Donna in Grand Rapids, MI, at the Powers Theatre – Feb 20-21, 1920

Donna in Grand Rapids, MI, at the Powers Theatre – Feb 20-21, 1920

Via Pinterest -
Hotel Herkimer abt 1912
Via Pinterest from eBay

No great birthday celebration for Donna for her twenty-seventh birthday.  She was working as the Chin Chin cast were opening at the Powers Theatre in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The cast, probably stayed at the Hotel Herkimer, a “refined home for professionals” a few blocks away.  The Herkimer was a regular accommodation place for vaudeville shows. This was a return engagement, so most of the cast knew where things were in town. “Chin Chin” spent two nights at the Powers Theatre. Articles, press releases and advertising were scant in the Grand Rapids [evening] “Press,” but this city of about 135,000 had three other newspapers, the morning “Herald,” the evening “News,” and a weekly, the “Chronicle.”  Pre-show newspaper articles in the “Press” indicated that they had new scenery and new costumes since the previous season’s showing in Grand Rapids.  Between the first and second nights, the paper called out Donna by name.

“Chin Chin” on Return Date at Powers
“Chin Chin” at Powers Saturday and Sunday is not the “Chin Chin” of yesterday, but many who viewed it were apparently satisied. Walter Wills and Roy Binder, as Chinese clowns, are the heart of the show. Tom Brown’s clown band under the leadership of Lew Gould, and radiant Donna Montran as the “goddess of the lamp,” are also shining lights of comedy.

I hope she had a happy birthday celebration after the show.  

The Powers Theater

Construction of the original Powers’ Opera House began in 1873 and the theater opened on 12 May 1874.  The original theater had a seating capacity of about 1300. The main floor was above ground level. That building succumbed to a fire in 1892 that gutted the interior, The interior was rebuilt and new four-story with rounded bays was added to the east end of the building.  On September 13, 1901 the theater was again aflame. This time, the fire totaled the building which caused it to be rebuilt completely as the Powers’ Theater.  The rebuilt design put the main theater floor at ground level and increased capacity.
Powers Opera House
Courtesy: Grand Rapids Historical Commission 
In 1914, the old facade was replaced with a new brick and terra cotta facade. The Powers’ Theatre was the largest theatre in Grand Rapids when Donna and Chin Chin played there in 1920. Grand Rapids had a population of about 135,000 and the theater had a capacity of 1,619, which means that more than 1% of the city’s population could attend a show there.  The stage was very large, sixty-six feet wide and forty feet deep. Backstage was also spacious with sixty-five feet up to the rigging loft. The 1913 Theatrical Guide indicates that it used 110 volt direct current for its illumination. Don’t know when it’s DC system was replaced with alternating current (AC).
The theater underwent several additional renovations and another fire, and renovation, in 1942. In 1944, it opened up as “Foto News” and ran newsreals.  The theater was remodeled again in 1948 and converted to become the Midtown Theater which it stayed as until 1972 when it closed.  It was rented for a few concerts and other activities for a few years, but when renovation costs got to be too much it was torn down in January of 1979.
Today the location is a parking ramp.


Grand Rapids Press (Grand Rapids, MI), Feb 19, 1920 – Page 6,  via  Genealogy Bank
Grand Rapids Press (Grand Rapids, MI), Feb 23, 1920 – Page 6,  via via  Genealogy Bank
Website: Powers behind Grand Rapids – Powers Theatre 
Website: History Grand Rapids Org. – Early Grand Rapids Halls and Theaters by Albert Baxter.
The Cahn-Leighton Official Theatrical Guide – 1913-1914 

