Donna Darling Collection – Part 45

 

Treasure Chest Thursday
Vaudeville
By Don Taylor

Lyceum Theater, Canton, Ohio

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at another news clipping from the Donna Darling Collection.

Newspaper article from 1922 - Valerie Bergere Tops Program at Lyceum Theater
Valerie Bergere Tops Program at Lyceum Theater

…. Donna Darling the well known musical comedy star….

… Miss Donna Darling, the musical comedy star assisted by Murry Walker and Jack Finney will appear in a song and dance cocktail “As you Like It.” Miss Darling will wear in one number a costly gown on which there are more than 20,000 pearls. This is one of the most elaborate gowns ever worn on the American star. Each number of this lavish offering has its special sets and costume effects. A cloth of gold drop is used. The three sing some of the comedy numbers from the Floradora sextette and a number from the musical comedy “Sally,” do some dances to “Irene” music, and other musical comedy hits are introduced with special settings and costumes. The three are exceptionally good dancers as well as singers.

One of the features of the offering will be a burlesque of an Egyptian dance.

Miss Darling is well known to Cantonians as she played here as the prima donna of “Chin Chin” two seasons ago when this big musical comedy played at the Grand. [April 1, 1920 – Canton, OH – Grand Opera House]

Key features:

  • The venue is the Lyceum Theater.
  • The show is the “As You Like It” starring Donna Darling assisted by Murry Walker and Jack Finney.
  • Also on bill
    • Valerie Bergere was the top bill in a new Japanese comedy-drama, “O Joy San.”
    • Lew Hoffman displayed his skills with hats in “The Hattery.”
    • Miss Lillian Conroy & her brother John used a 5500-gallon water tank for an aquatic show.
    • Jean McCoy & Ralph Walton present “A Few Minutes with Ouija.”
    • Joe Rome & Lou Gaut show “When Extremes Meet” as dancers, singers & storytellers.

Analysis

I always love it when Donna writes the source information on the clipping page. In this case, she wrote “Mar 12 – Sun Repositor – Canton, Ohio.” This matched perfectly with a show I already knew about. On March 12-16 she played at the Lyceum Theater in Canton Ohio.

The article included some interesting tidbits. In particular, I had not previously known that her dress had “over 20,000 pearls.”  Wow, that must have been quite the dress.

Conclusion

Added a note about DDC to the previous entry:

March 12-16, 1922 – Canton, Ohio – Lyceum – Donna Darling – Genealogy Bank – DDC – Part 45.

 

Chin Chin – Weller Theatre – Zanesville, OH – April, 13 1920

“Chin Chin” played at the Weller Theatre in Zanesville, Ohio, on 13 April 1920

Donna Montran
Vaudeville
Chin-Chin

The company of “Chin Chin” played at the 6th Street Theater in Coshocton, Ohio for one night, April 12, 1920. Then the show headed on the train for their next stop, Zanesville, Ohio and the Weller Theater for another one-night show on April 13th.

The “Chin-Chin” show agent arrived in Zanesville about April 7th to begin his promotion of the show.  The Times Recorder of April 9th, reported:

“CHIN CHIN” BREAKING ALL ATTENDANCE RECORDS

Charles A. Goettler, the representative of “Chin Chin” the musical extravaganza, which will appear at the Weller theater, was the guest of Manager Charles Ransbottom Wednesday, and while in the city held an impromptu levee for his many friends at his hotel. He is well known among the theatrical colony having been out with some of the biggest shows on the road in years past. Mr. Goettler said that “Chin Chin” was breaking all attendance records in the prominent theaters of the country this season and was a greater success than when seen here before. Willis and Binder, former stars with “Hitchy Koo,” “Wizard of Oz,” ant the Winter Garden shows, have succeeded Doyle and Dixon in the leading roles.

Times Recorder 4/9/1920

Manager Charles Ransbottom, along with Joseph West Junior began managing the Weller Theatre just three months earlier (January 8).[i] They were then replaced on April 13th with the opening of “Chin Chin” by Caldwell H. Brown and Charles W. Crawley.[ii]

Another article, Saturday, April 10, 1920, in the Times Recorder, page 5, reported:

CHIN CHIN COMING TO THE WELLER TUESDAY

At the Weller theater next Tuesday, the everlasting “Chin Chin” is announced. There is but on company presenting this, the greatest American musical comedy.

