Donna Darling Collection – Part 80

The South Broad Theatre 

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a clipping from the Donna Darling Collection.

Clipping discovered to be from the Trenton Evening Times dated January 9, 1922.

SOUTH BROAD—“KAZAN”

Delightful screen and vaudeville entertainment will be provided at the South Broad Theatre for three days beginning today when the James Oliver Curwood drama, “Kazan” and a series of new acts will be presented, together with comedy films and other events.

Of course, there is a delightful man and woman romance in this refreshing Curwood story, but its greatest power lies in the parallel drawn between human and animal life, and without a remarkable dog to interpret the role of “Kazan” the production could not have been made. But such a remarkable dog was found, and Director Bertram Bracken was enabled to accomplish the so-called “impossible.” The result is declared to be one of the finest photoplays of the North country.

The new vaudeville will be headed by Doona Montram [sic] and Her Boys in a musical comedy review, called “As You Like,” supported by Thomas Doray and Edna Sarlini in “by Heck,” the Novilions, a comedy acrobatic team, and John and Dave Mills, musical comedy duo.

Tomorrow night will be “Ye Olde Country Store” night, when 25 presents will be given away free to members of the audience.  

“Kazan,” written by James Oliver Curwood, was released in October 1921. Additionally, the two other clippings on the same page in Donna’s album related to the Stroud Theatre, Stroudsburg, PA, where she played on November 24th and 25th. See DCC-76

Donna didn’t begin using Darling until 1922, so this clipping is clearly from 1921.

Searching for “Thomas Doray” I found an article at Genealogy Bank that spoke of the delightful vaudeville card composed of Donna Montram [sic] and Her Boys in a musical comedy revue, called “As You Like.” Supported by Thomas Doray and Edna Sarlin, in “By Heck….” It was in the January 11, 1922, Trenton Evening Times.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Broad Theatre in Trenton, New Jersey.
  • The show is the “Donna Montran and Her Boys in “As You Like [It]”
  • Also, on the bill:
    • Thomas Doray and Edna Sarlini in “by Heck,”
    • Novilions, an acrobatic comedy team,
    • John and Dave Mills, a musical comedy duo.
  • The movie showing was the James Oliver Curwood story, “Kazan,” staring Jane Novak

Conclusion

I added a new venue for Donna’s vaudeville career:

  • January 9-11, 1922 – Trenton, NJ – South Broad Theatre – “Donna Montram [sic] and Her Boys in “As You Like” – DDC-80.

Ancestor Sketch – Joel Cruff Taft

Roberts-Barnes-Taft Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Researching Joel Cruff Taft had its challenges. The most obvious one is tracing an individual through the early (before 1850) censuses. The second problem in researching Joel was regularly running into his grandfather, Silas Taft, who was a “minuteman” in the Revolution. I’m looking forward to writing about him

Joel Cruff Taft – Ancestor #42

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes(1903-1982)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Joel Clinton Barnes(1857-1921)
  • 2nd Great-grandmother: Mercy Eliza Taft(1822-1884)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
  • 4th Great-grandfather: Asa Taft (1774-1839)
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Silas Taft (1744-1812) – Patriot!
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Stephen Taft (1710-1803)

Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)

Christmas, 1800, was doubly blessed when Asa and Sarah (Whitney) Taft had their fourth child, Joel Cruff Taft, on Christmas Day. I’m not sure where the name “Joel” came from, but Asa’s mother’s maiden name was Cruff, which is the likely source of Joel’s middle name.

Joel had three older siblings:

      • Asa Perry, six years older.
      • Lurancy, four years older.
      • Amanda, two years older.

Joel was the first of their children born in Broome County, New York. The Taft’s had moved there from Peru, Berkshire County, Massachusetts in either 1799 or 1800. Joel’s mother had two more children, Seth (in 1803) and John (in 1805), before she died in 1813, while Joel was only 12 years old. Asa remarried and had eleven children altogether.

I have not successfully found the ten-year-old’s father, Asa Taft, in the 1810 Census.

Marriage

In 1819, Joel married Tamise Sutherland in Triangle, Broome County, New York.

They had ten children.

The Children of Joel Cruff Taft & Tamise (Sutherland) Taft

Silas 28 Apr 1820
Mercy Eliza 27 Mar 1822
Sarah Emaline 27 May 1824
Amanda J. 14 Feb 1826
Catherine Tammy 25 Aug 1828
Candace Irene 25 Aug 1830
Joanna Lucy 7 Mar 1832
Lurancy Caroline 11 Nov 1834
Platina 19 Mar 1835
William 30 Apr 1842

The 1820 Census found Joel living near his brother, Silas, and his father, Asa, in Lisle, Broome County, New York. In his household are his wife and his oldest son, Silas.

