Posts Tagged ‘1939’

“The Old Home Town” – by Lee Wright Stanley

August 22, 2010

“The Old Home Town” was a series of comic panels created by Lee Wright Stanley and published in several newspapers over a span of many years. During the 1930’s, when paper dolls seemed to be all the rage, he drew some cut-outs that were also published in the papers. I am posting one comic panel for each paper doll character that I found.

Otey Walker, the highly popular town marshal in the very funny Globe-Gazette comic, “The Old Home Town,” drawn by Lee Stanley, appears today with his two suits of clothes. If you like this doll write the Globe-Gazette editor and ask him to print more.

The dark frock coat with lighter trousers ensemble is what  you usually see him wear. They are his work clothes. The other suit, a very nobby affair, is Otey’s Sunday-go-to-meeting togs. Very nifty, indeed. And you’ll notice, he hasn’t forgotten to pin his marshal’s badge on it.

Dress Otey in these togs — and see how he looks.

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Apr 18, 1935


Aunt Sarah Peabody, one of your favorite in Lee Stanley’s “The Old Home Town” cartoon, today joins your cut-out paper doll collection. The two dresses shown here are her week-day dresses and her party gown.

The dark every-day dress is the costume Sarah usually wears when attending a meeting of her Society for the Prevention of Pipe Smoking. The other is very elegant with its large flower pattern and lots of frills.

If you want more cut-out paper dolls of the Globe-Gazette comic heroes and heroines write the editor of the Globe-Gazette and tell him so — he may print more if you do.

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Apr 19, 1935


Here’s a real surprise for all you young readers of the Globe-Gazette — a movable cutout paper doll.

The doll is Mrs. Ed Wurgler, the comic character in Lee Stanley’s very funny panel, “The Old Home Town.” Mrs. Wurgler is always getting after her lazy husband with a rolling pin or a skillet — so the artist pictures her that way today.

Cut out the doll, the arms, skirt and hats, then follow the instructions given above. By moving her arms you can make her wave either the rolling pin or skillet.

Try it — you’ll be surprised how life-like the doll works.

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Apr 29, 1935


Several days ago the Globe-Gazette published a cutout paper doll of Mrs. Wurgler. Since then many young readers have written in requesting a Mr. Wurgler doll. Here he is.

Artist Lee Stanley, who draws “The Old Home Town” comic panel in which the Wurglers appear, shows Ed doing a job of work — which is what he hates most — and another outfit, which, if placed on top of the doll, shows Ed doing what he likes best, going fishing.

Most cut-out paper dolls have several hats but not Ed. You’ll notice his every-day “work” hat and his Sunday hat are one and the same.

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) May 10, 1935

Nation-wide Comic Favorite, Creator of “Old Home Town” A Product of Village Life

Lee Stanley Puts the Rich, Earthy Humor and Character Of Typical Small Town Into Feature That is Aces With Millions of Readers.

THE CRACKER BARREL wits and wisecracks of the hamlets and whistle stops in the vicinity of Topeka, Kas., back in the horse-and-buggy era, never noticed the wide-eyed attention of a small boy who peered up at them in silent wonder.

However, if those rural Fred Allens and rustic Fibber McGees paid no attention to young Lee Wright Stanley, little Lee was paying plenty of attention to them — especially what they said.

Those corn-fed colloquialisms and bucolic bombasities which sprayed the tender Stanley ears somehow sank in and stuck in his brain. So — some years later, a young man and a budding cartoonist, Lee Stanley remembered them and put them into a cartoon series which he titled, “The Old Home Town” — now one of the most popular comic features on the feature page of the Herald-Genius.

The new comic was an instantaneous hit and has gained in popularity every year that Lee has done the now famous newspaper feature.

“The Old Home Town” laughs with and not at the folks who live in the Sauerkraut Centers or East Bicyclevilles of America. That’s why he is as popular with rural readers as with his host of followers in the metropolitan centers.

Into “The Old Home Town” Stanley puts the rich, earthly humor and character of the typical small town but being a small town man himself, and, it may be said, inordinately proud of that fact, he treats his characters with a human understanding, without ridicule, and without prejudice.

The characters of “The Old Home Town” are not soulless clowns capering at the command of a big town smart-aleck but human characterizations whose farcical triumphs and tragedies hold a mirror to the realities of life in a light-hearted manner.

Thus, today, there exists a real fondness and friendship of the reader for such folks of “The Old Home Town” as Marshal Otey Walker, Aunt Sara Peabody, Station Agent Dad Keys, Old Doc Pillsbury, Ed Wurgler, Lassitude White and the other characters — many of whom are better known to the average American citizen than the name of some outstanding motion picture star.

Another proof of “The Old Home Town’s” widespread popularity is the fact that many of the catch phrases originated by Stanley for his cartoon characters have had unusual vogues, such as — “Hold ‘er Newt, she’s arearin’,” “Git fer home, Bruno,” “Just ez I thought,” “Effen it’s news to you –,” and “What’s the fuss?”

Stanley’s fertile imagination constantly is creating new characters for his cartoon. They appear for a short period during which the artist attempts to learn reader reaction to his new brain child. If readers like him or her or them — they stay.

Among his later successes is — or are — the six gray-bearded grandpappies who make up the membership of the Die-Hard Social club, a sextet of nongenerian ninnies.

Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) Aug 4, 1939

Above,  is one of the earlier panels, published in 1921. The first ones were published a year earlier.  This one includes the famous line,  “Git fer home, Bruno!”

Lee W. Stanley, creator of The Old Home Town cartoons, Picture shows Cartoonist Stanley holding the red plush covered rolling pin which was awarded as first prize in the Dad Keyes Whisker contest. Mrs. Henrietta Kuecks, Peoria, Ill., won it. More than 5,000 readers all over the country submitted suggestions. Globe-Gazette readers have shown a remarkable interest in the contest.

