at Bluffton
1908 - 1938

Buster Keaton
and the
Muskegon Connection

Rex Faulkner & Lillian Jewell

Rex Ernest Faulkner
Born: May 3, 1882
Died: December 24, 1947
 Los Angeles, CA

Lillian (Jewell) Faulkner
Born: June 2, 1886
August 9,1964
Los Angeles, CA

Son: Rex Lee Faulkner
Born:  April 20, 1919
Died: January 11, 1979

Brother: Harry H. Faulkner
Born:  1887
Died: August 12, 1956, Atlanta, GA

      With his brother Harry, Rex Faulkner was a founding member of the American Newsboys Quartette. The singers and conversationalists were a top draw on the vaudeville circuit. Among their hits was a rendition of "Think it Over Mary" by Thomas J. Gray (the "Bard of Broadway") and "Somebody's Waiting for You". The act performed at Muskegon's Lake Michigan Park Theater in July of 1908.
      Rex Faulkner and his bride Lillian Jewel moved to Muskegon around 1909 and resided in the Actors' Colony at 1796 Edgewater.
     The Indianapolis Star in 1913 stated that Lillian was a fourth-generation marionette operator from England.
     According to the report: "Her great-grandfather won fame and fortune by his enterprise in popularizing this form of entertainment, while her father, the late Jesse Jewell, perfected the improved Manikins of today by using paper mache and wax instead of wood, the material of which the old marionettes were made."
Advertisement from the June 1916 Variety magazine. Note the Muskegon address.
      Around 1925, the Faulkners moved to the west coast, allowing them to remained active in show business. Touring under the name, Faulkner's Manikins, a 1926 review by the Lima (OH) News of their act, "Play Ball" noted:
     "With strings attached to little wooden figures, Miss Faulkner keeps her audience in an uproar with the manikins. They do everything from the Charleston to playing baseball. A very clever act."
     Rex later worked as an insurance agent.