A country churchyard in the city

Fair warning: for the next few days, we will be living in the world of June 17 1929, as that day’s edition of the Toronto Daily Star looks to be a good source of blog material. To start, here’s the daily poem that appeared on the editorial page, which I noticed because of the mentioned location:

At the time of this poem, Don Mills Road started at the north end of Broadview Avenue; the corner is now Pape and O’Connor. The church at this corner was originally a Methodist church before becoming Don Mills United Church in 1925.

The church that J. Lewis Milligan would have seen was demolished in 1950 and a larger church was built in its place. However, the old graveyard is still there. It is closed to the public (or at least it was when I was last in the neighbourhood), but you can peek over the fence. The Taylor family that settled the district is buried there.

As one horse lover to another

The June 12 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star has been a bountiful source of material for this blog! Here’s a photo from this edition: Lord Derby has just won the Derby.

That’s an unflattering angle for the photograph of Lord Derby: he looks like the person that you see when you draw a Chance or Community Chest card in Monopoly.

Edward Stanley, the 17th Earl of Derby (1865-1948) was twice the Secretary of State for War in the British cabinet – once during part of the First World War – and was the ambassador to France from 1918 to 1920. He was also, needless to say, a horse racing enthusiast.

The Earls of Derby, in their present incarnation, go back to 1485. The Derby, sometimes called the Epsom Derby after the place where it is held, is a horse race that originated in 1780. It was named after Edward Smith-Stanley, the 12th Earl of Derby. The Kentucky Derby takes its name from this race.

The 12th Earl won the race in 1787 with a horse named Sir Peter Teazle. This was the first time a Derby had won the Derby; the next two were by the 17th Earl in 1924 and 1933, as mentioned in the caption of the photograph above.

The 17th Earl also won the race in 1942, thus maintaining a consistent nine-year gap between victories. No Derby has won it since. (Many modern stagings of the Derby have been won by the team of John Magnier and Michael Tabor, sometimes with partners.)

One other bit of sporting trivia related to the Earls of Derby: traditionally, all of them have been named Edward, which is a tradition that has continued since 1689. The one exception was Frederick Stanley, who became the 16th Earl when his older brother passed away. (His first-born was named Edward, because of course he was.) Before becoming the 16th Earl, Lord Stanley of Preston (as he was named between 1886 and 1893) became the Governor-General of Canada, serving in that post between 1888 and when he became the Earl.

While in Canada, Lord Stanley’s sons became enthusiastic hockey players; Lord and Lady Stanley became staunch fans. This prompted Lord Stanley to donate a challenge cup in 1892, originally called the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup but later referred to as simply the Stanley Cup. The Cup was a challenge cup for amateur teams until 1909, at which time only professional teams started competing for it. It became the exclusive property of the National Hockey League in 1926.

A stroke of luck

Here’s a photograph from the June 12 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a golfer who had just won the U.S. Open.

Johnny Goodman (1909-1970) grew up in tough circumstances in South Omaha: his mother died when he was 11, after giving birth to her 13th child, and his father abandoned the family. Despite this start, Goodman went on to win about 60 tournaments as an amateur, supporting himself by working as an insurance salesman. He remains the last amateur to have ever won the U.S. Open.

No Teddy Baer

The June 12 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star contained multiple references to the Baer family of boxers. There was a reference to Max Baer’s possible upcoming wedding (covered earlier this week) and there was this photograph of Max’s younger brother, Buddy:

Buddy Baer (1915-1986) came very close to becoming the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1941. He lost a bout with champion Joe Louis, but many commentators believed that Louis should have been disqualified in the sixth round of their fight after a late hit.

Baer retired from boxing in 1942 after losing a rematch with Louis. After serving in the war, he opened a number of businesses: the most successful was Buddy Baer’s Bar of Music, located in Sacramento, California. He also worked as a nightclub singer, once performing with Pearl Bailey.

According to Wikipedia – the go-to source for the lazy! – he and his brother Max were known as “professional good guys” or “genial giants”, so they seem to have been nice people when they were not punching anybody.

Proud mothers

Here’s a photograph from the June 12 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of three screen stars and their children.

Arline Judge (1912-1974) was in a number of movies in the 1930s and 1940s. She and Wesley Ruggles divorced in 1937. A few hours later, she married Dan Topping, who later became the owner of the New York Yankees; they divorced in 1940. She married five more times after that, including a marriage to Topping’s brother Henry; all ended in divorce.

Jobyna Ralston (1899-1967) appeared in seven silent films with Harold Lloyd. She and Richard Arlen divorced in 1946. She suffered from rheumatism and a number of strokes in the last years of her life.

