MONTANA STANDARD, BUTTE, SATURDAY MORNING. AUGUST 17, 1935. ROGERS CLIMBED TO FAME OH COWBOY'S LARIAT ROPE IPaneral Rites to Be Held in^ardof His Parents Home for Wiley Post ACTOR AND WRITER KNOWN FOR HIS HOMELY HUMOR AND DISARMING GRIN WORLD OVER L06 ANGELES, Aug. 16.—(#>)—Will Rogers, killed with Wiley Pert noted flyer, in Alaska, took a cowboy's rope and climbed to international fame. At 56 years of age he was known all over the world, where motion pictures are shown, for his homely humor. Bora In Indian territory, he learned to throw a rope and ride a horse as a youth, and perhaps, h« later made the state of Oklahoma, which the territory became, better known than any other of its nans. Star in Follies. By way of wild West show, he reached the vaudeville stage and ftom there it was only a step to the legitimate with the Rogers' inimitable brand of humor making Mm a star in Ziegfeld's Follies. His first venture in pictures was not sensational, for it was not enough for threater goers to see Rogers. They must hear him, too. to appreciate his art. When the pictures talked Rogers was remade, this time far greater than when he stopped the shows on Broadway. He moved steadily forward and at his death was regarded as the Ho 1 attraction in films. He was called sure fire at the box office and his pictures were shown 'round the world In a dozen languages, although titles had to be superimposed in some countries where his quaint Americanisms could not be readily understood. He spoke a language all his own. Amassed Fortune. The comedian amassed a great fortune in the several fields of entertainment in which he had shown, gave a great deal of money away to charitable causes of every description and still was generally regarded as a millionaire. He was, perhaps, the' largest land owner in the motion picture colony, Although a prolific producer of wit for the screen he was active, too, between picture*, giving what •he called "lectures" all over the country, writing for the newspapers and acting as toastmaster at functions devoted to a wide range of causes, H« lived on a rambling ranch new the Pacific ocean, Beverly Hill* and Santa Monica. He was not a party goer and when he appeared at a Hollywood celebration It was an event. No affair couM coax.him into formal evening dress. He made "the old blue serge" double as a dinner jacket. At his home were received carefully selected guests. He held no court. One of the People. Experts said the secret of Rogers' success was that he lived close to the people, on and off the screen he did more than fliat. He was one of them. He fitted in any gathering and his lightning barbs of wit, given with the disarming Rogers' grin, found bullseyes in many shining targets. No one was too big for Rogers to "kid," but there never was a lasting sting to his "wisecracks." News of the actor's .passing left every quarter of his adopted home dazed. Comment everywhere was the same, "The one man who can not be replaced." . Flags at Half-Mast. Soon atter the news reached Los Angeles, flags on building all about the city were lowered to half-staff. Will Rogers was given the imposing name of William Perm Adair Rogers but everybody called him WiH. He was born at Oolagah, Indian Territory, November 4, 1879, but he called Claremore, Okla., his "home town" and he was a legal resident of Oklahoma although he spent most of his time at his ranch between Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. California He had Indian blood in his veins and was proud of it. One'of his best wisecracks was based upon this ancestry as he said that his ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower, but they met the boat. His education came he said, by easy stages. "I studied the fourth reader for 10 years" he told an interviewer, but he was a "kldder" on and off the stage and many of his boasts of being "ignerant" could be taken with a grain of salt. After he left the fourth reader behind him he went through the Willow Hassell school at Neotho, Mo., and Kemper Military Academy At Booneville and if he did not make a remarkable record for scholarship he did not fail. With Road Shows. His mother wanted him to become a .Methodist minister but Will had learned to ride a horse and throw a rope on his father's ranch so he went back to the range. Then starting with medicine shows and carnivals he went on along the road that finally