western New York. Searching many new sources, I’ve just not been successful in finding anything new about Sally Ann. I’m only barely convinced that she existed. That said, searching for evidence of Sally Ann led me to several other facts of interest, but first, what I think I know about Sally Ann.

Darling Research 2018 –The 6th child of  #48 (Abner Darling)

List of Grandparents

Sally Ann Darling (c. 1822-18??)

Birth

I have no real proof that Sally Ann Darling existed. I have found her in several trees shared by other people, including Family Search, but have not found any record proving positively that she existed. If Sally Ann were born in 1822, she would likely be one of the two females in the household of Abner Darling of Clarkson, New York aged 5 to 9 during the 1830 Census (the other likely being Hannah).

Similarly, with the death of Abner in 1839, she would have likely shown up in the 1840 Census record of her brother Rufus Darling who took over as head of the household. Sure enough, she appears to be in his household.  Rufus’ household includes two families, 15-19 years of age whom I believe are likely Sally Ann and Hannah.

Death

Her brother, Abner C. Darling’s obituary has no mention of Sally Ann. No entry is not evidence that Sally Ann didn’t exist nor does it provide evidence that Sally Ann had passed. However, it adds to my concern that the two children in Abner (senior) and Rufus’s census records could be entirely different people.  That said, if Sally Ann did exist, I suspect that she died sometime between 1840 and 1880.

Once again, my research for Sally Ann, so far, has not yielded any positive evidence of her existence.  

Bright Shiny Objects

However, my research for Sally Ann yielded several other bits of information (Bright Shiny Objects – BSOs) regarding other Darlings in Monroe County, New York.  It is my practice to ignore BSOs while researching someone, save the information or links to the information and come back to them later. I did that in this case and learned several things.

I confirmed that there was another Rufus Darling who lived in Monroe County during 1887. Second great-grandfather Rufus Holton Darling died in 1857; Rufus Harry Darling was living in Kalamazoo at that time. Additionally, Rufus A. Darling (son of Franklin C. Darling and Ellen Norton) was living in Minnesota in the 1880s. So, the Rufus Darling residing in Monroe County in 1887 is a heretofore unknown Rufus.

I found several newspaper articles indicating that Abner Darling had mail remaining at the post office as early as April 1824.  I knew that Abner was in Paris, Oneida County in 1820 and in Monroe County in 1830. Seeing that he had mail waiting for him in Monroe County in 1824 suggests that he located to Monroe County before April 1924, I also found a “History of Clarkson” newspaper article which confirmed Abner Darling’s death as Jan 11, 1839. The article also indicates that the cemetery was named the “Kenyon Cemetery” at that time rather than “Lakeside Cemetery” as it is currently known as.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Sources

  • 1830 Census, Abner Darling – Clarkson, Monroe, New York – Page 271. Source Citation
1830; Census Place: Clarkson, Monroe, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 94; Page: 271; Family History Library Film: 001715 4
  • 1840 Census (FS), Family Search, New York, Monroe, Clarkson, Page 177 – Rufus H Darling.
  • Appleton Crescent (Appleton, WI), 1880-09-25, Page 3 – AN OLD SETTLER DEPARTS. – Death of Abner C. Darling. Newspapers.com., Appleton Crescent, Appleton, Wisc.
  • Brockport Republic (Brockport, NY) – 1887-02-17 – February 17, 1887, Page 3, Column 4, “Parma” – Rufus Darling. http://nyshistoricnewspapers.org.
  • Brockport Republic (Brockport, NY) – 1890-07-17 – Abner Darling. The Brockport republic. July 17, 1890, Page 3, Col 2, Paragraph 14 – nyshistoricnewspapers – Abner Darling.

Follow the “X”

By Don Taylor

Image by Caroline Davis2010 (CC BY 2.0)

Twenty-Two of our chromosomes are recombinant in nature, which means you receive 50% of your mother’s DNA and 50% of your father’s DNA.  The 23rd chromosome, the X-Y or X-X, is quite different. If you are a male, you received a “Y” chromosome from your father and you received an “X” chromosome from your mother. That X is a recombinant, in that it consists of 50% of your mother’s DNA. However, if you are a female, you received 50% from your mother as recombinant from her, but you also received your other X chromosome as a duplicate from your father. The effect of that is that the amount of DNA received from an ancestor through your X chromosome is higher if the ancestor path switches gender every generation. For example, my mother received 50% from her mother and 50% from her father. Her father received 100% of his X DNA from his mother (recombinant).

Blaine Bettinger (The Genetic Genealogist) has an excellent article, “More X-Chromosome Charts,” which provides charts showing both the Ahnentafel numbers and the percentage of X-DNA you received from which ancestors. The effect of this switching back and forth is that a male receives 12.5% of his mother’s father’s mother’s father’s mother’s father’s mother instead of the 0.78% that he received from that ancestor (a 5th great-grandmother) in the other 22 chromosomes.

I call that line a “zig-zag” line because it shifts gender every generation can provide insight into genetic connections that can really help in understanding matches and where you and that person may have a common ancestor.

