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these letters About EJ
Midwest 1893 1895 1896
Chicago 1886-1890 1892
Exposition 1893 1894- 1896 Cincinnati
Cleveland 1893 1895
Sept 20th/89 Albert and Neppie's engagement Columbus 1895
Detroit 1892 1893 1895 1896 Kansas City 1886 1890 1896 Madison Wisconsin 1896 Milwaukee 1893 1896 St. Louis 1860's 1893 1894 1896 Theatres
Omaha 1890 1896
14th & Harney
B. Silloway, prop
Sept 12th, 1890
My dear daughter Neppie
I am glad you are completing your preparations for the reception of the little stranger and hope by this time all is ready. I am glad your dear Mama and Auntie are so near you to help you with their advice and experience, and take care of the little one until you are able to do so.
Last night we left St Joseph after performance. We played Saints & Sinners to a very fine house. Had a nice sleeping car and a section all to myself which is always a great comfort. I do not play tonight, but do twice tomorrow and leave for Chicago at 12:45 on Sunday Afternoon. Due in Chicago 7 AM Monday.
I am stupidly sleepy, and have been for several days, and sleep a great deal, and could sleep all the time. I am now going to have some dinner, and then go back to bed for another nap. With love and Kisses to you and Albert I remain, dear children, your loving Mother
EJ Phillips Omaha Google map
No theater is mentioned, but perhaps it was "In 1880, Omaha’s first modern opera house, the Boyd Theater, at 1420 Farnam St., saw the likes of Lillian Russell, Lillie Langtry and Edwin Booth before burning down in 1893."History of the Theater, Nebraska Life, http://www.nebraskalife.com/jf11_orpheum.asp The same article states "The history of the theater in Omaha is just about as old as the city which was settled in 1843.:
Boyd Theater Photo 1895-1910 http://digital.denverlibrary.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p15330coll22&CISOPTR=31134&CISOBOX=1&REC=11 makes it seem likely the Boyd Theater was rebuilt.
Theatre in Omaha http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_in_Omaha,_Nebraska
Railroads http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railroads_in_Omaha http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Station_(Omaha) The Union Pacific Railroad has had headquarters in Omaha since 1862.
History of Omaha http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Omaha,_Nebraska#1868_to_1899
next: Chicago 1890
Tuesday Decr 13th 1892
My dear Son
Arrived here Sunday night. Opened last night to a fair house. Business in Toronto was immense on the two performances on Saturday. They turned people away, and around the lobbies people stood five deep. Have had a letter from Maud [Harrison] this Morning. A.M. [Palmer] takes a company to Boston on the 26th of Decr. They are to open with Saints & Sinners (New play) don't it, eh? Miss [Julia] Arthur is to play Maud's part. He has left Maud out in the cold. Also Mrs. [Agnes] Booth. Miss [May] Brookyn takes her place in the plays that are to follow. The engagement is for 4 or 6 weeks, then they are to open in New York with Lady Windermere's Fan. Glad I did not wait for A.M. [Palmer].
I am going to send your Xmas money for yourself, Neppie & Ted. I have no time to go shopping and do not see anything in these towns that takes my fancy. So think it best, for you all, to send the wherewithal to buy your own gifts. 20 for you, same for Neppie and 10 for Ted. [I] shall be just as well pleased with a letter telling me you are all well, as with the richest gift you could possibly buy from Tiffanys. With warmest love & Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie and Edward from their loving Mother
1893 Milwaukee 1893
Milwaukee Feby 17th 1893
My dear Son
Yes, I am afraid Mr. [Edward M.] Bell has at last become weaker than Barley Corn, but like many thousands he would not believe anyone that the latter could ever overmaster him. I am very sorry indeed, for he is a very gentlemanly fellow, only about 36 years of age.