In 1822 property that had been his mother’s was sold to Justus B. Sutherland; Joel and several of his siblings benefited from the sale.

The 1830 household of Joel Taft suggests tragedy. Silas, who would have been ten years old, isn’t enumerated in the household, suggesting he died before 1 June 1830. The 1830 Census does indicate four females in the household that fit the profile for his four youngest daughters.  There was another male child in the household, under the age of 5, who I haven’t been able to name.

The 1840 Census finds Joel still in Broome County. All of his known daughters are accounted for.

  • Females – Under 5: 2     Platina (age 4) Lurancy (Age (5)
  • Females – 5 thru 9: 1     Joanna (Age 8)
  • Females – 10 thru 14: 3     Candance (Age 10), Catherine (Age 12) (Amanda (age 14)
  • Females – 15 thru 19: 1     Sarah (Age 16)
  • Females – 40 thru 49: 1     Tamise (age 44)

The 1840 Census also indicates there were two males in the household besides Joel. One was 10 to 14 and one was 20 to 30. Certainly, the one from 10 to 14 is the same unknown male child enumerated in the 1830 Census. But could the 20 to 30 year old be Silas?  Possibly.

In 1841, his daughter Platina died at six years of age.

In 1847, his daughter Amanda died at the age of 20.

Joel died on 19 April 1849 in Fairbanks, Sullivan County, Indiana. He was survived by his wife Tamise and at least seven of his children, Mercy, Sarah, Catherine, Candance, Jeanne, Lurancy, and William. I haven’t determined death dates for his sons Silas and “unknown.”

Events by Location

New York, Broome Birth (1800)
New York, Broome, Barker 1840
New York, Broome, Lisle 1820, 1830
New York, Broome, Lisle Marriage
Indiana, Sullivan, Fairbanks Death (1849)

Note: Barker, Lisle, and Triangle are all within six miles of each other. It is possible that the Census takers recorded the locations differently during each enumeration.

Followup

Research Joel’s other children, particularly Seth’s death and the heretofore unknown name son.

Follow property records to determine if Joel lived in several places or if the various places’ names changed during the census recordings.

Sources

  • 1820 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, Asa Taft, Asa Taft Jr., Joel C Taft – Lisle, Broome, New York.
  • 1830 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1830 Census – Joel Taft – Lisle, Broome, New York. Year: 1830; Census Place: Lisle, Broome, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 85; Page: 109; Family History Library Film: 0017145
  • 1840 Census (NARA), 1840 Census – J C Jogt (J C Taft) – Barker, Broome, New York. Year: 1840; Census Place: Barker, Broome, New York; Roll: 266; Page: 400; Family History Library Film: 0017179
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Descendants Search”, DAR, Name Restricted – Nat’l # 887132 – Ancestor #A112392 https://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_descendants/?action=list&MyPrimary_Seqn=1001593&MyLineageCount=1.
  • Family Group Record, Family Search, Joel Cruff Taft (K8BN-FDM) – See File: 20170512 Family K8BN-FDM.pdf. Marriage Place: Triangle, Broome, New York, United States
  • Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007, Family Search, William Taft & Elizabeth Scott – Marriage 23 June 1883. “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXN4-KFX : 10 December 2017), William Taft and Elizabeth Scott, 23 Jun 1883; citing Sullivan, Indiana, United States, Marriage Registration, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 004171419. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXN4-KFX.
  • S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889­-1970, Ancestry.Com, Joel C Taft – Volume: 265. National Number 52981 – State Number 1007 (Indiana). http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=SARMemberApps&h=1149463.
  • United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975, Family Search, Broome County Deeds 1819-1824 – Vol 8 – Pages 108&109. Joel C Taft to Justus B Sutherland – 25 Jun 1822. “United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:D5L9-RBMM: 29 January 2021), Joel C Taft, 1822.

Joel Cruff Taft & the 1810 Census

Roberts-Barnes-Taft
Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Following families in the early census records is always tricky. Finding children in pre-1850 Census records is particularly challenging. Such is the case of Joel Cruff Taft and the 1810 Census.

Expectations

Joel Cruff Taft was born 25 December 1800 the fourth child of Asa Taft (1774-1839)

I would expect the Asa Taft household of 1810 to include 9 year-old Joel, his two sisters, Lurancy (age 14) and Amanda (age 11), and three brothers, Asa (age 15), Seth (age 7), and John (age 5). Asa should be about 36 and his wife was 36 also. Joel and his younger siblings were born in New York, so Asa should be found in New York during the 1810 Census.

So, I would expect a household looking like: 3-1-0-1-0 || 0-1-0-1-0. There may be others in the household

An initial search for Asa Taft in the 1810 Census was unsuccessful.

