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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Faith, the Stripteasing Genealogist

The most recent Genealogue Challenge has to be my favorite so far. We started out with an image of Faith Bacon as a striptease artist with a lackluster Hollywood career who ended up dead on a sidewalk in Chicago. What have we found out so far?

  • Her great-great-grandfather, Daniel Dearborn Page, was the second mayor of St. Louis.
  • Her great-grandfather, Henry Douglas Bacon, was a generous benefactor of the University of California at Berkeley.
  • She was a not-too-distant cousin of General George S. Patton (it appears that her great-grandmother, Mary Catherine (Hereford) Cooper, and his maternal grandmother, Margaret (Hereford) Wilson, were sisters).
  • She sent General Patton fan mail, and "included a photocopy of her Colonial Dames papers." She was a genealogist!
  • At her death, she was separated from her husband, Sanford Dickinson, "song writer and publisher of Buffalo, NY." He seems to have been the music consultant for the cult-classic transvestite flick Glen or Glenda—the making of which was depicted in the movie Ed Wood.
There are still details needing confirmation. Faith was living with her 28-year-old "sister" Charm Bacon in New York City in 1930. The 1910 census is difficult to read, but seems to show her father, Frank P. Bacon, with a 10-year-old bride, Charmaine. Was "Charm" Faith's mother? If so, what became of her? And where were they living in 1920?

Doogles McQuig

The 28 year-old Charm in 1930 is probably the same person as the 10 year-old Charmaine in 1910. Even though the census lists her as Frank Page's wife, he is the last entry on one page and she is the first entry on the next. It's seems more probable that the census taker (or a subsequent transcriber), because of the page-break, omitted the name of the real wife and put that tag on the daughter. In other words, Charmaine seems more likely to really be a sister. Also, in 1920 Frank is listed as a widow while Charm in 1930 seems to be alive and well in New York. So, same question, where are Charm and Faith in 1920, but a second question is, who really is the mother of Faith Bacon, genealogist extraordinaire?

Agree this was a great and fun challenge.

Craig Manson

I've looked at two different images of the 1910 census and using the transcription skills I learned for FamilySearch Indexing, I think the age given for Charmaine Bacon is actually 16, not 10. The SSDI shows a
"Charmion" Bacon, born 30 Apr 1894, died May 1972, in Denver. This person would have been 16 years old in 1910.

Craig Manson

Curiously, the 1920 census shows Frank Bacon, age 33, living in Los Angeles County, described as widowed.

Dianne

In “The Mountain Democrat” (Placerville, Calif.) 27 January 1914 there is an announcement of a divorce filing of Francis Page Bacon from Charmian Cerry Bacon. “Oakland―Francis Page Bacon, remotely connected with the well-known Bacon family of Oakland, has filed suit for divorce from Charmian Cerry Bacon, alleging desertion.”

Chris

Great find, Dianne! Thanks! So was "Cerry" her middle or maiden name?

NevadaGenealogist

With Diane's great lead on the divorce date:
This is from the Oakland Tribune, 15 Jan 1914.
"Alleging desertion, Francis Page Bacon, has commenced suit for divorce against Charmion Cerry Bacon, whom he declares left him in November 1912, and returned to live with her parents in Santa Rosa. The couple were married in Sept 1909 and have one child Frances Yvonne Bacon.

MFraser

The Oakland lead was a huge help!
The 16 Sept 1956 Oakland paper here has a front page article on Faith's suicide leap.


Faith's uncle, Henry D. Bacon, apparently moved to Maine, as evidenced by this article in the NY Times. Frank's sister-in-law is crewing as part of a power boat race from NY to Bermuda, aboard the Yo-Ho, owned by Frank Page Bacon (senior, apparently.)

According to the articles, her uncles Thomas P and Robert, are deceased in 1956; her grandfather is supposed to have owned the Bacon Block in Oakland, and the article gives her father's residence as Pennsylvania, and states that he never lived in Oakland.
Unfortunately, this second page is virtually illegible.

