Cordier, and Colson once sung; where the Philharmonic concerts
were born, and where they lived and died; where Mrs. .Mozart and
Mrs. Bostwick, and Cassie Matteson, and Jules Lumbard, and
De Passes used to sing â€” old Bryan Hall, after undergoing me-
tempsychosis into a carpet store, once more dons a new suit â€” this
time of theatrical raiment, â€” and is introduced to the public as
Hooley's Opera House. We need not say who Mr. Hooley is.
He is, financially, the most successful man ever engaged in the
minstrel business, and, by the aid of bones and tamborine, has
played his way into a handsome fortune. His little opera house is
a perfect bijou of a place, fitted up with remarkably good taste,
and exceedingly well adapted to minstrel uses."
The house was opened January 2, 187 1, by Hooley's
Minstrels, to an immense audience. Minstrelsy held
the boards until the summer of 1871. On the 5th of
June, Katy Putnam began atwo months' season, during
which she achieved success in " Fanchon," " Sans
Souci," " David Garrick," and other plays.
In August, Mr. Hooley associated himself with
Frank E. Aiken, and engaged a regular dramatic stock
company, comprising Frank E. Aiken, J. H. Fitzpatrick,
Frank Lawler, M. C. Daly, J. R. Vincent, S. L. Knapp,
George A. Archer, Harry Gilbert, David Osborne, J. C.
Morrison, Augusta Dargon, Fanny Burt, Lizzie Her-
bert, Annie Champion, Mrs. M. C. Daly, Belle Remick,
Lizzie Osborne, Kate and Annie Tyson. 'â€¢ The Two
Thorns " was produced September 4, for the first time
in this city.
The centennial anniversary of Sir Walter Scott's
birth was widely celebrated by the profession in 1S71,
and was appropriately observed in this city, at Hooley's,
August 14-16, by a special combination of the stock
companies then playing here. On the 141I1, " Rob Roy "
was produced, in which the clansmen of the Caledonian
Club appeared. The cast was:
HISTORY OF CHICAGO.
Helen McGregor Mrs. Anna Cowell.
Diana Vernon Kitty Blanchard.
Rob Roy McKee Rankin.
Major Galbraith.. -J. II. Mc Vicker.
Mr. O.ven John Dillon.
And other characters by members of the companies.
On the 15th. "Guy Mannering" was given, with Mrs.
Sarah G. Perrin as Meg Merrilies. and Kittie Blanchard,
Annie Champion, Kate Waldron, Katie Mayhew,
Joseph Wheelock. Con T. Murphy, and others in the
cast. On the 16th, the play was "The Heart of Mid
Lothian," in which Louise Hawthorne played the part
of feannie Deans, and Mrs. E. T. Stetson that of
Madge Wildfire. The proceeds of these performances
were to be devoted to the erection of a memorial statue
to Sir Walter Scott. The fire prevented the execution
of this plan.
Miss Dargon made a great hit as " Camille," in Sep-
tember, at this house. On the 25th of that month, Mrs.
Alice Gates began a season of comic opera. The fatal
month of October opened at Hooley's with Boucicault's
" Long Strike," which was billed for one week from
The week beginning October 9 was announced to
witness the production of Giacometti's tragedy " Eliza-
beth." with Mrs. Lander in the title role, supported by
lames H. Taylor as Essex, and the stock company in
the cast. The bills also promised an early production
of â€¢' Marie Antoinette " for the first time in the English
tongue. But, alas! neither were destined to see the foot-
lights. On the night of October 9, Hooley's Theater
was a mass of smoking ruins.
R. M. HOOLEY. â€” The patriarch among Chicago managers, the
benefactor of the indigent actor, and the friend of the entire pro-
fession, is R. M. Hooley, more widely known and affectionately
referred to as " l_"ncle Dick." He is one of the few American
managers who dates back away into the forties, with a reputation
as a successful originator and promoter of amusements on two
continents, and whose benign face is as marked in London, Paris
and New York, as in Chicago, the city of his adoption and pride.