Mason City Globe Gazette (Mason City, Iowa) Jun 3, 1929

NOTE: I am not sure what this “whisker” contest was, but a woman won; wish they would have published her picture too!

1930 Census - Rocky River, Cuyahoga, Ohio

1930 Census - Occupation

Death Elsewhere

Lee W. Stanley, 84, who created in 1920 the comic strip, “The Old Home Town,” which once appeared in 400 newspapers; began his career with the Cleveland Press in 1903 and drew sports and political cartoons and courtroom sketches of murder trials; in Cleveland.

Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) Feb 13, 1970

Lee Wright Stanley also illustrated some children’s books; two that I found were both written by Alice Crew Gall:

First, Dora Duck, which I found put to music on YouTube.

This next one is a page from Mother McGrew and Tommy Turkey, which can be read online at the Children’s Books Online: the Rosetta Project website.

Presidents’ Day Feature: Ronald Reagan

February 15, 2010

From the Sitka Sentinel (Sitka, Alaska) Nov 5, 1980

For President’s Day, a Ronald Reagan montage: It’s just some  random things  leading up to his Landslide Presidential Victory.  The “objectivity” of these articles makes them entertaining to read; it’s really a wonder he ever got elected to anything. Evidently,  the people could read between the lines.

Gov. Ronald Reagan (Image from

$6.74 Billion Calif. Budget Proposed By Gov. Reagan

Associated Press Writer


Gov. Ronald Reagan proposed Tuesday a spartan $6.74 billion state budget which avoids a tax increase mainly by slashing the rate of welfare spending by $700 million annually.

Reagan told the California Legislature that “something must be done and done immediately” about soaring welfare and health care costs.

Proposed welfare spending in Reagan’s budget totals $2.2 billion. The state’s share would be 676.5 million — down $65.2 million from the current year.

The Republican governor’s proposed 1971-72 budget, 2 percent larger than the current one, cuts spending in many areas, hold the University of California to the current $337 million of state support and denies state workers the annual cost-of-living salary increases they have enjoyed for the past decade.


Reagan told the state’s college and university faculty members they would have to spend more time teaching to handle a heavier classroom load.

Reagan predicted in an address to the Republican state convention Sunday the budget would bring “resistance and cries of anguish.”

Referring to welfare, he said “When many snouts are threatened with forcible withdrawal from the public trough, it makes waves.”

Reagan shunned both the deficit financing of President Nixon’s new federal budget and new taxes such as those proposed by New York Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller to balance his state’s $8.45 billion budget.


California had a bigger state budget than New York when Reagan first took office four years ago.

The Republican governor faces major problems in getting the budget, and its companion reform legislation, through a legislature controlled by Democrats: 43 to 37 in the Assembly and 20 to 19 in the Senate.

Reagan will propose administrative and legislative changes that will cut welfare spending by a projected $606 million of state, county and federal funds in the budget year beginning July 1. This will be done by tightening up on eligibility and doing away with a number of allowances considered by the Reagan administration to be frills. Details will be revealed in a welfare message to go to the legislature soon.

To save another $100 million, Reagan will ask the legislature to cut back the free health care given by the state to 2.5 million welfare recipients and medically needy in California’s Medi-Cal program.

Reagan proposes to limit Medi-Cal spending to what an average citizen who pays for his own health needs lays out during a year. This is estimated at about $300 by state officials. California has been paying an average $517 for each Medi-Cal patient, Reagan said.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Feb 3, 1971

Image from the Graham Owen Gallery

Reagan Prepares For “Hawk” Tour



Gov. Ronald Reagan is getting ready for his first nationwide political tour as a full-fledged hawk on Vietnam and closer then ever to campaigning actively for the Republican presidential nomination.

Less than three weeks before his speechmaking trip through Illinois, South Carolina and Wisconsin, Reagan made his toughest statement so far on the war, asking for a sharp escalation.

“I don’t think the full technological power of the United States is being used,” Reagan told a news conference Tuesday.

He said he didn’t think nuclear weapons are needed to win but insisted “the enemy should be frightened that we might” use them.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Sep 13, 1967

Brown: Reagan ‘Last Hope’ of Extremists

Gubernatorial Nominee Likened to Death Valley

SACRAMENTO (UPI) — Gov. Edmund G. Brown Sunday attacked his Republican opponent, actor-politician Ronald Reagan, as “the best and perhaps last hope” of right wing extremists for an attractive candidate who shares their philosophy.

In a speech prepared for a meeting of the Democratic State Central Committee, Brown said Reagan’s backers include ultra-conservatives from throughout the nation, not just California.

“They will spend whatever they must, and they will resort to whatever tactics they must,” the Democratic governor said.

“And they will do this because they know that Ronald Reagan is their best and perhaps last hope of inflicting on this nation a revolution of the right.”

Gov. Edmund G. Brown Sr. (Image from

Ignored Fight

Brown’s text concentrated on Reagan and ignored a bitter fight for selection of a new Democratic state chairman.

Committee members, almost 1,000 of them, were to choose between Mrs. Carmen Warschaw and Assemblyman Charles Warren, both of Los Angeles.

Brown is backing Mrs. Warschaw, currently the party’s southern California chairman. Lt. Gov. Glenn M. Anderson and most of the liberal wing are supporting Warren.

Supporters of Mrs. Warschaw have warned delegates that a Warren victory would be interpreted as a slap in the face of the governor. [SLAP! They chose Warren]

Brown said Reagan was trying to gloss over his earlier right-wing pronouncements. But the governor said Democrats would not let him do so.

