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Re: Cairns Brothers


Posted By: Clayton co. Coordinator (email)
Date: 1/21/2004 at 06:50:42

In Response To: Cairns Brothers (Jane Griffin)

Ocheydan is located in Osceola co., Iowa. You may want to check that county out as well & leave a query on their message board. Some of the Cairns brothers, wives and children are staying at a Monona hotel & enumerated on the 1930 census, May 1, 1930. They must have been appearing in a local theater. I did a newspaper search on Ancestry and found these articles (below) in Illinois papers. I didn't come up with any hits from Iowa or Minnesota papers.

Sounds like you have an interesting family!!
Sharyl Ferrall

Decatur Daily Review; Decatur, Illinois; January 22, 1927:
Cairns Brothers Here on Visit
"Family" Show Troupe on 15th Annual Tour
The Cairns family, Decatur's best known show troupe, still playing under the original name of The

Seven Cairns Brothers, are back in the city to spend a few weeks with their mother, Mrs. Otto Probst, before going out for their fifteenth annual tour. Ask any one of the states of Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin who the Seven Cairns Brothers are and they will just about be able to tell you the history of the whole troupe for the boys have been furnishing amusement to the citizens of these states for the last thirteen years. In the old days the boys operated a ball club along with the show and there is many a town in the three states named above that has watched their high salaried team go down to defeat at the hands of Cairns Brothers. It was largely because so many of the fans resented the defeats that the baseball feature of the troupe was given up several years ago. Two of the boys, George and Harry have answered the last curtain call, George dying in 1920 and Harry in 1923. The seventh brother, Walter is playing with a broadcasting orchestra at Los Angeles. His baby daughter, the fourth in the family won first prize at a recent Los Angeles baby show over thousands of competitors.

Sickness in the Cairns family, plus the fact that their comedian, who has been with them thirteen years, also took sick forced them to cancel the last three weeks of their season and also prevented them from going to Dubuque, Ia., for permanent stock during the winter months. The company enjoys a wonderful reputation wherever they have played and in fact that they have returned to the states of Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin year in and year out shows the esteem in which they are held.

Following are the ones who are here at the present time and who will remain until about March 1:
Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Cairns and their two daughters Mary Ellen and Eileen. Mr. and Mrs. Roy Cairns. Mr. and Mrs. Rolland "Cotton" Cairns and their daughter Georgia May.
Decatur Daily Review; Decatur, Illinois; October 25, 1930
Alhambra - 8:15 p.m. - Tonight - Cairns Bros. Players present "I Want the Moon"
Hear Warren Cairns, the World's Greatest Trombonist
Night Prices: 10cents, 25 cents and 40 cents.
Decatur Daily Review; Decatur, Illinois; November 9, 1930
"In Self Defense" - Alhambra Offering
Cairns Brothers to Present Crook Play. Cairns Brothers' players will present "In Self Defense", a semi-crook play of the better sort, starting Sunday matinee at the Alhambra theater. While the play has plenty of tense situations it also has its pathos and comedy. "Cotton" Cairns will have one of the best parts that he has had since the stock company opened in Decatur and Dell Phillips will have the comedy role. Others members of the company are well cast. (photo of "Cotton" Cairns is with the advertisement)

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