Mr. Hooley is not one-sided or jealous in business, but recognizes
the duties, rights and privileges of citizenship. His experience is
varied, his judgment sound and his advice valuable. His opinion is
always sought on matters pertaining to the advancement of our en-
terprises and the development and welfare of our city. Richard
M. Hooley. the son of James and Ann Hooley, was born April 13,
1 522, in Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland, but was brought up in
Manchester, England, whither the family removed when he was ten
months old. James Hooley, his father, was a well-to-do dry
goods merchant, who intended that his son Richard should become
a physician. Accordingly, he became a student at Hyde Academy,
near Manchester, with the intention of fitting for the medical pro-
fession. A natural love for art, however, conquered paternal inten-
tions and scientific possibilities. R. M. Hooley grew quickly to
be a Dhenomenal master of the violin, and, in 1S44, came to Amer-
ica on a pleasure trip. He remained in New York, where, his tal-
ent being heard and recognized, he was offered the musical leader-
ship of E. P. Christy's Minstrels. Two years with Mr. Christy
inspired him to become a manager himself, as his shrewd business
instincts pointed out to him great opportunities in successfully gov-
erning men and for furnishing the public with a banquet of fun. for
which they were confessedly hungry. In 1S4S, he took a company
of his own to Europe, opening at Her Majesty's Concert Rooms, in
Hanover Square. London. lie played throughout England, Ire-
land and Scotland, and in Paris and Brussels, upon the Continent.
He returned from his European success, in 1853, and for two years
managed different traveling companies of his own. He went to Cali-
fornia in 1855, and entered into partnership with 'Tom " Maguire,
managing Maguire's Opera House. He made eight trips East, by
sea, three across the Isthmus of Nicaragua, and five by way of Pan-
ama, taking out Mr. and Mrs. James Wallack, Mr. and Mrs. John
Wood, and other dramatic celebrities, introducing them for the
first time on the Pacific I oast. He- returned East, in 1S58, play-
ing in the different cities until is;cj. when he opened at Niblo's
with George Christy ai company that afterward became
famous as Hooley & Campbell's Minstrels. After a nine months'
the " Wide Awakes " and political excitement incident to
Lincoln's election, drove them out of New York and on to the road.
The company disbanded in 1861, at the Walnut Street Theater,
Philadelphia, and Mr. Hooley went back to New York. Like Mi-
cawber, he waited. "It turned up " in Brooklyn. He settled
there, and established the first permanent place of amusement in
that city, opening in September, 1S62, with Hooley's Minstrels,
running seven years, and clearing $300,000, the most emphatic,
unlooked-for and unparalleled success recorded in the annals or
negro minstrelsy. Richard M. Hooley came to Chicago in 1S69,
and built Hooley's Opera House, on Clark Street, on the present
site of the Grand Opera House. It was a success, and when swept
awav by the fire, in 1371, was under the management of Erank E.
Aiken and Frank Lawler, and was filled by a stock company. Mr.
Hooley had only leased it to Frank Aiken a week or two before the
fire, for a period of five years, and had retired, his income at that
time being over 831,000 per annum. When the smoke cleared
away. Mr. Hooley had lost $iSo, 000, and was on his way back to
Brooklyn â€” not, however, before he had exchanged the Opera House
ground for the site on Randolph Street where now stands Hooley's
Theater. During 1S72, he returned to Chicago, and. in October,
opened his new theater with Kiralfy's Company, in the " Black
Crook." Hooley's Theater was better known in those days as
" Hooley's Parlor Home of Comedy." as, before the opening at-
traction, he put in, and retained, for four years, the best local stock-
company Chicago ever had, and became noted for the mounting and
elaborate setting of the popular comedies and reigning productions.
He gave up the Brooklyn Theater in 187S. From grand opera to
burlesque, Hooley's Theater has always been successful, especially
so since the panic of 1S73. The house was remodeled in 1SS3, and
again in 1885. Mr. Hooley's peculiar ability in managing men and
theaters is a natural gift, strengthened by experience possibly, but
not in any sense acquired by imitation. In a brief biography like
this, dealing only with facts, and omitting flattery and personal
praise, we can not refer to the world of interesting incidents which
crowd the history of his life. He has never rested. His active
life, always theatrical, if dwelt upon at length, would be contem-
poraneous with the history of our amusements. His taste and
original ideas are to be found in different theaters in other cities,
which, at various times, have been under his management. In
Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and
London, and many American cities and towns, Mr. Hooley's man-
agement has improved in beauty, convenience and reputation the
leading amusement houses. It is said that he has built, remodeled
and managed more theaters than any other manager now living.
Mr - . Hooley's word is always at a premium. It is with him both
principle and pride to be fair, honest and truthful with his fellow-
man. He married Miss Rosina Cramer, of New York City, in
San Francisco, in 1S56. They have had four children, three
daughters and one son â€” Rosina, Grace, Mary and Richard, the
eldest and youngest now being deceased.
North's Amphitheater. â€” In April, 1855, Levi J.