Death Valley (Image from

‘Quaint Place”

“The people are going to find that Mr. Reagan’s philosophy is not unlike the landscape of Death Valley — threatening, barren and forbidding. And they will not let him remodel California in that image. Death Valley might be a quaint place to visit — but who wants to live there?”

(In Santa Monica, Reagan told a news conference Saturday the Democrats were trying to tie an extremist label on him ‘because they don’t dare run on their record.”)

The governor’s prepared remarks made no mention of his proposal, unveiled Saturday, for creation of a bipartisan committee to study the controversial Rumford Open Housing Law and recommend amendments or a substitute.


The Democratic state convention, in a platform adopted a few hours after the governor made the proposal, ignored it completely.

The platform said Democrats were “ready at all times to amend or improve” civil rights laws including the Rumford Act which prohibits racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.

But it said the party opposes repeal of any of the laws against discrimination.

In another speech prepared for the central committee, Democratic National Committeeman Eugene L. Wyman said Reagan was basing his campaign on information fed to him by “the behavioral scientists, the pollsters and the public relations experts.”

“They tell him the Rumford Act is unpopular, and Mr. Reagan calls for its repeal,” Wyman said. “They probe for the hidden fears and prejudices of the people, and Mr. Reagan goes on television to exploit those deep-seated emotions as coldly and cynically as the extremists of the left and right who would rule by mass manipulation of the mobs.”

Nevada State Journal (Reno, Nevada) Aug 15,  1966

California GOP Leaders Fear Future

Don’t Like Reagan For Governor but Have No Candidate


Republican fat cats met secretly in Los Angeles Dec. 17 to hear an audacious proposal from money men backing moderate George Christopher, former Mayor of San Francisco, for governor.

Christopher’s bankrollers agreed that unrestrained blood-spilling in primary elections has helped debilitate the Republican party in California. Instead of another expensive primary, they continued, the money men should agree on one candidate for Governor: George Christopher.

The audacity of this proposal stems from the fact that in statewide polls, Christopher runs far behind Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan, darling of California’s Goldwater movement. Naturally then, Reagan’s financial backer were not about to capitulate. The Dec. 17 meeting adjourned with nothing accomplished.

End Of an Era

This story illustrates the desperate straits of California moderate Republicans trying to salvage the Hiram JohnsonEarl Warren tradition in their party. The increasingly likely nomination of Reagan might well destroy whatever remains of that tradition. Yet, leading moderates looked to that Dec. 17 meeting as a last hope of beating Reagan by cutting away financial support.

Reliance on so doubtful a maneuver is part of the Cherry Orchard syndrome. After Barry Goldwater’s nomination in 1964, journalist Murray Kempton compared anti-Goldwater moderates to the impoverished Russian aristocrats in Chekhov’s play, “The Cherry Orchard” — foolishly waiting for somebody to save them as they edged inexorably toward the abyss. The Cherry Orchard analogy is equally applicable to California today.

Looked to Kuchel

Although Reagan’s candidacy was building all through 1965, the moderates waited for somebody to save them — specifically, for Sen. Thomas Kuchel to come home and run for governor. Kuchel, Earl Warren’s last political protege, kept the hope alive by refusing to say yes or no. when he finally said no in September, the moderates were left with Christopher.

A progressive who was an excellent mayor of San Francisco, Christopher failed to catch on in populous southern California during two previous losing statewide races. Many moderates believed aggressive, young state Rep. Robert Monagan, Republican leader of the state assembly, would run better against Reagan.

So progressive and excellent, he couldn’t get elected anywhere other than San Francisco!

Monagan has been the subject of a low-paced build-up since September (coming to Washington last month to see officials of the Council of Republican Organizations, a national coalition of moderate groups.) But so long as the better-known Christopher is running, Monagan is stymied.

Here again the Cherry Orchard mentality was at work. Some moderates hoped Kuchel would convince Christopher to step aside for Monagan. Based on a cordial private conversation between Richard M. Nixon and Monagan in September, other moderates hoped Nixon would do the same. These were but dreams.

Nowadays, there are even Zombies in The Cherry Orchard!  If we only had a Zombie Reagan, we could save the Cherry Orchard.

Seek Nixon’s Help

With Monagan’s candidacy still-born and Christopher determined to run hard, California’s Cherry Orchard moderates now are seeking outside help for Christopher from two influential members of the party’s old Nixon wing: Sen. George Murphy and former Nixon aide Robert Finch. Neither has much us for Reagan. Either could do him damage.

It is, however, naive to believe either will Murphy, who upset Pierre Salinger in 1964 as an apostle of party unity, sticks to that theme.The highly astute Finch is not likely to endanger his unimpeded road to the nomination for lieutenant governor and an excellent chance against the weak Democratic incumbent by attacking Reagan.

This leaves many moderates reduced to the wish that Christopher’s money men somehow will talk Reagan’s money men into quitting. They are praying Reagan will drop, or at least fail to gain in the next statewide opinion polls. Christopher’s fat cats then could argue that the polls prove Reagan has only hard-core right wing support and would be a goner against Democratic Gov. Pat Brown.

This is relying on providence. Reagan instead relies on his political management firm, Spencer, Roberts and Associates, which plans for Reagan to announce his candidacy on the same day California pollsters will have interviewers in the field. The reason publicity generated by Reagan’s announcement will help him in the polls.

Forgetting Reagan’s neanderthal ideology,** nobody can say his campaign hasn’t outplanned, out-thought, and outfought the Chekhovesque moderates. It’s 1964 all over again.

(Copyright 1965)

Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Jan 5, 1966

** NEANDERTHAL?  No journalistic bias there!

Post Crescent (Appleton, WI) Jun 3, 1965

Kinda funny, the paper’s name is the Post Crescent. Supposedly, this paper leans right, according to MondoTimes. Based on the preceding article from the Post Crescent, that doesn’t really appear to be the case.

