No. 522
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 17, 2021

Won on the Midway.

A World’s Fair Tyrolese beauty captures the love and caresses of an alleged faithless husband and is
December 11, 2017
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The following tale comes from that classic collection of mostly first-hand accounts of supernatural encounters, "Lord Halifax's Ghost Book."  It was related to Lord Halifax in 1920 by his nephew, Charles Dundas.  Dundas had recently heard the tale from a renowned Royal Air Force pilot named Edward Villiers.  (Later Sir Edward Villiers.)  It is one of the briefest stories in the "Ghost Book," but
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Strange Company - 5/17/2021

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LOOK OUT FOR "SOAPY" SMITHSt. Louis DispatchSeptember 23, 1897(Click image to enlarge) e reported himself in good health and money."   New information showing that Soapy Smith did go to St. Louis to check up on his ailing wife, Mary, after leaving Skagway.  Below is the transcription of the article from the St. Louis Dispatch, September 23, 1897. LOOK OUT FOR “SOAPY” SMITH ― The Smooth Man
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 5/11/2021

Born in 1870 and completed 13 years later (at a cost of $15 million and with more than 20 worker deaths), the Brooklyn Bridge is marking its 138th birthday this week. What better way to honor an icon than with a brilliant lithograph produced by a Pearl Street publisher depicting the fireworks, ship parade, and […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/17/2021
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
The crack of gunfire startled the residents of 88 Merrimack Street, a boarding house in Lowell, Massachusetts, around 10:00, the night of  August 31, 1876. The boarders rushed to Lulu Martin’s room on the third floor, where the shot was fired. The door was locked; they heard a man inside shouting, “Go for the police! She has shot me! I will hold her! Break open the door!”A group of men broke in
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/15/2021

Along with Bertie Whitehead, Abby’s half-sister, May 13th was also the birthday of Helen Craig, famous stage actress best-remembered for Johnny Belinda. Helen Craig, who played Abby in The Legend of Lizzie Borden was born May 13, 1912, a month after Titanic sank. Helen Craig was not a great beauty by Hollywood standards, but a very fine actress. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0185871/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 Her portrayal of Abby Borden as a mean, greedy glutton, more than any other thing, has affected the way most people think of Abby Borden. Sadly it was not an accurate portrayal. Helen did some television in her later career, most notably The Waltons. She died in New York City in 1986. She was married to stage and film actor John Beal who played Dr. Bowen in Legend of Lizzie Borden. They are seen together in the publicity photo below.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/13/2021
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
Buying the Christmas Turkey. | The Wedding Postponed.

Won on the Midway.

Won on the Midway

 

A World’s Fair Tyrolese beauty captures the love and caresses of an alleged faithless husband and is discovered by his wife. [more]

The beauty show on the Midway at the World’s Fair, Chicago, now has another matrimonial scalp haging on it bejeweled belt. Tied securely to the end of the aforesaid scalp is Arthur St. Clair Bailey. In her bill for separate maintenance filed in the Circuit Court, Arthur’s wife says she has often witnesses, in agonizing shame, the arm of her husband encircling the form of the fair Tyrolese beauty. “Alleged” Tyrolese beauty, the wife calls her, and she consumed the Midway beer under the name of Gisella Grossman. Bailey, it seems helps manage the beauty show and when he went there his wife, Alice, protested with scalding tears running down her cheeks. She knew that Albert could not withstand the shy glances of the “beauts.” For a time Alice stayed home and conducted their store at 533 West Madison Street.

But When Arthur didn’t come home nights any more she grew suspicious. By doing a litteld detective work herself, she discovered that Gisella’s room was next to her husband’s and the latter had so darkened the girl/s apartments that no eye could peep in.

Being persistent, however, she succeeded in obtaining a view of the defendant, when on his lap in loving embrace sat Gisella. And such kisses and caresses! It made the poor wife think of her honeymoon. Several times she had seen these awful things, and then like a sensible woman sought relief in the courts. Neither does Mrs. Baily propose to allow her spouse full freedom, for instead of suing for divorce she seeks one of those judgments where a man has to put up for his wife’s good times and can’t marry again. Further than this the wife says her husband owns real estate and is about to sell it and go to California with Gisella. Accordingly, a writ of ne exeat is prayed to prevent him from leaving the State. The bill also states that the defendant has spent all the profit of the store in buying presents for his love and among them is an expensive diamond ring.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 18, 1893.