brought him to the very top of his profession as an actor. A rancher, Zach Mulhall. organized a wild west show and Will Joined it, finally reaching New York. There is a tradition that he first attracted public notice on a large scale when he lassoed a wild steer that broke loose at Madison Square Garden and was about to dash through the crowd. Certainly shortly after his first appearance at "the garden" he was on the vaudeville stage. Charley Mack of Moran and Mack told of Will's Initial efforts in vaudeville. He was pretty bad said Mack and grew discouraged. He talked it over with Charley. "Where are you going?" asked Mack. "Back to Oklahoma." "Been fired yet?" "The manager said I was pretty punk." "Yeh, you're all of that; but has he actually told you that you are fired?" "Well, no " "Don't quit till he tells you; maybe you can stick it out to Saturday night. Tlmt will be three days more pay." Before the week was out, Will happened to make a wise crack about something he saw In a newspaper, an observation shyly delivered of something that struck his fancy. The audience laughed, Rogers tried some other joshing remarks, and was "made". Star of Follies. It was a short step to Hammerstein's Roof at $150 a week and then he spent six years as the star of Ziegfeld's Follies. He ventured Into motion pictures but failed to score the success expected. The silent screen gave the comedian no chance to convulse his audience with his homely observations rendered in a drawl that only Rogers knew. But when talking pictures appeared, Rogers became ft boxofflce riot and thereafter the legitimate theater saw little of him. When his friend, Fred Stone, was injured in an airplane accident, in 1929, just before he was to open a new play in New York, Rogers rushed across the continent, took the role "for old Fred" and scored another hit. He continued, however, k> go on "lecture tours" packing great crowds into theaters, auditoriums, school houses and churches. He raised a small fortune for the drought sufferers in 1930. and in his quiet way gave thousands of WHEN COWBOYS MEET Will Rogers 'Wrote' His Own Epitaph BOSTON, Aug. 16.— (U.fl)— Rogers "wrote" his own epitaph once, in a. Boston pulpit. Speaking at T r e m o n t temple in June, 1930, Rogers said: v "When I die, my epitaph, or \ whatever you / call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: '"I Joked bout every prominent man oE iy time, but I never met a ian I didn't like.' "I am proud of that. I can ardly wait to die, so it can carved. And when you ome around my grave, you'll nd me sitting there, proudly eading it." ROGERS AND WORLD. CHAMPION. When Paddy Ryan of Miles City received from Will Rogers the Roosevelt Trophy, given by the Roosevelt hotel in New York in memory , tf'Sheodore Roosevelt's lov* for the western cowboy and his out" door sports. Mrs. Rogers and Daughter Learn of Crash in New York Girl, Playing Role as Air Stewardess, Lends Ironic Touch. dollars of his private fortune to harity. His wealth was estimated by his riends nt several million dollars and he carried life Insurance of approximately $1,000,000. He never alked about his money but he was a high salaried actor for years. His alary was $25,000 a week when he worked. He was paid $2,500 a week or stage appearances and he was understood to have received $15,)00 for eight radio broadcasts. Bashful to Propose. He met Betty Blake at a candy pullin' in Oolagah, but it took him i year to win her. He was too bashful to propose and finally he worked his way to South America ind Australia learning new rope ricks and riding stunts. Finally le came back, proposed, was accepted and they were married Nov. 25, 1908. Three children were bora to the union, Will, Jr., Mary .nd Jimmy. All three followed the loof beats of their father and jecame expert polo players and for a time the Rogers family could put a good team on the field. "Had to break It up." Will kidded. "Mary went society on us." He wrote a dozen books ajid for many years wrote a short daily 'box" for a number of newspapers containing sage comment on the day's happenings. He was seriously mentioned as a candidate for the. presidential nomination In 1931 but laughed the suggestion off by saying: 'A comedian can only last till he takes himself serious or his audience takes him serious and I don't want either one of those to happen to me until I'm dead (If then) so