Once a Widower, Then a Widow and now a Husband, Annie Hindle Marries a Dear Troy Girl (Troy, New York, USA, 26 June 1892)

The Boston Daily Globe

Boston, Tuesday Evening, July 5, 1892


Then a Widow and now a Husband.

Annie Hindle Marries a Dear Troy Girl.

Male Impersonator in a Beer Garden.

All Actors on the Rialto Perplexed.
As "Mash" Note Receiver She Broke All Records.


New York, July 5.—All the variety actors on the Rialto had something to talk about yesterday. They had heard that Annie Hindle, the celebrated male impersonator, had married again, and that her marriage was as strange in its main feature as if it had been the plot of a weird novel of the latter day period.

In fact Miss Hindle had supplied more than the usual basis for a unique story.

On Sunday, June 26, in Troy, Miss Annie Hindle became, not the wife, but the lawful husband of Miss Louise Spangehl, who lives in Troy, and is not on the stage.

The ceremony was performed in the utmost good faith by Rev. H. C. Baldwin, a Baptist minister of Troy, and there is no reason to dispute his assertion that at the time or the wedding he believed Miss Hin­dle to be a man.

She had been performing at a Troy beer garden, and her nightly triumph was achieved in her "male impersonations." In this act she wears men's clothing, smokes cigars, and otherwise conducts herself in the manner of the sterner sex. No doubt the larger portion of her audience was deceived be her cleverness, and perhaps she assured the Troy clergyman that she was really deceiving the public; but it would be impossible to convince the Rialto throngs that Annie Hindle is other than a woman.

The oddity of her recent marriage is in­creased by the fact that Miss Hindle has three times been married. Once she was a bride; twice she has been a groom; once she had a husband, twice she has had a wife; once she was a widow, once she was a widower; now she is a husband.

Only last December Annie Hindle buried her first wife. On the Jersey City heights, one cold December day, there was held a funeral which, in one respect, presented as strange a spectacle as is often witnessed. Annie Hindle, then as now, was apparently a woman between 45 and 50 years of age, who in her prime was doubtless an excellent type of what is called the "dashingly handsome" girl, with a face that is masculine in all its lines, eyes that are grey but lit with a kindly expression, a firmly cut mouth and a resolute chin. At that time she was the chief mourner at the funeral of her first wife, Annie Ryan. She had married Annie Ryan in the summer of 1886, and, as in the Troy affair, the strange wedding was sanctioned by the blessing of a minister of the gospel.

Miss Hindle was apparently bowed in grief, and her declaration that she had lost her best friend on earth was in geed faith accepted by the few friends assembled around the dead woman's bier. They will be amazed to hear that within six months Annie Hindle has found a new wife.

Miss Hindle in a measure deceived the Troy minister who made her the husband of Louise Spangehl. She told him that this was her second marriage, and that her name was Charles Edward Hindle. She did not tell him that she had never assumed a male prefix, nor did she reveal to him that long ago in the '60's she was the wife of Charles Vivian.

When Annie Hindle was 5 years old the woman who adopted her and who gave her protégé her own name, put her on the stage in the pottery district of Herfordshire, in England. The little girl sang well, even so early.

There was a fearlessness in her manner that tickled her rough audiences, and they made a favorite of her from the first. At the outset she sang tender songs with love as their theme, but as she grew up and trav­elled to London she enlarged her “repertoire.”

One day, half in jest, she put on a man's costume and sang a rollicking ditty about wine and women. A manager who listened to her saw a new field open to her. In a week Annie Hindle was a “male imperson­ator,” and all London was talking about the wonderful and minute accuracy of her mimicry.

About 1857 she came to New York, to triumph here as she had triumphed in London. She was a blonde about 5 feet 6, with a plump form, well shaped hands, small feet, and closely cropped hair, which, on and off the stage, she parted on one side, brushing it away from the temples, just as men do.

Annie Hindle was the first out and out “male impersonator” New York's stage had ever seen. It is a fact that this dashing singer was the recipient of as many “mash” notes as probably ever went to a stage favorite in this country. Once she compared notes with H. J. Montague, that carelessly handsome actor at whose shrine so many silly women had worshiped: but Hindle's admirers far outnumbered his, and they were all women, strange as that may seem.

About this time Charley Vivian, the Eng­lish comique, was travelling through Amer­ica. He was a clever fellow of the Lingard type—a fine singer, a dashing dresser and a general swell. He fell in love with Annie Hindle, who reciprocated his affection, and in the fall of 1868 they were married by a Philadelphia min­ister. They started at once for the Pacific coast, as happy, apparently, as a pair of turtle doves.

Yet at Denver, a little later, Vivian and his wife separated. They never met again. He told his friends that their honeymoon had lasted one night. Hindle has since said that he did not tell the truth.

“He lived with me,” she declares, rather bitterly, “several months; long enough to black both eyes and otherwise mark me; yet I was a good and true wife to him.”

Vivian did not get a divorce. He had no cause. Hindle did not seek one. She was free enough. So they travelled apart, both in their own way, busy enough. yet unhappy; and in March, 1880, Vivian died in Leadville. He had not prospered in his later days. He should have had thou­sands of friends, for he it was who founded the great order of Elks. Yet he was practi­cally penniless when he died.

Hindle's next romance came six years later. In all her travels she had carried a “dresser.”

In the summer of 1886 her dresser was a pretty little brunette of 25, a quiet, demure girl, who made friends wherever she went. One night in June, '86, Annie Hindle and Annie Ryan left the Grand Rapids, Mich., theatre where Miss Hindle was then engaged and drove to the Barnard House. In room 19 a minister of the gospel, Rev. E. H. Brooks awaited the couple. There was a best man, jolly Gilbert Sarony, a female impersonator, but there was no bridesmaid. At 10 o'clock. Mr. Brooks performed the marriage ceremony and solemnly pronounced Annie Hindle the husband of Annie Ryan. The female groom wore a dress suit; the bride was in her travelling costume. The minister put a fat fee in his pocketbook and Mr. Sarony, the female impersonator, and Miss Hindle the new husband, opened a bottle of wine and smoked a cigarette or two. The couple lived together happily five years. They were respected by their neighbors, it appears, and they were welcome at all the social gatherings in the vicinity of their home.

Miss Hindle did not reappear on the stage until some months after her wife's death. Then she accepted several engagements, and it was during one of these engagements that she met Miss Spangehl, whom she has just married.