Donna Darling – 1925 – Alton, Illinois

Alton Evening
Telegraph
26 & 28 Sep 1925
(Thanks to
Newspaper Archive)

On September 26th 1925, The Alton Evening Telegraph advertised a Vaudeville show at the Grand Opera House (Grand Theatre), “Donna Darling and Girls: Singing and Dancing Review.”
In the paper on the 28th, they reported,

“The new vaudeville act at the Grand which opened yesterday is one of the best and was received with great appreciation.

“Donna Darling and Girls” have an offering of song and dance also giving a display of bathing beauties from the year 1860 to 1925 also showing the designs of the French, German, American Hawaiian and other bathing girls and suits.”

Also on the bill was the movie “The Knockout” with Milton Sills and other vaudeville shows including Dippy Diers and Bennett in “Inimitable rantominists” and Lew Rose & Brownie in “Gloom Destroyers”.

The Grand Theatre (Opera House) was built in 1920, so it was only five years old when Donna played there. The theater closed in 1977.

The Grand Theatre
year unknown
Thanks to The Telegraph, Alton, IL 

Henry Brown search uncovers 8 additional ancestors

The next task I had on my Brown/Montran list was to confirm data on Henry Brown and try to find the marriage date for him and Marion Sanford.  As I did some poking around I found that somehow the birth and death dates I had for Henry Brown were ascribed to him in error and belonged to another Henry Brown. I found several different sources with a Henry Brown with the same birth and death dates and a different spouse and parents than I had for my Henry Brown. 
I believe it is important to revisit what you know every once and a while and confirm that what you know is really true.  In my case, there were inconsistencies in what I had and what my sources were telling me.  I did a lot of searching but couldn’t find anything that would give a birth, death, or marriage date for Henry.  
I decided to take a closer look at the 1870 and 1880 census for Henry and who his neighbors were.
In 1870 they were Watson and Boellger on one side and Sanford and Trim on the other side.
In 1880 they were Sitchard and Bluminann on one side and Brillevale and Sanford on the other side. Could the Sanfords in both censuses be related to Marion?  I then looked for any plat maps of the area to see what the land relationships might be like. I found one for Saline, Washtanaw County from 1874.  Sure enough, there was a Boettger, two Sanford properties, and a Trim property along a road. I then began looking in earnest for information about a Wm Sanford of Saline, Washtenaw County Michigan. 
One of my favorite search places is Google Books.  I searched for William Sanford Washtenaw.  An hit included a 1881 book, History of Washtenaw County, Michigan and a paragraph regarding William Sanford.  In the text was a line about his children, including “Marion A., wife of Henry Brown.” Yea, a book that confirms that my Marion was related to William Sanford. 
Lots of new information.  Including Marion’s mother’s name, Mary E. Parsons (a new name for me).  Elsewhere in the book it spoke of Mary’s parents, Chester Parsons and Deborah B. Maben (two more names), their parents John & Mary Wolcot Parsons along with Robert and Electa Maben (four more new names).  In the many pages there were names, dates, stories, about the Parsons, Mabens, and Sanfords.  I was able to add eight new direct ancestors and dozens of aunts, uncles, and cousins.  An amazing find.  Probably most amazing was a drawing of Chester Parsons, (my 4th great-granfather) probably from when he was about 60 or so, his beard is white but his hair is still dark. (A description elsewhere in the book indicates that in 1881, his hair is white.) 
Sadly, I still haven’t determined Henry Brown’s birth, death, or marriage dates, but that’s okay. The other finds make up for missing facts.
Don’t forget Google Books in your research.  It can be an amazing resource.

  

McAllister was MURDERED – January 15, 1925


The Savannah Press – January 15, 1925

M’Allister was MURDERED,
     says Coroner’s Jury

—–

Inquest was held today; Witnesses tell of Discovery

—-

Brother of dead man on way to Savannah

—-

Arrest Probable in M’Allister Case

It is understood that investigations of the county police into the McAllister murder are coming to a focus, and an arrest may be made before midnight. There is no official announcement of this, but it is gathered the police believe the evidence in their possession may lead to the issuance of a warrant. The county police, under the direction of Chief Chapman, have worked night and day on the case. tracing every clue to its ultimate conclusion.

