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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised



Loraine
Found among the papers of the Beekman Bank was a series of letters written to pioneer Jacksonville businessman Thomas G. Reames by a San Francisco actress not his wife. (The letters begin among the 1891 documents below.) They were written by a woman born Lillias Loraine Fair, later professionally known as Loraine Hollis and privately known as Lillias Hynes. The documents before 1891 and after 1892 tell her story.


Metropolitan Hotel, Yreka
Fair, W. D., 38, lawyer, born Virginia, real estate $800, personal estate $2000
Fair, Mrs. L., 22, born Mississippi
U.S. Census, enumerated August 4, 1860


    Captain W. D. Fair, formerly of San Joaquin and latterly of Siskiyou, committed suicide this afternoon, by shooting himself through the head, at the office of Doctor Murphy, on Washington Street. It is presumed that domestic troubles was the cause of the suicide.
"By Telegraph to the Union," Sacramento Daily Union, December 28, 1861, page 2


    INQUEST.--An inquest was held last evening over the body of William D. Fair, found dead in the first building below Montgomery block, on Washington Street, on the afternoon of the 27th instant:
    Dr. C. M. Hitchcock, sworn--Have known deceased since 1853; general deportment good; about 38 years old; a native of Virginia; family of deceased occupied my house; had a suit of ejectment against them; went to Dr. Murphy's office about half-past twelve o'clock; opened an inner door; saw feet and legs of a man, and a pistol lying by; went down and returned, seeing deceased lying in a pool of blood; he gasped once or twice afterwards. (Pistol exhibited in court; Colt's revolver, six-barreled, one barrel discharged.) Deceased had been in trouble, but nothing to indicate mental derangement; when I last saw him he was disturbed about his domestic affairs; he was easily excited about anything affecting his honor or integrity; he spoke of his wife in high terms.
    C. Stevens--(Testimony corroborative of that former witness.)--I found Dr. Murphy on Montgomery Street, who requested that Dr. Hitchcock should do all that he could for the wounded man; I recognize the pistol.
    Dr. N. S. Murphy, sworn--Know deceased since 1851; deceased came down from the country about four weeks ago; generally stopped at my office since; deceased was much agitated about his business; had some domestic troubles; was alongside Fair's bed before his decease; shortly after, when on Montgomery Street, was told that he had shot himself; the night previous, he seemed to be happy and composed; had no reason to think that he meditated self-destruction; recognize the pistol; know Mrs. Fair; she has been in my office once since his decease.
    Abner Phelps, sworn--Knew deceased since 1851; he was of a nervous temperament and extremely excitable at times; have met Fair daily at Murphy's office for the last month; domestic troubles were the sole matters upon his mind; he talked to me confidentially; I advised him to go to the States to relieve his mind of his domestic difficulties; he said that his wife had refused to live with him; he spoke of her highly, but latterly he thought that he could make no arrangement whereby they could be reunited; I felt that he might commit suicide; I saw him in bed on the morning of the suicide; he seemed to be stupid and averse to conversation; I was informed of the suicide on Montgomery Street; some time before his death he inquired about the manner of death by laudanum.
    (By a juryman)--Hardly think that he was perfectly sane on the morning of the suicide; have met Mrs. [Fair] there; met her yesterday; her manner was excited; she asked, "Where is Captain [Fair]?" I told her his body was removed to the dead house; she pointed to Dr. Murphy and said excitedly, "You have done this!" I went with her to see the body of her husband; she looked at the corpse and turned to me, saying, "You have done this!" I chided her, and said, "I was your husband's friend"; I left the office yesterday after the Doctor; deceased desired me to deliver certain effects to Mr. Abbott.
    J. D. Abbott, sworn--Have known deceased since '52, am his brother-in-law; he came to my house and told my wife that he had a difficulty with his wife which would ultimately prove his destruction; we met often and always talked on the same subject; the day before his death I walked out with him, when he said that he would never see me more; I never saw him afterward alive; I know of no property besides the trunks; he had frequently said that if he could not reconcile his difficulties he would shoot his head off; deceased was born in Amherst County, Va.; when he went home, some five years go, he was thought to be crazy; they have not been living together for the last four or five months; he stated that he was about to leave the city, and made me pledge my word that if anything should happen, his wife should not have his body; I promised him that she should not have it.
    M. Hubert, sworn--Deceased practiced law in Yreka; followed his wife down from that place; he spoke always of his domestic difficulties; they met at my office--he was calm, she excited; she wanted money, he said he would give his child all he had; she said she would not live with him again; this was some fifteen or twenty days ago; we had a long walk together on Christmas Day; I tried to divert his attention from his wife, but without avail; Dr. Murphy behaved toward him like a brother; the suicide was produced by abandonment of his wife and loss of business.
    The jury rendered the following verdict:
    "We, the undersigned jurors to inquire into the cause of the death of Wm. D. Fair, do find that the deceased was a native of Lynchburg, Virginia, aged 38 years, and that he came to his death by a pistol shot fired by his own hand, whilst laboring under temporary insanity."
    The body of deceased was removed yesterday to the residence of the widow. It will be buried today, from the Pine Street Methodist Church, at 1 o'clock p.m., under the superintendence of the Masons, deceased having as early as 1851 been a member of California Lodge No. 1.
Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 29, 1861, page 1


    THE LATE CAPTAIN FAIR.--Philosopher Pickett sends us the following:
    "Another proud and noble spirit has departed to the realms of mystery--a self-immolated victim of our disorganized, diseased and heartless society. William D. Fair was one of the few in California entitled to the name of gentleman, in the true meaning of the word. Brave, chivalrous, magnanimous, talented, an accomplished scholar, learned in his profession, and possessing that intuitive sense of honor which spurned the least departure from high principle. Sincere in his friendship, he was much beloved by those acquaintances who admire a man for one's true worth. His only fault lay in the excess of a rare virtue: he was of too refined and sensitive a nature for his gross surroundings here, which drove him at times into those heart-wringing words that at length ended his untimely career. With other manly bosoms, I weep over his sad fate and too sudden taking off. But his once troubled soul is now at rest, whether mingling in the great ocean of oblivion, or joying [sic], in entity, the paradisal abode of a high spirit sphere."
"City Items," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 29, 1861, page 1


    FUNERAL.--The funeral of W. D. Fair was attended from the Pine Street Methodist Church yesterday afternoon. The services were conducted by the Masonic fraternity. The deceased had many devotedly attached friends, many of whom attended the obsequies yesterday.

"City Items," Daily Alta California, San Francisco, December 30, 1861, page 1



    THEATRE.--The most amusing performance of the season took place on last evening at the theater in this city, before a large and fashionable audience, who relished the jokes of the burlesque Caucus on the Senatorial election, hugely. The burlesque is founded upon certain circumstances of an attempt to bribe one of the members of the Legislature, the particulars of which have been recently ventilated by the papers the state. Mr. Pope caricatured with most laughable success the member from Butte, Mr. Smith. Griffith "took off" in inimitable style the peculiarities of Senator Perkins of San Francisco. We heard it remarked that the Senator could not be more like himself. How well Bowes copied Warwick of Sacramento, we cannot say, never having had the pleasure of hearing that gentleman in political life, but from the applause elicited, we should say that it was very well done. The Caucus scene, with its usual confusion, disorder and jumble, was exceedingly ludicrous. It will be repeated tonight, following the moral Drama—"The Six Degrees of Crime." We are informed that on Sunday and Monday, Mr. Buchanan's Troupe will appear at Oroville, returning here on Tuesday, when the young and beautiful debutante, Mrs. William D. Fair, late of Yreka, will make her first appearance in this city.
The Daily Appeal, Marysville, California, March 14, 1863, page 3


