Friday, May 29, 2015

One Hundred

I can scarcely believe it—especially with how sporadic I sometimes am at writing—but this is my ONE HUNDREDTH blog post! In celebration, I am going to post ONE HUNDRED things from ONE HUNDRED years ago. (Are you sensing a theme yet?) That, of course, brings us to the year 1915. They are in no particular order; the numbering is merely so I can keep track of how many there are.



By Epoch Producing Co. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The premiere of the epic film The Birth of a Nation. One of the hardest movies to watch, and, yes, I have forced myself through it! If you would care to put yourself through the torture of watching Ku Klux Klansmen as protagonists, you can do so at this link. (Though I can't personally vouch for it being a good copy; I watched the movie years ago on a VHS, and am not willing to watch it again.)




My great-grandfather Harry Stroesser had some excitement.

Page 9 of the 16 Jan 1915 Omaha World Herald:

City Carpenter Then Loosed His Robber and Pair of Purse Snatchers Got Away.
When Harry Stroesser, city carpenter, was walking down Davenport street, near Nineteenth street, Friday evening he saw a man running down the walk with several people calling "Stop! Thief!"

Stroesser joined the chase and caught the man at the valley. As he grappled with him a second man, who had been standing in the alley, shot at him. Stroesser let go and both men got away.

The first man had grabbed the purse of a woman at Nineteenth and Davenport.


The birth of Joan Mary Popplewell, daughter of George William Popplewell and my great-grandmother's sister Alice Mary Amos.


By Artie Matthews [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


By Fox Films (source) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Ah, Theda Bara! Starring in A Fool There Was, which, to my chagrin, I have not yet seen. But I shall soon remedy that! I have found an online copy here.















The birth of Rose Amos, daughter of my great-grandmother's brother Arthur Thomas Amos and his wife Alice Rose Mason.


The death of John R. COWELL, husband of my (other) great-grandmother's sister Alice Josephine Wade.


By supplement to The Sphere magazine [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The sinking of the Lusitania.



By Merle De Vore Johnson (1874-1935). Author not named in bibliographic record. (Library of Congress[1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

"I Did Not Raise My Girl to Be a Voter." No comment.


"As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly stay in place and was about to slide off completely. His numerous legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of his bulk, waved helplessly before his eyes."

Franz Kafka published his novella The Metamorphosis.


The marriage of my great-grandmother's sister Grace Maude Amos to Paulos Nicholas Lachanudis.


The birth of Gordon Pavalos Lachanudis, son of Grace Maude Amos and Paulos Nicholas Lachanudis. Hmm... I may have to double-check that. I have his birth date as 9 Mar 1915, and his parents' marriage as 21 July 1915. Wonder what was going on?


The birth of Doris Eloise Bailey, who would later become my great-aunt by marrying my great-uncle Bill Underwood. Oh, and I adore this photo!





By W. Heath Robinson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


The marriage of my great-grandparents Harry Stroesser and Mary Craig. For more information on this one, check out my blog post on their marriage.



















An epidemic of encephalitis lethargica, also known as "sleepy sickness," began, though it was not described neurologically until 1917.


"The Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock," by T. S. Eliot, is published.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code

Lassen Peak in Northern California erupts.


Ray Linn and Red Brosius at Carlton Lake

Ray Linn, who would marry my grandmother's sister Inez Underwood, is born. He was also the best friend of my grandfather "Red" Brosius.


The marriage of my great-grandfather's brother Nicholas Stroesser to Rosa Franks in Alexandria, Hanson, South Dakota.


Christmas at my house, 2013

The ukulele appears on the Hawaiian Pavilion at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (better known as the World's Fair) in San Francisco, launching the ukulele fad... which comes and goes for a century and eventually results in both my parents, myself, and my "nephew" all taking up the instrument.








By Composer: Al Piantadosi, Lyricist: Alfred Bryan (Indiana University library[1][2]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity is published.


Pluto is first captured in a photograph, though it is not recognized for what it is.


Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Return of Tarzan is published. And, yes, I have read it. My dad collects Tarzan books... I am a voracious reader... enough said.


Jean Pierre "Shaumper" Stroesser, a distant cousin (first cousin four times removed) dies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was the son of my 3great-grandfather's brother.


By Arthur P. Bedou of New Orleans (Via [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Booker T. Washington dies.


By General Film Co. (scan of movie poster) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp is released, introducing his character of the tramp, which he would play numerous times. Oddly enough, I can't quite remember whether I've seen this movie or not. I know I have seen a movie in which he played his tramp character, but whether it was this one or not... I can't be sure. It is viewable online, though.



