Circus Historical Society
Olympians of the Sawdust Circle
Olympians of the Sawdust Circle: A biographical dictionary of the ninteenth century American circus
Hi - Hy
Compiled and Edited by William L. Slout
Copyright © 2005 by William L. Slout. All rights reserved.
HICKEY, C. Clown, Dan Rice’s, 1877.
HICKEY, JOHN M. Agent, Frank Stowe’s, 1874.
HICKS, GEORGE H. (1856?-October 5, 1909) Acrobat. Began with the Silverberg show, Columbus, OH, 1873; also, Sells Bros.’ and Anglo-American. At one time, toured with Bill Ashton and Sam Sharpley’s Minstrels. Last engagement, Jack Shields’ Great Southern Show, 1909. Died in Cincinnati, OH, that year, age 53.
HICKS, J. Apprentice, flying Mercury with John Robinson, Buckley& Weeks, 1834-35; American Theatre Troupe, 1841; rider and acrobat, Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding’s, 1844-46, January 1848; Stone & McCollum, 1847.
HICKS, WILLIAM. Jockey racer, Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1882.
HIDERALGO [r. n. Beasley]. Lion tamer. Raymond & Herr Driesbach, 1851; Welch & Raymond, 1852.
HIGBY, WILLIAM [“BLIND” BILLY”]. (1842?-June 17, 1908) Clown. At one time with Barnum & Bailey. Died in Bellevue Hospital, NYC, age 66.
HIGGINS, A. D. Bill poster, P. T. Barnum’s, 1873; contracting agent, Goldenburg’s, 1874.
HIGHT, OLD HALL. Negro minstrel violinist, George F. Bailey & Co., 1860.
HIGLEY, C. J. H. Buckley & Co., 1857-58.
HILL AMELIA. Sideshow fat woman, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1880; Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1881; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1883.
HILL, E. Juggler, Baldwin, Wall & Co.’s Great Eastern, 1880.
HILL, GEORGE A. Manager of privileges, Robert Hunting’s, 1894.
HILL, GEORGE M. Dodge & Bartine, 1868.
HILL, JAMES. Tumbler and gymnast, E. Stowe’s Northwestern, 1871.
HILL JOHN D. [“Jack”]. Newspaper contracting agent. Native of Fort Scott, KS. Adam Forepaugh’s, 1886-88. Later, on the Washington Post and Washington Republic. Ringling Bros.’ for 3 years. Represented theatrical attractions, NYC, remaining there until 1902. Press bureau as a representative of the Standard Oil Company.
HILL, LEIGH. See L. H. French.
HILL, ULM. Dan Castello’s, winter 1867-68.
HILL WILLIAM. General performer, equestrian director. Dan Gardner’s 1862; Spalding & Rogers’ Floating Palace, 1859; Robinson & Lake, 1863-64; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1867; and ringmaster, G. G. Grady’s, 1871. He could neither read nor write but made a fine appearance and was good with the whip and adept at taking slaps, important credentials for his trade.
HILL, W. W. (b. November 11, 1839) Born in St. Catharines, Canada. Boss canvasman and Polish Brothers (with George W. King), Gardner & Hemmings, 1863.
HILLIARD, M. M. Native of Vermont, Spent 11 years in California engaged in mining and employed by the California Stage Company. Went to Vicksburg, MS, 1863; and, in company with his brother, was active in the buying of cotton on the Yazoo River. Captured by the Confederates and imprisoned for 9 months at Demopolis and Mobile, AL. On being moved to Meridian, MS, escaped, took 11 days, subsisting on green corn, to return to Vicksburg. Following this, occupied himself with running a country store for a year before embarking into show business. 1868, exhibited the Pacific Cornbination and Indian Show under a 65’ round-top canvas, traveling by wagon. Show continued until 1876, when he put out the Great Pacific Circus and Congress of Educated Horses (M. M. Hilliard, R. Hunting, proprietors), 1977-78; Hilliard & Sargeant, 1878; Pullman & Hilliard, 1879-80; Pullman, Mack & Co.’s United Mastodon Shows (Pullman, Hilliard, Main, Mack, proprietors), 1884. James DeMott became associated with the management, spring 1979. Den of performing lions and a few other animals were added to the attraction and, 1880, an entire menagerie assembled; show was then known as Hilliard & DeMott’s Great Pacific Circus, Menagerie and Trained Wild Animals.
HILLMAN, MOLLY. (1816?-December 21, 1908) Equestrienne. Daughter of a Newark, NJ, blacksmith and a great granddaughter of the chief of the Oneida tribe. Circus performer 1830-80, including time as an equestrienne with both P. T. Barnum’s and Adam Forepaugh’s, going out every season for those 50 years. Married 3 times, with each husband having the misfortune to meet a violent death. Died in the poor house, Greenfield, PA, age 92.
HINDLEY, ALFRED H. Band leader, L. B. Lent’s, 1873.
HINDLEY, PAULINE. (d. September 6, 1871) Equestrienne. Adam Forepaugh’s, 1870; P. T. Barnum’s, 1971. While with the Barnum show, died from injuries incurred in a fall in Rome, NY.
HINDS, SAMUEL J. Gymnast. Haight, Chambers & Ames’, 1867; Cosmopolitan Circus, winter 1871-72; Montgomery Queen’s, 1975; John Robinson’s, 1881; Miller, Okey & Freeman, 1886.
HINES, GEORGE H. Press agent, John B. Doris’, 1883; Sells Bros.’, 1884; privileges, John Robinson’s, 1889; assistant manager, Lemen Bros.’, 1891; manager, John S. McMahon’s, 1892. Married the very young equestrienne, Josie DeMott, Selina, NC, September 30, 1889. Was served papers for divorce in November of that same year.
HINES, W. Great London, 1879.
HINKLEY, J. L. Globe, slack-wire. Stone & McCollum, 1848; Stickney’s New Orleans Circus (Stickney, North, Jones, proprietors), 1849; went to the West Coast; Lee & Marshall, 1854-56; Bartholomew’s, 1856; general performer and proprietor, Mammoth, 1857; Hinkley & Kembal, 1858; Kimbal’s, 1859; Lathrop, Peoples & Franklin, 1860; Doc Bassett’s, 1861.
HINMAN, W. S. Associate manager, Sherman & Hinman’s, San Francisco, 1883.
HINSON, LIBBIE. P. T. Barnum’s, 1875.
HITCHCOCK D. N. General agent, Hall’s (George W. DeHaven, proprietor), 1886.
HITCHCOCK, LYMAN A. (d. January 20, 1879) Many years interested in the management of circuses. Co-proprietor, S. O. Wheeler’s, 1864; manager, Herr Driesbach’s Menagerie and Howes’ Trans-Atlantic Circus, 1868, which collapsed in Canada, July of that year; reported by Frank J. Howes and treasurer William McGill that Hitchcock had absconded with money belonging to the show. Died in Marshfield, MA.
HOADLEY. Proprietor, Hoadley & Latham, 1837; Headley, Latham, Eldred & Co., 1838.
HOAGLAND, ROBERT. See Corvella Brothers.
HOBBS. Rider and minstrel, John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1843, 1845; Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1843. This could be a Hobbs listed below.
HOBBS, WILLIAM J. Acrobat and leaper. With Drury, Van Tassle, Brown & Co., 1837; Waterman’s, 1838; vaulter, Charles LaForest’s, 1842; vaulter, Ogden & Hobby, 1842; acrobat, Welch & Mann, 1843-44; John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1843; Robinson & Eldred, 1845; Howes & Co., 1846. Died attempting a triple somersault.
