Discussion:
Confusion about Ben Harney's wives
(too old to reply)
e***@gmail.com
2006-09-06 00:46:34 UTC
Permalink
Blesh & Janis, in They All Played Ragtime, identify Ben Harney's
wife/stage partner/widow as Jessie Boyce. The marriage was supposed to
have taken place sometime in the 1890s, perhaps as early as 1891.
Blesh/Janis had not interviewed her, as she had already died (when?);
but they spoke to people who knew her & Ben. However, I don't think
I have come across Jessie Boyce Harney except in sources derived from
Blesh/Janis and am beginning to wonder if the name Boyce is another
Blesh/Janis error that has been perpetuated by successive writers.

I have found many newspaper references to a different Jessie named as
his wife/stage partner/widow, this being Jessie Haynes (or Haines). Is
this the same person as Jessie Boyce?

If he had married Jessie Haynes (or Boyce) in the early 1890s, how do
we account for his marriage to Edith Murray on 1 Jan 1897, for which a
marriage certificate exists? Murray, like Jessie, appeared on stage
with Ben.

I've tried to find the maiden name of the Mrs. Harney who had signed
his death certificate at the Fernwood Cemetery (Philadelphia) where -
according to Blesh/Janis - they are both interred, but the records
were lost in a fire in the 1950s.

Ed Berlin
***@optonline.net
Bill Edwards
2006-09-06 16:33:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by e***@gmail.com
Blesh & Janis, in They All Played Ragtime, identify Ben Harney's
wife/stage partner/widow as Jessie Boyce. The marriage was supposed to
have taken place sometime in the 1890s, perhaps as early as 1891.
Blesh/Janis had not interviewed her, as she had already died (when?);
but they spoke to people who knew her & Ben. However, I don't think
I have come across Jessie Boyce Harney except in sources derived from
Blesh/Janis and am beginning to wonder if the name Boyce is another
Blesh/Janis error that has been perpetuated by successive writers.
Hi Ed (and all).

This is a puzzler indeed. The first item that came up when I looked
through Census records was the 1930 census, which was only marginally
helpful. Assuming the one given, born in KY in 1872, was in Detroit at
that time, the records do not specifically name his wife, unless she
born as Mrs., since only Mrs. Ben R. Harney is shown. However, if it is
helpful, she was born in New York around 1878, and her parents were
from New Hampshire.

There were sooooo many Jessie and/or Jessica Boyces born in the 1870s
from Missouri, Kansas, South Carolina, and new York. But if were were
assuming Boyce (and it seems we are not), there is a Jessie M. Boyce b.
1875 that shows up often and was from Pennsylvania. If Harney moved to
NYC around 1896, but if he was still in KY in 1890 (as noted below),
then 1891 would be a premature date for a wedding to someone in NYC.
Could not locate a Jessie Boyce that was from Kentucky, although one
from Ohio, but b. 1882, so not a likely choice.

Going to Haynes/Haines, the most obviously helpful census, 1890, is not
available, so this becomes difficult at best. I am guessing from
collective data I have seen in similar cases that there is a 50% chance
that a stage persona at that time would have tried to keep her maiden
name for stage purposes, but I also know that there is that other 50%.
On anything that looked right (b. late 1860s to mid 1870s and in NY
1900) I unfortunately came up empty for 1900 and 1910. There were even
fewer results on Jessie Harney. Don't know if this saves you any work
or merely duplicates it, as I don't want to presume what has or has not
been done, but am hoping to assist as best as possible.

Could Boyce be a middle name, however odd, or Haynes? Or even a
leftover name from a short first marriage? Jessie Haynes Boyce or
Jessie Boyce Haynes?

Other items I located, which may or may not be of interest and may
already be known are as follows:

New Grove Music Dictionary, American National Biography, and some other
sources list his birth as 1871, yet many others sources as 1872. Census
is unclear, as he was listed (if it is the correct person) as 9 in July
1880, yet as 58 in June of 1930. If his birth date is indeed March 6,
then the earlier listing was an error of course.

Ben is listed in 1890 in Louisville as an usher at the Masonic Theater,
which makes sense.

