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 Margaret Ellen <I>Light Illington</I> Bowes

Margaret Ellen Light Illington Bowes

Bloomington, McLean County, Illinois, USA
Death 11 Mar 1934 (aged 55)
Miami Beach, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
Burial Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 24229480 · View Source
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Her birth name is Maude Ellen Light. Everywhere online, her birthdate is listed as July 23, 1881, but her headstone clearly states 1879. She is the daughter of George (or I. H.) and Mary Ellen Light and the wife of Edward Bowes from 1910 until her death, and Daniel Frohman, from 1903 until they divorced in 1909. Per Time Magazine (22 Jun 1936), she had no children. She was a silent film and stage actress. She studied at Illinois Wesleyan University and the Conservatory in Chicago.

Her films include: Inner Shrine, released 1917; Sacrifice, released 1917. Her plays include: A Good Bad Woman, 8 Apr 1919 - May 1919; The Gay Lord Quex, 12 Nov 1917 - Dec 1917; Our Little Wife, 18 Nov 1916 - Dec 1916; The Lie, 24 Dec 1914 - May 1915; Kindling, 5 Dec 1911 - 4 Jan 1912; The Thief, 3 Sep 1908 - Sep 1908; The Thief, 9 Sep 1907 - May 1908; The House in Order, 3 Sep 1906 - Dec 1906; A Maker of Men, 21 Aug 1905 - Sep 1905; In the Eyes of the World, 17 Apr 1905 - ?; Mrs Leffingwell's Boots, 11 Jan 1905 - 30 Apr 1905; A Wife Without a Smile, 19 Dec 1904 - Jan 1905; Yvette, 13 May 1904 - 13 May 1904; The Two Orphans, 28 Mar 1904 - May 1904; A Japanese Nightingale, 19 Nov 1903 - 30 Dec 1903; Notre Dame, 26 Feb 1902 - 6 Apr 1902; Frocks & Frills, 7 Jan 1902 - 25 Feb 1902.
The announcement that Margaret Illington, who is really Mrs. Daniel Frohman, is suing for divorce in California is almost overshadowed today by a statement from her husband regarding what are said to be the future plans of the actress. If his wife is to marry Edward Bowes, the San Francisco millionaire real estate operator, following a separation from himself, Mr. Frohman says he approves of the match. "I don't know that they will marry," the manager responded in answer to a suggestion contained in a news dispatch, "but if they do, I believe they'll be happy." Both Mr. & Mrs. Frohman have made the statement that there is no scandal in any way connected with the divorce proceedings, which arise, according to the wife, from her desire to remain away from the stage. Mrs. Frohman admits that after securing her divorce she expects to marry Bowes. The latter says that the matter is still in the future and should not be discussed until the divorce is granted. Answering the statements said to have been made by Mrs. Frohman to the effect that her husband insisted on her continuing on the stage, Mr. Frohman said, "These statements attributed to Mrs. Frohman, I am bound to think have been grossly exaggerated. It is true that when we were married it was agreed that she was to continue with her stage career; she knew that I believed she possessed great talent. However, I never insisted in any coercive way, although it was my desire that she not forsake her work. This will not in any way put an end to my friendship with her. She is a splendid girl. The whole thing is that we have agreed that we would be happier apart than together. That's all there is to it."
~ Trenton Evening Times [NJ], Mon., 15 Feb 1909
RENO, Nov. 14 - Margaret Illington, the actress, who was last week divorced from Daniel Frohman, the theatrical manager, in Judge Pike's court in this city on Saturday evening became the wife of Edward J. Bowes, a wealthy business man of San Francisco and Tacoma. The ceremony was simple and took place at the home of Miss Illington on Moran Street. Justice of the Peace Soucheau of Reno performed the ceremony and the only witnesses were the bride's parents, Mr. and Mrs. I. H. Light. On the same day in the afternoon, Miss Illington, accompanied by Mr. Bowes, had gone to the Court House where she had only a few days before received her divorce, and secured her marriage license. She had then climbed the stairs to Judge Pike's courtroom & asked Judge Pike, who had granted the decree, to say the words that would make her the wife of Edward Bowes. Judge Pike refused. "It was my duty under the law," he said, "to grant you divorce on grounds of non-support, but I cannot consistently perform the marriage ceremony, as much as I might like to do it." The Judge wished Miss Illington and her future husband much happiness and gave them the address of the Justice of the Peace who later united them. Immediately after the ceremony, Mr. and Mrs. Bowes left for San Francisco, and from there will go to Tacoma, where Mr. Bowes has built his wife a beautiful home - in fact, it is said, the finest home in Tacoma. Mrs. Light, mother of the actress, after the marriage said: "My daughter desired to be married in the city in which she had received her divorce. I know Margaret will be happy." Mr. Bowes was in Reno when I1lington secured her divorce, and although he was not present in court, he met her at the court house door and her home. When Margaret Illington went to San Francisco last February following the announcement that she was to get a divorce from her husband Daniel Frohman, the theatrical manager, she went to live at the home of John H. Spring, who is a partner of Edward J. Bowes, whom she had just married. She remained there until she went to the sanitarium. It was about this time that it was first reported she was to marry Mr. Bowes. Mr. Bowes refused to discuss the rumor. Miss Illington, however (to give her her stage name), did not for her part deny that she was to marry Mr. Bowes. "I am to get a divorce from Mr. Frohman," she said, "and would love to tell you that I am to marry Mr. Bowes when I am free, but I can't say that now, you know. But I did not leave Mr. Frohman to marry Mr. Bowes or any one else. I left him because I could not be happy on the stage. "From the first I told Mr. Frohman that I wanted a home, a domestic life. But he wanted to make a great star out of me. I wanted to stay at home and darn his socks. Always I wanted domestic life and children. I wanted to lead the of a normal woman. The stage life might be well for the woman born to it, but is abnormal. When I found that Mr. Frohman intended to keep me on the stage always my love died. I saw then no chance for the domestic life I craved, so we parted. Mr. Frohman knows Mr. Bowes and admires him highly. "As soon as I am freed I shall settle down with the man whose ideals accord with mine. He is wealthy, but he is a domestic man. We shall have our own little home, and I shall try to forget there is a world. I want the world to forget there ever was a Margaret Illington. What I want is babies, my own little babies to nestle to my heart and call me mother. I have been cheated out of my home and babies for so long that I want all of them I can have. I am hungry for them. Whether I have genius or not, I consider I have the right of any woman to make what she thinks is the most of her life. I have the right to be happy. I am not happy on the stage. I yearned all the time for the simple joys of motherhood." When Daniel Frohman was asked if he knew that his wife intended to marry Mr. Bowes he said, "Mr. Bowes is a friend of mine and if Mrs. Frohman decides to marry him I know of no one I would rather see her marry. He is a splendid young fellow and a thriving man of affairs."

