Jim Kershner’s this day in history


From our archives, 100 years ago

Actress Adelaide Laird Appleton took the stand in her divorce case to deny her physician husband’s allegations that she was addicted to whiskey and cigarettes.

She frequently turned to the judge and dramatically exclaimed, “How ridiculous!” when attorneys brought up her husband’s charges. She also asked the judge, “Will you let me tell it in my own way?”

She said that she and her husband, Dr. Wilbur H. Appleton, often went to Davenport’s or the Silver Grill after a performance by the Jessie Shirley theatrical company, where she was an actress. They often had a beer, but she denied being intoxicated. She also said she didn’t leave empty whiskey bottles all over the house.

“Of course, I did not know Mr. Appleton sneaked around looking for anything,” she said. “I had nothing to hide.”

She also denied a charge that she once went to her dressing room at the American Theater “wearing nothing but shoes and stockings,” in the presence of another man.

She said that she had met Dr. Appleton six months before their marriage, and he “couldn’t stay away,” often coming to see her even before rehearsals.

The manager of the Jessie Shirley company said she was never intoxicated in her years with the troupe.


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