I am thankful we go no further North. Our hardest work in travelling will be over next week. We go from here to Janesville, Wis next Monday. Tuesday Rockford, Ill, Wed & Thurs Peoria, Ill. 26th to Chicago for two weeks. Thence to New York for three or more weeks. We have a week to rest & for rehearsals between Chicago and New York. I am well pleased with it, as we need brushing up and resting before appearing before the great critics of the metropolis. Love and Kisses to my dear children Neppie, Ted and Albert from their loving Mother
Milwaukee, Nov. 8, 1893 Columbian Expo
THE RUSSELL HOUSE
Novr 15th 1893
My dear daughter Neppie,
I sent you a list of the places we visit on Monday. You can always direct a letter care of Chas Frohman's Lady Windermere's Fan Co Theatre and it will reach me. In Cincinnati next week we play at the "Grand Opera House" so you can send there.
I heard of the failure of the Joseph Co but not from [Albert]. Miss [Maud] Harrison sent me a notice of it from NY World. I was very sorry but not surprised. I knew it could not last another season.
I have not as yet been asked to go to California and I do not think I shall be. It would, as you say, be very pleasant to spend the cold months there, but to study a lot of new parts, rehearse and get costumes ready, would not be so pleasant, and there would not be any money in it for me. Besides there is no glory in belonging to Palmer's Co anymore. I will enclose an article from last Sunday's Chicago Tribune which shows the state of things as viewed by the recent performances given by the Co in Chicago.
You say Albert does not come home to dinner until six. How is that? And where does he get his lunch? Rather too long a time to wait from seven until six. Is he "banting"? Better not. Annie Pixley is said to have tried it and she is no more! Very sad to think of her going so soon.
I am not able to work as hard as I need to do. The week after next will be hard work. Three one night towns and long trips. Go onboard a boat tonight. Do not think I will sleep much. We are due in Cleveland at 7 in the Morning. Slight showers of snow have been blowing about all day & yesterday, not enough to cover the ground but I am afraid enough wind to make the Lake very rough.
Glad Teddy keeps well and wanted to go see Aunty Zavy again. She would be delighted to see him I know. I think she is alone now. The boys went to school and Mrs. Conway was going away on a month's visit somewhere and I guess has gone by this time. Aunty's fingers with rheumatism bother her considerably.
Must now get ready to go back to work. Love and Kisses to my dear children three Albert, Edward and Neppie from their loving Mother
Banting was a London cabinetmaker, whose method of reducing corpulence by avoiding fat, starch and sugar was published and much discussed in 1864, hence used humourously as a verb OED.
St Louis, Decr 5th 1893
My dear daughter Neppie,
On Friday last the Thermometer registered 3 degrees below zero at 5 AM in La Fayette. And we had a big snow Fall all the way to Peoria and a foot deep there and it is cold here.
I had an excellent [Thanksgiving] dinner in Evansville, quite a surprise to us all. It was a sumptuous bill of fare and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We did not give a Matinee. Had a very good house at night. Opened last night to a very poor house. That is, the lower part of the house was good, but the balcony & gallery were almost empty, showing the poor man has not the money to attend theatres. Times are very dull all through this part of the Country.
Next week we have six towns to play in as follows Monday, Springfield Ill, not far from here and we stay here until Monday Morning. Tuesday, Bloomington, Ill [Indiana?], Wednesday Decatur, Ill, Thursday Terre Haute, Ind. All these places are not far apart and the journeys will not be fatiguing. Friday, South Bend, Ind a little longer ride. Saturday Grand Rapids, Mich. The following week we are not to play. On Xmas day open in Baltimore for a week. Then to Phila for two weeks. After that New England, playing one week in Boston and one week in Providence.
