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Olympians of the Sawdust Circle - G

Olympians of the Sawdust Circle: A biographical dictionary of the ninteenth century American circus

Compiled and Edited by William L. Slout
Copyright © 2005 by William L. Slout. All rights reserved.

GAFFNEY, ANDREW [or Gafney]. (March 25, 1826-August 11, 1892) Strong man performer, billed as the “Irish Giant.” Born in Ontario, Canada. Started in the circus business by driving a wagon, which he did for several years before he became a performer. Being a man with a powerful physique, eventually, as one source indicates, pursuaded his employer, W. W. Cole, to get Isaac VanAmburgh to watch him toss cannon balls, which landed him his first job as a performer and began a career that continued until his death. Another source reveals the beginning of his strong man act was with Raymond & VanAmburgh, 1852. Was one of the first men to toss cannon balls in America and perhaps the first to introduce the feature of pulling against horses. One time, in competition with John Jennings, he tossed the 4 pound weight 115’. As a cannon ball performer, juggled 25 to 50 pound cannon balls, threw them in the air, and caught them on his neck and shoulders. Also was the understander in a perch-pole act. Orton Bros.’, 1856-1867; Stowe & Orton, 1869-70; John Stowe & Sons, 1871; VanAmburgh & Co., 1874, 1879-81; Carlo Bros.’, South America, 1877; Frank Robbins’, 1883-88; Ringling Bros.’, 1891. By 1860, was living in McGregor, IA, and tending bar in the off-season. Was married twice and had 2 children by the first wife. Died at his home in NYC.

GAGE, CHARLES. Animal trainer, Hilliard & DeMott, 1880.

GAGENBACHS. Frank Rich’s Great Eastern Railroad Alliance, 1886.

GAGLIANI, MLLE. Parisian equestrienne, Front Street Theartre, Baltimore, early winter 1860.


GALE, GEORGE. Stage manager, William Blanchard & William West’s, Canada, 1825.

GALE, M. F. Gas engineer, P. T. Barnum’s, 1873.

GALLAGHER, JAMES. Gymnast. Older’s, 1871; Cosmopolitan Circus, winter 1871-72; Haight’s Great Eastern, 1874; Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1876; crystal pyramids, Montgomery Queen’s, 1877; VanAmburgh’s, 1883.

GALLAGHER, J. P. Downie & Gallagher (Andrew Downie, J. P. Gallagher, proprietors), 1891-92; J. P. Gallagher’s New Columbian Shows, 1893-94; VanAmburgh & Gallagher’s New Railroad Shows, 1900-01.

GALLAGHER, MARQUESE. VanAmburgh’s, 1882.

GALLAGHER, THOMAS A. Pinkerton detective, Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1881-82.

GANUNG, EDWARD. (b. 1799) Treasurer, Joseph D. Palmer’s, 1834-36; manager, June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1839; director, Aaron Turner’s, 1849; Mabie & Ganung, 1954; E. Ganung & Co., 1858.

GANWEILER, GEORGE. Band leader, with Adam Forepaugh’s, 1889 and into the 1890s; also with Ringling Bros.’ [C. G. Sturtevant: “The outstanding characteristic of Ganweiler was his tremendous zeal and efficiency. A master musician himself, he was a terror to incompetents and shirkers.... Yet men knew if they had a season under Ganweiler that was the only recommendation needed, and to good competent men he was most considerate and paid top money.”]

GARBUTT, J. Clown, H. C. Lee & Co., California, 1870.

GARCIA. Acrobat, Pepin’s company, Philadelphia, 1816, and Lancaster for summer 1817; Pepin & West, Olympic, Philadelphia, fall 1817; Pepin’s company, NYC, spring 1819; Pepin, West Indies, 1819-20; Pepin’s, 1821-22; vaulter and clown, Pepin & Barnet, 1822-26.

GARDNER, CAMILLA [sometimes advertised as “Madame Camille”]. (September 20, 1821-October 21, 1869) Equestrienne wife of Dan Gardner. Born in Bedford, PA. Began professional career, 1835, Old Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, under the management of Henry Rockwell. An early rival with Marie Macarte for riding honors, she gave birth to 9 children, 5 of whom were living when she died - William H., Eliza (Mrs. Charles Kenyon), Maggie, Camilla (“La Petite Camille,” Mrs. Sam Holdsworth), and Eddie. Thomas Taplin Cooke’s, 1838; Howes & Mabie, 1841; performed act of “Lady Sylphide,” Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1843; Nathan A. Howes’, winter 1843-44; Howes & Gardner (Nathan A. Howes and Dan Gardner, proprietors), 1844; Rockwell & Stone, 1843-44; Crane & Co., circa 1847; Crane & Co., 1849; Welch’s National Circus, 1850, 1858; Rivers & Derious, 1857; L. B. Lent’s, 1858; Madigan & Gardner, Front Street Theatre, Baltimore, 1860-61; Gardner & Hemmings, 1861-68. Died in Philadelphia.

GARDNER, DAN. (October 25, 1816-October 7, 1880) Showman, general performer, clown, juggler, etc. Born in NYC. Patriarch of the performing Gardner family. Father was in the printing trade, wanted his son to follow him. Worked in the print shop for a time but, not enjoying the profession, ran off some time around 1826 and became an assistant property man for the Mount Pitt Circus, NYC. Performed for the first time there, 1828, singing “Push Along, Keep Moving” and playing clown for Archie Madden during an equestrian act. Performed on the slack-rope, Palmer & Harrington, 1834; juggler, Bancker & Harrington, 1835; juggler, Charles H. Bacon’s, 1837-38; rider, Thomas Taplin Cooke’s, 1838; turnbler, June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1840-41; clown, Howes & Mabie, 1841; clown, Nathan A. Howes’, winter 1942; Nathan A. Howes’, winter 1843-44; Howes & Gardner (Nathan A. Howes and Dan Gardner, proprietors), 1844; John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1845; Rockwell & Stone, 1846; Rockwell & Co., 1847; Crane & Co., 1849; Welch’s, 1850; Rivers & Derious, 1857; L. B. Lent’s, 1858. Organize a show with Richard Hemmings and James Madigan at Philadelphia, 1860, Gardner, Hemmings and Madigan. Began at Camac’s Woods, then moved the show to dates in Pennsylvania before returning to Philadelphia’s Continental Theatre and a short winter engagement. Now called Madigan & Gardner’s, the company transported to the Front Street Theatre, Baltimore, for a December 3 opening. Tom King’s, Washington, DC, winter 1861-62. Gardner and Hemmings took John O’Brien as a partners 1862; James E. Cooper bought up O’Brien’s interest, 1863, and the show was billed as Gardner, Hemmings and Cooper. 1866, the firm engaged Dan Rice at $1,000 per week. 1867, Gardner sold his share of the show to James Cooper because of an altercation with Rice. Went in with John O’Brien in the Gardner & Kenyon Show, 1868. Manager, James Robinson’s, 1869; clown, P. T. Barnum’s, 1871; Cooper, Hemmings & Whitby, 1871; and James E. Cooper’s, 1872. In retirement, resided in Philadelphia and spent summers in Atlantic City, where he was the proprietor of the Columbia House. First wife was Camilla (see above). Second wife, Mary J., formerly Mrs. Samuel Cornwell, who, between 1860 and 1870, was employed as wardrobe mistress in theatres throughout the country. She died July 25, 1905, in Philadelphia.

GARDNER, EDWARD. Son of Dan and Camilla Gardner. Gardner & Hemmings, 1859-63; James Robinson’s, 1869; agent, James E. Cooper’s, 1872; treasurer, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1873.

GARDNER, ELIZA [Mrs. Charles Kenyon]. Equestrienne, serio-comic singer, skipping rope dancer. Daughter of Dan and Camilla Gardner. As a single or with her faanily, Rivers & Derious, 1857-58; Madigan & Gardner, Front Street Theatre, Baltimore, 1860-61; Tom King’s, 1862; Gardner & Hemmings, 1862; principal rider, National Circus, Philadelphia, winter 1863-64; Gardner & Hemmings, 1860-66; Lipman & Stokes’, 1866; Philadelphia Circus (managed by Dan Gardner), winter 1867-68; James Robinson’s, 1869; Handenburger & Co. (John O’Brien, proprietor), 1871; Backenstoe’s, 1872; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1873. Married December 3, 1865, to a circus non-performer and later to circus manager Charles Kenyon. Last husband died in Peoria, IL, July 20, 1892, age 47. Their 2 daughters, Ella and Minnie, were stage performers.

