Donna in the News – The New Theater Bills

“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (aka Donna Montran and Donna Darling). I am always excited when I find a new venue for my grandmother’s exciting show business career of the 1910s and 1920s. 

This week’s clipping is from The Wichita Eagle (Wichita, Kansas), dated 2 December 1923. It and several other clippings can be added to Donna’s history.  

THE NEW THEATER BILLS

ORPHEUM

VAUDEVILLE. Matinee and night. Two shows Saturday night. Blossom Seeley headlining bill opening Monday matinee for three days.

Blossom Seeley calls her medium of expression “Miss Syncopation.” Evidently she…

Billy McDermott, who bills himself as “The only Survivor of Coxey’s Army,” is a tramp…

Donna Darling is a musical comedy ingenue. With a capable supporting company, Miss Darling offers a dazzling dance fantasy called “A Song and Dance Romance.”

Orpheum Advertisement The Wichita Eagle,
2 December 1923

This clipping and the associated advertisements show Donna played at the Orpheum Theater in Wichita, Kansas, on December 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 1923.

Thanks to Newspapers.com’s newly available online articles, I was able to add another venue for Donna’s vaudeville career.

 

 

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 26

Butler, Calder, Camedy(?), Campbell, & Palmer

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 four more envelopes from the Ethel Wight Studio Collection[i] but fail in one identification. 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.

Madge LeVaughn Calder, circa 1935

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Madge Calder, 62 State St., Portland, #491.”

Madge Calder, circa 1935

I wasn’t able to find Miss Madge Calder in any of the Portland City directories. I did find where Madge L. Calder married John R. Andrews on 5 October 1936. According to the marriage index, Madge lived in Augusta, and John lived in Lubec.[iii] Based upon the photo ID number (#491), this photo was likely taken in 1935 or 1936 before she married. Her description described in her naturalization document read: fair complexion, blue eyes, dark brown hair, 5’5” tall, and 150 pounds. That description fits the photo.

Madge was born on 20 September 1915 in Wilson’s Beach, New Brunswick, and immigrated to the United States on 30 August 1934, entering at Eastport, Maine.[iv] So, she would have been 20 or 21 years old in this picture, which fits.

Alternatives

There was a Genevieve M. Calder born about 1919. Further research found that Genevieve’s middle name was Mildred.

Because the Madge in the photo was identified as a “Miss,” I did not consider any of the “Mrs. Calder’s.”

Madge D. Calder, born 20 September 1915, in Wilson’s Beach, Charlotte, New Brunswick, Canada, is identified as ID LZT9-KZT on FamilySearch, the daughter of John Alexander and Portia Estella (Brown) Calder. I have uploaded two photos of Madge to her FamilySearch profile and one more photo of Madge to my Flickr Photostream. Madge is also found in 11 Ancestry Family Trees.

Jean Ruth Campbell & David Rae Campbell, III, circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. David Campbell, 167 Coyle St., Portland, #942.”

David Rae, III, and Jean Ruth Campbell, circa 1937

The 1940 US Census lists David R. and Ruth Campbell living at 167 Coyle Street. Living with them are their two children, Jean and David R. Campbell III, ages 13 and 8, respectively. Based upon the photo ID number (#942), the photo is likely from 1937, when the children would have been 10 and 5.

Neither Jean Ruth Campbell (1926-1981) nor David Rae Campbell (1932-1953), the children of David Rae Campbell and Ruth (Gatcomb) Campbell, appear to have profiles on Family Search. However, Jean is found in six Ancestry Trees; David is found in five Ancestry Trees.

I have added their photo to Dead Fred.

Laura (Stone) Palmer (1864-1950), circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Freeman Calmer, 558 Brighton Ave, Portland, #773.”

Laura (Stone) Palmer, circa 1937

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Freeman and Laura Palmer living at 558 Brighton Ave. The 1930 Census shows Freeman and his 65-year-old wife, Laura, living on William Street. Based on the photo ID number (#773), I estimate the photo from about 1937 when Laura was about 72 years old.

Family Search identifies Laura Stone, born 18 May 1864, wife of Freeman Palmer as ID K2Q2-V29.   I am sure this is Laura about 1937. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search profile. Three Ancestry Family Trees mention Laura (Stone) Palmer.

Marie and Marjorie Butler, circa 1935 (ages 3 & 4)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. M. E. Butler, 341 Congress St., Portland, #232.”

Marie and Marjorie Butler, circa 1935

The 1940 US Census indicates there was a Milbury E Butler and his wife Nellie G Butler living with their two daughters, Margory and Marie, ages 8 and 7. Based upon the collection ID number (#232), I’d estimate the photo taken about 1935. And the children about three and two, which seems about right. The Census also indicates that the Butlers lived in Portland in 1935.

