Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Meet the Rahners

Here's a sensational never-before-published photo of Bess Houdini with her mother, five sisters, and brother John. I've never seen a group shot of the Rahners before. Bess (on far right) looks downright fetching, doesn't she?

Click to enlarge.

This photo is another gem from the collection of Jon Oliver who generously allowed me to share it here. Thank you, Jon!

UPDATE: Jon Oliver identifies the people in this photo for us. From left to right: John Rahner, Marie Rahner (Hinson), Anna Rahner (Rathgen), Louise Rahner, Rose Rahner (Krauss), Sophia Rahner (Krause), Wilhelmina Rahner (Houdini). Bess's mother, Balbina Rahner, is seated.


  1. my grand mother is one of the ladys

    1. Ah, yes, she would be, wouldn't she. Do you know which one she is?

      Jon is out of town at the moment, but when he gets back he said he'd help identify each of the sisters.

    2. Hi,
      From left to right, John Rahner, Marie Rahner(Hinson), Anna Rahner(Rathgen), Louise Rahner,
      Rose Rahner(Krauss), Sophia Rahner (Krause)
      Wilhelmina Rahner (Houdini)
      (married names)
      I hope you do not mind I also identifide her brother!!!

      Jon Oliver

  2. I'm thinking I understand why she married young and left!

    1. According to her family, Bess ran away from
      home when she was 15 to perform.
      She had been away for 3 or 4 years when she met
      Jon Oliver

  3. This is fascinating to see (esp. after just listening to Marie Hinson's recorded accounts of Bess, among other things). To know that Bess had siblings from a brief mention in a Houdini bio is one thing, but it's so nice to actually know their names and see their faces. And it's not just "Mrs. Rahner", but "Balbina Rahner". That little detail just lifts her right out of the background of a book and into life again. :)

    ~ Beth S.

    1. It is nice, isn't it? I like learning about this side of the family. John Hinson has provided me with more family photos, names included. I'll be posted those in time.


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