THE LATE TRAGEDY.
    The San Francisco Bulletin of November 4th gives the following particulars of this affair:
    A terrible event occurred last evening on one of the Oakland ferry boats, which created intense excitement throughout the city, and which will doubtless result in the death of a prominent attorney under the most unfortunate and sorrowful circumstances. A. P. Crittenden, of the law firm of Wilson & Crittenden, was shot and mortally wounded by Mrs. Laura Fair, a woman widely and unfavorably known throughout this state and Nevada. Crittenden was a man of family, but report gained credence several years ago that an improper intimacy existed between him and the woman who now seeks his life. Mrs. Crittenden and her daughter have been on a visit to the East, and with a son, Parker Crittenden, returned last evening. Crittenden went to Oakland to meet them on the arrival of the overland train. The cars arrived at the end of the wharf at about ten minutes before 6 o'clock, A large | number of passengers came aboard the boat, and among them the four members of the Crittenden family above referred to. They passed up the right-hand stairway to the upper deck, and advanced forward some fifteen feet towards the wheelhouse where they took their seats with their backs to the outer railing. It appears from the statements of passengers that Mrs. Fair stood at this time closely veiled in the door of the main cabin with her arms folded under her shawl. From this position she could observe all who came up the stairway. Crittenden sat between his wife and daughter. The boat started from the dock, and had run about twice her length when Mrs. Fair walked up to Crittenden, and holding a pistol close to his breast said, "You have ruined me and my child," and fired. She then dropped the pistol on the floor, and running around the rear of the cabin, entered the southern doorway, and advancing to the forward part of the cabin mingled with the crowd of passengers. The pistol shot attracted but little attention for a moment except among those who were in the immediate vicinity of the tragedy. The ball took effect in the left breast, near the nipple. The victim of the murderous assault leaned back in his seat, and his wife placed her arms around him to support him. His limbs stretched out spasmodically, and he gradually slid from his seat to the floor. In a moment the fact became known throughout the boat that a man had been shot, and the excitement became intense. The wounded man was not removed from his position until the boat arrived at the wharf. It was evident from the commencement that the wound would in all probability result fatally. Crittenden was unable to speak, and his sufferings were extremely severe. The pistol was picked up and was found to be a four-barreled pistol of the Sharp's patent. It was quite new, and teemed to have never been used before. One barrel was empty and three were loaded. Captain Kentzel of the harbor police happened to be on the boat. In company with Parker Crittenden he commenced a search among the passengers for the guilty party. They found Mrs. Fair in the forward part of the cabin. Young Crittenden said: "That is the woman. I accuse you of murdering my father." Mrs. Fair replied, "Yes; I don't deny it. I admit that I shot him, I don't deny it. I was looking for the Clerk to give myself up. Take me. Arrest me; I am ready to go with you." She was then removed to the pilot house, and the crowd was kept away until the boat reached her landing, when she was taken to the city prison.
    Crittenden was removed from the wharf to the residence of his partner, Samuel Wilson, No. 519 Ellis Street. Several of the most prominent surgeons of the city were summoned immediately. They ascertained that the bullet had entered near the nipple and had passed downward, and it is believed had lodged near the spine. The left side soon showed signs of being paralyzed. The patient continued to suffer intensely and was placed under the influence of chloroform. There is scarcely a possibility of his recovery.
    Crittenden is a native of Kentucky, and is about 58 years of age. He is a nephew of the late John J. Crittenden, United States Senator from Kentucky. During the administration of General Jackson he received an appointment to West Point, and graduated in the same class with Generals Sherman and Beauregard in 1835. He came to this coast soon after the discovery of gold; has resided the greater portion of the last twenty years in San Francisco, the only exception being two or three years spent in Nevada during the Washoe excitement. The law firm of Wilson & Crittenden has, during the past two or three years, done the most profitable business of any firm in the city, having been chiefly employed in important land cases. Judge Robinson, who died a few days ago, was a brother of Mrs. Crittenden. At the time of his death he held the position of Supreme Court reporter.
    There were many rumors afloat last evening regarding the unfortunate relationship referred to at the commencement of this article, and the immediate causes which led Mrs. Fair to the perpetration of the desperate crime. We refrain from giving them publicity until facts are brought to light in substantial form.
    Mrs. Laura Fair is perhaps thirty-five years old. She was the wife of William D. Fair, a lawyer, of Siskiyou County, whom she married at Yreka about fifteen years ago. She has one daughter by her first husband, who is now about fourteen years of age. Through pecuniary embarrassment and domestic trouble Fair became despondent in mind. In 1860, while on a visit to this city, he committed suicide by blowing his brains out, at the office of Dr. Murphy, on Washington Street, in the building now known as the Examiner office. Mrs. Fair, a few years afterward, made her debut on the stage at Sacramento, and subsequently appeared in this city and in several other cities on the coast. During the height of the Washoe excitement she took up her residence in Virginia City, and entered into partnership with a man whose name we are unable to obtain, in keeping a boarding house, or hotel. She was engaged in this business in the summer of 1864. The war feeling ran very high there at that time. The sympathies of Mrs. Fair were intensely in favor of the South, while those of her partner were equally strong in favor of the North. On the Fourth of July he determined to raise the national flag over the hotel and she threatened to shoot him if he did. He made the attempt and she fulfilled her threat. He was wounded but not killed. She was tried for the crime in one of the courts of Virginia City. The jury acquitted her without leaving the jury box. She has resided in San Francisco during the past two or three years. While in Nevada she gave birth to a child, which is now three or four years old. In July last Mrs. Fair was married to a man named Snyder. After living with him about two months she procured a divorce from him on the ground of adultery. She is believed to have accumulated a large amount of property, and is reported to be worth $60,000 or $70,000.
    The Bulletin of last evening adds the subjoined:
    It is stated that about two years since she fired a shot at Crittenden, on the stairs leading to his office. She did not hit him, and the affair was hushed up. Since that time she has been frequently seen in his company, sometimes in the streetcars; and, only a few days since, she visited the office, and, as he was absent, left a note for him.
    Her daughter lives in San Jose, and attends school there. The prisoner's mother, Mrs. Lane, lives at that place also, but a short time since she kept a lodging house on Bush Street, opposite the California Theater. Mrs. Fair was at Sacramento during a recent session of the Legislature. About a year since, we are informed, she paid a visit to the Atlantic States, but soon returned to this city, and has lived here continuously since.
    Her face bears the lines of former beauty. Her complexion is fair and her eyes blue. She wears her hair cut short, and curled and dressed like a lady of ample means. In this city she maintained a costly establishment and lived in fine style.
    When locked up last night she raved wildly and talked in a rambling manner about what she had done, about Crittenden, her child and her mother. A glass of water was given her. She crushed it and kept a piece of the broken glass in her mouth, but the attending physician obliged her to take it out. He finally administered powerful opiates, and at a late hour last night she fell asleep. This morning he visited her again and a nurse was left to attend her. She still talked rambling, and kept her head rolling from side to side on the pillow, moaning and crying constantly.
    The relations of Crittenden with Mrs. Fair were no secret in his family or among his numerous friends. They were often seen together in public places and the fact of their intimacy was notorious. For several years they appeared to be uninterrupted, but at last he seems to have determined to break it off. When she married with Schneider [sic] he and his friends thought the trouble was ended, but after the divorce she seems to have determined to renew her relations with him. He remained fixed in his determination to get rid of her, and counseled with some of his friends as to the method he ought to pursue. He was advised to repel her at once and forever. He seems to have thought she would, in that event, kill herself, and unpleasant disclosures would ensue. She threatened to commit suicide if he left her. He even went away from his place of residence to avoid her, and she was told not to come to his office. All his efforts to escape from the toils were fruitless. Even the night before the tragedy they were in each ether's company. He talked seriously with her, she threatening to kill herself if he forsook her, and he imploring her not to make such an attempt. In all his conversations lately with friends about Mrs. Fair he never intimated a suspicion that she would attempt to kill him, but spoke of her threats to put an end to her own existence.
    At 1 p.m. the attending physician stated that Crittenden was living when he left the bedside. He was suffering intense agony, and there was no hope that he could survive.
Sacramento Daily Union, November 5, 1870, page 6


811 Valencia Street, San Francisco:
Lane, Mary E., 60, keeping house, born Alabama, parents born Alabama
Fair, Lillias, 19, granddaughter, at home, born California, father born New Orleans, mother born Mississippi
Sam Lee, 20, servant, born China
U.S. Census, enumerated June 4, 1880


Ingomar.

    Next Monday and Tuesday night our theatergoers will have the pleasure of witnessing Neil Warner's company in "Ingomar, the Barbarian." The production by this company is thrilling and entrancing. The dazzling Lora Hollis as Parthenia is a fascination, and the company come highly recommended. We predict good houses for them, considering that so many of our people are away.
San Bernardino Daily Courier, August 23, 1888, page 3


ONE NIGHT ONLY.
United States Hall
-- ON --
Saturday Ev'ng., Feb. 7, '91

The Talented Artists
MISS LORA HOLLIS

-- AND --

JAMES J. LENT,
Supported by a Powerful Dramatic Co.
in the Four-Act Sensational
Drama, Entitled
HONOR BOUND
Played with great success to crowded
houses for two weeks in San Francisco.
Prices, 50¢.   Reserved Seats 75¢
Seats now on sale at the S.F. Variety Store.

Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 6, 1891, page 2


    The California press speaks in the highest terms of the Hollis-Lent Co. They have been playing to crowded houses everywhere.

"Here and There," 
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 6, 1891, page 3


    Lora Hollis of the Hollis-Lent Dramatic company made herself known to old residents of this place as the daughter of Col. W. D. and Laura D. Fair and a native of Yreka, when the company got among financial breakers last Tuesday, and our sympathetic citizens subscribed liberally for benefit tickets for the performance that evening to enable the troupe to get out of town. A pioneer or the child of a pioneer never appeals in vain to the sympathies of coast residents.

"Personal Mention," 
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 13, 1891, page 3


    The Hollis-Lent troupe gave three performances at the U.S. Hall during the past week, the first of which was well attended. There are some clever performers in the company, but their plays did not seem to give satisfaction. They started for Crescent City on Wednesday, but it is doubtful if they will reach there, as they almost stranded here.

"Local Notes," 
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 13, 1891, page 3


    The Hollis-Lent company gave an entertainment at the Grants Pass opera house on the evening of the 13th inst.

"Josephine County Items," 
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 20, 1891, page 2


    The Hollis-Lent troupe are traveling northward, meeting with indifferent success. They played three nights at Roseburg to small houses.

"Here and There," 
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 27, 1891, page 3


    The Hollis-Lent theatrical troupe went to pieces in Eugene last week. A portion of the troupe went south on the freight train, and the balance left on a "tie" pass.

"Here and There," 
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, March 6, 1891, page 3


Again in the Dumps.
    The Sunday Mercury has this to say of an actress who appeared in Jacksonville not long since, under adverse circumstances, at the head of a company which came near stranding here. "The citizens of Portland have tendered Miss Loraine Hollis, the accomplished actress, a testimonial which will take place at the Marquam Grand Opera House on Saturday evening next. Miss Hollis was at one time a member of Augustine Daly's company and last winter was to have joined Wm. H. Crane to play 'Young Mrs. Armstrong' in 'The Senator' and most likely act as understudy for Mrs. George Drew Barrymore, but the lady took ill and was compelled to remain in San Francisco. Miss Hollis is one of the handsomest women on the American stage and comes from one of California's most aristocratic families. She is said to be exceptionally clever in emotional parts and heavy roles and will therefore present that charming play, 'Forget Me Not,' with a good, professional company of players and magnificent scenic efforts. It is but fair to presume that her friends will turn out en masse and the Marquam Grand [will be] crowded with a large and fashionable audience."
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 22, 1891, page 1


    E. M. Jewell, advance agent for the  Clemenceau Case company, has been in the city this week advertising his company, which plays here Friday and Saturday nights. Mr. Jewell is an oldtimer on the road, and has many interesting stories to tell of people and places, for he has seen nearly all of them.
"Personals," 
Aberdeen Herald, Aberdeen, Washington, June 18, 1891, page 4


KEYSTONE OPERA HOUSE.
2 NIGHTS ONLY 2
The Clemenceau Case Company.
FRIDAY EVE., JUNE 19

The Great Sensational French Drama in Five Acts, Entitled
The Clemenceau Case

With MISS LORA HOLLIS as IZA.
----
SATURDAY EVENING, JUNE 20,
DAVY CROCKETT,
Produced with Beautiful Scenery Made Especially for This Play.
----
POPULAR PRICES.

Reserved Seats 75¢
General Admission 50¢
Seats on Sale at the City Drug Store.

Aberdeen Herald, Aberdeen, Washington, June 18, 1891, page 4


A Great Dramatic Event.
    The Clemenceau Case Co. will on Friday produce for the first time in Aberdeen this French sensational drama, by Alex Dumas.
    The Clemenceau Case, where Miss Lora Hollis will assume the character of Iza. Miss Hollis is considered the handsomest woman on the American stage today, and is well assisted by a strong dramatic company, selected from the best of the New York profession. On Saturday evening, June 20th, this company will produce for the first time, also, the drama of Davy Crockett. This has long been a favorite with all theatergoers. The story is simply and beautifully told, while the manly traits of the frontiersman are ably drawn by the dramatist. The play possesses a charm for all western men, and the honest, outspoken sentiments of the noble Davy never fail in meeting a hearty response from an American audience. Frank Cleaves looks and acts the character of the life. He dresses in true frontier style, and in a quiet and effective manner makes everyone think they are miles from home. Devoid of all mannerism, he seems to invest himself with the true spirit of character and feels assured he was right, and went ahead to the delight of all present. Miss Lizzie Lingham always receives an ovation on her appearance in this great character of Elenore Vaughn, which is a pretty piece of soft-speaking womanhood, and her reading of the poem of Lochinvar's ride is a beautiful and thrilling piece of work; her audience are wrought to the highest pitch. They actually fancy they can see the eloping parties in sight, so graphically is the description rendered by this admirable actress, and when the climax is reached, round after round rewards her efforts.
    This beautiful play will be produced by the Keystone opera house on Saturday evening, June 20th, with beautiful scenery made for the piece, and as the company carry all their own scenery, we can be sure of a great treat which is in store for Aberdeen.
Aberdeen Herald, Aberdeen, Washington, June 18, 1891, page 8
  "The Clemenceau Case" was a sensational play of the 1890s, due to the notorious "studio scene," during which Iza appears "in skin-tight silk jerseys, giving the appearance of actual nudity."