A search for any Taft in New York during the 1810 Census yielded 11 results. None of the results were located in Broome County (established in 1807) or Tioga County that Broome County was split off from. A review of the enumerated Tafts failed to yield a viable candidate to be Asa.

Name Location Family Comment
Robert Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 0-2-2-0-1|1-0-2-0-1 No males under 10
Dane Taft Otsego Co. 3-1-1-1-1|1-2-1-0-0 No females 26-45
D Saft [Taft] Otsego Co. 4-0-2-1-0|1-2-1-1-0 No males 10-16
Pitts Taft Palmyra, Ontario Co. 0-0-1-0-0|0-0-1-0-0 No children
Matthew Taft Hartford, Washington Co. 2-1-1-1-1|4-0-0-1-1 Not enough males under 10.
Josiah Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 2-0-1-1-0|1-0-0-1-0 Not enough males under 10.
Jesse Taft Bloomfield, Ontario Co. 1-0-0-1-0|0-0-1-0-0 Not enough males under 10.
Eleazer Taft Johnstown, Montgomery Co. 0-1-2-0-1|0-1-1-0-1 Not enough males under 10.
Grindall Taft Pittstown, Rensselaer Co. 0-1-0-1-1|0-2-1-0-1 Not enough males under 10.
S Taft Middlefield, Otsego Co. 1-1-0-1-1 | 0-1-0-1-1 Not enough males under 10.
Widow Toft New York, New York Co. 0-0-2-1-0|0-1-2-0-1 Not enough males under 10.

It seems clear to me that Asa Taft doesn’t appear in New York during the 1810 Census, nor does it appear that he is living with any of his Taft family members in Berkshire County, Massachusetts.

Name Location Family
Lovet Taft (Sr.) Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 1-2-2-0-1|2-1-1-0-2
Daniel Taft Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 1-0-0-1-0|1-1-0-1-0
Lovett Taft (Jr.) Sheffield, Berkshire Co. 2-?-3-0-0|0-0-1-0-0

I am going to cease my search for Asa & Joel in the 1810 Census for now. Also, Joel was born after the 1800 Census, so I wouldn’t find him there.

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 22

Berry, Brandt, Brewer, Brewster(2), & Bridges (2)

Photo Friday
Ethel Wight Collection
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week for Photo Friday, I identify the people in five more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i]. The envelopes contain the names who paid for the photos, not necessarily of the individual portrayed in the image. As such, it is important to analyze the pictures and information to identify the individual therein.[ii] Ultimately, my goal is to reunite the photos with family members who may have never seen the image.

Warren D. Brewster (1932-2020), circa 1937 (Age 4)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Harry Brewster, 138 Highland St, Portland #1053.”

Warren D. Brewster

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Harry L Brewster, employed at 70 Free, residing at 138 Highland. Also at the same address is Harry V Brewster, a carpenter, and his wife Wilda M.

The 1940 US Census enumerated Harry V. Brewster, still at 138 Highland St., with his wife Wilda M., 21-year-old son Gerald S., and 7-year-old Warren D. Brewster. I am confident this is Warren about 1937, at approximately four years old.

Further research discovered that Warren D. Brewster, son of Harry Vane Brewster and Wilda Lachance, died on 14 January 2020. I created a Family Search profile for him, GCWF-7YW. Warren is also identified in three Ancestry Trees. Of the two photos I have of Warren, one was severely out of focus, so I only uploaded one image to Family Search.

George Berry, Lorraine R. Bridges, & Joan M.  Bridges, circa 1937 (Ages 10, 6, & 3)

The envelope the negative of this photo was in says, “Mrs. Geo Bridges, 297 Brackett St. Portland #717.”

George Berry, Lorraine Bridges, and Joan Bridges, circa 1937.

The 1938 Portland City Directory lists George M. Bridges, Jr. and his wife Emily M. living at 301 Bracket.

The 1940 US Census shows George M. Bridges still living at 301 Brackett. Living with him are his wife, Emily M., his stepson George E. Berry (age 14), his daughter Lorraine R. Bridges (age 10), daughter Joan M. Bridges (age 6), and two other daughters too young (4 and <1) to be in this photo. Based upon the photo ID, this photo was probably taken about 1937, when Joan was three, Lorraine was six, and George was ten.

Family Search did not have a profile for these children, so I have added the photo to Dead Fred.[iii] George M. Bridges, married to Joan (Small) Berry Bridges, appears in over a dozen Ancestry Trees.

Albert & Florence (McFarland) Brewer, circa 1938.

The envelope the negative of this photo was in says, “Mr. & Mrs. A. E. Brewer, 39 Rosedale St., Portland, #1004.”

Albert & Florence Brewer, circa 1938

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Albert E. and Florence H. Brewer living at 39 Rosedale.

Albert E. Brewer and Florence H. McFarland married on 25 December 1921.