From the Coshocton Tribune (Coshocton, OH) Nov 16, 1947

Who doesn’t love Shirley Temple?


Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman peddle cigarettes, and look so good doing it!

From the Nevada State Journal (Reno, NV) Aug 11, 1939

A hint of things to come? “To Keep You Safe, They Risk Their Lives!”

Ronald Reagan, the Life Saver!

From the Lima News (Lima, OH) Jul 3, 1937

The Ignorance of Braggarts and Fools

October 26, 2009

Image from


The fact that one can make a noise,
Is hardly proof of skill, or poise.
Most braggarts, when they’re put to test,
Produce performance not the best.
To boast is easy, but indeed,
It takes some action to succeed.
A donkey has a noisy bray,
But that is all he has to say.
Some blowers are about the same,
In real results, if not in name.
Just listen to the folks who brag,
And see if their attainments lag!


The Frederick Post (Frederick, Maryland) Mar 16, 1939

Image from


The self complacency of uneducated people is one of the great barriers in the way of improvement. No one can fail to have noticed how dogmatic the man is who knows a very little about any important matter. It is proverbial that the greatest students have only found out how little they know after a lifetime, and another proverb is, “A little learning is a dangerous thing.”

IT is a great step upward for a man to break the shell of his self-conceit, so that he can keep his mind in a receptive mood, and discriminate between wheat and chaff. He cannot grow unless he is willing to learn, and he cannot learn as long as it mortifies him to acknowledge that there is anyone wiser than he.

A great many very ignorant men assume an air of superiority, and by their dogmatic impudence override the very people that could teach them something. This sort of thing does the wise no harm but it keeps the fool a fool to his dying day. It is an excellent plan for young men to associate with their superiors. Don’t choose for companions the men who flatter and make much of you, but cultivate the acquaintance of the wise and good, and you will grow to be wise and good yourselves.

The Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Jan 5, 1881

Image from


He knew Latin and he knew Greek,
But the plumber who came to mend the tap
Thought him a strangely ignorant chap
Who couldn’t fix faucets when they leak.

He stopped with a farmer once to chat
And he looked at straw and called it hay.
And the farmer said as he moved away:
“I’d certainly hate to be dumb as that.”

All the ancient writers he could quote,
But sailors laughed when he went to sea
And said: “What an ignorant fool is he
To call such a splendid ship a boat!”

So in spite of the knowledge man has earned,
There is so much to this worldly scheme
That down to the last a fool he’ll seem
To the man who knows what he hasn’t learned.

The Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) Jan 21, 1930

Chaska and Corabelle: Painted Red

February 6, 2009


Miss Cora Fellows and Chaska to be Married Today.

Invitations Are Issued and the Event Will be Celebrated by a Dance at Swift Bird’s Camp — Miss Fellows’ Big Brother Will be Present and it is Hinted Will Lead the War Dance.

PIERRE, Dak., March 23. — To-marrow is the day set for the marriage of Miss Cora Fellows, the pretty, infatuated and determined school teacher at Swift Bird, to Chaska, the big buck Sioux Indian. The postponement of the wedding to March 24th, which Miss Fellows’ friends fondly hoped would evolve some means of breaking off the match, has not served its purpose. Every possible arguement has thus far been used, but without avail. Invitations were issued to friends to attend a ball at Swift Bird’s camp to-morrow night by Miss Fellows. Chaska delivered them to the guests and the nuptial knot will be tied to-morrow by Rev. Handforth. Word comes from Fort Bennett that Miss Fellows’ brother has arrived from Chicago and will stop the marriage. A scene is looked for.

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota  ) Mar 24, 1888


Sneaking Sam Campbell.
PIERRE, Dak., April 2. — The marriage of Miss Cora Fellows to the Indian, Chaska, is finally accomplished. Around the Indian agency Chaska is known as Sam Campbell, and is a worthless thieving Santee without any white blood in his veins, and not the Indian missionary which recent reports have announced.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Apr 3, 1888


IT NOW TURNS out that Miss Cora Fellows married the Indian, Chaska, simply to advertise herself. She wants to write a novel, and is under the impression that her marriage will create so much talk that people will be crazy to read her book. Perhaps her story deals with border life, and she is trying to get the proper local color. “Painted Red” would be a good title for her novel.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Apr 5, 1888


Mrs. Chaska May Make a Show.
PIERRE. April 10. — Special to the Sioux City Journal: Much has been said pro and con, regarding the marriage of Chaska, the Indian, to Miss Cora Belle Fellows, the late Washington City belle. There no longer exists any doubt about the ceremony being performed at Swift Bird’s camp, on the Missouri, sixty miles above this city. Owing to the heavy run of ice, it has been impossible to get any authentic report until to-day. Last week a telegram from a St. Paul dime museum was sent to this city to be delivered to Mrs. Chaska, nee Fellows, offering her and her husband $5,000 to appear in a ten weeks’ engagement as freaks. The telegram was delivered to a messenger and by him delivered to Mrs. Chaska. Today the messenger returned from Swift Bird’s camp, having accomplished his mission. The messenger states that Mrs. Chaska and her husband received the offer in a friendly manner and wrote the museum for a few days in which to consider the matter.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Apr 11, 1888


THE marriage of Mr. Chaska, the Sioux Indian, and Miss Fellows has attracted more attention than any marriage of a similar kind since Miss Pocahontas became the better-half of John Rolfe. The only drawback about the latter wedding was that it made a possibility of that human wasp — John wasp — John Randolph of Roanoke. However, if Mr. and Mrs. Chaska get along as well together in the nuptial harness as Mr. and Mrs. Rolfe, the friends of the bride can afford to overlook the obliquity of her choice.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Apr 11, 1888


One Indian Civilized.
The Minneapolis Tribune is malicious. It says: “As it becomes generally known that Mrs. Chaska, nee Fellows, was a maiden 45 years of age, and her husband is a young, untutored savage, popular pity will be transferred from the bride to the groom, and his taste, instead of hers, will be criticized.

