Donna Darling Collection – Part 23

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It is always great when I can add a new venue to Donna’s show list and today’s collection item did just that. It was another Capitol Theater clipping, but this time from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Kitchener is about 110km (70 miles) west of Toronto. Luckily, Donna wrote the dates of her playing there next to the clippings – June 21, 22, 23. The silent movie “Beverly of Graustark” is playing at the same time which dates the show in 1926.

Newspaper Clipping of Capital Theater from 1926 showing Darling & Clark playing

AT THE CAPITOL

Marion Davies….

The Revue Different as presented by The Darling and Clark Metropolitan Revue is one of the most pleasing acts seen in Kitchener in some time. Miss Darling puts over her songs in a wonderful manner and her costumes are gorgeous. Mr. Clark is a comedian of no mean ability, and the dancing artists and the whistling soloist were the recipients of rounds of applause last evening. All in all it can trustfully be called a “bang up” show.

I have cropped, edited, and sized the photo for the web.

Key features:

  • The venue is the Capitol Theater. One of the articles confirms it is Kitchener.
  • The show is the “Darling and Clark – Metropolitan Revue” staring [Donna] Darling and [Sammy] Clark.
  • Also on bill
    • Movie: “Beverly of Graustark” starring Marion Davies & Antonio Moreno also played.

Analysis

According to IMDB, “Beverly of Graustark” was released in April 1926[i] indicating that the show occurred after that.

Conclusion

Donna & Sammy played at the Capitol Theater, Kitchener, Ontario on June 21, 22, 23, 1926.

Sources

[i] IMDB “Beverly of Graustark” 1926 http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0016646

Cousin Bio – Olga Ruth Babcock (1916-2001)

By Don Taylor

Hypothesis

The John Montran Project is a personal project to explore the hypothesis that my great-grandfather, John Montran married twice. Once to Ida May Barber and once to Maude Minnie Winter. He had one daughter with Ida (Donna) and had two daughters with Maude. I hope to be able to confirm or refute that the two John Montrans were the same individual. In this article, I look at John Foster Montran’s granddaughter Olga Ruth Babcock. If my great-grandfather Montran is the same person as Olga’s grandfather, she and I would be 1st cousins, once removed.

Roberts-Brown 2017 – Montran Project

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: John Foster Montran

Olga Ruth Babcock Hinds Buchanan (1916-2001)

Olga Ruth Babcock was born on 18 May 1916, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was the first child of Minor Howard Babcock and Thelma M (Montran) Babcock.

In 1917, when Olga was a one-year-old, her family immigrated to the United States. In 1920  the young family is living in San Francisco where Olga’s father is a bookkeeper for an Auto Sales company.

In 1922, Ruth’s brother, Montran Howard Babcock was born.

In 1926, Ruth’s father became a naturalized citizen. Because Ruth was a minor, she also became a citizen as part of her father becoming a citizen.

In 1930, Olga’s parents had migrated to Inglewood, California. Minor was an accountant and her mother was apparently keeping house. Birth, Marriage & Death Collection

Olga married James R. Hinds on 24 September 1938. Apparently, the marriage didn’t go well because James filed for divorce in Reno, Nevada on 14 October 1940.

Sometime between 1935 and 1940 Olga’s father died. Olga’s mother was the proprietor of a guest house that included 11 lodgers as well as Thelma, Olga, and Montran.

On 15 August 1941, Olga married Chester White Buchanan. Chester died in 1963 and is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, in Inglewood.

Olga’s brother, Montran, died in 1972 and her mother, Thelma, died in 1974.

Olga lived until 2001. I have not been successful in finding any information regarding burial or another memorial.

In all my research, I have found no evidence that Olga had any children.  As such, this lime may be a dead end.  I will look at Montran’s life next.


Sources

Minor Howard Babcock born 17 Nov 1891 Hartington, Ontario, Canada
Thelma M. born 23 June 1895, Philadelphia
Olga R born May 18, 1916 Moose Jaw Canada
Montran B. born June 11, 1922, Inglewood, CA
Naturalized: Sep 17, 1926. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=USnaturalizationOriginals&indiv=try&h=4172998.

