ELIZABETH TAYLOR ANCESTORS.
Elizabeth Taylor, the actress, was descended from ancestors living in Arkansas City. Have had some clippings from Arkansas City Daily Traveler that I have never had a chance to put on the computer. Here goes with isolated clippings that I found. MAW
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Wednesday, June 23, 1915.
Mrs. Sam Warmbrodt returned last night from Kansas City to which place she went several weeks ago to visit her daughter, Miss Sarah, who is taking a course in the Horner-Redpath school at that place. Mrs. Warmbrodt was called home on account of the serious illness of her husband, who is in a hospital here.
Mrs. Warmbrodt reports that her daughter is doing nicely and will enter the Chautauqua circuit this fall.
[Item in March 20, 1919, which concerned the employees of C. N. Hunt, who was running the Empire Laundry. One of these employees was Sam Warmbrodt, grandfather of Elizabeth Taylor, the actress, whose mother took the stage name of “Sara Sothern.” The newspaper item was hard to read and I could well have some of the names wrong. The article was denoted as a “Political Advertisement.”]
WHAT THE EMPLOYES THINK OF C. N. HUNT.
Arkansas City Traveler, Friday, March 20, 1919.
We the undersigned employes of the Empire Laundry take this method of informing the public that we have been in the employ of C. N. Hunt for a period of from thirty-two years to a few weeks; that Mr. Hunt has always been courteous, considerate, and just in his attitude toward us. He has strictly complied with the rules and regulations of the Welfare Board, and it is unjust to maliciously charge him with unfair treatment of his employes.
The article was followed by the signature of employees for Hunt, followed by their period of employment. Sam Warmbrodt headed the list.
Sam Warmbrodt, 32 years.
Anna Wanner, 19 years.
Addie Bowman, 15 years.
May Hill, 6 years.
Mrs. M. L. Constant, 3 years.
J. A. Gravette, 2 years, 2 months.
Mrs. M. A. Goff, 1 year, 6 months.
Marie Boumeier, 1 year.
Annis Boumeier, 1 year.
Chas. A. Green, 1 year.
Sarah Myers, 1 year.
Maude Stonefield, 13 months.
Nola Huston, 6 months.
Della Ragsdale, 6 months.
Mattie Freedom, 5 months.
Lillian Parker, 1 month.
Charlotte Crawley, 1 month.
William C. Walters, 3 weeks.
W. W. Scott, 1 week.
Mrs. M. L. Roberts, 2 weeks.
Article about Wilson Warmbrodt, a brother of Sarah Warmbrodt...
WILSON WARMBRODT IS BACK
Former Arkansas City Boy Joins P. A. Miller, Photographer
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Friday, March 21, 1919.
An interesting announcement is made today by P. A. Miller, photographer, to the effect that Wilson Warmbrodt, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Warmbrodt, has become a partner in the Miller studio and that he has returned to Arkansas City to live. He was reared in this city, but after serving as a novice under Mr. Miller some years ago, he cast his fortunes elsewhere. He has acquired advanced ideas and training in photography in Kansas City, Chicago, and Sioux City, which will add to the efficiency of the Miller studio, where he learned the rudiments of the profession. Wilson says he has always wanted to live in Arkansas City and that he is now contentedly located. The firm will continue to be known as Miller’s studio. Mr. Warmbrodt already has a large number of friends in Arkansas City who will be pleased to welcome him back home, and to extend their best wishes for the continued success and prosperity of Mr. Miller and himself.
BIG AD APPEARED ON THE NEXT DAY IN PAPER (Saturday, March 22, 1919).
In order to more easily take care of my great and ever increasing business, from this date I shall have actively associated with me as a Partner
Mr. Wilson Warmbrodt
Expert In All Branches of Photography
Mr. Warmbrodt has had advantages of practical experience in some of the best studios in Kansas City, Chicago, Sioux City and we are most fortunate to secure his services which means added efficiency and the maintenance of our highest standard of Quality.
The Firm will still be known as
“Miller’s Photos are the Best”
Sara Southern is Honored
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Monday, April 26, 1920.
