The Chicago Daily Tribune,
June 9, 1896

Well-Known Actor Is Attacked with Paralysis of the Heart.

Omaha, Neb., June 8.--Frank Mayo, the celebrated actor, died very suddenly of paralysis of the heart while on board the Union Pacific fast mail going east near Grand Island. Mr. Mayo was on his way to Omaha with his company, where he was to open an engagement tomorrow. Dr. M. J. Gahan of Grand Island was telegraphed to meet the train. When the fast mail pulled into Grand Island the physician boarded the train, but his services came too late, Mr. Mayo having expired a few moments before.

The remains arrived here at 5 o'clock, where they were taken charge of by Roland Reed and a delegation from the lodge of Elks.

Denver, Colo., June 8--Frank Mayo, the actor, who died on the train near Grand Island, Neb., today, when en route east, complained of severe pains in the region of his heart all last week while playing an engagement in this city. Although obliged to call in a doctor he appeared on the boards every night. His last appearance on the stage was in "Pudd'nhead Wilson" at the Broadway Theatre in this city Saturday night.

"Frank Mayo was one of the kindest-hearted and best-liked men on the stage," said Louis L. Sharpe of McVicker's Theater. "There is no one in the profession who will be more missed. He had a smile and a cheery word for every one he met. Frank was born in 1837. His first star engagement in Chicago was at McVicker's in 1860. And that time we had our own stock company and he played the star parts, appearing at that time as Hamlet, Ingomar, and Iago. For many years he also played 'The Streets of New York,' which was a great favorite with everybody in the '60s.

"His first appearance on the stage was in the California Theater in San Francisco. In the early '70s he took the part of Davy Crockett, in which character he made a great hit and with which he had been associated ever since. In 1888 he brought out 'Nordeck,' but in spite of his efforts the play was not a success. Two years before that he played 'Macbeth' for one season, and had a star cast with him.

"For the last two seasons he has been playing 'Pudd'head Wilson,' appearing in that part the last time he was in Chicago, which was the two weeks ending Jan. 12 of this year. He was booked here for the same play next winter during Christmas and New Year's weeks.

"When he was here last he was not feeling in good health and complained of gastric trouble. It's too bad, as he was doing remarkably well in 'Pudd'nhead Wilson,' and he had a sure fortune in the play. He had an excellent company, including Frank E. Aiken and Eleanor Moretti, and business had been good with them from the start. In fact, he had done so well for some time that he undoubtedly left a snug competence.

"He was married only once, I think, and his wife was not an actress. She is still living. His son Frank has been on the stage for some time, and has frequently played the parts his father had taken. He only daughter, Eleanor, appeared here last summer in 'Princess Bonnie,' but afterwards she was married to a wealthy Eastern man and she then abandoned the stage. Frank Mayo had a delightful home, which he named Crockett Lodge, at which he and his family spent much of their leisure time. The place was near Canton, Pa. There are many men whom the world could have better spared than Frank Mayo."