McArthur, Sarah Blanche Etta

Birth Name McArthur, Sarah Blanche Etta
Gender female
Age at Death 95 years, 11 months, 10 days

Narrative

Name: Sarah Blanche Etta Mcarthur
Event: Birth, Event Date: 24 Jul 1891
Event Place: Weymouth, Massachusetts
Father: Duncan Mcarthur, Mother: Henrietta A. Grigg father b. PEI, carpenter; mother b. New York
Source Citation: "Massachusetts, Births, 1841-1915," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FXND-TNJ : accessed 25 July 2012), Sarah Blanche Etta Mcarthur, 1891.

Blanche said she was an actress in a troupe in the 1910 US census.

She met her husband James Creighton when they were both appearing in "Midnight on Broadway." "In the cast was a very attractive girl. Blanche Mac Arthur. playing the soubrette. Jimmie lost his heart to her and after the season was over they were married. Blanche was a New Engiander having been born in East Weymouth, Massachusetts, though brought up in Boston after her second birthday. She had had two years of experience on the stage before playing in musical comedy first as a member of the chorus of a company that sang Gilbert & Sullivan operas in summer amusement parks, and later as member of a tabloid minstrel company, two men and six girls, in vaudeville. It was with this company that she acquired the art of soft-shoe dancing, which was to be one of her assets in later professional life. After being married, in Union Hill. New Jersey, the Creightons decided that Jimmie would do the act ing and Blanche merely accompany him on tours. When Jimmie and his brother Charles went to the Pacific coa.st on a long professional trip, their wives went also".

They starred in vaudeville as Blanch and Jimmy Creighton in Mudville Vaudeville. In 1919, they were one of the acts that entertained in US military hospitals.

They were reviewed in a number of newspapers across the United States, and they toured in Australia in 1929. "Blanche and Jimmie Creighton, a real young couple whose good looks are camouflaged to a great extent by the makeup essential to the characters"... In their “Mudtown Vaudeville,” Jimmy impersonated a Down East Yankee farmer and Blanche a rosy-cheeked maiden who asked stupid questions.

A big hit was scored by Blanch and Jimmy Creighton. The material is bright and witty, and Jimmy ranked high among "Rubes" seen around here. (Variety 1922) Blanche and Jimmy Creighton's hick dialogue Is funny but the rest of the bill might be seen almost any time. (1923) BLANCH AND JIMMY CREIGHTON "MUDTOWN VAUDEVILLE 1926 EXTRA FEATURE—TWO FORMER NEW BRUNSW1CKERS
BLANCHE AND JIMMY CREIGHTON In the Clever Specialty,' "MUDTOWN VAUDEVILLE" The comedy wallop of the show is Blanche and Jimmy Creighton, who appear as a small town girl and old gentleman ...(1926)

Jimmie Creighton was the first performer who caught the idea of having one rubber string on the musical instrument he was playing, for comedy effects. (Later Harpo Marx came out with one on his harp). This may have been purely circumstantial, but Harpo and Jimmie had appeared on the same bills, and Harpo had had a good chance to see the comedy possibilities of Jimmie's rubber string.

They started their restaurant in Battle Creek, Michigan around 1930 - "six years ago, Blanche and Jimmie Creighton returning home from the war between the silent and talking pictures, decided Battle Creek was a mighty good place to stay." "S. W., across the way from Country Club Hills, is the Fiddle 'n' Bow, operated by Blanche and Jimmie Creighton, and an exclusive dining establishment not to be ..."Already Jimmie had visions of his suburban restaurant on the land to the south. Blanche's father Duncan MacArthur. and Jimmies nephew. Creighton Simmons now in the U. S. navy came to live with them. When the Fiddle 'n' Bow was erected and in operation, Creighton Simmons made many friends, of his own. as a smiling, good-natured waiter. "

name: Blanche W Creighton
event: Census, event date: 1930
event place: Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan
age: 38, birthplace: Massachusetts, estimated birth year: 1892
relationship to head of household: Wife
father's birthplace: Canada, mother's birthplace: New York
Household Gender Age Birthplace
head James S Creighton M 39 North Carolina
wife Blanche W Creighton F 38 Massachusetts
nephew Charles J Simmons M 18 Georgia
father-in-law Duncan Macarthur M 77 Canada
Citing this Record: "United States Census, 1930," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XQYS-LVR : accessed 13 Dec 2012), Blanche W Creighton in household of James S Creighton, Battle Creek, Calhoun, Michigan; citing enumeration district (ED) 0034, sheet 37B, family 985, NARA microfilm publication T626, roll 979.