Not all Google Searches are the Same

Donna Darling Collection – Part 8

Treasure Chest Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.
When I first saw this clipping, I was immediately excited. This flyer not only showed the venue, and date but also the individual program.  I knew I didn’t have this venue before and that Donna did her “California Bathing Beauties” show in 1920 and 1921. I didn’t know where Kaufmann’s Gayety Theater was, but I figured it couldn’t be that tough, especially because I knew that Russell V. Wright was the manager.

Clipping of Gayety Theater program bill for "The California Bathing Beauties"I searched and searched and but couldn’t find which of the many Gayety Theatres it was—Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, or any many theaters in between. I thought sure I’d figure out which theater it was by searching for “Gayety Theatre” and either “Russell V. Wright” or “Russell Wright.” No luck. I knew it should be in “The Julius Cahn – Gus Hill Theatrical Guide.” Then I went to Google Books and searched. Bang! There it was. Although I was frustrated by the process, I was reminded of something I had known but forgot.  A regular Google search doesn’t return everything.  A search of “Gayety Theatre” Russell Wright” returns different results on Google than it does on Google Books. Google Books provided the answer I was looking for; Google did not. The Gayety Theatre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada was managed by Russell Wright in the 1920s.

I looked at what was “On the Screen” at the bottom of the page.  Jacqueline Logan in “The House of Youth” and the short, “Monsieur Don’t Care” with Stan Laurel. Both films were released in 1924. So, this couldn’t have been a February 1921 show; it was the 1925 show.

The cast included the following individuals:

  • Al Ross
  • Alice Louise
  • Anita Walker
  • Betty Bryant
  • Clarice Allyn
  • Donna Darling
  • Mildred O’Brien
  • Murry Earle
  • And an unknown Lascoe

Learned: Donna Darling played in The California Bathing Beauties at Kaufmann’s Gayety Theatre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on February 9th and 10th, 1925.

Reminded:  Not all Google searches are the same. A regular search on Google does not include searching Google Books.

Ruth Grace Montran Cologne (1897-1993)

Only recently have I come to the determination that Ruth Grace Montran is my grandmother’s (Madonna Mae Montran) half sister and that they shared the same father, John F. Montran. In my attempt to prove or disprove that relationship, I’ve researched Ruth considerably and have learned quite a bit about her long life.
“Middlesex-County-Map” by Middlesex County
Municipality – Licensed under Public Domain
via Wikimedia Commons
Ruth Grace Montran was born 27 Nov 1897 in Middlesex, Ontario, Canada, to John Montran and Maud Minnie Winter. Dr. Moorhouse was the attending physician.[i] Her birth was recorded/registered only two weeks later, on 13 Dec 1897, by M. M. Montran (presumed to be Maud).
According to Ruth’s naturalization record[ii], and the 1910 Census[iii], Ruth arrived in the United States in January 1898.
The 1900 Census shows Ruth living with her uncle, Primrose Brown, a railroad laborer, his wife Jerusha [sic – Josephine] Brown, her Scottish maternal grandmother, Maryann Winter, and her older sister Thelma Montran in Waterloo Village, Fayette Township, Seneca County, New York. It is interesting to note that the census indicates that she was born in Canada; however, there is not date in the emigration column, clearly an oversight. Another item of note is that this is the only document I’ve seen that indicates that her father was born in France.[iv] (I have long thought that Madonna’s father was French because Madonna used to say she was “English, Irish, and French.”)
The 1910 Census shows 12 year-old Ruth living in Shamokin, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania with her adoptive parents, Penrose and Josephine E Brown and an 5 year-old adopted brother, Harry P Baker.[v] So,
Ruth married John Terrell Cologne sometime between 1910 and 3 April 1920, as evidenced that she became naturalized Miami, Dade, Florida, USA as Ruth Cologne. The registration number is 13328136 and is something to search for.[vi]
I have not been successful finding John and Ruth in the 1920 Census, yet. Anyone else successful yet?
View of the Provident Mutual Life Insurance
Building from a few hundred feet of 2 Farragut St.
Photo by DanTD (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
The 1930 Census finds Ruth living with her husband, John, at 2 Farragut Street, Philadelphia, PA, along with her two children, Dorothy B and John T. Cologne. This census entry is curious because it indicates that her father was born in New York. The 1900 Census indicated her father [John Montran] was born in France, and the 1910 Census indicates her father was born in Pennsylvania. Her father in this census is apparently Primrose Brown. In 1930, Ruth was a saleslady working in a department store. Her husband, John, was a dentist and was working as such[vii]. Two Farragut Street is currently a vacant lot next to the 46th Street Station of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s Market-Frankford Line. It was across Market Street from the Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building that is currently under renovation to become a command center for the Philadelphia Police and the new headquarters the Philadelphia for Health Department.[viii]

