Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Louisa Lane Drew (1818-1897)

Louisa Lane was born in Lambeth, London on January 10, 1820 to Thomas Frederick Lane, a theater manager and actor, and Eliza Trenter, an actress and singer. Her father died when she was still an infant, but he may have been able to see her on the stage for the first time. She was just nine months old when her mother carried her on the boards as "a crying baby". But she didn't cry! As her mother would later say, she was so enthralled by the lights and the audience that she only made sounds of joy. It is said that this was the only time that she didn't perform a role properly.

Her mother received word of a theater company on their way to New York in 1827, and she joined. They sailed on the "Britannia" arriving in New York on June 7, 1827. Louisa came with her. Following behind was actor John Kinlock who had seen Eliza sing previously in London. He met her again in New York and they were married in 1828. Their only daughter, Georgiana, was born in 1830. Just after she was born the family moved to Jamaica briefly where John died in 1831. Eliza moved her little family back to the states and eventually settled in Philadelphia.

Louisa continued her career on the stage become a well known actress, thought of as a prodigy for her ability to mimic and memorize lines quickly. She met and married Henry B. Hunt in 1836, but they later separate and divorced. He later died in 1854. She remarried to George Mossop in Albany in 1848 but he died on October 8, 1849. She married her third and final husband, the celebrated actor John Drew, on July 27, 1850. John and Louisa moved to Philadelphia were John took over the management of the Arch Street Theatre. They had two children - John and Georgie - before he died May 21, 1862. Louisa took control of the management of the theater and continued to do so for thirty years, making it one of the most prosperous theaters in Philadelphia. Louisa would eventually adopt Sidney White, possibly the son of Maria Drew White. She also raised her niece, Adene Stephens, as her own. Louisa died at the home of her son John in 1897.

- Mon, January 6, 1829


Miss Lane. This astonishing little creature appeared at the Chestnut Street Theatre last evening. She is not more than ten years of age, and evinces a talent for and a knowledge of the stage beyond what we find in many experienced performers of merit. The entertainment of Twelve Precisely is well adapted to the display of the versatility of her power; and in the Irish Girl she may, with truth, be pronounced inimitably comic. Her brogue and manner are excellent. The Young Soldier was also admirably assumed; his coxcombical airs were natural, evinced astonishing observation in a child so young, and literally convulsed the house with laughter. Her performance of Little Pickle also possessed great merit, and the applause bestowed upon her throughout the evening bespoke the wonder and delight of the audience. Those who have a taste for the wonderful should not miss the present opportunity of gratifying it. We promise ourselves a treat of no ordinary kind when she appears as Goldfinch in the Road to Ruin.

10th Ward, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - June 16, 1860
1860 United States Federal Census

Drew, John - 33, actor, worth $6,000 - born Ireland
Drew, Louisa - 40, actress, worth $2,000 - born England
Drew, Louisa - 8 - born New York
Drew, John U. S. - 7 - born Pennsylvania
Drew, Georgianna E. - 5 - born Pennsylvania
Kinlock, Eliza - 64 - born England
Kinlock, Georgiana - 30, actress - born Massachusetts
Lynch, Catherine - 20, domestic - born Ireland
Welsh, Catherine - 24, domestic - born Ireland

28th District, 10th Ward, Philadelphia, PA - June 7, 1870
1870 United States Federal Census

Drew, Louisa - 50 - Manager Arch-St Theatre
--real estate $20,000, personal $10,000 born England
Drew, Louisa - 18, at home - born New York
Drew, John U. S. - 16, at home - born Pennsylvania
Drew, Georgianna - 15, at home - born Pennsylvania
Stevens, Adine - 10, at home - born in Australia
White, Sidney - 6, at home - born in New York
Kinlock, Eliza - 73, at home - born in England
Welsh, Catherine - 35, domestic, born in Ireland
O'Donnell, Mary - 23, domestic, born in Ireland

119 N. 9th St., Philadelphia, PA - June 1, 1880
1880 United States Federal Census

Drew, Louisa - wm age 60, theatrical manager, b Eng, pb Eng
Kinlock, Eliza - wf age 84 (mother), retired actress, b Eng, pb Eng
White, Sidney - wm age 16 (adopted son), no occ., b NY, pb Eng
Stephens, Adene - wf age 20 (niece), actress, b Aus, fb RI, mb MA
Thomas, Margaret - wf age 35 (servant), b Ire, fb Eng, mb Ire
O'Connell, Annie - wf age 24 (servant), b Ire, pb Ire.