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) Apr 25, 1888

Richard F. Outcault, "The Amateur Dime Museum in Hogan's Alley," cartoon, New York World 4 Oct. 1896

Richard F. Outcault, "The Amateur Dime Museum in Hogan's Alley," cartoon, New York World 4 Oct. 1896

The Museum Thronged to See Mrs. Chaska and “Sam-u-el”

ST PAUL, May 7 — The dime museum where Mr. and Mrs. Campbell (Chaska) began to receive the public was thronged this afternoon. Mrs. Campbell don’t like the Indian name. She calls him “Sam-u-el.” Chaska is 6 feet 8 inches tall and as straight as an arrow. He is a rather good looking fellow when he talks but usually he is sullen. He can speak excellent English if he will, having spent two years in the Lincoln institute in Philadelphia. He has rather fine features, but small pox has left its mark upon his face and he has the high cheek bone and straight black hair of the Indian. He is 23 years old. Mrs. Chaska is a mite of humanity being just 5 feet 1 inch in height. She is rather slender, not pretty until she begins to talk and then she is bright and interesting.

Bismarck Daily Tribune (Bismarck, North Dakota) May 8, 1888


A Dime Museum Lie.

WASHINGTON, May 10. — The father of Cora Belle Fellows, who recently married Chaska, a Sioux, says that the story sent from St. Paul yesterday that the newly married couple had accepted an offer of $5,000 for ten weeks engagement in a dime museum is an outrageous lie. It is suspected some museum manager proposed exhibiting some bogus Mr. and Mrs. Chaska.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) May 10, 1888



The Curiously-Mated Pair From the Cheyenne Reservation.
From the St. Paul Pioneer-Press.

She is here. Not the character about whom Haggard wrote, but Miss Cora Belle Fellows-Campbell, the young lady who sacrificed home ties to become the wife of Samuel Campbell, better known as Chaska. Mrs. Campbell was attired in a neat black satin dress trimmed with passementerie. She is twenty-eight years old, is not pretty, but fair-looking. One pretty feature about her face is her beautiful, regular-set teeth. She is apparently about five feet four inches in height. Chaska, the sly young Lothario who wooed and won her, lounged on a divan apparently contented with his surroundings. He wore a buckskin shirt and moccasins trimmed with beads. He wore common plebeian pants, which goes to show that he is becoming civilized by the influence of his pale-faced bride. He is six feet two inches in height, has the regulation straight black hair, which has been cut to keep pace with his rapid strides toward civilization. He is 25 years of age. His face shows marks of smallpox, but the prominent cheek bones, characteristic of the Indian, are not so noticeable. He speaks fairly good English, writes plainly, and seems rather bright, but yesterday he was a stranger in a strange land under exceedingly strange circumstances, and he was not in a talkative mood. In fact, a short, gruff “yes” or “no” was about the only answer tht could be gotten from him. But his wife is a brilliant and entertaining conversationalist. Mrs. Campbell chatted pleasantly with all the callers. When asked on what date they were married she replied: “We were married March 16 at St. Stephen’s by the Rev. Dr. Hanford, an Episcopal rector. We have been married on so many different dates by the newspapers that I hardly know myself when we were married.”

Mrs. Campbell has with her their marriage certificate to prove the date, and also to assure doubting ones that they are the much advertised couple. When asked about her parents she said that of course they had been opposed to the marriage. When she left Washington, about three years ago, she was cautioned not to fall in love with an Indian. When she married Chaska her mother wrote telling her that she would not disown her, but that their correspondence must cease. Then, when it became known that efforts were being made to induce her to go on exhibition, her mother wrote that if she took this last step her daughter and herself would be obliged to leave the country. They could not remain in Washington with such a social disgrace hanging over them. Mrs. Campbell, continuing, said:

“I understand father has decided to accept an offer to go to South America. I know just what I am doing. I knew that my parents would not support me now. Influences have been brought to bear, so that I will probably lose my school. My husband has no money, but I love him, and I saw this chance to make enough money to buy a farm and make us independent, so I grasped this opportunity.”

Mrs. Campbell, while not anxious to talk to strangers, answered all questions pleasantly and proved herself an entertaining lady. She has with her a number of letters which she has received since her marriage and some are real curiosities. One gentleman writes, and, after admiring her for her pluck in marrying the man she loved, concludes by asking if she cannot find some pretty little Indian girl for him. Some censure her and others declare themselves in favor of her course.

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) May 11, 1888

Dime Museum, Chicago, IL

Dime Museum, Chicago, IL

Chaska and Cora Expected Friday!
Poetic War-whoop.

Chicago Times.

From the northland can the steam cars,
Steam cars from the frigid northland
Bearing Chaska, Indian bridegroom;
Chaska, ???ter than the north wind;
Chaska, bravest of all chieftains.

Braver far than Hiawatha.
Braver far than Mudgekewis.
Braver far than old Nukumis,
Old Nukomis, injun grandma,
For he wooed the pale-faced maiden,
Maiden fair, of –umpty summers.

Fairest of all pale-faced maidens,
Cora Belle, the missionary;
Lived she on the reservation
All among the painted Injuns.

Them she taught to read and cipher;
She instructed in draw poker.
Till they went across the river
And did up the wily trader
Out of all his filthy lucre.

Fairer than the honeysuckle.
Fairer than the prairie daisy;
When she deigned unveil her features
All the birds did cease their singing,
All the rabbits stopped their playing,
And in many a distant city
All the clocks did cease their running.

