Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” play at the Franklin Opera House in Franklin, Pennsylvania on March 12, 1920
“Chin Chin” came to the Franklin Opera House for a show on March 12th, 1920. It had played at the Lyceum Theater in Rochester, NY, sometime during the week of March 5th. I am not sure where the show was during the week between Rochester, NY, and Franklin, PA.
Preshow advertising begins with a standard “Chin Chin” ad and a photo of the famous Tom Brown clown band, three days before the show.[i] Additional ads ran on the 10th and the 11th. Finally, on show day (March 12) there were several ads and illustrations printed in the paper[ii] – Page 2 had a photo showing key cast members and page 7 had a normal ad.
Interestingly enough, I was unable to find a pre-production story about the show nor a post-production review of the show
Franklin, PA was one of the smaller towns that the show played at. The 1920 Census indicated that the population was just under 10,000.[iii] The “Julius Cahn – Gus Hill Theatrical Guide for 1913-1914” indicates that the Franklin Opera House seating capacity was 925 people, 401 on the lower floor, 200 in the balcony, 300 in the gallery, and 24 boxes. The stage was 28×22 feet with a 6-foot apron.[iv]
I have not been able to find a good, clear photo of the theater, however, the photo of the Grand Army of the Republic in Aug 1887 parading does show the theater. In that photo, the building on the left is the town hall, next to it is a building with awnings on the second-floor windows. Looking closely, you can see it says “Opera House” across the building.
The Opera House opened in 1866 and provided theater presentations and speakers for many years. In 1883 the city hall was built next door on the Corner of Thirteenth and Buffalo Streets. The opera house was on the Thirteenth side of city hall. I have not found any evidence that the Opera House ever make the switch to movies, nor have I found evidence of exactly when the theater closed or was demolished. However, it was clearly gone by the time the old city offices, were demolished and the new city hall was built during the 1960s.[v]
In 1864, John Wilkes Booth formed an oil company in Franklin and resided in Franklin when he performed at the Franklin Opera House.[vi] Besides theater productions, the Opera House provided a venue for famous speakers such as Samuel Clemens and Susan B. Anthony.[vii]
Today, the site is the location of the Franklin City Hall.
[i] The News-Herald (Franklin, PA) March 9, 1920 – Page 2 – Tom Brown Band image, column 6&7. Newspapers.com
[ii] The News-Herald (Franklin, PA) March 12, 1920 – Page 2 – Cast image, Column 3. Bottom. Newspapers.com
Following Morgan/Morgan (Dora & Ephriam)
By Don Taylor
My half-sister Glennis is a DNA match on Ancestry.Com with several individuals who have common ancestors with Francis and Fannie (McGregor) Morgan. In the search to determine Glennis’ biological father, I am continuing to develop a tree of the descendants of Francis and Fannie (McGregor) Morgan of Pleasants County, West Virginia. This time I look at Dora D. Morgan and Ephraim Stokeley Morgan. They are the fifth and sixth of twelve children to be examined.
Dora D. Morgan – Born 4 Jun 1876, Died 7 Feb 1879 – No issue.
Ephraim Stokeley Morgan – Born 1 Jan 1883 in Pleasants County, West Virginia.
Married Edna Ethel Wagner 15 May 1904 in Pleasants County, West Virginia.
Helen Virginia Morgan Born 1906, Married Louis Victor Scott 1929.
Helen Lou Scott – Born 1930-1931 – Not considered.
No other children to this couple before 1940. No Candidates.
Ralph W. Morgan, Born 1911, Died 1912 – No Issue.
Francis and Fannie (McGregor) Morgan’s 12 children
“Candidates” are males born between 1925 and 1935.
“Not considered” are females who are unlikely to have had a male child between 1925 and 1935.
“Possible but unlikely” are males born between 1925 and 1935, but are not named Paul or Phil, which is the likely name of Glennis’ biological father, or otherwise don’t appear to fit the likely candidate who would have been in Minnesota or Michigan in 1953. I will revisit these possibilities later of this project fails to find a potential candidate.
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at three clippings from the Donna Darling Collection. One as an ad for her playing at the Binghamton Theater, next is an article which mentions Donna playing at the Binghamton Theater, and finally is a playbill showing Donna Darling and Boys playing January 26, 27, and 28 at the Binghamton Theater. I have cropped and resized the photos for the web.