    The Lora Hollis company reorganized at Portland and are now touring through the Washington towns, representing the "Clemenceau Case" in more or less approved fashion.
"Here and There," 
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 3, 1891, page 3


San Francisco
    July 24 1891
Mr. Reames
My Dear Friend--
    Your letters received--One sent to me to Portland--I wrote to you to Jacksonville and requested that your letter be forwarded to this city. It is with deep regret that I write to you and know that I missed seeing you as hoped.
    I tried every means in my power to reach S.F. in time--but fate ordained otherwise.
    I am more than sorry believe me. Have made myself learn to endure all disappointments so will be forced to bear this.
    My trip with company ended and I received my salary for three weeks work but not the advance promised. I could not force the management to pay the additional sum promised me after
the first week. I made sufficient to get me home--but I am very much afraid of my life now--for I am to be idle seven weeks and without money to live upon. I may be able to obtain money in advance from the new company--but is barely possible. I have no hopes of receiving any funds from Father's people until I go out with my own company. They promise to assist me next year. I dare not ask for small money from them for they are not very anxious to give this side of the family money. I of course am one of the Fairs and they only assist me because I am my father's child. Having not seen me for twelve years.
    When they hear great reports of my success I may then hope for assistance. I tell you the truth because you asked me to and because I am as unhappy today. I had hoped
to have seen your kind face again and to tell you my position as it really is. To think that we passed each other on the way. I [was] coming here and you going back. Well--I am sorely disappointed.
    Write to me and tell me if you believe in me and my strength of purpose sufficiently to assist me a little. I will try and return you the money by small installments as soon as I go to work.
    Write to me a long letter and tell me what you think upon the subject. Will write you all about my business affairs and tell you the truth.
    Believe me your friend and a worthy being.
Sincerely
    Loraine Hollis
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



July 29--91
My Dear M. Reames--
    Letter received--and I hasten to tell you of my whereabouts. I am with the company--but will be forced to leave them I think--Will be in Portland on the 8th--and will know then what day I will be in San Francisco--
    I trust you will not go there too soon--for I may not be there--but my house is 613 Van Ness Ave.--but I will write to you to the general delivery and tell you when I will be there.
    I shall never forget the kindly interest shown
me by you and will be more than pleased to see you.--
    Write to Marquam Grand Portland telling me what day you leave for San Francisco. If we play in Portland I will beg you to come there--
    How long will you remain in my city
    Remembering you always
Sincerely
    Loraine Hollis
613 Van Ness Ave.
or
Music & Dance

C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society


Aug. 2nd--91
Friend
    Forgive my not writing at once and thanking you--but I have been ill--very ill and could not write. Your faith in me I will remember-- If my family assist me I will have a small company of my own next spring--but don't laugh at me about it. I may never get it. I go with a company 1st of Sept. for a short season unless I make arrangements to go directly east.--
    I will see you again and if I know at what time you come here will be back--for I always return here each summer.
    I am doing my best to recover my health--but in my present state of mind it is much more difficult--but I'll try.
    This is a cruel lesson I am being taught--but it may be for the best. I will not let my health be of so little [omission] to me in future.
    How well I remember that day in Jacksonville when you showed me the country to appreciate me and treat me as I deserved.
    --Oh me! my gratitude is one of my violent charactic characteristics--(must be crazy couldn't spell it)--and I am glad of it. I would not be a worldly selfish woman for the world.--Let me suffer--I always find bright spots.
    Write to me
Sincerely
    L H
Birthday is the 11th of this month--so old--
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



My Dear Friend
    Been at point of death again-- consequently did not write
    Much better--but far from strong.
    I will write you of my new arrangements in a few days.
    Remembering your kindness always, I am still
Yours sincerely
    Loraine Hollis
San Francisco
    Sept 12 - 91
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



San Francisco
    Oct 9 [1891]--
Mr. Reames--
    My Dear Friend--
Your kind friendly letters do me a world of good--and I answer now at this late date simply because I will write you a long letter and this was the first opportunity I have had since my severe illness.
    My plans for this season are all changed--I am now too late for eastern engagement--so with my peculiar energy of which you were kind enough to speak so approvingly I have gotten three plays from J. R. Grismer (firm "Grismer Dance co.")  (Just playing Eugene City and Oregon now) whose wife is my best friend--so with her intercession and his generosity I have now gotten the plays.--
    I shall try to interest someone in them and go on the road again--but I am fearful I will not be able to obtain the required amount.
    If I speak of my financial troubles I lose caste in this business--and I'm too proud to ask for money from these really rich but common men of this city--
    From a child I have kept away from prominent people here and am thankful no one assisted me in my endeavors---but now I must find some noble woman who will help me to carry out this plan. It is the only thing left me this year up to March--
    I have much more to communicate and will finish this letter later. Dr. just called--
    Later--
    Just received your letter and hasten to say that I will write in a few days and let
you know when I will be here--but I think I will be here all through Nov. Will answer letter & finish other in next.
Yours sincerely
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



Oct. 17--91
"My Friend"
    You write me such beautiful letters that I feel almost like believing that a good man does exist--and that I may hope to carry out my ambition yet.
    If you wish to hear all of my cares and plans I am grateful--
    I only know that I must have money (miserable stuff) by the 1st of Dec.  or I am
ruined professionally. I have the plays and the right to play them--but need the money to buy paper (printing) for them and my railroad fares--
    I can get a special rate on Canadian Pacific Railroad--and a special car (tourist)--but that is all--
    I am simply distracted.
    Be here in San Francisco by the 5th of Nov. I will be here working for the Christmas month at one of the theaters here & then to go out with some company--
Understand?
    God bless you for your manly interest in me and may I see you soon.
Sincerely
    L H
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



San Francisco Dec 3rd--91
My Dear Esteemed Friend
    Am writing to you the first one on my be[ing] able to hold a pen. Have suffered much--but feel somewhat better--so grateful for God's kindness to me.
    I am so proud to know that I have so noble a man for a friend--one who is capable of analyzing the facts of my life as they are--giving me my just dues.
    You say--to trust you--why I have ever done so and will  until you say cease.
    I am not a woman to lightly make a friend or to forget a kindness.
    Now that I know you wish my entire confidence I will tell you things just as they are, good or bad and fear no comment. I am sincere--I am doing the best I can--& I feel that I have one friend--good and true. One in whom I may "store my griefs & cares"--my failures and successes.
    If Heaven will help me I will prove that I am capable of amounting to something--but it will be difficult with all I have to manage--I stake so much in this Bijou. Your generous gift I guard with careful eyes, for I must make it do all you meant it should.
    Great good being that you are, believe in me--pray for me. I will write as soon as I have seen about my other ($100.00). Been too ill to go out yet. Trying--trying so I may succeed.
    Thank you for letter on that day and may we meet again
With affection
    Your Adopted
        Brother (That's coming)
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



Dec 12--
My Dear Friend & "Brother"
    I am still feeling ill so will not write [a] long letter until late next week. I will
then know just how I stand in every way. I was forced to spend some of your money for my illness & so have that to make up. My roomer did not pay promptly & I am making up the difference by her delay. She does the best she can I know.
    I will see all the people I can to try and raise balance for "Bijou"--but if not I won't give up  heart for I may be simply fighting against a fate which means to crush me. I am so unhappy today--I should not have written to you while in this 

state. You deserve to hear some good news & you shall if I live. I pray to my dead father to make me able to show you I am worthy [of] the great confidence you have placed in me. It is truly what shall save my life.
    God bless you--God bless you. I can't write more now.
Sincerely
    Adopted Sister
        "Brother"
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



Dec 15th S. F.
Dear "Brother"
    Your letter at hand--and I'm simply overcome to hear of your illness--for heaven sakes recover--take care of yourself and above all things come to S.F. before I go east.
    I wrote to you two days ago--but did not send letter owing to my having some trouble about my play with the leading man. I never dreamed that he would try to make any attempt at familiarity--but he did & I told him to leave my presence. Your dream had some great sig[nificance] for I put on my hat and walked the streets near my house for hours until I was utterly worn out. I was so tired and ill next day that I could not go out and attend to matters. That is the way things were--but tonight I am to hear from an old school friend as to balance. Will
let you know tomorrow. I will enclose blue letter but destroy it at once--
    I cannot open theater without a good new melodrama and you know I  expected the others to furnish that without my going to any expense. 
I will do all I can without them (you men whom I relied upon) & if I can't see my way clear to make money will not take [a] house until after 1st Jan.
    Now--for a secret. McKee Rankin after begging me to join his company said, "Well, you have no man; I'll assist you--I will come back to play at Bijou with you--so hold house."
    That's something gained--
    Bell just rang--company--so will close --saying God blessing on your noble tender nature--
Affectionately
    Adopted B
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



[S.F. Dec. 21, 1891]
Pardon condition and haste--
Will write again
   

My Dear Friend
    I know who it is and was and will tell you who.--Percy Hunting.
    He was madly in love with me in New York and came here to S.F. to renew his suit. I have refused his offer of marriage several times and still he persists in writing to me--I never dreamed he was so vile as to read letters in my satchel which I left on table in parlor.
    I was very ill and tired and gone into the kitchen when he called--so as I did not come immediately into the parlor he looked through my satchel on a little table. I found your letter on my return lying on table on the table. We spoke but a few words referring to theatre and he left--but his face had an evil look------------
    It is he of whom I spoke to you as the one I did not like to ask the money for the other 100.00. Do you remember and I thank heaven I did tell you, for now you can appreciate the facts.
    You need fear nothing from this person. He is a coward and I can disgrace him in this city by simply showing a letter of his--I know all his family connections, his business affairs and the insanity which they attribute to him.
    Let me manage him. I will now be forced to put Bijou off solely on his account for I will not allow him in the theatre and will have [to] obtain a leading man--unless I find that I will be unable to do so--
    What am I to do.--You are my dearest friend--my only confidant--that you should have been so miserably treated--and by my allowing such people the entry to my house---------------
    I am too anxious to make all the amends in my power--
    I will protect you at the cost of my life.
    Allow me to use my own judgment in this matter--I know what is best---------
As Ever--"A. Bro."
   
    Write and tell me that you know I am a good pure woman--that you believe in me and my entire truthfulness.--
    Say something to make me able to endure to the end [of] my trials--for I may be forced to give up my ambition and be idle because of this low being who was going in with me.--It was his play I was to have opened with.--Think of it all--and I am almost wild.---------
    I am also so proud of your judgment--your confidence--Had  you not sent me this letter "quoted"--think of the position I would have been placed in.
    The misery which might come into my business affairs if I had allowed this crazy actor any power in the "Bijou." Now I am steeled against all his pleadings and work . . . Good or bad, the entry to my house---------
    I am too anxious to make all the amends in my power--
    I will protect you at the cost of my life.
    Allow me to use my own judgment in this matter--I know what is best--
As ever--"A. Bro."
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



Tuesday, Dec. 22nd 91
My Dear Friend & "Bro"
    I have not as yet seen Mr. Hunting--and when I do he shall [not] know of your letter until the proper time comes--
    Trust to my womanhood and my judgment.
    I knew that that creature was going to cause me trouble--for I was told by others who knew him of his mad infatuation for me--even when I was moving to attempt to make a friend of a man who had asked me to be his wife and been refused--but he promised to behave himself--and I took the chances.
    This is the first time in my life I was ever in such a position or had any trouble with a man. I was so proud of my not receiving men, or being clever that way.
    You know my soul--my gratitude--my truthfulness--
    I have analyzed just how he got your card &c.--
    Mother said when you were in town "Has Mr. Reames gone yet--back to Jacksonville"--and Mr. Hunting & a young lady were here--of course he remembered the name and after my telling him that you were the best man in the world he started in to watch--found letter as I said and card (and which was in a card box on table)--
    I never dreamed he was vile or common as to injure me because he found his case hopeless--He has written to me this morning asking to call again as he [has] some news of plays &c.--You see, I was angry at him before he found the letter and had only permitted him to call on business.
    He had offended me by referring to his love again.
    All I can say is--It is the greatest surprise I ever had.
    Mother is almost prostrated over it. She will do nothing only as I advise--but it is killing her. She has always known that I must suffer for her error--but that my good life could be stained is too much.
    I never will get over that fearful letter--it burns into my very soul. Had I done even the slightest thing wrong I could endure the insult as a just punishment--but as I have been--so honorable in my dealings with this beast--it is awful.
    I have taught myself patience--self-denial and to trust in God--so I will conquer my hate--and loathing for him and make him regret his conduct in "sackcloth and ashes"--
    I will tell you what kind of a letter to write to him tomorrow--Be advised by me--I know this man now--and can see just how to manage him.
    You must show him you know who he is and do not fear him.
    I shall say I know your wife, and God will forgive the falsehood for the good purpose it will assert.
Yours as ever
    "Bro"
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