HOBBS, W. W. Rider, who threw backward somersaults while horse was at full speed, Rockwell & Stone, 1845. This could be the man above.
HOBBY, ELMER. (1837?-September 21, 1907) Superintendent of transportation for the Barnum show when it moved by wagons. Noted driver of 8 and 16-horse teams. Died Brookfield Junction, CT, age 70.
HOBBY, JOSEPH E. M. First management, 1834, Zoological Institute under the title of French, Hobby & Co.; partnership lasted for at least another season when a circus was added; J. E. M. Hobby & Co., 1837; manager, probably for James Raymond, 1838-40; proprietor, Hobby & Pratt’s Amphitheatre, 1842; winter show (with Darius Ogden), Ogden & Hobby’s Circus, 1842.
HOBSON BROTHERS [C. D., Homer D., Horace W., Howard S., Sylvester]. Proprietors, Hobson Bros.’ Show, 1883-1903. C. D. (1841-November 13, 1919) retired about 1909; died at age 79.
HOCUM, E. V. Rider, trained horses, LaPearl’s Winter Circus, 1994; principal hurdle and 4-horse act, Gollmar Bros.’, 1895; LaPearl’s, Danville, IL, winter 1895-96; somersault rider, Gollmar Bros.’, 1896; LaPearl’s Great Railroad Show, 1896; lithograph ticket agent, Gollmar Bros.’, 1897; rider, Gollmar Bros.’, 1901-03; Walter L. Main’s, 1904. Married equestrienne Maude Gollmar of the Gollmar Bros.’ Circus, Baraboo, WI, October 14, 1896.
HOCUM, MAUDE [nee Maude Gollmar]. Wife of E. V. Hocum. Principal act, John Robinson’s (John G. Robinson, proprietor and manager), 1900. See Gollmar Brothers.
HODGE, CRAWFORD. Lithograph agent, Howes’ Great London, 1874.
HODGE, ROBERT. Announcer, King & Franklin, 1889.
HODGES, THOMAS. Dan Castello’s, 1866; side-show privilege, James M. French’s, 1867; assistant manager, D. F. Dunham’s, 1875.
HOEFLER, WILLIAM. Greco-Roman wrestler (with Edwin Bibby), Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1881.
HOEGEL, SANFORD. Acrobat, Alexander Robinson’s, 1871-72.
HOEY, PATRICK. See James Cooke.
HOFFLICH. Animal performer, John Robinson’s, 1864.
HOFFMAN, CHARLES F. Contracting agent, with Ward’s Great London (Ira C. Ward, proprietor and manager), formerly Charles Lee’s circus, 1897.
HOFFMAN, G. S. [or J. S.]. Manager, Lowande & Hoffman Mexican Pavilion Circus, 1887, business manager, Lowande’s Brazilian Circus, 1889.
HOFFMAN, SADIE. Charioteer, Barnum & Bailey, 1892.
HOFFMASTER, FRED. Rider, Turner’s, 1827; Royal Pavilion Circus/Olympic Circus, 1830-31; S. H. Nichols’, 1838; Yale & Co., 1840.
HOGLE WILLIAM F. (d. November 16, 1925) When his father died, had to shift for himself at age 12, working in a factory in Troy, NY, practicing acrobatics at night. A visit to Troy of strong man Professor Carl became the turning point of Hogle’s career. Carl taught him feats of strength which led to Hogle’s joining Rivers & Derious, 1858, and traveling throughout USA and Canada as an acrobatic gymnast. Sands, Nathans & Co., 1859; R. Sands’, 1860; Thayer’s (Thayer and Phelps, proprietors), small clown troupe, 1861. By this year, was performing with John Keefe as a partner. Smith & Quick, Havana, fall 1861, remaining at Villenueva Theatre winter, 1861-62; Great Orion Circus, Old Bowery, NYC, 1861, Stickney’s National Circus, Old Bowery, 1861; Thayer & Noyes, 1862; Maginley & Bell, 1864; Quaglieni’s Italian Cirque, Europe, 1866; Albisu’s Circus, Havana, winter 186667; Thayer & Noyes, 1867-68; double trapeze (with John Keefe), George F. Bailey & Co., 1869. Eventually Keefe was forced to retire because of repeated injuries. Comic stilt act (with Henry Burdeau), Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1870; (with Burdeau) Mrs. Charles Warner’s, Philadelphia, winter 187071; (with Harry Franklin) John H. Murray’s, 1872; P. T. Barnum’s Roman Hippodrome, driving a 4-horse chariot in the hippodrome races, 1874-75. Retired from show business, 1885, and married Mary Mulligan, sister of former partner, John Keefe. Died at the Masonic Hospital, NYC.
HOLBROOKE & HUGHES. Song and dance artists, (sideshow) Palace of Wonders, P. T. Barnum’s, 1876; the same, as Holbrook & Ryan, 1877.
HOLDEN, O. S. Whittemore, Thompson & Co., 1865.
HOLDER, EDWARD. Traveled around the world in search of animals. For 9 years, connected with the old John Robinson’s. Later, furnished 3 or 4 of the big feature acts for Barnum & Bailey on their trip through Europe. Made a tour of 3 years through Japan and China with D. M. Bristol show, being in China at the time of the Boxer uprising. Was also interested in harness racing.
HOLLAND, ED G. Brother of George F. and John. Proprietor, Holland & Sturtevant, 1891; Holland’s, 1892.
HOLLAND, EDWARD. (1853-1939) Acrobat and rider. Second son of John Holland, Sr. Lifelong resident of Delavan, WI. First appeared on Holland & Mosher, 1857, at the age of four; with Holland family act through 1872. Accompanied brother George to Chiarini’s, New Zealand and Australia; for the next 10 years, mainly with John Robinson’s, first as gymnast, and, from 1882-1885, equestrian director; rings and perch, E. O. Rogers’, 1891. Went into business for himself as a partner in Holland-McMahon; Holland-Gormley; Holland, Bowman & McLaughlin; and VanAmburgh show; then, 1892, launched E. G. Holland & Co. Railroad Circus, which in 1894 was the last one to go out of Delavan. Became a law officer, served as the village’s first chief of police, 1897-03. After 3 more years as a circus agent (Mighty Haag and John Robinson’s), accepted the managership of the New York Hippodrome, leaving Delavan, fall 1908. Died in New Jersey after a 77 year career in the circus business.
HOLLAND, E. J. Single trapeze and perch, Albert Hose’s, 1893.
HOLLAND, GEORGE E. (1875-1960) Rider. The son of George F. Holland. Threw his first somersault on horseback when 13. Debuted before the public at 14 on the HollandGormley Circus; next year, 1890, a featured principal rider, John Robinson’s. Parents left Robinson’s, 1893, but young George remained through 1897. Gollmar Bros.’ enticed him away for 2 seasons, then back to Robinson’s, 1900. Was advertised as “The World’s Greatest Somersaulting Rider,” once turning 56 consecutive somersaults. Married, November 1901, to Rose Dockrill, equestrienne daughter of Elise Dockrill, in Savannah, GA. Performed as individuals and as a team; were announced as “Holland and Dockrill, the World’s Greatest Riders,” and appeared on snow white horses, of which they owned several. Opened with a fast jockey act, Rose did her haute ecole presentation, a carrying act, in which George stood on the horse and lifted Rose to his shoulders, and then George’s somersaulting routines. Went into vaudeville, 1920’s; continued to perform in their fifties, working for small circuses; final public performance, 1939, St. Louis Police Circus.
