Ethel Wight Collection – Part 36

Crandon, Crawford, Creamer, Croft, & Crosman

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 vital 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.

Dorothy Creamer, Nurse, circa 1937

This negative envelope says, “Miss Dorothy Creamer, State St Hospital, Portland #863.”

Dorothy Creamer, Nurse, circa 1937

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Dorothy Creamer as a student nurse at 62 State and residing at 52 State.
  • The 1940 US Federal Census reports 23-year-old Dorothy Creamer as a Registered Nurse lodging at 145 Spring Street.
  • The 1930 US Federal Census reports 13-year-old Dorothy L Creamer living with her parents, Milton J. and Hattie E. Creamer, in Waldoboro, Lincoln County, Maine. Additionally, the census reports Dorothy A Creamer as the 13-year-old niece of Everett P. and Myrtle Creamer living in Embden, Somerset County, Maine.
  • Dorothy L Creamer married Merrill S. Harrington on 28 February 1942. Dorothy A. Creamer of Calais, ME, married Earl F. Gaddis on 21 November 1936.
  • So this photo must be of Dorothy Creamer, daughter of Milton J. and Hattie E. Creamer and later wife of Merrill S. Harrington about 1937 when she graduated from nursing school.

Alternatives

I do not believe this is Dorothy Creamer, daughter of Everet and Myrtle Cream, because she married Earl Gaddis in 1936 and appears with him in the 1940 Census.

Disposition

Family Search identifies Dorothy L. Creamer, the daughter of Milton James and Hattie Elsie (Rines) Creamer, as ID L2FJ-5YB. I uploaded this photo to her Family Search Memories. Eight trees at Ancestry.Com mention Dorothy Creamer.

Charles J. Crandon, ca. 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. Chas Crandon, 35 Pennell  Ave, Portland #573.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Charles J. Crandon, ca. 1937
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory lists Charles J. Crandon (and his wife Nina E.) living at 35 Pennell Ave.
  • The 1938 Portland City Directory lists Charles and Nina living at 25 Cypress.
  • The 1940 US Census enumerated the 35-year-old Charles, still living with his wife, Nina, at 25 Cypress.
  • Charles J. Crandon, the spouse of Nina Leola Elwell, was born on 28 May 1904.
  • This photo was taken about 1937 when Charles was about 33 years old.

Family Search identifies Charles J. Crandon, husband of Nina Leola Elwell, and who lived in Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, in 1940 as id LT32-VF6. Seventeen trees at Ancestry.Com mention Charles J. Crandon.

I have uploaded two photos of Charles to his Family Search Memories.

W. J. (William Joseph) Croft, circa 1937

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mr. W. J. Croft, 150 Park St, Portland #203.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

W. J. (William Joseph) Croft, circa 1937
  • The 1935 Portland City Directory indicates that Mary A Kyle married William J. Croft.
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory reports William Croft, an account investigator at 515 Congress and residing at 150 Park. It is odd, but not unheard of, that he is listed, but his wife is not.
  • In the 1940 Census, William J. Croft and his wife Mary lived in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • William J. Croft, born in England, lived in Baltimore, but died in Portland, Maine, on 23 August 1956. His high requiem mass was held in Portland, and he was buried in Calvary Cemetery in South Portland.[iii]
  • William Joseph Croft, who died on 23 August 1956, was born on 31 December 1904. This photo was taken about 1937 when William Joseph Croft was about 33 years old.

Alternative Individuals

There was a William Croft, born about 1889 in Canada and immigrated to the US in 1904. In 1910 he was a private in the US Army stationed at Fort McKinley. I do not believe this is the same William Croft as the man in the photo looks younger than 50, and there are no other references to that William Croft in the Portland, Maine, area.

Disposition

Family Search does not appear to have a profile for William Joseph Croft, born 31 December 1904 and the husband of Mary Ann Kraft. However, two trees at Ancestry.Com refer to him.

I have included W. J. Croft’s photo here and also uploaded it to Dead Fred.

Genevieve Crosman, circa 1934

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. Chas. Crosman, 459 St. John St., Portland, ME #379.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • Genevieve Crosman, circa 1934

    The 1934 Portland City Directory lists Charles S Crosman, a clerk at 516 Congress, living with his wife, Bernice, at 459 St. John.

