Donna Darling Collection – Part 91

Donna DARLING and CLARK Sammy – Revue

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.I’m looking at a second advertising sheet from the Donna Darling Collection Treasure Chest. The sheet includes photos of Donna, Sammy, and two or three other people. It contains the same pictures of Donna and Sammy that I looked at last week in Part 90 – Donna Darling & Sammy Clark Booked Solid

Donna DARLING and CLARK Sammy – Revue –

In all of the Darling and Clark Revue advertisements, Hal Dixon is the most common name associated with the show. I am pretty sure the man in the cameo must be Hal Dixon. I don’t think that it is Donna in the center square. I am also not positive that the man in the square is Hal either. The eyebrows look right, but the eyes look lighter in the dance pose. Also, the part of the hair is very different, and it seems to me the lips are different.

Key features:

    • The same photos of Sammy and Donna as last week.
    • An additional image that I presume to be of Hal Dixon.
    • Another photo of two more people in the cast. Possibly Hal Dixon and (unlikely) Donna.


This advertising flyer is probably from April 1929.

The Donna Darling and Sammy Clark Revue began in April 1926. The act included Babe Barrington, Hal Dixon, and Steve Lazur. These five people are the only ones I’ve seen the names for in this Revue. However, this flyer suggests that two other people may have been in the show.


Donna Darling Collection – Part 86

Donna’s Cloak & MyHeritage Photo Repair

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at another clipping from the Donna Darling Collection. This photo is of Donna in her stage cloak. I’ve seen the image in several newspaper articles as it was a signature costume for her. The print itself is in terrible condition, torn, faded, just generally in awful, unusable condition.

I’ve known about MyHeritage’s photo repair capability for some time, but I hadn’t used it. As such, I figured I’d give it a try and see if it could help this image.

Donna Darling in her white cloak, circa 1926

I uploaded the image to MyHeritage then ran it through both the photo repair and photo enhancement. Zooming in on Donna’s face, I thought I’d see some improvement. Surprisingly, I did not see any difference. The repair smoothed the tear and some minor marks and tears, but nothing more than many other tools can do. That said, the process was straightforward. I’ve used Photoshop Elements and several other simple programs to clean up tears and marks. They typically do a similar job, but they take some experience to use and take more effort. It was the enhancement that I didn’t think the MyHeritage tool did much for my photo. I’ll try it again on something else and see if my opinion can be changed.

Donna in her coat – Original Scan

Donna in her coat – Enhanced and Repaired

The label on the back of this photo said, “Hokum ala Carte,” “Donna Darling,” and had a stamp that read “Darling and Clark Revue.”

Donna and Sammy were married in 1926, so this photo was taken after they got together, but probably towards the beginning of the Darling and Clark Revue in May 1926.

This photo is of Donna Darling in her cloak, circa May 1926.

Ancestor Sketch – Samson Clark Amsterdam

Brown-Montran Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.[Growing up, I knew I had an Uncle Russ and that he was the child of Donna and her husband, Sammy Clark Amsterdam. I never knew that Sammy was my grandmother’s third husband. My mom and her brother, Russell, never knew Donna was married before Sammy until I discovered that in my genealogy work. It was a surprise to both of them when I found evidence of the two previous marriages. This week I’m looking at Sammy Amsterdam. He was the father of Russell and the “father of record” of my mother. My grandmother and Sammy stayed married after my grandmother was pregnant (by Dick Brown) to “give the child a name” and then quietly divorced. Such was the way of show-business marriages in the 1930s. Sammy is one of the few people I know of who served in both World Wars.]

Roberts/Brown – Ancestor #6-S3[1]

List of Maternal Grandparents

    • Grandmother: Madonna Mae Montran (1893-1976)
      • 1st husband of Madonna: Chester Fenyvessey
      • 2nd husband of Madonna: Thomas Valentine Rooney
      • 3rd husband of Madonna: Samson Clark Amsterdam
      • (Not Married) Richard Earl Brown
      • (Significant Other) Russell Harrison Kees

Samson Clark Amsterdam (1898-1979)

Samson is found at Family Search as profile G93G-W2Y, Find-a-Grave, Memorial 54396367, and my Ancestry Tree.


