Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” play at the Rex Theater in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, on 11 February 1920
We know that “Chin Chin” played at the Metropolitan Opera House in Minneapolis from February 1st through the 7th. I do not have any known venues the 8th, 9th, or 10th, but on the 11th, “Chin Chin” played at the Rex Theater in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.
Newspapers Mentioned “Chin Chin” was arriving on the 4th of February.[i] A standard full column ad played on February 6th, as did the familiar Wills, Binder, and Girls looking like Brussel sprouts on the stars’ queues.
An article the day before the show said
“Chin Chin” a Show of Good Music
The music of Ivan Caryll, which serves to illustrate the story of “Chin Chin” which comes to the Rex tomorrow and in which Walter Wills and Roy Binder demonstrate their wonderful powers of drollery, to say nothing of their skill in dancing, is a demonstration of the wisdom of serving the best kind of music even to an extravaganza. “Chin Chin” is one more proof that good music pays. Music and dancing are so closely allied in these latter days.
Ethel Lawrence as “Violet Bond” the American girl in “Chin Chin,” is a charming little actress and always succeeds in winning the good graces of the audience. Her rendition of the duet, “Love Moon,” with the aid of George Usher as Aladdin, is one of the particular bright spots of the show. We advise that you procure your tickest now. The sale is heavy and the theatre management cannot guarantee to hold any reservations after 6 p. m. Wednesday.
The day after the show, the Chippewa Herald reported that:
“Chin Chin” proves Fine Attraction.
Capacity House Pleased with Production at Rex Theatre Last Evening.
Chin Chin came up fully to all expectations….
The Rex Theatre was originally built in 1906 and named the Victor Theatre. The Victor was a modest theater with a seating capacity of 900 people. The theatre changed its name to the Rex Theater sometime between 1918 and 1920, when “Chin Chin” played there.
In 1930, the theater was renovated for motion pictures, and was reopened as the “Ravoli Theater.” The Ravoli closed sometime before 1960. The building was demolished by 1962.[ii] Today, the location is a Holiday Gas Station.
[i] Chippewa Herald (Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin) · 04 Feb 1920, Wed · Page 3
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-29
By Don Taylor
Like many of my ancestors, Deborah Buel Maben, was a pioneer wife. She was born, raised, and married in eastern New York (Greene County). After she married she headed west with her husband to Michigan Territory. She was there when Michigan become a state. She passed away and was buried in Benton, Washtenaw County, Michigan, in the land she and her family settled.
I have a little brick wall because I am seeking to understand who Patience Marshall’s father is. Sometimes, you need to jump over a wall and work on it from the other side to bust it down.
My process is to:
Understand what I think I know.
Postulate a reasonable hypothesis.
Prove or disprove the hypothesis.
The 1850 Census tells us that six-year-old Patience was living with her mother, Jane, in the household of Thomas Lawson. The 21-year-old Thomas is unknown, but with the same surname as Jane, I suspect that Thomas is Jane’s brother. The census reports Jane as being born in Tennessee about 1819-1820.
Other Records suggest that Jane’s father was Jacob Lawson. Patience was born in Tennessee, so it is likely that Jane and Jane’s father were married in Tennessee between 1840 and 1844. So, I wondered if I could find the Jacob Lawson family in Tennessee. If so, might a Marshall live in the same county that could be Patience’s father?
There was only one Jacob Lawson identified in Tennessee during the 1840 Census.
Most marriages at this time took place between people in the same county. So, I questioned, are there any Marshall families in the same county that could be Jane’s husband.
In 1840, there were three Marshall families in McMinn County, Tennessee.
0 0 1 1 0 0 1 // 1 1 2 1 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 1 // 1 0 0 0 1
0 // 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1
< 5 0
15-20 1 – Candidate
40-50 1 (William?)
< 5 1
40-50 1 (William’s wife?)
< 5 0
15-20 0 – No Candidates
< 5 1
20-30 1 (John’s wife?)
No Males – No Candidates
< 5 0
60-70 1 (Milley?)
Note: Immediately beneath William Marshall.
I still don’t know who Patience Marshall’s father was. However, I hypothesize that William Marshall of McMinn County, Tennessee, is likely Patience Marshall’s grandfather. So next, I will research the William Marshall family of McMinn County, Tennessee. That research might give me the answer.
I’ve made notes that I’ve made two leaps of faith.
Jane’s father is Jacob Lawson (of McMinn County).
Jane’s husband was a Marshall also from McMinn County.
I think both are reasonable assertions, but both require further research to prove or disprove my hypothesis. Sometimes, that can be easier said than done, but the process provides me with a new direction for research.
Life aboard the Kitty Hawk didn’t support taking college courses very well. While at sea, my group typically worked 12 and 12. The birthing compartments really didn’t have anything that could be used as a study area. While in port, nobody wanted to do anything except get off the ship, so, it was typical to either be on duty and have a watch or be off the ship. After three and a half years on the Kitty Hawk, I think I only completed two or three courses. They were all part of the PACE – Program for Afloat College Education. The classes I had were sponsored by Chapman College, in Orange, California. Luckily, they all were transferable later on.
After my time aboard the Hawk, I went to a Navy School in Northwest, Virginia which is a tiny town in the southeast part of the state along the North Carolina border, just east of the Great Dismal Swamp. Nineteen weeks of school there prepared me for my next duty station, NAVCAMS EastPac. I arrived there shortly after Naval Communications Station, Honolulu was officially renamed Naval Communication Area Master Station, Eastern Pacific. There I worked in a funny little place we called the “Dinosaur Cage.”