The 1934 Portland City Directory indicates the “Milbry” and “Nettie” Butler lived at 341 Congress. The 1935 Portland City directory shows Milbury and Nellie Butler lived at 125 Franklin.

I am pretty sure this is Margory and Marie Butler about 1935.

Marjorie Butler was born on 10 December 1931 and Marie on 13 October 1932.

Family Search identifies Marjorie Butler, the daughter of Milbury and Nellie (Merrill) Butler, as ID LYW4-BYY. I have uploaded two images of Majorie to her Family Search profile. 14 Ancestry Trees identify Marjorie Butler.

Marie does not appear to have a Family Search ID. Because the only image containing Marie is blurred/out of focus, I have only uploaded that photo to Marjorie’s profile.  18 Ancestry Trees list Marie Elizabeth Butler.

Unknown Camedy Child, circa 1936

This photo is from the Ethel Wight Studio, Portland, Maine.

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. R. Cy Camedy, 523 Brighton Ave., #375.”

Occasionally, I just can’t figure out who is in a photo. This envelope seems to read Mrs.R. Cy Camedy, 523 Brighton Ave.

I wasn’t sure about the name, so I looked at the address. A review of the various Portland City Directories yielded:

      • 1932 – Maurice L Asher, including Inga and Esther Asher, lived at 523 Brighton.
      • 1933 – The Ashers were still there.
      • 1934 – Page 942 of the City Directory indicates that 523 Brighton was Vacant.
      • 1935 – Marshman family Eleanor, Helen, John Gertrude, and William, all adults, lived there.
      • 1936 – The Marshman’s were also there in 1936.
Camedy (?) Baby

So from the address, it would appear that either the address is wrong or the Camedy’s must have lived at 523 Brighton for a short time.

Camedy is an unusual name, and a search for any people with the Camedy surname yielded no results on Ancestry. A similar search yielded only one person Daniel Camody. Thinking it might be Canredy or Carnedy, I tried them, again finding nothing in Maine records that made sense.

Conclusion

I had:

      • Three successful identifications that I posted to Family Search.
      • One identification that I posted to Dead Fred.
      • One undetermined photo.

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] “Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996,” database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KCNC-N4X : 27 November 2014), John R Andrews and Madge L Calder, 05 Oct 1936; citing Marriage, Maine, United States, State Archives, Augusta.

[iv] “Maine, County Naturalization Records, 1800-1990”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:6CBP-44RZ : 9 March 2021), Madge or Madve Levaughn Calder Andrews, .

 

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 25

Bucknam, Burnham, Burns (2), & Butler

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.

Alta F. Bucknam (1889-1962), circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Alta Bucknam, 133 Fessenden St, Woodford, #30.”

Alta F. Bucknam, circa 1936

The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Alta F. Bucknam living at 113 Fessenden. The 1930 Census shows 42-year-old Alta F. Buckman also residing at 113 Fessenden. Finally, the birth record for Alta F. Bucknam indicates she was born 30 May 1889 to Charles H. and Lulu W. Bucknam in Portland, ME. This photo appears to be Alta in her 40s, about 1936.

Family Search identifies Alta F. Bucknam, daughter of Charles Hebert and Lillie W (Morrill) Bucknam, as ID: 9VDQ-LM3. I am sure this is Alta about 1936. I have uploaded photos of her to her Family Search profile. Alta is also found in seven Ancestry Trees.

Charles H. Burnham, Jr., circa 1934

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Chas H Burnham, 262 Cumberland Ave, Portland #290.”

Charles H. Burnham, Jr., circa 1934

The 1937 Portland City Directory indicates Charles H Burnham was residing at 124 Federal. The 1936 Portland City Directory available online is missing the page (186) that I would expect Charles H Burnham to be listed. The 1935 Census lists Charles H (and Pearl) living at 16 Shepley. The 1934 Directory lists Charles H (and Pearl) residing at 291 Cumberland. The 1940 Census finds divorcee 28-year-old Pearl Burnham as a housekeeper in the household of Arthur and Alma Morrison, six-year-old Charles Burnham, Jr., a lodger at the Amelia Williams household at 76 Walton Street.

Charles H Burnham and Pearl Monteith were married on 14 October 1931 and divorced before 1 April 1940. Pearl went on to marry Edward Darling in 1951. Her 1996 obituary mentions her son, Charles Junior. So, I am convinced this is Charles H. Burnham, Jr., circa 1934.

