Tuesday, September 27, 2011

100 Years Ago in Powelton: The New Friends' School Building

The Philadelphia Inquirer carried the following story on September 25, 1901:


   “The Friends’ West Philadelphia School building, at Thirty-fifth and Lancaster avenue, is fast nearing completion and will be ready for occupancy, it is believed, by Oct. 14.  The building is thoroughly modern, and the committee in charge has given special care to the heating, ventilation, and plumbing arrangements.  The drinking water for the entire plant will be filtered through stone and boiled before it enters the coolers.

   “This building will now comfortably accommodate 165 pupils, divided into kindergarten, primary and intermediate grades, promoting finally to the Friends’ Central School at Fifteenth and Race streets, of which graded system it is a part.  The principal is now enrolling pupils at her temporary office, 3507 Lancaster avenue, where she or her assistants may be consulted between the hours of 8:30 A. M. and 4 P. M. every weekday except Saturday.”

Note: the arrangements for clean water were especially important.  There was a serious problem with typhoid fever until Philadelphia finally completed the installation of sand filters for the city's water supply in  1912 and began chlorination in 1913.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Powelton's Movie Starlet

The following article appeared in the Evening Public Ledger, March 17, 1915:

“Dr. John P. Chapman and Miss Mary J. Huff to Marry

      “An introduction at a dance a year ago, which was followed by ardent courtship, will culminate in the wedding, next Friday, of Dr. John Patrick Chapman, an instructor of anatomy at the University of Pennsylvania, and Miss Mary Justina Huff, a moving picture star. The ceremony will be performed at St. Patrick's Church, 20th and Spruce streets.
      “Miss Huff, who resides at the Powelton Apartments, 36th street and Powelton avenue, is a native of Columbus Ga. For several years she has been appearing as a star in many famous moving picture productions. She is now posing for the Lubin Film Manufacturing Company. She has appeared as leading woman in ’Love of Women,’ ‘Men of the Mountains’ and other plays.
      “Doctor Chapman first met Miss Huff at a dance given by the members of the Merion Cricket Club a year ago, at Haverford. They were introduced by friends. A courtship followed. Miss Huff, who is 21 years old, will continue to appear as leading woman in the ‘movies’ after her marriage. Before she agreed to accept Doctor Chapman’s proposal she insisted that her marriage should not interfere with her career. Doctor Chapman is 27 years old. He resides at 1700 Pine street. He is well known as a practitioner in this city. He and his fiancĂ©e obtained their marriage license yesterday afternoon."

      Justina Huff (1893 – 1977) made 21 films with the Lubin Film Manufacturing Co. which had their studios on North Broad Street. Her younger sister, Louise Huff (1895 – 1973), had a slightly longer (1910-1922) and more celebrated career.
      John Chapman graduate from Penn Medical School in 1911. He was born in St. Louis. He was orphaned at age 8 and was raised by an aunt and uncle in Watertown, N.Y. Three younger siblings were sent to live with another aunt and uncle in Portland City, Oregon.
      Justina made her last film in 1916. In 1920, the couple was living on S. Latches Lane, Lower Merion with two young children.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Fullerton Family, Redux

Robert Fullerton and Martha White Fullerton, c1850
My recent post on the Fullerton family (Born in "Hindustan) caught the eye of a descendant of Dora Fullerton.  She and her cousin were in the process of researching their Fullerton roots.  This led to a very interesting exchange of information about this fascinating family.  They also sent me great photos of the Fullertsons (including the one shown above) most of which were taken around the time they lived in Powelton.  The photos and more extensive biographies are posted on the interactive map for 3307 Hamilton St.. 

The photo above shows Robert and Martha Fullerton about the time of their marriage.  They left for India in 1852 as Presbyterian missionaries.  Robert died (apparently of cancer) in India before they could return to the U.S.  Martha returned with their six surviving children and settled at 3307 Hamilton St.  Her sister and brother-in-law lived a few blocks away at 3412 Baring St. were he ran the Mantua Female Seminary. Perhaps the most interesting new information posted there concerns George Fullerton's internment in Austrian and German prison of war camps for four years during WWI.