Samson Clark Amsterdam was born on 20 July 1898 in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, the first child of Saul and Sarah (Gottlieb) Amsterdam. It was during the peak of the Spanish-American war. The United States was mobilizing troops to send to Puerto Rico.

Children of Saul and Sarah (Gottleib) Amsterdam—(Siblings)

Name Born Married Died
Samson 20 July 1898 Madonna Montran
Elvie Bolton
13 April 1979
Evelyn 3 December 1901 Al Wise
Sammy Rodvien
8 August 2001
Elias 2 August 1905 Madelyn (LNU) 15 May 1989
Harold 12 August 1914 Ann (LNU) 7 June 1996
Bernard 12 August 1914 Doris Westbay 28 September 1975


The 1900 Census found two-year-old “Samuel[2]” living with his parents at 263 Division Street in Manhattan. Living with them are his grandparents, Leo & Yetta Amsterdam. Also living with them is Sammy’s uncle Abraham Reuben.

The 1905 New York Census finds the Amsterdam family living at 207 Madison Street. “Sol” works in Real Estate. The household consists of his parents, a younger sister (“Evia”), and 53-year-old “Sarra” (Sarah) Gottlieb. Although listed as a “Boarder,” Gottlieb is Saul’s wife’s maiden name. As such, she must be related. It is unclear if this is Sarah’s mother or an aunt.


The 1910 Census shows that the Amsterdam family moved to 1433 50th in Brooklyn. Saul was still in real estate (a broker now). Besides four-year-old “Eli,” Sarah’s mother, Rebecca Gottlieb, lived with them. Additionally, they had a servant living with them. Sarah’s three children were living, and Rebecca’s seven children were all alive in 1910.

The 1915 New York Census shows the Amsterdam family still at 1433 50th in Brooklyn. It documents the twins Herald and Bernard. Sarah’s mother, Rebecca Gottlieb, is still living with them. A new servant, Sadie Burcheska, is living with them. Samson is attending high school; Evelyn and Elias are also in school.

Military Service

On 2 May 1917, Samson enlisted in the Regular Army at Fort Slocum, Winchester County, New York. On 18 November 1917, Samson was discharged from the Regular Army to enlist in the ERC—Enlisted Reserve Corps (now the U.S. Army Reserves). Samson was supposed to ship out on 26 November 1917 aboard the USS Aeolus (ID-3005); however, his name was stricken from the ship’s manifest. Instead, he remained stateside with the Medical Detachment of the 503rd Engineers. He was stationed at the Post Hospital, Fort Hamilton, NY, from October 1918 until January 1919, and stationed at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, from 28 January 1919 until his discharge on 5 June 1919.


I have been unsuccessful in finding Sammy in the 1920 Census, but the 1925 New York Census found him back home with his parents and three brothers, now at 86 Halsey Street. His occupation is listed as “Theatrical.” The building at 86 Halsey is still standing.

In March and April of 1926, Donna was doing her “Donna Darling’s Little Jewel Revue” in Michigan, Upstate New York, West Virginia, and Brooklyn. So, it must have been a whirlwind romance because Sammy and Donna married on 19 April 1926 in Manhattan. The two started the Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark the first week of May.

Marriage 1 – Madonna Mae Montran (aka Donna Darling)

Children of Samson and Madonna (Montran) Amsterdam

Name Born Married Died
Russell Erwin Amsterdam [Kees][3] Aug 1927 Delphine Ann Sieradski 2016
Sammy, Russell, & Donna at the Beach, circa 1928.
Sammy, Russell, & Donna at the Beach, circa 1928.

Sammy and Donna took their vaudeville show across the country. They played in New York, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, & Iowa, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, with stops in Ontario before returning to ending the show in July 1927, just eight weeks before Russell was born.

It appears that Sammy and Donna took off for several months but restarted the Donna Darling and Sammy Clark show in April 1928.

In 1929 Sammy and Donna went to Panama, where they worked.


Something happened between Sammy and Donna in Panama as they left the country estranged. The passenger list for their return in April 1930[4] shows them in different cabins and indicates Donna going home to her mother’s address in Detroit and Sammy going home to his mother’s address in New York. I have found no evidence they ever were together again.