lets stop all this foolishness right now." Clem Rogers, father of Will, played a part In adopting the first constitution of the state of Oklahoma and a county was named for him. Of this Will said: Heck, they had to: nobody could pronounce the old name— Cooweescoowee." In Claremore a hotel is named The Will Rogers, a six-story building which the comedian boasted had more bathrooms than Buckingham palace. "I used to envy General Grant and Jesse James because they had cigars named after them. But shucks now I've klnda got it on 'em." He couldn't be bothered with grammar, either in his writings or "lectures." Once an interviewer suggested he took too many liberties with the laws of syntax. "What's that?" he asked. "Sounds like bad news." The other explained it meant grammar whereupon the sage laughed and replied: "Didn't know they was buying grammar now. I'm .iust so dumb I had a notion it was thoughts and ideas." His most repeated remark was "All I know I read in the papers" and he read practically every word in every available paper wherever he happened to be each morning:. Once he was asked if he read any fiction. He replied. "Sure, the newspapers." He was an ardent admivor of Mark Twain and on a visit to Virginia City, Nev.. where the great humorist once lived lie tried to find a bed Twain had occiipied. The quest was vain for he was told that when the writer lived there he was too poor to own a bed. He always denied that he was an actor. "I'm not. smart enough to act." he said. "If they can find a role that's sort of like mo, I'm all right. Otherwise I'm punk." His employers in the motion picture industry never bothered to write dialogue for his films. He couldn't or wouldn't remember. He said just what seemed about the right thing to say at the time. His studio prepared a "grand" place for him to occupy on the lot. A sanded garden decorated with cactus plants surrounded an adobe hut dressed up with an electric kitchen and a living room filled with western and Indian trophies. Rogers looked in. said it was "swell" and never went back until former President and Mrs. Coolidge came to call. He ushered LAKEWOOD, Maine, Aug. 16.— (URi — Mrs. Will Rogers and her pretty actress-daughter. Mary, mo- ired to Waiervtlle tonight to en- rain on the "Downeaster" Express or New York city. The train will :ach New York at 6:52 a. m.E. S.T. omorrow. With them was Mrs. Rogers' sis- er. Miss Theda Blake of Beverley Hills, Calif., who has been chaperon or 19-year-old Mary at the Lake- , wood summer theater. Mary Rogers resigned her role as eminine lead In "Ceiling Zero"—a hrllling aviation drama involving a atal plane crash — to Join her mother in mourning. Bearing up under the shock of the raglc news, mother and daughter •emained in seclusion at their lake ottage while arrangements were •nade for the trip to New York. There they will join Mary's srother, Jimmy, who was to have irrivcd here tomorrow. Will jr., an jlder son, is in California. Mary and her mother denied hemselves to all but a few friends. The girl's role as an air-lines ,tewardess in a drama featuring a lonvinctng offstage plane crackup ent an Ironic touch to today's ragedy. 'Celling Zero" is only one of several plays in which Miss Rogers has .ppeared this summer, her second with the Lakewood Players. Earlier this season her father paid her a brief visit here. Her mother arrived Tuesday to loin her daughter and Miss Blake. UNCLE SAM TO BUY 'WINNIE MAE' WASHINGTON. Aug. 18.—<UB— Government purchase of the Winnie Mae, Wiley Post's round-the-world plane, for display in the Smithsonian Institution was authorized under a bill passed by the senate today. ROGERS PICTURES MAY NOT BE SHOWN HOLLYWOOD, Cal., Aug. IB.—W -Two pictures starring Will Rogers are completed and ready for exhibition, but whether they will be released remains to be determined by Joseph Schenck, chairman of the board of directors, and Sidney R Kent, president, of Twentieth Century Fox studios, in New York. They are "In Old Kentucky" and "Steamboat Round the Bend." them Into the house, saying, "they had to set somewhere didn't they?" Rider, Trick Roper. He could do most anything with a rope and was » great horseback rider but once while a giwst at Hoot Gibson's ranch he had to decline to enter a milking contest, being forced to admit he never had learned to milk a cow. He found his recreation in playing polo and