Seven gorgeous settings make up one stupendous production of Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin.” The principal comedians are Walter Wills and Roy Binder. This riot of fun, feast of music, bevy of feminine beauty with pretty dresses, swift and grotesque dancing and lots of prankish amusement including Tom Brown’s clown band as the famous saxophone Sexted, promises a most enjoyable entertainment with Charles Dillingham’s own company presenting this wonderful spectacle.

In this musically rich show such numbers as violet,” “Good-by Girls, I’m Through,” and the comedy song, “Go Gar Sig Gong-Jue,” always receive spontaneous applause.

The next known showing of “Chin Chin” is on April 20 in Cumberland, Maryland.

Weller Theatre, Zanesville, Ohio

 The Weller Theatre was designed by Frederick Elliot and Harry C. Meyer of Columbus, Ohio. The theatre opened on 27 April 1903 by Samual Weller, with the production of the “comic opera” “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” And as noted before, it was the first show opening when managed by Caldwell H. Brown and Charles W. Crawley.[iii]

Specifications for the Weller Theatre [vi]

Weller Theatre, Zanesville, OH

Seating Capacity – 1427 — L.F. 609; Bal., 362, Gal., 400; Boxes, 56.


Proscenium opening: 35×33 ft
Front to back wall: 39.5 ft
Between side walls: 70 ft
Apron 3.5 ft
Between fly girders: 47 ft
To rigging loft: 69 ft
To fly gallery: 28 ft

Nearby info

Hotels in Zanesville at the time included the Rogge and Clarendon, which were $2.50 & up per night, and the  Palace, and New England hotels which were 50ç & up per night.[iv]

What happened to theater

The theatre was closed[v] and the building demolished in 1963.[vi]

Today

The Weller Theatre stood at 13 N. Third Street. Today it is a vacant area with a small building between Fox Law Offices and the Calvary Chapel.

Further Research

Research the other Zanesville newspapers of the time: Courier, Signal, and News as they become available.

Find any showings for “Chin Chin” between April 14th and April 19th. 

Endnotes:


[i] New York Clipper – January 14, 1920, Page 4, Column 3m “Zanesville Manager Retires.”

[ii]  New York Clipper – April 21, 1920,  Page 31, “Weller Theatre Changes Again.”

[iii]  New York Clipper – April 21, 1920,  Page 31, “Weller Theatre Changes Again.”

[iv] The Julius Cahn – Gus Hill Theatrical Guide – 1913-1914, Page 533.

[v] Internet: Weller Theatre in Zanesville, OH – Cinema Treasures http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/41209 – Accessed 12/30/2018.

[vi] Lynch, Kathryn, and Michael S. Sims. 2005. Zanesville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia.


Donna Montran – 6th Street Theatre, Coshocton, OH – 4/12/1920

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” played at the 6th Street Theatre in Coshocton, Ohio on 12 April 1920

 The “Chin Chin” production played at the Union Theatre in New Philadelphia, OH, on April 10th. They may have had off on Sunday, April 11th, or they may have played somewhere on that Sunday. But any event the cast traveled the 30 miles to Coshocton to play at the 6th Street Theatre on Monday the 12th for one night.  Advertising began on April 7th with typical written ads and display ads beginning on April 9th. The newspaper the day of the show describes the show and includes some of the characters in the show, including my grandmother, “The Goddess of the Light.”

Reviews

The following day a reviewer in The Coshocton Tribune praised the show. The second paragraph of the review read:

“… Starr Dunham appeared in the role of Aladdin while the part of the cruel Abonazar was well taken by Joseph Robinson. The wealthy American, Cornelius Bond was played by English Cody, while Ethel Lawrence appeared as his charming daughter Violet. The Goddess of the Lamp, an unusually pretty and charming girl, who never failed to delight her audience with her solo numbers, was Donna Montran…. 

Post Show Info

The cast next headed 30 miles further south to Zanesville, Ohio and the Weller Theatre for the show on Tuesday the 13th.

The 6th Street Theatre

The 6th Street Theatre was built in 1903 by a group of businessmen who called themselves the Coshocton Theater Company. The Julius Cahn Reports for 1913 indicate the Seating capacity was about 1,000. The theater was on the ground floor and had a proscenium opening of 32 x 22 feet.

6th Street Theatre, Coshocton, Ohio in 1959.

Eventually, the theater converted to a movie house and it closed in May 1959. The building was demolished in 1974.