Helen Twelvetrees (1907-1958) was born Helen Jurgens. (Possible trigger warnings ahead.) Her first husband, Clark Twelvetrees, attempted suicide by jumping out of the window in the middle of a dinner party; he was hospitalized for several months. She divorced him on the grounds of mental cruelty; she claimed that he was an alcoholic who beat her when he was drunk. She and Jack Woody were married in 1931 and divorced in 1936.

Hopes

The Toronto Daily Star’s editorial page used to include a column called “A Little Of Everything”, which always led off with a poem. Here’s the entry for June 12 1933:

(As I’ve mentioned before: I have no real ear for poetry.)

Molly Bevan (1904-1994) started her working life at the Bell Telephone Company in Hamilton. Her employer encouraged her poetry, publishing some of her poems (including the one shown here) in the company’s staff magazine, The Blue Bell.

The phone company also compiled a collection of her work, Christmas Again and Other Poems, as a Christmas gift for employees in 1923; it can be found here. The collection featured a foreword by Bell executive Paul A. McFarlane that divided workers into three groups: Help, Habit, and Hindrance (the first group was the good one).

Ms. Bevan’s second collection of poems, Gifts of the Year and Other Poems, was published by Macmillan in 1927. She married electrical engineer John Joseph Taylor in 1934; the couple lived in Ohio and California and had four children.

Denies Roosevelt romance

Here is a photograph from the June 12 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a woman who denied that she was about to marry the son of the President of the United States.

Miss Ruth Googins and Elliott Roosevelt might have both denied that they were thinking of getting married, but this appears to have been untrue: they married in July 1933. They divorced in 1944. Time magazine had a report on the divorce, calling him “husky and hard-eyed” and her “black-haired and vivacious”. Well, then.

Elliott Roosevelt (1910-1990) was, among other things, a pilot, a brigadier general, a rancher, an author of mystery novels, a biographer of his parents (which revealed that Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a mistress), and the mayor of Miami Beach between 1965 and 1967. He was also rumoured to have ties to organized crime and was alleged to have been involved in a plot to assassinate the Prime Minister of the Bahamas (which he denied).

Roosevelt married five times in total; his fifth marriage, to Patricia Peabody Whitehead in 1960, appears to have lasted until his death. His final goal in life was to outlive his brother James; he failed, as his brother survived him by ten months.

Ruth Googins remarried shortly after she divorced Roosevelt; this marriage appears to have lasted. She passed away in 1974. The University of Texas at Arlington has an extensive photo library of her from when she was married to Roosevelt.

If and when

Here’s a photo from the June 12 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a Broadway actress who was rumoured to be marrying boxer Max Baer.

I don’t know what happened, but the two did not get married.

June Knight (1913-1987) contracted tuberculosis and polio before she turned five. Despite this, she went on to appear in three Broadway shows in the 1930s and two in the late 1940s. She also had roles in a number of movies between 1930 and 1940, including Broadway Melody of 1936.

Instead of marrying Baer, she married Paul Ames, a stockbroker, in 1934; he petitioned for divorce after just nine days. After another unsuccessful marriage, she married Lockheed co-founder Carl Squier. Their marriage lasted until his death, after which she had another long-lasting marriage to his friend and colleague.

Max Baer (1909-1959) went on to become the world heavyweight champion boxer between June 1934 and June 1935. After divorcing his first wife, actress Dorothy Dunbar, in 1933, he married Mary Ellen Sullivan in 1935. This marriage lasted until his death in 1959 from a heart attack. Their oldest child, Max Baer Jr., played Jethro on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Toronto flier long overdue

The front page of the June 12 1933 edition of the Toronto Daily Star included this photograph of the family of a Toronto pilot who appeared to be missing.

J. Erroll Boyd (1891-1960) was obviously not missing for long, as he lived for over 27 more years after this flight. In 1930, he had been the first Canadian to fly from Canada to England, earning him the nickname “The Lindbergh of England”. (Charles Lindbergh was the first pilot to fly from New York City to Paris non-stop, achieving this feat in 1927.)

I looked up J. Tower Boyd in the Toronto city directories. He does indeed appear in the 1933 directory at 121 Bedford Road. He has no listed occupation; presumably, he had retired. The last directory that he is listed in is 1940; the 1941 directory lists his widow.

By then, the younger Boyd had emigrated to the United States, becoming an American citizen on March 28, 1941. He was inducted into the Canadian Aviation Hall of Fame in 2017.

When the mercury climbed

89 years ago today, it was a very hot day in Toronto. This photograph from the next day’s edition of the Toronto Daily Star, on June 12 1933, shows people cooling off in various locations.

I looked up the Toronto weather records for 1933 and discovered that June 11 was the hottest day of a stretch of warm weather, with the recorded high temperature being 33.3C. It also reached 30C on June 8 and 29.4C on June 9.

The heat wave broke shortly after this, as the recorded high on June 13 was 14.4C. However, it got hot again later in the month: after June 21, the recorded high temperature was 27C or higher for every day but one in the rest of the month.