unlike other stars of the motion pictures he could take chances without fear of injury maiming his features and hurting his career. "Couldn't make my mug look much worse, no matter how I hurt it," he said. He owned a hurdy gurdy, piano, violin, banjo, drums, mandolin and guitar and could not play any of them. MRS. WILL ROGERS. Will Rogers Gave World Many Grins (Continued From Page I.) when Warren G. Harding and Ohio tilled from Washington, Rogers perfected and presenUd a skit on a. cabinet meeting, making the humorous play depend upon Mr. Hardlng's zest for golf. Rogers depicted the president residing at the cabinet table with stories of a hole-in-one and other feat* of golfing legerdemain. When Rogers' show came to town, Mr. Hardins refused to go al- thongh he had promised to be present. Bnt his experience did not keep him in the good graces of the next administration. By the time Mr. Coolidge was w*H on his first elected term of office, Rogers was a radio speaker with a national audience that giggled weekly at his salty sallies. Born mimic that he was, Rogers was tempted by Mr* Coolidge's peculiar nasal tones, and he imitated the president on the radio. It was an almost perfect job—too perfect, Mr. Coolidge thought. ' Ike Hoover, White House usher, who died about two years ago, relates in his book of presidential recollections that Mr. Coolidgc was angry. "He sent a letter apologizing, but never got back into the president's good graces," Ike Hoover wrote. "Coolidge especially disliked the nasal tone adopted in Imitating him. He remarked that Rogers had been a guest In the White House once, but if he was to be again, some other president would have to do the inviting." R005E1T EXPRESSES MARY ROGERS. Associated Press Photo WILL ROGERS JR. Cub Reporter Spends Hour With Will Rogers, Then He Finds Rogers Got Interview It. wasn't important—in fact, this is the first line of type to ever come out of it—one of the strangest interviews the late Will Rogers ever wanted. It happened when Rogers visited Butte in 1928. A self-ap- The "reporter's" next move was one half-leap toward the door, anc a series of long leaps to the office of the paper, where he sat down to write what he thought was the story of the century—at least as far pointed cub reporter, who was then i as he was concerned. And it wa~ 14 years old. invited himself to | then that he discovered that Roger, the great comedian's hotel room. had interviewed him. and he_had "I'd like an Interview," the cub reporter announced when he entered learned almost nothing about Rog' the room. i "Nothing." he says now as he Rogers looked at him quizzically, looks back upon the scene, "excep that Rosters was one of the greater "Aro you a reporter?" "Well, yes," the visitor answered. of all the meat men in the country "Only I'm not working fteady. In | Why he didn't throw me out o fact.' I'm not working at all. I'm I there is more than I can see. It took just looking for a job. and I fig-1 extraordinary patience and mow iired if I got an interview with you j than extraordinary native kindlier 'd have a better chance." j to put up with me." Rogers smiled. "Sit down,' he The cub reporter has chensnec said, "and we'll fee what we can the memory of that interview fo do about this interview. Do you! almost, eight years, and now h live in town?" "Yes." "Go to school?" "Yes." "How do you like it?" Then the self-appointed cub reporter launched into a long discussion of teachers, good and bad subjects and ambitions, ending up with. finds that, little as Rogers told hi: that was news, the interview rcall was worth a story. This is it. PRIEST TO BE HONORED. ST. IGNATIUS. Aug. 16.— \iP) Commemorating the 50 years of service of Father Louis Taelman. S. J.. as an Indian misisonary, a i, POST DPS HYDE PARK, N. Y., Aug. 16.— (/p)—p resident Roosevelt expressed the shock of the nation today upon learning of the death of Will Rogers and Wiley Post whom he said were "outstanding Americans and will be greatly missed." Mr. Roosevelt was Informed of the death of the two distinguished men and friends by the Associated Press shortly after his arrival here today from the White House for a brief visit at home. He made the statement: "I was shocked to hear of the tragedy which has taken Will Rogers and Wiley Post from us. Will was an old friend of mine, a, humorist and philosopher beloved by all. I had the pleasure of greeting Mr. Post on his return from his around-the-world flight. He leaves behind a splendid contribution to the science of aviation. Both were outstanding Americans and will be greatly missed." Gee, I sure hope I get to be a biff golden jubilee is to be held Sfptem- man like you. Mr. Rogers—oh-oh'. 