What happened between 1930 and 1940 is very unclear. In the 1940 Census, Ruth’s husband, John, is living in Philadelphia with his son, John Jr; however, Ruth is not living with them[ix]. I have not been successful finding Ruth in the 1940 Census, so far. In pure speculation on my part, I think that John and Ruth were probably estranged about 1930 which necessitated Ruth to work outside of the home but they were still living in the same house. Then, by 1940 I suspect they were divorced. John remarried later in the 1940s but Ruth didn’t remarry. As I mentioned, this is speculation; however, it does provide directions for further research.

Ruth Grace Cologne died in Broward County, Florida on 3 Sep 1993[x]. I have not found specific burial information for Ruth Grace Cologne yet.

Areas for Further Research:

Determine if Middlesex has certificates for Ruth’s birth period and get a copy if possible.
Get a copy of Ruth’s naturalization information/record.
Get a copy of Ruth and John’s marriage license/certificate.
Find Ruth Grace Montran/Cologne in the 1920 Census.
Find Ruth Grace Cologne in the 1940 Census.
Learn more about Ruth Cologne’s life from 1940-1993.
Determine Ruth Grace Montran Cologne’s burial information/information.

ENDNOTES

[i] Ontario Births, 1869-1912, Family Search, Ruth Grace Montran, 27 Nov 1897. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FM8X-RVR.
[iii] 1910 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year; 1910; Census Place: Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1384; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0110; FHL microfilm: 1375397. http://search.ancestry.com//cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1910USCenIndex&indiv=try&h=25194088.
[iv] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MSGZ-6PY : accessed 7 August 2015), Ruth Montran in household of Penrose Brown, Fayette Township Waterloo vill., Seneca, New York, United States; citing sheet 16A, family 384, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,241,162. 
[v] 1910 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry, http://www.Ancestry.com, Year; 1910; Census Place: Shamokin, Northumberland, Pennsylvania; Roll: T624_1384; Page: 14A; Enumeration District: 0110; FHL microfilm: 1375397. http://search.ancestry.com//cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=1910USCenIndex&indiv=try&h=25194088.
[vii] Ancestry.com, 1930 United States Federal Census (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2002.Original data – United States of America, Bureau of the Census. Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1930. T626,), Year: 1930; Census Place: Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Roll: 2139; Page: 6A; Enumeration District: 0496; Image: 817.0; FHL microfilm: 2341873.
[viii] Plan Philly – Eyes on the Street, March 8, 2012, “Provident Mutual Life Insurance Building to be reused as Police Command Center –  http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2012/03/08/provident-mutual-life-insurance-building-to-be-reused-as-police-command-center
[x] Ancestry.com, Florida Death Index, 1877-1998 (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.Original data – State of Florida. Florida Death Index, 1877-1998. Florida: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Records, 1998.Original data: State of Florida. Florida Death Ind), Ancestry, http://www.Ancestry.com, Ruth Montran Cologne. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?gss=angs-g&new=1&rank=1&gsfn=Ruth+Grace+Montran&gsfn_x=NP_NN&gsln=Cologne&gsln_x=NP_NN&MSAV=1&cpxt=1&cp=12&catbucket=rstp&uidh=by1&pcat=ROOT_CATEGORY&h=3885817&db=floridadeath&indiv=1&ml_rpos=1.

