Montrans in the News – S. F. Auto Death – December 23, 1919
By Don Taylor
This week’s entry for Montran Monday is from the Stockton Daily Evening Record (Stockton, CA) dated 23 December 1919.
S. F. AUTO DEATH —– SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 23.—One man was killed and four others suffered severe injuries in an automobile accident today near the Hunter’s Point dry dock. E. W. Montran, 45, was killed. Antone G. Garra and J. Mintus are seriously injured. W. W. Parker suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries.
The automobile skidded on a wet place in the street and overturned according to reports received by police.
None of my records saw an E.W. Montran previously. So, I was able to add him to my records. E. W. Montran, born about 1874, died 23 Dec 1919 in San Francisco, California. A quick look at City Directories for San Francisco and Stockton for 1919 did not find any Montrans.
In the “California, Death Index, 1905-1939,” via Ancestry.Com, I learned that an Ernest W. Mottram died in San Francisco on 23 December 1919.
Further searches for E. W. Montran found one during the 1910 Census in Missouri and nothing after that. Additionally, the search for Ernest W. Mottram didn’t find anything of interest. So, I’m not sure if this is a Montran or a Mottram. Certainly, further, more in-depth, research should be considered for the future.
Stockton Daily Evening Record (Stockton, California) · Tue, Dec 23, 1919 · Page 2. “S. F. Auto Death” via Newspapers.Com.
Determine if the person who died on 23 December 1919 in San Francisco, CA, was E. W. Montran or Ernest W. Mottram.
[i] Montran Monday – My grandmother’s father was John Montran. She used the surname, as a young child and again when she began in show business. The name is uncommon and most of the Montrans I see in the newspapers are my grandmother during her early vaudeville career. However, with the constant flow of newly digitized material, I often learn of new articles which contain the Montran name. I pay attention to the finding and try to determine a possible relationship of any Montrans to Donna’s father, John Montran.
For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two pages from the Donna Darling Collection because two of the four clippings are related.
The first one (#1464) is a tiny clipping that filled in a memory gap I just couldn’t fill. I’ve seen photos of Donna with her little Pekingese dog many times and, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember the dog’s name. On this page is part of an article which says,
“On the Country club links tomorrow early golfers will see Donna Darling and Sammy Clark doing 18 holes. A little pekingese most likely will be in tow. It is “Gypsy,” the prima donna’s pet,
Reading it, I said to myself, “that’s it. The dog was Gypsy. I remember now.”
The second clipping on the page is for the Monache Theatre playing the “Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.” What is great about this clipping is that Donna hand wrote “Porterville, Calif. Oct 19” on it.
I knew Donna and Sammy played the Yost Broadway Theater in Santa Ana on October 7-9 and played at the American Theater in San Jose on October 23-26, 1926. Porterville is about halfway between Santa Ana and San Jose. This clipping provides information about a new venue for the show.
The second page consisted of two clippings. The first clipping was for the Burns Theatre in Colorado Springs, Co. I wrote about that clipping earlier in Part 21 of this series.
The second clipping “Vaudeville to Boast Plenty of Diversity” has a note handwritten across the top which says “Porterville, Calif.” The article also mentions the Monache Theatre, so it clearly belongs with the ad from 1464. The article reads, in part:
Recollections of famous beauty contests are revived with the presentation of the Donna Darling Revue, the headline act. Miss Darling was the winner of the Madison Square Garden beauty competition in New York city a few years ago, and was afterwards featured with “Chin Chin” and also with George White and Flo Ziegfeld. With Sammy Clark, “The Juvenile Komik” Rarring and Lazur, and Hal Dixon she will present a routine of songs and dances, garnished with comedy. Special stage setting and appropriate costumes enhance the beauty of the act making it worthy of more than passing potice.[sic]
Donna’s dog’s name was “Gypsy.”
The Donna Darling Review played at the Monache Theatre in Porterville, California, on 19 Oct 1926.
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.
For this week’s Treasure Chest Thursday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection concerning earthquakes. The earthquake was significant enough for Donna to clip newspaper articles about the experience. As New Yorkers, I’m sure an earthquake was scary for them.
Although the clippings aren’t dated, it is clear that they refer to the October 22, 1926 earthquake off the coast at Monterey[i]. We still don’t know where she and Sammy were on October 21st or 22nd, however, we know they played in San Jose on October 23rd through the 25th. San Jose is about 50 miles to the north of Monterey. We also know they played in Southern California earlier in the month and were working their way north. It is very possible they were actually in Monterey during the earthquake.
Windows Are Rattled As Quakes ‘Jiggle’ S. F.