Review – Family Tree Maker Mac 3

Review – Family Tree Maker Mac 3

I should know better.  Paying good money to purchase Ancestry’s Family Tree Maker for Mac 3.0 was a bad, bad idea.  Again they released what I would think of as beta software and they hope that many people won’t notice.  Had I not had existing files, I might not have.
I purchased the upgrade version. Installation is a bit different than most Mac software. Download the file, then executing the DMG file doesn’t open and execute the installation, rather, it puts a device on your desktop.  You then need to execute it from your desktop to install the product.  If you aren’t a big desktop user, you might not notice the additional icon.  I didn’t because my desktop was already full and double stacking icons. There is not message that it has done so.
Once installed, and program key entered, the initial screen is like the 2.x version except some things are moved from the right side of the screen to the left.  It is still focused on “getting started” and doesn’t have an option to open your last file.  
Once you import a file from version 2, or otherwise have a file you will enter the “Plan” view.  It contains the same information that version 2 provided, but again, it is shuffled around like they think if they move it we’ll think it is new.  “Trees” moved from this page to the menu which was very good. However the space dedicated to the “Ancestry Web Dashboard” was expanded from what was about 1/6 of the screen to a good 1/3 of the screen. Like the previous edition, you can’t change the size of any of the “Plan” window elements.  It is obvious they think that what my activities are are at least 1/3 of all that is important to me.  Sorry, not true.
I will again say they attend a Trees selection to the menu bar so it is available on any page.  That is one of the few changes that I think are good. 
Their advertising mentions they added an “Export Branch” feature.  It is okay. It allow you to select a person from your tree and then export just the ancestors & descendants of that tree.  In actuality it just creates a backup file of that line.  It would be nice if you could export a branch then delete that branch from your existing tree, but that is only a hope for me.  If you export a branch you will need to delete the individuals from your old tree individually or have duplicate entries in two different trees.  Once exported, you will need to effectively restore that backup and then export that branch in another format if you so desire. 
In the Media section it is now possible to select more than one media at a time.  This is great because it makes it much easier to apply categories and do other actions to media in bulk.  There is also a new utility to “find missing media” which is a great addition.  It allows you to much more easily reconnect media that has become disconnected.  For example, I renamed a directory that had media in it to support some other actions I was doing with the media.  This utility will help clean up that type of action more easily.  
Family View Report
New in FTM-Mac-3
Reports look about the same. There is a new “Family View Report.” It is a simplified family sheet, showing couple and children with a pedigree chart above. I like it and may use it in the future, but otherwise, the reports appear to be the same as in Version 2.x. 
Now the reason I’m unhappy with FTM-Mac-3.  Sources.  The import process just trashed the sources.  It sometimes moved source citations to another source title.  Some sources appeared to vanish. However, when I created a new Source Title with the same name as before, they magically reappeared.  Sometime the citation detail was now blank but the citation text was still good. All in all, it appeared to trash the database. 

I use different files for my various projects.  I converted two of my projects to FTM-Mac-3 and am very unhappy with the results with the sources becoming corrupt.  I am so glad I have paper copies of most everything important so I can reconstruct the sources and source citations as I com across them.  In the meantime, I will continue using FTM-Mac-2 for all my other work and projects until they do an upgrade that fixes the problems.  Maybe, I’ll just return to Reunion or Mac Family Tree next time.  Maybe even Heredis if they have fixed the name issue
I recommend saving your money and continue using FTM-Mac-2 until they, at least, correct the sources import issues. If you are new to FTM and aren’t converting files, FTM-Mac-3 is great software and I recommend it.

– Don Taylor

Donna wishes a Merry Christmas

Donna wishes a Merry Christmas
On December 24th, 1919, Donna joined 139 other people in wishing Roehm and Richards a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year via an ad taken out in the New York Clipper. They all hoped that Health and Prosperity will be with them always.

New York Clipper – 24 December 1919
Thanks to Fulton History

I wish all my friends and blog readers a merry Christmas and a New Year filled with health, prosperity, and happiness.

– Don Taylor

The New York Clipper, December 24, 1919, Page 42 – Via Fulton History

Clarence Eduard Huber Baptism Certificate.

I’ll admit it, I don’t read German.  I try my best but sometime the characters don’t scan correctly to my eye.  Either way for Amanuensis Monday, I’ve given it my best shot but still come up just a tad short.  I really love Google Translate.  It is simple to use and you can usually get the gist of a message enough to change the Google Translation to English by adding syntax.  It is a simple baptism certificate but there are two words that elude me. First is gu or gee or something like that.  Now I suspect is means at or in in this context.  But it would be good to know for certain it doesn’t mean “near” or something like that.

The second word seems to be to be “daselbit” to me.  It must be some kind of parents but I can’t figure out what it means.  It might make a difference in where the Baptism actually occurred.

Anyone who knows what the meanings are, please post a comment and let me know.

