Nancy Alice Martin


Nancy Alice Martin was born in November 1881 to William F. and Florence Cummings Martin. Her mother died on 29 April 1883. Her father married her mother's sister, Savanna J., in 1891. By 1900 William Martin was again a widower. Alice Martin was a trapeze artist between 1905 and 1925 using the state name of Alice DeGormo. She retired to New Jersey but returned to the farm after her father's death in 1929.

On 25 January 1934 a drunken Ernest Wright argued with her over $2.75 in pay, finally killing her. He buried her body in the barnyard, where it was discovered on 2 February. She was buried in the Lower Cummins Cemetery around 2 miles to the north. Wright was sentenced to prison where he later died.


Theatrical Agent of Miss Martin Says She Intended Return to Stage
The Family of Alice Martin:  Where Did the Martins Live?
Perry County News
    The Crime of the Century
   The confession of Ernest Wright


Theatrical Agent of Miss Martin
Says She Intended Return to Stage

New York City -- Additional information on the professional career of Miss Alice Martin, murdered on her farm near Derby, Ind., and who was well known in the show world 25 years ago as Alice DeGarmo, was supplied by Robert Wilson of this city, who acted as her agent and representative in much of her theatrical business.

Wilson said that soon after leaving school in Indiana she became associated with an acrobatic troupe and took the name of Alice DeGarmo. She played many years in vaudeville during the winter months and at parks, fairs and with some small circuses during the summer. He doubted that she ever had been with Barnum and Bailey, but may have been with a circus that later was absorbed by Barnum and Bailey.

She built up a fine professional reputation, he said, and soon established herself as a solo performer. The various vaudeville circuits she worked included Loew's, Keith's Orpheum, Western and Canadian.

Wilson said that between the years of 1910 and 1920, a period which has not be accounted for in previous accounts of her life, she made tours in vaudeville in Australia and was once or twice in Europe. She made a tour of South America about the time of the World War, he said. Since 1920 she played vaudeville exclusively and no circuses. Her trips in 1927-28 took her over the Western and Pantages circuits. Her last engagements were on the south Atlantic coast, New York, the New England states and Canada, during the 1928-29 season, with many important bookings in New York City and the vicinity.

Wilson said that Miss Martin left New York City May 2, 1929, for her Indiana home near Derby when her father, William F. Martin, died. He said it was her intention to attend to the settling of her father's estate and then return to the stage. She remained on the farm, however, with the exception of short visits to the East, the last to New York in January, 1932. She told Wilson, he said, that she was keeping in trim and was practicing for her return to the stage.

"Alice DeGarmo was well known to all old-timers. She was listed in the front rank of trapeze artists and long kept her girlish figure and youthful appearance," Wilson said. "She had a spotless character, was economical, prudent, and saving, but generous in benevolence and kindly deeds, with never a cloud of scandal upon her high character and a reputation as a remarkable woman."