Efforts to locate any military registration for him failed. He was
likely too old at 44 to serve in the first world war.

Given more time and some of my alternate search methods, which have
sometimes yielded hidden treasures, something might come up in this
regard. I am making the assumption that either Mrs. Harney would have
been in NYC with Ben from 1900 to at least 1920 or so, and in Michigan
in later years.

Sorry I could not be of more assistance, but perhaps with the clues
from the 1930 census something more could be found or ascertained.

Bill E.
e***@gmail.com
2006-09-06 23:56:01 UTC
Permalink
Thanks for your efforts on this, Bill.

The earliest reference I could find to Harney performing with a woman
is in 1896 -- "a brunette from South Carolina" -- a description that
fits neither Murray nor Haynes, if we are to believe newspaper reports.


Jessie Haynes begins to show up with Harney in newspaper clippings
around 1908. She is definitely the widow, for Variety names her in the
1938 obit. Her middle initial, occasionally mentioned in newspaper
clippings, was "J".

Harney's death certificate gives a birth date of 6 March 1871. This is
in accordance with the 1880 census, which has him as 9 on his last
birthday prior to June 1, 1880. His marriage certificate, dated 1 Jan.
1897, has his age as 25, which would also give him a birth year of
1871. The 1930 census has him as 58 on his last birthday (prior to
April 1), which would make the year 1872. With three other documents
agreeing to 1871, I would tend to discount this last one; also earlier
responses to age tend to be more accurate than those that come from the
elderly. (I frequently forget my exact age & consider myself lucky when
I hit the right decade.) The 1930 Census also says he was age 44 when
first married, which we know is wrong because I have the earlier
marriage certificate. (Jessie Haynes' response to the same question
was that she was 38 when first married; since she was 6 years younger
than Ben, they agree that they married in 1916.)

This false marriage age might actually suggest some answers: Let's
assume that he answered thusly because he didn't want Jessie Haynes to
know of his earlier marriage to Edith Murray. So if Jessie Haynes and
Jessie Boyce were the same person, he had not married her prior to his
marriage to Edith Murray.

Don't bother looking in standard reference works for a detail like
this. I think Blesh may have written the entry for American National
Biography; I may have written it for New Grove (but I can't guarantee
that).

Where did you find the listing for Ben in 1890, when he was working in
the Masonic Theatre?

I suspect his 1930 Detroit census listing resulted from catching him on
tour. Anecdotal accounts of those who knew him had him living in
Philadelphia, where he died in 1938. The death certificate says that
he last worked at his profession in 1930.

Ed
s***@gmail.com
2006-09-07 05:16:38 UTC
Permalink
BEN HARNEY
The Orignator [sic] of Rag Time, and MISS JESSIE HAYNES, Octoroon
Impersonatress.

Source: Fort Wayne Sentinel, Jan. 27, 1906
Ragtime is a difficult thing for anyone not a musician to describe.
However, the audiences next week at the Dominion will have an
opportunity to listen to the first-class exponents of that particular
style of music by Mr. Ben R. Harney and Miss Jessie J. Haynes, known as
the "Octoroon Impersonators." Their turn is an original creation and
consists of singing, dancing, talking (not stale jokes), and piano
playing.
--Source: "Music and Drama," Manitoba (Canada) Morning Free Press.
Sept. 2, 1905, p. 10


Short unnamed news item:

One of the most entertaining features to be seen at the Dominion this
week is the act of Mr. Ben Harney and Miss Jessie J. Haynes, billed as
the "Octoroon Impersonators." Harney is a real funny man, and does not
have to labor anywhere to make his audiences laugh. Mr. Harney has
written a number of peculiar negro melodies. The singing of Miss Haynes
is decidedly affective, and no dull care lives under the light of her
twinkling eyes. Before entering vaudeville, Miss Haynes made an
enviable reputation for herself on the legitimate stage, having starred
with Klaw & Erlanger's "1492," George B. Lederer's "Lady Slavey"
company, and many other successful attractions.
--Source: Manitoba Morning Free Press, Sept. 7, 1905, p. 8
From ad for the Grand Theater, "Reno's Popular Play House," Reno, NV
BEN R. HARNEY,
The Originator of "Rag Time"
in conjunction with MISS JESSIE HAYNES, the creator of Octoroon
Character Impersonations.
N.B.--All songs, words and music, dialogue, etc., were written by Mr.
Harney for this act. Copyrighted.
--Source: Reno Evening Gazette, June 27, 1904, p. 4