GARDNER, FRANK A. (March 30, 1855-October 9, 1905) Bareback hurdle rider, leaper, tumbler, equestrian director, proprietor. Once considered the world champion double somersault leaper. Born in Oswego, NY. After his family moved to Macomb, IL, where James T. Johnson’s circus wintered, young Frank became enchanted with circus life and joined as an apprentice, 1865. Was hired away from Johnson, 1870, by the Michael O’Conner show but, before the season ended, was back with Johnson. VanAmburgh’s, 1871, where, in White Cloud, KS, he and John Barry both turned double somersaults over 10 and 12 horses; Dan Rice’s, 1872, when he is reported to have executed a “double somersault over 10 horses placed side by side and a pyramid 3 high covering a distance of 25’.” That year the New York Clipper announced that he was the second man ever to turn a double somersault ovcr 13 horses abreast. Rider, leaper, and gymnast, Dan Rice’s Paris Pavilion, 1871-72; Noyes’ Crescent City, winter 1872-73; Great Eastern, 1873; Great New York and New Orleans, 1873; VanAmburgh’s, 1874; Springer’s Royal Cirqzoolodon, 1875; Burr Robbins’, 1875; W. W. Cole’s, 1877, 1879-80, 1883. While with Cole’s, 1880, the press described his performance as one of vaulting over camels and elephants for a distance of 50’ and a height of 15’ as he turned a double somersault along the way. Orrin Bros.’, Havana, winter 187778, 1879; leaper, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1878; Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1881; Dockrill & Leon, Havana, winter 1881-82; Sells Bros.’, 1884-87; Barrett’s, 1887; equestrian director, Howes Great London, 1903. Toured South America for several years with his own company. Frank A. Gardner’s Circus, West Indies, 1884; Roberts & Gardner (Nick Roberts, F. A. Gardner, proprietors), 1886; Gardner & Donovan, South America, 1886; Frank A. Gardner’s, Central and South America, winter 1887-88; Frank A. Gardner’s Circo Americano, Panama, Central and South America, 1888; Frank A. Gardner’s, West Indies and South America, 1891-96. For 5 years prior to his death was equestrian director for VanAmburgh’s. Wife, Mildred, was a manège performer; daughter, Lulu, worked the rings, did loop walking and the trapeze. Small in stature, but strong and well-proportioned, Gardner was one of the greatest leapers of all times, ranking at the very least on a par with Fred O’Brien and William H. Batcheller.

GARDNER, HENRY A. Rider and acrobat. Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1840; June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1841-42; Rockwell & Stone, 1843; Howes & Mabie, 1843; winter circus, Niblo’s Garden, 1843-44; Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding’s, 1844-46; S. P. Stickney’s, 1846-48; Aaron Turner’s, 1849; Crane & Co., 1850; Dan Rice’s, 1851; Major Brown’s Mammoth Coloseum, 1857; Cooper & Myers’ Circus of All Nations, 1858; Davis & Crosby, 1859; Robinson & Lake, 1865; Orton Bros.’, 1867-69.

GARDNER, MARIA CELESTE. Equestrienne, P. T. Barnum’s, 1871.

GARDNER, MILDRED. Manège. “Empress of the SideSaddle,” Sells Bros.’, 1885.

GARDNER, WILLIAM F. [“DOC”]. Agent. Raised in West Union, IA. Commenced in the business with W. W. Cole’s, where he remained about 3 years. After that show closed, went to Barnum & Bailey for some years, not only in this country but in Europe. After the return to USA, and the show fell into the hands of the Ringlings, Gardner also followed to the Ringlings, where he was connected with the advance for 7 years. Later, was in advance of the motion picture, The Birth of a Nation.

GARDNER, WILLIAM HENRY. (July 19, 1842-April 19, 1906) Eldest child of Dan and Camilla Gardner. Born in NYC. Recognizable by his red moustache and small stature. Welch’s National Circus, Philadelphia, 1857-58; began as an advertiser for Gardner & Hemmings, 1861; Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, 1865; part owner, Gardner & Hemmings, 1866; sold interest to Harry Whitby, 1867; manager, Gardner & Kenyon’s, 1868, agent, 1869; advertiser, James Robinson’s, 1869; agent, John O’Brien’s, 1870-71; general director, James E. Cooper’s, 1872; general agent, Cooper & Bailey, 1873-74, privileges for the latter, 1875-76; accompanied them to Australia and South America as assistant manager, 1877-78; general agent, Anderson & Co. (Sells Bros.), 1879; general agent, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1880; Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1881, serving as general agent continuously until 1892. Announced retirement in November of that year but, shortly, acquired part interest in the Pawnee Bill Show, 1893-94. Railroad contractor, Walter L. Main’s, 1894; general agent, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, 1895-97; went to Europe as general agent for Barnum & Bailey, 1897, remaining until 1901; Forepaugh-Sells, 1902-03. After retiring again, 1904, soon bought into the Hagenbeck show and became its general agent. Died of pneumonia, NYC, an illness he contracted while attending the funeral of the great James A. Bailey. [Charles H. Day: “W. H. G. is a fine advertiser and a fair writer and, what is quite as good, a judge of good writing. The bill posters in the country ought to get him up a gold medal for getting them good salaries. He has done more to raise their wages than any other man in the business.”]

GARHOLT, G. Beckett’s Great Exposition, 1881.

GARRETT, CHARLES. (d. March 19, 1889) Sears & Garrett Menagerie (Rivers & Derious), 1857; manager, George K. Goodwin’s, 1860; Wambold & Whitby, 1861; Goodwin, Wilder & Rice, 1862; Garrett’s Union Museum (sideshow of O’Toole & Miles, Canada), 1863; also sideshow, Thayer & Noyes, 1864; went into hall shows, 1865. Died in Worcester, MA.

GARSON, FRED. Vaulter. Price & Simpson, 1827; Palmer & Harrington, 1834; ringmaster, Joseph D. Palmer’s, 1835, Frost, Hosted & Co, 1836; clown, Frost & Co., 1837; W. Gates & Co., 1838; Philadelphia Circus, 1840; Bowery Amphitheatre, 1841; ring-master, Bartlett & Delavan, 1841, ringmaster, Welch & Mann, 1841; Stickney & Buckley, 1844. clown, S. P. Stickney’s, 1845-47.

GAROUX, EMILE. Dancing barrel, magic cross. Dr. James L. Thayer’s; Lowande’s Great Brazilian, 1877.

GARVEY, H. J. Lion king, VanAmburgh’s, 1881.

GARVEY, JOHN. Strong man and juggler, Olympic Circus, 1935; Nathan A. Howes’, 1836; Richmond Hill, winter circus, NYC, 1837; tranca act, J. W. Stocking’s, 1839; flying cord, S. H. Nichols & Co., winter 1843; acrobat, T. L. Vermule’s, 1945; Welch & Mann, 1846.

GASSETT, CHARLES. See Charles Garrett.

GASTON, ALBERT. (October 20, 1851-June 20, 1931) Gymnast and leaper, Montgomery Queen’s, 1874-75; triple horizontal bar act with Sam Ashton and Frank Clifton, Montgomery Queen’s, 1875; Gaston, Levantine & Leopold, vaulters and tumblers, Montgomery Queen’s, 1876; Robinson & Colvin, 1881; “English Knockabout Pantomimist,” S. H. Barrett & Co., 1883; clown, John Robinson’s, 1891-92; M. L. Clark & Sons, 1912; Howes’, 1921. Died at Percy Williams Home, East Islip, LI.

GASTON, GEORGE. Clown, Montgomery Queen’s, 1874.

GASTON, JEANETTE. Equestrienne, Joel E. Warner’s, 1876.

GATES, CHARLES A. Holton & Gates’ Harmoniums, a minstrel band organized for the the Simon Pure American Circus, New York, October 1, 1866.