So the preacher he united
Them in holy matrimony;
Chaska straightway then endowed her
With the sum of his possessions
Which they were a pair of mocc’sins
And a chaw of plug tobacco.

Then they hied them to the east-land
With a contract in his pocket,
Contract fat for him and Cora,
In dime museum to exhibit.
“We will win the filthy lucre,
Filthy lucre of the jays who
Come to see us in the museum,
When we’ve finished, we will toodly.

Toodly back to far Dakota,
And upon the reservation
We will open up a ranch where
Braves can purchase for a dollar
All the whiskey they can swallow!”

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota)  Jun 5, 1888

President Cleveland

President Cleveland

At the president’s reception Thursday, Chaska, the Indian, and his bride, Cora Bell Fellows, daughter of a clerk in the surgeon general’s office, shook hand with Mr. Cleveland.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Jul 14, 1888

Cheyenne River Agency (Big Foot)

Cheyenne River Agency (Big Foot)


St. Paul, Minn., Oct. 5. — The appearance of Chaska, the Indian, and his bride Cora Belle Fellows, the Washington girl who threw herself away upon the redskin, at the dime museum, is still fresh in the memory of Eastern people. Many inquiries have been made about the ill-assorted pair, and this morning Manager McFadden, in reply to an inquiry as to what had become of them, said: “Oh, they are back on their farm in Swift Bird’s camp. You remember we had to buy the farm and then we made them a present of it. But they didn’t stock it as the intended with the salary they got. We paid them $500 a week and expenses, and as they were engaged for 10 weeks they got a tidy little sum. After the second week she bought herself some diamond earrings and paid $600 for them. This contented the bride for a while, but in Chicago she wanted some dresses and they were the best she could buy. She bought an outfit, including a sealskin sacque, although it was midsummer, that cost her $1,200.

Then Mrs. Chaska began to fit out Sammy. She went to a swell tailor and had three suits of clothes made for him, one of which is a full dress suit. Then she bought him a gold watch and chain. The watch was a horse timer. Even then she was not satisfied, and she further adorned her redskin with a hug diamond ring and stud. Then the heart of Cora seemed happy, but her purse was empty. I don’t believe they had $500 when they got back home. What in the world they will do with all their diamonds and finery on the reservation is more than I can imagine.”

The New York Times, Oct 6, 1888


Chaska and Cora Belle are Dad and Mam.

FORT BENNETT, Dec. 25 — Mrs Chaska, nee Cora Belle Fellows, the society belle from Washington who created a sensation by marrying the Indian chief Chaska, of Cheyenne agency, is now a mother. On the 23d inst., at 12 o’clock m., a son was born, and mother and child are doing well. Since their return from the east the couple have resided at Swift Bird’s camp, and came to Fort Bennett a week ago to obtain the services of a Caucasian accoucheur. Chaska and his wife have lived beyond their means during the past year, spending hundreds of dollars in traveling, purchasing the finest clothing and squandering thousands in farming implements and horses and carriages. The farming implements are useless, as Chaska has no talents for farming, and prefers to take it easy as long as he possibly can.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Dec 26, 1888


Cora Belle Chaska wants a divorce from her Indian husband, so soon.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Jun 24, 1891


A Yankton dispatch announces the end of a romance as follows: Mrs. Chaska, nee Cora Bell Fellows, who was married at Cheyenne River agency three years ago to a Santee Sioux named Chaska, or Samuel Campbell, found life with her dusky spouse unbearable and is now living apart from him in a small town in southern Nebraska. Several months ago Chaska suddenly disappeared, and it was discovered that he had eloped with a young and buxom squaw. Mrs. Chaska, after waiting for his return for weeks, left the reservation with her half-breed children, vowing she would never live with Chaska again. Two weeks after she left Chaska returned to the agency, and is now living there with the woman who accompanied him in his elopement. He is happy and wants no more to do with his white wife.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Feb 21, 1894

News a Year Old.
YANKTON, S.D., Feb. 22. — The story telegraphed from here about the desertion of his white wife by the Indian Chaska is an old one, the desertion having occurred a year ago.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Feb 22, 1894


A Romance Set Forth in Something Worse Than Blank Verse.

When Cora Belle Fellows was wedded to Chaska and came with her dusky liege? lord to Nebraska the skies seemed bedecked with a constant aurora and the little log hut seemed a palace to Cora. Months passed and a cloud grew above the horizon in the form of a squaw, and those women are “pizen.” Her eyes were as dark as the dismal hereafter and her hair was as straight as a 2×6 rafter.
The stout heart of Chaska succumbed to her graces, for an Indian knows what an elegant face is; and they met when the moon the calm atmosphere mellows, nor cared for the heartache of Cora Belle Fellows.
One night when the storm king? the coal scuttle looted this Chaska put on his red blanket and scooted away to the north with this maiden, nor tarried till he and fair Minnekadinetum were married. And Cora she waited and bore his abuses and hoped he’d return to his wife and papooses, but weeks rolled by till the looks of her cubbard reminded her sorely of Old Mother Hubbard.
Then Cora disheartened, disgusted and gaunted, deserted the home that her Chaska once haunted and mingled once more with her friends, broken hearted and Cora and Chaska forever are parted.
A moral this tale bears to gals who, through folly or strange love of romance, imagine it jolly to cast their sad lot with the sons of the wildwood and seek a divorce from the friends of their childhood. This romance is short as in this case related, for Cora now knows she was sadly mismated, and has, with the rest, the unahappy reflection of duty to half-breeds that need her protection.
The question of Indian civilization involves not the horrors of mixed procreation. An Indian has to be dead to be decent, which fact has been known a long time — is not recent — and history shows, from the best observations, that half-breeds are worse than their tribal relations.
I weep for poor Cora and both her papooses; I shudder to think what a gosling a goose is; I feel indignation that Chaska should leave her and skip with another and basely deceive her. and think that the law should receive a few patches to shut off these semi-barbarian matches.

Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Apr 23, 1894


This “verse” was written in paragraph form, but I reformatted it to make it easier to read.


Such is the Condition in Which a Huron Lady Found Mrs. Chaska and Children.

When Cora Belle Fellows was wedded to Chaska
and came with her dusky liege? lord to Nebraska
the skies seemed bedecked with a constant aurora
and the little log hut seemed a palace to Cora.

Months passed and a cloud grew above the horizon
in the form of a squaw, and those women are “pizen.”
Her eyes were as dark as the dismal hereafter
and her hair was as straight as a 2×6 rafter.

The stout heart of Chaska succumbed to her graces,
for an Indian knows what an elegant face is;
and they met when the moon the calm atmosphere mellows,
nor cared for the heartache of Cora Belle Fellows.

One night when the storm king? the coal scuttle looted
this Chaska put on his red blanket and scooted
away to the north with this maiden, nor tarried
till he and fair Minnekadinetum were married.

And Cora she waited and bore his abuses
and hoped he’d return to his wife and papooses,
but weeks rolled by till the looks of her cupboard
reminded her sorely of Old Mother Hubbard.

Then Cora disheartened, disgusted and gaunted,
deserted the home that her Chaska once haunted
and mingled once more with her friends, broken hearted
and Cora and Chaska forever are parted.

A moral this tale bears to gals who, through folly
or strange love of romance, imagine it jolly
to cast their sad lot with the sons of the wildwood
and seek a divorce from the friends of their childhood.

This romance is short as in this case related,
for Cora now knows she was sadly mismated,
and has, with the rest, the unhappy reflection
of duty to half-breeds that need her protection.

The question of Indian civilization
involves not the horrors of mixed procreation.
An Indian has to be dead to be decent,
which fact has been known a long time — is not recent —
and history shows, from the best observations,
that half-breeds are worse than their tribal relations.

I weep for poor Cora and both her papooses;
I shudder to think what a gosling a goose is;
I feel indignation that Chaska should leave her
and skip with another and basely deceive her.
and think that the law should receive a few patches
to shut off these semi-barbarian matches.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) May 6, 1896


Cora Belle Fellows, whose marriage to Chaska, a Sioux, created a sensation some years ago, has been deserted and left in destitution by her Indian husband. She came of an excellent Washington family, but fell in love with Chaska while teaching on the reservation near Pierre, S. Dak., and married him in spite of the opposition of her family. They acquired a fortune by exhibiting themselves in dime museums throughout the country, but he has squandered all her money and disappeared with a woman of his own race, leaving his wife with four children to support.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Jul 10, 1896


Sioux Indian Who Married a White Woman Takes His Life

NIOBRARA, Neb., May 3. — Samuel Campbell Chaska committed suicide tonight. Chaska was a full-blooded Sioux Indian. Ten years ago he graduated with high honors at Carlisle and shortly became famous by marrying Cora Belle Fellows of Washington, D.C. Neither the beauty nor wealth of his fashionable society wife, nor his learning, acquired by years of study at Carlisle could eradicate the Sioux traits that generations had left in his blood. In a few years he drifted back to the reservation and sunk to the level of a common blanket Indian again. His wife left him some years ago.

Chaska was in jail at the time of his death charged with stealing horses. This is the first instance in which a fullblooded Sioux ever committed suicide. By marriage the man was related to one of the most prominent families in the east.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) May 4, 1898


His White Wife Objected to His Relatives — After Separation Came Conviction for Stealing

Chaska, the half breed Sioux Indian, once the husband of the St. Louis girl, Cora Belle Fellows, was placed behind bars in the penitentiary last evening, where he will serve one year for stealing harness. A deep gash across his neck, made four weeks ago in an attempt to cut his throat, was still plainly seen when Chaska went into the penitentiary. The wound has almost healed and promises to give no more trouble. Neither will Chaska make another attempt upon his life, for he says he is sorry he tried to kill himself and he wants to be a good live Indian for many years. The report that he had committed suicide was published throughout the country and believed.

Sheriff A.W. Crandon of Niobara brought Chaska to Lincoln yesterday. They stopped at the Capital hotel where the tall, slender form of the Indian attracted general attention. Chaska is known in Knox county and on the Indian reservation as Sam Campbell. He is thirty-seven years old. His straight, black hair is worn shingled and while there are traces of beard on his face, very little is noticable except on the upper lip. What moustache he possessed was shaved off the day before he started to the prison. Although he was educated at the Indian school at Carlisle he uses very imperfect English. When about to make a statement to attorneys before being brought to prison, he called for an interpreter.

Chaska told the sheriff yesterday evening tht he needed no guard on the way from the city to the prison, because he would not try to escape for a thousand dollars. He was not handcuffed at any time on the way to Lincoln.

Sheriff Crandon gave his prisoner a little advice before he turned him over to the prison authorities. He told Chaska to obey orders and he would get along all right. Chaska said he certainly would, but he was fearful lest he should unwittingly break the rules or say something that would give offense. He was afraid h would not be able to understand the prison rules and as a result get punished.

For stealing harness from another Indian Chaska was convicted of burglary. Judge Robinson sentenced him to serve one year. Chaska is said to have been a partner with others in such business. At any rate he sold the stolen harness at the town of Niobrara for $20. He pleaded guilty and therefore had no trial. He has one brother, Dave Campbell, who is considered a terror, and another, who is very religious.

Chaska was a downcast Indian when in the Knox county jail. Some of his friends told him there were other counts against him and he was sure to get a sentence of about fourteen years. He thought death preferable to so long a term and in his dispair drew an old, dull jack knife across his throat.