Sue
Thanks for your efforts on this, Bill.
The earliest reference I could find to Harney performing with a woman
is in 1896 -- "a brunette from South Carolina" -- a description that
fits neither Murray nor Haynes, if we are to believe newspaper reports.
Jessie Haynes begins to show up with Harney in newspaper clippings
around 1908. She is definitely the widow, for Variety names her in the
1938 obit. Her middle initial, occasionally mentioned in newspaper
clippings, was "J".
Harney's death certificate gives a birth date of 6 March 1871. This is
in accordance with the 1880 census, which has him as 9 on his last
birthday prior to June 1, 1880. His marriage certificate, dated 1 Jan.
1897, has his age as 25, which would also give him a birth year of
1871. The 1930 census has him as 58 on his last birthday (prior to
April 1), which would make the year 1872. With three other documents
agreeing to 1871, I would tend to discount this last one; also earlier
responses to age tend to be more accurate than those that come from the
elderly. (I frequently forget my exact age & consider myself lucky when
I hit the right decade.) The 1930 Census also says he was age 44 when
first married, which we know is wrong because I have the earlier
marriage certificate. (Jessie Haynes' response to the same question
was that she was 38 when first married; since she was 6 years younger
than Ben, they agree that they married in 1916.)
This false marriage age might actually suggest some answers: Let's
assume that he answered thusly because he didn't want Jessie Haynes to
know of his earlier marriage to Edith Murray. So if Jessie Haynes and
Jessie Boyce were the same person, he had not married her prior to his
marriage to Edith Murray.
Don't bother looking in standard reference works for a detail like
this. I think Blesh may have written the entry for American National
Biography; I may have written it for New Grove (but I can't guarantee
that).
Where did you find the listing for Ben in 1890, when he was working in
the Masonic Theatre?
I suspect his 1930 Detroit census listing resulted from catching him on
tour. Anecdotal accounts of those who knew him had him living in
Philadelphia, where he died in 1938. The death certificate says that
he last worked at his profession in 1930.
Ed
Bill Edwards
2006-09-07 18:08:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@gmail.com
BEN HARNEY
The Orignator [sic] of Rag Time, and MISS JESSIE HAYNES, Octoroon
Impersonatress.
Source: Fort Wayne Sentinel, Jan. 27, 1906
Ragtime is a difficult thing for anyone not a musician to describe.
However, the audiences next week at the Dominion will have an
opportunity to listen to the first-class exponents of that particular
style of music by Mr. Ben R. Harney and Miss Jessie J. Haynes, known as
the "Octoroon Impersonators." Their turn is an original creation and
consists of singing, dancing, talking (not stale jokes), and piano
playing.
--Source: "Music and Drama," Manitoba (Canada) Morning Free Press.
Sept. 2, 1905, p. 10
One of the most entertaining features to be seen at the Dominion this
week is the act of Mr. Ben Harney and Miss Jessie J. Haynes, billed as
the "Octoroon Impersonators." Harney is a real funny man, and does not
have to labor anywhere to make his audiences laugh. Mr. Harney has
written a number of peculiar negro melodies. The singing of Miss Haynes
is decidedly affective, and no dull care lives under the light of her
twinkling eyes. Before entering vaudeville, Miss Haynes made an
enviable reputation for herself on the legitimate stage, having starred
with Klaw & Erlanger's "1492," George B. Lederer's "Lady Slavey"
company, and many other successful attractions.
--Source: Manitoba Morning Free Press, Sept. 7, 1905, p. 8
From ad for the Grand Theater, "Reno's Popular Play House," Reno, NV
BEN R. HARNEY,
The Originator of "Rag Time"
in conjunction with MISS JESSIE HAYNES, the creator of Octoroon
Character Impersonations.
N.B.--All songs, words and music, dialogue, etc., were written by Mr.
Harney for this act. Copyrighted.
--Source: Reno Evening Gazette, June 27, 1904, p. 4
Thanks for the extra Sue. Obviously this predates 1908 by a bit,
perhaps even their marriage, but that seems not entirely clear to me
either. In any case, even with the confirmed spelling and the added J,
nothing seems to show up for a female Jessie in the census records (if
only we had 1890) that fits the demographic. Is there a possibility she
is an import born overseas? It would have some bearing on records, but
not necessarily the census. Even expanding the search to world wide and
going in about 400 records deep, I found nothing of great value.