Neither Charles H. Burnham nor his son Charles H. Burnham, Jr. have profiles on Family Search, although his mother Pearl Ruth Monteith (1911-1996) is Family Search ID: LVZ9-RN6. Pearl Ruth (Monteith) Burnham Darling is identified in 38 Ancestry Family Trees.

Kenneth Leon Burns (1933-2000), circa 1934 (age 1)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Kenneth Burns, 125 Grant St, Portland, #465.”

1935 Portland city directly reports Kenneth L Burns and his wife Hazel Burns living at 125 Grant, apartment 11. Kenneth Leon Burns and Hazel I. Merrithew married 25 February 1933. They had two sons, Kenneth Leon Burns, Jr., born 21 June 1933, and David Roy Burns, born 6 November 1938. This photo is of a child about one-year-old and was taken about 1934 or 35, so it must be Kenneth Leon Burns, Jr.

Kenneth Leon Burns (1933-2000) is ID GMWV-BX2 on Family Search. I have uploaded two photos of him to his profile on Family Search. Kenneth is also found in 14 Ancestry Family Trees.

Lillian A (Deakin) Burns (1878-1966), circa 1934

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Lillian A Burns, 6 Clinton St., Portland, #137.”

Lillian A (Deakin) Burns, circa 1934

The Portland city directory shows George F. and Lillian A. Burns living at six Clinton in Portland. The 1930 US Census also shows George and his wife, the 43-year-old Lillian, residing at 6 Clinton. Lillian was born in England. The 1920 Census shows George and Lillian living on Clinton Street with their sons Robert and Frank. The 1930 Census also indicates that George and Lillian were married about 1906 and that Lillian came to the United States in 1904. This photo would be of Lillian about 1934 when she was about 47-years-old.

Family Search identifies Lillian A. Deakin, born 1880 in England and who married George F. Burns on 17 January 1906 as ID LB8F-XPF. I have uploaded two photos of Lillian to her Family Search profile. She is also identified in 25 Ancestry Family Trees.

Florence Butler, circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Florence Butler, St. Barnabus Hospital, Portland, #998.”

Florence Butler, Nurse, circa 1937

1937 Portland city directory reports Florence Butler was a student nurse at 231 Woodford in Portland and that she lived 20 Norwood.  231 Woodford is the address for Saint Barnabas Hospital at that time. The 1938 directory also indicates Miss Butler was a student nurse; however, the 1939 Directory indicates she was a nurse, employed and residing at 1151 Brighton Ave., suggesting she became a nurse about 1938.

I have not been successful in finding Florence in the 1940 Census. Looking for any “Butler” in Cumberland County with Nurse as an occupation yielded one, Esther M. Butler. Expanding the search out to all Florence Butlers who were nurses in the 1940 Censuses yielded several potential candidates. Three of them were married; the other two were student nurses elsewhere. I also looked for all Florence Butlers that married 1938-1940. Again, no luck.

Based upon Portland City Directories, it appears that Florence Butler began her nurse’s training about 1936 and graduated approximately 1938, becoming a nurse employed at City Hospital (1151 Brighton Ave) in 1939. (Note: Do not confuse with Florence Eleanor Butler, who was a school teacher in South Portland during 1939.) I conclude I can not adequately identify this Florence Butler.

I have added her photo to Dead Fred.

Conclusion

I had:

      • Four successful identifications that I could post to Family Search
      • One partial identification 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 (Photoshop Elements).

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 24

Brown, Bruns, Buckley, Bucklin, & Utterstrom

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.

Alice Davenport Bucklin, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Alice Bucklin, 11 Surrender St., Portland #744.”

A search for Alice Bucklin of Portland yielded an Alice Davenport Bucklin in the 1933 South Portland High School Yearbook. The yearbook photo appears to be of the same young woman to me.

The 1920 US Census identifies Alice D. Bucklin as the five-year-old daughter of Joseph W. and  Gertrude B. Bucklin, living at 15 Henry Street. Note that she has an older brother Joseph E. Bucklin.

I haven’t found Alice in the 1930 Census, but she does appear in the 1934 Portland City Directory as a student nurse residing at 804 Congress. She does not appear in the 1935 City Directory; however, her brother Joseph E. Bucklin and his wife live at 11 Surrenden, the same address provided to Ethel Wight.  Alice married Charles H Paulsen on 29 June 1936, which explains why I’ve been unable to find her in other documents.

Disposition.

Family Search identifies Alice D. Bucklin, the daughter of Joseph William and Gertrude Belle (Nash) Bucklin, as ID GMVX-516. I am quite sure this is Alice about 1936, before her marriage to Charles Henry Paulson. I have uploaded two photos of her to her Family Search profile. Ancestry Family Trees have at least 26 trees which include Alice.

