Art Greiner's Volatile Personal Life

When we read of the exploits and antics of race drivers or any celebrity names of 100 years ago it is easy to focus on the facts of their careers and forget they were human beings subject to the same temptations and foibles all of us are today. There was no "Entertainment Tonight" in those days, but you can bet there would have been plenty to talk about if there was. Check out this collection of articles on race driver Art Greiner who competed in the inaugural Indianapolis 500. His tumultuous romantic affairs involved four marriages full of drama including one to Gertrude Wilkins an actress with the stage name of Josephine Howard.
The first attachment, GreinerUnderRestraint12-12-16, from the December 12, 1916 Chicago Daily Tribune describes an emotional outburst by Greiner who reportedly threw furniture and threatened those around him. He was forcibly restrained and treated by a physician. This occurred at Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel where he was living with Wilkins. The story references his presence at a "taproom," which suggests alcohol was involved.
The second attachment, GreinerSuitAgainstMiller1915-1, reports on Greiner's suit against a man named Thomas Miller who he believed disrupted his second marriage to Gladys Madoline Sykes. The first marriage to Sykes, who was also an actress, lasted a reported six months the second but a week. This article was pubished in the March 5, 1915 Chicago Daily Tribune.
The third attachment (GreinerRemarriage-10-1912), again from the Chicago Daily Tribune and dated October 25, 1912, is almost comedic. It describes the bumbling efforts of Greiner and Sykes to find a clergyman to marry them. Traveling with them was her sister Virginia, as well as a woman referred to as "Mme. Frances" and described as a "theatrical costumer." Another woman, Miss Ethel Rappe was also part of the group. Rappe was described as "a hater of men." As for costumer Frances the article, without detail, obliquely suggests that her dress was inappropriate. The group traveled around Chicago in a taxi hunting for a minister to perform the ceremony. They finally recruited the Reverend F.H. Allen. In the context of the times it was difficult to find clergy who could support marrying divorced couples. This was likely exacerbated by the way this group presented themselves.
Attachment Greiner-Howard1915 contains an article that is again from the Chicago Daily Tribune and dated July 15, 1915. It reports on Greiner's first marriage to Wilkins, aka Josephine Howard.
The final attachment, GreinerElopement1-3-1911, is yet another from the Chicago Daily Tribune. Dated January 3, 1911 it reports on an elopment with Sykes (it's somewhat confusing because her first name in this article is Ethel, the same as her friend referenced above) on New Year's Day. This was just months ahead of his tragic participation in the first Indianapolis 500 where he suffered an accident with his Amplex racer which resulted in the death of his riding mechanic Samuel Dickson. The aticle mentions yet another marriage, to a Margaret Boyer, which occurred years prior.
Always referred to as an amateur driver Greiner was reportedly a "broker" but has also been called a playboy. He passed away at just 33 years old in a Milwaukee sanitarium.
Thanks to historian and researcher Joan Myers for this great contribution.

GreinerUnderRestraint12-12-16.pdf36.17 KB
GreinerSuitAgainstMiller1915-1.pdf70.05 KB
GreinerRemarriage-10-1912.pdf68.71 KB
Greiner-Howard1915.pdf14.08 KB
GreinerElopement1-3-1911.pdf38.5 KB