Her 1930 "indecent exposure" while appearing in Earl Carroll's VANITIES, is recorded here.


A 1939 NY Court appearance is recorded in this newspaper report.

MFraser

Could this be the Sanford/Sandford Dickinson who ultimately married Faith Bacon?

The timeframe looks about right, and his parents are from Buffalo....

MFraser

Sandford Dickinson appears here in NYC in the 1910 Census. He is age 23, married 2 years (no wife immediately listed) and records his occupation as theatrical manager.


This would be a bit early for Faith to be that wife, since according to our searches, she hasn't been born yet! which leads to an interesting premise- apparently she may be a second or "trophy" wife.

Also, the records I've seen so far seem to alternate Sanford/Sandford, so tracking our boy is proving to be interesting.

MFraser

I'm having better luck with Faith's ex-husband, than with her mother/sister...

Sandford Dickinson's burial record at Ancestry.com notes the following:
U.S. Veterans Gravesites, ca.1775-2006

Name: Sanford Hunt Dickinson
Birth Date: 8 May 1887
Death Date: 14 Aug 1958
Interment Date: 21 Aug 1958
Cemetery: Los Angeles National Cemetery
Cemetery Address: 950 South Sepulveda Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90049
Buried At: Section 264 Row D Site 5

Doogles McQuig

Checked the Placerville article and I believe it has her name as Gerry, not Cerry. Still can't connect it up in any way, though.

Chris

Great work, guys!

Here's Sandford Hunt Dickinson in the California Death Index.

Doogles McQuig

Agree the Oakland article looks more like Cerry than Gerry. Sorry peeps.

Susan

There is a Charmion Bacon-Morris (age 33, widowed born in San Francisco, CA April 30, 1894) and Frances Bacon-Morris (age 17, single born in Los Angeles, CA July 19, 1910) listed travelling from Boulogne, France to New York, New York aboard the Minnehaha on Oct. 29, 1927. Their US residence is listed as Manger Hotel, 50th Street and 7th Ave., New York, NY.

California birth records on Ancestry have a Frances C. Bacon, born July 19, 1910 in Los Angeles, CA. Her mother's maiden name was Hayes.

Is this our girl?

Chris

That's them! This confirms Craig's hunch that Charmion died in Denver in 1972.

Can anyone find Charmion's parents?

MFraser

another interesting Faith Bacon quote:
from the 11 Sept 1937 Sheboygan Press:
"Fan Dancing? I hate it. I have always wanted to be an obstetrician. I love babies."

MFraser

The Lima News from 28 Sept 1956, actually printed a picture of Chicago firemen lowering the body of Faith Bacon from the roof onto which it fell photo


The Harrisburg Daily Register (Illinois) from 26 Sept 1956, reported in their article that Bacon had "been packing to return home to her family in Erie, PA, after three weeks of job-hunting had ended in failure," although the Hammond Times of Hammond, Indiana, added in their 27 September article that "relatives in Erie, PA could not be located."

The Hammond paper also cited the causes of death as fractured skull, perforated lung and internal injuries, and noted that she died at Grant Hospital.

Several of the papers also indicate that Bacon had been staying with Ruth Bishop, age 40, whose occupation is recorded as grocery clerk.

The Daily Courier of Connellsville, PA, notes in their 28 Sept edition that Bacon received a pauper's funeral.

MFraser

the 23 Nov 1909 edition of the Oakland Tribune notes that Mr. & Mrs. Frank Page, Jr. will attend the wedding of his brother William Sherman Page to Miss Ida May Marriott.

Apparently, the junior Pages aren't highly socially ranked. They're listed near the bottom of the fourth column of guests.

The article also supplies another possible link- it notes that William's sister is Mrs. E.R. Marriott, and that the families will now have a double set of married siblings.


24 Sept 1917 edition of the same paper reports that Frank Page Bacon received $5,000 from estate of his sister, Carrie Jenny Bacon, which was administered by exexutrix Ella Etta Bacon-Soule.

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