Tuesday, July 12, 2011

1896 Frank Tucker

An article caught my eye, partially due to the fact so many traveling performance troups and groups came through Fowlerville, which was published in The Fowlerville Review, mid-summer, 1896. It follows.

According to the Tuscola County Advertiser, Frank Tucker, the actor, whose company has appeared many times in Fowlerville, died a few days ago on the operating table while a leg was being amputated. It will be remembered that he broke one leg badly at Howard City two or three years ago by slipping from a high sidewalk, and the amputation was deemed necessary to save his life.

So I got curious. With a very quick search online, I came across the following excerpt taken from the Kalamazoo Public Library website:

Frank Tucker and his Big Stock Company~~By the age of twelve, Grace (Tyson, a child actor from Kalamazoo) had begun performing professionally with Frank Tucker's repertoire company, and was soon the star attraction. Tucker was a Kalamazoo native who managed a circuit of theaters throughout the midwest and Canada. According to Ethel Tucker, who booked the talent for the company, they 'practically owned' Michigan, Indiana, Ontario and Wisconsin at the time, which prominently placed young Grace in front of large influential audiences.

And, then curiously, I came across a follow-up article in The Fowlerville Review, published a month later:

The story that Frank Tucker, the actor, had died from the result of the amputation of a leg a couple of weeks ago, appears to have been a hoax, as we see by a Manistee paper that he and his company were there last week.~~Portland Observer. C.J. Tucker, of this city, is a cousin of Frank Tucker, and the news of his death was a surprise to him, so we conclude the above is correct.~~Grand Ledge Independent.

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