Vaudeville’s Funny Man Marshall Pickney Wilder

Marshall Pinckney Wilder was named him for his great-uncle, founder of the Boston Horticultural Society, (now the Massachusetts Horticultural Society or MHS) and the American Pomology Society 1 pomology deals with the cultivation and care of fruits. Upstate New York has always been a region strong in the raising and cultivations of pears and apples Born born in Geneva in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York on September 19, 1859, at 10 in the morning he was dwarf born to two normal sized parents. Wilder’s rising of 16 Scorpio is the same as Cardinal Mazarin of France and Wolfgang Goethe of Germany. Ironic indeed, all three men were short statured; Mr. Wilder was a dwarf.

Geneva-3.8.gif

Looking at his Map we see his Tenth and Ninth Houses have a stellium of planets, starting technically with Jupiter in the 8th and ending with the Sun right on the eleventh house of public fanfare. From there it is just a hop and skip sextile away to his Ascendant. Technically, it has no opposition to Pluto, as it was yet to be discovered, and he died in 1915 so it’s out of the picture–ignore it lurking in the Sixth House of labor.

Marshall Pickney Asteroid List.png
The Red Cicle shows the asteroid 1621 Laurentia conjunct Mars, that we feel highlights heart problems.

The Tenth House on Wilder’s chart shows Virgo, but the natural ruler of the midheaven is Capricorn, which produces short stature people more than any other sign in the zodiac. Compounded by the square of Mars in Virgo to Uranus in the seventh, the possibility of physical deformity arises as well; the sextile of Mars to the Martial Ascendant gives him a quicksilver personality that made up for his physical liabilities.

Do not ignore though Neptune on the Fifth House of creativity and entertainment because it is the Common signs bestow the ability to laugh oneself, the secret to comedy. Wilder has seven out of nine planets in that triplicity, a telling barometer for that was Wilder’s career. He found his calling when he was young, giving public readings that got great applause in Rochester, that started him on his way to fame and fortune.

Lucky too, that Thos. A. Edison adored him and taped him for posterity. We can hear one of his vaudeville acts over here – he is amusing.

Also in the Commons is his focal determinator, Neptune, giving him silvery voice and an ever hopeful demeanor, Neptune always the bright side of every travail, but there is a sour note in this otherwise lucky life, Venus is in her fall in Virgo opposite Neptune in Pisces that has a T-Cross to the Moon in the seventh, while wide, still has an aspect to quixotic Uranus. This configuration suggests that Mr. Wilder’s marriage while happy would be suddenly cut short. Surprised by that find, I had to check the records.

In 1903 Wilder, at forty-four, married Sophie Cornell Hanks, the daughter of a New Jersey dentist, twenty years his junior. Sophie was a writer and dramatist and collaborated with Wilder on his books, their ten volume encyclopedia, The Wit and Humor of America, was a bestseller. Google Books has a copy for it is in now in public domain.

Two years later, their daughter Grace was born after the couple returned from the world tour. A boy, Marshall Junior, followed a year later. Life was good, and they had their encyclopaedia and fan mail to entertain themselves, Marshall still played the local vaudeville stage. The right before Christmas, on December 20, 1913, Sophie died after a failed operation; Wilder was desolate and followed shortly afterward. Unfortunately, his horoscope, besides Laurentia and his own heart attack, shows the Asteroid Eurydike next to his South Node.

The Sorrow of Orpheus, the Pity of Eurydike

Wandering through the woods, heartbroken and disconsolate, Orpheus mourned and wailed for his lost bride, killed on their wedding day by a foul snake. He sang so movingly, the nymphs and gods were enchanted. Unable to take his pain any more, he went to the Underworld, and to beg Hades, the god thereof, to take mercy on him and return Eurydike to him. [fmn ]It is a popular tale dating all the back to Ancient Mesopotamian circa 2250 BC when the great goddess Inanna went underworld to pay her respects to her sister, Ereshkigal, whose husband, the mighty bull Gugulanna, had been killed by the mighty Gilgamesh on her behalf. It shows up again in Ancient Egypt where Isis begs for the return of her brother-husband Osiris, who was killed in a great epic of good and evil. [/fmn]

Hades had heard of his singing and told Marshall he and Persephone would like to hear him play: they don’t get many minstrels down below willing to entertain the couple. Orpheus played, Persephone wept. She asked her husband to grant Orpheus’s wish, Hades with one condition, that Orpheus could not lie his eyes upon his beloved until they were safely above ground. He happily agreed. To ensure he would not break his vow, he marched again; Eurydike several steps behind.Wending their way through the crusts of the Earth, finally the Singer saw daylight. Overjoyed, to tell Eurydike they were there near when poof! she was gone, returned eternally, to the grave below.

Despite his children, Marshall suffered a fatal heart unable to take separation and followed his beloved Sophie shortly after. What happened to the children we can only speculate and hope their loving grandparents raised them in his stead.

Footnotes:

  • 1
    pomology deals with the cultivation and care of fruits. Upstate New York has always been a region strong in the raising and cultivations of pears and apples

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