After hearing all the testimony submitted to it, the jury in the coroner’s inquest, at Sipple Brothers’ held over the body of Edward L. McAllister at noon today, found the following verdict:

“We the jury find that Edward L McAllister came to his death from wounds inflicted with a sharp instrument. In the hands of an unknown party or parties. and we consider it murder, the wounds being on the top of his head.”
The members of the coroner’s jury were Frank W. Williams, foreman; Dave L. Christian, Robert Beytagh, C. P. Abrams, Joseph Alexander, and Pratt Wright.

Besides Dr. George H. Johnson, the coroner, who, as a physician and witness, gave his testimony, there – were five Witnesses heard by the jury.

First Witness
The first Witness was H. B. Brown, Bee road and Victory drive.

Mr. Brown said: “Monday, Mr. Smith, the man that worked with Mr. McAllister, asked me to go and see what was the matter with him, as he had not come to work.

“Mr.Smith told me Tuesday morning that be had looked through the window and saw the bed torn up, as if he (Mr. McAllister) had gotten up and gone out.

“He suggested that I go over and see what I could find out. I went over and looked through the bedroom window and saw the bed torn up.  I, with another man, Tom Carr, looked around and saw that his car was in the garage.

“I looked .through the kitchen window and saw Mr. McAllister’s feet. I then got a chair and looked down through the window and said: ‘Tom, look there, McAllister is dead.’

“I then called 88 and reported the case to the officers. The officers came and raised the window.

“I don’t remember whether I last saw Mr. McAllister last Thursday or Friday. I did not work on the same shift as Mr. McAllister. We worked at different hours.

“Mr. McAllister was a man who had very little company.

Was Well Liked.
The only time I went there was when his wife died. He was well liked and as good-hearted a man as ever saw In my life. He was a ‘lead man’ for a while and we worked together. It seems all the men thought the world and all of him. A negro woman worked for him a few days after his wife died. He was a man. that never did visit much. He had some good neighbors. He came around to see me once in a while, sometimes once a week.”

Mrs. H. B. Brown, the next witness, said: “My husband came in that morning and said to me, ‘I want you and me to take a walk over to the old place.  I asked why he wanted to go over. He said, ‘Mack hasn’t been to work in several days and we ought to go, and see about him.  We went over and looked around. We saw his chickens and his car in the garage. W e looked through the bedroom window and saw the clock had stopped, I saw his cap hanging on the back of a chair. My husband stepped over to the kitchen window and looked in.  Mr. Carr was there, and my husband said, ‘My God, Tom, the man is dead!’ One at a time, my husband, Mr. Carr and I looked in and saw him, with the upper part of his body leaning against the kitchen partition.

Saw Him Christmas Eve.

“The last time I saw Mr. McAllister was Christmas Eve. Mr. Carr saw us at Mr: McAllister’s house and came over and joined us.”

William T. Carr, 1415 East Thirty-eighth street, said: “The first I knew of it was when Mr. Smith and Mr. Anderson came out Monday afternoon and said they were looking for Mr. McAllister

“They said, ‘come on and go with us. I went with them to the corner of Ash and Thirty-ninth street.
We went up on the piazza, looked through the window and saw the bed. It looked, as if a man had
gotten up after having slept in it.

Monday Evening
“I saw his car in the garage. Mr. Smith went to the hack of the house and looked through the kitchen window. We couldn’t have seen Mr. McAllister at the point where we found him later.  It was about 6 o’clock and too dark to see very much in the kitchen. I went back to my house and lit my light. The thing kept me worried.

“Tuesday morning I was out in my yard when I saw Mr. and Mrs. Brown over at Mr. McAllister’s. I whistled and asked what they were looking for and told them Mr. Anderson and Mr. Smith were there Monday afternoon looking for Mr. McAllister.

Looked in Window.
“I went over and we went on,  the stoop.  Mr. Brown looked in the kitchen window and said: ‘he’s in there. ‘

He then got a chair and looked in again. Mrs. Brown looked in and said, ‘he is down on the door.’ I then looked in and said, ‘My *God: the man is dead.’ Mr. Brown wanted to go in the house but I said ‘let’s get an officer, don’t go in that house.  Mr. Brown then said ‘lets get a phone,’ and we went over 

to a house and waited, until Mr. Brown telephoned the barracks. I didn’t want to wait as I had left my house open. I was standing at 40th street when Lieutenant Hallford came. I directed him to McAllister’s house. It seems to me the gentleman with Lieutenant Hanford opened the door with a skeleton key. The last time I saw Mr. McAllister was Saturday night.