GATES, WILLIAM. (d. September 17, 1843) Clown. Bancker’s, 1824; William West’s, 1825; Samuel McCracken’s, 1825-26; manager, Parson’s, 1826; (presumably) proprietor, W. Gates & Co., 1838; Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1840. Also a low comedian, one of the most popular ever to play the Bowery Theatre, NYC. [Noah Ludlow: He was “a quiet, unpretending man, of sound mind and manly nature, genial and well disposed to all mankind.”]

GAUL, HENRY K. Band leader, Aaron Turner’s, 1841; Howes & Mabie, 1844-45; Stone & McCollum, 1846-50; G. B. Johnson’s, 1851-52; Franconi’s Hip podrome, 1953; Flagg & Aymar, 1856; John Robinson’s, 1856-57.

GAULF, LAURA. Double trapeze, break-away ladder, and iron jaw (with Bob Beasley), Goodrich’s, 1897.

GARVIE, EDWARD. Press agent, Harper Bros.’ European, 1893.

GAYLER, CHARLES [or Gaylor]. (April 10, 1820-May 29, 1892) Press agent. Born on Oliver Street, NYC, but went to Ohio, 1836. Began a career as a school teacher, then became a lawyer and journalist and, for a brief time, an actor, making his debut as Hamlet, 1849, at the National Theatre, Cincinnati. Shortly thereafter, his first play, The Gold Hunters, was produced there. As a lawyer, practiced on the same circuit as Abraham Lincoln. Moved to NYC, 1850, and was active as a theatrical manager, theatrical reviewer and playwright. Said to have written some 300 plays. Along with Bronson Howard, was responsibile for initiating the American Dramatists Club. As a circus agent, was with Seth B. Howes’, 1864; VanAmburgh’s, 1869; P. T. Barnum’s, 187880. Married Grace Christian, 1846. Died of Bright’s disease at his residence, Brooklyn, NY, age 72. [Charles H. Day: “Gayler made a dollar for the ‘Flatfoots’ with his pen and had the good sense to know how to charge for it.”]

GAYLER, FRANK C. Press agent, Frank A. Robbins’, 1887-89.

GAYLER SISTERS. Queen’s Circus and Menagerie (Polly and Austin, proprietors), 1887.

GAYLORD, EDWARD. Excursion agent, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1876.

GAYLORD, J. B. (October 2, 1941-June 7, 1900) Agent. Born in Geneva, OH, but moved to Iowa with his parents at age 11 and settled on a farm near Independence. Enlisted in the Union Army, 1961, and served throughout the war. Entry into the circus business came, 1868, as agent for Orton Bros.’ Miles Orton, 1869; W. W. Cole’s, 1871-75; Cooper & Bailey, 1876-78, playing in Australia, Java, and South America; W. W. Cole’s, 1878-81, some of that time in Australia; Cooper, Jackson & Co., 1882. Went abroad with Barnum & Bailey; in advance of Fryer’s New United Shows, a trained animal outfit, East Indies, Australia and South America, 1886-87; Sells Bros.’, Australia, 1888; Sturtevant & Holland, 1891. Went to Singapore, 1892-93, returning with a cargo of wild animals; another trip the following year resulted in his bringing back a number of natives of Malaya and other East Indian countries; another trip for animals occurred, 1895. Married Olive I. Brooks, 1871, a union that produced 2 daughters. Died at his home in Independence, MO.

GAYLORD, LEE. Signor Montanio’s Great New York, 1881.

GAYLORD, LOWRENZO [“LOW”]. (January 19, 1836April 7, 1878) Born in Westfield, MA. At the early age of 12 left home and launched into show business, singing ballads with John Green’s Circus. Clown, Spalding & Rogers, but left the circus and settled down in Philadelphia, where he began a career as a negro minstrel by leasing old Southwark Hall in Second Street, which was opened as Gaylord & Dupont’s Opera House. 1877, was taken sick and confined to his bed until he died in poverty from consumption.

GAYLORD, WILLIAM. Contortionist, Sells Bros.’, 1877; Cantellis & Leon, winter circus, Havana, 1882; Frank Robbins’, 1883; Gregory Bros.’, 1984; Orrin Bros.’, Mexico, fall 1885.

GAVAZZENI, SIG. HENRICO. With Haight, Chambers & Ames’, 1867.

GEASLEY, ADOLPH. Sells Bros.’, a first year organization, 1872.

GEBEST, CHARLES. Band leader, John Robinson’s, 1880-93.

GEBLER, MATTHEW. (1938?-July 5, 1899) Ring-master, clown and lecturer. Born and raised in Philadelphia. As a youth, hung about theatres and then went on the stage, a singer of comic songs. As circus performer, was with Rosston, Springer & Henderson, 1871; Barnum’s, O’Brien’s, Rivers’, Forepaugh’s and others. Was a somewhat magician and Punch and Judy manipulator, and lecturer. Announcer for Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show around 1894, and for a time a lecturer at Bradenburgh’s Museum, Nineth and Arch Streets, Philadelphia, and Huber’s Museun, NYC. Also traveled with medicine shows as lecturer and doctor. Died in the county hospital, Lancaster, PA, age nearly 62.

GEE, JOHN. Boss canvasman, Donaldson & Rich, 1885.

GEIGER, OTTO. Privileges, Hobson Bros.’, 1893.

GENIMAL PEANUTS. (1864?-December 17, 1902) Midget clown of Japanese descent. 2’ 1” in height. With Barnum’s and Forepaugh-Sells circuses for a number of years. Died in NYC, age 38.

GENIN, J. N., JR. Treasurer, P. T. Barnum’s, 1871-73; P. T. Barnum’s Roman Hippodrome, 1874-75.

GENTRY, J. W. [“Will”]. (d. December 8, 1938) Proprietor, Prof. Gentry’s Great Dog and Pony Show, 1894. Died in Miami, FL, age 70.

GEORGE, F. W. Agent. Formerly a member of Dan Rice’s company; World’s Fair Aggegation, 1892.

GEORGE, HUGH. W. H. Harris’ Nickel-Plate, 1889. GEORGINE BROTHERS. Stowe & Norton’s, 1869.

GERARD, FRANCISCO. See Francisco Girard.

GERARD, JAMES. Clown, L. B. Lent’s, 1876.

GERETTA, MLLE. Equestrieime and globe performer, Ryland’s, Califoniia, 1872.

GERMAN BROTHERS. Gymnasts, Sands, Nathans & Co., 1857.

GERMANI, SIGNOR LUIGI. (1820-December 5, 1902) Italian rider and juggler, and capable general performer. Born in Milan, Italy. A member of the Royal Italian Circus at age 18. Came to America, 1846, and joined Welch’s, Philadelphia, as a riding juggler. Mann, Welch & Delavan, 1846; Welch, Delavan & Nathans, 1848; Dan Rice’s, New Orleans, winter 1848. November 29, 1948, on a wager, performed the unprecedented feat of juggling 5 balls with one hand. Although he repeated it on other occasions, never performed it in public. Great Western (Stone & McCollum, proprietors), 1849; P. A. Older & Co.’s, 1852. Left the circus business and became active and wealthy in St. Louis, MO, real estate. Also trained horses for a pastime, one of which was Black Eagle, sold to Howes & Cushing for their trip to England. Returned to Europe, 1868. However, died at his home, Philadelphia, age 83, after having appeared before most of the crowned heads of Europe and having received a decoration from Queen Victoria.

GERMON, TONY. Ethiopian entertainer, Welch, Delavan & Nathans, 1949.

GEROUX, MONS. Juggler, Montgomery Queen’s, 1873.

GERRISH, J. A. Proprietor and manager, J. A. Gerfish’s American Museum and Zoological Exposition, 1874.

GESSLEY, RUDOLPH. Treasurer, John Robinson’s, 1899.

GEYER, ALBERT. Leaper, posturer (with Ashton), Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1881.

GIAVELLI, MONS. LEON. Trained dogs, Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1870.

