“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.

Ancestor Bio – Nimrod Lister (c. 1826-c. 1900)

52 Ancestors – Week 187

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Nimrod, an Old Testament character who was the great-grandson of Noah, is a fairly unusual name, so I figured I’d be able to follow him easily – No such luck. I found him in the 1860 Census with the surname Lustre, in the 1870 and 1880 Censuses with the surname Lister, but have been unsuccessful finding him in either the 1850 Census or the 1900 Census. Here is what I have found so far.

Roberts-Brown 2017 – Ancestor #22

List of Grandparents

  • Paternal Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes
  • 1st Great-Grandmother: Maranda A. Lister
  • 2nd Great-Grandfather: Nimrod Lister
  • 3rd Great-Grandfather: ??William Lister ??

 

Nimrod Lister (c. 1826-c. 1900)

I am sure he was born in Ohio. Every record points to his Ohio birth.  However, every census record I have found him in suggests a different birth year.

  • 1860 Census – Age 34, Ohio – Suggests 1825-1826.
  • 1870 Census – Age 43, Ohio – Suggests 1826-1827.
  • 1880 Census – Age 55, Ohio – Suggests 1824-1825.

I have settled upon “circa 1826” as his birth year.

Childhood

One researcher suggests he is the oldest of four children and his siblings were:

  • Sarah born c. 1831
  • William M. born c. 1836
  • James M. born c. 1840

I have not been successful in confirming any of these individuals as being Nimrod’s siblings.

Marriage

Nimrod’s marriage to Malinda Evans on 17 March 1854 is possibly the key to learning more about Nimrod’s earlier life.  It indicates that both Nimrod and Malinda were from Pickaway County, Ohio.  If we look at Pickaway County during the 1850s there were Lister/Lester families living there. we find a William who married a Leah Adkins. In 1850, 30-year-old Leah is living in the household of Barzilla Adkins with an apparent daughter Elizabeth Lester.  I suspect that sometime before 1850, Nimrod’s father, William, died. The widow, Leah, then moved in with a sibling and her mother.  I also suspect that the rest of the children were farmed out to several locations and may have been reported with different surnames than Lister.  This is still conjecture but fits what I am seeing. I need to do substantial research into the Lister’s of Pickaway County.

Adulthood

I believe Nimrod and Malinda had eight children. Namely:

Child                                      Born                         Where

  • James M Lister                 Bet. 1853-1855        Ohio.
  • Nancy A Lister                 Bet. 1855-1857         Ohio.
  • Charles C Lister               Bet. Dec 1859-May 1860     Indiana.
  • Eliza J Lister                     Abt. 1861                   Indiana.
  • Charlotte Lister               Abt. 1865                   Indiana.
  • Marada A Lister          27 Feb 1867           New Lebanon, Sullivan County, Indiana.
  • William Lemuel Lister   Bet. 1868-1870      Indiana.
  • Sarah F Lister                   Abt 1872                    Indiana

Discover Your Origins With Family Tree DNA
1860 – Nimrod is a farm laborer living in Turman Township, Sullivan County Indiana (Graysville Post Office).  With him is Malinda, and presumably three children of theirs, James, M, Nancy A, and Charles C. ages 6, 4, and 5/12 respectively.[i]

1870 – Nimrod is a farmer with real estate valued at $660.  Malinda is keeping house. Living with them are seven [of their] children. James M., Nancy A., Charles C., and Eliza J., were 15, 13, 10, and 8 respectively; they were all attending school. James is also working the farm. Additionally, Charlotte, Marandy A., and William L are at home and are ages 4, 3, and 1 respectively.[ii] (Sarah is born in 1872.)

1880 – Nimrod is still a farmer. He indicates that his father was born in Maryland and his mother was born in Pennsylvania. Living with him are his wife, two sons, James and William, and two daughters, Miranda and Sarah. 25-year-old James is a huxter who had been unemployed for 4 months. The three younger children all attended school.[iii]

Stories

According to Thomas J. Wolfe, in The History of Sullivan County, Indiana, pages 235 & 236, “Nimrod and Malinda (Evans) Lister, both natives of Ohio, who came to Sullivan county. They were married in Ohio, and came to this county in the autumn of 1859. The father [Nimrod presumably] worked in a woolen mill in his early life, but after moving to this county followed farming.”[iv]

