Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Jim Kiskadden’s Famous Connection

James Henry Kiskadden and his older brother were well known in the earliest days in Virginia City, Montana. Before they came to Montana, the brothers operated mercantiles in Kansas, Denver, and Salt Lake City. Kiskadden & Co transported the First Regiment of Colorado Volunteers from Denver to Fort Union in the Territory of New Mexico in 1862 for one of the few major military engagements between the Confederacy and the Union in the west. James accompanied the forced march and served as informant to the newspapers. The Kiskadden brothers built the Kiskadden Barn, one the key early buildings on Wallace Street in Virginia City, and opened a grocery/mercantile there. The building has recently been one of the state’s major stabilization projects. James Kiskadden was several times on the fringes of fame. On March 22, 1865, he married Virginia Slade, the widow of Jack Slade, the last man hanged by the Virginia City vigilantes. The couple was divorced in 1868. In 1870, Kiskadden married famous actress Annie Adams. Their daughter, Maude, born in in 1872, was only eleven when her father died in of pneumonia in San Francisco. He is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City. Maude Kiskadden, under the stage name of Maude Adams, became one of the most famous and highly paid actresses of the early twentieth century.

Maude Adams as Peter Pan, October 1916
From Charles Frohman: Manager and Man via Wikipedia
One of her best-loved roles was that of Peter Pan in the first American production of the play, The Boy That Would Not Grow Up. It opened on Broadway in 1904, and until her retirement in 1916, she often recreated that role in theaters across the country.

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