Agnes and Ross?
I came across the pairing of the names Agnes and Ross in student illustrations from ‘22 & ‘23 Muscoljuan yearbooks focusing on couples. I looked further to see if there were other students with those names and while I did find one other Agnes and one other Ross they were not as involved in the college scene. In the drawing of “The Matrimonial Sea”from the ‘22 yearbook you’ll notice a little sailboat with Agnes and Ross and further up above them are the names Mary and Hutch. This refers to Mary Ogilvie who went on to marry classmate Paul Hutchman. Mary, a fellow Delta and Glee member, maintained a lifelong friendship with Agnes and on at least one occasion welcomed Agnes as a houseguest in between performances of Agnes’ one woman show. I’ve attached a photo of Ross Wilson whom I believe was Agnes’ beau in college as they both seemed to be involved in the same social circle. Ross was President of The Stag Club while Paul Hutchman was Vice President in 1923. This yearbook is available at internet archive for download. By 1923 the “Muskingum Barometer” finds the couple in “storm” condition.
Bits and pieces:
Agnes was given junior degree, T.T. —Talented Terpsicorean, no doubt for her “bump-and-grind” routine that landed her in the Dean’s office.
Lastly, a photo of Agnes in the Student Volunteer Band as I don’t think it has been posted previously. Maybe she played her hot ukelele during meetings.
In 1914, city leaders looked for ways to bridge the social gulf in St. Louis by staging a 4-hour show on the area’s heritage in Forest Park. For four nights from May 28 to June 1, 1914, it played to immense crowds across a wide stage at the foot of Art Hill. Estimates put total attendance at more than 400,000. On opening night, about 75,000 persons showed up. The Pageant and Masque inspired the creation of the Municipal Opera, which opened its 93rd season Monday night in Forest Park. St. Louis Post Dispatch
Also, here is a news feature on the history behind this grand scale event. It’s worth watching. (x)
I had seen some of the photos from The St. Louis Pageant and Masque previously but there is a wonderful slideshow in the link provided above and I’ve attached a few of them here. It’s possible that Agnes attended the event with a school group indicating that she was in “Room 3” on her pamphlet. The event may have furthered her desire to pursue a career in dramatics, so that when her friend asked her to skip school to audition for the Municipal Opera Company she didn’t hesitate to go along. What a huge event for a young 13 year old girl with a flair for the arts to witness.
The St. Louis Municipal Opera Company was formally established in 1917 just prior to the opening of the show “Aida” and Agnes would later say she was a part of that production. I could only find a newspaper clipping of some of the principal Aida players photographed but it’s still fun to see some of the performers that might’ve helped show her some of the ropes in those very early days.
Here, too, are some photos taken of performers and ballet dancers of the Municipal Opera Company in the 1920’s by photographer Martin Schweig . There are also some studio shots in the blog series. Martin Schweig’s studio was on Delmar! The owner of the blog doesn’t want photos copied elsewhere so here is a link. (X)
Agnes Moorehead and Patricia Reardon perform roles of Queen Elizabeth and the Princess on a radio broadcast of “March of Time”, c. 1937
Agnes Moorehead │ How the West Was Won, 1962