HOLLAND, GEORGE F. (January 20, 1850?-January 28, 1917) Acrobat and rider. Possibly the best rider to come out of Wisconsin. Came from a distinguished family of circus folk, having entered the profession at the age of 3 years. Son of John Holland. Had brothers John and Edward G. With the Holland Family act until August, 1872, when he went to Chicago and joined Chiarini’s; in November married Katherine Holloway, who had been an apprentice of Chiarini. The two performed together until they retired, 1910. George did a principal act, including somersault riding, and Katherine was a manège rider. Worked for all the largest circuses of their time, Dan Rice’s, Burr Robbins’, John Robinson’s (11 seasons), Sells-Floto, etc. George twice entered into circus partnerships. 1885, brothers Edward and John and Charles McMahon formed Holland-McMahon, a railroad circus until they reached Cincinnati, where they chartered the steamboat Mountain Girl, with the intention of performing on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers; played Aurora, Indiana, November 5, and were on their way down river, but about 2 a.m. the boat collided with an upbound ore packet; within minutes it sank, taking with it all the horses, animals and equipment, only the tent was salvaged; circus was valued at $20,000, and recovered $12,000 in a suit against the Mountain Girl’s owners. Went back to Delavan and reorganized for 1886; George resigned, spring 1898. That year with Edward Holland and the Gormley brothers, Frank and Everett, framed Holland & Gormley Allied Railroad Circus, which they toured for 2 years; sold his interest, October 1889. George and Katherine retired, 1895; built a hotel in Delavan. Had 11 children, whom George began teaching, 1896; formed a new Holland Family act, 1897, and went with John Robinson’s; subsequently, appeared at fairs, with an occasional season on circuses. George and Katherine spent their last season of performing on Sells-Floto, 1910, then lived out their remaining years in Delavan. Holland & McMahon, 1885-88; Holland & Gormley, 1889; Holland, Bowman, & McLaughlin, 1890; Holland & Sturtevant, 1891. Died at age 67.
HOLLAND, JOHN. (1815-October 27, 1897) English acrobat. Used the name Julian, 1848-49. Worked under the title of Holland Family. Father of Mary Ann Holland. May have come to the United States with the Ravels, 1847. Howes & Co., 1848; E. F. & J. Mabie’s, fall 1848-1851; L. G. Butler’s, 1853-54; Buckley & Co., 1856, 1858-60; Holland & Mosher, 1857; Holland & Madden, 1861; George DeHaven’s, 1862.
HOLLAND, JOHN, JR. Last of John Holland’s sons, died at age 20. Member of the Holland Family until the retirement of his father. 1874, with his brother Edward, trapeze duo, John Robinson’s.
HOLLAND, MARY ANN. (1847-October 31, 1895) The daughter of John Holland, Sr. Born in Hamburg, Germany, just before her parents came to America. Supposedly introduced into the ring at 4 years of age. With her brothers, was trained in acrobatics and riding. With parents, was always billed as Holland Family. At 16, married George Madden, a magician and clown. Their daughter, Nora, married Joseph McMahon, circus proprietor. Buckley & Co., 1858-60; Holland & Madden, 1861, George W. DeHaven’s, 1862; McMahon’s, 1885-1894. Died in Delavan, age 48.
HOLLAND, NINA. Equestrienne and vocalist, Dan Rice’s, 1878.
HOLLAWAY, JAMES. Clown, P. T. Barnum’s, 1879.
HOLLIS, ELLA [Mrs. John L. Davenport, Sr.]. (1854-July 25, 1934) Equestrienne, mother of Davenport clan - John, Jr., Albert M., May, Orrin, Louise, and Bertha Hollis (the latter a non-professional). Last performance before retiring, carrying act with brother, winter 1884, Tom Grenier’s.
HOLLIS, ORRIN M. (d. February 23, 1926) Outstanding rider, taught by John L. Davenport, Sr., his brother-in-law. Was brother of Ella Hollis, who married John Davenport, Sr. He was the uncle of Orrin, Stick, Lulu, John Jr., May and Bert Davenport. Son Melvin “Pinky” Hollis was a performer. Hollis’ wife, the former Eva Bennett, was burned to death in her home at Sylvania, OH, March 11, 1918; a lighted bracket lamp slipping from her hands, igniting her clothing. Brother, Charles H., died from an attempted double somersault, St. Louis, MO, September 30, 1887, while with Horton & Tribbey’s Ten Cent Show. Sells Bros.’, 1878-79, 1882-83, P. T. Barnum’s, 1890; principal pad rider, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1881, 1888-89; P. T. Barnum’s, 1885-86; Great European, Cosmopolitan Rink, Broadway & 41st Street, NYC, February 1886; John Robinson’s, 1891-93; Ringling Bros.’, 1894; Great Wallace, 1896; 1902. Died at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Toledo OH, age 69.
HOLLISTER, EUGENE R. (1843-1926) Resort owner, Lake Delavan, WI. Concert, reserved seats and candy privileges with various shows. Started with Yankee Robinson’s 1867; Coup-Castello, 1870; Buckley’s; Centennial Circus. Kept a small collection of snakes. Later, built a hotel-tavern on Delavan Lake, WI, known as The Log Cabin.
HOLLOWAY, EDWARD. (d. August 23, 1873) Native of England. Rider, gymnast. Howes’ Great European, 1864; Barnum, VanAmburgh & Castello, 1867; James M. French’s, 1869; leaper and vaulter, Dan Rice’s Paris Pavilion, 1872-73. Died in Paducah, KY.
HOLLOWAY, GRACE. From Astley’s London. Howes’ Great European, 1864.
HOLLOWAY, JAMES. English clown, “late of Henger’s Circus, Liverpool,” arrived in the United States, 1878. P. T. Barnum’s, 1878-79; Chiarini’s, Australia and New Zealand, winter 1879-80; W. C. Coup’s, 1881.
HOLLOWAY, KATE [Mrs. George Holland]. Equestrienne, manège rider. Chiarini’s, Havana, winter 1866-67, Mexico City, 1867; South and Central America, spring 1869; equestrienne, John Wilson’s Amphitheatre, San Francisco, February 1874; Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1876; John Robinson’s, 1880-83, 1889-91; Burr Robbins’, 1885; Holland & McMahon, 1885-86; Holland & Gormley’s, 1888-89; manège, Andy McDonald’s, 1892; Milwaukee Mid-Winter Circus, 1894.
HOLLOWAY, PALMYRA. Equestrienne. While with Chiarini’s, summer 1866, married equestrian Robert Johnson with that company. Joined Orrin’s, West Indies, the following year.
HOLLOWAY, TED. Rider, gymnast. Seth B. Howes’, winter 1865-66; Dan Castello’s, 1866-68; James M. French’s, 1869; gymnast (with Richard Hannon), Mike Lipman’s, 1869; trapeze (with Hannon), G. A. Huff & Co., 1870.
HOLLOWAY, WILLIAM. Rider and somersaulter, Seth B. Howes’ Great European, 1864-65.