  • The 1940 US Census shows Charles S Crossman and his wife, Bernice, living at 51 Roberts Street. With them is their six-year-old daughter Genevieve L Crossman.
  • Further research found that Genevieve Lillas Crosman was born on 8 October 1933 to Charles Staples and Bernice M (White) Crosman.

Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Genevieve Lillas Crosman; however, her parents are identified – Charles S Crossman as id L17D-8T3 and Bernice M White as GSQP-PLSOne tree at Ancestry.Com refers to Genevieve Crosman.

I have uploaded one photo of Genevieve Crosman to Dead Fred.

Elizabeth J. Crawford, circa 1937 (age 8)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. J. C. Crawford, 128 Glenwood Ave, Portland #102.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

Elizabeth J. Crawford, circa 1937 (age 8)
  • The 1936 Portland City Directory lists John C Crawford, a Manager at 615 Forest Ave, and his wife, Gladys E, living at 128 Glenwood Ave.
  • The 1930 US Census lists John C Crawford, his wife Gladys E, and their daughter Elizabeth J. Crawford.
  • Further research found that Elizabeth J. Crawford, daughter of John Caleb and Gladys E (Legrow) Crawford, was born on 3 July 1929.

Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Elizabeth J. Crawford. There are nine trees at Ancestry.Com that refer to Elizabeth J. Crawford, the daughter of John C and Gladys E (Legrow) Crawford.

I estimate this photo was taken about 1937 when Elizabeth was about eight years old. I have added her picture to Dead Fred.

Conclusion

    • I identified two individuals with Family Search profiles that I uploaded photos to their “Memories.”
    • I also identified three individuals that did not have Family Search profiles, so I posted those photos 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.

[iii] The Baltimore Sun (Baltimore, Maryland) 26 Aug 1956, Page 37.

Donna in the News – Seven New Venues

Chin Chin
In the News
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.“Donna in the News” is my reporting of newly found newspaper articles and advertising regarding my grandmother, Madonna Montran (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 I researched “Chin Chin,” the show Donna joined in October 1919, while it was already on tour. Thanks to Newspapers.com, I was able to learn of seven new appearances of “Chin Chin.”

Date in 1919 Theatre Location
Nov 1 Chatterton Opera House Bloomington, IL
Nov 3 Plumb Theatre Streator, IL
Nov 4 Dixon Opera House Dixon, IL
Nov 5 Greene’s Cedar Rapids, IA
Nov 6 Berchel Des Moines, IA
Nov 21 Sterling Theater or
Rex Theatre[i]
Greeley, CO
Dec 9 Arcade Theatre La Grande, OR

The Greeley showing was an exciting find because the theater wasn’t identified. On November 27, 1919, the Windsor Beacon (Windsor, CO) reported:

The Windsor Beacon, Windsor, CO – Nov 27, 1919

MANY TAKE IN SHOW AT
   GREELEY FRIDAY NIGHT
—–

“Chin Chin” was the attraction which took many Windsor people to Greeley last Friday night. Among those known to have attended were:

Dr. and Mrs. T. B. Gormly…

(Note: Windsor is about ten miles northwest of Greeley.)

Followup

The 1921 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide reports Both the “Republican” and the “Tribune” as newspapers that serviced Greeley. I’ll need to find sources for those newspapers when I write more about “Chin Chin” playing in Greeley.

Because of those newly available online articles, I was able to add another seven venues for Donna’s “Chin Chin” tour.

New information added to her career list:

    • Nov 1, 1919 – Bloomington, IL – Chatterton Opera House
    • Nov 3, 1919 – Streator, IL – Plumb
    • Nov 4, 1919 – Dixon, IL – Dixon Opera House
    • Nov 5, 1919 – Cedar Rapids, IA – Greene’s
    • Nov 6, 1919 – Des Moines, IA – Berchel
    • Nov 21, 1919 – Greeley, Colorado – (Sterling or Rex Theatre)
    • Dec 9, 1010 – Arcade Theatre – La Grande, Oregon

– – – Disclaimer – – –


Endnotes

[i] Vaudeville Trails Thru the West “By one who knows” – Herbert Lloyd, page 98, reports only one theatre in Greeley, Colorado, the Sterling Theatre. It indicates the Sterling operated on Thursday for a 3PM matinee and an 8:15 PM night show. This could have been a special Friday night show. Alternately, the 1921 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide for 1921 indicates that a second theater, the Rex Theatre, J. Lynch, Mgr. had a seating capacity of 800 and also played Traveling Companies.