New York Times (New York, New York)
- March 6, 1887



PHILADELPHIA, March 5 - There will be a family reunion to-morrow at the house of Mrs. John Crew, 140 North Twelfth-street, in honor of the ninety-first birthday of Mrs. Eliza Kinlock, Mrs. Drew's mother, who half a century ago was one of the most beautiful women on the stage. It will be 91 years ago on Monday since Mrs. Kinlock was born, but her birthday will be celebrated to-morrow, because some of the members of the family who are on the stage could not be present on any other day except Sunday. Mrs. Kinlock is a charming little old lady. Her maiden name was Eliza Trartner. She was born in London and began her professional career on the stage at an early age. While singing light operas her handsome face was the heart of Mr. Lane, who was an English actor and manner of prominence more than three score years ago. They were married, and after his death she came to this country. A year before she left England for America she met Mr. Kinlock, who was also an actor of note. He followed her to this country in 1828. They were married shortly afterward, and in 1831 Mr. Kinlock died. She retired form the stage more than 30 years ago.

Mrs. John Drew was seen at her home this afternoon and said the reunion would be a quiet little family affair. There will be a birthday dinner, and Mrs. Kinlock, who is a wonderfully active old lady, will occupy the head of the table. Her daughter, Mrs. John Drew, will sit on her right. Mrs. Hitchings, the only sister of the late John Drew, came over from New York last night with her daughter Emma, to be present at the dinner. John Drew, of Augustin Daly's company. Mrs. Kinlock's grandson; will be present with his wife, who was Josephine Baker, and was for years a popular member of the Walnut-Street stock company. Mr. and Mrs. John Drew's little daughter will be there, too. The mother of young Mrs. John Drew, Mrs. Alexina Fisher Baker, was was also a member of the Walnut-Street company, is ill in New York, and cannot be present. Sidney Drew, another grandson of Mrs. Kinlock, is playing in Chicago and cannot be present. His sister, Adine Drew, who is in the cast of "Ruddigore" at McCaull's Opera House, and his sister, Georgie Drew, will be there. Georgie Drew in private life is Mrs. Maurice Barrymore.

Maurice Barrymore, who is Modjeska's leading man, was playing in Baltimore to-night. After the performance he took the train for this city to take part in the little birthday party tomorrow. He will join his wife and his three chubby children at their grandmother's house this morning. Modjeska begins an engagement at Buffalo to-morrow night, and Mr. Barrymore must be there by 6 o'clock in the evening, so that he will only have a few hours' stay in this city. With Mrs. Kinlock and her daughter, and her grandsons and granddaughters, and her great-grandsons and great granddaughters, four generations will be represented at the birthday dinner to-morrow.

Mrs. Kinlock is quite active, and time has dealt so kindly with her that she looks nearer 61 than 91. She walks down to the Arch-Street Theatre occasionally and sits in her daughter's private box and watches the performance with much interest. Only a few days ago she made quite an extended shopping tour about town on foot, but when she got back home she admitted that she was tired and that it was plain to her now that she is not as young as she used to be. She has a good appetite, a retentive memory, and her conversation is a wealth of entertaining reminiscences of the stage when Edwin Forrest was a young man. Mrs. Kinlock is a wonderful old lady. She is proud of her daughter and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and they are all very proud of her.

New York Times (New York, New York) - March 7, 1887



PHILADELPHIA, March 6 - At 2 o'clock this afternoon four generations of Mrs. John Drew's family sat down to the birthday dinner of her mother, Mrs. Eliza Kinlock, who will be 91 years old to-morrow. The family reunion was at Mrs. John Drew's house, 140 North Twelfth-street. Mrs. Kinlock, looking the sweet old lady that she is, sat at her accustomed place, and on either side of her sat her chattering great-grandchildren, the boys and girls of young John Drew, of Augustin Daly's company, and of Maurice Barrymore, of Modjeska's company. Mrs. Kinlock, in her little lace cap and her golden-white curls; and with her face wreathed in smiles, received the congratulations of her daughter, who sat at the head of the table; of Georgie Drew, Maurice Barrymore's wife; John Drew and his wife, Josephine Baker and Adene Drew, of McCall's "Ruddigore" company. The grown folks and the children all wished the old lady a happy birthday and many more of them.

Mrs. Kinlock kissed her great-grandchildren, and her grandchildren, and her daughter and Mrs. Hitchings, the late John Drew's only sister, who came from New-York on Saturday with her daughter Emma, to be present at the quiet little family reunion. Sidney Drew, who is in Chicago, sent a telegram.

After dinner the old folks and the children went into the parlor, which had been made fragrant by the odor of half a dozen bouquets of beautiful cut flowers. Some of the flowers had been sent to the home in the morning by friends of Mrs. Kinlock, who had known her more than half a century ago, when she was one of the most beautiful women on the stage. There were a number of presents for Mrs. Kinlock, including a silk dress and a quantity of rich lace from Mrs. John Drew, and a beautiful decorative vase from the younger people, and a number of volumes of fiction.

When half past 3 o'clock came there was an abrupt interruption to the reunion. Actor Barrymore kissed the three pretty children and told his wife and Mrs. Kinlock and everybody that he must go. He has to be in Buffalo to-morrow to join Modjeska's company. So he was off and took the Buffalo express from the Ninth and Green streets station at 4 o'clock. Although his departure marred the happiness of the gathering, the reunion was kept all the afternoon, and Mrs. Kinlock was as happy as her great-grandchildren romping by her side.

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