The following are my “zig-zag” ancestors:

Ahnentafel #PersonSexExpected %
of X-DNA
3My motherF100
6Richard Earl Brown (1903-1990)M50
13Mary Elizabeth Manning (1878-1983)F50
26John William Manning (1846-1888)M25
53Minerva Ann Tolliver (1821-1902)F25
106Tulion Tolliver (unknown dates)M12.5
213Unknown 5th great-grandmotherF12.5

 In any generation you follow a woman’s mother, the expected % of X-DNA is cut in half. So my mother received 50% of her X-DNA from her mother. I have 50% of my X-DNA from my mother’s mother, so a similar “zig-zag” chart for my mother would be:

Ahnentafel #PersonSexExpected %
of X-DNA
3My motherF100
7Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976)F50
14John Montran (c.1867-c.1897)M25
29Unknown 2nd great-grandmotherM25

Because my great-grandfather, John Montran’s life is such a mystery and because his parents are a complete mystery to me, discovering ancestors with whom I share X-DNA with may provide key insight into potential candidates for John.

If you share any of the above ancestors with me, I’d love to hear from you and try compare our matches in order to learn of our common ancestor. 

DNA Testing and Results Companies

23 and Me requires you to compare DNA in their browser and then manually determine if there is a match on the X-Chromosome. You can download your raw DNA data and import it into several other services. (Kits available for $69 until 23 Nov 2018)

AncestryDNA doesn’t provide information about X-DNA Matches nor does it provide for a chromosome browser. You can, however, download your raw DNA data and import it into FamilyTree DNA and GEDMatch. (Kits are available for $59 until 21 Nov 2018)

FamilyTree DNA shows you that an individual has an X-Match with you, even if that match is extremely low, even down to 1cM if they match otherwise at higher levels. You can test with FamilyTree DNA, with “Family Finder.” Alternately, you can also upload raw DNA results from Ancestry, 23andMe, MyHeritage and the National Genographic Project 2.0. (Kits are $79.00)

GEDMatch allows you to select whether a match is based on autosomal or X. By selecting X, you can see only those matches with whom you share X-DNA. If you look at the individual’s kit number and it begins with “A” they kit was imported from Ancestry. GEDMatch does no testing but allows you to upload your raw DNA data from various services including Ancestry, FTDNA, WeGene, MyHeritage and others. GEDMatch does no testing,

MyHeritageDNA does not show you your X-Matches (at least not with uploaded kit results).

LivingDNA does not show you any match data.

Looking solely at X-Chromosome match capability,  FamilyTree DNA and GEDMatch are the best, with 23 and Me following closely behind. AncestryDNA, Living DNA, and MyHeritageDNA do not support X-Chromosome match analysis. Look closely at your tree and your X-Chromosome, you may find that a new clue to help find that elusive ancestor.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Halloween 2018

Caith “My Halloween Kitty”

Halloween or Samhain is said to be the day where the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. As such, it is an important time to remember those who have passed. Although I try to remember all my ancestors who have passed, this Samhain I want to remember three people who were not ancestors but had a profound effect on my life. Their passing touched me deeply.

First, is my first close friend to die. Steve Plowman was a close friend while I lived in North Minneapolis. He lived about a block away – down the hill to the corner then left a half a block to his house on 24th that adjoined the alleyway between Aldrich and Bryant avenues. On Tuesday, November 24th, 1964, Steve and a mutual friend, Gary Dorf, were crossing Lyndale Avenue in North Minneapolis while a bus was stopped. Gary stopped walking while in front of the bus,  but Steve ran out trying to beat a car that was coming. Steve was hit by the car and died before getting to the hospital. He was the first close friend I had to die, and one of only a few I’ve known that have died due to a car accident. Steve was only 15 when he died. To this day, I am ultra-careful when walking past a bus into traffic and cringe when I see someone step past a bus without using super-great caution.

Sadly, I was in Minnesota a few weeks ago and at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery, where Steve is buried, and didn’t realize he was there. So, visiting his grave will be on my list of things to do during my next visit to Minnesota.

Marker – Alvina B Kirks – photo by Don Taylor

Next, is my best friend’s mother, Alvina Kirks. She was a really nice woman. Hers was the first, and only, funeral where I was a pallbearer. It was difficult for me to say anything that would help my friend or the rest of his family. I recall making a conscious decision to do my absolute best to fulfill the honor my friend and his father bestowed upon me asking that I be a pallbearer, at only 16-years of age. Alvina was only 47 when she passed. From her, I learned that even when cancer is taking your life, you can be strong and dignified during the process. She was. I was able to visit her burial site at Fort Snelling National Cemetery when I was last in Minnesota. She is buried next to her husband, Charles N. Kirks.

Gravesite: Mary E. (Raidt) Taylor – Photo by Don Taylor

Finally, is my first wife, Mary. She was an exceptionally good woman and mother to my first child. She was very tolerant and in so many ways amazing. I was married to her for over ten years and don’t rue a day of it. We were so young when we were married and tried very hard to make it work. But the separations of Navy life took their toll on our relationship. She passed away last spring (June). I was able to visit where her cremains are buried at Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Minneapolis. I was saddened that there wasn’t a stone monument there. Cemetery records indicated where she was buried. She is resting with her grandparents, John & Marie (Hawley) Langford. Although she doesn’t have a stone marker at the cemetery, I did create a virtual monument for her on Find-a-Grave. May her life in heaven be more joyous than she ever imagined.