When Sheriff Crandon brought Chaska’s breakfast in to him that morning he saw blood on the bunk.

“What have you done, Sam?” asked the sheriff.

“Cut my throat,” was the Indian’s almost inaudible answer.

“Well, here’s your breakfast. I’ll go and get a doctor,” said the sheriff.

In twenty minutes the sheriff returned with a doctor. They found that Chaska had found his breakfast and eaten half a piece of custard pie. The windpipe was partially severed and the sufferer could breathe only by dropping his chin close to his throat. Otherwise the air escaped through the gash instead of going into the lungs.

Chaska has received a great deal of notoriety over his marriage with a white woman, Cora Belle Fellows, who was a teacher in an Indian school. He has been represented as a finely educated lawyer, but those who know of his marriage say he has never followed any business except the show business. Soon after the marriage he and his wife gave exhibitions at Chicago. Chaska appeared in the gorgeous costume of a Sioux warrior. His wife appeared in a beautiful white satin dress. Chaska’s act was to kneel down and make a proposal of marriage and it was the part of the wife to accept gracefully the noble red man. For four years the couple travelled with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show.

There was only one thing that marred the pleasure of their domestic life. Chaska afterwards told about it. Mrs. Chaska got along pretty well with her husband, but she objected to the single file of big red bucks and squaws that seemed to be continually pigeontoeing to their house to visit, each one claiming to be a dear relative of Chaska. She drew the line at his relatives and then the divorce followed. It is reported that Mrs. Chaska is now in Missouri with her three Indian children and is taking in washing for a living. Since her departure from the scene Chaska has been living with a black, cross-eyeed squaw. They now have one child. When Chaska was about to be taken from the county jail to Lincoln the squaw visited him in his cell. She sat in the jail several hours without speaking to anyone, but in the cell she conversed with Chaska in their native tongue.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Jun 1, 1898

Corabelle Fellows Campbell Tillman and Family 1900

Corabelle Fellows Campbell Tillman and Family 1900

Corabelle Fellows married George Tillman about 1896. They had a daughter together, named Corabelle Tillman and were living in Jasper County, Missouri in 1900. Chaska and Corabelle’s children were living with them and are listed as step-children, under the name of Campbell.


Girl Teacher Is Heroine Of Indian Book
Blue Star, By Kunigunde Duncan (told from the life of Corabelle Fellows).
Caldwell, Idaho; The Caxton Printers. pp. 221. $2.50

Out of the crowded Washington drawing rooms of the eighties ventrued a frightened young girl still in her ‘teens to teach the Sioux Indians in the wind-swept Dakotas. Small, delicate, and used to the niceties of life, Corabelle Fellows remained at her post while other women teachers fled from Indian scares, the cold, and privations. The girl had an indomitable spirit, combined with real sympathy for the red people to whom she was offering the first taste of the white man’s knowledge. And the Indians, who valued above all things a brave heart gave her an affectionate title — Blue Star. Personalities like hers are fast disappearing as the frontiers of the west become past history.

In the days when the Dakotas were still a territory, and the far reaches of the prairies practically untouched by the encroaching white man, the Sioux Indians were still a primitive people, close to their age-old superstitions and customs. To Corabelle Fellows were disclosed the ways of Indian life that were kept secret to others — habits and usages that have since been changed by the years of white-man dominance. In her story Blue Star brings alive these early days — a fading picture that only the old-timers can give to our civilized day.

“Blue Star” in itself may not be amazingly significant, but it is one of Caxton’s western books which have proved to be invaluable mines of source material for the sociologish, historian, and novelist. — J.A.T.

Ogden Standard Examiner (Ogden, Utah) Nov 6, 1938


Blind now and in her 70s Corabelle Fellows was a young girl of 18 when she left Washington society to teach the Sioux Indians in the Dakotas. The story of her childhood in the east and her stunning adventures in the west until her marriage have been told by her to Kunigunde Duncan to make the absoribing book. Blue Star (Caxton $2.50). Miss Fellows courage wond the Indians’ trust and customs usually kept secret from the white man were revealed to her. The sense of humor that carried her through hardship sets the tone of the book. Here is a fascinating reading for the teen-age girl (12 -16 year)

It would be well if every home with children could have one. good.

The Zanesville Signal (Zanesville, Ohio) Mar 13, 1939

“Blue Star” by Kunigunde Duncan can be purchased on Amazon.


Biographical note:
Flora (Kunigunde Duncan) Isely, b. 1886, wrote and published a great deal of poetry during the early 1900s and later wrote a number of books. She graduated from Wichita High School in 1904 where she later taught three years. In 1911 she married author Bliss Isely, and during most of their married lived on a farm near El Dorado, Kansas. They had three sons, Malcolm, Kenneth and David, who died in childhood. In 1938 she published the book Blue Star, a book based on the life of Corabelle Fellows Campbell Tillman, and during the 1940s she co-authored a book with D.F. Nichols on Mentor Graham. She wrote a number of articles dealing with the Dust Bowl and Wichita history for local and national newspapers. Her books include a book of poems, The Land of the Little Boys, and Mentor Graham: The Man Who Taught Lincoln (1944).

From the Wichita State University Library

Read an overview of the Cheyenne River Tribe HERE.

UPDATE: Just a quick update due to some questions posed by Claire in the comments. I clipped a few bits of  the intro, plus a picture of Corabelle as a girl, from the preview of Blue Star: The Story of Corabelle Fellows –  By Kunigunde Duncan (Preview link)

This last piece should answer your question about Claude Campbell, the oldest son:

How sad!!!

Claire, you could always check the library for this book if you want to see if Wilbur ever had children, but based on the census records, I kind of doubt he did.