1'vo been here a whole hour I Id better be going." ber 27 to 29, inclusive, participated In by Catholics and non-Catholics of FUthead country. LIED RY FOR mm ira GREAT FALLS, Aug. 16.—(.It— More than ordinary affection existed here for Will Rogers for it was the famous humorist whose talents and generosity vitally aidec in making it possible for Great Falls to honor its own renowned Charlie Russell, cowboy artist. Rogers and Russell, it was recalled here as small groups gathered to discuss the Alaska deaths were intimate friends over a long period of years. In California they were closelj associated for many years and shortly after Russell's death Rogers, while making a persona appearance in Great Falls, speeded along a move for the establishment of a Russell memorial b; contributing generously of hi: personal receipts from the engagement. At the same time Rogers openec an art show here as a memoria to the great Western artist. Rogers had visited here on sev eral occasions as well as othe points in the state. On a visit to Helena in 1927 Rogers deposited S700 in a ban! there to the credit of veterans a the Fort Harrison hospital. This money also was from a per sonal appearance. The funds were used to purchase radio ear phones for the bed-fas veterans. Rogers came to Helena at. tha time by sir with Art Stephenson as his pilot- As they soared over the cit Rogers was attracted to the el-urn 1 of hospital buildings northwes of the city and when told it was a veterans' branch, he remarks sagely: "Well that's where my mone gees from tonight's show." CHARGES DISMISSED. BILLINGS, Aug. 16.—'JF>—Charg of carrying banners while picketin were dismissed here against E. J- Helterbran, secretary of the Coo and Waiters' union, and Haro Pyle. The two had been picketin at two cafes where labor disput nave been under way for some tim SOUTHWEST GRIEF STRICKEN AT WORD OF DEATH OF ITS TWO FAMOUS SONS IN CRASH MAYSVILLE, Okla., Aug. 16.—(U.R)—Wiley Post will be given simple, old-fashioned funeral service under the trees in the ront yard of his father's farm home, his widow and parents lecided tonight. Mrs. Mae Post, the widow, will jive tomorrow morning for Seattle, plane, to meet the body of her viator-husband, who was killed ith Will Rogers when their plane rashed in Alaska. The day of the funeral was not «t, pending determination of how ng it would take to get the body ack from Point Barrow to Mays- lie. Simple Funeral. Post, who held the 'round-the- orld flight record and numerous ther international aviation honors, robably will be buried in the ountry cemetery near this central )klahoma farm town. "We're going to give' him a simple uneral. in the yard of the home, nder the trees, in an old-fashioned ay," his father, the ageing W. F. ost, told friends. Mrs. Post, the slim Texas girl ost married in an airplane elope- lent back in 1927, agreed. So did he flyer's mother, plump, graying nd just up from a prolonged ill- 2SS. "I wish to God I had been with im when he crashed," Mrs. Wiley ost cried out this morning when nformed of the tragedy. She was t Ponca City then, resting at the ome of relatives, for an operation. Wiley Had Premonition. She abandoned the Post-Rogers Alaskan trip last week at Seattle, riends said, because Post had, a >remonition something might happen. After the first shock of the news —Mrs. Post collapsed at a telephone —she rallied bravely and a few hours later was flying to loma City with L. B. Gray. Ponca City a brother-in-law of Post. At Oklahoma City, Gordon Post, Mi-driller brother of the flyer, met her and brought her to Maysville an automobile. She joined the amily .council in the little white louse on the Post farm a few miles rom town. Bryon Post, another brother who ives at Dallas, Texas, had driven lere with his sister, Mrs. Mary Junell. A third brother, Arthur, returned a few days ago from Cali- ornla. Other brothers and sisters of the flyer live in this section. Post's parents are in their 70's, For several years they have labored under a feeling some accident would happen, despite his cautious pro cedure. Wiley Post