Albert was born in 1895, and Florence was born in 1900. This photo was taken about 1938 when Albert was about 43, and Florence was about 38.

In Family Search, Albert Edward Brewer is ID L1Q9-TQS, and his wife, Florence H. McFarland is ID LKLR-KNS. I have uploaded a photo of them to their Family Search profiles. The couple also appears in two Ancestry family trees.

Hilda Brandt (1916-1989), circa 1937

The envelope the negative of this photo was in says, “Miss Hilda Brandt – St. Barnabus Hospital, Hospital #1012.”

Hilda Brandt, circa 1937

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Hilda Brandt as a student nurse at 231 Woodford (St. Barnabas Hospital) and residing at 24 Norwood. The 1941 Portland City Directory lists A. Hilda Brant, a nurse who married ard J. Burke.

Alma Hilda Brant, the daughter of Carl August and Elizabeth (Schneider) Brandt, born 15 October 1916, married Edward Austin Burke in 1940.

Based upon other photos of Hilda (yearbook and wedding announcement), I am confident these photos are of Miss. A. Hilda Brandt (1916-1989) circa 1937.

Hilda has profile LR1Q-LBP on Family Search. I uploaded two photos of Hilda to her Family Search Profile. I also uploaded two additional pictures of Alma to my Flickr Photostream. Alma Hilda Brandt, the wife of Edward Austin Burke, appears in 10 Ancestry Trees.

Bishop Benjamin Brewster (1860-1941), Christmas 1940.

The envelope the negative of this photo was in says, “Copy of Bishop Brewster – 1944.”

Bishop Benjamin Brewster, Christmas 1940

The bottom of this photo says, “Christmas, 1940 – Faithfully Yours, Benjamin Brewster.”

I thought it was odd that Ethel Wight would be copying a 1940 photo of Bishop Brewster in 1944. That is until I found out that Bishop Benjamin Brewster, Episcopal Bishop of Maine, died in 1941.

Benjamin Brewster has an article about him on Wikipedia. Family Search lists his profile as KH9T-CXK. I uploaded one photo of Bishop Brewster there.

Conclusion

I had:

      • Five successful identifications (including a Mr. & Mrs.) where I could post photos to Family Search.
      • One identification of three individuals, which I posted to Dead Fred.

Final Note

If any of these photos are of your family member, I would love to hear your reaction. Especially if this photo is of a loved one for whom you hadn’t seen this photograph before.


Endnotes

[i] The Wight Studio was in Portland, Maine. Many thanks to Ethel Wight’s family for access to and permission to use the collection of their great aunt.

[ii] These images were converted to positives using a lightbox, a Nikon camera and computer software.

[iii] A second photo of the Bridges children was out of focus and not uploaded but is available if requested. Reference photo: Mrs. Geo Bridges, 297 Brackett St. Portland #717 – DSCN2769PL.jpg.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 79

Terrace Theatre – Beautiful Bathing Girls

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a second clipping from the Donna Darling Collection relating to the Terrace Theater.

BATHING GIRLS NOW PLAYING AT THE TERRACE THEATRE

Miss Donna Darling, star with Beautiful Bathing Girls from the Motion Picture Studios, now playing at the Terrace theatre.

The stellar act at the Terrace theatre the first of the week is the Beautiful Bathing girls from the Moving Picture Studios, headed by Donna Darling. Fashions in bathing suits from 1860 down to the present are shown by these girls, who also give a good account of themselves in several dance numbers. Probably the largest early week night audience in many fonths [sic] witness the performance Monday night. Two other good acts and a feature picture, “So This Is Marriage,” complete the Terrace bill.

The silent film, “So This Is Marriage,” was released in 1924, confirming that this showing was from 1924 or 1924 and not any of Donna’s earlier Bathing Beauty shows.

Cinema Treasures reports there were 41 Terrace theatres in the United States. Thirty-seven of them opened after 1925. One was in Vallejo, California; Donna didn’t tour the west coast with this show. One, the Airdome, was a second listing for the Terrace in Danville, Illinois. The last one was the Terrace Theatre in Chicago. This is clearly a clipping from her show at one of the two locations, either Danville or Chicago.

Because Donna played the Empress Theatre in Chicago in October 1924, I suspect that this clipping is from her probable show in Danville in October 1924.

Key features:

  • The venue was the Terrace Theatre in (Probably Danville, Illinois) but possibly Chicago.
  • The show was the “Beautiful Bathing Girls from the Motion Picture Studios” staring Donna Darling.

Finally, a review of the newspapers of the time yielded none currently available online for Danville, Illinois.

Conclusion

Date Unknown (Fall 1924- Spring 1925) – Danville, IL, Hollywood Revue of Bathing Beauties.