Ancestor Sketch – Albion Blanchard

Blanchard Line
By Don Taylor

Albion Blanchard’s short life was clearly difficult. His mother died when he was young and he, and his only daughter, died when he was only 34 years old.

Blanchard Project – Ancestor #16

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Edward Everett Blanchard
  • 1st Great-grandfather:Frederick W. Blanchard (1865-1917)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Albion Blanchard
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Cyrus Blanchard (1791-1865)

Albion Blanchard (1834-1868)


Albion Blanchard was born on 3 July 1834 in Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine, the ninth child of Cyrus and Apphia (Young) Blanchard).

Albion’s mother, Apphia, died in 1841 and his father remarried quickly.

In 1842, Albion’s half-sister Sarah was born.

In 1847, his older brother Cyrus died at the age of 22.

In 1848, his oldest brother Ebenezer died at the age of 30.

So, the 1850 Census found 15-year-old Albion living in Cumberland with his father, step-mother, a brother, a sister, and a half-sister. His sister Lydia and his brothers Daniel and Charles were elsewhere. (Further research regarding Albion’s siblings should be done.) Cyrus was a farmer, his brother Charles was a Mason, and Albion was attending school. The family unit, according to the 1850 Census consisted of:

  • Cyrus Blanchard           M    58    Maine     Farmer – Real Estate value: $1500
  • Elizabeth Blanchard    F     50    Maine
  • Charles Blanchard        M    26    Maine     Mason
  • Nancy Blanchard           F     18    Maine     Attending School
  • Albion Blanchard          M    15    Maine     Attending School
  • Sarah A Blanchard        F       7    Maine


Albion married Mary S. Washburn on 2 February 1857 in Windham, Cumberland County, Maine. The marriage ceremony was performed by Edias Baker. The couple received their marriage license and had their ceremony on the same day.

The couple quickly began a family, with their first child, Charles A. F. Blanchard being born 11 months later, on 1 January 1858.

1860 Census

The 1860 Census found Albion and his wife living in Cumberland with his child Charles. Albion was a day laborer who owned real estate valued at $100.

  • Household                         Sex  Age  Birthplace
  • Albion Blanchard                M      25     Maine        Day Laborer – Property $100
  • Mary S Blanchard               F       25     Maine
  • Charles A F Blanchard      M      2       Maine

The birth of his second child, Sarah occurred on 4 November 1861.

Albion clearly struggled. The town began to help support Albion paying him $6.75 out of the monies supporting the poor in the town’s fiscal year of 1862-1863. It seems odd that the town would be supporting a young man, age 29, when bounties were being paid to Civil War Volunteers. That suggests some form of disability. However, in 1863, Albion was identified in a list of “Persons of Class I, subject to military duty,” which belies a disability.

In 1865, his father, Cyrus, died at age 74. And in 1866, his son Frederick W. Blanchard was born.

Again, Albion struggled and the town paid him $7.18 in support of the poor during the fiscal year 1867-1868.


It appears that Albion, and his family, were really sick during 1868. The records of the poor for Cumberland Town indicate Albion and his family were paid $217.35 “in support to the time of his death.” Albion’s six-year-old daughter, Sarah, died two days before Albion, who died at the age of 34 on 9 September 1868.

Events by Location

Albion was born, lived, and died in Cumberland, Cumberland County, Maine.


There was an Albion Blanchard from Calais, Washington County, Maine who served in the Civil War in the 1st District of Columbia Cavalry and transferred to the Maine 1st Calvary in 1865. That Albion Blanchard was 19 years old in 1864 while 2nd great-grandfather Albion Blanchard was 30 years old in 1864.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research Cumberland town records to determine the cause of the town payments to Albion and his family and the cause of his death.

————–  Disclaimer  ————– Continue reading “Ancestor Sketch – Albion Blanchard”

Donna Darling Collection – Part 74

Donna Darling Revue
Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection that includes both a clipping and a photo.

Palm Theater – Pueblo, Colorado

Image DSCN1433 from the Donna Darling Collection – Note the 6th act was apparently cut off. 

Key features:

  • The venue is the Palm Theater – Pueblo’s Leading Theater – Always a Big Show. The show is “Today and Monday – 2 Big Days. And is part of the Western Association of Keithp-Albee Orpheum Circuit.
  • The show is a “Double Headliner Bill with the First Feature Ace — “Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark”
  • The Second Feature Act is “Orpheus Quintet in “Big Moments from Big Operas”
  • Also on bill:
    • Zuhn & Dreis – Dementus Americanos – A Feature Comedy Act Made For Laughing Purposes.
    • Curtis & Lawrence – Up to the Minute and a Minute Ahead in “Is That the Custom.”
    • Morrell & Elynor – Beauty-Grace-Speed 0 Introducing the Charleston on Rollers.