Ted's ring is called the Isabella ring. They were very popular at the [Columbian Exposition] Fair as souvenirs. When Ted is old enough he can wear it on his watch chain. Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Edward and Neppie from their loving Mother
St. Louis Decr 10th 1893
My dear Son,
Mr. [AM] Palmer sent to Mr. [Charles] Frohman to release me for California. Mr. Frohman sent Mr. [JG] Saville to me to ask if I wanted to go, and that he, Mr. Frohman, did not want me to go. So I said I did not want to under any circumstances. And Mr. Frohman made me an offer of resting this week. Would pay my salary and send me to Phila so that I would be well rested to join the Co in Baltimore, but as I could rest next week I told them I preferred working this week unless I got very tired and would then take their offer and go home from Terre Haute on Friday.
I was not well after my arrival here indigestion and diarrhea and they thought the one night stands this week would be too fatiguing to me, but I am feeling better and hope to pull through. More consideration than I ever received from AMP[almer]. With love and Kisses to my dear children 3 Ted, Neppie & Albert from their loving Mother
1895 Hotel Ste Clare
Wm P Beyer
Absolutely Fire Proof
Detroit, Mich March 13th 1895
My dear Son,
Your nice little note rec'd this noon. Thought someone was sending me a contract to sign.
So you are going through the delights of moving. You will be astonished to find you have so much worldly goods, but will need more.
Next week we are to be in Boston and remain 3 weeks but rumors are about that we may go to Phila for three nights or a week. Marcus Mayer was here on Monday night and as he had just arrived from California where he had been with the Gaiety Girl. I thought he would remain with us, but he left that night for New York so I could not speak to him about business, but I shall know in Boston.
My address next week is Boston Museum. We leave here tonight at 11:35 by Michigan Central -- due in Buffalo at 6:45 AM tomorrow. I did have a letter from Robert Taber, husband of Julia Marlowe, wanting to know my terms for next Season. I wrote him a week ago yesterday but so far have had no reply so I imagine I frightened him. Would like to be with them there, for she plays all the old plays in which I am at home, and there would not be much study, but I would require lots of good clothes. Love and Kisses to my dear children Albert, Neppie and dear little Ted from their loving Mother.
St Louis Octr 4th 
My dear Son,
Here I am. Arrived this Morning at 7. Had a hard time finding shelter, but I succeeded in locating at the above. Four blocks from theatre, which is a new one next door to Pope's old theatre which has been taken down, and a new block of buildings is being erected on the site, for stores, I guess.
Well, dear, I have not had my clothes off all night, but am now going to undress and go to bed for awhile. I feel a little tired. We open tonight -- "But tell it not in Gath ". Close Saturday night and leave on Monday for Decatur, Il and one night stands for the rest of the week and three nights of second week, closing up the week with three nights in Omaha. Love and Kisses from your Mother
Lindell Hotel opened in 1863.
Gath Philistine city, birthplace of Goliath 1 Sam 5:8, 17.4, 21.10
St. Louis Train Station
In 1891, the Terminal Railroad Association sponsored a national competition for its design. Theodore C. Link, a St. Louis architect and former railroader, submitted the winning entry. His design included the Headhouse, the Midway and the Train Shed. The Headhouse, designed to suggest a medieval bastioned gate, contained the ticket office, waiting rooms, a 70-room Terminal Hotel and a restaurant. The Midway was a covered transfer area for passengers. The Train Shed, one of the largest ever built, was an 11.5-acre roofed area of loading platforms and 31 tracks. Constructed at a cost of $6.5 million, St. Louis Union Station opened on September 1, 1894. Susan Hall, Union Station Reborn, Historic Traveler, Primedia Publications, 2005 http://away.com/primedia/transport/union_station_reborn.html
Union Station first opened in 1894, but ceased operation as an active train terminal in 1978. Union Station reopened in August of 1985 as the largest adaptive re-use project in the United States. http://www.stlouisunionstation.com/info/aboutus.cfm
St. Louis Union Station, Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis_Union_Station more on Railroads
Octr 25th 1896
My dear daughter Neppie,
We closed our engagement here last night, but do not leave until tomorrow at 10 AM to go to Des Moines, Iowa. Consequently we have a day of rest here, for the second time only since leaving Boston last Spring. We are looking for another week of hard travels before reaching Milwaukee. We shall have six hours of ride tomorrow. Are due in Des Moines at 4:50 PM . The next day we shall take quite as long in going to Burlington [ Iowa ]. On Wednesday night we go on board a sleeper at Davenport to take us to Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids to Dubuque and Freeport, Ill on Saturday night.