William P. Gottlieb [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One of my favorite singers, Billie Holiday, is born. Thank you, 1915!


Uncle Alvy and Aunt Sadie, along with their great-nephew Paul

"Aunt Sadie" Underwood marries "Uncle Alvy" Mason. This story has been briefly addressed in my Aunt Elsie's typescript, but one of these days I must, like Paul Harvey, tell you the rest of the story.


W. Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage is published. I am ashamed to say I have not yet read it.


By Ford, Lena Guilbert (w.); Novello, Ivor (m.). [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

"Keep the Home Fires Burning," by Ivor Novello. Ivor Novello, incidentally, later played the title part in Alfred Hitchcock's The Lodger, an excellent movie. And he was definitely worth drooling over.



See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Men's 1915 fashion collage sheet from Antique Images.


The birth of my first cousin, three times removed, Naomi Pauline Crystal Jones. (What an amazing name!) She was the daughter of my great-great-grandmother's brother John Martin Jones and his wife Alta Mamie Van Kirk.


Mary Pickford starred as a Japanese geisha in Madame Butterfly. Seriously. I haven't seen this film, and I'm not sure I want to. Which may not be a problem, because I couldn't find a copy of it at the Internet Archive.


















The hit song "Paper Doll" was penned by Johnny S. Black, though for some reason it would not be published until 1930! It became a hit of the Mills Brothers.


Typhoid Mary is arrested after evading authorities for five years, during which she caused several outbreaks of typhoid. She was then quarantined for life.


The household of my great-great-grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. E. E. Hoyt, appeared in the census in Clyde, Cloud, Kansas. In addition to Mr. and Mrs. Hoyt, the household contained their children Albert (my great-grandfather), James, and Myrl.



By Gavinmacqueen [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

The Coca-Cola contour bottle is patented, and will be introduced to the public the following year, in a slightly modified form.


By Hanns Lippmann (??? - 1929) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The classic horror film The Golem is released. It was the first in a trilogy of golem pictures. I have not seen this one, but I am dying to! It exists only in fragmentary form today, but what there is of it is available to watch at this link.











By MB Walker (?) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Some seriously disturbing anti-German propaganda.


By Photographer not credited (Ziegfeld Follies publicity photo, Via [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Ziegfield Follies kept people entertained. I wonder if they really let people look up her dress through the glass?


My great-grandparents' household appears in the 1915 state census in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. The household includes my great-grandparents John and Cora Brosius, as well as their children Marshall, Lee, Ormond, Wayne, Ceril (who was really Searle), Susie, and Loel (who was my Uncle Lowell).


Virginia Woolf's novel The Voyage Out is published.


Alan Lomax, who I love for collecting all sorts of folk songs, is born.


By University Missourian (LOC) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In these days before the necessity of doing dialogue, actors could easily star in a number of films within a single year. So Theda Bara can make another appearance on this list. Unfortunately, this one is considered lost.
















Boys' 1915 sporting fashions from Antique Images.


By MCA-Music Corporation of America-management (Bay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The birth of movie star Alice Faye, who, though she is not one of my favorite stars, was Phil Harris' favorite--and he is one of my favorites. I do tend to enjoy Alice Faye movies, though. Oh, and I have a third-hand contact with them. One of my regular customers (and friend) at the ice cream parlor I worked at during high school told me about how he had once seen them at a restaurant where he was dining. And, yes, I knew who Phil Harris and Alice Faye were when I was in high school. In the '90s. I'm weird, I know.


The neon tube sign is patented. 1915, Las Vegas thanks you.


Transcontinental telephone service, from New York to San Francisco, is established.


The U.S. House of Representatives rejects a proposal that would have given women the right to vote. (See number NINE above.)


By unattributed (Heeritage Auctions) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Babe Ruth hits his first career home run, while playing for the Boston Red Sox.


The Raggedy Ann doll is patented.


The birth of composer Jay Livingston, who gave us "Silver Bells" and "Mona Lisa," among others.


By Keystone Film Company [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Comedian "Fatty" Arbuckle stars in a number of film shorts, including Mabel and Fatty's Simple Life, Mabel and Fatty's Married Life, Fatty's Tintype Tangle, and Fatty's Plucky Pup.


By Moore, Charles C. (Charles Caldwell), 1868-1932 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Aerascope at the San Francisco World's Fair. I'm not really sure what it does, but it looks pretty fun!


This is the first year with no living passenger pigeons, the last one having died the previous year.


The theory of Pangaea--you know, the ancient continent before continental drift formed the world's current continents--is published in Alfred Wegener's book The Origin of Continents and Oceans.