Sources

The Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) · Sat, Apr 10, 1920, · Page 3, Advertising “Chin Chin” https://www.newspapers.com/image/323058644 – Downloaded on Sep 1, 2017, via Newspapers.Com.

The Tribune (Coshocton, Ohio) · Tue, Apr 13, 1920, · Page 3, Column 4 “6th St. Theatre – Chin Chin Drew Large Audience” – https://www.newspapers.com/image/323057655 – Downloaded on Sep 1, 2017, via Newspapers.Com.

“Chin Chin” at Liberty Theater, Camp Sherman, Ohio

Donna Montran and “Chin Chin” played at the Liberty Theatre, Camp Sherman, (Chillicothe), Ohio on 4 April 1920

Vaudeville/Chin-Chin
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Chin Chin” played at the Grand Opera House in Canton, Ohio on April 1st. It is not clear if they played anywhere on April 2nd or 3rd, but the cast and crew arrived to perform at the Liberty Theatre at Camp Sherman, (Chillicothe) Ohio on April 4th, 1920.

Show Advertising

Even though the show was on a military base, advertising was like most cities that the show went to. I have been unable to find base papers, handbills, or programs, so all I have seen came from the Chillicothe Gazette, the nearby town’s newspaper. There was a typical “Chin-Chin” advertisement showing Walter Wills and Roy Binder about five days before the show. Long thin column ads ran on April 1st and 2nd mentioning that the show sold out in many locations before and those that want to see the show should get their tickets right away.

On the day before the show, another “Chin-Chin” ad ran in the Chillicothe Gazette showing the “Pekin Girls.”

There were no reviews nor was there any after show information regarding the show.

Liberty Theater, Camp Sherman

Liberty Theater, Camp Sherman

In the spring of 1917, the loss of seven ships and related heavy loss of American lives spurred president Woodrow Wilson to request of Congress a declaration of war against Germany. The declaration was approved on 6 April 1917, and America entered the war.[i]

A massive construction program created by the War Department resulted in the simultaneous nation-wide construction of 16 new National Army cantonments and 16 new Army National Guard training camps.

Approximately 5,000 workers had arrived by 5 July 1917, and construction started the next day.[ii] During the war construction never ended. There were 13 contracts for building during the war and there was constant expansion until Armistice Day. Besides barracks, the Camp included 11 YMCA buildings and three theaters.  Two for motion pictures and one building, the Liberty Theatre, that could do both motion pictures and live shows.

The theater was completed by December 1917. Most sources I have found indicate it had a seating capacity of 1,300 people,[iii] however, the Julius Cahn – Gus Hill 1922 Supplement indicates the seating capacity was 2,500. All agree that it was managed by a civilian.

Most of the Camp’s buildings were demolished during the 1920s.

Camp Sherman

Image of Woodrow Wilson created by 21,000 officers and men. Camp Sherman 1918. Photo: Public Domain via Library of Congress.

Camp Sherman is particularly well known for a formation they did consisting of 21,000 troops that formed an image of Woodrow Wilson. It is one of those truly amazing Great War photos.

The next day, the “Chin Chin” cast and crew played 150 miles north of Chillicothe at the  Sandusky Theater in Sandusky, Ohio.

 


Endnotes

[i] Camp Sherman, Ohio: History of a World War I Training Camp by Susan I. Enscore, Adam D. Smith, and Megan W. Tooker – Published by US Army Corps of Engineers – ERDC/CERL TR-15-25 – December 2015. Page 24

[iii] History of the Ohio State University – Volume IV, The University in the Great War, Part III, In the Camps and at the Front by Wilbur H. Siebert.

Ancestor Bio – Nimrod Lister (c. 1826-c. 1890)

Roberts Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I always feel frustrated when I am unable to find an ancestor in all of the census records. Such is the case with Nimrod Lister.  I found him in the 1860, 1870, and 1880 Census records but have been unable to find him in the 1830, 1840, or 1850 Census Records.  I also feel frustrated when I can’t find a source for death information on an individual. The 1900 Census indicates that his wife, Malinda, was a widow. The questions that arises in my mind: Was she actually a widow? Did she say she was a widow after Nimrod ran off for one reason or another?  Unfortunately, the 1890 Census is largely missing and searches of available online newspapers and other sources have been unsuccessful in my finding him after the 1880 Census.