GIBBONOISE, DON SANTIAGO [r.n. John Fitzgibbon]. (July 1, 1836-February 26, 1923) Contortionist. Born in Louisville, KY. Moved with his parents to Indiana and located on the O’Conner farm west of Cannelburg. Married Mary McDonald, a union that produced 8 children. She died around 1919. Tom King’s, Washington, DC, winter 1861-62; L. B. Lent’s, Broadway Amphitheatre, NYC, winter 1963-64; Yankee Robinson’s, 1864, 1866; National Theatre, Cincinnati, fall 1864; Perry Powers’, 1867; Great European, 1868; Campbell’s, 1869; Hemmings, Cooper & Whitby, 1870; Sells Bros.’, 1872-73; Dan Rice’s, 1873; Great International, 187475. His challenge of $1,000 in the New York Clipper to anyone capable of reproducing his feats stood unaccepted for 30 years. Died in Evansville, IN.

GIBBONS, HARRY. Clown, John W. Robinson’s, 1870; Smith & Baird’s, 1972.

GIBBONS, PHILLIP. Concert performer, song and dance man, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1976; horizontal bars, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1889.

GIBBS, CLARK. Clown. Lake’s Hippo-Olympiad, 1865-66; director of minstrel concert, Thayer & Noyes, 1868; clown and snare drummer, Charles Noyes’, 1970; Vanburgh & Co., 1870-71.

GIBLER, PROF. Band leader, Robbins & Colvin, 1881.

GIBSON, BILLY. Concert manager, C. W. Kidder & Co.’s, 1893.

GIBSON, HOWARD. Proprietor, Gibson’s, 1890.

GIBSON, WALTER. Clown, Charles Lee’s, 1887; talking and singing clown, Moore Bros.’, 1887.

GIFFORD, LEW. Gilliam, Gifford & Culbertson (Franklin A. Gilliam, Lew Gifford, Samuel Culbertson, proprietors), 1897.

GILBERT, G. H. Proprietor (with G. G. Grady) and treasurer, G. G. Grady’s, 1867.

GILBERT, HARRY. Broadway Amphitheatre, NYC, 185758.

GILBERT, JOHN. H. C. Lee’s, fall 1870.

GILFORT BROTHERS [2 in number]. Roman gladiators and feats of strength, Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1882; Barnum & Bailey, 1885.

GILKINSON, DR. JAMES A. Strong man and clown. Frost & Co., 1836-37; Eagle Circus, 1838; W. Gates & Co., 1838; clown, Portage City Circus (Hiram Orton’s), 1854; clown, Orton’s, 1855; proprietor, J. A. Gilkinson’s, 1856; clown, George W. DeHaven’s, 1862; Orton Bros.’, 1864-67. Retired from the profession in the fall of the latter year.

GILLAM, R. Smith & Baird’s, 1872.

GILLESPIE, FRANK. Clown. Diefenbach’s, 1889; Charles Bartine’s, 1891.

GILLETTE BROTHERS [Alf, Frank]. Acrobats, Great Eastern, 1883; (Alf, Agnes, Frank) Frank H. Rich’s (Frank H. Rich, Col. Charles Whitney, J. N. Abbott, proprietors), 1886.

GILLETTE, L. C. General agent, Whitney’s New Imperial, 1894.

GILLETTE, M. General agent, Whitney Family New Enterprise, 1887; Whitney’s Imperial Shows, 1892.

GILLIAM FAMILY [Franklin A., Mabel, Lydia, Maude, Primrose, Charles, Frank]. Acrobats, aerialists, clowns, posturers, bounding rope, flying trapeze, slack-wire, contortion and juggling, Gollmar Bros.’, 1892-96; Gilliam, Gifford & Culbertson’s One-Ring Circus (Franklin A. Gilliam, Lew Gifford, Samuel Culbertson, proprietors), 1897.

GILLIAM, M. 3-horse rider, Leihy, Lake & Co., California, 1870.

GILLIAN BROTHERS. Flying trapeze, James P. Johnson’s, 1870.

GILLMEYER, W. H. General manager, Gillmeyer, Bryson & Co.’s Great Eastern, 1888.

GILMORE, WILLIAM. Clown, Forepaugh & Samwells, 1886.

GINE, PROF. ALEJO. Juggler and general performer. Native of Chile, S.A. Performed in circuses and theaters since 7 years of age, when he was sold by his father to an actor doing tumbling stints on the South American stage. Traveled with the Chilean tumbler until about 15 years old, when he came to New York. Got a position as tumbler with P. T. Barnum’s. From tumbling, went to juggling and then to bareback riding. Drifted into the sideshow business as a contortionist. Cut away from the circus after a time and entered into small time vaudeville doing a juggling act.

GINGER, LEW. Clown and minstrel show manager. G. G. Grady’s, 1870; Macarte Sisters’, fall 1870; Lake’s HippoOlympiad, 1871.

GINTY, H. Gymnast and trick clown, Spalding & Rogers, 1854-1855.

GIRARD, FRANCISCO [or Gerard]. Clown. L. B. Lent’s, 1874; P. T. Barnum’s, 1874.

GIRARDEAU, MARIA CELESTE. Bareback rider, P. T, Barnum’s, 1871.

GISE, HARRY. Boss canvasman, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1876; Montgomery Queen’s, 1877.

GIVEN, JAMES. Contortionist, Yankee Robinson’s, 1860.

GLADSTONE, SAM. Agent, Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1884.

GLENROY, JOHN R. (March 21, 1828-June 15, 1902) Rider. Born in Washington, DC. When 2 years of age, was orphaned. Moved to Baltimore and was adopted by Hannah Murdock, an aunt of the actor, James E. Murdock. Early playmate was equestrian William Kincade. Joseph D. Palmer’s, 1835, Baltimore, where he became apprenticed under George J. Cadwallader, principal rider for the show. First ring appearance riding alone, after 12 months with the company, 1836. Bacon & Derious, 1838; Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1839-40; Bartlett & Delavan, 1841; Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1841; Welch & Mann, 1841-47; as “the Equestrian Hero,” John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1843; advertised as “Glenn Roi” as well as “Glenroy” with Dan Rice’s, 1848-52; left Rice’s over some disagreement; joined the Star State Circus, Mobile, AL; Harry Whitbeck’s, 1853, for a tour of Cuba; returned to the States, 1857, and joined Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding’s; in the fall, connected with Pancho Lopas’ for a trip through Central America; L. B. Lent’s, 1959; George W. DeHaven’s, 1960-61; Thayer & Noyes, 1962; Castello & VanVleck, 1863-64; Robinson & Howes, fall 1863; Howes & Norton, fall 1864; Franklin J. Howes’, 1865; New American Theatre, Philadelphia, winter 1865-66; Consolidation Circus, 1866; S. O. Wheeler’s, 1867; Alex Robinson’s, 1869-76; W. H. Stowe’s, winter 1881-82. Professional life in the circus lasted until October 1877, or a period of 42 years. Said to be the first to accomplish a somersault on the back of a horse without the benefit of a pad, 1849. Author of the book, The Ins and Outs of Circus Life, written when he was clerk at the Merrimac House, Boston.

GLENWOOD, ROSA. Equestrienne, Baird, Howell & Co., 1874.

GLICK H. E. Advertiser, Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1884.

GLUE BROTHERS. Acrobatic song and dance, concert, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1879.

GOBAY, JOSEPH A. Advertising agent, John B. Doris’, 1883.

GOBER, M. Buckley & Co., 1857.

GODEAU. Tight-rope performer, the Amphitheatre, Washington Gardens, Boston, May 1821, making “flip flaps on the rope and a somersault, while he playes the flagelot”; James West’s, NYC, 1820, newly arrived from Paris; with a circus in Portland, ME, summer 1821; James West’s company, NYC, 1822, this being West’s last appearance in America. Probably returned to England with West.

GOETZE, WILLIAM F. Musical director, Cook & Whitby’s, 1892-93.

GOFFE, MONS [r. n. Vale]. Discovered by English showman, John Richardson, working as a pot boy in a public house, where he was entertaining the patrons by walking on his hands, holding pewter mugs, etc. Traveled with the Richardson show, performed as a monkey man in London theatres; Ryans’ Circus, Cheltenham, 1941. In America, strong man, Brown’s, 1834; monkey man, Palmer’s, 1935; monkey man, Sweet & Hough’s, 1835; Vauxhall Gardens, London, 1858. [John Turner: “Possessed considerable pantomimic powers, although he was of squalid appearance, could scarcely speak intelligently and appeared to be of weak intellect. Incredibly agile and possessed of great strength.”]

