Donna Darling Collection – Part 53

Shamokin – Donna appears after “Baby Marie Osborne”

Treasure Chest Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at a page from the Donna Darling Collection. The page includes two articles, one newspaper banner, and five tiny clips.

The two articles both appear to be from the Shamokin Daily News, Friday, February 10, 1922, but they might be a day apart.

BABY OSBORNE HEADS STRONG PROGRAM AT THE STRAND

BABY OSBORNE HEADS STRONG PROGRAM AT THE STRAND

This article talks about “Baby Marie Osborne,” at length, before it begins to talk about Donna or any of the other shows. The section about Donna reads,

“Miss Donna Darling, former musical comedy star, who is appearing on the Keith bill at the Strand the last three days of the week, has one of the most appealing and enjoyable musical and dancing acts seen here this season. Miss Darling is all that her name implies in appearance and ability and is supported by two talented young men, both of whom are gifted dancers and vocalists. The stage settings are among the most elaborate seen here this winter while Miss Darling’s vocal selections appeal to people of all ages.”

The “last three days of the week,” in this case, means February 9th, 10th, and 11th.

A second article,

FAMOUS CHILD ACTRESS HEADS THE STRAND PROGRAM

FAMOUS CHILD ACTRESS HEADS THE STRAND PROGRAM

also talks about Baby Marie Osborne before mentioning Donna. The Donna part reads,

“Another widely known star of the stage appearing on the same program is Miss Donna Darling, former musical comedy star and who is now on the Keith circuit in a high class vaudeville revue I which she is most popular as well as pleasing.”

With Donna at the Strand are

  • Baby Marie Osborne
  • Frank Markey (the “Banjo Boy”)
  • Coogan and Casey (Song act)
  • Crumley and Jones (Comedians)

Along with the two larger articles on the page are five small clippings, some of which are cut off (I use the symbol of “}|” to indicate the place where the image was cut off.)

ELMIRA (First Half) – Jean & White – Hunniford – Donna Darling Co.—Manuel Romaine Co.—At the Party.

ITHACA (Second Half)—Homer Romaine—Peel & Corvan—Donna Darling Co.—Gobson & Price—At the Party.

OLE}|
(First Half)—Crowden’s }|
&Casey—Alf Grant—Don}|

WHEELING
(First Half)—Hunniford—Harr}|
mings—Donna Darling Boys—Co}|
—Murray Kissen Co.

NEW CASTLE (Second Half)—Polli Cassi Co.—Hunniford—Ahern & Peterson{|
Donna Darling Co.

Analysis

I have long known that Donna played in Elmira the January 28th thru 31st, 1922.

I knew she played in Ithaca on Feb 2nd. The “Second Half” would indicate that she was in Ithaca on February 2nd thru the 4th. That added two new days to my schedule for Donna.

I have known that Donna played in Olean Feb 13-15, which would be the first half of that week.

I have never had a record of Donna playing in Wheeling. The clipping’s placement seems to be between Olean, NY, and New Castle, PA. The first half of the week following Olean would be February 20, 21, & 22. The rest of that week would be 23, 24, and 25, February for her to have been in New Castle, PA.

So, thanks to this page of the Donna Darling Collection, I learned of two new venues for Donna’s schedule.

  • Feb 9-11, 1922 – Shamokin, PA – The Strand – Donna Darling
  • Feb 20-22, 1922 – Wheeling WV – Unknown Theatre – Donna Darling Boys

Sources

Donna Darling Collection – Image SCAN0087.

Montrans in the News – Maronites’ Society

Montran Monday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

This week for Montran Monday[i], I found two articles from The Chat (Brooklyn, New York). They both appeared to relate to Montrans that lived in Brooklyn. Neither Mr. Montran nor his wife, May, are a likely fit into my Montran Line.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) dated 5 December 1908, Page 27. This article is a brief mention that Mr. and Mrs. Montran and daughter attended a 25th wedding anniversary celebration of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Seibert.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) dated 30 May 1925, Page 31. This article is a society page paragraph in which Mrs. May Montran attended a meeting of the Maronites’ Society[ii] along with more than 500 Syrians. 

Sources:

  • The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) Sat, Dec 5, 1908, · Page 27 – Downloaded on July 26, 2019, via Newspapers.com.

The Chat (Brooklyn, New York) · Sat, May 30, 1925, · Page 31 – Downloaded on July 26, 2019, via Newspapers.com



ENDNOTES

[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.

[ii] Maronites are a Christian group whose members adhere to the Syriac Maronite Church.  A mass emigration from Lebanon and Syria to the Americas occurred in the early 20th century due to famine, blockades, and World War I that resulted in between one-third to one-half of the population. Source: Internet: Wikipedia: Maronites – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maronites

 

Donna in the News – New July 8th 2019

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

This week I received a notification from Newspapers.com that I had 36 new hits on my alerts – 15 from “Montran,” 15 from “Walter Wills” (which suggests “Chin Chin”), and 6 from “Dona/Donna Darling” from seven different newspapers dated between 3 May 1920 and 5 March 1928.