North brought his circus to Chicago, and began an
extended season. Satisfied that the city was large
enough to sustain a regular place of amusement, wherein
performances of a mixed equestrian and semi-dramatic
character should be given, Mr. North erected a spacious
amphitheater, on the south side of Monroe Street, near
Wells, and opened its doors August 4, 1855. The spe-
cial attractions consisted of such as are usually seen in
a circus arena. The next year, C. R. Thorne became
manager, and changed the name to that of National
Theater. A stock -company was engaged, and the inte-
rior of the building was fitted up for legitimate dramatic
work. Among the leading members of this company
were Mrs. and Miss E. Thorne, L. Mestayer and W. F.
Johnson. In 1857, the place was re-adapted to eques-
trian, spectacular and pantomime entertainments, at an
expense of $20,000. One of the most elaborately pre-
sented plays was " Uncle Tom's Cabin," February 9,
1857, which achieved a long and profitable run. This
was followed by " Dick Turpin," and that, in turn, by
" Mazeppa," in both of which especial importance was
attached to the equestrian features of the piece. In
May of this year, Mr. North again transformed his
house into a legitimate theater, and opened with J. H.
Wallack, in " Othello," "Yirginius," and standard plays.
Dion Boucicault and Agnes Robertson came at the close
of Mr. Wallack 's time, in May. The principal mem-
bers of the Chicago Theater were then secured, to
MUSIC AND DRAMA.
strengthen the stock, and consecutive performances
William E. Burton, the eminent comedian, made
his last appearance in Chicago at this house, beginning
July 7, 1857. His death occurred in New York City, in
The engagement of Maggie Mitchell, in September,
1857, and of Mr. and Mrs. John F. Drew, in May,
1858, were the important events at North's, during the
next few months.
The management of the house passed to D. Han-
chett, lessee, in the summer of 1858. In September
following, Mrs. Julia Dean Hayne revived old times by
here, producing " Ingomar " and other of her strong
In April, 1859, Frank Drew leased the theater, and,
on the nth of that month, H. C. Cooper's English
Opera Company dedicated the amphitheater to melody,
by rendering " La Sonnambula." The season lasted two
weeks, and several operas were given, with Anna Miller,
Miss Payne, Brookhouse Bowler and Aynesley Cook in
The house ceased to be a profitable one in 1859,
and, after a precarious existence, was sold. The build-
ing was permitted to fall into decay. In 1864, it was
used as temporary quarters for soldiers who were wait-
ing to be paid off, and, finally, the remains of the edifice
were torn down.
Varieties. â€” Messrs. Van Fleet & Chadwick leased
the hall in the building Nos. 115 and 117 Dearborn
Street, in July, 1863, and introduced variety perform-
ances there. Dramatic work was done in September,
at which time the play " Aurora Floyd " was popularly
produced. Tony Pastor played here January 12, 1864.
In 1865, the management came into the hands of C. M.
Chadwick and T. L. Fitch.
In the summer of 1867, the name of this house was
changed to Theater Comique, and on the 8th of July
the spectacular play, " A Tale of Enchantment," was
first brought out. The house did not prove a profitable
Aiken's Theater. â€” In the winter of 1867-68,
Frank E. Aiken was instrumental in the renovation of
the theater building Nos. 115 and 117 Dearborn Street,
originally known as the Varieties, and on the 18th of
January, 1869, threw open the doors to the public.
The edifice had been transformed into a first-class place
of amusement, and the manager had secured an excel-
lent stock company, of which he was the head. The
inauguration ceremonies consisted of an address by
Hon. Geo. C. Bates, which was filled with humorous
points, but which contained no very valuable allusions
to the dramatic history of the city. The opening play
was " Cyril's Success," rendered by the stock company.
The new theater started out with fair promise of turn-
ing 'â€¢ Cyril's Success " into Aiken's success, but plans
are frequently thwarted. Numerous changes of bills
were made, and very commendable acting was done,
but the financial portion of the undertaking was disas-
trous, and Mr Aiken retired about the 1st of July, 1869.
The house then became known as the
Dearborn Theater, and began its new career in
August, with Emerson & Manning's Minstrels on the
stage, who continued to be the principal attraction. A
two weeks' season of German opera bouffe began May
30, with Pauline Canissa, soprano; Claussen and Dziuba,
alto; Habelmann, tenor; John Klein, bass. The char-
acter of the place was again changed June 5, 187 1.
The Wyndham Comedy Company appeared in " Caste,"
achieving a great success. This company played
throughout the summer, giving "Caste." "A Happy
Pair," "Ours," "A Scrums Family," and standard com-
edies. The fall season was opened August 21, by the
Dearborn Minstrels. On the night of October 9 the
bill announced was a burlesque, and a sketch called
" Love and War." The theater was entirely destroyed
by the great fire.
