This week from the La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) newspapers dated February 4th through the 10th, 1920.
I’ve long known that Donna and the cast of “Chin Chin” played at the Metropolitan Opera House in Minneapolis from February 1st through the 7th, and played in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on February 11th. However, it would be unlikely that the should would go three days without a show. Thanks to Newspapers.Com[i], I learned this week that “Chin Chin” also played at the La Crosse Theatre, in La Crosse, Wisconsin on February 10th.
I’m still wondering if “Chin Chin” played somewhere on the 9th. Probably. Time will tell.
“Donna in the News” is my report of newly discovered newspapers articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find a new venue of my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.
[i] The La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, WI) dated 4 February 1920, Page 4, Column 5, et al. Accessed via Newspapers.Com on 10 Jan 2019.
52 Ancestors – Week 2018-52
By Don Taylor
Bertha Koch is the mother of Bertha Barbara Trumpi[i] who was an immigrant ancestor. Bertha Barbara came to the United States first; then her mother went to the States to visit her. Mom went back and forth from Switzerland to the United States several times. Eventually, she apparently divorced her husband, Bernhart Trumpi, married Kaspar Hefti, and then returned to the United States with her new husband.
Bertha Koch was (probably) born 21 August 1862 in Glarus, Switzerland. Her parents’ names are unknown. When Bertha was born, the Civil War was raging in the United States. The Swiss had adopted a federal constitution in 1848 following its civil war.
Nothing is known of Bertha’s childhood specifically; however, when Bertha was about 12, Switzerland underwent an extensive constitutional change wherein the Swiss federal government took over responsibility for defense, trade, and legal matters and everything else became the responsibilities of the individual cantons, such as Glarus.[iii]
On 10 February 1883, the 20-year-old Bertha married the 39-year-old widower, Bernhart Trumpi in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland.
Children of Bernhart & Bertha (Koch) Trümpi.
1905 – John Huber
1906 – Wilhelm Bochs
1913 – Adolph Karch
In 1903, Bertha’s oldest daughter, Bertha Barbara, left Switzerland for the United States. Oral tradition indicates she came to America in the care of an aunt and uncle who traveled from America to get Bertha Barbara and return to the States.
In 1905, Bertha went to the States to visit her daughter, Bertha Barbara, who was living near New Glarus, Wisconsin. Traveling with her were three children, daughters Babetta, Trucela, and her son August. She was very pregnant during the trip and had her youngest child Ernst Lorrain aboard the ship to America during the voyage aboard the S. S. Lorraine. Her youngest child’s middle name was fashioned on the ship he was born. The vessel departed La Have on October 21st. Ernst was born on the 22nd of October, and the ship arrived in New York on 28th of October 1912[iv].
The next bit of her life is very unclear. It appears that she returned to Switzerland before 1910 because she does not show in any records during that time. Also, by 1912, Bertha had remarried to Kaspar Hafti. The documents I have found indicate that her husband Bernhart died on 10 February 1913. We don’t know if she and Bernhart divorced, if the date I have for Bernhart’s death is incorrect, or if she and Kaspar headed to the states traveling as “man and wife.” In any event, she, husband Kaspar, and son Ernst Trumpi returned to the United States aboard the S. S. Kaiserin Augusta Victoria in 1912[v]. Their planned destination was Portland, Oregon. I have been unsuccessful in finding Kaspar and Bertha in the 1920 Census. I suspect they returned to Switzerland because they returned to the States from Switzerland in 1925 and were listed in the ship’s manifest with their last residence being in Ennenda, Glarus, Switzerland.[vi]
Death & Burial
Bertha and Kaspar located in Escalon, San Joaquin, California, USA. Bertha died of cerebral apoplexy[vii] on 17 Apr 1927 at the San Joaquin General Hospital in French Camp, San Joaquin County, California[viii] about 17 miles from Escalon. Bertha was buried at a “Rural Cemetery.” I have been unable to locate any burial information for Bertha Koch Trumpi Hefti.
Further Actions / Follow-up
Query various funeral homes in French Camp to see if any of them now have the records of what once was the Stockton Mortuary Company.
Follow the lives of each of Bertha’s children and learn if any of them provide insight into Bertha’s life.
Query more records for the Trumpi and Koch families of Ennenda, Glaris, Switzerland.
[i] I use Trumpi as the surname for standardization. Handwritten records in the United States typically use Trümpi. In Switzerland, the surname was typically spelled Trümpy. The use of American typewriters resulted in most modern records being spelled “Trumpi.”
[ii] Several records indicate Bertha’s surname was Kock. However, Babette indicated her mother’s surname was “Cook” in one record. The German word“Koch” translates to Cook in English, so I believe Koch is correct.
