Shute’s wife sues Pirates

Here’s a bit of filler from the September 19 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about a golf pro’s wife who was suing the Pittsburgh Pirates baseball team after being hit by a poorly thrown baseball.

Denny Shute (1904-1974) earned 16 PGA Tour wins between 1929 and 1939, including three majors: the 1933 British Open and the 1936 and 1937 PGA Championship, back when it was a match-play event. The next golfer who won back-to-back PGA Championships was Tiger Woods in 1999 and 2000.

Shute married his wife, the former Hettie Marie Potts, in 1930; the couple had one daughter. I couldn’t find out what happened to her or to her lawsuit, but I did find a photo of her from 1937 in which she appears to have suffered no long-term damage from having been hit by a badly thrown baseball.


To make debut this season

I am endlessly fascinated by the society pages of old newspapers. For instance, the September 19 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, which I have been looking at lately, contained these social notices, among others:

Mrs. C. Gardner is entertaining this evening in honor of Miss Margaret Pountney, a bride-to-be.

Mrs. A. M. Ridge is holidaying in Vancouver.

Mr. and Mrs. T. W. Gilmore, Miss Pauline Ritchie and Miss Hilma Farquharson are in New York at the Hotel Vanderbilt.

Mrs. Arthur Cadwallader, Scarboro Rd., is visiting her daughter, Mrs. Lloyd Hill, in Wyandotte, Mich.

The society pages also would regularly introduce debutantes, who were young women now old enough to be included in these society pages. For example, here is a photo from the same September 19 1935 issue:

I grew curious about this picture because Miss Barbara Hodgson was listed as the daughter of Mrs. G. S. Hodgson, which led me to wonder what became of Mr. G. S. Hodgson. So I looked him up in the Toronto city directories.

Sadly, as I suspected, a tragedy had recently befallen the family. The 1932 city directory lists Gregory S. Hodgson working for Blake, Lash, Anglin & Cassels, barristers and solicitors, and living at 271 Russell Hill Road (which is being rebuilt in 2021). But the 1933 directory lists Isobel, his widow. I suppose that the only consolation was that Mr. Hodgson had passed away long enough ago that the surviving mother and daughter were not immediately grieving Mr. Hodgson’s death when Miss Hodgson was making her debut.

I checked the directories at two-year intervals, and Barbara Hodgson first appears with a listing of her own in the 1941 directory, still at 271 Russell Hill Road. She also appears in the 1943 through 1949 directories; in 1943, she is listed as working as a librarian at Simpson’s. The 1947 and 1949 directories list her as Barbara M. Hodgson.

She is not listed in the 1950 directory; presumably, she had gotten married and moved out of her childhood home. The 1950 directory still listed Isobel Hodgson, widow of Gregory S., at 271 Russell Hill Road.

Starting from at least 1947, there was a lodger living at the address as well – the 1947 and 1950 directories list Hilda Calvin at that address, and a later directory listed William Aylett, an employee at Shell. So, in a manner of speaking, Mrs. Hodgson was not enduring the years of widowhood on her own. And there were many of them – she appears in at least the 1955 directory, which was over 22 years after her late husband passed on.


Guns wanted

Here’s a small ad from the September 19 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star from a company that wanted to buy your guns:

Larway, Temple & Cooper Limited were a new firm at the time of this ad: they weren’t in the 1935 Toronto city directory. The 1936 directory lists them as a sporting goods retailer, with Gilbert C. Temple as president, J. Ross Larway as vice-president, and Frank Cooper as assistant secretary. (I’m fascinated by the fact that Mr. Temple was the president, but Mr. Larway’s name was listed first in the company name. This seems like the result of a negotiation.)

Sadly, the firm didn’t last long. The 1940 directory still lists them at 45 Adelaide East, though Mr. Cooper is no longer listed as one of their managers. By 1941, the firm was gone; J. Ross Larway was working as a salesman, and Gilbert C. Temple was not listed at all.

The Toronto Reference Library has a copy of their 1937 catalog.


His last race

Here’s a photograph from the September 19 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a midget car race crash that fatally injured a driver.

A search for Harry Jastroch turned up his Find a Grave entry. From this, I learned that he had been 22 years old and married for two weeks when he was killed. I couldn’t find out anything else about him, other than that his nickname was “Jastrow”; presumably, this was because that was what his last name was pronounced.



Here’s an item from the photo page of the September 19 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star, featuring the commander-in-chief of the British home fleet.

Roger Backhouse (1878-1939) was the fourth son of a baronet, and served on his first Royal Navy ship when he was 14. He gradually moved higher and higher in the ranks until he became commander-in-chief of the home fleet at about the time of this photograph.