As for the usher reference, that shows up in the Louisville, Kentucky
Directories, 1890 Record and reads:
Name: Benjamin R. Harney
Location 2: b 312 Camp
Business Name: Masonic Temple Theater
Occupation: usher
State: KY

This is part of the missing 1890 Census substitute search, and the only
viable reference in that list.

I did find this in the record, although it seems a stretch - from the
1889-1893 Erie, PA record:
Name: Jessie Haynes
Location 2: b 430 w 8th
Occupation: teacher
Year: 1893
City: Erie
State: PA

No sex is noted, but I believe the simple majority teachers of
secondary or elementary at that time were female, giving a better than
50/50 chance. Music teacher maybe? It does the age group match the 1878
date implied in the 1930 census, so does not look so good.

Past there I get into Haines, the Henes, then others.

Was she hidden from the census? Unavailable? Also, why does Harney not
show up in all of them? My guess - if they were traveling all that
much, they could have easily inadvertantly and without meaning to
stayed one step ahead of or behind census takers between cities and
hotels. Not sure if they made a point of standing in front of hotels
for a week or two at at time making sure they catch all itinerants, but
even at that, travelers could be missed. If they were staying in
private homes or apartments during travel, this could be even more true
since the Postman may ring twice, but the busy census taker does not
come back when they have info for that address.

OK. Enough blah blah. Hope that fills in at least one blank.

SYNCerely, Bill E.
Bill Edwards
2006-09-07 18:19:29 UTC
Permalink
Additional, although likely known.

Give that "I'd Give a Hundred if the Gal was Mine" from 1901 is
dedicated to Edith, we can likely surmise that his unhooking from her
and hooking with Jessie occured within the following 3 years. So he and
Edith were together for at least four or five years, perhaps from
shortly after he moved to NYC in 1896.

Narrows the gap a little.

BE
e***@gmail.com
2006-09-08 03:57:37 UTC
Permalink
Good catch on that! I found I have the music, & you're right about the
dedication. In addition, I found another Harney piece -- "The Only Way
To Keep A Gal, Is To Keep Her In A Cage" (1901) -- and it has Jessie
Haynes' photo on the cover, so she was apparently performing the song
on stage with Ben. She also signs the photo, & the handwriting is the
same that appears as "Mrs. Harney" on the death certificate. So this
may be the transition from one wife to another. I'll check the
copyright records on the two pieces to determine the months of
copyright. But we're still left with the question: Was Jessie Haynes &
Jessie Boyce the same person?

Ed
Post by Bill Edwards
Additional, although likely known.
Give that "I'd Give a Hundred if the Gal was Mine" from 1901 is
dedicated to Edith, we can likely surmise that his unhooking from her
and hooking with Jessie occured within the following 3 years. So he and
Edith were together for at least four or five years, perhaps from
shortly after he moved to NYC in 1896.
Narrows the gap a little.
BE
s***@gmail.com
2006-09-08 05:43:24 UTC
Permalink
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~harney2/Ben_R.htm

Edyth Murray, Jessie Haynes, and Jessie Boyce one and the same--with
Haynes and Boyce the stage names? If so, why claim not to have married
until 1916?

You've had contact with the person who created these webpages. Does
Linda Harney McDonald of Powell, WY, not have evidence to support that
Murray, Haynes, and Boyce were the same person, as she says?