The venue is the Binghamton Theater.
The show is Donna Darling and Boys in “Oh! Boy, Don’t Miss This One!
The date was January 26, 27, 28, 1922.
This was a new venue and date for a Donna Darling show for me.
This was a clear event, but I wondered, what other information might there be for this show at this location. I went to my favorite newspaper site, The Ancestor Hunt to see what I could find. I searched for Binghamton and found several entries. The New York Online Historical Newspapers Summary looked like a great starting place. I did a <Command-F> to do a find and searched for Binghamton. There were seven entries. Three under “Old Fulton New York Postcards.” One of those was the Binghamton Press from 1904 to 1969. None of the other entries covered 1922.
At the bottom of the Ancestor Hunt Summary page are links to four paid sites, Ancestry, Genealogy Bank, Newspapers, and Newspaper Archive. None of which provided additional newspapers in Binghamton during the time period I was interested in.
I went to the Old Fulton New York Post Cards site and did a search for the exact phrase, “Donna Darling and Boys” – Success. There were 10 results and two were from Binghamton papers. I added them to my collection.
I then looked at the other articles identified on Old Fulton Postcards. They provided information that Donna Darling and Boys played at
February 1922 at The Majestic Theater in Elmira, NY.
December 1922 at The Majestic Theater in Paterson, NJ.
September 1923 at Layfayette Theater in Buffalo, NY.
February, 1924 at The Majestic Theater in Hornell, NY
This was really great for a couple reasons. First, the Donna Darling Collection has many clippings for the Majestic that aren’t identified as to date or location. By matching those Majestic clippings to these articles looking for the exact play bill, I may be able to identify those clippings exactly.
Second, all four of these dates and venues were new to my list and will provide additional research opportunities.
I’ve been having many roadblocks in my Abner Darling (1780-1839) research. Enough so that I decided to take a step back and look at Abner Darling’s descendants much more closely. The first of these that I am examining is Andrew M Darling, the oldest brother of Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857). Rufus left New York for Kalamazoo, Michigan about 1844. Andrew left New York in the 1840s also and settled in Utica, Wisconsin. Then about 1859 Andrew moved west again, this time to Alexandria, Minnesota. Andrew died in 1864. I looked and looked and looked and couldn’t find Andrew in the 1860 census. Finally, I searched for everyone named Andrew in Douglas County, Minnesota. There I found an Andrew Martin, whose apparent wife was Antoinette, and three children, Sarah, Olive, and Abram who matched the ages of Andrew Darling’s Wife Antoinette, and three children, Sarah, Olive, and Abner. I have little doubt that I found the family. Now my suspicion is that Martin was Andrew’s middle name, the “M.” I’ve known about for quite some time. The census taker just got the name wrong, a simple mistake. The Darlings were new in the area and the census taker probably didn’t know them yet.
Abner moved his family west, first to Paris, Oneida County, New York (before 1820) and again to Clarkson, Monroe County, New York.
Sometime before 1835 Andrew moved west, apparently by himself, to Medina, Ohio. There he married Esther Antoinette Doolittle on October 8th, 1835 in a ceremony performed by Joel Goodell, a Minister of the Gospel. Andrew and Antoinette appear to have had four children.
Children of Andrew M. Darling and Esther Antoinette Doolittle
Sarah Antoinette Darling
1863 – James Dicken
Abner M Darling
Olive Blanche Darling
c. 1869 – George McQuillen
I have not found Andrew in the 1840 Census. All four of the children above were born in Wisconsin, so it is clear that Andrew and Antoinette located to Utica, Winnebago County, Wisconsin before 1844.
The 1850 Census shows a three generation household. With Andrew is his wife, Antonette and their daughters, Sarah and Alice. This census record provides the only mention of Alice that I have found. Also living with Andrew is his mother, Sally A [Munsell] Darling, and his two youngest siblings, 25-year-old Hannah and 22-year-old Franklin.
