Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cal Stewart- Uncle John Weathersby on a Bicycle 1901

    In the fall of 1914 the editor of the Sumner Press requested former Lawrence County residents to “write a letter to the Press editor, to share reminiscences of gone days”.  These letters were published first on Thursday, Feb. 11, 1914, on pink paper.   “The Pink Letters” edition microfilms, with permission of the present editor, were studied.  Five years, 1915 through 1919, have been transcribed in a  261 page, indexed book and published by the Lawrence County Historical Society.

In this book  was an ad (on page 24) for a performance by Cal Stewart in Sumner in 1915.  He was a pioneer in Vaudeville and early sound recordings.  Thomas Edison's studios hired him to cut several cylinder recordings of his popular show.  He performed across the nation with his own group and it was on the road that he befriended Mark Twain and later Will Rogers-- two men who shared similar wit in comedy.

Now you too can actually hear the man who many Sumner people paid 25 cents (children 15 cents) to see perform at the 'Sumner Opra House' in 1915.

 Cal Stewart - Uncle John Weathersby on a Bicycle 1901      Click on this lick and while you are there you can search for more of Cal Stewart recordings..........

The book may be purchased at the Bridgeport Genealogy Library from 2-4 on Tuesday or Thursday, at the Museum during business hours of the Chamber of Commerce or ordered from the Lawrence County Historical Society, P O Box 425 Lawrenceville, IL  62439.  The cost is $25 for the soft, spiral bound book; mailing fee is $5.00 additional.  ( By going to the web albums (click on the slide show at the bottom of the page, and then the word photos at the right hand top of the page) you can view the index of this book to see if any of your ancestors are included. But even if they are not, it is a good read! And you will help support the Historical Society by buying a book.)