Admiral Backhouse went on to become First Sea Lord in November 1938. While in office, he determined, quite sensibly, that sending a major fleet to Singapore to combat Japanese aggression was not as important as keeping the fleet close to home to combat Nazi aggression. Sadly, he was not First Sea Lord for long, as he was diagnosed with a brain tumour and passed away just before the start of the Second World War.


Doesn’t smoke and doesn’t want to be a star

Here’s a short article from the September 19 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about an English actress who was in Toronto visiting her sister.

Davina Craig (1912-2002) was the stage name of Davina Smith, who became Davina Whitehouse when she got married in 1941. She was signed by Twickenham Studios in Britain in 1932, and appeared in a number of movies for them between 1933 and 1939.

In 1952, she emigrated to New Zealand, becoming the executive producer of radio drama for the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation. She had a long and distinguished career as an actress and producer in New Zealand, and was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1985.


Twins in C.N.E. baby show

Here’s a photograph from the August 7 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of twin boys who were part of the C.N.E. baby show.

I looked up William Rose in the Toronto city directories. He doesn’t appear in the 1935 directory, but the 1936 directory lists him as the proprietor of Bill’s Clothing Store at 1086 Bloor West. The store survived the Second World War, as it was listed in the 1948 directory. William Rose had moved a couple of times in the meantime, but by then was back in the same neighbourhood. at 1116 Bloor West.

Unfortunately, tragedy appears to have struck the family shortly after that, as Minnie Rose is listed at 1116 Bloor West in 1949 instead of William. She remained at that address through at least 1954, and was listed as the widow of William that year.

The twin sons appear in the 1957 directory. Stanley was living with his mother at 408 Dovercourt Road and working as a manager at Babyland. Edward was working as a salesman at Willie Smith’s Men’s Shop. The twins are listed in 1958, but Minnie is not. The twins were living together in 1959 on Wilson Avenue and working as salesmen; Edward was still there in 1960. I wasn’t able to trace them after that, as they had moved and their names are very common.

A search for “CNE baby show” turned up this CNE Heritage article and a longer article in the Toronto Star. The last CNE baby show was in 1972.


Dr. Glendenning to run

Here’s a bit of filler from the August 7 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star about a rift among Conservative electors in the Toronto riding of Rosedale:

The group of electors may have persuaded Dr. Glendenning to run, but he must have changed his mind sometime between the time of this article and the election held on October 14 1935, as the 1935 election results for Rosedale do not list him as a candidate. The Conservative candidate, Harry Clarke, was elected with 40.26% of the vote. (William Dennison, a future mayor of Toronto, ran for the CCF in that election and finished third.)

However, it looks like the dissatisfaction with Mr. Clarke carried forward into the next election, in 1940. Despite being the sitting MP, Mr. Clarke lost the nomination for what became the National Government party, with Harry Jackman winning the nomination and later the seat itself. After trying to contest the nomination and failing, he retired from politics.

I did a search, but turned up nothing else on Harry Glendenning. I do wonder, though: why were all of the Conservative candidates in Rosedale named Harry?


Donor of $500,000

Here’s a photo from the August 7 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who had just donated half a million dollars to charity.

Frank Patrick O’Connor (1885-1939) was the founder of the Laura Secord chain of confectionery stores (called Fanny Farmer in the United States). He was appointed to the Senate in 1935, serving there until he passed away.

O’Connor Drive in Toronto is named after him, as is Senator O’Connor College School, a Catholic high school located in the Parkwoods neighbourhood of Toronto near the estate where he lived. (I grew up in this neighbourhood; the area near the school was sometimes known as the O’Connor Hills.)


First governor-general

Here’s a (badly retouched) photograph from the August 7 1935 edition of the Toronto Daily Star of a man who was about to become the next Viceroy of India, and then later the first Governor-General of India.

Victor Hope, 2nd Marquess of Linlithgow (1887-1952), known as Linlithgow, served as Viceroy of India for longer than anyone else, retiring from his post in 1943. His tenure was not always viewed favourably. One Indian author wrote:

His 7½ year regime – longer than that of any other Viceroy – was conspicuous by its lack of positive achievement. When he left India, famine stalked portions of the countryside. There was economic distress due to the rising cost of living and the shortage of essential commodities.

His predecessor as Viceroy, the wonderfully named Freeman Freeman-Thomas, 1st Marquess of Willingdon (1866-1941) was the Governor-General of Canada from 1926 to 1931 before becoming Viceroy of India. His term in office in India lasted precisely five years: from April 18 1931 to April 18 1936.