HOLLOWAY BROTHERS [Claude, Frank, Eddie]. Acrobats, G. W. Hall, Jr.’s, 1895-96; Barnum & Bailey, London, 1898. Had their own circus, 1898-99, Holloway Bros.’ New United Shows.
HOLMAN, GEORGE. Giant, Walter L. Main’s, 1892-93.
HOLMER, PROF. Booker & Howard’s Minstrels, L. B. Lent’s, 1865.
HOLMES, BART. Ames’ Menagerie and Circus, 1868.
HOLMES, C. Acrobat and leaper, Haight’s Great Southern, 1874.
HOLMES, THOMAS [professional name James Maurice]. (d. March 1910) “Elastic Skin Man.” Discovered around 1890 by Frank P. Stone of Austin & Stone’s Museum. Later, with Barnum’s sideshow. Met and Married Edith Clifford on a European tour. Had 2 children. Died in Boston, age 40.
HOLTON, ANNIE BELL. (with Lillie Rice) Balloon race and double parachute jump, Sells & Rentfrow’s, 1893.
HOLTON, CHARLES. Advertising agent, Sells Bros.’, 1882.
HOLTON, ED W. Holton & Gates’ Harmoniums, a minstrel band, Simon Pure American Circus, NYC, October 1, 1866.
HOLTON, JOHN. “Cannon king,” Mcdonald & Richold, 1896.
HOMER, NATHANIEL. (1846-November 23, 1906) Gymnast. Began with old John Robinson’s while still in his teens, billed as “King of the Air”; ringmaster, Orton Bros.’, 1867; John Robinson’s, 1871. Brother-in-law of minstrel entertainer Billy Emerson. Later joined troupe of Emerson & Hooley.
HONE, JAMES F. Manager, Alex Robinson’s, 1870.
HONEY. Clown, Simpson & Price, Baltimore, 1822.
HOOD, ELIAS. Vaulter and tight-rope performer. Palmer & Harrington, 1834; Crane & Co., 1836, Boston Amphitheatre; J. J. Hall’s, West Indies, 1837; Welch, Bartlett, 1839. Equestrienne wife performed with him.
HOOD, ROBERT S. Treasurer, Great International (James E. Cooper, James A. Bailey, Robert S. Hood, David Worthington, proprietors), 1874; part owner and treasurer, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1875-76, Australian tour, 1877-78, 1879.
HOON, JOHN. (1816?-July 29, 1903) Clown and acrobat. Born in Beaver, PA. Began circus career as a hostler. Connected with Dan Rice’s for several years. Upon leaving the circus profession, became a stage driver until the railroads made that occupation out-dated. Died at his home in Wilkinsburg, PA, age 87.
HOOSE, WILLIAM. H. Buckley & Co., 1857-58.
HOPE, SAMUEL. James R. Cooke’s, winter 1864-65.
HOPGOOD, HARRY P. (1826?-July 9, 1910) Agent. Born in NY state. Burr Robbins’, 1880. Died at Amityville, LI, age about 84.
HOPKINS, DAN B. Press agent, P. T. Barnum’s, 1874-76.
HOPKINS, EZRA. (1788-1849) Born Putnam County, NY. June, Hopkins & Co., 1834; signed Zoological Institute agreement, 1835; bought “Canadian Circus” (Buckley & Weeks) at Zoological Institute auction, Somers, NY, in August 1837; Buckley, Rockwell, Hopkins & Co., 1838; Buckley, Hopkins, Tufts & Co., 1838; Buckley, Hopkins & Tufts sold to Nathans &Tufts, April 1839.
HOPKINS, H. Proprietor with Henry Rockwell and Matthew Buckley in circus enterprise, Buckley, Rockwell, Hopkins & Co., 1838; manager, Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1838; manager, Philadelphia Zoological Garden (for James Raymond), 1843-44; Hopkins & Co., 1845.
HOPKINS, J. D. Agent, Metropolitan Pavilion, 1874.
HOPKINS, W. H. Equestrian manager, with Shield’s Great Southern, 1888.
HOPPER, JERRY. Clown and stilt trickster. Yankee Robinson’s, 1866-68; Stowe & Norton, 1869; Miles Orton & Co., 1869; P. T. Barnum’s, 1871-76; Campbell’s, 1878; Burr Robbins’, 1879; Great Australian, 1880; Beckett’s Great Exposition Circus, 1881. Retired from circus life and operated a saloon and billiard parlor, Indian River, MI. Following year, was building an opera house, Indian River. Opened a variety theatre with James M. French, fall 1884, Sheboygan, MI. Wife, Cynthia, died July 26, 1879, age 26. Hopper died of Bright’s disease, Bay City, MI, circa February 15, 1887, age 44.
HORN, EPH [r. n. Evan Evans Hern]. (1823-January 3, 1877) Born in Philadelphia. First entered the minstrel profession, 1843, Carlisle, PA, as end man with S. S. Sanford’s troupe. Was one of the Virginia Serenaders, which began a long and successful career in burnt cork. Circus and menagerie affiliations with Raymond & Waring’s, 1844; followed with VanAmburgh’s; Sloat & Shepard, 1857; Joe Pentland’s, 1858; clown, National Circus, Philadelphia, fall 1858; Holiday Street Theatre, Baltimore, Tom King’s, beginning November 24, 1858. [T. Allston Brown: “He stood at the very head of the minstrel profession. Placed in almost any position in a company, he was able to fill the part. As an end man he was one of the best and as a delineator of the old Nergo he displayed remarkable talent. If Booth or Kean ever succeeded in ‘holding the mirror up to nature’ in the true Shakespearean sense, then Eph Horn did so far as negro minstrelsy is concerned.”] Died in St. Vincent’s Hospital, New York. Last appearance on the stage, Taylor’s Opera House, Trenton, NJ, Christmas Day, December 25, 1876. During this trip (it was a variety company), Horn took cold, from which pneumonia resulted. All the funeral expenses were borne by his old fiiend, Tony Pastor.
HORN, OTTO [or Horne]. Band leader. Welch & Lent, 1856; Sands & Nathans, 1857, 1859; violinist, W. N. Smith’s Ethiopians with VanAmburgh’s, 1860, 1862.
HORN, WIELLIAM. Clown, G. K. Goodwin’s, 1860.
HORN, WILLIAMSON WILLIAMS [“Bud”]. (December 21, 1850-July 8, 1908) “The Calliope King.” For 20 years worked with W. A. Sheetz of the Vendome Theatre, Nashville, TN, as advertising man. Summer season, traveled with circuses. Robert Burns, packet boat, 1879; John B. Doris’, 1883-86; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1887; Barnum & Bailey, 1890; treasurer, Dan Castello’s, 1892; Leon W. Washburn’s, 189495; Robinson & Franklin, 1896; Ringling Bros.’, 1897; John Robinson’s, 1898-99; Rhoda Royal’s, 1900; Campbell Bros.’, 1901-02; Pawnee Bill’s, 1903-07. [F. Smith: “Bud Horn was a famous operator in his day and enjoyed the distinction of being the first player to ride down Broadway playing the popular airs of the day.”] Died in Nashville, TN, age 56.
HORNER, PUSS. Kentucky clown. Stickney’s, 1848-49; S. Q. Stokes’, 1850-51; E. F. & J. Mabie’s, 1851-52; Butler’s, 1853; Crescent City Circus, 1855; Spalding & Rogers, 1856; clown and co-proprietor, Horner & Bell, 1865.
HORTON, DICK Agent, F. J. Taylor’s, 1892.