In 1939 Sammy traveled to Cuba and returned.


I have not found Sammy in the 1940 Census. However, from May to July 1940, Sammy lived in Chicago, where he was initiated, passed, and raised as a Master Mason in the Henry Horner Lodge #402 in Illinois.

Military Service Again

By February 1942, Sammy had located to Odessa, Ector County, Texas. He lived at 613 W 9th Street and worked at a nightclub, the Village Barn, when he registered for the draft. He enlisted that following October in the Army Air Corps. His marital status was “divorced, without dependents.”


In May 1950, Sammy and his mother Sarah took a month-long trip to Europe. They sailed aboard the RMS Queen Mary to Cherbourg, France, and returned aboard the RMS Caronia in June 1950. Sammy’s address was 540 West Avenue, Miami Beach. Today, that address is a modern (built in 2005), luxury, high-rise condo, known as Bentley Bay North.

Marriage 2 – Elvie (Bolton) Anderson

In 1951 Sammy married Elvie (Bolton) Anderson in Dade County, Florida.

During the 1950s, Sammy had a theatrical booking agency in Miami Beach on Collins Ave. His home address was 6295 SW 116th Street.[5]


Sammy lived in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, when he died on 13 April 1979. He is buried at Riverside Cemetery in Macon

Events by Location

  • Florida, Dade                                  Marriage 2 (1951)
  • Florida, Dade, Miami Beach     1950
  • Florida, Dade, Miami                   1954-1955
  • Georgia, Bibb, Macon                  1979 & Death
  • Illinois, Cook, Chicago                 1940
  • New York, Brooklyn                      Birth, 1910-1915, 1925, 1930,
  • New York, Manhattan                  1900-1905, Marriage 1 (1926)
  • New Jersey, Camp Merritt          Military Service – 1917-1919
  • Texas, Ector, Odessa                     1942
  • Texas, Lubbock, Lubbock           Military Service 1942-1945
  • Panama                                               1929-1930


Do not confuse Samson Clark Amsterdam with Sam Amsterdam, born 26 December 1899 in Manhattan, New York, the son of Gerry Amsterdam, or Sam Amsterdam, born 26 November 1899 in Manhattan, New York.