Birth Certificate  My Reading Google Translate
Click to enlarge

Clarence Eduard Huber
John von Heren Johann Huber
und frau Bertha geb Trumpi
geboren 24ten december 1909
gu Elberta, Baldwin Co, Ala.
ist am 26ten May 1910
im Hause der Elter en daselbit
im namen des
Dreieinigen Gottes
getauft worden
Taufzeugen waren
Maria Bruss
Karl Keller

welches hierdurch
bescheinigt wird
H. O. Bruss
ev. Luth Pastor

Clarence Ediard Huber
John of Heren Johann Huber
and wife Bertha born Trumpi
born 24th december 1909
gu Elberta, Baldwin Co, Ala.
on 26th May 1910
in the home of the parent s daselbit

in the name of the

Triune God
been baptized

sponsors were
Maria Bruss
Karl Keller

which thereby
is to certify
H. O. Bruss
ev. Luth Pastor

Biography – Clarence Eduard Huber (1909-1994)

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Clarence Huber
(abt 1924 – at age 15)

Biography – Clarence Eduard Huber (1909-1994) – Why Alabama?

One of the many family history questions we have had for some time is why was “Uncle Clarence” born in Alabama.  His parents, John and Bertha Trümpi Huber, came from Switzerland and were German speaking.  They arrived separately but settled in the New Glarus, Green County, Wisconsin area where they were married, in 1905, and had their first child, Florence in 1908.  But Clarence was born in Elberta, Baldwin County, Alabama, on Christmas Eve, 1909, which seemed odd. Why did the family move from Wisconsin to Alabama and then to Michigan?

Morning Star (Rockford, IL) – Feb 7th, 1909 – Page 13
Many thanks to Genealogy Bank
I think why they moved to Alabama is now understood. In the early 20th century there were many Swiss and German colonies in the United States.  In 1903 the Baldwin County Colonization Company began promoting land sales to German immigrants in the midwest.  Their first settlers came to Elberta about 1904 and by 1908-09, when the Hubers settled there, the town boasted both a Catholic and Lutheran Church.  Certainly, advertisements enticed folks from the winters of Wisconsin to the mild climate of Alabama.  John and Bertha probably took such an excursion to Elberta and then purchased land after seeing what was available. In any event, by April, 1910 they owned a farm which John farmed. 
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church (Today)
Elberta, Baldwin Co., Alabama
(Thanks to the Baldwin County Heritage Museum)
Clarence was baptized at home on 26 May, 1910, by Pastor H.O. Bruss. Maria Bruss, the pastor’s mother, and Karl Keller, a close neighbor were the sponsors for the baptism. It is interesting to note that the original St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, built in 1908 still stands.  It was relocated in 1985 and is currently associated with the Baldwin County Historical Museum. It functions as a modern wedding chapel that provides a vintage wedding setting.
Sometime between 1916 and 1920 the family relocated to James Township, Saginaw County, Michigan.  The 1920 has him living with his parents and older sister and attending school.  According to the 1940 Census, Clarence completed the 8th grade. 
In 1930, Clarence was still living with his parents. His sister had married and was living in Pennsylvania. In 1934, tragedy struck with the death of his sister. 
In 1940, Clarence was still living on his parents farm, the same place they lived in 1935, but was working outside of the farm at an iron foundry as a core racker earning about $40 a week.
Clarence enlisted in the Army on 29 December, 1942 and was discharged 19 days after VJ Day.  
Clarence Huber
1983 – age 72
Clarence’s father died in October 1948 and his mother died almost 20 years later, in May 1968.  During all that time Clarence lived in the same house. It is said that after his mother died, Clarence closed the door on his mother’s bedroom and never went into it again.  The room was as it was in 1968, with laundry folded, when it was opened again, over 25 years lated, after his death in 1994.
Clarence never married and had no known children.  He was also known as Clarence Edward Huber (verses Eduard).

Clarence died on 25 June, 1994 at the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw.  He was cremated by the Northern Michigan Crematory, Bay City, Michigan.
Questions I’d still like to answer – Why did the Huber’s leave Alabama for Michigan between 1916 and 1920?
What did Clarence do during WW2?  He shows up in the Veterans Affairs BIRLS list but I haven’t found records for him anywhere else. 

1910 US Federal Census – Ancestry.Com
1920 US Federal Census – Ancestry.Com
1930 US Federal Census – Ancestry.Com
1940 US Federal Census – Ancestry.Com

US Dept. of Veterans Affairs – Beneficiary Identification Records Locator Subsystem (BIRLS) via Ancestry.ComBaptism Certificate – Personal Document Collection.

Michigan, Dept of Public Health, Death Certificate, for Clarence Edward Huber  – Personal Document Collection.
Morning Star (Rockford, IL) 7 February 1909 –  Page- 13 – via Genealogy Bank.