The 1855 Wisconsin Census shows the family still in Utica, WI with a household consisting of 3 males. (Most likely Andrew, his son Abner, and his brother Franklin.) The household also has four females. (Most likely Esther Antoinette, Sarah, and Olive. Additionally, either Alice was still alive in 1855 and Hannah moved on, or Alice had died by 1855 and Hannah was still there. Further research is needed to discern what occurred.
The family moved west again, this time, in 1859, to Douglas County, Minnesota. The 1860 Census shows the family with the surname “Martin.” Clearly a mistake. Living with Andrew is his wife, 44-year-old Antoinette; his 16-year-old daughter, Sarah; his twelve-year-old daughter, Olive; and his eight-year-old son, Abner (listed as Abram).
It appears that Andrew died in September 1864 in Phelps County, Missouri. However, his family continued to prosper in Douglas County. He was said to have been an “exceptionally successful farmer.[i]” His wife Antoinette received a patent in 1873 for 149.1 acres of land they settled on the south shore of Lake Darling (near Alexandria, Minnesota)[ii]. Lake Darling was named for Andrew Darling[iii].
Further Actions / Follow-up
Determine if the three males in the 1855 Wisconsin Census includes Andrew’s brother Franklin or if there is an unknown child of Andrew.
Determine if the four females in the 1855 Wisconsin Census includes Alice or if the 4th female is Hannah. Was Alice was still alive in 1855 and Hannah moved on, or Alice had died by 1855 and Hannah was still there.
1850 Census (FS), 1850 Census – A M Darling – Utica, Winnebago, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, Family Search – 12 April 2016), Am Darling, Utica, Winnebago, Wisconsin, United States; citing family 1092, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4DT-3L6.
1855 WI Census, Family Search, 1855 – A. M. Darling – Utica, Winnebago, Wisconsin. “Wisconsin State Census, 1855,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMM5-5DV 14 November 2014), A. M. Darling, Utica, Winnebago, Wisconsin; citing line 12, State Historical Society, Madison; FHL microfilm 1,032,689.
1860 Census, Family Search, 1860 – Andrew M Martin [Darling] – Alexandria, Douglas, Minnesota. “United States Census, 1860”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4LG-PBH – 26 July 2017), Andrew M Martin, 1860.
Martin, William Albert, and Lou Ella Johnson Martin, Dennis Darling: of Braintree and Mendon and some of his descendants 1662-1800 – Page 461.
Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013 , Family Search, Andrews Darling & Antoinett Doolittle – Marriage. “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch 27 September 2017, Andrews M. Darling and Antoineth Doolittle, 08 Oct 1835; citing Medina, Ohio, United States, reference 132; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 423,817. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZ5X-M24.
Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013 , Family Search, Andrews Darling & Antoinette Doolittle – Intended Marriage. “Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 27 September 2017), Andrews W. Darling and Antoinett Doolittle, 25 Sep 1835; citing Medina, Ohio, United States, reference 83; county courthouses, Ohio; FHL microfilm 423,817. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZ5X-GTR.
Wisconsin, Compiled Census and Census Substitutes Index, 1820-1890, Ancestry, WI 1855 State Census Index – A. M. Darling – No Image Winnebago County, Utica Township, 1855
One of the great controversies in my genealogical efforts is in my Brown/Manning ancestors and relates to the parentage of Minerva Ann (Tolliver) Mannin. I know quite a bit about Minerva. She was born in Carter County, Kentucky in 1821. She married Enoch Mannin on October 15, 1843. Her husband Enoch led a group of 9 families (including her) to move to Minnesota in September 1882. At first, Enoch and Minerva settled in Stearns County but relocated to Cass County about 1888. Minerva died in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota on 24 Oct 1902.
I wrote about Minerva and her life in 2014 (See: Minerva Ann Tolliver (1821-1902)). The controversy revolves around her be Native American. Many researchers believe she was Native American. Indeed, she might have been, but I don’t think so. One bit of evidence is that she was never identified as “Indian” in any of the census records nor any other document I have seen. The other is that neither my mother nor my aunt have any segments that indicate a Native American lineage. Surprisingly, both have segments on their X chromosome that indicate Sub-Saharan African. Their matching X-chromosome would have come from their common father, Richard. He would have received his X-chromosome as a recombinant X from his mother, Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown. She would have received one of her X-chromosomes as a replica of her father’s (John William Manning) X-chromosome. And he would have received his X as a recombinant X from his mother, Minerva Ann (Toliver) Mannin. It is also interesting to note that the percentage of Sub-Saharan African DNA on my mother’s and my aunt’s test results is consistent with the percentage of DNA that I would expect to be Sub-Saharan African if Minerva were 50% black. I wrote about this, also in 2014 in an article, “DNA, the X Chromosome & Minerva Tolliver Manning.”