“On Tuesday morning I saw the hatchet, there was also a dish of rice on the table. I am not a married man.”

Sketch of Room

The witness showed the Jury a sketch or diagram showing the location of the dead body and the outline of the kitchen. “I looked through the southeast window,” The witness said.  “A’ man standing by the stove could have struck Mr. McAllister from that point.” 

When asked by the coroner if he could recognize the hatchet used by the murderer, he hesitated and said there were so many hatchets that he did not like to say. When shown the bloody weapon, however, he promptly identified it.

H. B. Brown, recalled, said in answer to questions of the coroner, that Foreman Carter at the Atlantic Coast Line did not ask him to look for Mr. McAllister. “It did not see Mr. Carter,” he said.

Shown the hatchet found on the table at the McAllister residence, Mr. Brown said it was the kind used sometimes, by carpenters—it was called a chop hatchet, he said.

Saw Him Monday. 
C. F. Smith, carpenter, 308 West State street, said he caught a car at Broughton and Habersham streets Monday morning. “When I got out to the canal, near Thirty-ninth street and Waters road, Mr. McAllister came along, going west toward town. He had on a khaki suit, raincoat and gloves. He had been passing along nearly every day and I knew him in that way.  He talked to Mr. Coleman usually when coming by every day.

Ask for Cigarette

R. L. Coleman, basement, 222 East Taylor street, said: “I saw Mr. McAllister, Monday morning. He was going west on Thirty-ninth street. He asked me for a cigarette.  He looked as well as usual. 
He said the street is too muddy, ‘I won’t come cross the street.’ I did not work that day. I stayed
around until akoue 8:30 and went home.”

The coroner showed the watch found on the dead man’s person and said it wasrunning at 1:30 P. M. Tuesday night. The watch ran until 8:45 Tuesday night. “I timed the watch and found it runs about 36 hours, he said. The coroner said he found the dead man with his head against the kitchen partition.  There were four wounds on his head. There was a lathing hatchet laying on the table. There was $1.50 in small change and a Waltham watch on his person. 

Sipple Brothers, morticians, received a telegram yesterday afternoon from Joseph McAllister a brother of the dead man, asking that the body he held until his arrival in Savannah, He is coming from Pittsburg.

Man Investigated 

The county police yesterday afternoon temporarily detained a man for the purpose of clearing up what was believed to be a clue, but the man was released when it was found that he was in no way connected  with the affair.

Important Fact.
That McAllister’s watch was running at the time when the murder occurred and that it continued to run until 9 o’clock on the night when the man was found murdered at his home is an important factor in determining the time of the murder.  The watch, when fully wound and allowed to run its full time, was found have stopped about 36 hours after it was wound. This experiment was performed by Dr. Johnson, the coroner, yesterday. McAllister must have wound his watch according to this reasoning about 9 o’clock Monday morning.

Another important find at the house was that the back door key I was wrung off in the lock.

Source:

Biography – Emma (Emily) Swayze Darling (1852-1918)

An Uncle Sam cartoon from 1852
(Thanks to the Marchand Archives,
The History Project, UC Davis)
[On this 161’st anniversary of Emma (Emily) Swayze Darling’s birth I  remember her and her life.] 

The Studebaker Brothers established their wagon company, the Uncle Sam cartoon character made its debut in the “New York Lantern,” Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and the twins Eva and Emma (Emily) Swayze Darling were born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on the 24th of July, 1852. 

