Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yet more on the second Mrs Albert Delmont Jones

by Jerome

I know that the second Mrs Albert (Royal) Delmont (Jones) is really off the topic of Watch Tower history, other than a footnote. However, her assessment of men which you will find at the end of this short article is an interesting footnote in itself. I have tried to restrain myself from writing too much, but Isabel Mulhall (Delmont) was a fascinating character. Albert obviously thought so, as an earlier newspaper article in this blog tells how he was first smitten by her picture. It was downhill all the way from then on.
Albert and Isabel were divorced in 1903 and the Washington Post stated that this was after Albert met “financial reverses.” Isabel briefly went on the stage, before becoming Mrs Sidmon McHie.  Somewhere around 1906 she was in the news for accusing her chauffeur of blackmail, a man who was then employed by Mr McHie.  Sidmon was a Wall Street operator and publisher – and millionnaire – you could smell the money. At a hurried secret ceremony they married in 1909. (see Washington Post, August 1, 1909).

Isabel thereafter went by the name of either Isabel M McHie or Isabel D McHie, and one assumes the D stood for Delmont. She must have had financial assets of her own or been given some by Sidmon, because in 1919 she and her husband made wills leaving the other partner as main beneficiary. This became complicated when they separated acrimoniously in 1925. In 1926 an agreement was forged where Sidmon would give her certain assets and also pay her an allowance of a thousand dollars a month for as long as she lived. But there was a condition. The sixth covenant of the document said (quote) – It is agreed that the parties shall live apart and separate and shall not annoy or molest each other (end quote).

Salmon stopped paying the allowance in 1932 claiming in subsequent legal proceedings that Isabel had indeed continued to annoy and molest him. He divorced her in 1936 on the grounds of HER “cruel and inhuman treatment.” (see Fifth Avenue Bank of New York v. Hammond Realty Co., Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit, October 30, 1942).

Isabel made the newspapers quite regularly. One occasion she was locked in the brig of a steamship for causing a disturbance. (According to the Milwaukee Sentinel, December 20, 1942 she tried to sue the Cunard Steamship Line for $100,000 over the incident, but the company successfully proved she had been “obstreperous”). When choirboys practiced at a church opposite her she played Caruso records at full blast! (same citation from Milwaukee Sentinel). A ruckus at a Baltimore hotel resulted in her being committed to an asylum but she escaped when a Brooklyn clergyman (or someone dressed as one) came to visit with a heavily veiled woman, who exchanged places. (That is if the Brooklyn Standard Union for May 13, 1931 is to be believed).
As noted in a recent post on this blog, in 1935 she was taken off a train after throwing large sums of money out of it.

Isabel died in 1939 at the age of 63, after an exciting if not exactly happy life. She had been living at the home of her mother, Susan Mulhall and her final resting place was the Fresh Pond Crematory and Columbarium, Queen County, New York.   (Check it out on Find a Grave)

Her paranoia was indicated by her will, which provided substantial funds for an autopsy and investigation in case she had been poisoned.
Then the fun started again. Who would inherit her sizeable fortune? Her father, who had deserted the family nearly 60 years before, suddenly reappeared to make a claim. A younger person called a protégé, made a claim. Ex-husband Sidmon, who was still alive, made a claim. And the squabble went on until 1943, when finally her wishes were granted. (See Bingham Press, February 15, 1943). So where did the rump of her fortune go? It was left to a dog’s home that trained guide dogs for the blind.

And here is the punch line. Maybe it was the absent father, maybe it was the two husbands (both old enough to be her father, and including of course our ADJ) – but she planned a sculptured bust of herself in her own memory, headed by the words which also adorned her stationery. It was a quote originally attributed to Mme de Sevigne (1626-1696):

If any are interested in reading more, and seeing the sculptured bust of Isabel, plus a candid photo of her elderly mother yelling at her even more elderly father after sixty years of separation, when they met on the court steps, have a look at this full page story. It mentions ADJ. Of course, I wouldn’t necessarily believe ALL that you read in newspapers.

(then go to page 78 of this document)

Isabel’s parents share a moment on the court steps in 1942.


roberto said...

Surely a bizarre woman.

I am not a Robert said...

"Isabel’s parents share a moment on the court steps in 1942"

Almost missed that! I read it, ate some porridge, drank some coffee and then it hit me - WHAM! between the ears. 'Share a moment' - so understated, so English, so......delayed.
I had to read the post over. And sure enough there they were - seven beautifully framed throwaway lines that were exquisitely crafted. This kind of stuff slows a man down. No more speed reading when Jerome's around. Each word, each nuance, each punctuation has to be weighed and evaluated.

Could you PLEASE discover - and use exclamation marks - and give us ordinary mortals (Sha'el excluded, of course) a fighting chance of comprehension and appreciation!!!

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Old guys shouldn't pick on each other, should they?

Not a Robert either said...

"Isabel’s parents share a moment on the court steps in 1942."

He started it Miss!

In 1968

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

"Not Robert" left a follow up post that has dissapeared into the Internet's nether regions. If he would care to make it again, I'll try publishing it again. Not Robert claims that Jerome started the whole thing back in 1968. Sort of knowing both of them, I raise my eyebrows in doubt, but not too far, because it may be so.

Not a robert said...

'Old guys shouldn't pick on each other, should they?'

He started it, Miss!

In 1968

jerome said...

If "not Robert" is who I think it is, he is quite correct that we first met in 1968.

It was when our moms delivered us to the schoolyard in kindergarten...

That last comment is spurious.

Now is there anyone out there who would like to comment more on Albert D and Isobel?