Death

Thomas J. Wolfe also indicates that Nimrod and Malinda had died before his book, The History of Sullivan County, Indiana was published in 1909.[v] Likewise, it appears that Nimrod died in January, 1900, before the 1900 Census was taken but I haven’t been able to confirm it. There was a Nimrod Lester who born in Ohio in 1831, died in February 1900, and is buried in Tippecanoe County, however, none of the other “Lester” surnamed individuals are familiar to my Nimrod Lister. I believe this to be a different Nimrod.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Follow-up on all of Nimrod and Melinda’s children to find more about their lives.
  • Do a surname focused study of Lister/Lester/Leister/Lustre in Pickaway County, Ohio.


Endnotes:

[i] 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.
[ii] 1870 Census (FS), Family Search, Nimrod Lister – Indiana, Sullivan, Turman, Page 12, Line 24. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MX6Z-4N3.
[iii] 1880 Census (FS), Nimrod Lister – Indiana, Sullivan, Gill Township, ED 329, Page 5, Line 18. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MHSF-ZKC.
[iv] 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.
[v] Ibid.

Evans – Surname Saturday

Origin of Name

Sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know. If I were to guess, I would have guessed that “Evans” was a patronymic name.  That is to say, it was derived from a personal name such as “son of Evan.” And I’d be right. What I wouldn’t have known is that it is a Welsh name.

Geographical

Today, the Evans name is the fifth most common name in Wales with one in 77 people having the surname.[i]  Here in the United States, one in 47 people have the surname; worldwide there are about 795,000 people with the surname.[ii]

My Earliest Ancestors

Map showing 1840 Distribution of the Evans Surname
1840 Distribution of the Evans surname in the US. Source: Ancestry.Com

My earliest known Evans ancestor is my 2nd great-grandmother, Malinda Evans. Malinda was born about 1828 in Ohio. According to Ancestry.Com, the 1840 Census reported there were 440 families in Ohio with the Evans surname. I haven’t had a chance to investigate Malinda’s life in depth yet, but she is number 4 on my Roberts-Barnes research list.

Malinda Evans (1828-c.1905) married Nimrod Lister (1824-?) in 1859.[iii] They had eight children, including my great-grandmother, Maranda (1867-1932).

Direct Evans Ancestors

  1. Hugh Eugene Roberts (1926-1997)
  2. Essie Pansy Barnes(1903-1982)
  3.  Marada Mae Lister(1867-1932)
  4. Malinda Evens (c. 1828-c. 1905 ±4)

Known relatives.

My records have identified 94 direct-line descendants of Malinda.

I have two other Evans’ in my family tree; both of them are non-related spouses of other ancestors and have no common ancestor to Malinda.

ENDNOTES


[i] Internet: Forebears – Evans Name Distribution 2014 — http://forebears.io/surnames/evans#meaning

[ii] Ibid.

[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.

“Chin Chin” plays at the Park Theatre in Youngstown, Ohio on 8 April 1920

Vaudeville – Chin Chin

The Search – The Process

Grandmother Donna’s playing at the Park Theatre in Youngstown, Ohio reminds me that not everything is on the Internet.  It is only by luck and happenstance that I learned of “Chin-Chin” being in Youngstown at all.

Last summer, I was researching for “Donna in New Philadelphia, OH, at the Union Theatre – 10 April 1920” and ran across an article via Newspapers.Com, that “Chin-Chin” had also played in Youngstown at the Park Theater. It was really nice to know of another venue for the show.  I was excited to look at that showing later.

I finally had a chance to research the show’s presentation in Youngstown and I couldn’t find much more. After going through my regular sources, Newspapers.Com, Genealogy Bank, and Ancestry.Com, I only had one small ad. Everything I did find came from the Salem News, in Salem, Ohio, about 25 miles away from Youngstown. Nothing from a Youngstown newspaper.

Through the Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide and Moving Picture Supplement of 1922, under Youngstown, Ohio, I learned there were two newspapers of note in 1922 – The “Vindicator” and the “Telegram.”[i]

The Ancestor Hunt

Next, I needed to see where those newspapers might be available.  My favorite site to look for newspapers is The Ancestor Hunt. I went there and did a quick search for “Ohio.” The first of the responses to the search (that weren’t ads) was Ohio Online Historical Newspapers Summary – Exactly what I was looking for.