Dec. 24th--91
    S.F----
My Dearest Friend--
    How am I to thank you for your thoughtfulness to me. Your perfect trust in me?--
    It is as sunshine to the dying tree--light in the darkness--soul to soul--Life to life. All that can be--I am again realizing that I can be understood--can be trusted and all is well. You do not know how much you are making me care for you.
    I send you by tomorrow's mail my little pho. of three years back--A favorite of mine--It looks so calm, so gentle--"Above it all"--
    It brings my gratitude, my "faith." Guard it well--and keep your nobleness, still your leading characteristic. I wish I could say all I feel.
    May our God give you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year--You and your loved ones--Good night.
Love "Bro"
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



San Francisco
    Dec. 28--91
My Dearest Friend--& "Bro"
    Your letter received at 5 p.m.--I hasten to write to tell you that I have gotten too far to stop now in the "Bijou" affair.
    I am still short of some money but have dropped Mr. H. as a partner and he is crazy in consequence--"Crazy" is not eloquent but it suits him.
    I am sure of all my printing being paid for by Mrs. Dr. Griffiths--but I need some money for little things--lace for a dress--or money to "fix over" old me. I'm working like a strong man--and if I only had a little more strength I know I would not fail--can you see me "chasing" around trying to raise that money? If so you will smile, for I look so positive--I am a "wonder," as a lady friend says. Vain am I not.
    If I find I can't get the small sums may I ask you to help me a little? I am ashamed to say this, but I feel so encouraged that I am not afraid.
    I forgot all about my advertisement in the Dramatic paper--I owed a back bill ($19.00) and I will have to pay it before I can put [an]other one in--That did make me worry.--
    I got the balance for Bijou on Friday--and am to sign contract Monday.
    I won't post this until after I do, so I can say so--will write mine
    Have theatre--Received your letter this morning--So you have been to the town in which I was born--Poor little girl. Bless you--and think kindly of me--
    Will write again soon.
Good night
    "Bro"
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society


[undated]
Dear Bro
    Pardon paper--Will write again tomorrow. Have been ill in my room for two days--consequently did not write.
    Am feeling better and will go out tomorrow. Letter received. Bless your dear heart--I am grateful.
    No news from [attorney R. R.] Minor yet--Will look forward to it with hope. What I said I would write must wait until I have a quiet evening to myself.
    It is about you only.
    Take care of your health and don't allow anyone to make you overwork yourself.
Affectionately--
    Bro
Maybe a friend has sent some pictures to Mr. Andrews (of a donkey and written his name over it). "What do you think of that"--as my friend Page would say.
   

Later--
    Mrs. Dr. Griffiths is back and will go in with me in any way I choose--financially she will assist a little.
    I am now trying to raise the other amount.
    You would not advise me to take Hunting's money and hide my displeasure and horror--would you? Let me know.
    This is not my thought--but fat little Mrs. Turner's. She says he deserves to be deceived.
                                   
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society


    They are giving "My Son-in-Law," a rather amusing comedy, at the Alcazar this week, and doing well with it. Loraine Hollis has leased the Bijou and is giving "The Tigress" and "Forget-Me-Not."
"From the Bay City," Los Angeles Herald, February 15, 1892, page 7


    Loraine Hollis, the actress, who was the leading lady of the Hollis-Lent combination which stranded here about a year and a half ago, is managing the Bijou theater in San Francisco with considerable success.

"Here and There," 
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, February 12, 1892, page 3


A California Girl.
    Miss Loraine Hollis closed her very successful engagement of four weeks at the Bijou theater last Sunday night, when the emotional play "Alixe" was finely presented. Miss Hollis is now purposing a grand tour, and with this play as the chief piece in her repertory she has no reason to doubt of her future success in the dramatic field. Miss Hollis has in "Alixe" the unfortunate daughter of Mme. Valory, a part that suits her emotional nature extremely well. In the last act, when the heroine dies, she has a trying ordeal simply from the length of time she is on the stage, but she holds her audience till the curtain drops. One striking feature of the death scene is that Miss Hollis in it never once closes her eyes. Her performance in the piece being taken as a criterion, she has a bright future before her. Miss Hollis, as most of our readers may know, is a California girl, and her native state is reasonably proud of the fact that she is one of the handsomest women on the stage today.--[The Illustrated World.
    As will be remembered, Miss Hollis played an engagement of several nights in Jacksonville about two years ago, and gained the encomiums of our people by her very clever and painstaking acting. She may again visit us in the near future.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 1, 1892, page 3


Repertoire of Popular Plays
As Presented at the Leading Theaters of San Francisco.
    BULLETIN, S.F., July 25, '89--At the Bijou Theater--Miss Loraine Hollis, last evening, was a very decided success financially and artistically. Miss Hollis essayed the very difficult character of Stephanie, in "Forget-Me-Not," and acquitted herself most creditably. She surprised not only many friends but the critics who were present as well. Her face, singularly sweet and pretty, is capable of much expression, and it is not the least charm of her acting. She is tall, willowy and graceful, and having an unusually fine stage presence. She dresses with excellent taste, her costume of last night being much admired. She has a quick, womanly walk, possessed by so few actresses--a marked feature in the Jeffreys Lewis of ten years ago. It was a bold thing for Miss Hollis to attempt such a character, and her success is more marked and pleasing to those who have so long had faith in her abilities. Though endowed with a classically beautiful face, Miss Hollis has no desire to pose as a beauty, but has ambition to win fame and worthy distinction in her profession on pure merit. There is no good reason why she should not realize all her hopes. She has beauty, youth, talent, intelligence, grace and ambition; what else is needed? Given these, there remain only patience and practice to add another bright star to the dramatic firmament.
    MORNING CALL, S.F. Feb. 2, '92--Miss Loraine Hollis as Stella Barotti in "The Tigress" is powerful and intense; her scenes with the Count are different from the stereotyped order, showing at times a swagger that is natural to the part, having a depth that actresses of the present day seldom grasp, however foreign it may be to their nature. And thus she portrays "The Tigress." She is an actress of merit; her conception of the character is her own and is a decided treat.
    
MORNING CALL, S.F., Feb. 14, '92--Miss Loraine Hollis as Stephanie de Mohrivart in "Forget-Me-Not' at the Bijou last night played to a large and appreciative audience. Miss Hollis' performance of Stephanie is full of light and shade, is vigorous and subtle and ranks with the renditions of the best actresses who have hitherto played the role.
    EXAMINER, S.F., Feb. 9, '92--Miss Loraine Hollis in "The Tigress" has exceeded her friends' warmest hopes, and deserves the highest praise for her conception of the part. It is different in treatment to other roles played by this lady, full of fire, she keeps her audience fascinated from act to act, and it is hard to imagine so gentle a lady portraying the feline characteristics of "The Tigress," but she sinks her identity and shows that she is an artist of no mean order.
    CALL, S.F., Feb. 11, '92--"The Tigress" was a success at the Bijou last night. The play calls for strong acting and Miss Hollis fills the role of Stella Barotti in a powerful manner. This young Californian is an actress of great ability. She was for two seasons one of the Daly Company's leading ladies and is handsome and bright with intelligence. This actress has never worn corsets and should he proud of her graceful and and natural figure.
    MUSIC AND DRAMA, S.F., July 21, '88--It affords us more than usual pleasure to say a kindly word in behalf of this talented young actress. Though she has but recently adopted the stage as her chosen profession, she already gives promise of a brilliant career. With an ardent enthusiasm for dramatic art, a superb bearing and a matchless beauty, added to an inexhaustible fund of native talent, there is no reason why Miss Hollis should not become a credit to our state and an ornament to the stage. Her career so far has been a surprise. For the benefit of those who have never seen the lady we shall endeavor to describe some of her leading characteristics. Most prominent among them is her queenly figure, which combines at once natural grace and stateliness. Tall, lithe and willowy, she carries herself straight. as an Indian, fully illustrating Pope's couplet,
"She walks a goddess
And she looks a queen."
Her oval face and clearly chiseled features betoken the Grecian type of womanhood. Honest gray blue eyes shaded by dark lashes verify the saying "The eyes are the windows of the soul," making her face such a one as the old masters would have loved to contemplate. Her mouth and teeth arc perfect, her nose classic, a velvety complexion and a wealth of natural red-gold hair add to her charms. If we may be pardoned for mentioning it, one of her most remarkable features, when her height is considered, is her small and daintily shaped feet. Neither nymph, naiad nor grace could ever boast their equal. Miss Hollis' tout ensemble is at once striking and mystic and we would say the lead characteristic of the face is strength of character. As a woman in private life, she is universally loved and respected. Her winning ways and staunch loyalty has won her a host of friends. Nor is she one whose friendship wearies by constant association. Being above the small vanities of her sex, she never loses a female friend, and this is the surest test of true womanhood. She is bright and sparkling in conversation, quick at repartee and retorts but always considerate of the feelings of others. We can pay her no greater compliment than to say we know and believe she will make as great an actress as she is a good woman. We know of no one in whom the beauties of face and figure have been so intimately and admirably blended with the beauties of head and heart, having at once "Helen's brow but not her heart. Cleopatra's majesty, Atlanta's better part and sad Lucrecia's modesty."
    NEW YORK MIRROR (Harrison Grey Fisk)--Loraine Hollis is the handsomest woman on the American stage.
    SUNDAY OREGONIAN, Portland, May 31, '91.--Miss Loraine Hollis, in "Forget-Me-Not," demonstrated that she possessed great and considerable dramatic power, and should prove a success wherever she goes.
    OAKLAND ENQUIRER, Aug. 18, '88:--Miss Loraine Hollis, in the play of "Ingomar," is a very beautiful Parthenia. She has a bright future before her, and a woman of her ambition and beauty will win her way by force of character and charms that are bestowed upon but few of her sex.
    OAKLAND TRIBUNE, Aug. 17, '88--Loraine Hollis, in "The Geneva Cross," shows for one so young that she is something more than an eleventh hour actress.
    
MUSIC AND DRAMA, S.F., Aug. 25, '88--The Author of "Ingomar, the Barbarian," could have conceived of no fairer mortal for his heroine than Loraine Hollis, whose Parthenia is a vision of loveliness, fair enough to tread in the land of dreams, to haunt a poet's pillow. Loraine Hollis voices her own inspiration when as Parthenia she speaks the line, "Parthenia, up! Thy labor now begins."
    LOS ANGELES TRIBUNE, Aug. 20, '88--Miss Hollis is without exception the handsomest lady who ever stepped before the footlights at the Grand. She is a remarkably beautiful woman, whose face and figure are delightful to look upon, and her performances in "Ingomar," "Geneva Cross" and "Time and the Hour" called for the highest praise.
    
LOS ANGELES TRIBUNE, Aug. 23, '88--Miss Hollis as Parthenia brings to the view of the audience about as perfect a specimen of a Greek maiden, in both face and form, as Phidias himself could have chiseled. It is, evidently, a role more to her taste than that of Gabrielle Le Brun, as she displayed more warmth and less self-consciousness in the former than in the latter character. The lady evidently possesses considerable talent which, with her remarkable
beauty, will always make her sufficiently successful.
    
