Monday, February 9, 2009

Walter J. Kingsley (1876-1929)

Walter9 James Kingsley (George8 - Seth7 - Calvin6 - Nathan5 - Samuel4 - Samuel3 - Samuel2 - Stephen1)

(It is believed that Walter is the one having his blood pressure taken - a publicity stunt)

Walter is a very interesting study. There are volumes of information out there about him as he was always closely aligned with the press. First as a journalist and then as a press representative for broadway and vaudeville. He is credited with coining the slogan "You Haven't Arrived Until You've Played the Palace!". He was born in western New York (either Holley or Batavia), got his first job working in Buffalo for his brother's local papers. Moved abroad and began writing for international papers covering among other things the Boer war and the Russo-Japanese conflict (more as a press agent for the Japanese image). He then came to Broadway and never left. He acted as press agent for many famous acts in Vaudeville and on Broadway. He pulled off many media coups to draw attention to his clients. He made claims of huge wagers on the America's Cup to draw attention to the underdog crew. He wrote letters to ethics boards about the scandalous nature of books and plays which peaked sales of novels and shows. He was well loved by the theatrical community and there were many op-eds and memorials written to him after his death.

Walter was married twice and had one female child with each wife. His first wife was Alma Hanlon, who was an up and coming silent movie star that had a very short career. They were married for 12 years (1905-1917) and their child was Dorothy Kingsley (b. 14 Oct 1909), who went on to a very successful screenwriting career. Walter then married Francesca Carmen (originally Francesca Sattler), a dancer from Budapest, Hungary. Their child was Gloria Kingsley, of which I have little information besides a birth month and year (Feb 1924).

Walter was found unconscious one day outside the New Amsterdam Theatre building, was taken to the New York Hospital, was thought to be recovering well but died 11 days later on 14 Feb 1929. Death was caused by cerebral spinal meningitis which was hastened by a recent attack of influenza. He was cremated and his wife cast his ashes from a plane flying over Broadway. His will was dated 3 years previous to his death and only mentioned his current wife. The total of the inheritance was $3000, which was considered a pittance for the lifestyle in which they lived.

Father: Kingsley, George
Mother: Kenney, Susan T.

Name: Kinglsey, Walter James [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]
Name: Kinglsey, Walter James [12]

Sex: Male

Birth: 12 Aug 1876 in Holley, Orleans, New York, USA [13]
Birth: 1876 in Holley, Orleans, New York, USA; or Batavia [3, 11, 14]

Census: 1880 in Sweden, Monroe, New York, USA [16]
Census: 1901 in Westminster, London, England; Journalist, 19 King Street, found
with a Charles E. Walker (journalist) [17]
Census: 1910 in Manhattan, New York, New York, USA [18]
Census: 1920 in Manhattan, New York, New York, USA; 200 54th Street (apartment) w/ housekeeper [15]

Occupation: 1890 in Buffalo, Erie, New York, USA; Newspaper work, with "brother" who
was the publisher of "The Review and The Enquirer" [3]
Occupation: Aft. 1895; The London Daily Express and other papers, covered the Boer War and the Russo-Japanese conflict [21]
Occupation: 1904 in Yokohama, Hiroshima, Japan; Correspondant [13]
Occupation: 1914 in New York, New York, New York, USA; Press agent to the theater, twice president of the Theatrical Press Representatives of America [3, 4]
Occupation: 12 Sep 1918 in New York, New York, New York, USA; Theatrical Manager
at the Palance Theatre [20]
Occupation: 01 May 1928 in New York, New York, New York, USA; Became Press representative for Florenz Ziegfeld; was press rep for the Keith-Albee vaudeville circuit [19]

Arrival: 15 Jan 1899 in New York, New York, New York, USA; from Southampton
England [22]
Arrival: 20 Apr 1904 in New York, New York, New York, USA; from Southampton
England [12]

Will Dated: Dec 1926 [4]

Event: 03 Feb 1929 in New York, New York, New York, USA; Found unconscious
outside the New Amsterdam Theatre building [3, 23, 24]

