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January 4, 2002

Here’s more about the new “old stuff” recently acquired by Carol Steichen. It is made up largely of items offered by the estate of the late Fredonna Eisenhauer, a collector whose interests spanned a broad array of subjects.

Included in the collection are several printed programs presented by high school and other community groups. One of the latter is a play described in the program as a “glittering, gorgeous, musical comedy,” entitled “The Million Dollar Doll in Paris.” This production was staged on two November evenings in the Masonic Temple auditorium, but the year is not stated. I am guessing it was in the early 1930s, give or take a little. Presenting it were the men of Perry’s National Guard unit – Battery C, 158th Field Artillery, and their band. Battery C later was a component of the 45th Division, and it was called up for active duty at an early date during World War II.

Members of the cast were Farris Davis, Walter Kehres, Will Pricer, Aline Adams, Leo Marshall, Viola Hogszette, Kathryn Laird, A.C. Marshall, Robert Elliott and LeRoy Miller. Musical numbers were offered by Marjorie Laird and chorus, a sextette of boys and girls, and Rev. Charles Johnstone. “Vaudeville interpolations” were provided by Aline Adams, Viola Hogszette, Kathryn Laird, Virginia Elliott, Jeanice Beers, and Gertrude and Leo Marshall.

“Perry kiddies” were spotlighted in scene two, and they included Doris and Regina Gregory, Lucille Mitchell, Thelma Lewis, Genevieve Samuelson, June Kennedy, Ima Jean Peyton, Mary McClellan, Alice Mosena, Maxine Mitchell and Martha Morgan. Also appearing in that scene were Wanda Rasmussen, Mary Ellen Ritthaler, Dorothy Lee Freeman, Marjorie Kennedy, Jane and June Blake, Lois Magee, Theda Oden, Rosemary McEwen, Virginia Elliott and Jeanice Beers.

“The Doll Chorus” included Virginia Vandenberg, Josie Mae Douglass, Ethel Delores Huffman, Dorothy Woodruff, Josephince St.Clair, Peggy Shouldis, Betty Munger, Lorena Barker, Carol Kennedy, Georgianna Blake, Maurine Samuelson, Lucille Swisher, Helen Craig, Dorothy Craig, Lorraine Mugler, Katherine Barnes, Phyllis Nemec, Lavon Minor, Hazel Curtis, Lucile Johnson, Marie Jackson, Fay Havin, Geraldine Robertson, Marilyn Laird, Georgia Woods, Glenna Belle McCoy, Norma Dodge, Myrtle Barnes, Opal Fitzhugh, Frances Skalenda, Mabel Warner, PhyllisYeager, Eva Beryl Foster and Irene Jackson. “The 1950s Sextettes” included these men -- the Messrs John Worley, Walter Kehres, Mickey Johnson, Donald Rice, A.C. Marshall and Will Pricer; and these young ladies – Georgia Woods, Georgianna Blake, Frances Skalenda, Norma Dodge, Eva Beryl Foster and Opal Fitzhugh. The orchestra was directed by Dr. W.C. Marshall; pianists were Arthur Johnston and Mina Bartow, and the talent committee included Mrs. Joe Foster, Capt. Howard Cress and Frank Marshall

It was a benefit production to support the men of Battery C and the 158th Field Artillery band. Do you remember some of those names? More of this is coming later.