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Gertrude Dolan 1918
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Gertrude Dolan born 29 May 1896 in Denver CO
New York Clipper, 1 August 1917
Richard Wheeler and Gertrude Dolan , with an extensive wardrobe that will rank with almost any dancing act in vaudeville , presented a series of five dances that were received very well . The couple are excellent dancers , and have framed a commendable act .
From the Springfield (MO) Republican, Nov 21, 1926.
Thrilling Past of Chicago’s Prince-Jilter Bared by her Parents Squabble
Quarrels, Duels, Jewels Lavished and Blood Spilt Over the "Texas Tommy" Girl, Whose Ma and Pa Are "Sawing in Two" the Mansion her Persian Lover Gave Her
The latest ironic chapter in the romantic mix-up of a ,000,000 Persian prince, the dancing Chicago beauty to whom he was engaged, and the ,000 mansion he gave her has just been written. Behind that chapter lie many others the beauty’s tour of the Orient when she was in vaudeville, an English army officer’s infatuation with her, climaxed by a fistic duel with her partner; the prince’s mad love for her and his pursuit of her to America; the jewels and gifts he showered on her, and his final jilting when she found he already had a wife. All these dramatic factors in the tale night never have become widely known, if it hadn’t been for one thing; the printing by a newspaper recently of an item, in which the dancer’s parents’ divorce suit and squabble over the Prince’s American real estate vied for honors. The article read as follows, "Mrs. Elizabeth A. Dolan, of No. 414 William Street, River Forest’, and her husband, Thomas C. Dolan, printing firm head, have equal interests in the ,000 River Forest home given their daughter, Mrs. Gertrude Whitmore, of Kew Gardens, Long Island, by Prince Vittor Viciji, of Persia, according to the report Master in Chancery C. J. Harrington filed yesterday.
Harrington held it was given to the couple jointly. "He also held Mrs. Dolan is entitled to a divorce on grounds of cruelty and recommends she be given. a week alimony. Dolan, he reported, failed to substantiate charges against his wife."
Today the chief feminine figure in the complicated drama is the lady always referred to simply as Mrs. Gertrude Whitmore, the wife of a New York sugar magnate. But not so many years ago, all Chicago thrilled to the name of pretty "Gertie" Dolan, who shook a nimble foot and whose chic and charm were undisputed. Her professional career was successful. Once in the Four Famous Fords’ troupe, "Gertie" left them to join "Dick" Wheeler, Chicago amateur pugilist and, by the way, one of the original Texas Tommy dancers. Under the partnership banner of "Dolan and Wheeler," the good-looking youth and the beautiful girl played extensively in the vaudeville houses, East and West, of this country. The hit that they made brought them an offer to star in Europe, so off they went on the very first available steamer, eager to conquer new worlds. Almost from the moment that "Gertie’! Dolan set foot outside the United States, "things" began to happen. And most of these events took place beneath the copper skies and beside the blue waters of that mystic and sinister land, India. Booked to play Bombay, Calcutta and other big cities, "Gertie" Dolan found adventure spread out like a many-tinted carpet before her.
By this time, Dolan and Wheeler were high-priced performers, their weekly salary exceeding ,000. With the rise in their prestige, they began to be seen about in exclusive circles with the army set, which "took up" the pair of dancers with enthusiasm. There was one particularly handsome and distinguished Britisher in Bombay who found himself fascinated"" with "Gertie’s" loveliness, her talent, her social charm, and her personality. This was Captain Ralph Webb Johnson, of His, Majesty’s Indian Forces. Scion of an old English family, the Captain found it impossible to be happy while "Gertie" Dolan was out of his sight. As the dancing act moved from place to place on its tour, the Captain followed in its wake anything to get a glimpse of "Gertie," no matter how such inconvenience was involved in travel. Nor did he find an entirely frosty shoulder turned In his direction by the’ American twinkletoes. Miss Dolan, questioned by reporters on her return to Chicago, confessed as much. ”I fell in love with him. We got engaged. Dick Wheeler was frankly jealous, for he had fallen in love with me, you see. "Then a terrible thing happened. My partner got Captain Johnson into a closed room and fought – a duel with fists – with him. The Captain came out of the room in shreds and tatters. His epaulets were gone. He was threatened with court – martial, and to save himself he told what had happened. Then, to show he had a right to fight for me, he published all my letters to him….
But romance was not destined to stay aloof from the horizon of dainty "Gertie" Dolan’s kaleidoscopic life. How Fate threw her in the path of the next man to find his pulses pounding and his heart drumming her beauty today makes spectacular reading. Crushed and wounded by Captain Johnson’s unveiling of her letters, "Gertie" applied at the American Consulate and sought the Consul’s advice about getting an attorney to represent her, whatever litigation might develop. A lawyer was duly enlisted in her services. "Through the attorney," said Miss Dolan on her return to the States, “I met his brother. Prince Vittor Viciji was of the old royal Persian line, and wealth was said to be ,000,000."