Death: 14 Feb 1929 in New York, New York, New York, USA; New York Hospital,
Death was caused by cerebral spinal meningitis and was hastened by a
recent attack of influenza [3, 6, 11]

Will Proved/Probate: 21 Feb 1929 in New York, New York, New York, USA; Wife Francesca
Carmen Kingsley sole beneficiary of total estate, $3000. [4]

Burial: 01 Mar 1929 in New York, New York, New York, USA; Cremated, Ashes
over Broadway [3, 11, 25, 26, 27]

Education: Broadport Normal College [3]


Shared Facts: Hanlon, Alma
Marriage: 26 Nov 1905 in New York, New York, New York, USA; Parents Home at 684 W. 138th Street - Rev. Minot J. Savage (Church of the Messiah) [2]
Divorce: 1917 [28]
Children: Kingsley, Dorothy

Shared Facts: Carmen, Francesca
Marriage: Abt. 1922 [29]
Children: Kingsley, Gloria

Sources:

1 Wikipedia, Dorothy Kingsley (captured Feb 4 2009).
2 New York Times, 1905 11 27. SHOWER OF ROSES ON BRIDE.
3 New York Times, 1929 02 15. WALTER J. KINGSLEY, PRESS AGENT, DIES
4 New York Times, 1929 02 21. WALTER J. KINGSLEY LEFT ONLY $3,OOO
5 New York Times, 1911. KINGSLEY - Feb. 24, 1911. George Kingsley, aged 82 years.
6 New York Times, 1929 02 24. WALTER J. KINGSLEY - AN APPRECIATION By JOHN POLLOCK.
7 New York Times, 1917 08 05. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF' THE REVUE By WALTER J, KINGSLEY.
8 New York Times, 1927 09 22. WAGERING ON FIGHT HEAVIEST IN YEARS
9 New York Times, 1901 08 31. SHAMROCK IN A SPURT
10 New York Times, 1915 05 09. MRS. ALMA HANLON KINGSLEY
11 Kingsley, Barbara, Kingsley Family Notes (unpublished, 16 Apr 1992), Page 07 (Generation 08) Daniel & George Kingsley.
12 Ship Manifest - S.S. Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse, Southampton to New York; April 13 1904 to ?;.
13 U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925, U.S. Passport Applications, 1795-1925 > Emergency
Passport Applications (Passports Issued Abroad), 1877-1907 (M1834) > 1887 - 1907 > Volume 041: Tehran, Persia to Zanzibar, 1902-1907. Walter J Kingsley
14 New York Times, 1901 09 06. SHAMROCK II. NO SURE THING.
15 1920 United States Federal Census, Manhattan, New York, New York;.
16 1880 United States Federal Census, Sweden, Monroe, NY.
17 1901 England Census, London; St. Paul Covent Garden; 9
City of Westminster.
18 1910 United States Federal Census, Manhattan Ward 12, New York, New York;. Walter J Kings
19 New York Times, 1928 04 28. Give Dinner for W. J. Kingsley.
20 U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Registration Location: New York County, New York; Roll: 1786820; Draft Board: 158.
21 Backstory, Interview with Dorothy Kingsley. Dorothy Kingsley: The Fixer, Interview by Pat McGilligan
22 Ship Manifest - S.S. St Louis, Southampton to New York; Jan 7 1899 to Jan 15 1899; Year: 1899; Microfilm serial: 15; Microfilm roll: T715_45; Line: 11; .
23 New York Times, 1929 02 04. WALTER J. KINGLSEY HURT.
24 New York Times, 1929 02 06. Walter J. Kingsley Improving.
25 New York Times, 1929 02 17. THRONG MOURNS KINGSLEY.
26 New York Times, 1929 02 16. Walter J. Kingsley's Funeral Today.
27 New York Times, 1929 03 02. SCATTER KINGSLEY~S ASHES
28 New York Times, 1918 09 28. Alma Hanlon, Actress, Marries Again
29 1930 United States Federal Census, Manhattan, New York, New York; Gloria Kingsley.

[updated on Feb. 10 to add a few more sources and facts (mainly census and ship manifests)]