BUCKSKIN AND SATIN: JACK IN LOVE

NedBillMorJack_75-300x232While appearing on the stage in Chicago Jack first met Josephine Morlacchi, a dancer and an actress from Italy. Josephine Morlacchi is reputed to have introduced the highly popular "can-can" dance to American audiences. At that time, Morlacchi was playing the part of Dove Eye in "Scouts of the Prairie" and during the months the company was on the road, the two were often seen together strolling down the street or dining together before or after the show. They were married on Sept. 1, 1873.

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle published this announcement of their marriage:

"Last winter fortune decreed that the charming and famous danseuse, Mlle. Morlacchi, and John B. Omohundro, known through the country as "Texas Jack," should meet in the city of Chicago. It proved to be a case of love at first sight. The fair actress immediately took a liking to the gallant scout of the prairies, the renowned Indian fighter and buffalo hunter. The affection ripened, until it took the form of a declaration of love on the part of Mr. Omohundro, which resulted yesterday in a ceremony which made the twain one. Our citizens who have been delighted for the past fortnight with the graceful acting of Mlle Morlacchi need no description of her personal appearance.

GMFor the benefit of outsiders, however, we may say that she is a native of Italy, and was born in Milan, about twenty-five years ago. Like most of her countrywomen, she is a brunette, whose personal beauty is heightened by a grace of manner that is unsurpassed. She is a highly educated lady and such as have been fortunate enough to gain her personal acquaintance are loud in their praises of her accomplishments and character.

The man of her choice is a magnificent specimen of physical manhood. He is about six feet in height and of the finest proportions. A native of Virginia, born in 1846, the blood of Powhatan flows in his veins, and the aquiline nose, jet black hair, erect form, and piercing eye of that famed warrior are reproduced in the gallant 'Texas Jack.'"

Theirs was to be a bittersweet love story, for neither of them could have foreseen that their idyllic marriage was destined to end less than seven years later with Jack's tragic death at age 33 in Leadville, Colorado. Josephine never recovered from her grief and was not to appear on the stage again retiring in seclusion to their home in Massachusetts where she died at age 39 of cancer.