My Genealogical Process – Part 2 of 2

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This article is part two of my genealogical process (Part 1 is here). In Part 1, I selected an ancestor, determined what I know, reviewed what I think I know, and looked at what others think they know about my ancestor. The following steps in my process are:

    • Basic Research.
      • Family Search.
      • Ancestry
      • Your Other Paid Services.
      • The Basic Questions.
      • The Secondary Questions.
      • Build and USE Your “Toolkit.”
    • Resolve or Elucidate Conflicts.
    • Document

The Basic Research

Family Search

I like Family Search for several reasons. First and foremost, it is free. Next, I like how it is easy to copy the source citation data and many of the facts to the clipboard on my computer. It is also easy to download the images to my computer. I always rename the file to one based upon the data found at the top of the page. For example, If I found Enoch Mannin in the 1880 Census, the top of the presentation page says:

Enoch Mannin
United States Census, 1880

I would then download the image file and name it “Enoch Mannin – United States Census, 1880.jpg.”

Next, I create my source. Under the “Notes Tab,”[i] I review the actual document and note any details that weren’t in the copy-paste of information. I add those notes or details to my notes and color the text. I add my notes in purple, so I know what I’ve added.

For example, I would add Enoch was a farmer, Manerva was Keeping house, and Sam attended school.

Ancestry

I have an Ancestry subscription, which I use a lot. Ancestry Library Edition is available at most libraries and can be a great help if you are on a budget. Ancestry allows for much more complicated searches. You can add a keyword to your search criteria to possibly find that ancestor with a common name that you know lived on Main Street. Once I’ve discovered a record I associate with my ancestor, I download the image and “print to PDF” the record’s details. I name both files with the same name, but one is a .jpg, and the other is a .pdf. I open the pdf and add any facts in the image but not in the printable transcribed document.

Other Services

I also have subscriptions to Newspapers.Com and several other services. I figure if I pay for it, I better use it to find something about my ancestor. Searching newspapers often can provide amazing tidbits of information. I usually search for my ancestor using various name formats (i.e., “John Smith” or “Smith, John” in a particular state during particular years. Newspaper searches can be very enlightening.

It is also when you should search any other services you may have available through your library, such as MyHeritage or other sources.

The Basic Questions

The goal of this initial research is to learn the basic facts about your ancestor. Those facts include:

    • Birth – Where, when & parents’ names
    • Marriage – Date, place, spouse’s name.
    • Death – Date & place; burial
    • Census (Find the individual in all censuses.)
    • Children (Births, marriages & deaths of all)

The Secondary Questions

The findings from the basic questions should lend themselves to asking many secondary questions. For example, if an ancestor is reported in the 1940 census as having had a college degree, can you find that ancestor in a yearbook or otherwise find information about their education. Likewise, if your ancestor owned their home, can you find a deed, grant, bounty, or other land ownership document.

Based upon what you have learned during the basic questions, your secondary questions might include searching for the following:

    • Burial/Will/Probate records
    • Education records
    • Fraternal organizations
    • Immigration/Naturalization
    • Land Ownership
    • Military Service
    • Religion/Church Records

By no means is a complete list of secondary questions. Instead, secondary questions should be questions about additional records you can search for.

Your Toolkit

As you research, you can build your own “toolkit” of websites you find particularly useful. I find the Family Search Research Wiki particularly useful. It tells if there was a state census, if a county lost all of its records, and often when the state required various documents. It is my go-to place for ideas.

My second essential toolkit site is The Ancestor Hunt. Initially focused upon newspaper website, it now included links to eighteen Resource Categories, including Obituaries, Directories, School Records, even Coroner Records. It is a great resource.

Cyndi’s List is another fantastic resource. She has hundreds of categories of websites that you can find hundreds of links to various websites. She has so many links and information; I highly recommend using the “Search Cyndi’s List” search box. If you don’t know what to search for, you can find a topic by following the comprehensive category lists.