The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark began in May 1926. On September 17th and 18th, the show played at the Burns Theater in Colorado Springs and played on September 25th in El Paso, Texas. It is most likely that the show played in Pueblo on a date between the 18th and the 25th. The only Monday between those dates was Monday, September 20th, so it appears that the show played in Pueblo, CO, on September 19th and 20th.

I looked for newspapers on Newspapers.Com, Genealogy Bank,, and other sites via The Ancestor Hunt to prove that date; however, I was unable to find any papers for Pueblo in 1926 available online. However, I did discover that the Donna Darling Revue played at the Grand Theater in Douglas, Arizona on September 27th.

Photo of Sammy

Unknown woman & Sammy Clark – ca. 1926.

On the same page in the Donna Darling Collection as the Palm Theater clipping is a photo of an unknown woman and Sammy Clark. It must be from sometime between 1926 and 1928, with 1926 as the most likely. It is nice to have another photo of Sammy. I’ll keep an eye out for any other photos showing this unidentified woman.


September 19 & 20, 1926 – The Palm Theater, Pueblo, Colorado – “The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.”

September 27, 1926 – The Grand Theater, Douglas, Arizona – “The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.”

A day I learn of two more dates and venues for Donna’s Vaudeville Career is a good day.


Douglas Daily Dispatch, 1926-09-17 – Page 6 via Genealogy Bank.

Arthur Brown in the Censuses

Census Sunday
Brown Line
By Don Taylor


I have long believed that Arthur Durwood Brown, my great-grandfather was the son of William Henry Brown and not the son of Henry Mack Brown. I think that the 1870 and 1880 Census records contribute greatly to that belief.

1870 Census

Other records have long identified that Arthur Durwood Brown was born in December 1869 and the Census Record for Arthur confirms that. It shows the Henry Brown family as consisting of any apparent husband and wife with two children.[i] Henry is a farm laborer and Marian is keeping house. Children Nittie and Arthur are 3 years and 7/12 years old respectively. Because Arthur was born during the previous year, his month of birth, “Dec,” was also enumerated. Twenty-five-year-old Henry is a farm laborer and 23-year-old Marian is keeping house.  There is no entry for Henry owning property.

Immediately following Henry and family are William Sanford, his wife Mary and four apparent children. William’s farm is the most valuable farm on the page, valued at $10,000. So, it appears to me that Henry, who is married to William’s daughter, is most likely a farm hand on William’s farm.

1870 Census – Henry Brown & William Sanford – Detail

1880 Census.

The 1880 Census is the first census which shows the relationship between individuals. Henry Brown is the head of the family, Marian is his wife, and 10-year-old Arthur is enumerated with his younger siblings, Charles, Mary, Almond, Clifford, William, Clyde, and Addison. Nittie, who should be 13 during the 1880 Census, isn’t enumerated.

1880 Census – Henry Brown – Detail
1880 Census – Marion Brown & Children – Detail

William Sanford’s family is enumerated on the same page as Marian as in the 1870 Census.

1890 Census

Not available.  Please see: Census.Gov > History > Genealogy > Decennial Census Records > Availability of 1890 Census.

1900 Census

The 1900 Census finds Arthur D. Brown married with children living in Township 136, Ranges 25-29, Crow Wing County Minnesota. The census reports that he was born in December, 1870, and was 29-years-old—A minor error. He had been married for seven years and had three children. His 21-year-old wife, Mary, had had four children, one who had died.[ii] The three children enumerated were.

      • Clyde             Born Feb 1894
      • Victoria        Born June 1896
      • Clarence      Born Dec 1897

1910 Census

The 1910 Census finds the Arthur Brown household had moved west to North Dakota and lived near Merkle, Kidder County. With him are his wife, daughter Victoria and his three youngest (at the time) children, Cora, Clifford (my grandfather), and Edward. There is an eight year gap between Clifford and Edward, suggesting a lost child.[iii]

1920 Census

The 1920 Census finds the Arthur Brown household had moved back to Minnesota and were renting a home in Sylvan Township, Cass County. With him are his wife, Mary, and five children, Clifford (my grandfather), Edward, Arthur, Charles, and Delores.


