Sacramento County - Biographies

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Anderson, Mary Antoinette

Mary Antoinette Anderson, actress, was born at Sacramento, Cal., July 28, 1859. The next year her parents removed to Louisville, Ky., and her father became a soldier in the Confederate service. He died in Mobile, Ala., in 1863, being only twenty-nine years old. His widow married, in 1867, Dr. Hamilton Griffin, a practicing physician of Louisville, and Mary was sent to the Ursuline convent to be educated under the care of the Presentation nuns. She made but small progress with her studies, and spent more time on Shakespeare than with her regular lessons. When but twelve years old she witnessed a fairy play, and decided that she would like to be an actress. A year later she saw Edwin Booth in Richard III. Her step-father encouraged the girl's ambition and directed her future education. She took lessons in music, literature and dancing. In 1874 she met Charlotte Cushman, and was advised by her to continue her study for the stage and "to begin at the top." Early in 1875 she received a few preparatory lessons from Vandenhoff, and made her first public appearance at McCauley's theatre, Louisville, in the character of Juliet, Nov. 27, 1875. To obtain the use of the theatre she agreed to raise four hundred dollars, and so did by selling tickets about the city for three months previous to the performance. Despite her inexperience and extreme youth she was not made the subject of severe criticism, although her acting was crude, and, conscious of her faults, she labored assiduously to correct them. She was induced to go to St. Louis to fill an open date for Manager DeBar, who, by advertising her as a southern girl, "daughter of a Confederate soldier killed in battle," and thus appealing to public sentiment and curiosity, made the engagement a success, which induced Manager Morton to engage her to star through the southern states, a venture which resulted in financial disaster. After her return she filled a week's engagement in Louisville in January, 1876, interpreting Evadne, Juliet, Bianca, and Julia. The public found a warm place for her in its big heart, and the critics accused it of being so blinded by the arch beauty of the young actress that it was incapable of correct judgment as to her acting. However, they soon began to speak of her as the "hope of the American stage." She played with stock companies in St. Louis, New Orleans and other southern cities; then two weeks with John McCullough in San Francisco, Cal., where for the first days of her engagement she received the most severe criticism. This, however, wore off, and the last nights of her engagement witnessed crowded houses and enthusiastic applause. On Nov. 12, 1877, she began what proved to be a very successful engagement in New York city, at the Fifth Avenue theatre, and henceforth she was ranked among the leading actresses of America. From this time her career was a series of brilliant triumphs so far as her audiences were concerned; and the critics, although denying her technical accuracy, acknowledged that her youthful crudities were wearing off. She toured the provincial cities of England; played at the Lyceum theatre, London, 1884-'5, and made her first appearance as Rosalind at the opening of the Memorial theatre at Stratford-on-Avon, where her portrait in that character adorns one of the panels. She made a tour of the United States. 1885-86; revisited England 1886-88, and there made a success as Perdita at Henry Irving's Theatre. She returned to the United States in 1888, and in March, 1889, was obliged to cancel her engagements owing to serious illness. She sailed for Europe in April, 1889, and married, June 17, 1890, Antonio F. de Navarro, of New York. She abandoned the stage and became a resident of Worcestershire, England. She published "A Few Memories" (1896). See the Stage Life of Mary Anderson (1886), by William Winter.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor

Crocker, Charles Frederick

Charles Frederick Crocker, capitalist, was born at Sacramento, Cal., Dec. 26, 1854; son of Charles and ?? (Eaton) Crocker. His father was the pioneer financier and railroad builder. The son was educated in the public schools of Sacramento, at the University Mound college; at the California military academy; in Europe in 1873 and 1875, and at the Polytechnic institute of Brooklyn, N.Y. In 1875 he returned to California with failing eyesight and engaged in the railroad business with the Southern Pacific railhead, of which his father was an officer. He began as clerk with the division superintendent and was successively promoted to the position of clerk in the general freight office, to the desk of "loss and damage," to the office of claim adjuster, and then as successor to Gen. David E. Colton as purchasing and financial agent of the company. The office of third vice-president was created for him and he became resident managing director and sole representative of the real ownership of the road, owing to the protracted absence of the other owners in the east and Europe. In 1888 he was made second vice-president and on the death of his father, Aug. 14, 1888, he came into the financial management of an estate of $24,000,000. In 1890 he was elected first vice-president of the road with administrative responsibility involving $200,000,000 capital. He died at San Mateo, Cal., July 17, 1897.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor

Kemble, Edward Windsor

Edward Windsor Kemble, illustrator, was born at Sacramento, Cal., Jan. 18, 1861; son of Edward Cleveland and Cecilia (Windsor) Kemble; grandson of John Cleveland and Mary (Whipple) Kemble, and a descendant of John Cleveland Kemble. His father removed to California from New York city in 1846, and founded the Alta California, the first newspaper on the Pacific coast. The son was educated in the public schools of New York, and was connected with various periodicals as an illustrator from 1881. He made the negro a special study, and became well known by his drawings of negro characters. He also illustrated numerous books, including, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," "Knickerbocker's History of New York," "Huckleberry Finn," "Pudd'n Head Wilson," "Colonel Carter of Cartersville." He also published: Kemble's Coons; A Coon Alphabet ; Kemble's Sketch Book.

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor

Moreland, William Hall

William Hall Moreland, first bishop of Sacramento and 188th in succession in the American episcopate, was born in Charleston, S.C., April 9, 1861; son of Edward McCreight and Caroline (Hall) Moreland; grandson of Andrew Moreland and of William Hall, and a descendant of Thomas Smith, first landgrave of the colony of South Carolina, 1665. He was graduated at the University of the South, B.Lt., 1881, A.M., 1881, B.S., in 1881; was graduated at Berkeley Divinity school in 1884; was ordained deacon, June 4, 1884; was assistant at Christ church, Hartford, Conn., 1884-85; ordained priest, Aug. 12, 1885, and was rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd at Nashua, N.H., 1885-93, during which time, by a canvass of the diocese, he raised $32,000 toward the erection of an Episcopal residence at Concord, N.H. He was married, Sept. 6, 1893, to Harriet E., daughter of Charles Slason of Nashua, N.H. He was rector of St. Luke's church, San Francisco, Cal., 1893-99, and dean of the convocation, 1896-99. He was elected missionary bishop of Sacramento in 1898, and was consecrated, Jan. 25, 1899, by Bishops Nichols, Leonard, Kendrick, Barker, Johnson and Perrin, being the youngest bishop in the world at the time of his consecration. He received the degree of D.D. from the University of the South in 1899. He is the author of What is Christianity (1886); and The Church or the Churches, Which? (1894).

From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Johnson, Rossiter, editor