Women’s police court

One of the fascinating regular features of old Toronto Daily Star newspapers was the police court columns. There were columns from Men’s Police Court, Women’s Police Court, and sometimes County Police Court.

The Women’s Police Court column from the February 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star led off with this entry:

I looked up Ethel Knowlton and Edward Kitchman in the 1926 Toronto city directory and found her but not him. She lived at 73 Dingwall Avenue and worked in the finishing department at Brown Brothers, a stationery firm. Since Mr. Kitchman had a car, it’s quite possible that he lived out of town.

Sometimes, the Women’s Police Court had men brought up before it. For example, here’s a paragraph listing a number of men who were arrested for getting drunk:

I wonder whether Charles Bell actually had not been in court for 20 years.

Liberal member has resigned

Here’s a photo from the February 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a Member of Parliament who had just resigned his seat.

Francis Nicholson Darke (1863-1940) moved to Regina in 1891 and became a partner in a livestock farm and butcher shop. He became a land developer and then was elected the mayor of Regina in 1898; he remains the city’s youngest-ever mayor. After resigning his federal seat, he donated money to help found what eventually became the University of Regina. The city has named Darke Crescent, Darke Street, Darke Park, and Darke Hall after him.

Charles Avery Dunning (1885-1958) was Premier of Saskatchewan from 1922 to 1926. He became a federal Liberal MP until he lost his seat in 1930; he returned in 1935. He was the Minister of Finance from 1929 to 1930 and then again from 1935 to 1939, after which he suffered a heart attack and left politics. He later became the chancellor of Queen’s University at Kingston.

Youthful motorist

Here’s a photo from the February 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a girl who had just travelled a considerable distance in an automobile:

I tried to look up the Wilson family in the Toronto city directories and hit a snag: the 1926 directory lists Mrs. William Hodgson living at 115 Balmoral Avenue. The 1924 directory lists her as Mrs. W. D. Hodgson, which are the same initials as the “Mrs. W. D. Wilson” captioned in this photo. So my best guess is that the Daily Star got their surname wrong. Mrs. Hodgson, listed as the widow of William, remained at 115 Balmoral for a long time – I found her in the 1948 directory.

I tried looking for Virginia Hodgson in directories of the 1940s but turned up nothing. I did find a Virginia Wilson in the 1946 directory, when the girl in the photo above would have been a 23-year-old woman, but Wilson is a very common surname. No one named Macklin-Marshall appears in the 1926 directory; there is a Garnet Macklin listed as the principal of High Park Forest School, but he might not be relevant to this photo.

Wickedest actress in Paris

Here is a photograph from the February 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of two actresses who were about to appear together in a play.

AndrĂ©e Spinelly (1887-1966), often referred to just as Spinelly, has a Wikipedia page in French. She started her stage career in 1905, appearing in a number of theatrical productions up to the 1920s and some movies in the 1930s. I couldn’t find any references to why she was considered the wickedest actress in Paris or to her millionaire Argentine husband. This site has some photographs and drawings of her, some of which look a bit wicked, I suppose.

Elizabeth Hines (1899-1971) appeared in a number of stage productions in the 1920s. She retired from the stage in 1927 when she married Frank R. Wharton, a Quaker Foods executive. I found photos of her here and here.

Two Britishers become one

Here’s a photo from the February 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a British rowing champion and his bride:

M. K. Morris (1899-1984) had the rather unfortunate name of Morris Morris. He won the Diamond Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1923 despite having only entered three previous sculling races in his life and having a deformed right arm (it had been broken when he was younger and not set properly). At that time, he also picked up the nickname “Geoffrey”, which he used for the rest of his life.

Morris went on to become a fashion photographer in the United States. He and the former “Peggy” Emmett divorced in 1934, and Morris was married twice more. A website called Hear The Boat Sing has an extensive three-part biography of Morris (parts one, two, and three).

German women’s tennis champion

Here’s a photograph from the February 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a German female tennis player.

Nelly Neppach (1898-1933) won eight out of nine German tennis tournaments in 1925, becoming co-ranked #1 in the country. She was invited to play in tournaments in the French Riviera in 1926, as shown in the photo above, but Germans weren’t officially allowed to play in international tournaments because of World War I, and she was briefly banned from playing tennis in Germany when she returned after one event.

(Potential trigger warnings ahead.) Ms. Neppach, who was Jewish, resigned or was forced out of her German tennis club when the Nazis took power in 1933. Shortly afterwards, made despondent by persecution and isolation from her sport, she took her own life. Her husband, Robert Neppach, a set designer, shot himself and his second wife in 1939, shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Charleston death

Here’s a photo from the February 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a girl who had, according to a Kansas doctor, died from doing the Charleston too much:

The Wikipedia page on the Charleston mentions that the dance started becoming popular when a song titled “The Charleston” was written in 1923. The dance peaked in popularity in mid-1926 to 1927. It doesn’t appear to have caused many deaths.

YouTube has footage of Josephine Baker doing the Charleston in 1925.

Found on sidewalk

Here’s a short report from the February 22 1926 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man found unconscious on the sidewalk:

Because the report gave Mr. Fisher’s street address, I was able to trace him in the Toronto city directories. The 1926 directory lists Archibald M. Fisher as part of the Fisher Publishing Company along with his brother, John. Archibald lived at 29 Wells Street and John at 39 Wells.

The 1931 directory lists both Fisher brothers, with John having moved to 174 Rosewell Avenue. The 1933 directory lists John there also, but the 1934 directory just lists Archibald at 29 Wells. My best guess is that John had passed away.

Archibald continued on his own, first running the Fisher Specialty Company, then running a printing business out of his apartment on 321 Bloor West, to which he had moved by 1939. He last appears at this address in the 1954 directory.

Here’s how I make the oyster stew

Here’s an ad from the February 15 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star that features the wife of a prominent Canadian diplomat:

William Duncan Herridge was born in one of 1886, 1887, or 1888, depending on what source you believe; all sources list his birth date as September 18. He served with distinction during the First World War, rising to the rank of Major (and, according to one source, marrying for the first time while overseas).

Originally a Liberal Party supporter, he left the Liberals after the King-Byng constitutional crisis and joined Conservative leader R. B. Bennett’s campaign as a speechwriter and adviser. In 1931, he was appointed Canada’s envoy to the United States and married Bennett’s sister, Mildred, who is pictured here. He remained in his position until later in 1935. During his time in the United States, he became a supporter of Roosevelt’s New Deal, which eventually caused him to break with the Conservatives and form his own party, the New Democracy Party. He failed to gain his seat in the 1940 election and the party folded.

Mildred Herridge, sadly, fell ill less than two years after this photograph was taken and passed away on May 13 1938; the New York Times printed her obituary. Mr. Herridge passed away on September 21 1961 (all three sources agree on this).