Betty and Ilene Brewer

Betty and Ilene Brewer

KFBK stars are among the long list of entertainment features scheduled to be presented at the President’s Birthday Ball which will open at 8 o’clock tonight in the memorial auditorium. The Brewer sister, Betty, left, and Ilene, shown in the upper photo, will present several of their blues songs.

1937. Courtesy of Shirley Cooper Castle.

Betty and Ilene Brewer were the daughters of Albert Lafayette Brewer b. 1894 Feb in Missouri, and Lena b. abt. 1905 in Kansas. Albert was a son of John David Brewer and Eva Hall, John David being a son of David Nathaniel Brewer and Delana Fowler. Betty and Ilene were thus second cousins with my father, and first cousins once removed with grandmother Dorothy Noyes.

Shirley Cooper Castle wrote me about the girls and their brother, Sonny:

“Betty, Sonny, and Ilene started singing (blues and gospel) at local places like the churches, contests and such. They went on the road and started building up their reps and the family moved to CA where Betty got her movie contract. The group went onto the road as singers also in that period of time and ate some bad food while on a road trip which caused the death of Sonny. Ilene made I think 1 more picture but Betty was in several with a lot of the big name stars of the day (early 1940’s). She was being groomed as a child star and then for some reason it just ended. I do not know if she just was not a good actress or if some other reason was the cause of her not having a long movie career. She did however work on Broadway, sang in major bands, did TV commercials and believe she was on a early Bill Cullin TV show in the 50’s. Much was made in the papers of the fact that Betty was her own manager at such a early age. One of the newspaper clippings I had that burnt was about Betty singing for the president at some affair or another. Another cousin who was a singer was Theresa Brewer who performed with the big bands, record contracts and performed on TV a time or two. “

Betty’s film and TV credits at the imdb website are unreliable and confused with another Betty Brewer who was born in Hot Springs, AR in 1922, the daughter of Howell and Lillian Brewer. This other Betty Brewer was also an actress and singer and her family informs me that she was the one who was on the Bill Cullen show.

According to IMDB, Elizabeth “Betty” was born Virginia on November 14 1924 at Joplin, Missouri, Ilene was born abt 1927. The Moviekids website gives Sonny’s name as Monte Robert, and that he was born in Lamar Colorado on May 12 1932 and died April 21 1942 in Hollywood. The 1930 census shows also an older sister named Violet.

506/75/97 BREWER Albert head rent $13 36 marred at 21 b. MO parents b.MO Steel man, State Bridge, wages, Veteran
Lena 25 married at 15 b. KS parents b. MO
Violet 7 b. MO father b. MO mother b. KS
Virgina 6 b. MO father b. MO mother b. KS
Ilene 3 and 6/12 b. MO father b. MO mother b. KS

Albert died 1946 in a car accident.


The above picture I have labeled as being Betty, but I’m uncertain as to whether it is her or her sister. I seem to recollect the individual (a relation of Betty’s) as being uncertain, but believing it was Betty. I have since lost the emails I exchanged with the individual and can’t double check our discussion on this.

John David Brewer and Eva Hall

Below is the original image file from Shirley Cooper Castle.

Image courtesy Shirley Cooper Castle

I tried to tidy it up a bit.

Family of John David Brewer and Eva Hall

Sepia alternative

David Brewer, son of David Nathaniel, with wife Eva and daughter Addie.

Starting front left going right: Wilma, John’s mom (Delana Fowler), Monte, John, Eva holding John.

Behind them from left to right: Daisie, Flora.

Behind them left to right: Uncle Walter, Aunt Edith, Uncle Roy, Maude, Addie, Bill Smith holding Irene, (the group of 3 is of Albert, Ralph, and Lewis but Shirley isn’t sure which).

Photo courtesy of Shirley Cooper Castle

According to this then.

Wilma Brewer was born 1907 and looks to be about 3 years of age here. Delana Fowler Brewer, the matriarch of the clan here, was born in 1854. Monte Brewer was born in 1905. John David Brewer was born in 1869 and so is about 40 here. Eva Hall Brewer was born also about 1869. The child in her lap is John who was born 1909.