NAVCAMS was a great duty station. It was located in the central valley of Oahu bordering the Eva Forest Reserve. After being on the housing waiting list for a few weeks, I was able to bring my wife and son to live with me in a Navy Housing community called “Camp Stover.” To get to Camp Stover you had to drive through the gate at Wheeler Air Force Base (Now Wheeler Army Air Field) then south through an Air Force housing area to the Naval Housing at Camp Stover. With the small navy base and housing, the larger Wheeler Air Force Base, and the huge Schofield Barracks across Kunia Road, there were many opportunities to take college courses. Chaminade University in Honolulu sponsored the classes and with a stable work environment, I was able to take quite a few courses, both lower and upper division. My lower division classes, such as Marine Biology and Oceanography, transferred to Anoka-Ramsey Community College. My upper division classes, such as Philosophy of Law, 430, later transferred to Metropolitan State University.
The most difficult class I had in college was through Chaminade. It was “American National Government.” For the final, the professor handed everyone two blue books to write our answers in and told us to let him know if we needed more. The test only had ten questions. I’ll remember that first question forever. “The office of the president of the United States consists of 12 major functions. Explain those functions and how they came to be either through law or tradition. Yes, the rest of the questions were like that too. I pretty much filled my two blue books and had to turn in my books when he called “Time.” I left feeling like I might have passed, but probably not. My hand was sore and cramping after two hours of writing when I left. Luckily, I did pass; I so didn’t want to have to retake that class.
After my three years in Hawaii, I decided to leave the Navy after 10 years/10 months active duty and return home to Minnesota. There I would make use of the GI Bill.
Today, the Kitty Hawk is decommissioned and destined to be scrapped. There is some activity to try to make it a museum ship. I would like to see that happen, but I doubt it will. The Kitty Hawk was the last of the aircraft carriers to run on oil and is one of the last two carriers that could be made into a museum. I understand that nuclear carriers are not candidates to become museums due to the destructive dismantling necessary to remove their reactors.
The Northwest, Virginia base has been renamed and is now the “Naval Support Activity Norfolk, Northwest Annex.” The equipment I was trained there to work on is long gone.
The base in Hawaii is repurposed and renamed. Google Earth shows that the equipment I worked on there is also long gone. (Although, it appeared some of it was still there in 2002 when I last visited Hawaii.)
Although I never took classes on the Chapman College campus, I look at it as the place I began my college education. Chapman College became Chapman University in 1991 and is highly ranked among master’s level universities in the west.[i]
I only one class on the Chaminade campus. There was a Marine Biology class that required lab work and labs for the class were on campus. The campus was only about 25 miles away from the base. All of the lectures were in Wahiawa. While I attended Chaminade it added graduate programs and changed its name from Chaminade College to Chaminade University.[ii]
Indeed, Madonna Montran’s vaudeville career is very interesting to follow. In my wife’s family tree, Peter M. Howell is probably the most interesting of her direct ancestors. Peter was a “Wandering Missionary” who preached throughout Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He walked everywhere. Much of his preaching was documented in the 1848 book, The Life and Travels of Peter Howell by Peter Howell.
I’ve not known much about Peter’s life after his book. I’ve found him in the 1850 Census, but I have not found him in the 1860 Census. Nor had I found a death record for him. I suspected that he died sometime in the 1850s. I know that a lack of evidence doesn’t provide evidence of a fact, but it is hard not to have a suspicion. Sure enough, I was researching in via Newspapers.Com and found newspaper articles about Peter long after his book including one from March 1869, which provides clear evidence he was still preaching.[i]
Peter Howell, the “Wild Man,” preached to a promiscuous congregation at the Market House, Sunday and Monday mornings and afternoons. We do not know how many converts he made.
“Promiscuous” must have had a different meaning then than it does now because if he was able to assemble a “promiscuous congregation” by today’s meaning, I’d really be impressed.
The Daily Journal from the Saturday before indicated that Peter was staying at the Fulton House in Wilmington.
Next, an article in the Greensboro Times, 29 May 1856[ii] said:
PETER HOWELL—This eccentric minister of the gospel, is we learn, preaching at Lexington S. C. with much success. He still travels on foot, and preaches in Churches, private houses, in the open air, and every where, as opportunity presents itself.
Finally, there was also an ad for his preaching in Cary, North Carolina on 1 March 1857[iii] which advertises:
BY DIVINE PERMISSION, PETER HOWELL Wandering Missionary, will preach at Macedonia, Wake County, on next Sunday, 1st of March,—two discourses, one at 11 and one at 3 o’clock
I have known that Peter talked to God often, but I didn’t know that God gave permission to him to preach.
I learned that Peter M. Howell was alive in 1869 and that he preached at the following venues:
29 March 1856 – Lexington, South Carolina
1 March 1857 – Macedonia (Cary), North Carolina
7-8 March 1869 – Market House, Wilmington, North Carolina
He was considered eccentric and was known as the “Wild Man.” I also saw some articles indicating he was arrested for preaching in Petersburg, Virginia, but more about that another time.
[i] The Greensboro Times (Greensboro, North Carolina) · Thu, 29 May 1856 · Page 2. Via Newspapers.Com
[iii] Semi-Weekly Standard, Raleigh, North Carolina (online archive) -1857-02-25 – First Edition · Page 3 – PETER HOWELL via Newspapers.Com