The Prince, it seems, was really a wonderful fellow courteous, considerate, unselfish and ready and eager to aid people in distress. He not only said "Command me, prayl" to "Gertie" Dolan, but was of service to "Dick" Wheeler in difficulties with the authorities that followed his fight with the Britisher. But all the while that Prince Vittor was doing these little favors for the American dancers, although his brain was steady and shipshape, his heart was torn with passion; Ardently he pressed his suit with the attractive Chicago girl, but he made scant progress, if any. "He asked me to his wife," said "Gertie" Dolan, "but I didn’t love him and I told him so. I told him that I was supporting my parents and brothers. He offered to give me enough to keep them in comfort so that shouldn’t have to work." Miss Dolan, in recognition of the tactful favors Vittor had done for her in India, finally consented to accompany his daughter to London. They were sweet girls, and "Gertie" naturally thought that the their only living parent living pt heard no references from them or him with regard to a Princess Viciji and believed, she said, that the Prince was (…) "Gertie" related. "So, while they were being ‘finished’ in London, we lived at the Prince’s home, a big place with twenty servants." But the daughters, who seem to have been a bit fickle about domiciles, wearied of London’s fogs and snows. They couldn’t hit it off with the British girls they met, so they begged Miss Dolan to take them away to America. "And so we came to the States," Miss Dolan continued. "The Prince promised to send my mother ,000 a week to have his daughters taught dancing and American culture, and promised to make a monthly contribution for their care; He gave me a seven-passenger touring car while we were in New York. And when we came to Chicago he gave me another automobile. But I found I could not love him. I still mourned for the army captain, who had gone home to London and, I heard, had married. Oh, how I wept and carried on when I heard of that!"
During his Chicago stay, while he was still wildly importuning Miss Dolan to he his bride, Prince Vittor took up his abode at the Lake Forest mansion over which "Gertie’s" parents were later to come to legal blows. Shortly before he arrived in the Middle West, "Gertie" had taken up the mortgage and had put the title to the splendid house in the name of her mother, Mrs. Elizabeth Dolan. That was an act, which, though "Gertie" never dreamed it then, was bound to cause trouble over "Who owns what?" later.
Seemingly nothing was to be allowed to stand in the way of Vittor’s wooing and, he hoped, winning of "Gertie" of the icy heart. He arranged with a florist to buy the lot to the North of the house, Chicago newspapers reported, at the rather stiff price of ,000. Had not ”Gertie" expressed a desire for a tennis court, and wouldn’t that lot be just ideal for the purpose? But there was still left one grand gesture for the Prince to make, and he made it only to regret it. He told "Gertie" that, just to show her how much he was in love with her, he would cable to his wife abroad; get her to join him in America, and then would arrange with the Princess for a divorce. There were a lot of reasons why Miss Dolan couldn’t "see" the Prince’s proposed matrimonial scheme. For one thing, she didn’t want to have her youthful days dwindle out beside the Tigris River, and her beauty fade beneath the glare of a cruel tropic sun. "I couldn’t THINK of living in India," she said emphatically.” Neither could his daughters. If India isn’t good enough for them, it isn’t good ….
These happenings were touched on in the recent trial of Mrs. Dolan’s divorce suit. . The present-day Mrs. Whitmore appeared … her own words the facts of her friendship with the Prince and his gift of the River Forest residence. Mrs. Whitmore testified that she had met Vittor while in Bombay on a dancing tour; that he had followed her, despite her protests, first to Paris, then to London, and finally, to the United States, and that eventually he had given her the River Forest home. "While we were engaged." Mrs. Whitmore said, "the Prince also gave me ,000 and two expensive motor-cars." She went on to describe how the Prince revealed to her that he was already married and how she broke the betrothal.
Those days to which she referred were lively ones in the Dolan household. Newspapers chronicled how one afternoon Mrs. Dolan came home from a shopping tour and was horrified to find the Prince, in some sort of … pursuing poor, Gertie …maddened by Heaven knows what, the inflammable Vittor Viciji had first gnashed …issuing a series of … had snatched from the wall a rare old dagger (which, like himself, came from Persia) and started in furious pursuit of the terrified Miss Dolan. Later he calmed down. Now, with the court’s decision, the home is to be held jointly, the last chapter of the ,000,000 Persian prince’s suit for the fair hand of the … had been written, "on a penny-ante basis”, as one observer phrased it "But," his companion countered,’ "there certainly wasn’t anything penny-ante about the Prince’s participation in the early phases of the situation. "Jewels, real estate, motor cars…everything ‘Gertie’ Dolan wanted.” It was a genuine money-splurge of a wooing even if the Prince did lose out in the end.