Smith & Nixon's Hall. â€” This edifice was located
on the southwest corner of Washington and Clark
streets. The style of architecture was Florentine.
Upon the ground floor were business apartments, the
spacious corner store being occupied by the firm whose
name the building bore as a musical salesroom. On
the upper floor were some forty or fifty rooms devoted
to office purposes. An entrance from Washington
Street, twenty feet in width, led to the auditorium in
the center of the building. Exits were provided on
three sides. The floor was inclined, and the seats were
arranged in the customary theatrical manner, affording
view of the stage from all parts of the room. The
novel feature of the auditorium was the absence of
acute angles in ceiling and stage. All interior lines
were curves, and the stage set in an arched alcove.
The ventilating and the lighting of the room were care-
fully considered, being accomplished by devices in the
ceiling. The acoustic properties of the hall were well
nigh perfect. Colonel Otto H. Matz was the architect
of the building. This unique hall was inaugurated De-
cember 12, 1864, by L. M. Gottschalk, assisted by Miss
Lucy Simons, "Sig. Morelli, Herr Doehler and Sig.
Muzio, in a series of four concerts and a matinee. The
place became a popular one for musical entertainments
Metropolitan Hall. â€” Metropolitan Hall, the
largest and most pretentious public-room in this city, at
the time of its erection, was located on the northwest
corner of Randolph and LaSalle streets. It was built
by Jason Gurley in 1S51. On August 20. 1856, Metro-
politan Hall was re-opened, after being re-fitted and
greatly improved. E. S. Wells was then the lessee and
Frank Lumbard's Empire Minstrels performed here
HISTORY OF CHICAGO.
January 29, 185S. Karl Formes and his company then
reached the higher musical theme, by producing â€¢â€¢The
Creation,"' and conducting a series of grand musical
entertainments, in October of that year.
George F. Root's cantata, "The Haymakers," was
first presented at Metropolitan Hall January 10, i860.
The original cast was : Farmer, J. G. Lumbard ; Anna,
Mrs. Matteson ; Mary, Miss H. E. Smith ; Katy, Mrs.
Philleo; William, H." G. Bird ; Simpkins. E. T.' Root ;
pianist. Miss L. S. Tiilinghast.
The erection of Bryan Hall, during 1S60, interfered
materially with the occupancy of Metropolitan Hall by
important combinations. Arlington, Kelly, Leon &
Donniker's Minstrels occupied Metropolitan Hall in
November, 1S63 ; and until the destruction of the build-
ing, in the fire of 1S71, this place was used for lectures,
Acadfmy of Music. â€” This title was applied to Ar-
lington, Kelly & Co's minstrel hall, located on the
south side of Washington Street, between Clark and
Dearborn streets. The house was opened December 1,
1863, and was fitted up with stage arrangements suited
to light dramatic and minstrel performances. The
seating capacity of the place was about one thousand.
September 25, 1865, this house advanced to the dignity
of English opera, upon the occasion of the appear-
ance there of Campbell & Castle's English Opera Com-
pany, comprising Rosa Cooke, Zelda Harrison, Mrs.
M. E. Burrows, William Castle, Pierre Bernard, Ed-
ward Seguin, and others. The season lasted three
Arlington & Johnson were announced as proprie-
tors of Arlington Minstrel Hall, No. 124 Washington
Street, April 15, 1S67.
The First Olympic. â€” The Vaudeville Theater,
managed by George W. Riddell, was located at the
corner of Clark and Monroe streets, and first assumed
the above name July 13, 1868. It was formerly a hall
used by Arlington as a place of minstrelsy. J. H.
Haverly played the Arlington Minstrels here Septem-
ber 7, 1868 The title of the place was changed to
that of Sharpley's Hall, in 1868, and again to Theatre
Comique, February 8, 1869. In 187 1, this house was
called the Olympic, and was running to "variety" at
the time it was destroyed by the great fire.
Staats Theater. â€” In 185 1, the Tabernacle Bap-
tist Church, an offshoot of the First, was given a lot on
Desplaines Street, between Washington and Madison
streets, by Messrs. C. C. P. Holden, J. B. Bridges, J.
M. Kennedy, and C. K. Anderson, who paid $800 for
the land. An edifice was erected, at an expense of
Â§5,000, and therein divine services were held by the
society until 1866. The house then passed into the
hands of a Hebrew society, and was called Zion Church.