The articles related to six shows during her career.  Four of the shows I had previously in my list of Donna’s performances. They were:

  • Lyceum Theatre, Paterson, PA – May 7 -8 1920 – “Chin Chin.”
  • Colonial Theatre, Lancaster, PA – April 17, 18, & 19, 1922 – “Special Easter Show.”
  • Grand Theatre, Saint Louis, MO – July 7-9, 1923 – Donna Darling show.
  • Majestic Concerts – Brooklyn, NY – Mar 5, 1928 – Donna Darling and Somory [sic] Clark in “The Princess and the King.”
Can anyone translate?

Adding more clippings to what I already had is always good.  However, what is particularly cool about the Grand Theatre clipping is that the newspaper that speaks of Donna is written in German. I don’t know what it says.  I tried OCRing the words and transcribing the text to no avail. All I really know is that the article mentions “Donna Darling” and was published during the week Donna was in Saint Louis, Mo.  Hopefully, someone who reads German and German font will help me out.

The other two venues were new to me.

  • Fulton Opera House, Lancaster, PA May 29, 1920 – Chin Chin
  • Keeney’s Theatre – Brooklyn, NY – Aug 1921, Donna Montran.

So, I’ve been able to add two new shows that Donna was a part of. I will add All of these clippings to future venue writeups.

Have a great week.

Donna Darling Collection – Part 48

Two Venues & Two Photos of Russell

Treasure Chest Thursday
By Don Taylor

For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at image DSCN1422 from the Donna Darling Collection. The image consists of four items. Two are articles and two photographs.

Two articles

1.  Keeney’s Livingston, Brooklyn, N. Y.

(Reviewed Thursday Evening, April 8)

From the Donna Darling Collection

… Donna Darling Company., four shapely, pretty misses, in songs and dances in full stage with special drapes, brings the show to a bang-up close. The act opens with three girls dancing, followed by Miss Darling in a song, then a gypsy dance by one of the girls, followed by a toe dance by another of them, and then two of them in a wooden shoe Dutch characterization dance, Miss Darling returning for a Hawaiian dance. A trio then puts over a song after which much applause and a brief announcement preceding a change of costume, Miss Darling presents what she calls Lightening Up the Charleston, done by all four members of the act Garbed in Luminous Costumes that glow when the lights are out. It’s a tricky bit.

JACK F. MURRAY.

April 8th was a Thursday in 1926, so the date is definite. The location and the theater are also given. Hopefully, future research will provide answers for the duration.

I added a new venue added to Donna’s Career: April 8 – Keeney’s Livingston Theater, Brooklyn, NY – Donna Darling Revue.

2.  Darling Revue Has Top Place on State Bill

Donna Darling Collection

Perhaps it is because this happens to be the season of Lent. Anyway, the vaudeville programs at the State Theater these days are very good and increasing size of audiences at the matinee and evening performances is proof of this assertation.

The Bill this week is no exception. Lead the fine array of talent is the act in which the Darling Revue strive to keep patrons interested. That they succeed was demonstrated in the liberal applause they received yesterday afternoon. Their specialty is singing and dancing. The numbers containing much that is original and enjoyable. The dances include the clog, toe and gypsy steps and the songs are of a varied nature….

I note that the other acts on the bill include the “Metropolitan Trio,” “Love and King,” “Chick & Dog,” and “William & Perry.” “Queen O’ Diamonds” with Evelyn Brent is the feature picture.

“Queen O’ Diamonds” was released on 24 January 1926, which places the show in 1926.[i] Lent runs from Ash Wednesday to Easter. In 1926 this was from February 17th to April 4th. Easter was on April 4, 1926.

I haven’t previously found a date for Donna to have been at a State Theater during Lent of 1926.[ii]

New Venue Added:  Between 17 Feb 1926 and 4 April 1926 – Unknown Location – State Theater – Darling Revue – DDC-48.

Two Photographs

Interestingly the two articles from this page of the Donna Darling Collection were from 1926; however, neither of the photographs are. Both photos are clearly of Donna’s son, Russell. Russell was born in August 1927. In both cases, he appears to be about three years old, so I estimate the photos to be ca. 1930.

Russell with two unknown boys during the summer (ca. 1930?)
Russell in a child’s Indian headdress. (ca. 1930?)

Sources

[i] IMDB Queen o’ Diamonds (1926) https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0017301/

[ii] Internet: The Life of Madonna Montran http://dontaylorgenealogy.com/donna-montran/

 

Ancestor Bio – Oscar Hopfe

Hopfe Project
By Don Taylor

One of my favorite documents to find is a Naturalization Record.  I was recently researching Oscar Hopfe. Oscar was born in Germany on 12 April 1896 and came to the United States, arriving on 2 November 1911. Luckily, I was able to find a Naturalization Record for him. What a wealth of information.  The process for Naturalization has three major steps. First, a person declares an intent to naturalize. Later they petition for naturalization and finally become naturalized by declaring an oath of Allegiance to the United States.

In June, 1914, Oscar filed his letter of intent. He was barber, 5’8” tall, 138 pounds, and he had brown hair and brown eyes. His birthdate of 12 April 1896 was confirmed. He arrived in New York about 2 November 1911 aboard the “President Lincoln.”