Wilson Warmbrodt writes to friends from Fort Dodge, Iowa, saying that his sister, Miss Sara, who is known on the stage as “Sara Southern,” has secured a contract with the Princess Theatre Stock company for next season, and is one of the highest paid actresses in the country. This company is located at Des Moines, Iowa, and Miss Sara will play there next year. This is the company from which Fay Bainter played for two seasons previous to her New York engagements in the “Willow Tree” and “East is West.” Miss Warmbrodt’s many Arkansas City friends will be pleased to learn of her good fortune and all will compliment her on her success on the talking stage. She is an Arkansas City girl and well known here. She is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. S. Warmbrodt, who recently moved from here to the Ozark regions of Missouri.
SARAH WARMBRODT POPULAR
Arkansas City Young Lady Gaining Prominence on Pacific Coast
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Friday, January 14, 1921.
No doubt everyone in Arkansas City will remember pretty Sarah Warmbrodt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Warmbrodt, former residents of this city. Miss Warmbrodt was a very pretty little brunette and was very popular among the young folks here. Only a few years ago Miss Warmbrodt was attracted by the stage and it was her heart’s desire to become a “movie actress.” She left for California, where she was contemplating entering the employ of one of the western moving picture film corporations, but when she arrived in California, she was undecided whether or not to go on the legitimate stage or try the movies.
After careful investigation she accepted an offer for the stage and went into training in Los Angeles, where she has developed into a wonderful actress. There she has remained for the past two years and has grown into prominence among the theatre goers on the Pacific coast.
Miss Warmbrodt, according to several Arkansas City people, who have been fortunate enough to see her in person on the stage, say that she is a “star” in every sense of the word and is one of the most popular actresses appearing in Los Angeles today. Miss Warmbrodt is playing leads with the company appearing at the Majestic theatre, in Los Angeles, where the papers give her much newspaper comment. People who have had occasion to talk with Miss Warmbrodt say that she is getting along just fine and that in the near future she is going to erect a beautiful home in Los Angeles, where she and her mother and father will reside.
When the Warmbrodt family resided in this city, Mr. Warmbrodt was in the employ of the Empire laundry.
Miss Warmbrodt’s Arkansas City friends are certainly glad to hear of her success on the stage and they wish her all of the best luck in the world. Several years ago Sarah appeared in a film play made in Arkansas City, which was a success to say the least. That picture was called “Won From the Flames.” Her stage name is Sarah Sothern
SAW SARA SOHERN
W. H. Nelson Visited with Arkansas City Girl at Los Angeles
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Wednesday, March 23, 1921.
W. H. Nelson, who has recently returned from a several weeks visit to California, informs a Traveler reporter that while he was in Los Angeles he met Miss Sara Warmbrodt, an Arkansas City girl. She is playing in the legitimate drama under the name of Sara Sothern.
Mr. Nelson and Farrar family, who were with him in California, visited the Palace theatre in Los Angeles and were somewhat surprised to see Miss Sothern, or rather Miss Warmbrodt, appearing on the stage in “The Spoiled Girl.” However, Mr. Nelson says he readily recognized her. He said that she made a decided hit in the roll. Everyone acquainted with Miss Warmbrodt will know that the part came to her as natural as life. Miss Warmbrodt had been appearing for twelve weeks in “A Spoiled Girl” at the Palace theatre in Los Angeles at the time Mr. Nelson was there and at every performance the theatre was crowded.
After Mr. Nelson left the theatre, he stopped to talk at the box office and learned that Miss Warmbrodt lived at Hollywood, some miles from Los Angeles. He was unable to get her address so he could call on her at her home. But a few evenings later he called on her in her dressing room at the theatre. He found her getting ready for her appearance on the stage. When he sent in his card, Miss Warmbrodt gladly admitted him. However, when he came into the dressing room, she suggested it might have been Mr. Nelson’s son, Harlan, but at any rate she was glad to see Mr. Nelson, and they had a pleasant visit.
Miss Warmbrodt told him of her experiences and the success she was reaping. She stated that she and a girl friend lived at Hollywood in a bungalow and were getting along nicely. At the time Mr. Nelson saw her, she was getting ready to assist in presenting another play, and her entire time was almost taken up in rehearsing and presenting the “Spoiled Girl” and getting ready for a new play.