The show _1492_ was performed around the U.S. into 1899. Might Jessie
Haynes have been part of a touring company rather than the NY
production? I noticed one mention of a Ross Snow from Springfield
(presumably Illiniois since no state was named) performing in the cast
in Decatur.

Sue
Post by e***@gmail.com
Good catch on that! I found I have the music, & you're right about the
dedication. In addition, I found another Harney piece -- "The Only Way
To Keep A Gal, Is To Keep Her In A Cage" (1901) -- and it has Jessie
Haynes' photo on the cover, so she was apparently performing the song
on stage with Ben. She also signs the photo, & the handwriting is the
same that appears as "Mrs. Harney" on the death certificate. So this
may be the transition from one wife to another. I'll check the
copyright records on the two pieces to determine the months of
copyright. But we're still left with the question: Was Jessie Haynes &
Jessie Boyce the same person?
Ed
Post by Bill Edwards
Additional, although likely known.
Give that "I'd Give a Hundred if the Gal was Mine" from 1901 is
dedicated to Edith, we can likely surmise that his unhooking from her
and hooking with Jessie occured within the following 3 years. So he and
Edith were together for at least four or five years, perhaps from
shortly after he moved to NYC in 1896.
Narrows the gap a little.
BE
e***@gmail.com
2006-09-08 20:14:22 UTC
Permalink
No, I don't think Edith Murray is the same as either Jessie. I'm
trying to determine if the two Jessies are the same person. And it
would make no sense for a performer to have *two* stage names. Why try
to achieve fame under two different names? At this point, I'm
wondering if there really was a Jessie Boyce; I've found no sign of her
except in writings derived from Blesh/Janis; they claim that, in
addition to being his stage partner, she was his widow. The cemetery
has contacted me that the Harney records did not survive the 1950s
fire.

I did have contact with Linda Harney McDonald several years ago, but
she hasn't responded to my note from over a week ago. Note that while
she includes my correction of what she had written about James P.
Johnson, she didn't simply rewmove the incorrect information. I'll try
her again.

Yes, I also assume that Murray must have been either in one of the
later Bway productions or the touring company.

Ed
Post by s***@gmail.com
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~harney2/Ben_R.htm
Edyth Murray, Jessie Haynes, and Jessie Boyce one and the same--with
Haynes and Boyce the stage names? If so, why claim not to have married
until 1916?
You've had contact with the person who created these webpages. Does
Linda Harney McDonald of Powell, WY, not have evidence to support that
Murray, Haynes, and Boyce were the same person, as she says?
The show _1492_ was performed around the U.S. into 1899. Might Jessie
Haynes have been part of a touring company rather than the NY
production? I noticed one mention of a Ross Snow from Springfield
(presumably Illiniois since no state was named) performing in the cast
in Decatur.
Sue
Post by e***@gmail.com
Good catch on that! I found I have the music, & you're right about the
dedication. In addition, I found another Harney piece -- "The Only Way
To Keep A Gal, Is To Keep Her In A Cage" (1901) -- and it has Jessie
Haynes' photo on the cover, so she was apparently performing the song
on stage with Ben. She also signs the photo, & the handwriting is the
same that appears as "Mrs. Harney" on the death certificate. So this
may be the transition from one wife to another. I'll check the
copyright records on the two pieces to determine the months of
copyright. But we're still left with the question: Was Jessie Haynes &
Jessie Boyce the same person?
Ed
Post by Bill Edwards
Additional, although likely known.
Give that "I'd Give a Hundred if the Gal was Mine" from 1901 is
dedicated to Edith, we can likely surmise that his unhooking from her
and hooking with Jessie occured within the following 3 years. So he and
Edith were together for at least four or five years, perhaps from
shortly after he moved to NYC in 1896.
Narrows the gap a little.
BE
s***@gmail.com
2006-09-08 21:31:36 UTC
Permalink
My newspaper search has yielded nothing easy to spot for the name
Jessie Boyce. I've found several Jessie Boyces, but none fit. One was
a fictional character. There are many more "hits" that I haven't
looked through, but I don't think the next 1000 are worth bothering
with.