————-  DISCLAIMER  ————-
newspapers.com newspapers.com     

Donna in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, at the Walker Theatre – January 19-24, 1920


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Graph by Danny Blair
University of Winnipeg

Chin Chin plays the Walker Theatre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, January 19-24,
1920


I still don’t know where Donna and the “Chin Chin” company was before they arrived in Winnipeg. The show was in Calgary, January 8th to the 10th, but where they were the 11th to the 18th is not known yet. What I do know is that it was bitter cold that week in Winnipeg.  Lows in the minus 30s; highs in the minus 20s.  Bitter Cold. It didn’t reach zero the entire month. 

The first advertisement I could find for “Chin Chin” coming to Winnipeg was the Manitoba Morning Free Press dated 1 January 1920 in a short note – “Coming to the Walker”

Manitoba Morning Free Press
January 1, 1920
Courtesy: Ancestry.Com

COMING TO WALKER

– – – – – – – – – – – – –
Chinese Atmosphere Surrounds
“Chin Chin”

Melodious, artistic and diverting is “Chin Chin,” scheduled for the Walker theatre soon. To Walter Wills and Roy Binder are entrusted the principal parts, supported by a company of clever comedians and a beautiful chorus. In their songs, “The Chinese Honeymoon,” “Go Gar Gong-Jue,” and “Temple Bells,” the two clever comedians Wills and Binder make a decided hit and are always recalled again and again. In this charming fantasy with a Chinese atmosphere there are also a score of other songs that are the fascinating, whistling kind, and several unique dances that carry the snappy comedy along delightfully.


Both the Manitoba Morning Free Press and the The Winnipeg Tribune began running advertisements for the show on January 10th. On the 10th there was also a short blurb in the Winnipeg Tribune about the show.

Unfortunately, Ancestry.Com does not appear to have any copies of the Manitoba Morning Free Press for the week of 17 to 22 January, 1920 and Newspapers.Com does not have issues of The Winnipeg Tribune for the same period either. I have been unsuccessful finding other sources for these newspapers, so it is unlikely, I will be able to find reviews of the show.  Neither paper of the 23rd or 24th indicate anything other than small ads that typically run during the tail end of a run.

Theater

The Walker Theatre

The Walker Theatre was a pretty incredible theatre. It was built in 1906 at the cost of $250,000. It was huge. It seated 1,798 people and had a 80 foot wide stage. The stage was 40 feet deep and 70 feet high. As such it was designed for extravaganza’s like “Chin Chin” and its 60 plus individuals.

The building was initially intended to be part of a large block but only the theater was built. Consequently, the entrance juts out oddly and the theater external walls are quite blank and plain.

The building was used for live performances until it closed in 1933. It was taken over by the city for taxes in 1936. In 1944 it was sold, renovated for motion pictures, renamed the Odeon Theatre, and reopened in 1945. It operated as the premier single-screen theater in downtown Winipeg for many years.

In 1990, it was purchased by the Walker Theatre Performing Arts Group who restored the building’s original architectural features and reopened the theater for live performances in March, 1991. The theatre was also designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1991. In 2002, the theater was renamed the Burton Cummings Theatre for the Performing Arts.

Burton Cummings Theatre in Winnipeg, Manitoba
by Ccyyrree – Own work.
Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Today the theater has been restored to its former glory.  It is a venue for live performances, primarily musical. For example, in March 1015 Celtic Thunder will play there. Check them out on their website.

Further Research
Continue my research regarding where the “Chin Chin” show & company was the week before and the two weeks after Winnipeg.

Sources:

Ancestry.Com – Manitoba Morning Free Press (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Newspapers.Com – The Winnipeg Tribune
Historical Canada – http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/walker-theatre/
Burton Cumings Theatre for the Performing Arts – http://www.burtoncummingstheatre.ca/venue/
Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burton_Cummings_Theatre