Mrs. Bowes was born in Bloomington, Ill. and her real name was Maude Light. She made her first stage debut in 1900 with James K. Hackett as Michel in "The Pride of Jennico." The following season she was with the Lyceum stock company at Daly's in "Frocks and Frills" and "Notre Dame." In the season of 1902-1903 she was leading member of "A Japanese Nightingale" company, during which engagement she became, in 1903, the wife of Mr. Frohman. She obtained her divorce from Mr. Frohman in Reno, Nev., on the 9th of this month. The ground on which the divorce was granted was non-support, and an affidavit, signed by Mr. Frohman, accepting service and waiving all rights to answer, was read into the record. She had been a member of the divorce colony at Reno for many months, living with her mother. Mr. Bowes, besides being a wealthy real estate operator of San Francisco, is President of the Narrow Land Company of Tacoma, Wash.
~ The New York Times, Mon., 15 Nov 1909, pg. 3
Reno, Nev., Nov 15 - Margaret Illington, the actress who obtained a divorce here last week from Daniel Frohman, the theatrical manager, was married to Edward J. Bowes, a millionaire real estate dealer of Tacoma, Saturday night in this city. Margaret Illington, within a comparatively few hours after getting her decree from Judge Pike, appeared before that district judge again and asked him if he would marry her to Edward Bowes at 6:30 o'clock Saturday evening that they might take the 7:30 train for San Francisco. Judge Pike could not conceal his surprise at such a request from the famous actress and under the circumstances, declined the invitation. They were referred to Justice of the Peace Soucereau. They had taken out the necessary license from the county clerk's office through previous arrangements shortly before 6 o'clock. He went to the actress' home at 6:30 o'clock & performed the ceremony in the presence of Mr. and Mrs. George Light, of Bloomington, Ill., Miss Illington's parents, and a maid servant. The license was issued in the names of Edward J. Bowes and Margaret Light. The newly married couple, with the maid, departed an hour later for Tacoma, their new home by way of San Francisco. Miss Illington announced the coming marriage to a few friends yesterday, but not the date. "I am going to have a home" she said, "in which my husband will care for me, and where there will be domestic happiness." When she parted from Mr. Frohman, she spoke freely in interviews of her desire to sit at home, darn socks, and rear children.
~ The Washington Post, Tues., 16 Nov 1909
Funeral services for Margaret Illington Bowes, wife of Major Edward Bowes and former actress, were held yesterday morning in St. Patrick's Cathedral, a requiem mass being celebrated by the Rev. William B. Martin of the Church of the Holy Family, New Rochelle, NY. Assisting were the Rev. Joseph Tytheridge of St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Rev. John Coffey of the Church of the Holy Family. The burial service was private. A large group of friends from all walks of life, but particularly celebrities and workers in the theatre, attended the services. The honorary pall-bearers included Irvin Cobb, former Mayor John P. O'Brien, Lawrence Tibbett, Adolph Zukor, Charles B. Dillingham, David Warfield, George F. McClelland, William A. Brady, David Bernstein, J. Robert Rubin, Supreme Court Justice Kenneth O'Brien, Moses Tannenbaum, Oliver Harriman, O. O. McIntyre, Walter Vincent, and Gerald Campbell, British Consul General in New York. Mrs. Bowes died on Sunday in St. Francis Hospital at Miami, Fla., after a brief illness.
~ The New York Times, 16 Mar 1934
Major Bowes is rapidly becoming a public benefactor. Not long ago, he presented St. Patrick's cathedral in New York with 11 Schwedleri maples and four English elms - a gift which cannot be appreciated by anyone who does not know how barren New York is of trees, or how some of its inhabitants long to see one. The trees are magnificent, a living tribute to the Major's thoughtfulness. Now he has given his estate, Laurel Hill, at Ossining, NY, to the Lutheran Church for a retreat for the clergy and laity of New York and nearby states. The 10-acre estate is a show place, filled with memories for Major Bowes; he and the late Mrs. Bowes, who was Margaret Illington, the famous actress, bought it in 1927, and through the years they landscaped it, installed a swimming pool, and did everything they could to make it beautiful. Major Bowes not only gave the estate to the church, but added a substantial gift to help equip it.
~ Fredricksburg News [Iowa], 16 Nov 1939
Contributed by Tony Cannon (46527423):
McLean County Clerk's Office shows her date of birth to be Jan. 23, 1879.

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  • Created by: Linda Applegate Brown
  • Added: 28 Jan 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 24229480
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Margaret Ellen Light Illington Bowes (23 Jan 1879–11 Mar 1934), Find A Grave Memorial no. 24229480, citing Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Linda Applegate Brown (contributor 46791676) .