Tag Archives: Historical

Kathleen Pryor: Hollywood Secretary

kathleen pryor at hollywood studio

Kathleen Pryor was mentioned in the biography of Syd Chaplin, Charlie’s half brother written by Lisa K Stein. It was noted that she had studio records going back to 1918. She may not have been working there at that time because she would have been 12 years old in 1918.

1930 Census, Los Angeles, CA – Recorded living on 1211 N Ogden Dr.  Her occupation was listed as secretary at movie studio.

Surprisingly I found Ms. Pryor on The Swedish Film Institute website where she was recorded as the Production Secretary for The Great Dictator (1940) and Limelight (1952), both Chaplin films. It looks like she continued to work in the film industry and with Chaplin long after the 1925 photo above.

January 12, 1987 Death Record in Los Angeles, CA for a Kathleen Ruth Pryor, born in IL in 1906. Her mother’s maiden name was Luby. There’s a 1906 birth record in Cook County, IL for a Kathleen PRIOR born to Thomas Prior and Kitty Laby.

Sam Pryor: Sharing A Swig From General Santa Anna’s Bottle

General Santa Anna c 1853

A Pryor researcher brought up an old newspaper article that mentioned a Ketucky Pryor and General Santa Anna. I admit I have a very limited knowledge of Santa Anna – mostly that he led the Mexican troops against the Texans at The Alamo. When I turned to Wikipedia for more information I was surprised to see him in a photo 20 years post-Alamo looking like quite an affable fellow. Guess if you involved in the death of Davy Crockett you’re going down in the American history books as the villain!

The article they referred to was found in Newspapers.com: Bourbon News, Paris, Kentucy on 19 October 1883:

John Mooreland visited Sam Pryor last week, and both drank out of the same bottle that Henry Clay and Gen. Santa Anna once drank from, while guests of Mr. Mooreland’s father at the old stage stand at Mooreland’s on the pike near Houston’s.  Henry Clay and Santa Anna were en route for Washington City, by stage.

When would this drink have happened? The battle at the Alamo was in 1836 and Santa Anna was returned to Mexico in 1837, so we have a time range.

This is a pretty interesting tid bit! Wikipedia tells that after Santa Anna was eventually defeated he was sent into exile in the US and in 1837 was transported by ship back o Veracruz, Mexico. There are some chunks of information missing– How did he get from Texas to Washington, DC? Did the USS Pioneer take him all the way from Washington, DC to Veracruz? Some time ago I read how during the Mexican War (10 years later) ships from New Orleans took troops to embark on the east coast of Mexico (Veracruz is on the same coast). So, perhaps Santa Anna passed through Kentucky on his way to or on his way back from Washington, DC.

Texas A&M University’s website (TAMU.edu) provides an explanation that fits in with this article, filling-in answers to these questions. It describes Santa Anna’s trek included a steamboat up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River and on to Louisville (reached on Christmas Day 1836). He was treated well

…when the party stopped at Lexington, they were accorded marked attention, and many members of the Kentucky legislature came over from Frankfort to pay their respects.

Senator Henry Clay

In 1836 Henry Clay was a US Senator and a Lexington native.  It’s interesting to note that the Pike is the road connecting Paris, KY with Lexington, KY, so stopping along this road may have been possible as well as the possibility that Clay and Santa Anna met over a bottle.

“The Lexington (Kentucky) Gazette of the 5th inst. speaks of the departure of Santa Anna from that city. He was well treated there, and the editor thinks, that as a “distinguished” stranger in  a neutral country, he is entitled to the hospitality of every citizen.”
— North-Carolina Standard, 25 January 1837

Was it just a passing comment in the 1883 article that Santa Anna stopped on the pike near Houston’s? Was it a stab at irony? Santa Anna had surrendered to General Sam Houston, the same Houston who had been made President of the Republic of Texas, and had agreed to send Santa Anna off to Washington, DC. I’m not the only one wondering about a Houston connection between the families in Bourbon county and the man in Texas. A 1998 post asks, “Is anyone researching the HOUSTON family of Bourbon County? We are trying to find a connection between Sam HOUSTON, of Texas fame…” (archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/KYBOURBO/1998-12/0913662906)

I’m just impressed that someone held onto a bottle of hooch for almost 50 years. It must have been an honored meeting between Mooreland and Sam Pryor!

John Polk Pryor Newspaper Editor

eagleSeveral years ago I wrote about John Polk Pryor‘s Bible (https://tennesseepryors.com/tennessee-pryors/from-trolley-to-the-web-peter-and-green-pryor-of-williamson-county-tn/).  I spotted his obituary on Newspapers.com, so sharing it.

Colonel John Polk Pryor died at Frankfort, KY Friday. He was a near relative of President Polk, and before the war edited The Eagle and Enquirer at Memphis. He was in Forrest’s command in the Confederate army, and wrote “The Life of Forrest.” He had been in Frankfort twenty years as a newspaper writer.
The Evening Bulletin (Maysville, KY. July 20, 1891)

From Memphis in 1865, John Polk Pryor wrote of Confederate President Jefferson Davis just months after the end of the Civil War. It was re-published in a Northern newspaper: read article http://www.pinterest.com/pin/523191681684993426/

John Polk Pryor published in Memphis under the name J. P. Pryor. I had some fun searching for what  he wrote and his activities. He was an interesting, politically active kind of guy.

A stand had been erected outside in front of Exchange Building, fronting the river, whither the crowd repaired, and were address by Judge Brown, E. M. Yerger, Esq., Cols. J.P. Pryor and A. H. Douglas, and other sin eulogistic speches in favor or Douglas and Johnson.

It will be observed that theree out of the four speakers, viz: Messrs. yerger, Pryor and Douglas are but recent converts from Federal Know Nothingism, the two latter never having voted for a Democratic candidate for the Presidency in their lives. The idea of such men counselling and leading the Democracy in an emergency like the present is as ludicrous as it is absurd.
Fayetteville Observer (TN), July 19, 1860

The event referenced was a political speech regarding the presidential race. Lincoln was running against Stephen Douglas and Hershel Johnson was Douglas’ running mate (see a campaign button). It sounds like John Polk Pryor was a Douglas supporter.

Newsletter #11

RICHARD & MOURNING PRYOR…I heard from Bill Lindsey, a decendant of Richard Pryor’s son Joseph.  Bill was able to provide much needed documentation of this line. Lots of updates have been added to the Richard and Mourning Pryor pages in the Pryor HISTORIES section of the website!


Who was JOHN PRYOR born 1810 in MO?  John Pryor and wife Martha “Patsy” were on the 1860 Census in Gasconade Co. and in 1870 in Maries Co.  This line of Pryors married in to the Helton family: John’s daughter Charlotte married John Helton and possibly another daughter, Louisa Jane, married Crismon Helton.  In 1850 both Louisa Jane and Crismon Helton were single and living in the household of John J. Hughes. It’s possible that Louisa was some other kinship in that her daughter Mahala Helton married James S. Pryor, a son of John and Patsy Pryor.


ANDREW JACKSON CONNECTION? A new theme appeared this month in the search for the TN Pryors…connections to President Andrew Jackson!  Andrew Jackson was involved in negotiating the sale of land from Norton Pryor to Bedford Co., TN.  Nathaniel Pryor, member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, had served with Andrew Jackson in the 44th Infantry during the War of 1812.


STAGE COACH DRIVER’S PLAQUE… Found a website with photo of a 1931 bronze plaque dedicated to stage coach drivers. Named on the list of drivers was an Alfred L. Pryor.  Any ideas which line of Pryors this Alfred is kin to?  http://gesswhoto.com/shasta.html


Glen Pryor is searching for the parents of MATTHEW J. PRYOR, the patriarch of the Marion County, TN Pryors. Does anyone have any source documentation of this line? The second-hand accounts are proving to be flawed.  Glen reports that the book “21 Southern Families” states that Matthew Pryor was the son of Green Pryor, but offers no source information.  Genealogies in Ancestry.com report that Green Pryor was born 1745 which would make him too young to be the father of Matthew born in 1759. Any ideas that will help solve this line?