The Maxine and Tex Rickard Story … And the Connection to the Delaney Family
by Robert F. Delaney
This odyssey started several years ago when I discovered during a conversation with my father, Franklyn Lowery Delaney, that there was a Delaney family connection to somebody named Tex Rickard. My father remembered that Bernadette Delaney had a daughter named Maxine and also remembered that Maxine had married Tex.
My father also told me about the six-day bike races that his grandfather, John Francis Delaney, had taken him to see at Madison Square Garden. He said that John knew Tex and was able to get tickets to various events at the arena, including the bike races. The friendship between John Delaney and Tex Rickard isn’t too surprising once one knows the history of John’s varied and colorful enterprises and pursuits during his lifetime. My father remembered meeting Tex at John Delaney’s home in Brooklyn in the mid-1920s, and also remembered seeing Tex and “Maxine” at John’s home before the marriage. There’s an added twist: my father believed that Tex actually was at first interested in one of “the Delaney girls” (he didn’t know which one), but instead fell in love with Maxine Hodges, daughter of Bernadette (Delaney) Hodges, when he met her.
I had never heard of Tex Rickard, but when I started researching him I discovered that, indeed, he had married an individual named Maxine. None of the newspaper stories I uncovered at that time, however, mentioned Maxine’s surname before marriage. On the Web, I discovered a picture of Tex as a younger man that had been posted by Dennis Kemper. There was an e-mail link associated with the picture and I wrote to Dennis, who was helpful in pointing me toward a couple of books about Tex Rickard and provided very useful leads in my pursuit of the Delaney family connection to Tex. One of the books, “Everything Happened to Him,” gave some tantalizing references, although not naming them in full, to members of the Delaney family -- "Mrs. Hodges" [Bernadette Marie (Delaney) Hodges] and "Uncle Harold,” whom I believe was Harold F. Delaney, the son of John Francis and Margaret (Montgomery) Delaney. There’s a reference in the book to “Uncle Harold” introducing Tex and Maxine.
Dennis Kemper gave me another lead; he referred me to Joe Halprin, the grandson of Maxine Rickard. I contacted Joe and presented the information that I had gathered up to that point about the connection between the Delaney family line and the Rickard line. The connection between Joe and me is through our mutual great-grandfather, John Francis Delaney. Dennis Kemper and I, although not blood relatives, are very indirectly connected in the larger genealogical picture. Dennis’ line of descent is traced to Tex’s sister, Minnie Mae (Rickard) Jennings [1868-1928].
Dennis Kemper, who has been researching his own roots and the Rickard family for many years, has written an excellent summary of Tex Rickard's life.
After a fair amount of digging through records and published material, submission of requests for Social Security and death records, research on the Web, and the assistance and encouragement of both Dennis and Joe, I’ve developed the following outline of the family tree that branches from Bernadette Marie Delaney. I’m very grateful for the help that Dennis and Joe provided in my quest to document the connection between the Delaney line and the Rickard and Halprin lines.
Researching some of the individuals in this story proved to be challenging at times. This is especially true for “Maxine.” For example, keeping straight exactly which individual named “Maxine” is being referred to in a document or story can lead to some confusion unless care is exercised. In fact, there is some confusing information published on the Web about “Maxine” precisely because the person making a connection may not have fully understood the potential pitfalls. I developed “The Many Names of Mrs. Rickard and Her Daughter” in order to keep the information straight during my research and readers may find it useful, too.
The following is simply a brief chronological outline. By following the embedded links, one can view more information about each individual or couple as well as their families and related events.
- Bernadette Marie Delaney, born 22 August 1881 in Brooklyn, New York, was the first of eight children born to Margaret (Montgomery) and John Francis Delaney, who are my great-grandparents. Around 1901 or 1902 Bernadette married Jessie Thomas Hodges, about whom I have so far uncovered very little information.
- Bernadette Maxine Hodges, was born 25 July 1903, in Brooklyn, New York, to Bernadette (Delaney) and Jessie Thomas Hodges.
- George Lewis (“Tex”) Rickard and Maxine Elliott Hodges (i.e., Bernadette Maxine Hodges) were married at Lewisburg, West Virginia on 07 October 1926. Note that by this time Maxine was using the name Maxine Elliott Hodges, as recorded in the contemporary newspaper accounts of the marriage, without reference any longer, as far as I can find, to her birth name “Bernadette.” The marriage license lists her name as simply Maxine Hodges.
- Maxine Texas Rickard, born 07 June 1927, in New York City, was the first and only child of Tex and Maxine Elliott (Hodges) Rickard. My research uncovered that Maxine was also recorded on one document as having been named Joan Maxine Texas Rickard at birth.
- Maxine Texas Rickard married Edwin W. Goodfellow, Jr., which ended in divorce in Palm Beach, Florida in March of 1956.
- Maxine Texas (Rickard) Goodfellow married Kenneth Halprin, MD.
- Joseph Rickard Halprin (b. circa 1965) and Joan Halprin are Maxine’s children.
- According to a January 4, 1998 story in the New York Times, Joseph Rickard Halprin, age 33, and Annette Denise Quinn, age 31, were married on Friday, January 2, 1998, at St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University in New York City.
Go to The Many Names of Mrs. Rickard and Her Daughter
Go to the John Francis Delaney Story