The only reason I can imagine for two stage names would be if they were
adopted for very different sorts of performing careers that she wanted
to keep separate, perhaps in an effort to avoid soiling one name with
the other work. But _1492_ and _Lady Slavey_ weren't Shakespearean
tragedy.

I've looked at articles on both shows, and they are interesting but no
help. Jessie couldn't have been the "star" of the latter since those
shoes were adequately filled by Marie Dressler. One small fact I
noticed was that Klaw & Erlanger took Lederer's show on tour beginning
in 1897. If Jessie Haynes had been with the _1492_ production prior to
that, this Klaw & Erlanger connection could explain her role in _Lady
Slavey_. On the other hand, it might have been the other way around
since 1492 toured so long.

Looks like that's the best I can do; I need to finish an article and a
book review for the _Missouri Folklore Society Journal_ before October
1 and have little free time for those.

Please post your Harney-related findings, or let the group know where
to read them in published form.

Sue
Post by e***@gmail.com
No, I don't think Edith Murray is the same as either Jessie. I'm
trying to determine if the two Jessies are the same person. And it
would make no sense for a performer to have *two* stage names. Why try
to achieve fame under two different names? At this point, I'm
wondering if there really was a Jessie Boyce; I've found no sign of her
except in writings derived from Blesh/Janis; they claim that, in
addition to being his stage partner, she was his widow. The cemetery
has contacted me that the Harney records did not survive the 1950s
fire.
I did have contact with Linda Harney McDonald several years ago, but
she hasn't responded to my note from over a week ago. Note that while
she includes my correction of what she had written about James P.
Johnson, she didn't simply rewmove the incorrect information. I'll try
her again.
Yes, I also assume that Murray must have been either in one of the
later Bway productions or the touring company.
Ed
Post by s***@gmail.com
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~harney2/Ben_R.htm
Edyth Murray, Jessie Haynes, and Jessie Boyce one and the same--with
Haynes and Boyce the stage names? If so, why claim not to have married
until 1916?
You've had contact with the person who created these webpages. Does
Linda Harney McDonald of Powell, WY, not have evidence to support that
Murray, Haynes, and Boyce were the same person, as she says?
The show _1492_ was performed around the U.S. into 1899. Might Jessie
Haynes have been part of a touring company rather than the NY
production? I noticed one mention of a Ross Snow from Springfield
(presumably Illiniois since no state was named) performing in the cast
in Decatur.
Sue
Post by e***@gmail.com
Good catch on that! I found I have the music, & you're right about the
dedication. In addition, I found another Harney piece -- "The Only Way
To Keep A Gal, Is To Keep Her In A Cage" (1901) -- and it has Jessie
Haynes' photo on the cover, so she was apparently performing the song
on stage with Ben. She also signs the photo, & the handwriting is the
same that appears as "Mrs. Harney" on the death certificate. So this
may be the transition from one wife to another. I'll check the
copyright records on the two pieces to determine the months of
copyright. But we're still left with the question: Was Jessie Haynes &
Jessie Boyce the same person?
Ed
Post by Bill Edwards
Additional, although likely known.
Give that "I'd Give a Hundred if the Gal was Mine" from 1901 is
dedicated to Edith, we can likely surmise that his unhooking from her
and hooking with Jessie occured within the following 3 years. So he and
Edith were together for at least four or five years, perhaps from
shortly after he moved to NYC in 1896.
Narrows the gap a little.
BE
e***@gmail.com
2006-09-08 03:37:07 UTC
Permalink
Thanks for the Masonic Temple Theater info. That places him in
Louisville in 1890.
The Jessie Haynes you found seems unlikely, especially with the info
that she was in a show in 1893.