GOINE, HARRY. Boss canvasman, A. A. Beckett’s, 1881. GOLDENBURG, J. A. Manager and one of the proprietor brothers, Goldenburg’s, 1874.

GOLDENBURG, W. S. Proprietor and treasurer, Goldenburg’s, 1874.

GOLDIE, FRANK. Adam Forepaugh’s, 1899.

GOLDIE, GEORGE. Gymnast, trapeze performer. Active in 1860s with a troupe consisting of Goldie, Henry P. O’Neil, H. W. Penny and Claude Conner. (With Penny) S. O. Wheeler’s new amphitheatre, site of the old National Theatre, Boston, winter 1864-65; S. O. Wheeler’s, summer 1865; Stone, Rosston & Co., 1865-66; Stone, Rosston & Murray, Front Street Theatre, Baltimore, winter 1866-67; Stone, Rosston & Murray, summer 1867.

GOLLMAR BROTHERS [Walter, Claude, Fred, Charles, Ben, Jacob]. Cousins of the Ringling brothers. Founded their circus, Baraboo, WI, 1891. Ben F. (1865-March 15, 1947) served as secretary and treasurer; Charles A. (d. February 18, 1929), manager; Walter (April 3, 1869-June 4, 1933), equestrian director; Fred C., general agent; Jacob C. (d. May 24, 1896), manager of the concert and handled the front door; Claude C., chief of the bill brigade; E. T., manager of annex. Jacob left the organization early. By 1903, the show had grown to a large railroad organization traveling mostly in the central plain states. The final season under the original brothers was 1916. Jacob, oldest of the brothers, died in Baraboo, age 45. He had 3 sons and a daughter. Maude (1875-1956), daughter of Jacob, began her career as a bareback rider with the brothers’ circus. Was married to Elbridge Hocum, circus bareback rider. Charles died at Baraboo. Walter, who retired around 1913 and lived in Evansville, WI, died in Madison, WI. He was prominent in community affairs, particularly in the Rock County Fair of Evansville. Served as president of the fair board for 3 years, also as vice-president and director. 1906, he married Miss Jessie Hall, daughter of Col. George W. Hall.

GOLSON, FRED. Clown and pantomimist. Died in New Orleans.

GONZALES, ADOLPH [“CHILI”]. (1850-September 22, 1901) Lcaper and somersaulter, billed as the “Chilian Sprite.” Born at Santiago, Chili, and brought to the United States when but 4 years of age. Apprenticed to L. B. Lent, 1859-63; Robinson & Howes, 1864; John Wilson’s, 1865; “Chilian Wonder and Champion of the Double Somersault,” American Theatre, Philadelphia, mid-February, 1866; Frank Howes’, 1866; Lake’s, 1869; principal leaper, M. O’Conner & Co., 1869-70; Charles Noyes’, Texas, 1870; Spalding & Bidwell, New Orleans, 1870; C. T. Ames’, 1870; VanAmburgh’s, 1871; Dan Rice’s Paris Pavilion Circus, 1871; Australia with Chiarini’s, 1871; gymnast, Great Eastern, 1872; tumbler, Cooper, Bailey & Co., Australian tour, 1877. Later, returned to Australia, married, and remained there for 10 years. Died in Melbourne, Australia, age 60. Said to have performed a triple somersault, Sparta, WI, Howes’ European, June 10, 1866.

GONZALO, SIGNOR. Tight-rope performer, John Rogers’, NYC, 1823-24.

GOOD, AL. Bandmaster, W. W. Cole’s, 1886.

GOODHART, GEORGE W. Advertiser, VanAmburgh’s, 1879; Cooper & Bailey, 1880-81; John B. Doris’, 1885; Barnum & Bailey, 1888; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1889. Retired to home in Grand Rapids, MI, after 50 years in the business.

GOODING, E. D. Ringmaster, Ames’ New Orleans Menagerie and Circus, 1868, 1870.

GOODISON, WILLIAM. Orrin Bros.’, Mexico, February 1884.

GOODLEY, JAMES. H. Buckley & Co., 1857-58.

GOODMAN, JAMES. Gymnast, G. G. Grady’s, 1871.

GOODRICH, JAMES W. (d, September 12, 1903) Entered the circus business around 1888, performing a trapeze and high-wire act with his wife. Was with Ringling Bros.’, Sell Bros.’, and other shows of note. Eventually, organized his own wagon show, Great Goodrich Shows, which became a railroad circus after 3 scasons, performing in the South and Southwest. Took out a large wagon show, 1901, consisting of 32 wagons and cages, moving through the eastern part of the country, Goodrich, Hoffman & Southy’s. Following year, with Downing as a partner, organized Goodrich & Downing’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” Co. and engaged the ex-boxer, John L Sullivan, to star as Simon Legree. 1903, director of the Hargreaves Railroad Circus and Menagerie. Later that year, W. C. Quintard of Stamford, CT, and Goodrich started a dog and pony show organized in Bridgeport, CT, opening July 20 at Port Jefferson, LI. At Far Rockaway, August 19, Tony Lowande arranged with Goodrich to add his trained elephant, lions, goats and dogs to the show, which changed the show title to Goodrich & Quintard’s Great Trained Animal Exposition. September 7, at Little Coney Island, Goodrich received a fatal injury inflicted by the elephant and died in Union Hill, NJ.

GOODSPEED, J. W. Waterman & Co.’s, 1938; dog act, E., F. & J, Mabie’s, 1848-50.

GOODWIN, CHARLES. General performer, with Howes’ Great London, 1972.

GOODWIN, GEORGE K. (September 30, 1830-August 1, 1882) Born in Dover, NH. May have been a dancing master at one time. Had a pawn shop in Salem Street, Boston, managed Artemus Ward, the American humorist; directed a pedestrian tour of Edward Payson Weston from Boston to Chicago. October, 1859, purchased the equipment of James M. Nixon’s overland circus, and, at the same time, John Sears’ menagerie. With stilt-walker, juggler, trick drummer and a minstrel troupe, went on tour as George K. Goodwin’s Royal Menagerie and Great Moral Exhibition, 1960. In partnership with S. O. Wheeler at Howard’s Athenaeum, Boston, 1861. After having the menagerie in Boston burn, the company moved to Howard’s Athenaeum for duration of the season. Manager, Slaymaker & Nichols, 1864. Announced an agreement with S. O. Wheeler, September 10, 1866, for a 2-year partnership of Wheeler & Goodwin’s International Circus and Model Arena, a partnership that was not carried forward. Ran the first dollar store in Philadelphia, 1866. Took out a panorama of the Civil War, 1861. Operated 2 theatres in Philadelphia, 1979. Died in that city.

GOODWIN, WILLIAM. Howes’ European, winter 1864.

GORE, WILLIAM. Assistant manager, L. J. Duchack’s, 1989.

GORMAN BROTHERS. Character delineators, S. P. Stickney & Sons, 1874.

GORMAN, EUGENE. Minstrel performer, with Haight & Chamber’s, winter 1866-67. May have been one of the above.

GORMAN, HUGH. Band leader, Wheeler Bros.’, 1894.

GORMAN, MILES O. Lightning Zouave drill and Irish specialties, Ducello’s United Exhibitions, 1879.

GORMAN, PAULINE. See Pauline Lee.