My great-grandmother's brother Matthew Craig was working as a boilermaker for the U.P.R.R. (Union Pacific Railroad) and residing at 2818 Franklin in Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska.


The Omaha directory serves up a puzzle regarding the female Craigs in my family. An entry reads "[Craig] Mary (wid Jno), r 1721 Lake." The address proves that it is my Craigs, as it is the same address given for my great-great-uncle Harry Craig, but the rest of it is very confusing. First of all, Martha was the wife of John, not Mary. Mary was his daughter. So it is unclear which of these women this entry is meant to refer to. And second, even Martha would not be his widow yet, for he does not die for another two years. But he does not appear in the directory this year. Confusing.


Wynonie Harris is born. If you don't know who Wynonie Harris is, look up his music. It's pretty fun.


By Harris & Ewing (Library of Congress) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

President Woodrow Wilson marries his second wife, Edith Bolling Galt.


The millionth car rolls off the Ford assembly line. Perhaps as a response to the increase in automotive traffic, the first stop sign appears in Detroit.


My great-grandmother Cora (Wade) Brosius was pregnant with my grandfather Vinis "Red" Brosius.


A few British and German units repeated the Christmas Truce of 1914.


While WWI is raging in Europe, the Mexican Revolution is happening south of the border.


By William Creswell from Seattle, Washington, USA (Willys Knight magazine ad, 1915) [Public domain or CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons


By Fox Films (source) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Oh, you knew there had to be more Theda Bara, didn't you? Of course. She also starred in Carmen, which is unfortunately lost now. Carmen seemed to be a popular theme in 1915, with Cecil B. DeMille and Charlie Chaplin also releasing their own versions. But naturally I have to go with the Theda Bara version. The other two versions, however, are not lost. You can see the Charlie Chaplin version here, and the Cecil B. DeMille version here.












Chlorine gas is being used against enemy troops in Europe by both the German and the allied forces.


My great-grandfather Harry Stroesser's union activity.

Page 10 of the 16 Jan 1915 edition of the Omaha World Herald:

Amendments to Compensation Law, Stamping Convict-Made Goods, Etc., Suggested.
Amendments to the state working-man’s compensation law to provide for all injuries exceeding in duration a period of one week; the elimination of the exception ruling in the exemption and garnishee law; provision for the stamping of all convict-made products of the state penitentiary; the institution of certain qualifications in the selection of metropolitan boiler inspector, and advocacy of the Sunday-closing law for Nebraska barbers, were discussed at the meeting of the Omaha Central Labor union last night.

Legislative needs of the laboring men were reported by a special committee, which reported that bills have been prepared or are in course of preparation for introduction to the state legislature, to provide for the appointment of a factory inspector; for the reporting of all occupational diseases to proper health officers; to insure punishment for extortion of money on promise to secure employment; for the establishment of a state printery outside of the penitentiary; for the application of an eight-hour law to all city, county or state employment, and other measures.

The following officers were elected at the conclusion of the meeting:
President, T. P. Reynolds.
Vice President, J. J. Carrigan.
Secretary, John Polian.
Financial secretary, F. J. Huller.
Sergeant-at-arms, Robert Dunlap.
Trustees, L. V. Guye, George Norman and Harry Strosser.


The United States begins an occupation of Haiti that will last until 1934.


In the U.S., it cost 2¢ to mail a first-class letter. Oddly enough, it seems a few people took advantage of parcel post to "mail" their children! I may have to look into that for a future post.


See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


By Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Rijksfotoarchief: Fotocollectie Algemeen Nederlands Fotopersbureau (ANEFO), 1945-1989 - negatiefstroken zwart/wit, nummer toegang, bestanddeelnummer 914-6440 (Nationaal Archief) [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl (], via Wikimedia Commons

Birth of Edith Piaf, singer of "La Vie en Rose," among others. Beautiful music.


By unknown (Triangle Pictures Corporation) ( [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It may be sacrilege, but I am not terribly fond of Douglas Fairbanks. That, despite the fact that one of the first silent movies I ever saw was his Thief of Bagdad, which I liked. However, this year was when he won the hearts of many film-goers with his screen debut in The Lamb, which showcased some of his athleticism.



See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Harry Houdini performed what was probably his first suspended straitjacket escape, 20 feet over the heads of his audience of 5,000.


By Studio photographer (RR Auction) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The birth of actor Zero Mostel, whom I rather enjoy. He did a lot of theater, which of course I was unable to see (not having been born yet), but he also appeared in several movies, including A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.


