Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: burlesque

Monday, December 2, 1912

Champaign police raided two more bootlegging joints. The first, at 407 North Neil street, just north of the Beardsley hotel, belonged to Sam Lowry, a former drummer at the Walker opera house. Ten men were taken, including a prominent Champaign lawyer. The other raid was conducted at the home of Mattie Johnson, a negress, at 32 North Oak street, and five white men were arrested there.

“Owing to the fact that a large number of negroes employed on the construction work, have thrown up their jobs with the approach of cold weather, the Urbana & Kankakee Traction Company will employ white men exclusively from now on.”

In Minneapolis, two chorus girls from a burlesque house danced rag time dances on the platform of the pulpit of a church, illustrating the preacher’s sermon on “Praise Him With the Dance,” and the audience “fairly gasped at this. No matter how brazen, the dance was performed, the ‘turkey trot,’ the ‘crab crawl,’ the ‘tortoise tango,’ the ‘Jelly Wobble,’ ‘tangleworm wriggle,’ the ‘grizzly’ and all others known to these two girls of the stage.”

Three suffragettes were arrested in Aberdeen, Scotland, for attempting to kill David Lloyd-George, chancellor of the exchequer. One of the women had what she believed to be an infernal machine, which she intended to hurl at the man when he appeared to make a speech; but she had been duped, as the box contained only firecrackers, rather than the powerful explosive she expected. In any case she was found before she had a chance to throw it.

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Saturday, November 2, 1912

Important front-page news! “William, the little son of Mr. and Mrs. John Turner, pushed a button up one of his nostrils, and the services of a physician were required to remove it.”

Besides that fascinating story, there is more on the Singer murder in Chicago. Lillian Beatrice Ryall-Conway, “burlesque actress and animal tamer,” whilst screaming and cowering and generally carrying on, told the the fascinatingly named Captain Nootbaar that her husband, Charles Conway, “the wooden-footed circus clown,” murdered Miss Singer after a quarrel. Whew! I think that sentence is going to get right up and walk off the page.

Also in the paper today were the official ballot, the woman’s ballot, and the proposals to be voted upon, which seem to me to be worded in such a way as to imply that anyone who votes against them must be very stupid indeed. I have decided to clip them and paste them in here; I will be interested to see whether any of them do not pass.

Friday, September 13, 1912

Lewis Stone and family returned to their home west of Tolono last night and found a maniac there. “The man, a huge fellow, about sixty-five years old, repelled their attempts to enter, screaming that he owned the place, that he had built it up in the wilderness and that no one could take it from him.” The family ran to a neighbor’s and telephoned for help, and a posse subdued the “wild man.”

Milton Bass, “the negro who stole Dr. J. D. Mandeville’s horse and buggy some time ago,” says he plans to plead guilty in circuit court on Saturday. The prisoner is suffering from a “loathsome constitutional disease,” and his jailors are anxious to be rid of him before he dies in jail.

People here are talking about cremation, because a Champaign physician directed that his remains should be cremated after his death. It is sanitary, and there is no need to purchase and maintain a cemetery plot. Although cremation is growing in favor in larger cities, many people regard it as barbarous.

And finally, the Monte Carlo girls burlesque company was said to have behaved admirably last night at the Illinois, “even foregoing the Salome dance, which is calculated to climax the show and send everybody home in a dizzy state.” A fellow named Izzy was part of the show, and apparently he was not so naughty as in times past. “Izzy used to be a tough duck but has improved in more genteel company.”