Arthur Durwood Brown died on 27 August 1928 in Walker, Cass County, Minnesota. He is buried in Gull River Cemetery, Pillager, Cass County, Minnesota.


  • 1870 Census (NARA), 1870 – Henry Brown – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan. “United States Census, 1870”, database with images, FamilySearch ( NMT : 19 March 2020), Arthur Brown in entry for Henry Brown, 1870.
  • 1880 Census, 1880 – Henry Brown – Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan. “United States Census, 1880,” database with images, FamilySearch ( CST : 26 August 2017), Arthur Brown in household of Henry Brown, Saline, Washtenaw, Michigan, United States; citing enumeration district ED 237, sheet 276B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), FHL microfilm 1,254,609.
  • 1900 Census, 1900 Census – Arthur D Brown – Twnp 136, Crow Wing, Minnesota. Family Search.
  • 1910 Census, 1910 – Arthur D Brown – Merkel, Kidder, North Dakota. “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 March 2019), Arthur D Brown, Merkel, Kidder, North Dakota, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 225, sheet 4A, family 67, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 1142; FHL microfilm 1,375,155.
  • 1920 Census, 1920 Census – Arthur Brown – Sylvan Township 133, Range 30, Cass County, Minnesota. “United States Census, 1920,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 24 September 2020), Arthur Brown, Sylvan, Cass, Minnesota, United States; citing ED 109, sheet 4B, line 67, family 71, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 824; FHL microfilm 1,820,824.
  • Find a Grave, Internet, Arthur Durwood Brown (1868-1928) – Memorial 87334615. Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 24 September 2020), memorial page for Arthur Durwood Brown (1868–27 Aug 1928), Find a Grave Memorial no. 87334615, citing Gull River Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by Don Taylor (contributor 47627546).


[i] The 1870 Census did not provide relationship information.

[ii] Subsequent Research had indicated that the child was Martin. Born in 1900 and died before June 1, 1900.

[iii] There was one—Dorothy was born sometime between 1905 and 1907 and died in 1908.

Four Women and a Baby Identified

Photo Friday
By Don Taylor

This week, for Photo Friday, I’m reviewing four photos, one child, two women photos, and one small photo with two women in it.

Photos of 4 women and a baby.
Carrie & Lillie Johnson, Kenneth F. Bartlett, Evelyn Ardelia Bragdon, & Elsie Bragdon

Mrs. Carrie Johnson & Daughter Lillie.

This photo kind of has two backs. There is the original small 2-3/4” x 2” black & white (pictured above). Also, there is a blue-tinted printed copy of that same photo but only has the left inch, thus leaving out the daughter. However, the backs of the two are slightly different. One says, “Mrs. Carrie Johnson & daughter Lillie,” the other states, “Carrie Johnson Mrs. R. M. Johnson.”

A search for Carrie Johnson, with a spouse of R. M. and a child named Lillie, immediately found a 1910 Census record with Richard M. Johnson, head of household, Carrie E. Johnson, his wife, and Lillie R. Johnson, as a daughter. In 1910 they lived in Hallowell, Kennebec County, Maine.

  • Carrie E. (Murphy) Johnson – Family Search ID: 9XYH-Z1X.
  • Lillie Richardson Johnson – Family Search ID: G71N-9FJ.

Kenneth F Bartlett

The back of the photo says, “Kenneth F Bartlett.”  The picture is by “Smith Photo Co, 27 Monument Sq., Portland, ME.”

There was a Kenneth F. Bartlett, born in Scarborough, ME, on 30 June 1905, the son of Ferdinand M. and Ruth E. Bartlett.

A review of potential other Kenneth Bartletts did not yield any other candidates.

The child appears to be between ½ to 1-1/2, and the photo style is consistent with approximately 1906. So, I believe this to be Kenneth Bartlett.

Family Search ID L5T6-S3D.

Evelyn Ardelia Bragdon

The back of the photo says, “Evelyn Ardelia Bragdon”  The image is by the “Marshall Studio, Westbrook, ME.”

I have seen photos of Elsie and Evelyn Bragdon previously. A view of Evelyn on Family Search yielded another image of the same picture, so I did not upload my copy of the photo to Family Search.

Family Search ID: LYRK-419.

Elsie Bragdon

The back of the photo says, “Elsie Bragdon – Westbrook High School – 1919.”  The picture is by “Fenley, Portland, Maine.”

A search found that an Elsie L. Bragdon lived in Westbrook during the 1920 Census. I am confident this is the correct person.

Family Search ID: 9F3M-HNW.