HORTON, OSCAR. Band leader, with James P. Johnson’s, 1870.
HORWITZ, BUCK. Boss razorback, with John Robinson’s, 1889-93.
HOSKINS, GEORGE. Lion tamer, Yankee Robinson’s, 1868.
HOSMER, IDA. See Mrs. Littlefluger.
HOSMER, JENNIE. Rider, Montgomery Queen’s, 1876.
HOSMER, M. Orton Bros.’, 1867.
HOSTEMAN, TOM. Boss canvasman, Wheeler Bros.’, 1894.
HOUGH, HARRISON. Presumably a native of Charleston, SC. For a brief period, 1835, connected with George Sweet in the management of a circus in that city, Sweet & Hough’s Pavilion Circus; failure forced the proprietors into turning the enterprise into a riding school. There was an H. Hough, equestrian manager, Star State Circus, New Orleans, fall 1852.
HOUGK W. H. [“Uncle Bill”]. Business manager, Robinson & Lake, 1864-65; agent and business manager, John Robinson’s, 1864-68; announced retirement, February 1868; nevertheless, agent James M. French’s, 1869; agent, P. T. Barnum’s, 1872-73; press agent, VanAmburgh’s, 1879-80; press agent, W. C. Coup’s, 1882.
HOUGHTON, ERNEST. Boss hostler, Main & Sargeant, 1891.
HOULTON, M. K. Proprietor, M. K. Houlton’s, 1893.
HOUSE, V. Y. General manager, Metropolitan Circus, 1897.
HOWARD, ANNIE. Sideshow tattooed lady, Cook & Whitby’s, 1892.
HOWARD BROTHERS [Lee, Bob]. Mexican ladder act, Lee’s Great London, 1890.
HOWARD, CHARLES. Clown, G. G. Grady’s, 1871-72; Robinson & Myers, 1883.
HOWARD, D. Vaulter, Mrs. Dan Rice’s, 1864.
HOWARD EDWARD L. Leaper, Sells Bros.’, 1881-82, 1886; Jesse W. Foster’s, South America, 1894.
HOWARD, FRANK. Booker & Howard’s Minstrels, L. B. Lent’s, 1862, 1865. Perhaps the same man with W. H. Harris’ Nickel-Plate, 1885; Barnum & Bailey, 1888.
HOWARD, GEORGE W. W. H. Stowe’s, winter 1881-82.
HOWARD, HAMILTON. Purchased the Collins’ Oriental Combination Collins’ Oriental Combination after it folded on August 7, 1877, with plans for a Southern tour. Shortly, advertised for a partner with $300.
HOWARD, HARRY. Menagerie, G. G. Grady’s, 1874; W. H. Harris’ Nickel-Plate, 1885.
HOWARD, IVY. Snake charmer, Cook & Whitby’s, 1892.
HOWARD, JOHN. Rider. Stewart’s, 1832; winter circus, Richmond Hill, NYC, 1837.
HOWARD, JOHN. (December 27, 1871-November 21, 1896) Aerialist Born in Spokane Falls, WA. Began professional career as a horizontal bar performer, 1890. 1892, took a partner and performed under the name of the Stillwells. Joined Ben Dunham, New Orleans, 1894, and performed as a member of the Dunham Family until his death. With Barnum & Bailey, sustained injuries, October 21, 1896, while performing at the Coliseum, Chicago; dropping from a bar 80’ above the floor into a net, his body revolved too much, causing him to alight almost on his head, which broke his spine. Died in a Chicago hospital on the above date.
HOWARD, LEE. (1860?-November 27, 1917) In the circus business for over 40 years. Connected with John Robinson’s, VanAmburgh’s, Sanger’s, Rice Bros.’, Gollmar Bros.’, and Yankee Robinson’s. Died in Toledo, OH, of Bright’s disease, age 57.
HOWARD, LOUISA [Mrs. Frank Brower, nee Banks]. Equestrienne. Born in Baltimore. A rider of high merit. [T. Allston Brown: She was a performer who “received a greater amount of sincere, unbought and enthusiastic applause than was ever awarded to any person who has attempted the daring and heroic art which she practiced ... with no superior in any part of the world.”] J. J. Hall’s, 1836, John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1844; Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1845; Welch & Mann, 1843-47 (where she rode in an act of mythology, “The Meeting of Flora and Minerva”); Welch’s National, 1849; Robinson & Eldred, 1850; in England, Welch, McCollum & Risley, 1851.
HOWARD, S. B. Treasurer, New York and New England Circus, 1884.
HOWARD, THOMAS. Acrobat, one of the Howard Brothers team. Retired, 1889, and settled in Columbus, IN.
HOWARD, THOMAS W. (1836?-October 25, 1903) Railroad contractor, Sells & Downs, 1892, 1894; and for the 4 years prior to his death, Great Eastern Railroad Circus and Howes’ Great London Railroad Shows. Died in Tishomingo, Indian Territory, age 67.
HOWARD, VICTORIA. Fancy dancer and vocalist, George F. Bailey & Co., 1860.
HOWARD, WALTER. Rider. With Handy & Welch, 1830; Yeaman’s, 1831; Edward Eldred’s, 1834; clown, J. Purdy Brown’s, St. Louis, 1834 or 1835; J. J. Hall’s, 1836; Boston Circus, 1837; J. W. Stocking’s, 1839; Welch & Delavan, 1841; Welch & Mann, 1843-44; Mann, Welch & Delavan, 1844; John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1844; Welch & Mann’s 2nd unit, 1845; Welch & Mann, 1846; Welch’s, 1847.
HOWARD, W. H. Rider, Charles Lee’s, 1893.
HOWARD, WILLIAM. Principal bareback rider, George W. Richard’s, 1887; Howard Bros.’ Dime Circus, 1888.
HOWARD, WILLIAM C. General agent, with French & Monroe, 1895.
HOWE, CHARLIE. With Herr Driesbach’s Menagerie and Howe’s Trans-Atlantic Circus, 1868.
HOWE, JAMES F. Press agent, Alex Robinson’s, 1874.
HOWE, JESSE. Clown, D. F. Dunham’s, 1875.
HOWELL, H. V. B. Proprietor, assistant manager, Baird, Howell & Co., 1874.
HOWELL, PROF. Performing animals, L. B. Lent’s, 1876.
HOWES, CADY E. (1812?-December 12, 1899) Entered the circus business, 1839, and continued for some 50 years. At various times, connected with Barnum’s, and Forepaugh’s. Sideshow, Madame Macarte’s European (James M. Nixon, proprietor), 1863; manager, Howes’ Great Circus, Bowery, NYC, winter 1863-64; boss canvasman, L. B. Lent’s, 1867-69; James E. Cooke’s, 1880. Retired, 1899. Died at his home in Brooklyn, NY, age 87.
HOWES, CHARLES O. Hat spinner, with VanAmburgh’s, 1879, 1883; Cooper, Jackson & Co., 1882.
HOWES, EPENETUS. (October 24, 1797-December 25, 1864) Connected with Jeremiah Fogg, 1826, operating Fogg & Howes’ Menagerie in the South. At one time that year they joined in combination with Quick & Mead’s.
