08 October 2012

The Sudden Violent Deaths of Arthur Stringer and His Family (and Their Respective Resurrections)

One of the earliest Canadians to really make a killing in the writing game, Arthur Stringer led a pretty eventful life. More than sixty books bore his name and twenty-three movies were made from his work – no one has yet come up with an accurate count of his hundreds of magazine appearances. 

And then there was his marriage to exciting Amazonian Jobyna Howland, Gibson Girl, Broadway babe and minor Hollywood star.    

Yes, an eventful life, so much so that the drama detailed below – front page news in Montreal, Toronto and New York – doesn't rate so much as a footnote in Arthur Stringer: Son of the North, Victor Lauriston's 1941 biography: 

The Pittsburgh Press, 21 May 1912
In fact, Stringer had no home in Niagara Falls, New York. He and his family then divided their time between a flat in New York City and "Shadow-Lawn", their house in Cedar Springs, Ontario. Though described in the Canadian Bookman as a "summer home", it was at the northern address that the Stringers spent the better part of the year. 

The Canadian Bookman, August 1909
"Shadow-Lawn" figures in the curious correction that went out over the wires hours later:

The Regina Morning Leader, 21 May 1912
Caught off guard, The New York Times, which had somehow missed all the excitement, published a modest piece:

The New York Times, 21 May 1912
Stringer, Stockton... Cedar Springs, Niagara Falls... so easily confused.

Sadly, Stringer and the beautiful Jobyna eventually went their separate ways. In 1936, the actress was found dead of a heart attack on the kitchen floor of her Hollywood home. Stringer lived on until 1950, before being felled by same.

I've not been able to track down anything concerning their daughter.

Entertainment: Yes, I've posted this before, but after the horrors above isn't something a bit cheery in order? Here's Jobyna Howland with Wheeler and Wolsey in The Cuckoos. Oddly appropriate, I think.


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, that's her. Apparently she was six feet tall - and that's without the heels.