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What Happened to Polly?

On her deathbed, The Judge's daughter begged her parents.....

The Judge’s only daughter, Pauline, died in 1912. On her deathbed, she begged her parents to raise her little girl Polly as her their daughter. I know this from testimony Jessie Luques gave during an alimony suit against The Judge in 1929. Jessie described her daughter’s death wish and why now, eight years after the divorce, she needed more money to pay for young Polly’s musical education.

The courts would grant Jessie her wish—The judge would pay for Polly’s musical education. His preference had been that Polly come to Kennebunkport and study music with a teacher of high regard that he knew—his second wife. But Polly would go to Juilliard.

In searching for information about Polly, I had a bit of a conundrum. Her real name was Pauline, a name she shared with her late mother. She was being raised by Jessie Luques—just as her mother had been. And her father, Robert W.H. Campbell remarried, creating a trail of “Mrs. Campbells” and subsequent children that had no connection to Polly and her own life. I found dead-ends or red herrings. The second Mrs. Campbell, for example, was a very good golfer, an annoying fact that made its way into newspapers and had no connection to the Mrs. Campbell who died in 1912.

But in searching for the little girl—Pauline who went by Polly--I finally found something. And it’s going to help me fill in more pieces. Maybe, if some old radio sleuths are out there, we’ll even find a sample of her voice.

Check out this notice in the newspaper in August 1933:

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