Final Note

It is a great day when you can identify all of the individuals in the photos you are reviewing.  I am caught up on my Photo Identification Project, so it will be a while before I research any others.



Chin Chin – Opera House – Jamestown, NY – 16 May 1920

Donna Montran Mentioned

One of my favorite, little known, websites is Fulton History, also known as Old Fulton Postcards. They have nearly 50 million newspaper pages. Besides searching on their site, there is a separate website,, which can provide another, less cumbersome, search methodology. The site has lots more than just Fulton County or New York-specific materials, so I highly recommend adding it to your regular search processes.


The “Chin Chin” show played in North Adams, MA, on May 14th and Pittsfield, MA, on May 15th, before backtracking nearly 400 miles west to Jamestown, NY, to play the Opera House there on May 16th.

Preshow Advertising

The first advertising for the show began on Thursday, March 11, 1920 in the Jamestown Evening Journal.  Page Twelve included a regular Chin Chin ad with Walter Wills and Roy Binder sitting on the moon. There was also a photo of the Clown Saxaphone Band and an advertising article.

The Jamestown Evening Journal used this photo, however, due to the quality of the newspaper copy, this is a better quality image from


Jamestown Evening Journal (Jamestown, NY) 11 March 1920, Page 12 – (Fulton History)


Charles Dillingham’s musical comedy success “Chin Chin” is coming to the Opera House on Tuesday night, March 16, according to an announcement made this morning by manager R. C. Horning.

This play appeared first at the Globe theater in New York for two solid years, and is now on a transcontinental trip, touring the west for the first time.

In the leading roles will be seen Walter Wills and Roy Binder, who come to use with the stamp of approval won in such productions as The Wizard of Oz, The Red Mill, Hitchy Koo, etc., etc., etc.

The company comprising sixty-five people, mostly girls and Tom Brown’s Famous Clown Saxaphone band. Charles Dillingham’s name is associated with the biggest and best theatrical enterprises, such as the Hippodrome and Globe theater in New York some of his latest productions are Jack O’Lantern with Fred Stone. The Canary with Julia Sanderson and Joe Cawthorne. Hip Hip Hooray with 1,290 associates, and Everything which has surpassed all records at the New York Hippodrome during the season 1918-1919.

Chin Chin is a fantastic production rich in costuming. In seven sets, including the most startling surprises, ingenious trickery and grotesque dancing in plenty, affording an entertainment that is clean and wholesome proving hilarious amusement for both young and old, which qualities are the making of and particular success of the theatrical magnate, Charles Dillingham.

Chin Chin has previously appeared in Jamestown. The reputation made then will undoubtedly help it on its coming appearance.

1920-03-12 – Jamestown Evening Journal (Jamestown, NY) Page 16 – Chin Chin (Fulton History) copy

On March 15th, the Jamestown Evening Journal ran an ad showing three of the women in the cast. I’ve seen the photo before but never saw it with all three of the women identified in the photograph. They are Ethel Lawrence, Norma Seller, and Marie Cavanah.



In a rare review of a one night show, Donna is called out specifically.[i]

… Donna Montram [sic], a beautiful girl, beautifully dressed and with a sweet voice and manner made the part of the Goddess of the Lamp especially attractive…


Jamestown Opera House (aka Shea’s Opera House)


<<Shea’s Theater 2 – 1948>>

Photo courtesy “Schlickrt” via Cinema Treasures –


Abner Allen built the opera house on Second Street in Jamestown in 1894. In 1898 he sold the theater to Charles Samuels. In 1919, the Samuel’s Opera House was acquitted by the Shea interest of New York City. They refurbished the opera house. “Chin Chin” played there after that refurbishment. In 1967, the Little Theatre of Jamestown purchased the property and began operations in 1969. The theatre was renamed the Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown in 1991, after the local celebrity’s death.[ii]


Specifications for Shea’s Opera House

Seating Capacity: 1,287


Proscenium opening: 37 ft
Front to back wall: 36 ft
Between side walls: 60 ft
Between fly Galleries: 46 ft
To rigging loft: 60 ft
To fly gallery: 27 ft

There were three, “Journal,” “News,” and “Daily Sun.”  I have only found articles from the Journal so far.



The Lucille Ball Little Theater was in operation before the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t know its current status. See for details.



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[i] Jamestown Evening Journal (Jamestown, NY) March 17, 1920, Page 14 – Chin Chin (via Fulton History)

[ii] Internet: “History of the Theater’s Owners” – Lucille Ball Little Theatre of Jamestown –