Research Family 2017 – Ancestor #96

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes (1903-1982)
  • 1st Great-grandmother: Marada Mae Lister (1867-1932)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Nimrod Lister (c. 1826-c. 1890)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: William Lister (c. 1802- ? )

Nimrod Lister (c. 1826-c. 1890)

It is not clear when Nimrod was born. The 1860 Census indicates he was 34 years old; the 1870 Census indicates he was 43 years old and the 1880 Census indicates he was 55 years old. Suggesting he was born sometime between 1824 and 1827. I have settled on 1826 as my preferred date because it is most consistent with the earlier censuses. It appears that he was born in Pickaway County, Ohio. His father possibly was William Lister and the name of his mother is still unknown.

Childhood

Other researchers indicate that he had at least three younger siblings, Sarah, William, and James. I have not been able to confirm that information.  Also, I have not been successful in identifying him in the 1830, 1840, or 1850 Censuses. I hope to determine his earlier life better when I research William Lister.

Marriage

Nimrod married Malinda Evans on 17 March 1854 in Pickaway County, Ohio, in a ceremony performed by James Roland, a minister of the Gospel.[i] Nimrod and Malinda had eight children.

Name Born Married Died
James M Lister Bet. 1853-1855, Ohio
Nancy A Lister Bet. 1855-1857, Ohio
Charles C Lister Bet. Nov 1859-Jan 1860 Mary Compton – 1882
Eliza J Lister May 1862 Albert Hopewell – 1896
Mary Charlotte Lister Bet. 02 Jun-26 Nov 1865 Joseph E Crooks – 1882
Marada Alice Lister[ii] 27 Feb 1867 Joel C. Barnes – 1893 03 May 1932
William Lemuel Lister 15 Aug 1869 Laura Robertson – 1892 20 Oct 1935
Sarah F Lister Abt. 1872 William Correll – 1892

In the 1900 Census, Malinda indicates that she had eight children, seven of whom were living, so either James, Nancy, Charles, Eliza, Mary, or Sarah died before 1900 but the other children were still living.

Adult

Nimrod and Malinda moved from Ohio to Sullivan County, Indiana in the fall of 1859. Thomas Wolfe mentions that in his book, A History of Sullivan County, Indiana.[iii] Additionally, their son Charles was born in Sullivan County. Other records indicate he was born sometime between November 1859 and January 1860.

The 1860 Census finds the family in Indiana, Turman Township, Sulivan County, using the Graysville Post Office.  The family consisted of Nimrod and Malinda with their three oldest children, James, Nancy, and Charles. Nimrod is a farm laborer and six-year-old James was attending school.  The census records their surname as Lustre.[iv]

The 1870 Census finds the family still in Turman Township with seven of their children. Nimrod was a Farmer and owned real estate valued at $660.  Malinda was keeping house. James both worked on a farm and attended school. Nancy, Charles, and Eliza were attending school while Charlotte, Marandy and William were too young to attend school.[v]

The 1880 Census again finds Nimrod and Melinda. Nimrod is a Farmer, and Melinda is keeping house. Twenty-five-year-old James is a Huxter. Meranda, William, and Sarah are at home and attending school.[vi]

Death

Melinda (Evans) Lister is widowed before the 1900 Census. So, I believe that Nimrod died sometime between 1880 and 1900. I use circa 1890 as his death date as it fits between 1880 and 1900. I have not been successful in finding his death date nor his burial location.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Further Research Nimrod’s birth.
  • Research Nimrod’s early life through researching his parents.
  • Research Nimrod’s later life through researching his children.

ENDNOTES

[i] Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013, Family Search, Nimrod Lister & Malinda Evans. Pickaway, Marriage Records 1839-1855 Vol 4, Page 282. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XZ28-JL9.

[ii] 1880 Census (FS), Nimrod Lister – Indiana, Sullivan, Gill Township, ED 329, Page 5, Line 18. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHSF-ZKC.

[iii] Wolfe, Thomas J., History of Sullivan County, Indiana, A, Files (Personal), Pages 234-236. A history of Sullivan County, Indiana, closing of the first century’s history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. New York: The Lewis Pub. Co.

[iv] 1860 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, 1860 Census – Nimrod Lustre [Lister] – Turman Township, Sullivan, Indiana – Page 140, Line 36. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4NV-DFM.

[v] 1870 Census (FS) (NARA), Family Search, 1870 – Nimrod Lister – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, Page 12, Line 24. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX6Z-4N3.

[vi] 1880 Census (FS), Nimrod Lister – Indiana, Sullivan, Gill Township, ED 329, Page 5, Line 18. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHSF-ZKC.