  • 1900 Census (F.S.), Family Search, 1900 – Saul Amsterdam – Head. “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 January 2022), Saul Amsterdam, Borough of Manhattan, Election District 13 New York City Ward 4, New York County, New York, United States; citing enumeration district (E.D.) 80, sheet 20A, family 347, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,241,084.
  • 1910 Census (F.S.), Family Search, 1910 – Saul Amsterdam – Head – Brooklyn, New York.
  • City Directory (A), Ancestry.Com, Miami, Florida – 1955 – Page 42 – Amsterdam. U.S., City Directories, 1822-1995 –Miami, Florida, City Directory, 1955 – Image 23 of 414.
  • Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Sammy Amsterdam (1898-1979) – No Image. Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed 26 January 2022), memorial page for Sammy Amsterdam (20 July 1898–13 April 1979), Find a Grave Memorial ID 54396367, citing Riverside Cemetery, Macon, Bibb County, Georgia, USA; Maintained by David Hutchins Israel (contributor 47406641).
  • Florida, U.S., Marriage Indexes, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001, Ancestry, Sampson Amsterdam – Elvie Anderson – 1951. Florida, U.S., Marriage Indexes, 1822-1875 and 1927-2001 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006.
  • Masonic Record – Samson Amsterdam – ID 321333.
  • New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940, Family Search, Marriage: Samson Amsterdam & Madonna Montana – 19 April 1926. “New York, New York City Marriage Records, 1829-1940,” database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Ida Barber in the entry for Samson Amsterdam and Madonna Montran, 19 April 1926; citing Marriage, Manhattan, New York, New York, United States, New York City Municipal Archives, New York; FHL microfilm 1,643,705.
  • New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957, Family Search, Amsterdam, Samson – Amsterdam, Sarah. “New York, New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957,” database with images, FamilySearch ( : 2 March 2021), Samson Amsterdam, 1950; citing Immigration, New York City, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication T715 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937, Ancestry, Samson New York, New York, U.S., Extracted Marriage Index, 1866-1937 – Amsterdam – Madonna Montran – 19 April 1926 – (No Image).
  • New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957, Ancestry, Samson Amsterdam – Arrival 8 April 1930 to New York 8 April 1930. Year: 1930; Arrival: New York, New York, USA; Microfilm Serial: T715, 1897-1957; Line: 1; Page Number: 82.
  • New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957, Ancestry, Year: 1939; Arrival:,; Microfilm serial: T715; Microfilm roll:
  • New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1905; Election District: A.D. 04 E.D. 11; City: Manhattan; County: New York; Page: 58
  • New York, U.S., State Census, 1915, Ancestry, Saul Amsterdam, Head. New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1915; Election District: 44; Assembly District: 16; City: New York; County: Kings; Page: 21.
  • New York, U.S., State Census, 1925, Ancestry, Saul Amsterdam, Head. New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 26; Assembly District: 17; City: Brooklyn; County: Kings; Page: 22.
  • S., Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917-1919, Ancestry, New York – Samson Amsterdam. Original data: New York State Abstracts of World War I Military Service, 1917–1919. Adjutant General’s Office. Series B0808. New York State Archives, Albany, New York.
  • S., Army Transport Service Arriving and Departing Passenger Lists, 1910-1939,
  • The National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland; Record Group Title: Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General, 1774-1985; Record Group Number: 92; Roll or Box Number: 363.
  • S., Departing Passenger and Crew Lists, 1914-1966, Ancestry, Samson Amsterdam, Departs New York, 9 May 1950 aboard the Queen Mary. Sarah Amsterdam, Departs New York, 9 May 1950 aboard the Queen Mary. The National Archives at Washington, D.C.; Washington, D.C.; Series Title: Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels and Airplanes Departing from New York, New York, 07/01/1948-12/31/1956; NAI Number: 3335533; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787-2004; Record Group Number: 85; Series Number: A4169; NARA Roll Number: 74.
  • S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry.Com, Probably. Number: 468-09-2273; Issue State: Minnesota; Issue Date: Before 1951.
  • S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, Ancestry.Com, Number: 350-09-2088; Issue State: Illinois; Issue Date: Before 1951.
  • S., World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946, Ancestry, Samson Amsterdam (No Image). National Archives at College Park; College Park, Maryland, USA; Electronic Army Serial Number Merged File, 1938-1946; NAID: 1263923; Record Group Title: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789-ca. 2007; Record Group: 64; Box Number: 00241; Reel: 24.
  • S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 (National Archives), Ancestry.Com, Sam Amsterdam. National Archives at St. Louis; St. Louis, Missouri; WWII Draft Registration Cards for Texas, 10/16/1940-03/31/1947; Record Group: Records of the Selective Service
  • United Kingdom, Outgoing Passenger Lists, 1890-1960, Family Search, Samson Amsterdam – Departed England 2 June 1950. Image at Find My Past.Com. “United Kingdom, Outgoing Passenger Lists, 1890-1960”, database, FamilySearch ( : 28 October 2021), Samson Amsterdam, 1950.
  • United States Social Security Death Index, Family Search, Social Security Number: 350-09-2088; Issue State: Illinois; Issue Date: Before 1951.


[1] My own numbering system. Ancestor #6 would be the biological maternal grandfather. The I use the “S” to indicate a step-father and the “3” to indicate it is the 3rd stepfather.

[2] Samson is listed as Sampson, Samuel, and Sammy in different documents and are interchangeable in this document. (I try to use the name used in the source document.)

[3] Born Amsterdam, Russell used the surname Kees through most of his life.

[4] Sammy was aboard the S.S. Columbia between Panama and New York during the 1930 Census and is not listed there.

[5] Per Zillow, the home currently at 6295 SW 116th St. was built in 1998.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 68

Four Orpheum Theaters

Treasure Chest Thursday,
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at ten clippings from seven different pages. Nine of them relate to the Orpheum Theaters in various locations. But first, there was a “Donna Darling Review” trade advertisement. It clearly was a clipping from a magazine. It didn’t provide anything about a theater. It gives the title of their show and who the director was.