Seven years, and World War I, passed before he filed his petition for Naturalization, on 3 February 1921.  At that time, he was a Chauffer and was living at 79 Avenue “A.” His dates aboard the President Lincoln were confirmed.  Albert Braummer (of Wantagh, L.I.) and Ernst Wolff of 3486 9 st. attested to knowing him to have lived in the United States since 1914.

Three months later, on May 10, 1921, Oscar took the oath of Allegiance.

So many questions and areas to research further. Who else was on the President Lincoln with him?  What did Oscar do during the war?  Did he sit it out or did he participate somehow?  Who were the people who vouched for him?  Were they related?

Oscar isn’t a direct-line ancestor, rather, he is the brother of a direct line ancestor. I am researching him, in particular, to see if I can find additional information about their parents, Franz and Hedwig (Hohl) Hopfe.

Hopfe Project 2019 – Brother of Ancestor #4

List of Great’s & Grands

  • Grandfather: Erdman Max Hopfe
  • Great-grandfather: Franz Hopfe
  • Great Uncle: Oscar Hopfe

Oscar (1896-DoD)

Birth

Oscar Hopfe was born in Blankenburg, Unstrut-Hainich-Kreis, Thüringen, Germany on 12 April 1896. That was same day as the German football club “Hannover 96” was founded. His parents were Franz and Hedwig (Hohl) Hopfe. He had at least two older brothers, Max and Oscar. He was living in Blankenburg when he left for the United States.

Childhood

S. S. President Lincoln

Oscar’s older brother, Herman Hopfe, emigrated to the United States in 1903. Another brother, Erdman Max Hopfe, emigrated to the United States in 1906. It appears that Herman returned to Germany and escorted Oscar to the United States in 1911 as they traveled together from Hamburg, Germany aboard the President Lincoln arriving in New York on November 2, 1911. Oscar was 16-years-old.

In June 1914, the 18-year-old Oscar decided to become a US citizen and filed a Declaration of intent. At the time he was living at 259 East 150th Street in the Bronx. He was working as a barber.

The 1915 Census finds Oscar living with his brother Max and family at 317 Central Avenue, Brooklyn, New York.

Marriage

I have found no evidence that Oscar ever married.

Adult

In June 1917, when Oscar registered for the draft, he was apparently living across the street from his brother at 314 Central Avenue. He was working as an auto Mechanic at the Leo M Car Co, 70 Albany Ave., about two miles away.

I found no evidence that he served in the war (World War I).

On February 3, 1921, Oscar petitioned for naturalization. He was living at 79 Avenue “A” and he listed his occupation as a chauffeur.

Passport photo for Oscar Hopfe

On May 24, 1921, Oscar took the Oath of Allegiance and became a United States Citizen. Within a couple of weeks he applied for a passport with intent to travel to Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy for business.  He returned the United States aboard the SS George Washington on October 18, 1921.

I have been unsuccessful in finding Oscar in the 1930 census.  He appears to have applied for a social security card in December 1936, but he doesn’t appear in the Social Security death index.

Death & Burial

I have found no record of his death.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • The passenger list for Oscar coming to America indicates the address for his father in Germany. I’d like to try to figure out what the address is, but am having a hard time interpreting the writing.
    • Passenger List indicating Oscar’s Father name and address
  • Find a record for Oscar’s death.
  • Research the life of Max & Oscar’s brother, Herman Hopfe.


Sources

  • 1915 New York State Census, Ancestry.Com, Max Hope – ED 18, Brooklyn, Kings, New York.
  • Bremen Passenger Lists, Internet, Oskar Hopfe from (USA) travelled 18 Oktober 1921 on the ship ‘George Washington’ from Bremen to New York. http://www.public-juling.de/passagierlisten/listen.php?ArchivIdent=AIII15-18.10.1921_N&start=391&pers=&ankunftshafen=New+York&abreisehafen=Bremen&lang=en.
  • Hamburg Passenger Lists, 1850-1934, Com, Oscar Hopfe. Departure 21 Oct 1911 – Hamburg. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/1068/records/2373762/.
  • New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924, Family Search, Oscar Hoppe [Hopfe]. “New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JJGY-MM2 : 30 January 2018), Oscar Hoppe, 1911.
  • New York, State and Federal Naturalization Records, 1794-1940, Com, Oscar Hopfe . The National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, D.C.; Petitions for Naturalization from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944; Series: M1972; Roll: 206. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/2499/records/3852025.
  • Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, Ancestry.Com, Oscar Hopfe. Ancestry.com. U.S., Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Original data: Social Security Applications and Claims, 1936-2007.
  • United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925, Family Search, Oscar Hopfe – Passport Application # 42006 – Ancestry. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington D.C.; Roll #: 1628; Volume #: Roll 1628 – Certificates: 42000-42375, 26 May 1921- 27 May 1921 – Accessed 20 May 2019.
  • United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Family Search, Oscar Hopfe. “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KXY2-GB9 : 13 March 2018), Oscer Hopfe, 1917-1918; citing New York City no 72, New York, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,754,600.

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