Admittedly, I tend to use online resources in my toolkit, but I do use various “Cheat Sheets,” particularly “Family Tree Magazine Research Guides.” They can also provide ideas of places to look for sources of information regarding your family. Continuing on the Research Guides, Rootsweb (now Ancestry owned) has a great reference book called Red Book: Sate, County, & Town Sources, which is now available online.

Lastly, develop your own toolkit for websites. I use my bookmarks in Chrome to store the hundreds of websites I use for my research. As an example of my toolkit, I’ve exported my “Maine” bookmarks and posted them as my “Maine Toolkit.” http://dontaylorgenealogy.com/maine-toolkit/. You will see it is throrough but not complete. Other sites of links, such as Cyndi’s List and The Ancestor Hunt, provide links to sites based upon the author’s organizational method. You should organize your bookmarks in a way that fits your way of doing business and contain links to sites or pages that worked for you.

Resolve or Elucidate Conflicts

You can never be done researching an ancestor; however, at some point you will come to the conclusion you have researched an ancestor “enough for now.” Then is time to evaluate what you have found.

When I find facts, I add them all to my genealogical software. So, I may have multiple names, different ages, different places of birth for an individual. I then evaluate the evidence. For example, was his name “Henry William Brown” or “William Henry Brown.” I then look at the sources. Are they primary[ii] or secondary[iii]? Is the evidence Direct[iv] or Indirect[v]?

When there is a conflict between facts, explain why you selected a particular fact as “preferred.”

Document any fact “shortfalls.” Are there missing birth, census, marriage, or death records? Are there any undocumented children? Also, in my notes about the person I add things like, “Do not confuse with [another person with similar attributes].

Further Actions

What might need to be done, where can find the answers?

    • “Further Actions” might be a “traditional research” plan. It makes sense to do one once you know the exact question you are wondering about.
    • Is there a record somewhere you know of that you must go somewhere to see or view? Do you need to hire a genealogist to find it?
    • Is there a brick wall? If so, what might you do to bust it down? For example, I can’t find anything about my great-grandfather, John Montran. To help find answers, I have created a newspaper automated search for anyone named “Montran” that is in the news. Hopefully, I’ll find something that will provide additional information to help me learn more about him.

Document

Much like property value is based upon three things: location, location, and location, my first rule in genealogy is document, document, and document. Not only does the process of documenting help force organization to your work, but it also helps you to consider everything carefully.

This is also a great time to research your ancestor’s locations and local to uncover events that may have contributed to their story. For example, I learned:

    • The Columbia Turnpike opened in 1799 between Berkshire County, MA, and Catskill, Greene County, NY.
    • My ancestors moved from Berkshire County to Windham, Greene County, NY in 1802 (25 miles from Catskill).
    • It is my supposition my Parsons ancestors took advantage of the improved transportation to make the move. So, I might write something like:
      • ” The opening of the Columbia Turnpike in 1799 provided an easy route for the Parsons family to locate to Windham, NY, in 1802.”

Share

I am a huge proponent of sharing your research, conclusions, and opinions. You have spent hours researching and learning about your ancestor’s life. If you keep it to yourself, it will be lost eventually. If you aren’t proud of your research and don’t want to share it because it “might be wrong,” leave that to people who review it. Be sure to show your sources and explain why you decided upon a preferred fact, so your work will be accepted by others.

I wish you well and hope you develop your own process to review, research, elucidate conflicts, and document the lives of your ancestors.


ENDNOTES

[i] I use Family Tree Maker 2019 for Mac. However, most computer software easily allows you to paste text from your clipboard to your software’s notes.

[ii] Primary Sources are records that were created at the time of the event by a person who had direct knowledge of the event.

[iii] Secondary Sources are records that were created by a person that was not a participant of the event or is a record that was not created at the time of the event.

[iv] Direct evidence states a fact exactly and clearly.

[v] Indirect evidence provides information that you must interpret to reach a conclusion.

“Chin Chin” – The Illinois Theatre, Urbana, Illinois – 31 October 1919

Vaudeville – “Chin Chin”
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Donna joined the “Chin Chin” production on 30 October 1919 when it played the Lincoln Square Theater in Decatur, Illinois. After the show in Decatur, the cast and crew traveled the 50 miles northeast to Urbana for a Halloween show.

