The Johnny O Show


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Ep. #300 Orjias Family History: Hans Albert

In this video I visit Ottumwa, IA, where I investigate some of my family history.

Please share I am hoping this will get out to everyone in the US. I am looking for anyone that was related to or has information on a Dr Greene whom worked at either Lincoln insane hospital or Council Bluffs sanitarium in 1907 and 1908.
I am not certain from the wording of the article of which hospital, but this man was the last one on record that had taken control of my great grandfathers Stradivarius Violin.

After searching for many years, the wonders of the internet has made it possible to go though 100's of national news paper articles containing information about my great grandfather Hans Albert. Whom in his day was considered one of the worlds greatest violinist.

A short introduction of Hans Albert:
Professor Hans Albert, a world famous violinist in his day, was born in Vienna. He became a protege of Emperor Franz Joseph, at the age of nine, and studied under Swedermann, the renowned maestro at the Royal Conservatory in Wurzburg. When Hans was 16, his Majesty the Emperor appointed him Konzertmeister with the Imperial Opera. At the age of 19 he was called to America to become first violinist with the Theodore Thomas Symphony Orchestra of Chicago. Following a brilliant concert tour he had the honor to be Invited by President Grover Cleveland to give a recital at the white house.

His stomping ground was mostly Iowa and Nebraska, You can find mention of him in many news papers of were he was involved locally, for example: Ottumwa IA, Des Moines IA, Marshalltown IA, Omaha NE, Lincoln NE and as far west as Cripple Creek Colorado and many more in between. There is even mention to of a musician in the Californian Who's Who of Musicians that was his student. (Though he had many students and tough at the Iowa Conservatory of Music located at Mt Pleasant Iowa.

Hans Albert suffered from severe allergies and asthma. In the early 1900's the dangers of drug addiction were not really understood and he was given morphine over the counter to deal with his symptoms. Over time this became his down fall. He was more then likely a just a severe drug addict that now days could have probably been helped, however in his day he was labeled by society as a mad man and institutionalize. Even at that stage in his life people still came to hear him play. You find a few articals talking about his crazy behavior. For example one time he attacked 4 people at hotel he was to preform a concert at, however no one pressed charges because they wanted to hear him play. The 4 people he attacked attended the concert AFTER he allegedly assaulted them. He must have played pretty darn good beings they still wanted to stick around for the show.

He was 5' 2" tall, was balding on top but had wild long reddish hair and a short mustache (In one article it mentions he also had a long beard). It was common to see him waring a frock coat. Some how I picture him looking like a member of ZZ Top dressed like Neo from the Matrix.

He fell in love with Grace Hadsel from Ottumwa Iowa. But her father, a US Marshal was not having any of that. He was detemined that his daugter would not marry a mad man. However she snuck out and headed to Colorado where Hans was located at the time to get married. Her father found out, called in a favor and had Hans thrown in the Pueblo Colorado Insane Asylum. However that did not stop her, she stood on a crate and held his hand outside a window of his cell and got married. Their love affair was of course quite full of drama, which is a story of its own. Needless to say, over time, his addictions got the best of him and Dr Greene confiscated his violin. Shortly after this Hans died.

On that note: PLEASE SHARE. Help me find my great grandfathers violin. Someone has to know something and I would think a Stradivarius would have been talked about. It could have been anyone that took it, but I think finding anyone that was related to Dr Greene would be a good start, perhaps they heard stories of the crazy world famous violinist #HansAlbert and his #Stradivarius and might have some clue as to where it ended up.

#thejohnnyoshow #johnorjias #hadselfamily #hansalbert #violin #travel #history #familytree #lineage #GraceHadsel #Ottumwa #Iowa #museum #newspaper #insane

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