It may be that mitochondrial DNA may be the answer. Your mitochondrial DNA came from your mother, who got hers from her mother, who got hers from her mother and so forth. If a female line descendant of Minerva were tested and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) showed ancestry from North America/Asia that would be convincing evidence that Minerva was Native American. If the results showed ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa, that would be compelling evidence that Minerva was of African Descent. If a mtDNA descendant were of European ancestry, we’d have no joy and have nothing to prove one way or another.
I would love to have a mtDNA descendant of Minerva take a mtDNA test and learn of the results. If you are such a descendant, please contact me.
Minerva Ann Tolliver had five daughters. The following chart shows the female descendants that I know about. I know it is not complete, so If you have information that connects you to any of these individuals that information would help me further understand this family line. Minerva’s daughters were:
Nancy Ann Mannin. Nancy married Jessie Monroe Barnett and had five daughters
Frances M Barnett (1870-?) – I have no further information.
Emma Nettie Barnett (1874-?) – I have no further information.
Flarra Belle Barnett Flarra married George Wesley Horn and had two daughters.
Helen Elvira Horn. Helen married Harold Anderson – I have no further information
Dorothy Ellen Horn. No Issue.
Sarah A Barnett (1883-?) – I have no further information.
Sadie Barnett – I have no further information.
Sarah Jane Mannin. Sarah married Joseph Hatfield Bryant and had four daughters
Nancy Ellen Bryant. Nancy married John M Horn and had one daughter (that I know about).
Mary A Horn (1903-?)
Alice May Bryant. Alice married Sherman Morgan and Charles Lemmon and had three daughters
Mary Etta Lemmon
Hattie Ellen Bryant. Hattie married William Berry and had one known daughter.
Dawn (Harvey) Berry
Clara K Bryant. Clara married Oscar Harvey and had three known children.
Dawn Harvey (Could this be the same Dawn as Hattie’s child?)
Adella Mamie Bryant. Adella married Elmer Boaz Knowles They had five daughters.
Elsie Lillian Knowles. Essie married Vernon Smalley – No further information.
Alice May Knowles – No further information
Clara Lavina Knowles – Married Luther Elbert Parker. They had two daughters that I know of. Both of them appear to be living.
Daughter 1 Living
Daughter 2 Living
Lorraine Grace Knowles – Married Richard Markham Taylor. They had three daughters. Two of them appear to be Living.
Daughter 1 Living
Evelyn Joyce Taylor (1937-1984)
Daughter 3 Living
Bessie Katherine Knowles. Bessie married Albert Dickerman. They appear to have had one daughter
Lillian Katherine (Dickerman) Breyer 1942-1990.
Mary Ermaine Mannin – Married George Washington Gates in 1899 – No further information.
Gresella Mannin (1856-1897) – No further Information.
Prudence Mannin – Prudence married Frank P Bare – No further information.
Although this chart only shows female descendants that I know about. If you are male and your mother or your mother’s mother is any of these individuals, you too carry the mtDNA of Minerva. If you have information that connects you to any of these individuals, I would love to receive that information to help make my records more accurate.
Once again, if you are a descendant of Minerva (Tolliver) Mannin and carry her mtDNA, I am extremely interested in hearing from you. Please use the form below. Thank you.
My public tree is on Ancestry.Com. Please see it for further details on this tree.
Expand upon the Lorraine Grace Knowles & Richard Markham Taylor family unit and contact any mtDNA testing candidates.
Expand upon the Bessie Katherine Knowles & Albert Dickerman family unit and contact any mtDNA testing candidates.
Further research the descendants of Nancy Ann Mannin.
Further research the descendants of Sarah Jane Mannin.
Further research the descendants of Mary Ermaine Mannin.
Further research the descendants of Gresella Mannin.
Further research the descendants of Prudence Mannin.