SARA SOTHERN GAINING FAME.
Former Arkansas City Girl is Popular Dramatic Star.
Interview in a Los Angeles, California, Newspaper Gives Interesting Sidelights
Upon Her Career and Views.
Arkansas City Daily Traveler, Saturday, July 16, 1921.
The following story concerning Sara Sothern is a partial reproduction of an interview with her by Grace Kingsley in a recent issue of the Los Angeles Times. Miss Sothern, whose real name is Sara Warmbrodt, formerly lived in Arkansas City with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sam Warmbrodt, who have recently been making their home in Gravette, Arkansas. Miss Sothern is one of several Arkansas City persons who have achieved marked success on the stage.
“Goodness! I certainly do long for tragedy relief sometimes, as escape from the eternal cuteness of my ingenue roles!”
It was Sara Sothern who spoke. She was flitting madly around her dressing room at the Majestic between the acts of “Turn to the Right,” the other day, tearing into her professional gingham gown. Her room is called the blue room, being fitted up in blue, but it changes colors with the seasons like a chameleon. At Christmas time it was red.
Sara Sothern is the little girl that all the Los Angeles theater fans are raving about these days. For, though she is technically an ingenue, she manages, whatever role she gets, however small, to find a way to pull it out of its background and make it stand out by sheer force of her personality and real artistry.
She’s a quaint little being, is Miss Sothern—as you might imagine—full of humor and fun, but at the back of it all serious in purpose and having a limitless feeling for the deeply dramatic, both in real life and on the stage.
Her big brown eyes, flashing with enthusiastic fire or glowing with humor, aren’t the eyes of the ordinary ingenue. In fact, they are quite sure to haunt you. They’re luminous, soft, humorous, and you seem to read all life and drama in them.
Sara shows that an ingenue can also be a human being. She has the soul of a nice tall leading lady and the small body of an ingenue, says Sara. But whenever she has a chance, she lets the leading lady part of her speak.
All the little potential ingenues in town ought to listen to Sara’s philosophy of life and work.
“I don’t think that opportunity knocks only once at your door; I think he’s thumping all the while, and that every once in a while you can even hear him coming from clear ’round the corner.
“I have never really striven for any particular thing—just worked on the task at hand. Then pretty soon something turns up. Just work hard and hold the thought.
“As for method, I can always hear my dramatic school teacher crying out, ‘Be natural, honey, be natural.’ I used to have two signs pinned up on my dresser at home. One of them read, ‘Full of Pep,’ the other ‘Be Natural.’
“When I found myself feeling tired, I’d look up at the sign ‘Full of Pep,’ and when I found myself likely to overact, I’d remember the other one, ‘Be Natural.’”
To go back to the beginning of Sara Sothern’s career isn’t to go back very far.
Miss Sothern began when she was about ten to recite “pieces” at church socials and such like functions. She used to choose all the heavy, solemn things she could find, she says. Her favorite was “Red-a Rose.” She used to wear a red party dress when she recited it, and got a gratifying amount of tears and applause.
Miss Sothern related the following.
“A moving picture man came to town and announced he was going to start a company, and a popularity contest was held in one of the newspapers to choose a leading lady.
“The paper rang me up in the middle of the night to tell me I had won. I was so excited I dragged my poor dad out of bed and made him go downtown with me to see the man. I played the leading lady part in the thriller, without any make-up.”
Miss Sothern actually obtained her first engagement while still in Georgia Brown High School, Kansas City, while she was studying dramatics. Dorothy Mortimer, on the Orpheum circuit, lost one of her players in Kansas City and needed a girl in her act. So she came to see Sara’s high school class doing a Japanese playlet. She came backstage to see Sara, afterward, and told the young player that she thought she had a future. She also offered to introduce her to that future right off, and she did. Sara played the whole week with her, and then wrote to a New York agent, who finally communicated with Miss Sothern, telling her he would give her a chance.
“I played all the week at the Orpheum with a sprained ankle!” exclaimed Miss Sothern. “I sprained it,” my brother says, “romping down to the theater so fast to get a job. But I wouldn’t give up. I just felt as if my whole future depended on my sticking it out.”