In 1936, Blanche visited her mother in New York City, and brought her back to live with her in Michigan. After the death of her parents, she and her brother Wellington, from Providence, Rhode Island visited their sister, Mrs R. L. Haight of New York City, in 1942.

According to city directories, Blanche continued to live in Michigan until the 1950s. Her husband, who went into real estate and insurance, died in 1946. Blanche was the librarian in the Christian Science Reading Room in the early 1950s.

Blanche remarried (to Wisckol) and died in California. She used the middle initial M for McArthur, a common practice of married women at the time.

Blanche Wisckol learned long ago that applause does not last forever. That is why former audiences remember her only as a star, whether behind the footlights or as hostess at the Ye Fiddle 'n Bow, one of the area's finest restaurants of earlier days. "My theme was rather simple," she said. "If the time comes, you should depart from a certain business at your peak, not whileyou're going downhill." The names of James and Blanche Creighton were still prominent in the country's best vaudeville theaters in 1929. That was the time the Creightons decided to forsake marquees for menus, a decision neither they nor the residents of Battle Creek ever regretted. "It was a beautiful move." she said. "We had been everywhere, and Battle Creek seemed like a typical Midwestern town. I loved the simplicity and the people we met." The Creightons had visited the city years earlier during a day off from a theater engagement in Fort Wayne. Blanche, from Boston, and James, of Charlotte, N.C., had met and married while in a show in New York City. - "Jimmie'' Creighton developed a comedy act, a routine which called, for a partner who could deliver straight lines and do an occasional dance step. That's where Blanche came in. "He played an old, 'down and out' kind of person," she said, '"but he delivered his lines in beautiful English with a mar-velous command of the language." There was another element in the act which, like the memories of those days on the stage, has lived on a fiddle and bow. The name "Ye Fiddle 'n" Bow," at 1920 S.W. Capital Ave., became synonymous with good food and good fun from its opening in 1930 until the final meal was served there in 1942. It was a family restaurant where each customer was made to feel special and where salads and pineapple upside-down cakes seemed to. have top billing. After the place shut down, a young restaurateur named Bill Knapp tried unsuccessfully to acquire the recipe for Ye Fiddle ' n' Bow cole slaw. "We really knew very little about the restaurant business when we started," she said, "but we had dined on the road for years. Both of us loathed ordinary restaurant food and cooked everything ourselves. "If we couldn't be original and vary the routine a bit, why bother at all?" Visitors to the Ye Fiddle and Bow found more than an excellent menu. For the Creightons offered a personal touch, as anxious to please an audience from the kitchen as they had been from the stage. "Jimmie used to cook in the kitchen," she said, "and when people came back there, they expected him to do a little dance or tell a story or two." Diners also enjoyed seeing souvenirs of vaudeville, like the picture autographed by a former colleague "Old Ropes (Will) .Rogers." Food became more expensive after the start of World War II. gas rationing made travel more difficult and, invoking their philosophy, the Creightons decided to end their second career. "If we couldn't give people the best, there was no use staying open," she said. James Creighton died in 1946. She married Elmer Wisckol in 1957. He died in 1967. Mrs. Wisckol still lives in the remodeled restaurant, spending much of her time in a large living room which used to be the Pine Room. "I'm only sorry we didn'tkeep a guest book," shesaid. "For example, then-Sen. Harry S. Truman once dined in front of that fireplace. ' But if Blanche Wisckol has any other regrets, they are not worth recalling. "Life has just been lovely," she said.

stories about Blanche and Jimmy from the Battle Creek Enquirer

 

 

 

Events

Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth July 24, 1891 Weymouth, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, United States    
Death July 3, 1987 San Diego, San Diego, California, United States    

Parents

Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father McArthur, DuncanMay 20, 1851August 17, 1937
Mother Grigg, Henrietta AgnesFebruary 1854December 1938
    Brother     McArthur, Franklin Benjamin October 18, 1877 February 26, 1923
    Brother     McArthur, William Wellington September 7, 1879 1944
    Sister     McArthur, Loretta Agnes August 1885
         McArthur, Sarah Blanche Etta July 24, 1891 July 3, 1987

Families

Family of Creighton, James Saunders Jimmie and McArthur, Sarah Blanche Etta

Married Husband Creighton, James Saunders Jimmie ( * 1890 + December 20, 1946 )
   
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage about 1910   from 1930 US census  

Family of Wisckol, Elmer Forest and McArthur, Sarah Blanche Etta

Married Husband Wisckol, Elmer Forest ( * + 1967 )
   
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage March 16, 1956