Daisie (Daisy), the girl standing to the left behind Delana, was born in 1898. Flora was born 1896.

Walter Brewer, son of Delana and David Nathaniel Brewer, was born 1890. His wife, Edith, was born in 1894, so she would be about 16 here. Uncle Roy and Maude would be Clara Maudline (Maude) b. 1892 and her husband Roy Carrico. Addie Brewer was born in 1890. Bill Smith would be her husband and Irene their daughter. Ralph Brewer was born 1901 and would be 9 here. Albert Brewer was born 1894 and so would have been 16 in this photo and must be the taller boy, still short. Lewis Brewer was born 1903 and would be 7.

All the children of John David and Eva had to 1910 are thus all shown here. They would have two more after this picture: Elizabeth b. 1912 and Lellia b. 1915.

John David Brewer, b. 1869 December 10 at Osage Mission, Neosho, KS, married Eva Hall about 1889.

The 1900 census showed them as living in Ozark, Barton county, Missouri. They reside by Frank Bevans, whose son Frank Jr. would marry Mary Louise “Mary Lou” Noyes in 1929:

12th June
Sheet #11
30 243/247 BREWER John Head wm 1869 30 M married 10 years Missouri f-Indiana m-illinois Farmer, can read and write, rents. (37) 7 (38) 46
31 Eva Wife wf Aug 1879 29 M married 10 years, 5 children and 5 surviving Missouri f-Indiana m-illinois can read and write,
32 Ada Daughter wf Aug 1890 9 b. MO parents b. MO
33 Maude Daughter wf Jan 1892 8 b. MO parents b. MO
34 Albert Son wm Feb 1894 6 b. MO parents b. MO
35 Flora ? Daughter wf Jan 1896 4 b. MO parents b. MO
36 Daisy Daughter wf March 1898 2 b. MO parents b. MO
37 244/248 BEVANS Frank Head wm Oct 1870 29 Married 3 years Missouri F-NY M-NY Farmer, rents
38 Lena Wife wf Oct 1873 26 2 children and 2 surviving Kansas F-England M-Ohio
39 Edward D. Son wm Sept 1898 1 b. MO father b. MO mother b. KS
40 Nellie Daughter wf May 1900 b. MO father b. MO mother b. KS

In 1930 John and Eva were in Galena, Jasper, Missouri:

Year: 1930; Census Place: Galena, Jasper, Missouri; Roll: T626_1205; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 22; Image: 0711.
47/47 BREWER John D. Own 60 md at 19 b. MO father b. US mother b. MO unable to decipher occupation but not farmer
Evalin 59 md at 18 b. MO parents b. US
John 20 b. MO laborer
Elizabeth 28
Lila 15

To run through the children again:

1. Addie Florence b. 1890 Aug. in Barton county, Missouri, died 1977.
2. Clara Maudline (Maude) b. 1892 Jan, died 1945, married Roy Carrico.
3. Albert Lafayette b. 1894 Feb married Lena. They had three children: Elizabeth “Betty” Brewer abt. 1922, Ilene Brewer b. abt. 1927, and Sonny Brewer, b. after 1930 and died young.
4. Flora Mae b. Jan 1896, died, 1939.
5. Daisy Golden b. 1898 March, died abt. 1929, also married a Carrico.
6. Ralph b. abt 1901, died circa 1965.
7. Lewis David b. abt 1903, died about 1974.
8. Monte Monro was born about 1905.
9. Wilma Beatrice was born abt. 1907 and married Cecil Wycuff.
10. John Everette was born about 1909 and married a woman perhaps named Goldie.
11. Elizabeth Anna was born abt 1912 and married Edgar Haywood Cooper.
12. Lellia Violet Brewer was born abt. 1915, died abt 1994, and married Ira Wolfe.

For information on the family of David Nathaniel Brewer and Delana Louise Jane Fowler Brewer click here.