For this week’s Treasure Chest Tuesday, I’m looking at two clippings from the Donna Darling Collection that relate to the Rivoli Theatre in Portland, Oregon.
From previous research, thanks to Genealogy Bank, I had learned that The Donna Darling Review with Sammy Clark played at the Rivoli Theatre in Portland from November 6th through the 8th. The Playbill is always great to see.
Next was a clipping “Donna Darling Revue Crest of Rivoli Bill,” which appears to be an advertising article. It reads, in part:
“Sammy Clark, the “anesthetic dancer,” with the Donna Darling Revue, is the brightest spot on the Rivoli bill this week. Sammy is one of those untamed spirits who dance for the pure joy of expression. His costume, a cloud of pink unmentionables, is peculiarly fit for his wild spirit.
“Donna Darling herself is a pretty miss with a nice voice for ballads. The rest of the company consists of an excellent pair of dancers and a whistling comedian. It is a clever act, and well staged.”
November 6-8, 1926 – The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark played at the Rivoli Theatre in Portland, Oregon.
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 a clipping from the Donna Darling Collection concerning “The Elsinore.”
This was one of the strangest clippings in the scrapbook not only because it was cut out oddly but also had a color image included. At first, I thought the clipping went together, then I realized it was two clippings that touched each other. The first part was a standard vaudeville advertisement. Donna was playing at “The Elsinore” and was part of “5 Association Vaudeville Acts.”
Donna Darling Revue – With Sammy Clark
Curtis & Lawrence – in “Is That the Custom”
Morell & Elynor – Introducing the Charleston on Rollers
Princess Winona – Indian Prima Donna
Zuhn & Dreis – Dementas Americanas
Donna and Sammy played at the Elsinore Theater in Salem, Oregon for one night, on 5 November 1926. A venue I knew about, thanks to Newspapers.Com.
But the other part of the clipping was an odd little man in bright orange pants with a belt that said “Wild to Go.” When I zoomed in on the photo, I could read the logo on his hat, “Red Crown Gasoline.” I searched the internet for Red Crown Gasoline and learned it was a brand of Standard Oil[i]. It is mentioned as possibly being the first movie product placement advertisement. The 1920 film, “The Garage” starring “Fatty” Arbuckle and Buster Keaton[ii] showed the Red Crown Gasoline several times. A search of Google Images discovered a couple images of this little man but none of this exact image. Certainly, this little man is rare, if not unique.
Item #5 of the Donna Darling Collection is a photograph. Actually, it is two photographs of Donna with a stringed instrument that I consider one item. One of the images was torn badly. The other had some sticky gunk on it. One had writing and printing on the back; the other one did not. For the image below, I set the color to black and white then auto-set the contrast and brightness. Finally, I brought the sepia up and saved it as a web-sized image. I did not touch it up.
The back of the picture was stamped, “DONNA DARLING & SAMMY CLARK” as well as (in smaller block print, it is stamped “THE PRINCESS AND THE KING.” Handwritten on the back is “Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.” The front of one of the photos says “DAVIES – PORTLAND, ORE.” This one does not. So between the two photos, I have two stories.
The photo shows Donna playing what appears to be a six-string prima balalaika. The prima balalaika is a Russian instrument. That fits with Donna’s costume of what looks to me as a “shabby sheik” Eastern European looking outfit. (Hopefully, someone will comment and provide me with exactly what kind of clothing she is wearing.)
I had seen this image before. It was in several newspaper articles during late 1926 associated with “The Donna Darling Revue with Sammy Clark.” In 1925, Donna was still performing “Donna Darling and Girls,” So, I am sure this photo was taken in 1926 sometime before the picture was used in advertising in Helena, Montana in November 1926.
The University of Oregon, UO Libraries, Knight Library, 2nd floor North, has several photographic collections.
Among those collections is one containing photographs of George W. Davis, who operated the Davies Studio from 1901 until 1925.
I should see if my sister, one of her kids, or my cousin who lives in Oregon, might be interested in stopping at the library and see if they have any photographs from 1926 showing Donna or Sammy in their collection.