By Daniel Mayer (Mav) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Rocky Mountain National Park is established.


By Alden Jewell (1915 Stutz H.C.S. Roadster  Uploaded by PDTillman) [CC BY 2.0 ( or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



The household of my great-grandmother's sister, Alice Josephine Wade, and her husband, John R. Cowell, appear in the 1915 state census in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas, along with their 16-year-old son "Dail." This was, obviously, before John Cowell died later that year.


The household of my great-grandmother's (and Alice Wade's) brother, Buchanan Wade, also appears in the 1915 state census in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. His household includes his wife "Lizzy" and their children 17-year-old Carus and 11-year-old Carmel.


Shall we go for three? My great-grandmother's, Alice's, and Buck's half-brother Dexter also appears in the 1915 state census in Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas. He appears to be living alone. I also find it amusing that the census-taker misspelled his occupation as "Panter." Keep breathing!


While I'm on this jag, where are my great-grandmother's other two brothers? Well, Ulysses is probably in Tillman county, Oklahoma, and I have no idea where David Kiner is. In 1900 he was in McPherson county, Kansas, by 1909 he was in Chicago, and in 1910 an article mentioned that he had "been on the road many years painting bill boards for cigar
and medicine companies." By 1920 he had returned to Sedan, Chautauqua, Kansas, but he died in Oklahoma. The man did some traveling.


By trailer screenshot (20th Century Fox) (Down Argentine Way trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The screen premiere of Charlotte Greenwood in the film Jane. Who's Charlotte Greenwood, you ask? Well, she was "the only woman in the world who could kick a giraffe in the eye." I was introduced to her in such Betty Grable movies as Down Argentine Way and Springtime in the Rockies, but she is best remembered for her role as Aunt Eller in Oklahoma. I love this woman, and would love to see her in a leading role--like she played in Jane. Apparently portions of this movie are preserved at the Library of Congress, but I was unable to find them on their website. But I think I'll keep looking.

By Al Ravenna, World Telegram staff photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


The Kiwanis Club is founded, in Detroit Michigan. Hmm... a lot seems to be happening in Detroit this year.


See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The birth of Orson Welles. Enough said.


See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


A large earthquake occurred in Central Italy, centered in the town of Avezzano. It virtually flattened the epicenter area, and killed 30,000 people.


W. C. Fields, whom I do not like (with the exception of his film with Mae West, My Little Chickadee), also made his film debut. He appeared in a couple comedy shorts, Pool Sharks and His Lordship's Dilemma.


By New York Sunday News (eBay photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Well, there are a bunch more notable births in 1915, so I'll have to wad them all together here at the end of the list. We'll start with Ann Sheridan, movie star. I know her mostly from The Man Who Came To Dinner, part of my regular Christmas fare.


By Trailer screenshot (Notorious trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A legend is born: Ingrid Bergman. Casablanca, Spellbound, Notorious, Indiscreet, and so many more!


By CBS Television (eBay item photo front photo back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The birth of one of my favorite character actors, Harry Morgan. He was in everything! Perhaps best known for his role as Col. Sherman T. Potter in M*A*S*H, but offhand I also remember him in James Garner's Support Your Local Sheriff, the musical State Fair (in which he had a bit part as a crooked carnival worker), and Elvis Presley's Frankie and Johnny.


By Trailer screenshot (Road to Singapore trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Anthony Quinn is also born the year, destined to play ethnically varied roles for most of his career. He is perhaps best remembered as the title character in Zorba the Greek, but I am rather fond of his earlier villainous roles in some of the old Bob Hope-Bing Crosby "road" shows. Not to say that he didn't make a terrific Zorba!


Other remarkable births for this year included those of Eddie Bracken, Edmond O'Brien, Eli Wallach, and Dan Dailey.


By The Tacoma Times (LOC) [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Theda Bara. You knew I couldn't resist throwing her in here again, didn't you? Really, how could you not be fascinated by a woman whose stage name was an anagram for "Arab death"? Well, she filmed several films this year besides the ones already mentioned, all of them now lost. So I'll showcase The Devil's Daughter, solely on the basis of its title.
















By Mitock & Sons, North Hollywood, CA. (eBay front back) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Even though this list has been rather random, I do need to end it with a bang--or at least a "ring-a-ding-ding." Ol' Blue Eyes himself, that skinny kid from Hoboken, Frank Sinatra was born this year. It was a rough birth, the doctor using forceps that resulted in a scarred face and a deformed ear. Later, Sinatra would wear a false ear in his movies. Eventually he repaired the ear with plastic surgery.

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