I learned of this showing thanks to the marvelous Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection. My thanks for their collection, which is free to search, browse, and download. In researching “Chin Chin” playing at the Illinois Theatre, I found three different papers that carried articles and advertising for the show.

The Urbana Daily Courier

The Urbana Daily Courier, Oct 25, 1919, Page 2

The first mention I’ve found for the show was in the Urbana Daily Courier dated October 25th. It was a standard display ad showing “Chin-Chin” would be at the Illinois Theatre in Urbania on Friday, October 31st.

The Urbana Daily Courier, Oct 27, 1919, Page 4

Two days later, the same ad appeared, plus there was a photo showing “Aladdin and the American Girl in Charles Dillingham’s stupendous production of “Chin Chin.” Illinois Theatre, Friday, October 31.”

<1919-10-27 – The Urbana Daily Courier, Page 4 – Chin Chin – Illinois Theatre.jpg>

Finally, on October 30th, the Urbana Daily Courier had a written article on Page 5.

“CHIN CHIN,” COMING TO THE ILLINOIS OCTOBER 31

—–

Do you remember when you were just a tiny chap, how you would read the “Thousand and One Nights” or the wonderful adventures of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” and “Sinbad the Sailor,” and all the rest of those fascinating characters, and how from out of them all emerged “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” as the prime adventure of them all?

And now, Aladdin—a very modern Aladdin—very much in love with an American girl, appears in Charles Dillingham’s “Chin Chin.”

In this musical play everything comes Aladdin’s way upon wishing and rubbing the wonderful lamp, thereby causing many strange and wonderful situations.

Walter Wills and Roy Binder, as the two slaves of the lamp, kept the audience in constant laughter thru the seven scenes of three acts that cover one hundred and fifty minutes of the most enjoyable fun.

Among the many features in this gigantic show are the Teddy Bear dance, Tom Brown’s saxophone band, a real circus tent with an “honest to goodness” bit white circus horse circling around the wing, while Mlle. Falloffsky performs the most daring and screamingly funny bareback stunts.

The Champaign Daily News

The Champaign Daily News began with the same advertisement as Courier on 26 October 1919, page 14. A slightly larger ad ran in the October 30th and October 31st papers. Also, on page 12 of the October 31st paper was a short advertising article.

The Champaign Daily News, Volume 25, Number 79, October 31, 1919

At the Illinois.

Charles Dillingham’s sumptuous and only production of “Chin Chin,” as seen for two years in New York, comes to the Illinois theatre, Urbana, Friday evening at 8:15.

This delightful and famous entertainment will be presented in its original entirely with Walter Wills and Roy Binder in the lead. In the musically rich show such numbers a “Violet,” “The grey Moon,” “Love Moon,” “Goodbye, Girls, I’m Through,” and the comedy song, “Go Gar Sig Gong-Jue,” always receive hearty applause.

The book is by Anne Caldwell and R. H. Burnside, the lyrics by Anne Caldwell and James O’Dea and the music by Ivan Caryll, so well remembered for his ingratiating melodies in

Cont.: The Champaign Daily News, Volume 25, Number 79, October 31, 1919

“The Pink Lady” and “The Little Café.”

Seven gorgeous settings make up the stupendous production—pretty dresses, swift and grotesque dancing, and lots of prankish amusement, including Tom Brown’s clown band as the famous saxophone sextet.

Other principals with this, the only production of “Chin Chin,” are Joseph Robison, George Usher, Richard Bosch, English Cody, George Phelps, Marian Sleeman, Edna Peckham, Jessie Walsh, Violet Tree, Ethel Lawrence, Nora Seiler, Marie Cavanaugh, Margaret Sharpe, Helen McDonald, also Joseph Boyle and Thomas Bell as “Frisco,” the horse, and a large singing and dancing chorus of pretty girls and girls and girlies.—Adv.

This ad was submitted to the newspaper before Donna joined the show, so her name doesn’t appear.  However, it does give a good listing of others in the show. All are worthy of further research.