GORMAN, WILLIAM E. [“BUD”]. (1852-1940) Rider. Once a pupil of James Robinson; sister, Laura, was Robinson’s wife. Married equestrienne Pauline Lee, September 26, 1883, San Francisco. That year was with Sherman’s Educated Horses, California, performing his hurricane hurdle and bounding jockey act; later, as manager, rider and equestrian director; James Robinson’s, 1870-72; Haight’s Great Eastern, 1874; John Wilson’s, San Francisco, 1875; bareback rider, English jockey hurdle rider, Montgomery Queen’s, 1875; bounding jockey, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1876-78, and left with them for Australia, November 8, 1876; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1879; Welch & Sands, 1880; Sells Bros.’, 1880-81, 1885-86; Great Australian Circus, National Theatre, Philadelphia, winter 1881-82; hurdle rider, Sherman & Hinman, Califoniia, 1883; 4-horse rider, Sells Bros.’, 1886; Walter L. Main’s, 1887; hurdle and jockey rider, Great Wallace, 1889-90; hurdle rider, Sells Bros.’, 1893-94; equestrian director and 35-horse act, Forepaugh-Sells Bros.’, 1899-1905; equestrian director, Hagenbeck & Wallace, 1918. After the death of his first wife, married equestrienne Gladys Lanigan.

GORMLEY, PATRICK M. (1829-1879) Sideshow privilege with early Delavan, WI, circuses; operated a talking machine, P. T. Barnum’s sideshow, early 1870s.

GORMLEY, EVERETT M. (1862-1948) Brother of Frank Gormley. Native of Delavan, WI. 24 hour man, Burr Robbins’, 1880s; also connected with French & Monroe; Rentz & Ashley; Holland-Gormley, 1888; Edward G. Holland’s, 1892. Building contractor in Delavan upon retirement.

GORMLEY, FRANK D. (May 19, 1858-September 26, 1916) Long time resident of Delavan, WI. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Gormley. Married Nettie Smith, 1893. 8 years treasurer, Burr Robbin’s, 1880s; manager, French & Monroe and Rentz & Ashley; Holland & Gormley’s New Allied Railroad Shows (George Holland and F. D. Gormley, proprietors), 1888-89; show was taken over by John F. Woods for John F. Woods Allied Shows, November 1989. Was a tobacco salesman upon retirement. Died of a chronic spinal condition.

GOROUX, EMILE and MONA. Gymnasts, oriental juggling, and dancing barrel. Adam Forepaugh’s, 1874; Howes & Cushing, 1875.

GORTON, JOE. Band leader, John Stowe & Sons, 1871.

GOSHEN, COL RUTH [r. n. Routh Goshan]. (May 5, 1837-February 12, 1889) Sideshow giant, known as “The Palestine Giant.” Of Arabic parents, the youngest of 14 or 15 children, all remarkable for their size and strength. Served with distinction in the Crimean War and later in the Mexican army. P. T. Barnum is said to have met him on the street and hired him at once, showing him with the circus in the summer and exhibiting him in the NYC museum in the winter. It is said he received a salary of $40 a week and expenses. Was the largest giant Barnum produced, being advertised at 7’ 6”, shoulders 2’ 6”, and waist 77”. Actual height measurement for his coffin was 7’ 2”. Height was accentuated by comparison with the dwarfs, Major Atom and Brig. Gen. Spec, who ran around his legs as he walked. In his prime, weighed 560 pounds. P. T. Barnum’s, 1879-80; Nathans & Co.’s, 1882. Died of Bright’s disease and dropsy in Clyde, NJ.

GOSNEY, E. J. Advance agent, Lemen Bros.’, 1893.

GOSSETT, CHARLES. (d. March 19, 1889) Entered the circus business, 1857, with John Sears in the management of a small menagerie, traveling through the eastern states as a sideshow to Rivers & Derious. Managed George K. Goodwin’s, 1860; Wambold & Co., 1861; Goodwin & Wilder, 1862; managed, Gossett’s Union Museum, a sideshow to O’Toole & Miles, Canada, 1863; sideshow, Thayer & Noyes, 1864. Since that time, connected with hall shows, managing the Siamese Twins, the Hanoverian Family, the Noss Family and others. Died of “melancholy insanity” in Worcester, MA.

GOSSIN, JOHN. Clown, rider, tumbler and still vaulter. Born in Pittsburgh, PA. Surnamed the “Grimaldi of America,” was an immense favorite of audiences in the United States, with wit said to be original, spontaneous and timely. As a young man, was polite and handsome, wore long black hair in ringlets, about 5’ 10” in height, with a splendid physique and lack of “personal vanity.” A favorite in NYC, played for several seasons at 37 Bowery, opposite the Old Bowery Theatre. [John A. Dingess: Gossin was “one of the very best clowns that ever entered the equestrian arena ... and one of the few clowns who was an extraordinary general performer.”] He married a beautiful equestrienne from Lexington, KY, but lived life fully and was fond of the bottle; so, subsequently, his wife divorced him. Became dissipated and broken in spirit, an instability that led him to killing a man in the South. Acquitted of the murder, he soon died of yellow fever in Natchez, MS. Dan Rice bought a head-stone for his grave, February, 1854. Stickles & Co., 1832; Fogg & Stickney, 1933; Green & Brown, 1834; Aaron Tumer’s, 1936; J. W. Bancker’s, 1836; Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1839; June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1839-40, Bowery Amphitheatre; S. H. Nichols’, 1841; Aaron Turner & Sons, 1842; Welch & Mann, 1843, 1848; John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1843-44; Rockwell & Stone, 1845; Rockwell’s Amphitheatre, Cincinnati, 1846; Howes & Co. 1846; Victory Circus (Sackett & Covell), 1847; Welch, Delavan & Nathans, 1849; Bowery Amphitheatre, 1851; J. M. June’s, 1851; Spalding & Rogers’ Floating Palace, 1852; Star State Circus, New Orleans, fall 1852.

GOSSIN, LUCINDA. Equestrienne. Wife of John Gossin. See above. June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1939-40, Bowery Amphitheatre; S. H. Nichols’, 1841; Aaron Turner & Sons, 1842; Welch & Mann, 1843, 1848; John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1843-44; Rockwell & Stone, 1845; Rockwell’s Amphitheatre, Cincinnati, 1846. Divorced Gossin and married a rich Spaniard in Havana.

GOUCHE, MONS. Clown, James T. Johnson’s & Co., 1869.

GOUFFE, MONS. Englishman whose real name was Goff. On English bills as early as 1825. Specialty was donning a monkey suit and performing various stunts in the ring, including riding a horse. Made American debut in Boston in 1831; strong man, Brown’s, 1834; monkeyman, J. D. Palmer’s, 1835; monkey-man, Sweet & Hough’s, 1835; Oscar Stone’s, Albany, 1836

GOULD, A. F. Treasurer, W. H. Harris’ Nickel-Plate, 1891.

GOULD, JAY. Clown, Fulford & Co., 1890.

GRACE, VICTORIA. (d. August 4, 1880) Aerialist, “Little Vic, Queen of the Air.” Native of Philadelphia. Connected with Barnum’s, Forepaugh’s, Howes’, Orrin Bros.’, Leon Dolores Troupe in Cuba, and Clifton & McMann in Central America. Made good money but spent all, being addicted to opium, and drifted into debt and poverty. Died at age 36, unknown, in a New Orleans charity hospital.

GRACI, HERR. Juggler and cquilibrist, with W. C. Coup’s Equescurriculum, 1887.

GRADY, CHARLES. Clown, G. G. Grady’s, 1870-74.

GRADY, G. G. (1831-July 11, 1895) Clown, proprietor and manager of G. G. Grady’s Old Fashioned Circus from 1866 to 1879, based at Kenton, OH. One of Grady’s acts was riding a horse bareback while playing a violin. The show was one of the earliest to travel with a balloon ascensionist as a free act. In mid-July, 1874, it was attached by the sheriff in Shelbyville, IL, and the property advertised for sale. Was out with Grady & Beatty’s Circus, 1879; following year, was giving sideshow performances at political meetings in Indiana. Died at his home in Indianapolis, IN, age 64, after having retired from business about 3 years before.

GRADY, HELEN OGDEN [or Ella, sometimes professionally known as Maude Sheppard, serio-comic]. Wife of G. G. Grady. Born in Findlay, OH. After her marriage to Grady, performed for several years. The couple had a son but the marriage ended in a separation. Subsequently, as Ella Grady, with her trick horse “G. G.”, P. T. Barnum’s (P. A. Older, proprietor), 1872-73; Barnum’s Roman Hippodrome, 1875, where she drove a 4-horse chariot in the hippodrome races; 4-horse charioteer, Coney Island Roman Races, Brighton Beach Fairgrounds, 1879. Upon retiring, married George A. Barringer, officer of a ship of the White Star Line which sailed between New York and England.