A search for Youngstown yielded three items.

McKinley Memorial Library – Youngstown Telegram – The link didn’t appear to work. After a couple minutes, it finally loaded the page. They had a browse by title button, I clicked it and then learned that the only year they have for the Youngstown Telegram was 1918. No help there.

Next, was a link to Google News. There were many issues of the Youngstown Evening Vindicator before May 1893, but nothing from 1920.

Finally, was another link to Google News. There were many issues of the Youngstown Vindicator available there.  Several papers from March, and April 1920 were available, but many others were missing. I looked at the March 27th image. Page 4 was clearly the Amusements page, but there was nothing there about “Chin Chin” that I could discern.  The next paper available on Google News was April 18th, well after the show.

One of the other great features that The Ancestor Hunt pages has is that it typically provides a link to the paid subscription sites so that you can determine which sites might have the newspapers you need. In my case, the Youngstown newspaper search yielded the following:

  • Ancestry.Com – None – (Confirmation that I didn’t miss anything.)
  • Genealogy Bank – Daily News 2011 to current. (Confirmation that I didn’t miss anything.)
  • Newspapers.Com – None (Confirmation that I didn’t miss anything.)
  • NewspaperArchives.Com – None (I am not currently a subscriber.)

Chronicling America

The Library of Congress Chronicling America site is totally awesome. From their homepage, on the top right is a button to [US Newspaper Directory, 1690-Present].  A search for Youngstown newspapers in 1920 yielded 15 results. Two of particular interest were:

The Chronicling America site then will let you know what locations may have the issues you are looking for. According to them,

The Ohio Historical Society has Microfilm for the Telegram from 1901 to 1936.
The Ohio Historical Society has Microfilm for the Vindicator from 1893 to 1936.

So, I am reminded that not everything is on the Internet and that visits are important. Time for a road trip to Ohio.

“Chin Chin” at Park Theatre, Youngstown, OH

Donna and the cast of “Chin Chin” played at the Faurot Opera House in Lima, Ohio on the 6th of April 1920. We don’t know where Donna played on the 7th, but we now know that she did play the Park Theatre in Youngstown, Ohio, on the 8th.  Lima and Youngstown are about 200 miles apart, so I suspect there was another location they stopped along the way.

"Chin Chin" - Park Theater - Youngstown, OH,
Ad – “Chin Chin” Salem News, Salem, OH; 3 Apr 1920

On April 3rd, The Salem News ran a short article about “Scenes of Arabian Nights in ‘Chin Chin’”

The article mentions that the show will be “one night only.” However, an advertisement for the Park Theatre indicates [erroneously] that it will show “2 Days Only.” It was only there for two shows, not two days. “Chin Chin” played at the Victoria Theatre in Steubenville the following night (April 9th).

Park Theatre

According to the Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide and Moving Picture Supplement (1922), Youngstown was a city of 132,358 (a number directly from the 1920 Census data).[ii] The Park Theatre was a large theater, with a seating capacity of 1,527 and did plays, pictures, legitimate and burlesque. The stage was 36 x 36 feet.[iii]

History of the Park Theatre

Park Theater, Youngstown. OH
Park Theater, Youngstown. OH

The Park Theater was opened in 1901 at 23 S. Champion Street. By 1914 it was operating as a mixed venue having added moving pictures. In 1920, when Donna played there, it was still a mixed venue showing both live shows and moving pictures. In 1948 the theater was purchased by the people of the Grand across the street and converted to a burlesque house. By the 1950’s, it was running X-rated movies.[iv] It finally closed in the 1960’s.[v]

Today, the site is the location of the Youngstown campus of the Eastern Gateway Community College.

Nearby Info

Nearby hotels suggested by 1922 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill guide included the Tod House, Colonial Hotel, Salon Hotel, and the Vanier Hotel. The railroads serving the city were the B. & O. and the Erie, Penn.

Further Research

  • Visit the Ohio Historical Society and review their microfilm for the Youngstown Vindicator and the Youngstown Telegram for April 8th, 1920 plus 14 days before and two days after for information, articles, advertisements, and reviews of “Chin-Chin.” Note: Mahoning Valley Info Forums indicated that the Main Branch of the Youngstown Library also has the Vindicator microfilm. Need to confirm before going.

—– DISCLAIMER —–

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Endnotes: