Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Paula Drew, Ida Studier, Circus Hijinx and Poor Poor Hysterical Eugenie Hochstead

These two videos are episodes of the television show "Front Page Detective" starring Edmund Lowe and guest starring Paula Drew, the former wife of the late famed music therapist and Eloise psychiatrist Ira Altshuler. Altshuler and Drew had a very short-lived and scandalous marriage in 1949 that culminated in lawsuits and claims of each trying to physically and emotionally destroy each other. Drew's Hollywood career fizzled out around this time as well and is marked by bit mostly bit parts in b-movies and some television. The Dearborn native (born Tamara Victoria Dubin) disappeared from the public view and since I've been unable to find any proof of her death, may still be alive.

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Ida Studier was a study in mania. Having spent 15 weeks in Eloise in 1910 due to melancholia and frequent suicidal thoughts -- she would sometimes place her hands about her own neck and attempt to choke herself -- doctors deemed her nearly cured and she was sent home for a respite.

During her retreat she was told to take a daily walk which would aid in her recovery. Dressed in a long black coat and a beaver hat she walked to the Belle Isle bridge on December 7, 1911, climbed the railing, slightly swayed and then threw herself in the Detroit River.

Two workmen on a nearby roof watched as she landed on her side in the water and buoyed by her apparel floated downstream some ways and then with both arms reaching upward, sank to the bottom. The men were unable to leave their post for nearly an hour and by the time they reached the police there was no hope of saving her life.

A recovery team searched the water for several days and finally found her remains on the the 9th of December. She was buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

You can read more here and here.

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Eugenie Hochstead's day at the Michigan State Fair didn't turn out quite as planned as she became hysterical for several hours and had to be dragged off to St. Mary's hospital via ambulance.

Two other convalescing women from the asylum were brought by an Eloise attendant and became agitated as well but were calmed by the medical faculty in the Grace hospital tent.

On this same day in August of 1907 a renown animal handler named Peter J. Mundy was mauled by a large African lion named Prince.

The attack occurred during an intermission when the cat was placed into a cage with his brother Orpheus. Trouble began soon after and the beasts engaged in a fierce battle before Mundy sprang into action in an attempt to separate the cats.

Prince bit Mundy in the right arm and left thigh just missing the femoral artery,an injury which most likely would have been fatal. Mundy had twenty meal tickets in one his pants pockets which softened the bite and most likely saved his life.

The fair which received nearly 20,000 guests that day featured 111 tents, a 10,000 gallon water tank and a "thinking horse named Pharoah who could add numbers and pick out the sharpest dressers in the crowd with his fine taste for discernment.

Meanwhile, University of Michigan football coaching legend Fielding H. Yost paid a visit to the fair. Several of his players including tailback Paul Magoffin, who worked the ticket booth, were part of the fair staff earning some pin money.

While fun abounded several revelers were ejected, including a rogue gambler, and a lemonade stand operator named Leonard Asborn was arrested by the sheriff for abandoning his wife in Toledo and taking up with another woman in Detroit. Add in the appearance of a flea circus and good times abounded.

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