Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Sadie Snyder -- The Good, Straight Girl

The daughter of Sarah Snyder, once known on the vaudeville stage as "Sara Sedalia," the 17-year-old vocalist assumed the name of "Sid Sedalia" when she began singing at Chicago's Delavan Cafe on North Clark Street in 1916.  Snyder, described by her mother as a "good, straight girl," was concerned that "people might say bad things" about her because she was a cabaret singer.  These feelings, amplified by a local newspaper expose of the "sins" of cabaret life, further preyed on the young woman's mind.  On the evening of February 16, 1916, Snyder locked herself in the bedroom of her home at 2125 North Clark Street, plugged the crack between two window sashes with a towel, then turned on the gas.  Snyder's mother, with the aid of a boarder, later forced the door and found her daughter's lifeless body on the bed.  Near at hand lay a newspaper folded to a story about the conduct of patrons in a Windy City cafe.  On the wall beside the bed Snyder had scribbled, "Mama, I love you."

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