MUSIC AND DRAMA, S.F., Sept. 28, '88--The Eastern managers are ambitious enough to place Miss Hollis, our Pacific Coast beauty, in competition with Langtry and Mrs. Potter.
    HUMBOLDT STANDARD, Humboldt, Aug. 7, '88--Fair in feature, pleasing in manner, accurate in declamation and perfection in stage presence--one hazards nothing in pleading guilty to the disposition of being willing to look and listen by the hour. As the charming, sprightly maid Gabrielle, her manner is enchanting; as the brave and determined wife of Reil du Borg, in the face of death, she is more than a queen in manner. Some of her scenes vividly reminded us of a great actress, now dead, in the role of "Lucretia Borgia."
    WESTERN WATCHMAN, Eureka, Aug. 9. '88--The subtle chart which Parthenia seemed to throw over the Barbarian extended to the audience, and as she drew Ingomar from his state of wild savagery by that unfathomed power of love, willing him to do her bidding, quelling and taming his ferocious spirit to ways of peace, she presented a vision of genuine loveliness that
won and captivated her audience as completely as it did her wild lover. It was the richest treat with which a theatergoing public could have been favored. The most beautiful woman in America, as Parthenia, is Miss Hollis, and if there are any more such women to bud and blossom on the earth, we hope that nature will cause us to be born again,
    DAILY REPUBLICAN, Fresno, Aug. 13, '88--Miss Loraine Hollis is said to be at once the handsomest and most talented tragedienne on the coast. The title role was certainly one of the best performances ever given in this city of its kind. Miss Hollis as Parthenia is said to be handsomer than Anderson or Langtry.
    SAN BERNARDINO COURIER, Aug. 28, '88--Miss Loraine Hollis is conceded by the entire press to be the most beautiful woman on the stage today. Whether this is so or not, it is certain that the lady makes a very charming Parthenia, and a character so sweet and simple as is required by the author needs a young and beautiful woman to satisfy the idea of the audience, which fact alone is a sufficient criticism in her favor.
    SAN DIEGO BEE, Sept. 1, '88--Miss Hollis, the last but by no means least promising of California's contributions to the stage. . . . Standards of criticism for the character which Miss Hollis essayed last evening are somewhat high and exacting, and the young actress, no matter how talented, how beautiful or ambitious, is bound to suffer in consequence. The playgoer has in mind the fair and talented Neilson, the bewitching Anderson, or that powerful creature, strong in limb, lithe in action and grand in presence, Kate Forsythe, the finest Parthenia since Neilson. Judged by such standards, Miss Hollis might be unsatisfactory. Should she be led into different line, the society drama, her beauty, her attractions and decided talent will make her a proud place. She is ambitious, energetic and earnest; she has good, sound sense and is a noble woman, making a grand effort to establish a place for herself in her chosen profession on merit solely. I predict she will succeed. She possesses the spark, the faculty to attract souls to impose respect and sympathy.--ZAC.
    SAN DIEGO BEE, Sept. 2, '88--There flashed across the horizon of San Diego theatergoers a beautiful vision--a woman of surpassing loveliness and gentleness of manner. I refer to that fair daughter of California, Miss Loraine Hollis. She has every element to make her a success in her chosen profession, youth, beauty, grace, ambition and personal magnetism. I predict a great future for her. She is zealous, hopeful and conscientious; she realizes that "stars grow," they do not come made to order. It is a long road to fame and greatness on the stage, and they are achieved only by study and hard work. Miss Hollis understands this and she will succeed.--ZAC.
    SAN DIEGO UNION, Sept. 1, '88--Miss Hollis as Parthenia is an able exponent of the art she follows, besides ably representing the character, is quite handsome and did not disappoint those who have been reading about "Lora," who is as pretty as a picture.
    SANTA BARBARA PRESS, Sept. 1, '88--Miss Loraine Hollis threw the force of a woman nature into the acting of Parthenia.
    EXAMINER, S.F., July 25, '89--Miss Loraine Hollis faced a very pleasantly disposed audience last night in the Bijou Theater as Stephanie de Mohrivart in "Forget-Me-Not." She followed a time-honored custom in choosing to play at her benefit an extremely difficult role, one which no actress of meager experience could hope to represent faithfully, but she did not follow another time-honored precedent and make a failure of the attempt. She gave such decided evidence of talent, intelligence, grace, quickness and adaptabilities that she justified her ambition. The part is deep enough to take in many degrees and varieties of histrionic ability, and though any undeveloped talent is apt to rattle about in it, it is always sure to give such talent a chance to be recognized. The character is vividly alive to the finest ends of its finest nerves. It is full of changes, variety, light and shade, sudden flashes of emotion, sudden lapses into complete emotional indifference, and it is not possible for an untrained actress, nor even for a brilliant and finished one, to represent all its phases, even if she understands them all. Miss Hollis showed last night that she did understand them, that she comprehended the nature of the woman she was trying to represent and was keenly alive to the meaning of all her lines.
    DAILY INDEX, San Bernardino, Aug. 28, '88--In the lady who last evening presented to a much pleased audience the difficult role at Parthenia in "Ingomar," the Index is pleased to recognize one of more than ordinary merit, well started on a career that will be very bright if youth, talent and beauty and a deep devotion to her art can make it so. Feeling a more than kindly interest in the young star for the reason that she is a Californian, and for the additional reason that as a child she was known to the writer. Lillias Loraine Hollis is the daughter of William D. Fair, a scion of an ancient Virginia family, who in his lifetime gained no little celebrity at the Baltimore legal bar. Lynchburg was his native place and the Fairs of that vicinity are his kinsmen and kinswomen, polished and aristocratic. Mr. Fair was a man who was loved and admired by all who knew him for the force of character and graces of mind and manner. All that strength of character added to a charming and graceful personality combined, with a phenomenal intellect and rare beauty have descended to her as a birthright. Her capacity of dramatic power, a completeness in her representations will, without doubt, give her a place of rare distinction on the American stage. Miss Hollis is young and the way is long and steep to the goal of her ambition, but her application and talent will carry her to the goal to which she aspires.
    POST, S.F., July 25, '89--Miss Loraine appeared last evening as Stephanie in "Forget-Me-Not," the occasion a testimonial benefit rendered by the numerous friends of the young lady. Miss Hollis has enjoyed the reputation of being a remarkably pretty woman and her appearance last evening not only demonstrated that such a reputation is justly due to her personal charms, but she also confirmed the opinion of her friends that she possessed marked ability for her chosen profession. Her face is capable of a great deal of expression, and frequently last evening she gave glimpses of remarkable dramatic power, which only needs the freedom of expression which will come in time. Her voice is singularly sweet and agreeable and is under excellent control. To attempt so important a role as the Marquise de Mohrivart is a bold undertaking, but Miss Hollis has the courage, a splendid stage presence, a classically beautiful face, a musical voice, and with proper guidance she will attain an enviable distinction in the field she has chosen.
     
MUSIC AND DRAMA, S.F., Nelly McHenry Co.--Grand Opera House--Loraine Hollis gave conscientious and painsworthy portrayal of Mary Somers in "Lady Peggy." She has a good conception of the character and never fails to impress the audience with its importance.
    CALL, S.F., Sep. 9, '90--Grand Opera House--The angel of the piece in "Honor Bound" is Marian Winfred, a native daughter who loves Jack Crawford and will not have her faith in his honesty swerved by all the plots and counterplots worked to his detriment. The part is sustained by Miss Hollis with pleasant grace of action. Her scene at the execution is made a thrilling one.
    SAN JOSE MERCURY, Nov. 9, '90--Lillias Loraine Hollis, known in the theatrical profession as Lora Hollis, is the leading artist to appear in this city at the People's Theater. She is the same Lora Hollis who was with Daly last winter in New York, and was to have returned to join Win. H. Crane's company in "The Senator" this winter. Miss Hollis is beautiful young woman, a native of California, and has successfully played the lead in "Forget-Me-Not" and "Camille," Zeika in "Diplomacy," Parthenia in "lngomar," etc.
    EVENING POST, S.F., March 12, '92--During her engagement Miss Hollis proved herself an actress of remarkable versatility, appearing in roles directly opposite in their characterization, viz: "Forget-Me-Not," "The Tigress," "Alixe," and others.
    EVENING POST, S.F., March 12, '92--Miss Loraine Hollis' success as a dramatic star--Miss Loraine Hollis closed her very successful engagement of four weeks at the Bijou Theater last Sunday night, when the emotional society play "Alixe" was finely presented. Miss Hollis is now proposing a grand tour, and with this play as the chief piece in her repertory, she has no reason to doubt of her future success in the dramatic field. Miss Hollis has in "Alixe," the unfortunate daughter of Mme. Valory, a part that suits her emotional nature extremely well. In the last act, when the heroine dies, she has a trying ordeal simply from the length of time she is on the stage, but she holds her audience till the curtain drops. One striking feature of the death scene is that Miss Hollis in it never once closes her eyes, her performance in the piece being taken as a criterion. She has a bright future before her. Miss Hollis, as most of our readers may know, is a California girl, and her native state is reasonably proud of the fact that she is one of the handsomest women on the stage today.
Loraine Hollis advertising brochure, C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society.  This is part of the "printing" referred to in the letter of December 28, 1891.



San Francisco
    March 27 [1892]
Dear Friend--
    Will you write a friendly letter to Mr. Andrews--speaking of the "Bijou Theater" and my performances--
    Just thank him for sending you the score of Patience--or anything you can think of.
    Mr. [Percy] Hunting is doing some more work and succeeding in turning my friends (the Turners) from me. He says that you & Andrews don't even know each other.
    Will you write the letter at once. Mr. Andrews will tell you the news later and I will write [a] long letter to you.  God bless you.
    Address--Tom H. Andrews Esq. or Col. if you wish, Grand Opera House, Mission St.
Yours sincerely--affectionately 
    As ever
          "Bro"
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society


SF
    Mar. 31, 1892
"Bro" Mine!--
    My short letters, containing no quiet "little talks," must have wearied you.
    I have had not heard from the (Minor) matter until today.
    They will give me only $60.00 per week to start with-- but if I make a hit will raise the salary.
    I must be ready to leave here in three weeks.
    What do you think of it?  Shall I go?  Answer at once.
----
    As to May-be-a-friend--he will soon be ousted--for I have put him in a corner by exposing his lies to some friends of his--
    He told my friends the Turners that I had no friends here from Oregon and
Mr. Andrews didn't meet you &c. Andrews was wild. He says that if I were his sister he would thrash Hunting on the street--
    As it is any fuss will only injure me.  I wish I dared do it myself. H. is jealous because I starred in San Francisco and received praise for same.
    He cannot obtain employment here, as they all know he can't act--so he is very much annoyed at the facts.
    I smile when I think that Hearson [?] has taken his punishment into its own keeping, by making me successful.
    I did my duty. I worked. I tried--and did much better than he dreamed I would.
    My life is apart from him forever--and he cannot touch the same ground that I do--ever unhappy mortal.
    I was pleased to read your "diary," and your bright wit does me so much good.
    If I could have assisted you in the store it would have been nice.
    Strange, that I was thinking of the parting just one week later. So one needs to communicate. As to my long letter I will say part of it now.
    "I have often wondered if you realized the peculiar friendship that exists between us. Our perfect understanding--and the impossibility for others to try to change it.
I know you as though we had been friends for years longer
    It's cold!--oh me--I am puzzled--company just rang--so must finish.
Believe me the same
    Sincerely--
        "Bro"
We see photos tomorrow.
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