Their father was Rufus Holton Darling, the builder and former owner of the Goss and Darling general store, the first store in Kalamazoo. He was a railroad man, and a Whig candidate for local office.  Her mother, Elizabeth Jane Swayze Darling was the daughter of David Swayze, the son of David Swayze, Sr., a patriot of the revolution. 
After the amazing prosperity of the 1840s, Kalamazoo had seen a huge population drop from 1849 to 1852 because of the California Gold Rush. Many of the city’s able bodied men, such as her father’s business partner Milo Goss, had left the city for California before her birth.
While she was still a baby, tuberculosis ravished her house.  Her twin sister Eva died in the year following their birth.  Her father took ill and was debilitated and bedridden until he died four years later. She too was disabled by the disease and would remain sick off and on throughout her life. After the death of her father, her grandmother, Catherine Swayze, and her uncle Theodore P. Swayze lived with her mother, Elizabeth Jane Darling, her half-sister, Mary C. Wiseman, her older brother, Abner, an older sister Elizabeth and  younger brother Rufus Henry. She attended school and the family lived in the large home Rufus built at the corner of Cedar and Rose streets.
She was still a child, only eight years old, when the civil war broke out. Her uncle Theodore had enlisted in the army the year before war began. Her grandmother Swayze died in 1868 leaving her at home with her mother and younger brother Rufus. The house was said to be valued at $14,000 in the 1870 census, a substantial valuation in the day.
Her half-sister, Mary Catherine (Kate) (now Churchill) returned home with a daughter Kitty before the 1880 census was taken. Rufus, 22, worked for the Railroad his father helped build. Emma herself was at home, not working is was listed as “maimed, crippled, bedridden or otherwise disabled.” Certainly, hers was a tough life. 
In August of 1892, Elizabeth sold her 1/5 share of the property that the Goss and Darling Store was originally on to Emma for $2000.  Emma sold the property to Melville Bigalow (her sister Elizabeth’s husband) in 1896 for $3000.
Emma’s mother, Elizabeth passed in 1896 and the large house was apparently split so both a lodger and another family lived at the same address. Her sister “Ida” was living with her then. Ida was fifteen years younger than Emma and doesn’t show up in any other records. She was apparently either a first wife of her brother Robert Harry, or a wife of her other brother Abner. Ida had been married for five years to someone in 1900.
The 1910 census is an absolute mess in regards of reporting those living at 204 Rose Street. No details of Emma are recorded other than her name, gender, and address.  Beneath her name is a listing of ten inmates at the Kalamazoo County Jail down the street from Emma’s house.
Emma (Emily) was a member of the M E Church (Methodist Episcopal Church – later the First Methodist Church of Kalamazoo).  
The Kalamazoo Gazette reported that Emily (Emma) died on 5 March 1918, at the age of 65; however, her death certificate indicates she died of chronic bronchitis and chronic ulcers on 5 April 1918. She died in the house she was born in and lived in all of her life at the corner of Cedar and Rose in Kalamazoo.
She was buried at Mountain Home Cemetery in Kalamazoo. 

Many thanks to Ancestry.Com, Family Search.Org, Kalamazoo Genealogy.Org,
Genealogy Bank.Com, and Seeking Michigan (Library of Michigan), and Find-a-Grave.

Our sponsor

Rufus Holton Darling – Built First Store in Kalamazoo

Headline from Kalamazoo Gazette, July 9, 1916

Thanks to Genealogy Bank
I am reminded of the importance of looking closely at all of the family members and their actions and activities.  Rufus Holton Darling was born about 1816 and died in 1857. He had several children including a spinster daughter, Miss Emma (Emily) Darling (1852-1918). The Kalamazoo Gazette, dated July 9, 1916, mentions that, 

“These were the early days in the history of Kalamazoo and it is only a few who now remember that the first store built in Kalamazoo was that of Goss and Darling on Main and Burdick street, built by Rufus H. Darling and David Swayze. This corner was only at that time a wooded spot.”

I had known that Rufus operated the Goss and Darling general store, but didn’t know that it was the first store built in Kalamazoo and that Rufus and his father-in-law, David Swayze  built it. 
Later in the article, Miss Emma reflects, 

“My father had the contract for building the Michigan Central railway from Michigan City through to Grass Lake and on its completion a banquet was given for which [she had] the original invitations sent to [her] parents.”

I knew that shortly after the Michigan Central railway came through Kalamazoo, Rufus worked for them. However, I didn’t know that he actually built the railroad through Kalamazoo.  
The article goes on to describe the excitement of the first train that arrived in Kalamazoo on a Sunday morning and how its arrival emptied the churches that day.  It is a great article and a great find that fills in more of the detail regarding Rufus and family.

Thanks to
Genealogy Bank for having the Kalamazoo Gazette in its records.