Milwaukee Novr 2nd. There we hope to be when the Election returns tell us who will be the new man in the White House for the next 4 years. People seem to think and talk of nothing else in this part of the Country. I shall be glad when the whole thing is settled and no trouble arises from it.
Does [Ted] enjoy his tricycle? I dare say he keeps you in constant dread of something happening to him. I hope he will be very careful and look out for wagons, Bicycles, Trolleys & Steam cars! But he is a good little boy and I think he will be careful for his Papa and Mama's sakes.
We are still on the same old lines travelling and playing, but it seems a little more like hard work. The journeys are long, tire-some & early rising quite fatiguing.
But I hope we shall be able to pull through all right and you, Albert and Ted will be able to come for dinner at Hattie's on the Sunday after Christmas. As we go to play at Murray Hill N.Y. Theatre, I can stay over until Monday and go to New York with you. Love and Kisses to my dear children 3, Albert, Neppie and Edward from me, their loving Mother
The RUSSELL HOUSE
May 15th 1896
My dear daughter Neppie,
What is the "Parada" and who teaches Ted to dance? I hope he made a success of his Debut on Wednesday Afternoon. I played Mrs. Pringlet [in Gay Parisians] that Afternoon in Toledo to a very bad house. I hope Ted drew better than his Grandma.
The business has not been good since we left N.Y.. Men, women and children are all riding bicycles in every town. No business being done anywhere in any line save bicycles! There never was such a general craze before. About 8 men and two women in our Company have their bicycles with them, and ride from 10 to 20 miles a day. Gustave Frohman is an enthusiast on the subject, and I think will kill himself overdoing the thing.
Business for these two weeks has been so bad that we all feel our season in Chicago cannot last for 12 weeks, and we look for closing much earlier. Some say 6 weeks and I say four. But by the time June comes people may be tired of riding the bikes and like to take the theatre in.
I am glad to hear Ted enjoyed his visit to New York. I feel it was not a very enjoyable time for any of you for I was tired, nervous & fidgety, and did not know what to do to make it pleasant for you. It made me very happy to have you all there and in my own happiness I fear I did not do all I might have done to make the rest of you comfortable. The rooms were all so small. We were crowded, yet I took the best they had. I thank you all for coming to see me and Kissing me goodbye. Love and Kisses to my dear children -- Ted, Albert and Neppie from me their loving Mother
Madison Wisconsin 1896
The PARK HOTEL
Geo. A. Lougee, Prop.
Madison, Wis. Novr 16th 1896
My dear daughter Neppie,
[Ted] is a good dear boy to think he will write to me again before getting an answer to his first letter. I know a bigger boy who is not so thoughtful.
This is a very pretty place, capitol of Wisconsin. I took a walk down to Lake Monona this Afternoon. The air was like a lovely day in May. Should like to stop here for a week. We leave 10 in the Morning for Rockford, Ill. The travel will not be so severe as some "one night stand" towns we have been to.
Hattie has a girl. Thinks she will be a good one but time will have to prove it. She is a Colleen Rhu. Excuse a longer letter. Gas is bad and it is supper time. My love and Kisses to you dear children three, Albert, Ted and Neppie from your loving Mother
Detroit Free Press Proquest 1831-1922 http://www.proquest.com/assets/literature/products/databases/hnp_freep.pdf
St. Louis Post Dispatch Proquest 1874-1922 http://www.proquest.com/assets/literature/products/databases/hnp_stlpd.pdf
City Of St. Louis Cultural Resources Office, History
Missouri Historical Society Museum http://www.mohistory.org/
Last updated Aug 14 2011
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these letters About EJ