April 7th 92
"Bro Mine"--I must write in awful hurry--but say in all pleasure that your letters are my chief joy--I appreciate every line--
    Now as to business:-- My dresses  must be under way--as  I am to play for two weeks last of April--
    Minor matter will be put off by the manager there. Letter today telling me so.--
    My dressmaker (I have to get the only one who can fit me--and who has sewed for me for years when I did not give my dresses to Mother) Mother is too ill to do them all--This same dressmaker can only work for the next three weeks for me--as she is going in the country.--Am wild now at my not calling upon her some and ascertaining these facts sooner. If you intend to send money for these dresses--send it by express to Mrs. L. L. Hynes
* &c.--It will then come direct to my house--If you wish to, send it to Mr. J. B. Merriam--care Mrs. L. L. Hynes, 613 Van Ness Ave.--
    Now if that's "not cunning" I don't know what is.
    The truth is pure--but the evil minds must be deceived--
    As to the trunk--I would be only too glad to save the sum by getting it at a cheap rate-- Send me direction where to go to obtain it.
    --Don't send the fare yet--I may make it in [a] very short two weeks--but I doubt it--still there [is] a chance of my making at least 20 per week clear.--
    It will take $30.00 to get the new Forget-me-Not dress and $10.00 for the making.
    That's $40.00--(Black street dress is finished and looks well--thank you.--I am proud of the giver!) I need two more silk dresses--One Mother will make for $5.00 and the other will have to be sent to dressmaker.--I can pay them at cost if I go to wholesale house. I know where to go--and who will take me.--so that's all settled.
    Can buy them both for $16.00 a piece--both at $32.00--Lining &c.--5.00 (both)--
    Must get some little things to fix over other dresses--Cost about $12.00--I think that will cover what is necessary--If you can't afford the sum send what you wish & I will pull through somehow
    I forgot my velvet wrap--(cheap velvet, about 7 yards will do)--It's for the stage--Can get it for 75¢ per yard--Plenty good
    You can count this up.--I know it looks funny that I can get a dress so cheap--but I can--
    The trunk will cost about 12.00 or 15 dollars.--
    Pardon this business letter--but you asked for it--and pressed me to tell you what I needed--
----------
    Write me your diary. It is so charming to know someone thinks of me--Will write soon a sensible worthy letter (worthy of you).--
    Minor settled--Eight weeks and more time given, if I wish to stay. Pleasant news Is it not?
Sincerely with
    Affection
        Bro
Don't take cold.
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society  *Apparently Loraine's real name.



April 12 [1892]
"Bro Mine"--
    Order received yesterday--and collected today.
    I would have written at once, but I was called to attend some business of importance.
    I forgot the sum of cast music, $1.20 with sending charges included. Tickets bought but didn't win anything. Many thanks. I am positive that you are not taking proper care of yourself. Please do. Your description of your S.F. Dr. was more than true. Now, if I am to see you again please try and keep your health.
    This world holds so few good men that it cannot spare you. I would not be able to fret my "Bro Mine" with my cares &c.
    Your photo ought to be finished. I will go tomorrow and see what's the delay. Why must people neglect to keep their word. Lawyers promised me faithfully to send them last week.
    I am to play with my own company for two weeks or more--but think only two weeks. The "Knights of Pythias" pays us on percentage.
    I am only waiting to get away. That's the best thing for me. I'm so unhappy here.
    I must hurry up and buy everything--so that I will not lose a day when the time arrives.
    My health is better. I am so tired. Must rest, so will cease--only saying that I am sincere and worthy.
    With my soul's best thoughts--
Yours
    Bro.
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



NIGHT MESSAGE
THE WESTERN UNION TELEGRAPH COMPANY

Received Jacksonville, Ogn. 8:18 a.m. April 23, 1892
San Francisco [April] 22
To T. G. Reames
   

Intercept all letters you can are coming to wife sent through other parties letters
   

Brother

C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society




Destroy last three
letters and oblige
S.F. April 22nd 92
"Bro" Dear
    Much has transpired since I wrote to you--and I will attempt to tel you all.
    I have been more than grateful in my thoughts to God for giving me so much kindness through you. I have been happy and content.--then to my horror came the shadow of--that fiend--that cur--Percy Hunting. I found that he was working against me most royally--fixing stories & fit occasions--and I started to investigate and woe betide me found that he & the French woman were friends and were working together to injure my fair name.
    I repeat what transpired concerning your noble self, and you can estimate my suffering of heart.
    He told three of my so-called friends that I was intimate with you and that he knew it--then he went too far--he said last night the same thing and 
Tom Andrews had a fight with Hunting about you--a windy war--I mean.--I can't write more now--I sent telegraph tonight. Will write again--
Yours as ever--
    Bro
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



T. H. Andrews
    San Francisco
        April 24th 1892
Thos. G. Reames
    Jacksonville, Oregon
Dear Friend
    I very much regret being compelled to apologize for not answering your letter before now and shall not take the time to make excuses now, but will write you how that dirty villain Percy Hunting is trying to ruin our friend. I caught him in the lobby of my theater and told him I would break every bone in his body if he did not stop his slanderous tongue. He says that he is going to write to your wife through a third party and tell her how our friend wanted you to get a room outside of the hotel so she could be with you. He will close the letter in a small envelope and put that in a larger one and address it to a man, he has found his address, and request him to deliver this letter in person to your wife, so keep a good watch and prevent it at any cost. He says he found out that you live 18 miles from Jacksonville and has got the full address. This man is crazy in love with our friend, and she does not care a snap of her finger for him and has forbidden him to enter her house or ever speak to her again and he says he will ruin her. He talks fearful about you and I about what we have done for our friend. The gentleman who was on the door of the theater at the time she was playing here says he does not remember ever meeting you and does not believe you were in the theater while she was playing. If you remember I introduced you to him one night as our friend's best friend and you made the remark that we were all her friends. If this man does not stop his talk I shall give him one of [the] soundest thrashings he ever had. I do not want you to get mixed up in it as you have a large family and grown children that must not have any talk about, while I am single and alone in the world and no one that he could hurt. I can best stand it. I told him if he mentioned your name or mine in any disrespect to our friend I would give him the worst licking he ever had and I will do it. I will keep you posted. Answer and let me know if he has done anything so far.
Respectfully your friend
    Thos. H. Andrews
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



April 27th 92
Bro. Mine--
    Letters received and I write to tell you that I have been ill again and almost wild.
    I know that Mr. A----'s letter told you all you wish to know about H----g.--but you cannot appreciate the horror of it to me.
    As you understand me and my life you can easily see his object--It is to prevent me succeeding honorably.--He thinks by starting fresh scandals he will ruin my name--and frighten my pure friends.--That I will end by killing myself and he will have punished me for turning him from my door and showing him my dislike.
    He says to persons--She will not dare to fight me for I will say she is her mother's child and a fiend &c.
    He thinks that I will be forced to endure all and not whip him in the open street as he deserves.--
    I sit for hours and suffer this humiliation--knowing I am powerless. My tour will be all refused if I make an open warfare--
    As to you--These are his plans. He has found out just where you live and will send [a] letter [to] somebody in Jacksonville--and enclose the letter to be delivered to Mrs. R.--
    He has gotten the Turners on his side by a clever stroke of policy. Lies--lies to them and cries about my treatment of him &c. Says I am treating him so because I have gotten assisted from men richer than he. You can imagine just the tricks he is using. Col. Andrews is going to take up the fight. You cannot afford to be known in this yet. I will protect you at any cost.--
    He (H.) thinks you and wife will be in town in ten days and that will put off letter matter.
    If I could only see you now and talk it over.--
    Pardon brief letter--but I must meet some friends.
    Madam -------- is settled--She has signed a paper refuting all and hates H----. She fears me for I found out her entire career.-- She is a woman who runs after women.-- Do you understand. Heaven help me.
    Another letter Friday night. I will write.
    I will advise you on many points. Can you not use the Masons to protect you here. Send a letter to A---- with permission to call a Mason.
    Head your letters to me--
    Dear Friend--x--and I will understand. Destroy all mine.
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



May 3rd 92
Bro Mine
    Forgive me for not answering your lovely letters--but I have been too blue to write.
    We have heard nothing of H---- [Percy Hunting] this week.
    Did take your advice about him. He two weeks [ago] arrived here to play, were postponed because Mr. A---- [Thomas H. Andrews] could not leave Grand [Opera House] to get the dates and "Knights" [of Pythias] in each town to work and keep him. Two companies have played at Grand and kept Mr. A---- here--Do you understand? I am very much annoyed at delay--Expect to go soon--and then will be so much happier in consequence. I will finish this letter as soon as visitors leave.--
Later.
    It is now 12--at night--and I am still here--Can't rest. I pass such dreary nights--Am afraid I am going to be ill for the last time.
    You speak of your going east--I will go also.
    We will meet again--and I will be able to tell you all my troubles again--Your friendship has been to me a blessing--I know now how good--how noble you are.
    I have gotten my clothes--and will get my trunk--I think of you in it all--and thank heaven for giving me such a friend.
----------
    My troubles here will soon be over--for I mean to go to Minor--but the good news is--that we open the season in Chicago--"What do you think of that"--
    I trust that your health will be always "improved"--and that I will be able to live long enough to see you again.
    Forgive my sadness, and I will try and write a bright letter soon.
----------
    Mr. A---- is looking out for the villain H---- and I think has frightened him.
    I am following your advice.
As ever
    Bro
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



Season 1892-93
Miss Loraine Hollis
REPERTOIRE.

FORGET ME NOT. THE TIGRESS.
ALIXE. DIPLOMACY.
ODETTE. TWO NIGHTS IN ROME.
San Francisco [May 7, 1892]
Bro Mine
    I wrote you a very blue letter last time and I now write to beg you to not mind it and to know that I mean to keep up my spirits until we meet again. You must think me ungrateful or unappreciative.
    I am awaiting news from Minor about the opening in Chicago. If the company meets there I will be the one to gladly go.
    I took a lonesome ride in the cart yesterday and thought of our funny little trips. The day I laughed so much at your quiet no--when we thought the car was going back the same way.--
    How beautiful the water looked from the tops of the mountains--and the little Chinaman also was there.
    The light of God's sunshine shines upon us both--but does not tell you that I am the same true friend as on that day. I will never change. The life before me will be a sad and tired one no matter how success may crown me--for it comes too late--I was ambitious--tried so hard to make myself something--and now it seems like Dead Sea fruit.
    No more news from the "evil one"--He is doing himself only harm by playing at that 10¢ house.--He will never go any higher.--Heaven's hand will be in his downfall.
    Minor sent me a message--to the effect that he wished an interview with me.--Rather late to seek me--after allowing himself to be influenced by such a creature.
    Don't forget your daughter's pho.--I want it so much.
    Must write some business letters.
    Destroy this.
Yours--Bro
    "Heart" is with
    me on a purple
    cord.
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society



    Miss Loraine Hollis, the well-known actress, was in this city Sunday, and her manager, Colonel Thos. H. Andrews, made arrangements for her appearance at the opera house this month in a repertoire of plays. Miss Hollis is a handsome and accomplished lady, who by her own efforts has attained a front rank among American actresses, and is among the few California girls who have succeeded in achieving an Eastern success. For a season she was with the famous Daly Company of New York, where she received favorable notices from the critics.
"Social and Personal," Santa Cruz Sentinel, May 10, 1892, page 3



June 7--92
    S.F.
"Bro" Mine
    Letters and draft received--and I was so overpowered at your kindly thoughtfulness that I had a good feminine cry--which brought on one of my sick headaches--and that ended in my being ill a day & a half.
    I have been so overworked (doing all my own business to say a salary) that I am not feeling bright. Theater matters is going fairly. I am having trouble about filling P.H.'s place--that is all.
    Maybe a friend is doing all he can to deter me. He is putting some stumbling blocks in my way--But I can't fall over them.
    Come to the city sometime in Feb.--(last part) and you will see me in some good lines. I would so enjoy a talk with you.
    God bless you for your kindness to me and know me worthy.--You have made me successful in so much I had to do--because I knew you believed in me--
    I will look well for the opening of "Bijou" and you will see me in good spirits if you come to theater.
Affectionately yours
    "Bro"
Will write again soon.
C. C. Beekman Papers Mss 916, Box 19 Miscellaneous Papers, Oregon Historical Society


LORAINE HOLLIS' TRIP.
Some of the Trouble She Experienced with Members of Her Troupe.