A Novel Revue in Five Scenes



Direction: Lew Holleb
Lew Goldberg Office, Chicago

I think I can use this ad as a graphic for the entire show period.


Next, there were two clippings of “California Motion Picture Bathing Beauties” featuring Donna Darling. The theater is the “Orpheum-Racine’s Play House Deluxe” and the date is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving was the November 27th in 1924. I had already determined that Donna played at the Racine Orpheum theatre on Nov 27, 28, & 29, so I am able to add the date to these two clippings.

Des Moines

There are three clippings that show another Orpheum theater. They are identified as under “Direction of Alexander Frank.” Alexander Frank provided direction to several theaters in Iowa during the 1920s. One of those theaters was in Des Moines. I had already established that Donna played the Des Moines Orpheum on January 2nd to the 5th, 1927; so, I’m sure this show is the show the clippings are related to.

Tulsa & Oklahoma City

The last three items include an Orpheum Theater Program. There is no date nor location with it. However, another clipping shows the Orpheum theater with the same acts also on the bill and had hand-written on it “Tulsa Okla.” Also, is a short ad showing the Donna Darling Revue “this W’k, Orpheum, Tulsa & Oklahoma City, Okla.”

Donna played the Orpheum Theater in Oklahoma City on December 9, 1923 and the Orpheum in Tulsa on December 13-14, 1923. At first I thought this venue must have been one of these two. Further research on line found acts different from the ones in the clippings played on those dates. Finally, a search for “Sie Tehar Troup” found they played in Oklahoma City with the “Darling Revue” starting Thursday, 12 August 1926. It is possible the same group played in Tulsa sometime in August 1926, however, I have not been able to find any papers for that time period and location, yet.


November 27-29, 1924 – Racine, Wisconsin – Orpheum – Bathing Beauties with Donna Darling. – DDC-68

January 2-5, 1927 – Des Moines, IA – Orpheum – Donna Darling Revue – – Archives.Com – DCC-68 

Two New Venues Discovered:

August 12, 1926 – Oklahoma City, OK – Orpheum Theater.

August ??, 1926 – Tulsa, OK – Orpheum – Darling Revue – DDC-68

Donna Darling Collection – Part 67

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

Two Temple Theaters

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection that relate to two  Temple Theaters.

The good news is that I encountered Temple Theaters previously.

Back in Donna Darling Collection – Part 39, I learned that Donna had played at the Temple Theater in Brantford, Ontario from January 27 to January 29, 1927.

Back in Donna Darling Collection – Part 63, I learned that Donna & Sammy played at a Temple Theater at the same time as Richard Talmadge’s movie “The Wall Street Wiz” sometime in May 1926 or later.

The first of the two clippings suggested that Donna and Sammy were at the Temple theater in “Braneford, Ont.”  After a closer look, it appeared the “e” was actually a “t” and the location was Brantford, Ontario. The advertisement shows the movie “The Only Way” with Sir. John Martin Harvey was playing.

The second image is unlabeled. It indicates that:

Temple Presents Act by California Bathing Girls

The Temple presents a pleasing bill for the last half of this week headed by the well-known singer and bathing beauty, Donna Montran, assisted by 10 of California’s selected peaches, in a most unusual offering of song and dance, entitled “A Beach Promenade.” A pretentious dancing revue is offered by the Homer Girls and Pease. Their revue is splendidly produced with special scenery and costumes and original music. It consists of dancing, both old and new…..

Other shows on the bill include:

  • Jess and Dell as “The Human Puppets”
  • Fred and Tommy Haden, “The American Englishmen”
  • Miss Leila Shaw in “There She Goes Again
  • Jay Raymond – “Soap Box Orator” (Possibly – unclear if he is an act or is only being referred to.

Donna began her “California Bathing Girls” in July 1920 and ended it in May 1921. So, this clipping comes from that period.

During that time, her show venues were in six Mid-Atlantic states, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC. There are 14 theaters in New York alone. Hopefully, a newspaper article will come up showing Donna at a Temple Theater with the same side acts.


I added a date of 1927-01-27 to the image of the Brantford, Ont., clipping and file.

I added “Before May 1921 and after July 1920 – Temple Theatre, unknown location. (See DDC-67)” to her career calendar.