GRADY, JOHN H. Clown, G. G. Grady’s, 1869.

GRADY, WILLIAM. “Antipodean gymnastics and muscular evolutions,” Rockwell & Co.’s, 1838.

GRAHAM, A. H. General advance agent, Albert M. Wetter’s New Model Shows, 1893.

GRAHAM, CHARLES [r. n. Charles Taylor]. (June 1839September 3, 1873) Clown and ringmaster. Born in Sussex, England, and apprenticed to a Mr. Cooke at an early age. Came to USA via an engagement in Australia. Connected with the principal circuses on the West Coast; but most recently before his death, with James Robinson’s. Died in St. Joseph, MO.

GRAHAM, JOHN. (d. 1886) Marksman partner of Frank Butler, Sells Bros.’, 1881; Graham & Butler in variety theatres, 1882. That year, illness caused retirement, replaced by Annie Oakley.

GRAHAM, LEW. (d. September 19, 1935) Sideshow manager and announcer. Came up from the ranks, starting as a ticket seller. Barnum & Bailey, 1889-99; Ringling Bros.’, 1911. Life member of the Crawfordsville, IN, Elks. Died in a sanitarium, Middletown, NY, age 73.

GRAHAM, SAM. Rider, James W. Wilder & Co., 1873; Montgomery Queen’s, 1874.

GRAHAM, WILLIAM J. General contracting agent, Moore Bros.’, 1887.

GRANT, LOTTIE. Oregon Giantress, fat lady. Supposedly weighed 685 pounds. Married Frank Whitlock, ticket agent and sideshow talker, 1883, but was married 3 times and had 4 children. Died age of 45. With S. H. Barrett & Co., 1883.

GRANVILLE, CAPT. Giant, Sheidenburger & Co., 1871.

GRANVILLE, D. F. Living skeleton, Central Park Menagerie, 1872.

GRANVILLE, LOTTIE. Slack-wire, with George S. Cole’s, 1895.

GRAPERIAN FAMILY. Trick roller skaters, Irwin Bros.’, 1887.

GRAPEWINE, ELSIE. Flying rings, Albert M. Wetter’s New Model Shows, 1893.

GRAPEWINE, G. E. Musical director, Albert M. Wetter’s New Model Shows, 1893.

GRAVE, A. E. Advertising agent, Perry Powers’ Combination Circus, 1867.


GRAVEN, THOMAS. Tumbler. French, Hobby, 1835; J. D. Palmer’s, 1836; H. A. Woodward & Co., 1938; Cincinnati Circus, 1841; Howes & Mabie, 184546; Great Western, 184647; Stickney’s New Orleans Circus, 1849; Spalding, Rogers & Van Orden, 1851; Spalding & Rogers, 1855; equestrian director, Cooper & Myers, 1858; Davis & Crosby, 1859.

GRAVES, L A. H. Buckley & Co., 185758.

GRAY. Animal keeper, Raymond & Ogden’s menagerie, 1833. Stuart Thayer reported that Gray was the first to be documented with the feat of putting his head in a lion’s mouth, 1834.

GRAY, EDWARD. Keeper of cages and vans, Howes’ Great London, 1871.

GRAY, HARRY. General agent, L. J. Duchack’s, 1889.

GRAY, JAMES HUDSON. Contracting agent, Lee & Scribner, 1884-85; Lee’s London Circus, 1886; J. H. Gray’s Great Oriental Dime Show, 1887-88; manager, Loomer Opera House, Willimantic, CT, 1893; Great Eastern 25 Cent Show (J. H. Gray, H. C. Wheeler, managers), 1899; Sells & Gray’s United Shows, 1900.

GRAY, NEIL. Clown and comic vocalist, Thompson, Smith & Hawes, 1866.

GRAY, NELLIE. Adam Forepaugh’s, 1886.

GRAY, O. R. Cooper, Jackson & Co., 1882.

GRAY, OLLIE. Aerialist, Frank A. Gardner’s, 1891.

GRAY, WILLIAM. Rider, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1871; clown, Andress’ New Colossal Shows, 1889.

GRECIAN BROTHERS [Alfred, Charles, George, Frank]. Acrobats, H. M. Smith’s, 1870.

GREEN, BILL. Driver 24-hitch bandwagon, Robinson & Eldred, 1852.

GREEN, DAN. Boss canvasman, Perry Powers’ Combination Circus, 1867.

GREEN, HENRY. Builder of Spalding & Rogers’ Apollicon, constructed of 1,000 instruments and introduced for the 1849 season.

GREEN, HOWARD. See LaVan Brothers.

GREEN, JAMES B. (1804-1882) Proprietor, J. B. Green’s menagerie, 1831. Acquired an elephant, making Green’s circus the first in the country to travel with one. Oscar Brown, Brown & Green’s in Ohio, 1832; James B. Green & Co., 1833; Green & Brown (probably Oscar W. Brown) and later as Green & Bailey (probably Lewis Bailey), 1834; show property was liquidated, 1835; manager, Mammoth Eagle Circus, 1836.

GREEN, JOHN B. Rider, strong man. Rider, James W. Bancker’s, Albany, 1824-25; took on a partner named Doolittle for a traveling venture, 1825, performing the flying horseman and acting as riding master; Parson’s, 1826; a circus at Tivoli Gardens, Philadelphia, summer 1826; Asa Smith’s, 1928; strong man, J. D. Palmer’s, 1836; strong man, Cincinnati Circus, 1841; strong man, Aaron Turner’s, 1842.

GREEN, JOHN P. Manager, Sands, Nathans & Co., 1857.

GREEN, MAJOR. Sideshow dwarf, John V. O’Brien’s, 1871.

GREEN, MRS. PHIL. See Aimee Austin.

GREEN, SAMUEL S. Horse trainer, J. B. Green & Co., 1933; Green & Brown’s, 1834.

GREEN, WILLIAM H. (1813?-1871) Driver, 24-hitch that pulled a bandwagon, Robinson & Eldred, 1852; Tom King’s, 1864; horse trainer, Palmer’s Great Western, 1865; boss hostler, John Robinson’s, 1868; 6-horse rider, Dan Rice’s for many years. This may be the same William Green who was a 2-horse ridcr at Tivoli Garden Pavilion Circus, Philadelphia, 1926. Died in Baltimore, age 58.

GREENE, ENOCH W. C. (d. December 27, 1877) Agent, Levi J. North’s and others. For many years thereafter, was publisher and editor of The Sunday Transcript, Philadelphia. Died in Philadelphia.

GREENE, MRS. PHILLIP D. See Aimee Austin.

GREENE, P. B. Agent, Sears & Forbes, 1858.

GREENWOOD, ALEX. One-legged hurdle rider, the Great Pacific Circus and Congress of Educated Horses (M. M. Hilliard, R. Hunting, proprietors), 1878.

GREER, LEO. Head balancing trapeze performer and cannon ball juggler, Denver Dick’s Wild West and Sioux Indian Medicine Company, 1894.

GREGOIRE, MONS. German Hercules, Nixon & Kemp, 1858; Nixon & Co., 1859.

GREGORY, BESSIE. General performer, Herr Driesbach & Howes, 1868.

GREGORY BROTHERS [John, Thomas, Arthur, Joseph]. Howes Trans-Atlantic Circus and Risbeck’s Menagerie (Frank Howes, proprietor), 1868.

GREGORY, BESSIE. Singer, Howes Trans-Atlantic Circus and Risbeck’s Menagerie (Frank Howes, proprietor), 1868.

GREGORY, C. W. [or J. W.]. Managing director, VanAmburgh’s southern, 1860.

GREGORY FAMILY [Jean, Victor, Albert, Arthur]. 4 boy gymnasts, trapeze, horizontal bars and revolving globes; Gertrude, with her troupe of performing dogs, goats and ponies; Mlle. Gerhnell, with her trained poodles. Driesbach & Howes, 1868. Arthur was a gymnast and bar performer, P. T. Barnum’s, 1873.

