Independence, Kansas

The_Daily_Free_Press_and_the_Times_Calif
The Daily Free Press & The Times 1898

Very little is known currently about the California Concert Company or Houdini's time in in Independence, Kansas. This was the companies last stop before disbanding.  Some newspaper accounts actually have the company disbanding before Independence, but the clipping above disproves that. I am confident the "very poor houses" took place at the Payne's New Opera House. Possible locations Harry & Bess Houdini stayed are the Caldwell, Hoober, heckman, LeGrand or S.F. Watts boarding house.  Any information or photos regarding Houdini's stay in Independence or of the opera house / hotels would be of great value to the book and research. Credit for any information or photos will be given in the book.

Houdini was likely still with the California Concert Co. in Independence, KS. Shortly afterwards both he and Bess would go to St. Joseph, MO and risk $100 on a stunt with the local police chief! A year later, Houdini would get the break of his life in St. Paul, MN.