The New York agent sent Sara to Sioux City as an ingenue of a stock company and she stayed there seventy-four weeks, so they must have liked her. During that time she appeared in “Fair and Warmer” and several other farces, so that she gained excellent experience. Then she went back to New York, was about to assume a good part on Broadway, when blooey! Along came the actors’ strike.
Her money gave out and she had to accept a stock engagement at Haverhill, Mass., where you play a matinee every day and don’t get much pay. So as soon as she could she obtained another position, going to Winnipeg, Canada, as ingenue of the stock company there, and from the northern city she came to Los Angeles.
Among the ingenue roles she has done a number of baby vamps, including that role in “The Naughty Wife” and in “Upstairs and Down,” so she feels she’s something of an expert on infantile vamping.
No. Reports to the contrary notwithstanding, she and Franklin Panghorn are not engaged to be married. They are merely wonderful pals, and “Pang,” as she calls him, now has a machine in which they drive to the beach every day they’re not working or rehearsing. Here they read and chat and eat their lunch and discuss their work. He also drives her home after the theater for which she is very thankful.
“Funny,” she said, “how men will stop their machines at night to ask a girl standing on a corner to let them take her home. They never ask her in the day time!”
Miss Sothern’s father and mother are shortly to come West from the Ozark Mountains, where Mr. Sothern has been recuperating from a long illness. They will buy a home and remain here. As Miss Sothern says: “What’s California without a bungalow with flowers all around it?”
[Note that in 1922 the name used by Sara Warmbrodt changed to “Southern.”]
FORMER LOCAL GIRL BIG HIT IN NEW YORK
Sara (Warmbrodt) Southern Reaches Pinnacle of Fame as Actress.
Arkansas City Traveler, Saturday, November 11, 1922.
Sarah Warmbrodt, formerly of Arkansas City, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Warmbrodt, the family having resided here a number of years, has arrived.
That’s the vernacular used when an actor or actress attains success and plaudits in New York. Her stage name is Sara Southern and ever since she was a child she has shown marked ability on the stage. It was her great ambition to become an actress. Wherefore the expression: “She has arrived,” meaning in stage language, that she has reached the pinnacle of fame in her profession. Little more than a child does she look today for her dainty charm and raven tresses with an oval face and cheeks tinted like rose petals, she reminds one of Mary Pickford or Lillian Gish—just a child that will never grow up.
Says the New York Sun:
One of “The Fool’s Assets
When the Selwins gave “The Fool” its tryout in Los Angeles last summer at the Majestic theatre it was presented by the repertory company maintained by Tom Wilkes in that city. In that company was a California girl of whom New York knew nothing. Her name is Sara Southern, and she has been associated with Mr. Wilkes’s organization for the past two years. In Channing Pollock’s play she was cast for the lame girl, Mary Margaret, whose faith makes her whole. When “The Fool” opened in Los Angeles, the press of that city not only paragraphed Miss Southern in its dramatic columns but editorial writers told that world that here was a young girl whose spiritual vision was so great as to invest a role in a play, with a quality which won from every audience a unanimous response. The first night Channing Pollock saw Miss Southern’s characterization of Mary Margaret in Los Angeles he wired Arch Selwyn that nothing must prevent the Selwyns from securing her for the play when it opened in New York.
Such is the history back of Sara Southern’s New York debut at the Times Square Theatre as the little lame girl in Channing Pollock’s new play. That first night audience—and each succeeding audience—received her with a veritable ovation. In fact, New York has taken the young stranger instantly to its heart.
Asked for her experience in the theatre, Miss Southern said that “The Fool” represents her first appearance in a production outside of stock organization.
Second Trip to Big City
“I did come to New York once,” she admitted, “but it was in the midst of the actors’ strike, when everything connected with the theatre was so forbidding I swiftly left this great city.”
At the time Miss Southern came from Morgan Wallace’s stock organization in Sioux City, Iowa, where she had been playing both ingenue and leading roles through a period of seventy-four weeks. She gives the credit for her training in the theatre to Mr. Wallace.