Several buildings were slightly-damaged, a dozen plate glass-windows smashed and hundreds of curious persons routed from hotels and homes by three quakes that rocked northern and central California early today.A preliminary survey of the quakes’ effects showed the following damage:Two windows broken in office of McDonald & Co., brokers, in Palace Hotel Building.Small piece shaken from Ferry Building.Plaster from Sharon Building shaken into Market-st.Window of Selix Clothing store, 54 Mason-st, broken.The zone affected extended from Sacramento, on the north, to towns 150 miles south of San Francisco. None, however, reported serious damage.The first temblor rocked San Francisco gently at 4:35 o’clock. Thirty seconds later there was a second gentle swaying, strong enough to rattle windows and cause electric fixtures to sway.Exactly ‘an hour later a third temblor came, lasting several seconds. Although not as pronounced as the first, this shock stopped several electric clocks.Telephone service at several local exchanges was interrupted for 10 minutes by the first temblor and the electric system at Alameda was out of service for 20 minutes.The temblors rocked San Jose, Watsonville, Salinas, Monterey, Santa Cruz and nearby towns.Salinas reported that the shocks were the most severe since 1906.The United States navy radio service said that no disturbances I at sea had been reported.Curious thousands milled around I the streets from the time of the first temblor until daylight. Several hundreds of the most nervous wandered to the Civic Center and stood in little groups. Other open spaces found favor with early risers.A wax model in the B. F. Schlesinger department store, Oakland, was the only “casualty.” The model fell from a pedestal and crashed through a window. Its head was i severed. No other windows were reported broken in Oakland.Plaster fell in many buildings in Salinas, glassware was broken and clocks were stopped.Slight damage also was reported in Paso Robles.
The second article reads:
3 Quakes Jar S.F. and Valley Area
Three distinct earthquake shocks were felt in San Francisco and Central California today.The first was at 4:36 a. m., the second at 5:36 and the third at 6:42 a. m. The second was the most severe.Damage in San Francisco and the entire affected district was negligible, being confined to broken windows, falling plaster and a few minor cracks in buildings.The ‘‘shocks were felt as far north as Napa and south to San Luis Obispo, with varying intensity.San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda, Palo Alto, San Mateo and Monterey reported no damage except a few cracked ceilings and windows.Electric light service in the Eastbay was affected for a time.The center of the shocks appeared to be between San Francisco and Monterey according to the Associated Press. They were o£ a northerly and southerly movement, along the old fault line of the 1906 quake.
Although quite minor in nature, I’m sure Donna and Sammy quickly exited their hotel and hoped it wouldn’t be another “big one.” The disaster of the 1906 earthquake was only 20 years earlier and a fresh memory for many in the Bay area.
I remember the concern I had when I lived in San Diego and experienced my first earthquake. Although minor, such an experience can be very unsettling for those of us from areas of the country where the ground stays put. I can imagine what went through Donna and Sammy’s minds in the early morning of 22 October 1926.
[i]October 22, 1926 – A particularly strong earthquake was felt at 4:35 a.m. and did some damage. The tremor was off the coast at Monterey. It was stronger in San Francisco than at some places closer to the epicenter. A second tremor, much like the first, was felt at 5:35 a.m.
Source: The Internet – The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco – “San Francisco Earthquake History 1915-1989” http://www.sfmuseum.org/alm/quakes3.html
The John Montran Project is a personal project to explore the hypothesis that my great-grandfather, John Montran married twice. Once to Ida May Barber and once to Maude Minnie Winter. He had one daughter with Ida (Donna) and had two daughters with Maude. I hope to be able to confirm or refute that the two John Montrans were the same individual. In this article, I look at John Foster Montran’s granddaughter Olga Ruth Babcock. If my great-grandfather Montran is the same person as Olga’s grandfather, she and I would be 1st cousins, once removed.
Roberts-Brown 2017 – Montran Project
List of Grandparents
Grandfather: John Foster Montran
Olga Ruth Babcock Hinds Buchanan (1916-2001)
Olga Ruth Babcock was born on 18 May 1916, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was the first child of Minor Howard Babcock and Thelma M (Montran) Babcock.
In 1917, when Olga was a one-year-old, her family immigrated to the United States. In 1920 the young family is living in San Francisco where Olga’s father is a bookkeeper for an Auto Sales company.
In 1922, Ruth’s brother, Montran Howard Babcock was born.
In 1926, Ruth’s father became a naturalized citizen. Because Ruth was a minor, she also became a citizen as part of her father becoming a citizen.
In 1930, Olga’s parents had migrated to Inglewood, California. Minor was an accountant and her mother was apparently keeping house.
Olga married James R. Hinds on 24 September 1938. Apparently, the marriage didn’t go well because James filed for divorce in Reno, Nevada on 14 October 1940.
Sometime between 1935 and 1940 Olga’s father died. Olga’s mother was the proprietor of a guest house that included 11 lodgers as well as Thelma, Olga, and Montran.
On 15 August 1941, Olga married Chester White Buchanan. Chester died in 1963 and is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, in Inglewood.
Olga’s brother, Montran, died in 1972 and her mother, Thelma, died in 1974.
Olga lived until 2001. I have not been successful in finding any information regarding burial or another memorial.
In all my research, I have found no evidence that Olga had any children. As such, this lime may be a dead end. I will look at Montran’s life next.
1916 Canada Census, Family Search, 1916 Canada Census – Miner H Babcock. “Canada Census, 1916,” database with images, FamilySearch : 3 April 2016), Miner H Babcock in household of Daniel Cameron, Saskatchewan, Canada; citing p. 16, line 43; Library and Archives Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,434,946. https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KMPM-81T