No, this is not a photograph of a Tully relative, though it is a card from the collection of Edna Tully McCaughey. Within this collection were a few likenesses of actresses of the day—including the child actress Elsie Leslie and a couple poses of Mary Anderson which bore the tale on the reverse, “Grandpa’s favorite actress.”
Having an Irish heritage—Edna’s father was born in what is now the province of Ontario, Canada, to Irish immigrant parents—this Tully descendant’s family no doubt was keen on the arrival of what was billed as “the picturesque Irish drama,” Nora Machree. Including song, dance, a cast of readily-recognizable names, and even a cameo appearance of Irish ponies (promised to be the smallest of the species, for which I’m sure the theater management—and audience—was grateful), this 1890s production was designed to please.
Though it was reviewed favorably in London, the play was received less enthusiastically in New York. However, once the show was on the road, local theaters noted a better response. Chicago was no exception, perhaps owing to their loyal Irish-American population.
While the picture doesn’t represent any of our ancestors, I thought I’d include it in the current blog series, as it is part of the family’s collection, and represents a small part of what they considered important. As a reflection of what interested them, it contributes a part of the daily picture of Chicago life in the 1890s for this Tully family.