Haswell M. Bruns, circa 1935

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. H. M. Bruns, 6 Roberts St, Portland #333.”

Haswell M. Bruns, circa 1935

The 1934 Portland City Directory lists Haswell M. Bruns living at 6 Roberts. The 1930 Census enumerated the 21-year-old Haswell in the household of his father Jens Neilson and Ethel Libby (Skillings) Bruns also at 6 Roberts. Suggesting Haswell was born about 1909. Further research found he was born 26 May 1908 and died 15 May 1969.

Disposition

Family Search identifies Haswell Bruns, the son of Jens and Ethel Bruns, as id LVVF-HLS. I am sure this is Haswell about 1935. I have uploaded a photo of him to his Family Search profile. There are about 11 Ancestry Trees which include Haswell Marshall Bruns.

John Brown of High Street, Portland, circa 1935

This negative’s envelope says, “Mr. John Brown, 108 High St, Portland #665.”

John Brown of High Street, Portland, circa 1935

The 1934 Portland City directory lists John Brown, a stevedore, residing at 108 High. The 1935 directory finds him associated with the Dew Drop Lunch at 17 Pleasant. The 1936 Portland City Directory available online is missing pages 173 thru 177, so I can’t see him there. The 1937 Portland City Directory shows John Brown, associated with the Dewdrop Lunch residing at 56 Maple. The 1938 and the 1941 directories both put John Brown at 56 Maple. However, I have been unable to find him in the 1940 Census.

The 1932 &1933 Directory shows John Brown, a stevedore residing at 108 High.

The 1931 directory shows a John Brown living at 92 Arcadia. That John Brown was a 40-year-old carpenter from Poland. The John Brown in the photo appears to be older than 45, and his occupation is inconsistent with the John Brown of 108 High Street and 56 Maple.

It will take a lot more research to sort out the various John Browns of Portland, Maine, to determine the exact John Brown of the photo.

I have added his photo to Dead Fred.

John Joseph Buckley, circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. John J. Buckley, 377 Cumberland Ave, Portland #648.”

This photo is of a young boy, probably about 14 or 15 years old. The 1940 Census lists a John J. Buckley (born about 1923 in Canada) and who lived in Portland in 1935, living with his parents, William P (born about 1886 in Canada)and Catherine M. Buckley at 363 Cumberland. The 1935 City Directory has William P and Catherine living at 377 Cumberland, so I am confident this photo is of their son, John J. Buckley, who was born in Canada about 1923.

I was not successful in finding a profile for either John J. Buckley or his parents, William P. and Catherine M. Buckley, on Family Search. However, John Joseph Buckley is found in three Ancestry family trees. There were three photos of John, so I have one here, and I uploaded two additional images to Dead Fred.

Dorothea Louise Utterstrom, circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Frank Utterstrom, 23 Olympia St, Portland #365.”

Dorothea Louise Utterstrom, circa 1937

When I saw this name, I immediately knew it was a person from my Blanchard-Utterstrom Project. I knew that Frank Raymond and Dorothy E (Semple) Utterstrom had a daughter, Dorothea Louise Utterstrom, born on 28 August 1927. The 1930 Census enumerated Frank, Dorothy, and Dorothea living at 23 Olympia in Portland.

At first, I thought these two photos might be of two different people, because one is in a coat and the other in a dress. Both show a round-faced girl with similar bangs, similar hair length, and what appears, to me, the same dress. As such, I believe this is the same girl in both photos taken

Dorothea Louise Utterstrom, circa 1937

about 1937. Sadly, in one of the photos, the girl’s face is slightly out of focus.

Family Search did not have a profile for Dorothea, so I added her two photos to Dead Fred.

Conclusion

I had:

      • Two successful identifications where I could post to Family Search
      • Two other identifications that didn’t have profiles on Family search, so I uploaded them to Dead Fred.
      • One inconclusive identification (several potential candidates)

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 Photoshop Elements.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 80

Russell, Don, & Matthew Photos

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at a scan (SCAN0180) of five photos from the Donna Darling Collection.

First, there is a photo of my uncle Russell Kees. In this photo, he appears to be in some sort of uniform. Additionally, his writing on the back suggests this is the first photo after leaving for the service. As such, I date this photo about 1951, when Russell would have been about 24 years old.

Next is a photo of me, probably about one year old. I had seen and remembered this photo from when I was a child.

 

Finally, there are three photos of my son, Matt, which I sent to Donna in 1974. I didn’t remember Matt’s picture at the beach, wearing the USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) t-shirt. It had to have been San Diego, my ship’s home port.