HOWES, EGBERT CROSBY. (February 26, 1830-April 10, 1892) Son of Nathan Alva Howes and Clarissa Crosby Howes and twin brother of Albert Crosby Howes. Born in Brewster, NY, one of 13 children. As a youngster, traveled with his father’s circus and as a young man went to England with Uncle Seth’s circus, 1957. Became manager of Howes & Cushing, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In London, married equestrienne Jennie Maude Jee, 1859, and begot 4 children. Returned to the USA with Howes Great European, 1865; treasurer, James Nixon and Dan Castello’s, 1868; manager, during its famous trans-continental tour to the Pacific coast, 1869; 1870, with Uncle Seth’s show, returned to London and organized the Great American Circus and Menagerie; (with brother Elbert), proprietor, Howes’ Great London Circus, 1871-73, until James E. Kelley and Henry Barnum took it over. Following the sale, was connected with P. T. Barnum’s, Adam Forepaugh’s and Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Remained in the circus business until his death in Brewster, NY, age 61. Died from pneumonia brought on by a severe cold.
HOWES, ELBERT CROSBY. (February 26, 1830-1900) Son of Nathan Alva Howes and twin brother of Egbert Crosby Howes. Born in Brewster, NY, one of 13 children. In his youth, traveled with his father’s circus, and later went to England with his uncle Seth’s Great United States Circus, 1857. Active in the procurement of exotic animals for the concern; in Ceylon, acquired “some of the finest elephants ever exhibited”; 1871, became proprietor (with Egbert), Howes’ Great London Circus, a management which continued until James E. Kelley and Henry Barnum took over sometime in 1873. This ended Elbert’s circus activity. He settled in Brewster and focused attention toward politics; but an ambition to become a member of the New York State Assembly was never fulfilled. Occupied a 5 year position of town supervisor and, following, was the gate keeper of the Drewville Reservoir. Married Caroline Tanner of Danbury, CT, 1856. Following her death, 1867, married Melissa Tillotson.
HOWES, FRANK J. (June 4, 1832-October 1, 1880) Born in Rochester, NY. About age 18 became steward of the old Gennessee Valley packet, Red Jacket, commanded by Capt. Dan Bromley. 1851, entered show business under the guidance of circus agent Charles Bristol, with whom he remained for some years. Later, became an equestrian manager and ringmaster. Accompanied Howes & Cushing to England, remaining overseas for 3 years. While there, 1859, was engaged with James Myers’. Returned to USA, 1860, when he brought back Gerard C. Quick’s and Joseph Cushing’s hippopotamus and exhibited it in Canada, Cuba, and USA. Subsequently, was ringmaster and general performer, L. B. Lent’s, fall 1861-62; side-show (Howes had just purchased the Wild Hairless Mare), Thayer & Noyes, 1862; rider and ringmaster, Thayer & Noyes, 1863; proprietor (with James Robinson), Robinson & Howes’ Champion Circus, 1863-64. Robinson & Howes erected a wooden amphitheatre, Washington Street, Chicago, opening November 23, 1863. With Robinson’s withdrawal, 1864, Howes took Horace Norton as partner; 1867, added the United States Menagerie of Hitchcock, VanHorn & Cushing; following year, Frank Howes’ Trans-Atlantic Circus was combined with Herr Driesbach’s Menagerie, but by mid-season poor business forced the closing; Amphitheatre, Louisville, January 1868; Great Australian, 1870; George F. Bailey’s, 1873; Thayer & Noyes Great Australian Circus and G. F. Bailey & Co., 1874; 1875, joined with Joseph Cushing in a venture that took the circus to West Indies and South America. Subsequently, became associated with the Reiche Brothers of NYC and performed their prize Kentucky horses for 2 years; after which, the horses were sold to Lewis Sells, who hired Howes to work them. While traveling with Allen’s Eastern Circus, Howes died in Kaufman, TX. Married Mary E. Phelps in Cincinnati, November 2, 1853. The couple lived apart for many years, but never went to the extent of getting a divorce.
HOWES, JACOB ORSON. Brother of Nathan and Seth Howes. Manager with Nathan A. Howes’ New York Bowery Circus, NYC, 1845; Howes & Co.’s New York Circus, 1846; Howes & Co.’s Circus, 1847-48.
HOWES, JAMES R. (1802-1874) The brother of William Howes, Jr. Connected with Macomber & Howes’ Menagerie of Living Animals, 1830; 1833, the Howes brothers featured the elephant Columbus and an animal keeper who entered a leopard den; following year, expanded to 2 tents and a larger exhibit of animals. Manager and director, Mammoth Menagerie from Zoological Institute, NYC, 1837; Eagle Circus/ Cole & Co., 1837; Miller, Yale & Howes, 1838; June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1839, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC; rider, E. C. Yale & Co., 1840; Howes & Mabie, 1841; Nathan A. Howes’ winter circus, 1842.
HOWES, J. C. Giraffe keeper, western unit, June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1842; agent, Nathan Howes & Co., 1847.
HOWES, JOHN L. Treasurer, Robinson & Howes, 1863-64.
HOWES, LLOYD H. Brother of Seth B. Howes. Agent, Welch & Lent, 1854-56; master of horse, Sloat & Shepherd’s “Joe Pentland” Circus, 1859; Robinson & Howes, 1864. Was drowned, Elmire, MO, August 1, 1864, while trying to cross a swollen river.
HOWES, MARY E. [or Marie, nee Phelps]. Born in Buffalo, NY. Married Frank J. Howes in Cincinnati, November 2, 1853, and although separated for many years, never divorced. Rode in the entrée acts and was a danseuse. Went to England, 1857, Howes & Cushing’s United States Circus; Great Australian, 1870.
HOWES, NATHAN ALVAH. (April 22, 1796-June 28, 1878) Native of Brewster, Putnam County, NY, one of 12 children - 6 sons and 6 daughters - of Daniel and Ruhamah Reed Howes, who were farmers and ran a general store. One of the early pioneers of the American circus, learned ropewalking and hat spinning at the age of 15 and began performing in nearby communities. Married at 19 to a local girl, Clarissa Crosby. The first of the Howes family to enter the circus business and one of the earliest circus proprietors to tour with a circus company and to use a canvas pavilion. Ordered his first tent, 1825, from a sail maker in NYC and first exhibited it in April, 1826. Teamed with Aaron Turner in taking out the Columbian Circus, 1828. Had a small circus of his own, 1832, and was proprietor with Richard Sands of Howes & Sands’, 1834. Final season for Nathan Howes with Howes & Mabie’s, 1842; proprietor, Nathan A. Howes’ winter circus, 1843-44, Howes & Gardner (Nathan A. Howes and Dan Gardner, proprietors), 1844; Nathan A. Howes’ New York Bowery Circus, NYC, 1845, which became Howes & Co.’s Circus through the season of 1849. Following this, retired from active management but continued to invest in other shows. Was a shareholder in the Zoological Institute.
HOWES, OSWALD. George Bailey & Co., 1869.
HOWES, REED M. (d. October 11, 1879) Was contracting agent, Howes & Cushing, 1875; general contractor, L. B. Lent’s, 1876. Died at age 35.
