Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Sweet Marie" on Tennis Rackets

[The images and information in this post have been provided by J.C., who noted the attention this blog gives to his ancestor, Sylvester Casbon.]

sweet marie
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of  J.C.

This photo somehow got handed down to me. The woman in the center wearing the black skirt is Lida Axe (1875-1967), daughter of Cyrus Axe and Harriet Finney (sister of my great-grandfather Arthur Alanson Finney). Lida was the second wife of Martin Eugene Bogarte (1853-1911). Martin was born in Ohio, but settled in Valpo. His first wife's name was Lillian Chamberlin, born 1860; she died 14 April 1904. Martin and Lillian share a large vault at Maplewood Cemetery, while Lida gets a smaller adjacent marker.

It wasn't the first marriage for Lida, either — she had been married to Alfred Homfeld, a dentist, in 1900. I wondered if they might have had any children in the short time they were married. I found a record for Evangeline E. Homfeld, b. 30 May 1901, d. 8 June 1901. Death was always lurking around the corner in those days. Alfred died 26 April 1904.

Martin and Lida were married 1 Aug. 1908 in Porter County. Martin's occupation was listed as "Professor of Mathematics." I found this photo of him, taken from the 1912 Valparaiso University Record.

Martin Bogarte 1912, Valpo Univ

As far as I can tell, no children were born to Lida Mae and Martin Bogarte during their short marriage.

Back to the photo: a handwritten inscription on the back says "October 17, 1894 ... Rushton Tennis Club." I don't have any more info about this tennis club — do you?*

As to the annotation "Sweet Marie" on the front of the photo, given the fact that everyone in the photo is pretending to strum a guitar or banjo, my best guess is that the title refers to a then popular song of that name, written by Raymon Moore and Cy Warman in 1893.

Here are the lyrics:

I've a secret in my heart, Sweet Marie
A tale I would impart, love, to thee
Every daisy in the dell
Knows my secret, knows it well
And yet I dare not tell Sweet Marie
When I hold your hand in mine, Sweet Marie
A feeling most divine comes to me
All the world is full of Spring
All the warblers on the wing
And I listen while they sing, Sweet Marie

Chorus: Come to me, Sweet Marie
Sweet Marie, Come to me
Not because your face is fair, love, to see
But your soul, so pure and sweet,
Makes my happiness complete
Makes me falter at your feet, Sweet Marie

Verse Two:
In the morn when I awake, Sweet Marie
Seems to me my heart will break, love, for thee
Every wave that shakes the shore
Seems to sing it o'er and o'er
Seems to say that I adore Sweet Marie
When the sunset tints the west, Sweet Marie
And I sit down to rest, love, with thee
Every star that studs the sky
Seems to stand and wonder why
They're so dimmer than your eye, Sweet Marie


That's the story ... I hope you like it. Lida must have been a crack up!

♦    ♦    ♦

In poking around for a recording of "Sweet Marie," I learned that — according to somebody on YouTube — a fragment sung by Ada Jones in 1893 or '94 constitutes one of the earliest known commercial recordings of a female singing as a solo artist.

*I don't.

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