The St. Paul Globe for September 15, 1903.
We have all heard of the many wives of Solomon, or the many wives of English King Henry VIII. We don’t know for sure how many times our boy Albert Royal Delmont Jones attempted matrimony, but the title still has a certain ring.
Wife number one was Caroline (Carrie) Bown. She had four children with Albert. One died in infancy, the other three all married and had families of their own. Carrie was buried in the Bown family plot in Pittsburgh when she died in January 1933. After her marriage ended she made her home with her daughter, Ella and family.
Wife number two was described as society beauty Isabel Agnes Mulhall. The newspaper cutting above, written in what we would call in the UK “tabloid style,” describes the history and subsequent demise of their relationship. How accurate the details are I do not know, but it makes entertaining reading. Isabel subsequently led a flamboyant life. She made the newspapers in 1935 by eccentrically throwing money out of a train. However, she appears to have really liked money, and really liked Albert when he had some. She died in 1939.
Wife number three – Bambina – now there’s a name! Her history has been detailed in the article In Search of Delmont Jones posted on 23 November 2014. Sometimes she is Maud Bambina Delmont, and sometimes she is Bambina Maud Delmont. Sometimes Maud has an E on the end, and sometimes not.
After her divorce from Albert – assuming there ever was a divorce – Bambina married John Hopper in 1912. Neglecting to divorce Mr Hopper she committed bigamy by then marrying a Cassius Wood. In the 1920 census she is down as a corsetiere with her own shop; other reference works give less flattering occupations. She latched onto vivacious, promiscuous starlet Virginia Rappe at the infamous 1921 party Roscoe (Fatty) Arbuckle attended. When it all went bad and Virginia died in hospital, Bambina was initially the star witness against Arbuckle - until it was established that at the time she claimed to see and hear certain events, she was otherwise occupied in another bedroom. The LA District Attorney Matthew Brady had political ambitions riding on this case, which was basically an excuse to put the whole of Hollywood on trial. He ensured that Bambina never went anywhere near the witness stand during three trials, in spite of repeated requests from the defense. As soon as the first trial went to the jury (a hung jury of 10-2 for acquittal) Bambina was done for bigamy. There may have been some sort of deal to get her off with probation. See the news item below.
December 11, 1921 Oakland Tribune
Wife number four? There is a question mark over this one, but see post entitled Another Sighting - or Is It? published on 25 November for a possibility.
Albert’s slippery slope gained a certain momentum as the years rolled by. For those of an artistic bent, have a look at William Hogarth’s 18th century series of paintings called The Rake’s Progress.