HOWES, SETH BENEDICT. (August 15, 1815-May 17, 1901) Native of Brewster, Putnam County, NY. Often called “the father of the American circus.” At age 11, accompanied his older brother, Nathan A. Howes, in exhibiting Hachaliah Bailey’s elephant, “Betty,” through New England. First performed, Howes & Turner, 1826; rider, Nathan A. Howes’, 1832-38; equestrian manager (also performed as the Peruvian Hunter or the South American Indian Chief, in daring attitudes with spear, shield, bow & arrow, war club, etc.), Howes & Sands’, 1834-35; scenic rider, Eagle Circus/Cole & Co., 1837; proprietor (with Enoch Yale and John Miller), Miller, Yale & Howes, 1838; rider, June, Titus, Angevine & Co., Bowery Amphitheatre, 1839; E. C. Yale & Co., 1840, Howes & Mabie (Nathan Howes, Edmund F. and Jeramiah Mabie, proprietors), 1841-46. Said to be the first to have a billboard made or to paste paper out of doors (previously, advertising paper was tacked up). With P. T. Barnum, imported the first herd of elephants, 10 in all, seen in the country, which proved to be a great attraction. Imported the first drove of camels, which were trained to work in harness. 1848, joined with his brothers Nathan and Jacob to launch the Great United States Circus, said to be the largest such enterprise yet seen in America. Joined with Barnum, Sherwood Stratton and Lewis B. Lent, 1851, to organize Barnum’s Great Asiatic Caravan, Museum and Menagerie, opened June 1, 1851, and toured for 4 years. Went to France, 1852, where he met Henry Franconi, proprietor of the Paris Hippodrome, and conceived the idea of bringing such an establishment to the United States, which opened May 1, 1853. Engaged the Siamese Twins, Eng and Chang, for a year’s tour, which proved a success. Took a circus, menagerie and museum on the road featuring Tom Thumb, 1855. Following year, in partnership with Joseph Cushing, took the Great United States Circus to England, where the show remained until 1864, a feature being a stud of 70 cream colored horses. While there, introduced an American Indian troupe, which proved to be a great novelty. In London, January 26, 1861, at age 45, married Amy Moseley, a 19 year old equestrienne. Had 2 daughters from an earlier relationship, probably with a Sophia Kolia, but it is unlikely there was a marriage. Returned to America, 1864, triumphantly with Seth B. Howes’ Great European Circus, featuring Crockett and his den of lions and a caravan of ornate pageant wagons which he had acquired there. Went into semi-retirement, 1865, when he sold the show to the “Flatfoots,” who continued operation through 1871. Returned to England, 1870, leaving February 2 on the steamer Iris with his twin nephews, Egbert and Elbert. Put together a show there and tried it out for a season. Like the earlier visit, during this venture he made deals with Lord George Sanger for a collection of rare animals and ornate pageant wagons as a parade feature. Also engaged a number of English and European performers for an 1871 USA tour. All this, animals, chariots, personnel, and some circus paraphernalia were transported across the Atlantic in time to open an American summer season. At age 56, retired and turned the Howes name over to Egbert and Elbert. [Stuart Thayer: Howes was “a true pioneer of the tented circus.”) He was a tight-fisted manager who was responsible for launching many arenic careers; a shrewd businessman, a master showman, and became the wealthiest circus proprietor in America, acquiring prime real estate in Chicago and accumulating railroad stocks which allowed him to retire with an immense fortune to a mansion on Turk’s Hill, Brewster, NY. And died there, age 86, one of the greatest showmen of the 19th century American circus.
HOWES, WILLIAM, JR. (b. 1807) Brother of James R. Howes and son of Nathan Howes. Connected with Macomber & Howes’ Menagerie of Living Animals, 1830; Howes & Birchard’s Menagerie the same year; 1833, the Howes brothers featured the elephant Columbus and an animal keeper who entered a leopard den. Following year, expanded to 2 tents and a larger exhibit of animals. Rider, June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1839, Bowery Amphitheatre; rider, Howes & Mabie’s, 1841; manager, Howes and Gardner, 1944.
HOWES, WILSON. Rider. Cousin of Nathan and Seth B. Howes. Nathan Howes & Co,, 1826; Nathan A. Howes’, 1832; Howes & Sands, 1934-35; Nathan A. Howes’, 1836, winter circus, Richmond Hill, NYC, 1837; performing dogs, S. H. Nichols’, 1838; Thomas Taplin Cooke’s, 1838; June, Titus, Angevine & Co., Bowery Amphitheatre, 1839-40; equestrian manager, eastern unit of June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1841; Howes & Mabie, 1843; Nathan A. Howes’ winter circus, 1843-44; manager, Howes & Gardner, 1844. A shareholder in the Zoological Institute.
HOWETT, CHARLES. Equestrian director, F. J. Taylor’s, 1889; juggler, Ringling Bros.’, 1991.
HOYT BROTHERS. Great Chicago, 1879.
HOYT, EMMA. Dwarf, Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1870.
HOYT, GEORGE W. Negro minstrel. Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1839; Welch & Delavan, 1841; James Raymond’s, 184344; Mann, Welch & Delavan, 1844; Raymond & Warings’, 1847.
HUBBELL ALONZO. Cannon ball exercises, heavy juggling, the “American Sampson” who endured the weight of 2 men clinging to his hair while he hurled them around the arena until they lost hold from exhaustion. “The cannon ball defier,” Rockwell & Stone, 1845-46; Banigan & Kelly, 1847; Howes & Co., 1849; H. Buckley & Co., 1857-58; Stickney’s, Old Bowery, NYC, 1861.
HUBBELI, A. P. Manager of stand privileges, Sun Bros.’, 1896.
HUBBELL, WILLIAM. Manager, Hubble, Hunt & Co. (James Raymond, proprietor), 1841; Hubble & Co. (James Raymond, proprietor), 1842; manager, Rockwell & Stone, 1846-47; European, 1849.
HUDGINS, J. G. Contracting agent, Black Bros.’, 1897.
HUDSON, BENNY. Rider, Hudson & Castello, 1881.
HUDSON, GEORGE. Pony rider, Hudson & Castello, 1881.
HUDSON, J. M. Hudson’s Great North and South American Circus, West Indies, 1872-73; Hudson & Castello’s Circus (J. M. Hudson and Dan Castello, proprietors), 1879; Atlantic, 1881.
HUNDON, SAM. Chiarini’s, South and Central America, 1869-70. Died in South America, February 14, 1870.
HUFF, G. A. G. A. Huff & Co.’s Metropolitan Circus, 1870.
HUFFMAN, FRANK Proprietor, Huffman’s Dime Circus, 1885-86; general agent, Forepaugh & Samwells, winter 188788.
HUFFMAN, HENRY. Elephant trainer connected with the zoos at Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, and Central Park, NYC. Also with LaPearl’s Circus and Wallace Bros.’ At winter quarters, Peru, IN, with the Wallace show, was killed by the bull “Big Charley,” whom he had handled for 7 years. On April 25, 1901, he had the elephant herd at the river’s bank, washing them when, for some reason, “Big Charley” flung him into the drink. Huffman came out of the water to discipline the animal who went berserk, throwing the trainer back into the river and stomping him to death.
HUGHES. Acrobat, John Robinson’s, 1888-90.
HUGHES, BENTON. Manager of hippodrome, Cook & Whitby, 1892.
HUGHES, CRIS. Clown. Olympic Circus, Philadelphia, 1822; Price & Simpson, 1823-24; slack-wire performer, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, 1824; slack-rope, Washington Gardens, Boston, fall 1825; ringmaster, William Harrington’s, 1825; Lafayette Amphitheatre, NYC, 1825-26; clown, Tivoli Garden, Philadelphia, 1826; Quick & Mead, 1826; and Washington Circus, Philadelphia, 1827-28, 1830. [Charles Durang: He was “a very great favorite with the Northern Liberty audience.... He was always hailed by them with loud shouts and huzzahs as a star par excellence in a sawdust firmament.”] 1830, accompanied Fogg & Stickney on their summer campaign through Pennsylvania. On the way to their first stand, Lancaster, and darkness being upon them, they stopped their caravan at a tavern. When his companions attempted to awaken Hughes to climb down from the wagon, they discovered him dead, presumably from a stroke.
