Sep 14
Oscar Shaw was a stage and screen actor, singer, and dancer. He was born as Oscar Schwartz in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 11, 1887, and died in Little Neck, New York on March 6, 1967. He is buried in Gettysburg’s Evergreen Cemetery. This image is taken from Ned Wayburn’s The Art of Stage Dancing, published in 1925.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is a retired American History Teacher from Gettysburg High School. She has been a Licensed Battlefield Guide since 1975 and serves on the board of the Evergreen Cemetery Association. She is our host for our series on Evergreen Cemetery, Gettysburg’s civilian cemetery.

See the previous parts to the Evergreen Cemetery tour here

In today’s post, Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny shows us the graves of Oscar Shaw, the Shultz sisters, and Samuel Simon Schmucker.

This map shows the location of where our Evergreen Cemetery videos were produced. Videos #1- #28 were shown in our previous Evergreen Cemetery posts and are shown on other maps. Videos #15- #17 were taken at the family plot of Solomon Powers. Videos #18- #20 were taken at the Mary Thompson family plot. Video #21 was taken at the unmakred grave of Jane Thompson and her daughter, Jane Meade Thompson. Videos #22- #24 were taken at the grave of Salome “Sallie” Myers Stewart. Videos #25-#26 were taken at the grave of Annie M. Warner. Video #27 was taken near the graves of the Thorns. Video #28 was filmed at the grave of Lydia Leister. Video #29 was taken at the grave of Oscar Shaw. Video #30 was taken at the graves of the Shultz sisters. Video #31 was taken at the grave and monument of Samuel S. Schmucker. This map was created facing north at approximately 12:00 PM on Sunday, September 12, 2010.

Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is the host for our series on Evergreen Cemetery. She is standing by the grave of actor Oscar Shaw. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.
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In Video #29 (Videos #1-#28 were shown in our previous Evergreen Cemetery posts) Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is in Evergreen Cemetery at the grave of Oscar Shaw. She describes how the actor came to be buried in Gettysburg. This view was taken facing northeast to northwest at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

Oscar Shaw is in the front left of this scene from the Marx Brothers movie, “The Cocoanuts.” He is wearing a dark jacket with light colored pants. The actress Mary Eaton is on the left of Shaw with her hands on his shoulder. The film was an adaption of a Broadway show. It was notable for its musical “production numbers” similar to those used later by choreographers such as Busby Berkeley. Some techniques used in Cocoanuts were soon to become standard, such as overhead shots of dancing girls imitating the patterns of a kaleidoscope. The musical numbers were recorded live on the sound stage as they were shot, rather than pre-recorded, with an off-camera orchestra. This lead to poor sound quality, and was one of the reasons the film is today not a critical success. This image is courtesy of Evergreen Cemetery.
Irving Berlin wrote five songs for the movie including “When My Dreams Come True,” sung by Oscar Shaw (playing the part of Bob Adams) and Mary Eaton (1901-1948) as shown in this video clip. Eaton (playing the part of Polly Potter) would be dead 19 years later after she lost a battle with alcoholism and her liver failed. Shaw appeared in plays with the likes of Bert Lahr, Gertrude Lawrence, Kate Smith, and Fanny Brice. He also had roles in the films, “The Great White Way” (1924), “The King On Main Street” (1925), “Upstage” (1926), “Going Crooked” (1926), “A Ziegfeld Midnight Frolic” (1929), “Marianne” (1929), and “Rhythm On The River” (1940).
“The Cocoanuts” premiered in 1929 as the first full length Marx Brothers film. When the Marx Brothers were shown the final cut of the film, they were not thrilled with the quality of the production and attempted to buy the negative back and prevent its release. Paramount Pictures resisted and the movie turned out to be a financial success, earning close to two million dollars.

On August 3, 1913, Oscar Shaw married Mary Louise Givler (a native of Carlisle, Pennsylvania), in Great Britain. At the time, they were both working in a show called the “First American Ragtime Review” at the London Opera House. This view was taken facing northwest at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is kneeling by the graves of the Shultz sisters, whose home still prominently stands on Seminary Ridge. The Evergreen Cemetery Gatehouse is in the center background. The maintenance building is in the left background. The light green water tank at the site of Camp Letterman is visible in the right background. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.
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In Video #30 Licensed Battlefield Guide Deb Novotny is in Evergreen Cemetery at the graves of Cornelia and Maria Shultz. She describes how the sisters were fond of a young Confederate prisoner, Henry Kyd Douglas. This view was taken facing northeast to north at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

According to the 1860 federal population census, Cornelia A. Shultz was living in her house with her mother Elizabeth, who was 65 years old in 1860. The census also shows Cornelia was 30 years old, instead of 36 years of age as she actually was. This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.

Maria Shultz was not listed on the 1860 federal census, and may have been living elsewhere before she moved back to Gettysburg. The 25 year old Henry Kyd Douglas described the 39 year old Cornelia Shultz and the 33 year old Maria Shultz as “two young ladies who were great favorites in the hospital (at the Lutheran Theological Seminary) who because of their generous hearts did not, apparently, distinguish the colors of uniforms…” This view was taken facing northeast at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.
Major Henry Kyd Douglas (1838-1903) was an officer on the staff of Major General Edward Johnson when he was wounded and captured at Gettysburg. After socializing with the Shultz sisters, he was sent to Johnson’s Island, Ohio, where he was exchanged in March, 1864. This view was taken circa the 1860s.

Deb Novotny is standing by the grave and monument to Dr. Samuel Simon Schmucker. This view was taken facing west at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.
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In Video #31 Deb Novotny is standing by the grave to Dr. Samuel Schmucker. She give a brief biography of the founder of the Lutheran Theological Seminary and Pennsylvania College. This view was taken facing west at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.
According to the 1860 federal census, Dr. Samuel Simon Schmucker (1799-1873) was the second richest person in the town of Gettysburg. He owned a lot of real estate. The richest person in Gettysburg was the banker George Swope. This view was taken circa the 1870s.

Dr. Schmucker was born in Hagerstown, Maryland. During the Battle of Gettysburg, Schmucker’s house was used as a field hospital for soldiers of both armies. He was never compensated for the damages incurred. This view was taken facing west at approximately 4:45 PM on Thursday, September 2, 2010.


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