was in his 20's when the family bought their farm here He was even then a journeymen mechanic, working in the oil fields making parachute jumps and "bon- ,ng up" on aviation. He was never in Maysville much but always regarded it as home. Post had early ambitions to become an. airplane pilot, and these were not stopped by an accident in a mftchine shop several years ago which cost, him the sight of one eye. With Burrell Tibbs and Dorsey Askew as his instructors, he learned to fly and joined them as a parachute jumper in their "flying circus". After three years of "barnstorming", he settled down to become the personal pilot of F. C. Hall, wealthy independent oil operator, who later became his backer in the flights that brought Post and the Winnie Mae world fame. The stocky flyer had Harold Gatty for a navigating partner in June and July, 1931, on his first record-making flight around the globe. Their time was 207 hours and 51 minutes, less than ten days. In 1933 Post set out alone from Floyd Bennett field, New York, bent on breaking that record with- out the help of a navigator. Less than nine days later, in just 186 hours and 49'™ minutes, he had flown around the earth, and landed again at New York. Post was born at Grand Saline. Texas. The aviation "bug" first bit him in 1919 while he was a rigger's helper in the Oklahoma oil fields. $25 Investment. His original investment in aviation was $25. which he took from the lean purse of a barnstorming pilot to give him "the works" of an ancient "jenny". It was five years later before Post flew again, but the virus of the flying "bug" had taken effect. This time he went out as a parachute jumper, at $25 a leap. The home folks of the Southwest mourned the death of Will Rogers and Wiley Post who never outgrew reing old-time friends and neigh- x>rs. Flags flew at half staff in Oklahoma and Texas, native states, respectively, of the cowboy humorist and the 'round-the-world airman Public officials and a multitude of other sympathizers sent condolences a the bereaved families. Governors Pay Tribute. Governors James V. Allred of Texas, E. W. Marland of Oklahoma and Alf M. Landon of Kansas issued public expressions of their, states' oss in the Alaskan tragedy. Rogers' home town of Claremore, Okla., and Post's Texas farm community of Sweetwater together with a dozen other southwestern towns which knew one or the other of the men during their rise to fame joined in posthumous honors. At Claremore, old friends of Rogers recalled that in a speech at the high school two years ago. he stated the desire to be buried at Cologah, which adjoins Claremore. Gov. Allred ordered that all Texas flags be flown at half ataff of Rogers' funeral day. Leaders of Cherokee Indian tribe at Muskogee, Okla., planned to include a statue of Rogers among those of tribal chiefs in the Cookston Hills National park. Rogers who had a strain of Cherokee blood was considered the "Cherokee Ambassador to the World" by tribesmen. At Oklahoma city, hundreds of persons visited the three institution's which will bear Post's name as a memorial. The Wiley Post Aircraft corporation, the Wiley Post airport and the Wiley Post Municipal park were named in his honor. Post was president of the aircraft company. Learned to Fly in Hour. Flags were flown at half staff in Tulsa and half a dozen otlier Oklahoma and Texas cities. The action was spontaneous. At Ardmore, Okla., Arthur Oakley, who taught Post to fly, was shocked. "Post learned to fly in exactly one. hour and 45 minutes of instruction. Then he made His first solo flight. He was the best student p"ilot I ever had," he said. The one-eyed flyer was a ca/u- tious pilot, Oakley said. Post did not indulge in stunt flying and took no unnecessary risks. Governor Marland said: "Oklahoma suffers a great loss in the untimely deaths. It is a loss that never can be repaired. Each of'these men was a great individual and were at the heads of their chosen professions. The world lost two famous and useful men and Oklahoma lost two loyal sorts." Allred and Landon sent their condolences to the families of the pair. First Round-the-World Hop POST AND GATTY. W'lev Post and Harold G»tty are shown just before they boarded the "Winnie Mae" for their takeoff on the first lap of their round- the-worW flight. Later Post bettered tfctir tine flying soto.
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