    Loraine Hollis, a California actress, returned a few days since from a tour through the northern part of the state, and while on that tour she had quite an adventure with two members of her company whom she had picked up when they were in distress and had helped along.
    One of these, V. M. de Silke, acted part of the time as manager, and in that capacity handled some of the money, but as the lady did not like his methods directed him to turn over all funds to Orme Caldara, who was the treasurer of the company. After that as the members of the company were on a stage going from Oroville to Chico, De Silke, who sat opposite Miss Loraine, took occasion to insult her by word and by blowing smoke in her face. This was kept up until Caldara gave him a good pummeling. While he was administering punishment De Silke's friend, A. Walsh, jumped upon Caldara, and beat him savagely, and would have hurt him had not Harry Vizard, another member of the company, come to the rescue. De Silke, Walsh and one T. J. Williams attempted to break up the company when it was billed to play in Oroville on the return from Chico, but Caldara threatened to punish the fellows if they did not play their parts, and they did play them.
San Francisco Call, September 13, 1892, page 3


Opera House Next Week.
    The Territorial Enterprise of Virginia City, Nev., when Miss Loraine Hollis was playing there recently, said; "The claim of Loraine Hollis to being one of the few lovely women on the stage is well founded, as will be admitted by all who saw her at the Opera House last night. Miss Hollis has a finely formed figure, an imposing appearance and magnificent eyes. Her posing is artistic and effective in the extreme and the feeling and expression she can summon into her face and eyes at will are very taking. The cast is too large to be mentioned in detail. The support is equal to the leading role and rounds off the magnificent acting of Miss Hollis in a most gratifying manner. The play was highly enjoyed by a critical audience, which left the Opera House pleased with beholding a first-class drama excellently rendered."
    Miss Hollis will be seen in Santa Barbara in two of her principal roles Wednesday and Thursday nights next, November 16th and 17th.
Morning Press, Santa Barbara November 12, 1892, page 4


AN IRATE ACTOR.
He Had to Relinquish a Stormed Theater.
Percy Hunting's Midnight Raid on the National is Liable to End in His Arrest.

    In the "wee, sma' hours" yesterday morning the National Theater on Eddy Street was taken by storm.
    It appears that Percy Hunting, a small and twinkling light in the galaxy of dramatic stars, has for some time had a grievance against John C. Byrnes, the proprietor of the theater. He asserts that by verbal agreement he has a partnership claim in the theater and, tired of the slow routine of legal procedure, he yesterday morning gathered around a dozen choice spirits and proceeded to perform deeds of "derring-do." Charley Nicksdorf, the watchman, was surprised at being confronted by so many strangers, who flourished their pistols in the air, but when the sepulchral tones of Hunting bade him surrender himself he succumbed. He was confined in one of the dressing rooms while the raiders proceeded to screw up the various doors of the theater. Nicksdorf contrived to escape from his confinement and with all speed proceeded to give the alarm to Manager W. Dailey, who lives close by.
    By that time Percy Hunting and his "legionaries" had made themselves comfortable behind the stage. Dailey could not effect an entrance, so he left the party where they had ensconced themselves until morning.
    Shortly before 10 o'clock Byrnes and Dailey, accompanied by attorney R. R. Minor, began to discuss the situation with the triumphant Hunting through the thickness of the stage door. Finally the door was opened, when Hunting explained that he had acted under legal instruction. Attorney Minor tried to explain to him what a mistake he had made, and then, with a crestfallen air, the humbled Percy and his following evacuated the premises.
    Some months ago be sued Mr. Byrnes in the Justices' Court for $40--two weeks' salary--and got a judgment, but was non-suited upon the case being carried to the Supreme Court.
    "Yes," said Mr. Byrnes, "under certain circumstances he might have had some interest in the house, but he can't do anything, and as he has failed in his part of the understanding how can I be held to mine?"
    "He has had engagements for just about six weeks in the last two years," added Manager Dailey, "and he has been and is living on his wits."
    Meantime Hunting, who is well known as a Kearny Street promenader by his clean-shaven face and peculiarly negligee appearance, has gone into hiding to escape arrest. The watchman at the theater swore out a warrant yesterday and vows he will get even for the indignities heaped upon him by the lawless Thespian.
San Francisco Call, November 6, 1893, page 10


"Faust" at the Bush Street.
    The Bush Street Theater will reopen tomorrow (Monday) night, when the Wilkins Dramatic Company will revive Goethe's great masterpiece, "Faust," for one week. The play, as it will be produced, was especially adapted for this production by Alfred J. Edwards, a well-known Eastern playwright; the management announces that the scenic effects will surpass anything of the kind ever seen. A strong cast will support the star, Mr. Percy Hunting, whose wonderful delineation of the character of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde caused such a sensation several years ago. "Faust" is a tragedy, and as it will be staged well should draw crowded houses during the engagement of the company in this city. Several new features, including a kaleidoscope dance, entirely new in this country, will be introduced int he famous "Brocken scene," where Mephistopheles calls his demons together for the "Walpurgis night revel." Bewildering electrical effects, gorgeous scenery and weird and beautiful costumes will do much to make the piece a success. The box office will open today, when seats can be secured in advance.
San Francisco Call, June 3, 1894, page 16



ACTOR AND ACTRESS.
Loraine Hollis Is After the Scalp of A. C. Henderson
for the Nonfulfillment of Contract.

    Loraine Hollis, the actress, is after the scalp of A. C. Henderson, the actor. She appeared in Judge Low's court yesterday afternoon, accompanied by a gentleman, and told the Judge that she desired to have Henderson arrested for nonfulfillment of a contract.
    She had organized a company, to be known as the Loraine Hollis Theatrical Company, to tour the state, and had engaged Henderson for nine weeks at $30 a week. A contract was drawn up and signed by her and Henderson, and now Henderson refused to fill the engagement.
    The Judge sent for warrant clerk Benjamin and instructed him to draw up a complaint. Benjamin, Miss Hollis and her friend retired to his office, and he essayed to draw up a complaint that would meet the case. He took it to the Judge, who did not approve of it, and Benjamin tried another tack, with similar success. The Judge was deeply interested in a real estate case that was being heard by him and told Miss Hollis that he would look into the case and have a warrant to cover it drawn up this morning, when she could call and swear to it.
San Francisco Call, August 14, 1895, page 9


    Commencing tomorrow evening and continuing through the week, Loraine Hollis, the charming young actress, and her company will hold forth at the Opera House. The programme for the week will be a selection of Eastern successes. Miss Hollis is among the handsomest actresses on the stage, and in comedy and emotional roles she is very clever. Her wardrobe is of the latest pattern and will attract much attention. Her company is comprised of good people in the theatrical line. The first three performances will be as follows: Monday, "Arabian Nights"; Tuesday, "The Tigress"; Wednesday, "Forget Me Not." Reserve seats at Tanner's.

"Sentinel Jottings," Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 1, 1895, page 3


LORAINE HOLLIS CO.
They Appear in "The Tigress" and Give an Excellent Presentation.

    There was a good-sized audience at the Opera House Tuesday evening to see the Loraine Hollis Co. in "The Tigress." It is rarely that a play is so well presented here. As "Stella" Miss Hollis does some powerful acting. She is indeed a veritable tigress. There were scenes in which she displayed ability of an order that is seldom seen. In movement and action she was grace itself, while her well-modulated voice was heard to the best advantage. Miss Louise Jessen, as "Angelo," also did good work. She showed considerable talent. Chas. J. Edmunds, as "Barotti," Orme Caldara, as "Lord Noddy," were excellent. In fact, all of the characters were well taken.
    This evening Miss Hollis will appear in "Forget Me Not," probably the strongest play in her repertoire. As "Stephanie" she portrays a character that attains the marvelous from a dramatic standpoint. Those who saw her in the play during her previous visit have not forgotten her splendid rendition of the part. With such an actress and such a play the house should be crowded.
Santa Cruz Sentinel, September 4, 1895, page 3


803 D Street, San Francisco:
Snyder, Laura, 62, widow, no occupation, born June 1857, born Mississippi, father's birthplace unknown, mother born Alabama
U.S. Census, enumerated June 8, 1900


Lorraine Hollis' "Du Barry"
    In a popular price Brooklyn theater, Loraine Hollis last week produced a new version of "Du Barry," Mrs. Leslie Carter's great success. The Hollis version is called "Jeanne du Barri" and judging by the caustic criticism given it by New York's professional carpers it is utterly without merit. The characters are all jumbled up and the plot becomes so incoherent as the play progresses that it is impossible to follow it. Loraine Hollis always had a penchant for producing "her own" versions of plays. I remember when she put on "The Clemenceau Case" at the Bijou. I believe Lester Lonergan was in the cast, the same Lonergan who adapted "The Country Girl" for Kathryn Kidder. Loraine Hollis is one of those actresses who, given every opportunity to rise in their profession, never manage to do anything worthy. When she first went upon the stage she was given a position by Augustin Daly. But she did not like to play small parts in New York after having been featured in San Francisco. She preferred being a big toad in a small puddle, and so she returned here to star and tour with her own company--a very mediocre one gathered from the byways of the Rialto. Loraine Hollis is a daughter of Laura D. Fair, the heroine of Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's novel which brought the immortal Sellers into existence. Loraine, or Lillie, Fair was married quite young to an equally youthful husband named Andrew J. Hynes. He was a newspaper man and the only son of a Southern couple of aristocratic feelings but reduced fortunes. The young people, being both spoiled children, disagreed after a time and separated.
Town Talk, San Francisco, May 31, 1902, page 24



Richmond, California:

Snyder, Annie, 72, widow, has own income, one child,
born Mississippi, father's birthplace unknown
U.S. Census, enumerated April 23rd, 1910


223 West Forty-Ninth Street, Manhattan, New York:
Hymes, Lillian L., widow, 45, actress, born California, father born Virginia, mother born Texas
U.S. Census, enumerated April 18, 1910


Percy Took Snuff with Grand Duke Alexis
and Did a Lot of Other Things That Make Him Interesting