The Daily Illini

The Student Newspaper of the University of Illinois, The Daily Illini, is another important source of information for the Champaign-Urbana area. The campus was only a few blocks away from the theater. It had a circulation of 1,500 and the Courier’s circulation was about 2,500.[i] The October 26th paper included a small ad, on page seven, similar to the ads in the Urbana Daily Courier; however, it also contained a short text ad in the Theatres column.

The Daily Illini, Oct 26, 1919, Page 7

AT THE ILLINOIS

Tuneful and Joyful “Chin Chin”

“Chin Chin” with its six cylinder reputation behind it, just as tuneful and fantastic as it was when New York worshipped for two years at its Chinese fun shrine, will appear at the Illinois Theatre on Friday, October 31.

The story revolves around the missing wishing lamp sought at any cost by Edne Peckham as “Violet Bond,” the rich American girl, in the search for which the two happy coolies, enacted by Walter Wills and Roy Binder who rear many excruciating and nonsensical situations out of it, making it tower above a whole lot of the latter day musical comedies, then when these two gentlemen lay aside their Oriental garnishings and appear in burlesque of circus bareback riding, Celestial widows, side show ventriloquist and musicians extraordinary they cannot shunt off the encores that come.

On the day of the show, The Daily Illini ran both a display ad and a text ad describing the show.

The Daily Illini, Oct 31, 1919, Page 7.

AT THE ILLINOIS

“The Ragging of the Rag of Rags” with Walter Willis at the piano is one of the uproariously funny hits of “Chin Chin”. Instead of being on the wane, as a few prejudiced persons

Cont.: The Daily Illini – Oct. 31, 1919, Page 7

would like to believe, ragtime is steadily increasing from year to year. Ragtime will always be popular-anyhere, everywhere, except perhaps at a funeral.

Good ragtime music has become a standard article, and if the matter were put to a popular vote it would far outrank popular ETAOINHRDLU far outrank classical music by mere force of numbers, because nine-tenths of the people prefer ragtime and popular music.

This delightful and tuneful musical comedy with Walter Willis and Roy Binder in the leading roles is scheduled to appear at the Illinois theatre Friday, October 31. 

Illinois Theatre

My thanks to elmorovivo, who uploaded this image to Cinema Treasures. License.

The Urbana Opera House opened in 1908 and renamed the “Illinois Theater” sometime before 1913.

The 1913 Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide indicates the seating capacity of the theater 1,440 – 432 Lower Floor, 402 in the Balcony, 546 in the Gallery, and 60 in the boxes. The theater was managed by the F. & H. Amusement Co.; Jos. F. Huechler was the Resident Manager.

In the 1921 Julius Cahn guide, there is an abbreviated listing for the Illinois Theatre. It only states that the seating capacity was 1,294, and the manager was J. E. Duncan.

Specifications for the Illinois Theater (Urbana)[ii]

Proscenium opening: 35×30 ft
Front to back wall: 43 ft
Between side walls: 66 ft
Apron 3 ft
Between fly girders: 56 ft
To rigging loft: 62 ft
To fly gallery: 27 ft

The Illinois Theatre was on the south side of Bone Yard Creek. A plank-covered culvert between West Main Street and the theater provided easy walking to the theatre from the north side of town.[iii]

What happened to theater?

According to a comment on Cinema Treasures, in 1923, the theater was owned by Zenith Amusement Company, a Ku Klus Klan organization, and was used for Klan activities. Four years later, on April 3, 1927, a fire destroyed the Illinois Theatre.[iv] The remaining shell was converted into apartments for a while then the building was demolished.

Today

Today, the site contains an apartment building. Next door is a cafe and a small international and gourmet foods store.


Endnotes

[i] The Cahn-Leighton Official Theatrical Guide – 1913-1914, Page 179 & 180.

[ii] Ibid.

[iii] Library of Congress – Image 13 of Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps from Urbana, Champaign County, Illinois – https://www.loc.gov/resource/g4104um.g021941909/?sp=13&r=0.506,0.082,0.571,0.255,0

[iv] Internet – Cinema Treasures, Movie Theaters, United States, Illinois, Urbane, Illinois Theater – http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/51616

Ethel Wight Collection – Part 35

Coyne, & Cram(4)

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 vital 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.

Phyllis Katherine Cram, circa 1936 (age 20)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Phylis Cram, 11 Wolcott St, Portland #763.”

