After stumbling across a funny anecdote involving Jean Lenox and Harry O. Sutton's visit to an "Old Ladies Home," I originally intended to share that one item, which sounded like something that could happen where my mom lives. However, one thing led to another.
When I decided to see what else I might easily turn up about the song-writing team, I found other anecdotes. A few contradictory newspaper items led me on a quest to determine Lenox's relationship to Sutton.
How far should we trust the newspaper anecdotes? To what extent might they have served as good public relations, perhaps to enhance the song writing team's reputation? Exactly who were Jean Lenox and Harry O. Sutton? What can we learn from newspapers and public records? I'll freely admit to not finding clear-cut answers to some of my questions but will offer several reasons for the remaining mysteries. Perhaps someone will have the curiosity and time to look for more.
Biographical Information and Issues for Further Research
Harry O. Sutton (1881-1911)
The 1892 New York State Census further places young Harry O. Sutton, then 11, in Naples, living with Frank and Mary Louise Pierce, who ran a music business. Examination of other census records reveals that Mary Louise was Harry's aunt, younger sister of O. E. Sutton, and that she had married a former neighbor, Frank Pierce.
In 1898, when 16-year-old Harry O. Sutton copyrighted Sweet Nancy Lee, he was living in Olean, NY, presumably with his mother; the 1900 U. S.Federal Census places 18-year-old Harry, "musician," in Olean with his mother, 38. Living with them are Harry's older brother Carl M, younger sister Gertrude L., his maternal grandmother, and his mother's sister.
The following year, young Harry copyrighted three instrumental pieces including those pictured below and a cakewalk, Aunt Jemima's Birthday Party. All were self-published.
I am a retired community college professor and the great-granddaughter of composer, orchestrator, arranger, organist, and teacher William Christopher O'Hare.
Click the "Read More" link to see each full blog entry.