“He was a splendid director,” she said, “and my experience with him has proved very valuable.”
Finding New York in such an unfriendly mood during the actors’ strike, Miss Southern accepted a stock engagement in Haverhill, Massachusetts, from which she went to another in Winnipeg, Canada. From the latter engagement she joined Mr. Wilkes’s repertory company in Los Angeles, a company which not infrequently gives a single production fifteen weeks. “Clarence” had that length of time in Los Angeles and other plays have stayed at the Majestic just as long.
Gives Director Credit
“So you see the Los Angeles experience was a bit better than stock. Certainly it afforded me some splendid opportunities,” Miss Southern asserted.
When asked to describe her emotions regarding her success in “The Fool,” Miss Southern said with wide brown eyes which misted a little:
“I am very grateful to New York, but more grateful to Mr. Frank Reicher,” she said. “I cannot tell you what it has meant to make my first appearance in New York under the direction of so great an artist as Mr. Reicher. It would have been so easy for a newcomer to have been introduced to this city with crude direction. Knowing that, I quite realize what it means to have had the understanding and artistic direction of one who strives to accentuate rather than crush the individual concept of a part.”
Praised by Edna Underwood
Adding to the glowing compliment paid Sara by the critic of the Sun are these words spoken of her by Edna Worthley Underwood, authoress and former Arkansas City woman, in a letter to the Traveler.
“I enclose a clipping from last night’s Sun about Sara Southern, who literally leaped to fame in one single night. She is acclaimed as another Bernhardt, another Nazimova. Even the critics most difficult to please say she possesses spiritual vision and the splendor of soul that can dominate masses. It is true that she is the dramatic success of New York.”
Besides Sara, Arkansas City has given the stage another successful girl in Mrs. Roy Bryant, nee Nila Mac, whose appearance with Tom Wise, the great comedian, last season scored considerable success.
[Notes made by Richard Kay Wortman years ago.]
SAM WARMBRODT FAMILY.
Sam Warmbrodt was married on April 27, 1887, in Arkansas City, Kansas, to a Miss Southern.
Sam Warmbrodt was a washerman for the C. N. Hunt laundry, which stood north of the Gladstone (Elmo) Hotel. Mr. and Mrs. Sam Warmbrodt became parents of a son, Wilson Warmbrodt, and a daughter, Sara. Sara became an actress and took her mother’s maiden name as her stage name, becoming known as “Sara Southern.”
Francis Taylor, Sr., and his wife lived in a brick house in the 300 block of North A Street. He had his small farm set up as was common to the times: his home, a stable to the rear of the lot which housed a milk cow, a horse for driving, pigs for butchering, and hens. The privy stood near the alley. Water was obtained from the cistern or well. The balance of the place was planted to garden. Mrs. Taylor was a sister of Howard Young, a famous artist who displayed his works in London, Paris, and other cities. Francis Taylor, Sr., and his wife had two sons: John Taylor and Francis Taylor, Jr.
The last named son, Francis Taylor, Jr., married Sara Southern, the daughter of Mr. and Mr. Sam Warmbrodt, and they became the parents of the famous Elizabeth Taylor, movie queen.
Sara Southern Taylor attended high school in Arkansas City. Her daughter, Elizabeth Taylor, spent a few years in Arkansas City with her paternal grandparents when she was a child.
Van Gogh art goes unsold
New York Times News Service
Wichita Eagle, December 5, 1990.
Vincent van Gogh’s “View of the Asylum and Chapel at St. Remy” from 1889, owned by Elizabeth Taylor, was among many works that went unsold Monday night at Christie’s in London. The sale of impressionist and modern art was later described by a number of participants in the room as the worst for such art at the auction house in more than a decade.
The van Gogh was the most important painting in the sale, at which 24 of the 64 artworks offered brought a total of $19.9 million. The presale estimate for the van Gogh was $16 million to $20 million. The estimate for the entire sale was $42 million to $71 million.
No bids appeared to have been made for Taylor’s painting, van Gogh’s only study of the building where he spent most of the last year before his suicide in July 1890. She bought the painting for $257,600 in 1963 through her father, Francis Taylor, a London art dealer.