Phyllis Katherine Cram, circa 1936 (age 20)

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Phyllis K. Cram, a clerk working at 55 Forest Ave and residing at 11 Wolcott.
  • The 1930 Census lists Phyllis K. Cram as the 13-year-old daughter of Harris W and Emily I Cram living at 11 Wolcott.
  • Maine Birth Records show Phyllis Katherine Cram, daughter of Harris and Emily (Moses) Cram, was born on 9 July 1916.

This photo must be of Phyllis about 1936 when she was about 20 years old.

Family Search identifies Phyllis K Cram, the daughter of Harris W and Emily Isabella (Moses) Cram, as id LT9P-FGV. Three trees at Ancestry.Com refer to Phyllis Katherine Cram, who was born 9 July 1916.

I have uploaded her two photos to Family Search Memories.

Phyllis Clara Cram, circa 1937 (age 24)

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Phyllis Cram, 219 Brackett St, Portland #640.”

Phyllis Clara Cram, circa 1937 (age 24)

Why I believe this to be the individual.

    • The 1937 Portland City Directory lists Phillis C Cram as a teacher of expression at 219 Brackett and residing at the same address. The directory also shows Frank H Cram, and his wife Nellie, living at 219 Brackett.
    • The 1930 US Census enumerated Frank H and Nellie M Cram living at 219 Brackett Street. Their 17-year-old daughter, Phylis, is living with them.
    • Maine birth records indicate that Phyllis C. Cram was born 19 April 1913 in Portland, Cumberland County, Maine.

Family Search identifies Phyllis C. Cram, born 19 April 1913, as id G4T2-B92. I am sure this is Phyllis about 1937. Four trees at Ancestry.Com refer to Phyllis Clara Cram, born 19 April 1913 in Portland, Maine.

I have uploaded two photos of Phyllis to her Family Search Memories.

Sara “Sadie” A. Coyne, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Miss Sadie Coyne, 269 Danforth St., Portland #521.”

Sara “Sadie” A. Coyne, circa 1936

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Sadie A Coyne residing at 269 Danforth.
  • The 1930 US Census enumerated James B and his wife Delia A Coyne living at 269 Danforth. Living with them is their 20-year-old daughter, Sadie.
  • The 1937 Portland City Directory reports that Sadie A Coyne married Charles Hannaford and moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut.

I am sure this is a photo of Sadie about 1936 before she married and moved to Bridgeport.

Family Search identifies Sara (aka Sadie) Coyne, daughter of James & Delia Coyne, as id GCMX-68K. Also, four trees at Ancestry.Com refer to Sadie A Coyne.

I have uploaded two photos of Sadie to her Family Search Memories.

Beatrice M. Cram, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. H. W. Cram, 11 Wolcott St, Portland #753.”

Beatrice M. Cram, circa 1936

Why I believe this to be the individual.

    • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Harris W and Emily I Cram living at 11 Wolcott.
    • The 1930 US Census enumerated Harris and Emily living at 11 Wolcott with their two-year-old daughter, Beatrice M Cram.

Family Search does not appear to have a profile for Beatrice M Cram, the daughter of Harris William and Emily Isabella (Moses) Cram. Three trees at Ancestry.Com refer to Harris and Emily (Moses) Cram.

I have uploaded two photos of Beatrice to Dead Fred.

Emily Isabella (Moses) Cram, circa 1936

The envelope this negative was in says, “Mrs. H. W. Cram, 11 Wolcott St, Portland #779.”

Why I believe this to be the individual.

  • The 1935 Portland City Directory lists Harris W and Emily I Cram living at 11 Wolcott.
  • The 1930 US Census enumerated Harris and 37-year-old Emily living at 11 Wolcott.
  • Emily Isabella Moses, the wife of Harris William Cram, is identified in 4 Ancestry Trees. According to them, she was born 24 April 1892 in Gorham, Cumberland County, Maine.

Family Search identifies Emily Isabella Moses, the wife of Harris W. Cram, as ID LTMJ-JBS. I am sure this is Emily about 1936.

I have uploaded two photos of Emily to her Family Search Memories.

Conclusion

I had:

  • Four successful identifications which I posted to Family Search
  • I posted one photo set 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.