In 1869, this congregation removed to their synagogue,
corner of Sangamon and Jackson streets, and the Des-
plaines property was purchased by the German Ar-
beiter Verein, an association of workingmen number-
ne three hundred members. The frame struc-
ture and lot were then valued at $15,000, and one-third
of this sum wa-> paid in cash, a mortgage for the bal-
ance being given. The workingmen used the hall for
meetings, balls, concerts and miscellaneous entertain-
ments both for their own and other societies. The
basement was rented to the Hoard of Education for a
school-room. In the winter of 1869-70, it was decided
vert the hall into a theater, and additions were
made to the auditorium, at a cost of over $4,000.
When completed, the new stage furnished a very con-
venient place for the presentation of comedies and
light operas. Three performances a week, including
Sunday, were given by a very creditable company.
The management was entrusted to Mr. Horwitz, who
brought his wife here, from Milwaukee, as leading lady
of the German Dramatic Company. But the life of the
Staats Theater, as the place was then called, was des-
tined to be short. At one o'clock on the morning of
May 20, 1870, fire swept away the edifice and destroyed
the properties of the company.
The Globe Theater. â€” In the summer of 1870,
David R. Allen erected the Globe Theater on the site of
the Staats Theater, on Desplaines Street. The audi-
torium had a seating capacity of 1,200, and the interior
decorations were in good taste. A special room was
fitted up for the use of newspaper men. The first per-
formance was given November 21, 1870, by a stock
company. The initial play was "The Rivals." Accord-
ing to the public announcements, the proprietorship of
this house was vested in D. R. Allen and John T.
Mullen, but financial difficulties , which form no part
of this sketch) caused the temporary suspension of
performances on January 4, 1871. On the nth of that
month, however, the doors were again opened, with
John Dillon as the leading attraction. He was followed
by Little Nell, and other stars. Oliver Doud Byron
first presented his drama " Across the Continent " Feb-
ruary 6, 187 1. Kate Fisher, as Mazeppa, played here
February 13. Robert McWade gave his version of
" Rip Van Winkle " March 6. The Theater passed into
the possession of the Workingmen's Association, and,
on the 27th of August, 1871, was offered for rent. The
great fire destroyed all the theater buildings in Chicago
except the Globe, which stood beyond the limits of the
Bill-Posting. â€” An important adjunct of the show-
business is comprised in the displaying of the adver-
tisements upon the bill -boards; and the following
sketches of the two leading men in that business are
here given :
Morris D. Broadway, senior member of the firm of Broad-
way & Treyser, bill-posters, was born in Utica, N. V., May 27,
1832. In May, 1S49, he passed through Chicago on his way to
Elgin, 111., where he remained six months, and then settled in Chi-
cago in the spring of 1S50. His first paying occupation in this
city was as carrier on the Evening Journal, from its old quarters
at No. 107 Lake Street. His route paid him S3 a week. In
1850, he posted his first bill in Chicago. It was one quarter of a
twenty-four by thirty-six sheet, for John Devlin, the old horse-
auctioneer. In the winter he worked in Rice's Theater, where J.
H. McVicker was then playing, for $12 a week, and in good
weather posted, bills with his partner, John McNally, the box door-
tender. He went to Buffalo, in 1853, to publish a city directory'.
Returned to Chicago in August, 1854, and resumed bill-posting in
partnership with his brother, J. H. Broadway, and began the pub-
lication of the "Switch," a Know-Nothing campaign paper. It
ceased to exist July 17, 1S55, and its demise was precipitated by
the Germans and the "Lager-Bier War" of the Know-Nothing
campaign. A combination was formed that winter by J. H. Broad-
way, Morris D. Broadway, M. Newton, Joseph Sells and Charles
Beach Gonzales, who pooled issues on the co-operative plan, to
secure all the bill-posting possible and divide the profits. This
lasted through the Fremont campaign of 1S56. In 1S57, William
Dockrill, Charles Petitt and the Broadway brothers constituted the
firm and continued till 1862, when C. Petitt and J. H. Broadway
went into the army, and, until 1S65, the firm stood Broadway Bros.
& Callahan. In i860, W. H. Harris and J. H. Broadway started
in opposition to M. D. Broadway and J. Callahan. These two
combinations, practically, did the bill-posting up to 1S70, when
George A. Treyser, of .Milwaukee, came to Chicago, and joined with
the brothers, under the title of Broadway Bros. & Treyser. This
firm, existed till 1S75, all opposition gradually dying out and the
business becoming somewhat systematized. In that year J. II.
Broadway sold out his interest as a partner, and the firm became
Broadway & Treyser, This was the firm name until January 1,
1884. Then a stock company was formed â€” a close corporation â€”
all the stock being retained in the family of the two principals.
The business name now is The Broadway & Treyser Hill-Posting
Company, and the nominal capital is $100,000. The history of