Huber and its derivatives (Hubbard, Hibbert, Hibbins, Hibbs, Hibson, and possibly Hoover) derive from the word, hube, a measure of land that could sustain and be worked by one farmer’s family. The name Huber designated the farmer who owned a “hube.”
The name is most prevalent in Germany (over 122,000 people) and most common in Austria where it is the second most common name in the country. In Switzerland, where Mary-Alice’s ancestors came from, it is the 7th most common name with 1 in 308 people have the surname.
Mary-Alice’s immigrant ancestor, John Huber, came from Switzerland in 1901 and settled in Wisconsin. In 1910 he and his wife, Bertha, located to Alabama. In 1920, they moved to Saginaw County, Michigan and remained there the rest of their lives. The 1920 Census indicates there were 162 Huber families in Michigan. John’s only son, Clarence, had no children, so the surname ended with Clarence. John’s daughter, Florence, was Mary-Alice’s maternal grandmother.
John Huber was the son of Jacob Huber and Kath Stuckling of Windlach, Zurich, Switzerland. I believe he had four siblings, Ernie, Hermann, Frieda, and Alfred. I know nothing about those siblings and need to research them in the future.
“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspapers articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and aka Donna Darling). I am always excited when I learn of a new venue for my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s.
Three New Venues discovered.
Another great week of Donna in the News with three new venues discovered and an intriguing note about Donna having been in a train crash.
The Rock Island Argus (Rock Island, Illinois) newspaper dated 29 March 1924 shows that Donna Darling and company played in a song and dance revue at the Fort Armstrong theatre. In another article, from March 31st, the paper indicated that she missed her first show at the Fort Armstrong because of a train crash. I wonder how bad of a crash was it? The crash has the potential of making another great story. I’m looking forward to additional research.
Next, is an ad from the News Record (Neehah, WI) newspaper dated 5 December 1924. The ad shows that the California Motion Picture Bathing Beauties, featuring Donna Darling played at the Neehah theatre on December 8 & 9.
Finally, from the The Record (Hackensack, NJ) dated 23 February, I learned that Donna Darling and Company played at the Lyric Theatre in Hackensack, for three days beginning February 24th.
Tracing female ancestors is often difficult in 19th century America. As I continue my research into the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling, one of his sisters, the oldest sister, was quite easy to follow. The other two sisters have been very problematic. I wrote about Deidamia, the oldest sister, previously. Basically, she born in New York, married Lawrence G. Limbocker, moved to Michigan, had three children, and probably died in Michigan. Hannah and Sally Ann are a different story.
The only real source I have regarding Hannah is the 1850 Census. In it, she appears to be living with her brother, Andrew/Andress Darling, his wife Antoinette and their two children, Sarah and Alice. In the same household appears to be Hannah’s youngest brother, Franklin, and her mother, Sally A. (Munsell) Darling.
The 1830 Census does not provide the names of anyone in the household except for the head of household. The 1830 Census indicates the following females in the Abner Darling household of Clarkson, Monroe, New York:
Females 5 thru 9 2 (Probably Hannah, age 6, and Sally Ann, age 9.)
Females 15 thru 19 1 (Probably Diedamia, Age 16.)
Females 40 to 49 1 (Probably Sally, age 45.)
Hannah’s father, Abner died in 1839. In the 1840 Census, Abner’s son, Rufus, is the head of the household. Living with Rufus in 1840 are the following females:
Females 15-19 2 (Probably Hannah, age 16, and Sally Ann, age 19.)
Females 50-59 1 (Probably Sally, age 55.)
I have been unsuccessful finding any references to Hannah after the 1850 Census. She is not mentioned in her brother’s (Abner C. Darling’s) obituary in September 1880. As such, I believe Hannah probably died between 1850 and 1880.
Family Search has Hannah in their Family Tree. She is person KJ6Z-V1S. All entries for her are by “Family Search” and have no sources for information. It does suggest an 1820 birth year.
On Ancestry, there are five trees that appear to include Hannah. Two of them are mine. The other three are private. I have sent contact messages to the two individuals managing the three private trees. One tree indicates Hannah Darling being born in 1820. I’ve selected the 1824-1825 birth year in my tree because of the 1850 Census and that she fits into the 1830 and 1840 censuses by speculation. I would be a lot more comfortable that Hannah was actually a child of Abner and Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling if I could find a record that clearly shows the relationship.
The second private tree on Ancestry did not have Hannah identified but did have Abner and Sally Ann (Munsell) Darling but none of their children.
I have not heard back about the third private tree yet.
A fairly exhaustive online search, including newspapers and other resources has not provided any further information.
 1850 Census (FS), 1850 Census – A M Darling – Utica, Winnebago, Wisconsin. “United States Census, 1850,” database with images, FamilySearch : 12 April 2016), Am Darling, Utica, Winnebago, Wisconsin, United States; citing family 1092, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.). https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4DT-3L6.