The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

In an interview with "Divine Fanny" a reporter found her
congenial and talkative. When asked about sleeping cars in Texas
(everyone in that era was conscious of railroad travel) she declared
that she could say nothing about such cars since, on her trips
between cities in the state, she had yet to encounter one. The
Houston and Texas Central Railroad had furnished her a special
train from Denison to Houston, however, for which she was
grateful. But she was more disappointed in not seeing "a terrible
slaughter of people, drawn knives, and huge Colt revolvers and
long hair and green-eyed monsters." New Yorkers had such
thoughts of Texas, she said. She found audiences in the state well-
behaved and attentive, and the theatres good enough, except for
the dressing rooms, which certainly could be improved upon. She
had played at Dallas, Denton, Austin, and Brenham, and no doubt
knew whereof she spoke. At Brenham she had been "amused"
at her performance of As You Like It. The back-drop of the forest
of Arden showed a picture of the Brenham Opera House, as "big
as life." "Fancy this as a background in the forest of Arden!"
she said.4
Standing room was at a demand as manager J. E. Reilly opened
the opera house with Minnie Maddern in Fogg's Ferry on Octo-
ber 3, 1882. Miss Maddern (who later enjoyed great celebrity
as Mrs. Fiske) had established herself in the esteem of Houston
playgoers two years before as Chip in The Messenger From Jarvis
Section. "Vivacious," "bright," and "naive," were terms the Hous-
ton Post applied to the young actress's style of acting. All who
saw her agreed, said the journal, that the little girl with the big
sensitive eyes and auburn hair would soon win her way into the
front rank of her profession. The "sensation" scene of Fogg's Ferry,
in which Miss Maddern, as Chip, saved the packet steamer from
destruction, was thought to be one of the most beautiful and
attractive of its kind ever seen on a Houston stage. In the scene,
Chip harmlessly exploded an "infernal machine" as the pilot
unsuspectingly brought his craft into view.
4In Galveston Miss Davenport commented to a Galveston News reporter on her
stay in Houston:
There the house was full-even the gallery, and the gods caught the good points.
They always do. I like the galleries. They are the quickest judges of the legitimate,
and always judge at the right time. The Houston people have my best regards for
their reception of me.

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 66, July 1962 - April, 1963. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101196/. Accessed July 24, 2014.