    He took snuff from the same box as the Duke Alexis of Russia. He was a little sailor boy who got restless at home, in Boston, and went to sea with his uncles.
    He took the first flat-bottom schooner, the Cora S., from Seattle to Skagway in 1897--he still holds a pilot's license.
    He pierced the Alaskan wilds before that big rush in 1896.
    He ran the mail in the early days of the rush.
    He was special deputy marshal.
    He prospected and he mined.
    He ran a hotel--the first decent one in Skagway--the Dewey Hotel.
    He built a theater--the Alhambra--in Frisco.
    He conducted an elocution school.
    He hunted moose for a living.
    And, chiefly, he was an actor.
    You see, this is the story of a very busy man.
    He's the human encyclopedia of the drama as known in the days of Booth, Forrest, McCullough and the rest of those stars of the last generation. He can tell you what the leading actors and actresses of that day used to eat for breakfast, what cuss words they used, when they married, how much money they made, and what their real names were. He can tell you all about Tom Keene and Lawrence Barrett long before the day when they became famous enough to have cigars named after them.
All About Percy Hunting.
    For Percy Hunting, now a deputy county clerk in Seattle, played with the best of them. That was in the days of the good old stock companies, when the stars alone traveled from place to place. The actor of that day, he says, was a real artist--he had to act. Today if you can fit into one particular type, no matter if you couldn't take another role in 1,000 years, you're called an actor. The stock actors of the former day, says Hunting, were finished artists. They played Shakespeare then--you couldn't get a chance to sweep the stage floor if you didn't have a speaking acquaintance with the Bard of Avon.
    "The average gallery kid knew more about Shakespeare then than the girls in the Smith Academy of Massachusetts today," says Hunting.
    Hunting is from Massachusetts himself, you know--comes right from the old Mayflower excursion to Plymouth Rock--and is a direct descendant from old Governor Bradford and John Hunting--only that the old chap used to spell it "Huntting."
Starred Here in 1893.
    Hunting starred in Seattle way back in 1893, as leading man for Florence Roberts. He played in "Othello" with five stars, Barrett, Keene, McCullough, Frank Bangs and Miles Levick. He played with John Drew, Kate Claxton, Mrs. D. P. Bowers. He knew Abe Erlanger when he dieted on coffee and sinkers in the Millionaires' Club--meals a nickel each. Hunting was the fifth man in the United States who played the cripple in "The Two Orphans." He starred in "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" when he quit the stock company at the California Theater. He was seen in Seattle as the star of "Richelieu" in the old Third Avenue Theater.
Seattle Star, November 21, 1911, page 4



ONCE FAMOUS BEAUTY DIES OF STARVATION
Body of Lillian Loraine Hollis Found in Room with Score of Cats in New York

    NEW YORK, Feb. 7.--Lillian Loraine Hollis, who was said to be a famous beauty of the Pacific Coast in 1892, died in obscurity here last Monday, it was learned today. Her body was found in a little furnished room on Forty-ninth Street, in which there was a score of cats, and there was evidence, said physicians, that her death was caused by lack of nourishment, or practically starvation.
    "In a voting contest, conducted by several California newspapers in 1892," said a person who knew the woman, "Miss Hollis was proclaimed the prettiest woman of the Pacific Coast."
    A number of actors and actresses visited an undertaking establishment to see her body borne to a crematory after simple services.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 7, 1913, page 8


FORMER MRS. FAIR WOULD END LIFE
Mother of Lillian Hollis, Hearing of Daughter's End, Seeks Death

    RICHMOND, Feb. 8.--Mrs. L. A. Snyder, mother of Lillian Loraine Hollis, who died in poverty in New York day before yesterday, seized a knife this afternoon and attempted to take her own life when she read in the dispatches the tragic end of her daughter.
    Mrs. Snyder resides at 437 Eleventh Street in this city and has been depending upon the charity of her friends for a living. She was once the beautiful Laura D. Fair, who killed lawyer Crittenden.
    Crittenden was on his way to meet his wife on her return from a trip east when Mrs. Fair, now Mrs. Snyder, shot him dead.
    Mrs. A. H. Jackson, with whom Mrs. Snyder has lived for some time, summoned assistance when Mrs. Snyder became hysterical and threatened suicide. A physician was called and the patient was quieted.
    The shooting of Judge Crittenden occurred November 3, 1870. Lillian Hollis was alleged to have been the child of the lawyer and jurist.
Father a Gambler
    SACRAMENTO, Feb. 8.--Published reports that Lillian Loraine Hollis, daughter of Laura D. Fair and famous California beauty, who died in poverty in New York City a few days ago, was the illegitimate daughter of Judge A. P. Crittenden and Laura D. Fair are denied by Mrs. J. M. Rust, a nurse, of 1418 Fourteenth Street, this city.
    Mrs. Rust says she nursed Laura D. Fair in the days following the murder of Judge Crittenden by Mrs. Fair on an Oakland ferry boat, and from her learned the facts. Mrs. Rust says Lillian Loraine Hollis was the daughter of Mrs. Fair and her husband, Colonel Fair, a gambler, who committed suicide at Washington and Kearny streets in the early sixties.
San Francisco Call, February 9, 1913, page 56


Climax.
KEEN EDGE HER BALM.
Laura Fair Tries to End Her Life.
Mother of the Beautiful Lillian Loraine Essays Role of Suicide.
Grief Over the Fate of a Prize Winner Remains to Be Assuaged.
Romance Woos Tragedy in the Closing Scene of an Eventful Career.

(BY DIRECT WIRE TO THE TIMES.)
        SAN FRANCISCO BUREAU OF THE TIMES, Feb. 8.--(Exclusive Dispatch.) Mrs. L. D. Snyder, known in the early '70s as the beautiful Laura Fair, adventuress, slayer of Judge A. P. Crittenden, and principal in at least two other shooting affairs, and a beauty of her day, attempted, with a bread knife, to end her own life in Richmond after reading of the death of her daughter, Lillian Loraine Hollis.
    The daughter, an actress, who in 1892 was voted the most beautiful girl on the Pacific Coast, died in squalor in New York. For twelve years she had refused to communicate with her mother.
MOTIVE OF THE ACT.
    The tragic death of the daughter and the attempted suicide of the mother on the opposite side of the continent mark one more tragic episode in the life of the woman, whose history few of the present generation recall, but whose life was marked with tragic events.
ROMANCE WAS TRAGEDY.
    Of all the romance and tragedy that was woven into her life that morganatic romance which culminated the evening of Thursday, November 3, 1870, when she shot down Judge A. P. Crittenden, eminent lawyer of his time, on board the ferry boat El Capitan at the Oakland pier, was the most sensational. The murder was committed within sight of the wife of Judge Crittenden and while his sons and daughters stood near to witness it. Mrs. Fair could not bear to see the man she loved and with whom she had been on intimate terms for months clasp his lawful wife in his arms when she returned from a visit in the East.
    The adventuress who more than forty years ago shot down her lover, who twice before had attempted murder, is the woman who read the story of her own daughter's death this morning in a little cottage in Richmond and whose grief was so great that she tried to put an end to her existence.
    Mrs. Snyder had been living in Richmond since 1906. For the greater part of the time she has been conducting a woman's exchange, but with indifferent success. Mrs. Snyder is remarkably preserved for her age, being in the neighborhood of 70. She has the appearance of a woman more than ten years younger than that.
    She lived in Richmond in the home of Mrs. Howell at No. 437 Eleventh Street. It was there this morning that she read in the morning newspapers of the death of Lillian Loraine Hollis, reported to be the foster daughter of Mrs. Snyder but who she says is her legitimate child.
WITH A SCREAM.
    Immediately after reading the newspaper account of the death of the actress in New York, Mrs. Snyder ran screaming from the room. She rushed into the kitchen followed by several members of the Howell family. Mrs. Snyder grabbed a bread knife from a shelf and cried that she would kill herself. Members of the family disarmed [her] and held her in restraint until the arrival of officers who sent her to the Abbott Hospital. She remained there until last night when she was sent to her home. Later in the evening she boarded a train for Oakland, where she said she intended to visit friends.
LILLIAN'S PEDIGREE.
    "Lillian Loraine Hollis was my daughter," said Mrs. Snyder as she was leaving Richmond tonight. "She was the daughter of William [D.] Fair, to whom I was married in Yreka in 1863 [sic]. I have affidavits to prove that she was my daughter."
    The maiden name of Mrs. Snyder, who attempted to end her remarkable career this morning, is supposed to have been Lane, and she was a native of Mississippi. She first became known in California when she married Col. William [D.] Fair, former sheriff of [Siskiyou] County. [William D. Fair was a lawyer in Siskiyou County; Samuel P. Fair was Siskiyou County Sheriff in the 1850s.] When he had money he gratified her every whim, but when he met with reverses she cast him off. Fair was so deeply affected by the desertion of his wife that he committed suicide.
    After the death of Col. Fair, Mrs. Fair was twice remarried. After a divorce from the third husband she was again brought in the public eye by a series of remarkable adventures and escapades in Mexico.
INFATUATION.
    In 1861 she left Mexico and went to Virginia City, where she first met A. P. Crittenden, who became so infatuated with her that he forgot everything else for a time.
    When the War of the Rebellion broke out, she was a strong Southern sympathizer, and when the entire Pacific Coast was in doubt as to which side to champion in that struggle, she created great excitement in Virginia City by appearing in the streets wrapped in a Confederate flag and, with a cocked revolver in her hand, daring any person to raise the Stars and Stripes in her presence. One patriot was brave enough to defy her. She shot at him but missed. She then raised the Confederate flag over her home and dared anyone to pull it down. Patriotic citizens entered the house during the night, cut the halyards and the flag fluttered to the street. She was arrested and tried for the shooting affair, but was acquitted. Crittenden was her attorney at the trial.
    Soon afterward her companion, a man named Hunt, killed a friend in a brawl, after which he fled the state. Hampered by lack of funds, she did not follow him, but remained.
    It was soon after that she came to San Francisco and appeared on the stage playing minor parts, both here and in Sacramento. She soon realized that she was not cut out for theatrical life. She became conspicuous at balls and at the theaters and was famed for her unusual beauty. Eventually, she met and married a Jesse Snyder. After six weeks of wedded bliss she discovered that her husband kept very close watch of his purse. She arranged for a divorce suit, which she won. The decree was granted but four days previous to the shooting of Crittenden.
THE CRITTENDEN CASE.
    Laura D. Fair shot Alexander P. Crittenden, an eminent San Francisco lawyer of his time, on board the ferry boat El Capitan, in the presence of his wife and children, November 3, 1870, inflicting a wound from which Crittenden died the evening of November 5.
    In September, 1870, he sent his wife and seven children east for a pleasure trip, and had just greeted them at the Oakland pier on their return at the time of the tragedy. As they boarded the ferry Crittenden's son, Parker, observed a woman attired in black and heavily veiled who appeared to be regarding his father's movements intently.
    Crittenden was a native of Kentucky and a West Point graduate as a classmate of Gen. Sherman's. Remaining in the army only a year, he married and took up the law, coming to San Francisco in 1852.
    When Crittenden and his family took seats on the boat the woman approached them and suddenly whipped out a revolver from the folds of her clothing, shooting him in the chest.
    Crittenden fell to the deck, unconscious, and the woman hastened to another part of the boat, where she seated herself. Capt. Kentzel of the harbor police was on the boat and placed her under arrest, depriving her of the revolver.
    Immediately following her arrest she began acting peculiarly, apparently bordering on hysteria, and when a stimulant was administered she bit a section out of the glass.
    It was not until after she was taken to the city prison that her identity became known.
    On the day of Crittenden's funeral the federal, state and municipal courts adjourned.
    The defense was that Crittenden's perfidy had wrought her mind to a blind, unreasoning frenzy. She was convicted April 26, 1871, and was sentenced to be hanged July 28. The Supreme Court granted a stay of execution July 11 and later accorded her a new trial, which resulted in her acquittal upon a plea of her counsel that she was a victim of emotional insanity.
Los Angeles Times, February 9, 1913, page 1



Last revised April 14, 2019