Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Minerva Queen of Handcuffs

Minerva Queen of Handcuffs, also Queen of Mystery, was born Margaretha Snelling on Dec 18 1878 in Germany. Her career as an escape artist ran from 1904-1913. The retired from the stage after marrying illusion builder Guy Jarrett.

She is buried in Mission City Memorial Park, Santa Clara, CA, Plot Section K-3, No 26. She is buried with her fourth husband, George Backus. Sadly, though there is a spot on the grave marker for her name, Minerva's name does not appear on the gravestone at all.

For more information on Minerva, check out my podcast #26 on

Friday, January 11, 2019

Olive Dot Robinson Gravesite

When it comes to one of the greatest magician's assistants in history, surely one of the early ones was also one of the best. Olive Robinson was the wife of William E. Robinson. For a time she worked as Harry Kellar's chief assistant in his show. Later, when the Robinson's were wooed away by Alexander Herrmann, she became an assistant in his show. And when her husband, William Ellsworth Robinson hired her to be his chief assistant as well.

Her husband, in the roll of Chung Ling, was tragically killed on stage while presenting the Bullet Catch mystery in 1918. In 1922, Olive packed her bags and left England to head back to America. Oddly, she didn't tell anyone she had returned.Word was she was embarrassed by the death of her husband and the varied rumors surrounding the death.

When she arrived in New York in 1922, she didn't tell anyone she was here. She lived until the ripe old age of 71 passing away on Nov 13, 1934. She is buried in the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. In 2016 magic historian Diego Domingo raised money for a stone market to be placed on Dot's grave.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Grave of W. D. LeRoy

William D. Le Roy was born in LaSalle Illinois August 5th, 1862. In his youth, he studied music and
the violin. By the age of 19 he was living in San Francisco and was giving classes on the violin. This appears to be where he picked up the magic bug and began to learn the trade. But, whether he met someone or discovered it from a book is not known.

In 1885, he made his first professional appearance as a magician at the Fountain Theatre in San Francisco according to the Feb 1909 issue of The Sphinx. He also appeared on the cover that month. 

In 1887, he relocated to Boston and by 1893 opened the Boston School of Magic on 103 Court Street. According to the website, Le Roy altered the way his name was spelled in 1906 from Le Roy to Leroy. I would guess because it was easier to remember or to distinguish himself from Servais Le Roy.

He is credited with having the largest and most up to date magic catalog of it's time. Besides selling magic he was a big advocate of magic fraternities and was instrumental in signing up many people to the Society of American Magicians.

Le Roy passed away on June 10th, 1919. He is buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Gloucester Mass.