Ed
Post by Bill Edwards
Thanks for the extra Sue. Obviously this predates 1908 by a bit,
perhaps even their marriage, but that seems not entirely clear to me
either. In any case, even with the confirmed spelling and the added J,
nothing seems to show up for a female Jessie in the census records (if
only we had 1890) that fits the demographic. Is there a possibility she
is an import born overseas? It would have some bearing on records, but
not necessarily the census. Even expanding the search to world wide and
going in about 400 records deep, I found nothing of great value.
As for the usher reference, that shows up in the Louisville, Kentucky
Name: Benjamin R. Harney
Location 2: b 312 Camp
Business Name: Masonic Temple Theater
Occupation: usher
State: KY
This is part of the missing 1890 Census substitute search, and the only
viable reference in that list.
I did find this in the record, although it seems a stretch - from the
Name: Jessie Haynes
Location 2: b 430 w 8th
Occupation: teacher
Year: 1893
City: Erie
State: PA
No sex is noted, but I believe the simple majority teachers of
secondary or elementary at that time were female, giving a better than
50/50 chance. Music teacher maybe? It does the age group match the 1878
date implied in the 1930 census, so does not look so good.
Past there I get into Haines, the Henes, then others.
Was she hidden from the census? Unavailable? Also, why does Harney not
show up in all of them? My guess - if they were traveling all that
much, they could have easily inadvertantly and without meaning to
stayed one step ahead of or behind census takers between cities and
hotels. Not sure if they made a point of standing in front of hotels
for a week or two at at time making sure they catch all itinerants, but
even at that, travelers could be missed. If they were staying in
private homes or apartments during travel, this could be even more true
since the Postman may ring twice, but the busy census taker does not
come back when they have info for that address.
OK. Enough blah blah. Hope that fills in at least one blank.
SYNCerely, Bill E.
e***@gmail.com
2006-09-08 03:21:47 UTC
Permalink
Thanks. These items are new to me, though I have similar clippings
from other parts of the country (& world). However, it brings the
Harney-Haynes association back to 1904. That Jessie was in the show
1492 is especially interesting. This opened in NY on 5/15/1893 (when
Harney was still in Kentucky) and, according to Boardman, the cast was
composed of top vaudeville performers. Jessie is not among those
named, neither in Boardman nor in the NY Times review. However, the
show was quite successful and was still playing in NY in the summer of
1894 before going on an extended tour. Boardman says the roster was
continually in flux. I'll check the notices to see if Jessie is
mentioned.

Ed
Post by s***@gmail.com
BEN HARNEY
The Orignator [sic] of Rag Time, and MISS JESSIE HAYNES, Octoroon
Impersonatress.
Source: Fort Wayne Sentinel, Jan. 27, 1906
Ragtime is a difficult thing for anyone not a musician to describe.
However, the audiences next week at the Dominion will have an
opportunity to listen to the first-class exponents of that particular
style of music by Mr. Ben R. Harney and Miss Jessie J. Haynes, known as
the "Octoroon Impersonators." Their turn is an original creation and
consists of singing, dancing, talking (not stale jokes), and piano
playing.
--Source: "Music and Drama," Manitoba (Canada) Morning Free Press.
Sept. 2, 1905, p. 10
One of the most entertaining features to be seen at the Dominion this
week is the act of Mr. Ben Harney and Miss Jessie J. Haynes, billed as
the "Octoroon Impersonators." Harney is a real funny man, and does not
have to labor anywhere to make his audiences laugh. Mr. Harney has
written a number of peculiar negro melodies. The singing of Miss Haynes
is decidedly affective, and no dull care lives under the light of her
twinkling eyes. Before entering vaudeville, Miss Haynes made an
enviable reputation for herself on the legitimate stage, having starred
with Klaw & Erlanger's "1492," George B. Lederer's "Lady Slavey"
company, and many other successful attractions.
--Source: Manitoba Morning Free Press, Sept. 7, 1905, p. 8
From ad for the Grand Theater, "Reno's Popular Play House," Reno, NV
BEN R. HARNEY,
The Originator of "Rag Time"
in conjunction with MISS JESSIE HAYNES, the creator of Octoroon
Character Impersonations.
N.B.--All songs, words and music, dialogue, etc., were written by Mr.
Harney for this act. Copyrighted.
--Source: Reno Evening Gazette, June 27, 1904, p. 4
Sue
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