GREGORY FAMILY (Charles J., George, James, Delia, Bessie]. Gymnasts. Gregory Brothers were originally composed of James, George, and Charles J. The latter was proprietor of the Gregory Brothers’ Circus, which traveled throughout the world. Charles (r. n. C. J. Skelton, d. June 25, 1911), was born at St. Andrews, Canada, July 4, 1854. At one time was a partner with John Winfield in the circus business; also Gregory & Belford’s Circus (C. J. Gregory, George Belford, proprietors), 1892. Wife’s name was Delia M. With daughter, Bessie, performed a foot balancing act, Robert Hunting’s, 1897; and who, as the last of the Gregory Family, died in Ottawa, Canada, after having been in show business for more than 40 years. George (r. n. Skelton), bar performer; born in Ottawa, Canada, and entered the circus profession, 1880, when his brother Charles took him on as one of the Gregory Brothers. John Winfield was the other member of the troupe. They opened that year with Gillmore & Benton for the winter; was joined by brother James, making the act the Three Gregory Brothers. When James died, around 1890, John L Fritz replaced him. Charles, George, and John Fritz, triple bars, balancing trapeze, dancing barrel, table and cross, reapers and tumblers, Cole’s Colossal Circus, 1893; Cole & Lockwood, 1894. Later, George was a member of several acrobatic teams. Last partner was Bob Starkey. These two were with Orrin Bros.’, Mexico, 1897. George died in NYC, November 30, 1897, age 12. Gregory Family were with James Robinson’s, 1872; Boyd & Peters, 1880; John Robinson’s, 1881; Frank Robbins’, 1882; joined George W. Maxwell’s “Black Crook” Co., September, 1882; Gregory Brothers’ Circus (Charles J. Gregory, proprietor), 1883-85; Gregory, Merritt, 1886; W. H. Harris’ Nickel-Plate, 1886; Walter L. Main’s, 1887-88; Gregory & D’Alma, 1899; riders, aerialists, acrobats and gymnasts, George S. Cole’s, 1895. William Gregory (1855-March 24, 1884), son of Charles J., left Ottawa at age 13, 1868, joining in the family act and accompanying them on a world tour. Later, organized his own company and visited Tunis and Algiers and then France, where he remained until a time shortly before his death in Geneva, Switzerland, age 29. There was also a James Gregory listed as program agent, G. G. Grady’s, 1874; Gregory Brothers’ Circus, 1885.

GREGORY, GERTRUDE. Troupe of trained dogs, Howes Trans-Atlantic Circus and Risbeck’s Menagerie (Frank Howes, proprietor), 1868.

GREGORY, IRA W. Managing director, VanAmburgh’s southern, 1856-61.

GREGORY, JOHN. Bill poster, P. T. Barnum’s, 1873.

GREGORY, SPENCER. Menagerie operator in the 1830s and stockholder in the Zoological Institute. Co-proprietor, with Gerard Crane, Gregory, Crane & Co., 1833-34; proprietor, Gregory, Washburn & Co.’s menagerie, 1835.

GREGORY, THOMAS. Program agent, Sells Bros.’, 1874.

GRENIER, THOMAS L. Grenier’s Circus and Menagerie, Chicago, 1884. Took over operation of the former Burr Robbins’ circus, 1888; advertised it for sale at season’s end.

GRESH, BEN. Trapeze, Hyatt & Co., 1859; Great Railroad Circus (McCorkle), 1859.

GRESSLEY, PROF. S. “The man without arms,” 1874.

GREY, BILLY. Sideshow performer, VanAmburgh’s, 1866.

GREY, HENRY. Howes’ European, winter 1864.

GRIFFIN, CHARLES E. Magician and ventriloquist, sideshow manager. Robert Hunting’s, 1885-92; New York Museum, February 1887; Charles E. Griffin’s Bohemian Glass Blowers and Wizard’s Annex, winter 1889. Wrote Four Years in Europe with Buffalo Bill. Wife professionally known as Olivia.

GRIFFIN, J. Manager, Howe’s New Colossal Shows, 1888.

GRIFFIN, JAMES. Clown, Hilliard & Hamilton, 1875.

GRIFFIN, W. H. H. Leaper, Wootten & Haight, 1871.

GRIFFITH, E. A. E. A. Griffith’s Circus, 1894.

GRIGGS, JOHN. H. Buckley & Co., 1857-58.

GRIGGS, MISS. Slack-rope, with circus in Portland, Maine, summer 1821.

GRIM, GEORGE. Clown, Robert Hunting’s, 1891.

GRISWOLD, C. [or Griswald]. Agent, S. H. Nichols’, 183842; Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding’s, 1844; Welch & Delavan, 1847; advertiser, J. O. Howes’, 1848.

GROSÈ. English clown, Howes’ Great European, 1864.

GROSVENOR, NATALIE. Barnum, VanAmburgh & Castello, 1867.

GROVER, B. H. Agent, J. S. McCue’s National Circus, 1883.

GRUPE, CHARLEY H. German clown and side-show minstrel, Mabie’s, 1859-60.

GUERIN. Rider, Pepin’s equestrian troupe, St. Louis, 1823; tight-rope, Pepin & Barnet, Natchez, MS, June, 1823; rider, Pepin’s, 1826; vaulter, Asa T. Smith’s, 1829.

GUERIN, DAVID. Proprietor, George W. DeHaven’s, 1867. Is this the same man as above?

GUILFORDS. Roman staturary, Sells Bros.’, 1887.

GUILFORD, D. C. Guilford & Cannon’s, winter 1889-90.

GUILFORD, GEORGE J. (d. February 21, 1900) Agent. Outstanding for his bill writing and ability to handle the press. [Charles H. Day: “George is a particularly gifted man but he lacks industry; so less deserving men have come more prominently to the front.”] Campbell’s, 1869; James Robinson’s, 1870; G. F. Bailey & Co., 1871; Dan Rice’s, 1872; Springer’s Royal Cirq-Zoolodon, 1875; W. W. Cole’s, 1875; director of publications, W. C. Coup’ New United Monster Show, 1879-80; Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1881; Sells Bros.’, 1882; Wallace & Co., 1886. Settled in Cincinnati and in later years didn’t travel but wrote for many shows from his home. Died in that city.

GUILOT, MONS. Strong man, Nathan A. Howes’ winter circus, 1842; S. H. Nichols & Co., 1843. Pulled against 2 horses, fired a 600 pound cannon from his body, and held a plank in his teeth upon which 3 men stood.

GUITIERREZ, R. R. Adam Forepaugh’s, 1888.

GULIG, ANDREW [or Guilig]. Rider. G. G. Grady’s, 186874; H. Harlan’s, 1875; J. E. Warner’s, 1876; Carlo Bros.’, South America, 1877; American Circus (A. Gulig, G. Ravell, W. H. Franklin, proprietors), South America, 1879. Married Amelia Bridges after her husband died.

GULLEN, GIL. Clown, vaulter and general performer, Price & Simpson, 1827; sack wire performer, Washington Circus, Philadelphia, 1828; Mammoth Eagle Circus, 1836; Aaron Turner’s, 1837; Richmond Hill, NYC, winter 1837; Charles H. Bacon’s, 1837-38.

GULLEN, MRS. GIL. Equestrienne. Aaron Turner’s, 1836-37; Mammoth Eagle Circus, 1836; June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1839, Bowery Amphitheatre; H. H. Fuller’s Olympic Circus, 1838; Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1839; Henry Rockwell & Co., winter 1841; Grecian Arena and Classic Circus, 1841; S. H. Nichols’, 1842; John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1844, 1846; John T, Potter’s, 1846.

GUNN, JAMES. Jockey racer, Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1882.

GURR, HARRY. Double trapeze, Joel E. Warner’s Great Pacific Menagerie and Circus, 1871-73; W. W. Cole’s, 1874. Also performed as a “man-fish” and gymnast.

GURR, MRS. HARRY. See Mlle. Bastian.

GUTHEREG & BROWN. Head balancing, Cooper, Jackson & Co., 1884.

GUTTING, ED. Trapeze, O. J. Ferguson’s, 1884.


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Last modified October 2005