HUGHES, D. W. Director of publications, European Circus, 1869-70.
HUGHES, PAT [or Nat]. Rider, G. G. Grady’s, 1871; equestrian director, 1873, clown, 1874.
HUGO. (1869?-April 23, 1916) French sideshow giant, advertised at 8’ 4” tall and weighing around 536 pounds. Connected with Barnum & Bailey. Died in NYC, age 47.
HUGO, MAX. Egyptian juggler, Delavan’s, 1886; juggler and clown, Albert Hose’s, 1893.
HUGO, VIC. Museum manager, W. C. Coup’s, 1893.
HULL, GEORGE [r. n. Cheveril E. Gamer]. (August 21, 1864-October 25, 1908) Born in Azalia, IN. 16 years with Barnum & Bailey as ticket seller and advance man. At one time, acting superintendent at the Olympia, London, where he met and married Mary Giles, professionally known as Marie DeWolf, a female drum major and one time leader of the Carl Clair band for Barnum & Bailey. Hull died of heart trouble at St. Mary’s, OH, age 43.
HUMMEL, JOHN F. (March 6, 1858-January 22, 1914) Treasurer, R. W. Weldon & Co., 1885. Hummel, Hamilton & Sells sold equipment to J. N. Rentfrow, 1893. Hummel & Hamilton’s Great Syndicate Shows (James M. Hamilton, John F. Hummel, proprietors), 1896. This was J. N. Rentfrow’s Great Syndicate Shows which collapsed on August 8 and was purchased by them. J. F. Hummel’s, 1896-98; filed for bankruptcy, 1901.
HUMPHREY, J. B. Agent, Castello & VanVleck, 1863.
HUNT, A. Proprietor, A. Hunt & Co., 1838; manager (for James Raymond), Hubble, Hunt & Co., 1841.
HUNT, ALBERT. Lake’s Hippo-Olyinpiad, 1867.
HUNT, BENJAMIN J. Agent. Raymond & Co., 1850; Raymond & Driesbach, 1851; Robinson & Eldred, 1855.
HUNT, CHARLES R. General agent, Diefenbach’s TransAtlantic Circus, 1888.
HUNT, FRANK Bareback rider. Started with P. A. Older, early 1870s. Went to the John O’Brien show, where he remained some years, the last 2 or 3 as assistant manager and at times in charge of the advance as the general agent ahead of the show. For years was known to the public as Miss Frankie Hunt, female impersonator on a horse. [D. W. Watt: “When made up in female attire for his act, he could mount a horse and do as good a bareback act as anyone in the business, and the public for years never knew but what it was Miss Frankie Hunt.”] After leaving circus activity, was connected with hotels in different cities, and later owned a hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
HUNT, FRED. Born in Bath, England. Formerly a wig maker. Interested in circus enterprises with John Tryon, also Johnson & May, and with Seth B. Howes for Barnum’s first tented exhibition. Stickney’s, 1848-49; Raymond & Mabie, 1852; writer, Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1869. Became a journalist, advancing from police reporter to editor and music critic. Authored one or two plays. Connected with the Enquirer, the Commercial, and the Daily Dispatch.
HUNT, WILLIAM. Vaulter and rider. Considered one of the leading vaulters of his day. Edwin Derious was a pupil of his. Rider, John Rogers’, NYC, 1823-24; bareback rider, Olympic Circus, 1824; rider, Price & Simpson, 1824-25, 1826; vaulter, J. Purdy Brown’s, 1825-26, 1827-28. While with the latter, 1828, New Orleans, broke his neck from a vaulting board and died.
HUNT, WILLIAM LEONARD. See Signor Guillermo Antonio Farini.
HUNTER, C. Whitby & Co. (John O’Brien, proprietor), 1867.
HUNTER, CHARLES. DeBonnaire’s Great Persian Exposition, 1880; Hunter Bros.’ Consolidated (Charles and John Hunter, proprietors), 1884. The brothers had 2 circuses out that year and a 2,000 seat amphitheatre in Pittsburg, KS, into which traveling shows were booked and which doubled as winter quarters.
HUNTER, C. C. Horse trainer and apparent proprietor, Washington Bros.’, 1887.
HUNTER, DICK [r. n. George W. Lounsbury, Jr.]. (November 15, 1851-October 18, 1900) Agent. Born in Boston. Started into show business by organizing a variety company, which included himself doing black face entertainment and booking. This began a career on the stage that included performing in concert saloons in and around Chicago and which ultimately led to an engagement with the Al G. Field Minstrels. Indeed, it was Al G. Field who suggested him changing his name to Hunter, Hunter being shorter and less confusing when it appeared on the bills. 1885, contracting agent, Ringling Bros.’, a position that lasted for several years with that concern. In the winter, acted as agent for the Ringling hall show tours. Subsequently, managed tours for Mlle. Roze, the pedestrian; the Hyer Sisters; the D’Ormond Dramatic Co.; and was general agent for Taylor’s Circus out of Creston, IA, 1891. Rejoined Ringling Bros.’, 1894, as contracting agent and remained with them until fall 1896, when he was forced to retire because of illness. However, the following winter, was ahead of E. H. McCoy’s “Turkish Bath” Co.; general agent, F. J. Taylor’s, 1899-93; John Robinson’s, 1898; Ringling Bros.’, 1899; contracting agent, Sells & Gray, 1900 (the show closed early so he finished the season with Gollmar Bros.’).
HUNTER, G. G. Sideshow solicitor, Holland & McMahon, 1885.
HUNTER, H. V. Manager, Hardenberger & Co’s Circus, 1871.
HUNTER, JAMES. (d. 1839) Equestrian. Englishman from Astley’s Amphitheatre, recruited and brought to America by Stephen Price of the Park Theatre, NYC, 1822, to become the first real equestrian star in this country. Was the American innovator in bareback riding, setting the standard to which everyone else attempted to emulate and, as such, could demand twice the salary of other equestrians. Also worked on the tight rope but was not considered preeminent in that area of performance. The first to perform the Polandric ladder in this country. Light and compact and full of nerve and spring, stood only 5’4” tall. Made his American debut, Philadelphia, October 16, 1822, and was a great success, initiating a career that was meteoric but short lived. [Charles Durang: “Being a handsone and graceful little figure of a man, and youthful, the women adored him and the men lionized him, but through a weak mind and dissipated habits he lost all.”] Married a young lady from Philadelphia against her parents’ wishes but the union did not last long. Became intemperate in habits, quickly losing favor and skill. Bareback rider and “Hunted Tailor,” Simpson & Price, 1822-27; Joseph Cowell’s, 1824; Samuel Parsons’ Albany Circus, Troy, NY, 1828; American Arena, Washington, DC, winter 1828-29, apparently his last engagement in America. Returning to England, 1929, performed at fairs and other cheap events. At last, impoverished, circus managers, remembering what he once was, gave him charitable asylum on their salary lists and brother performers gave him occasional handouts. One day, in a drunken spree, stole a coat from Benjamin Stickney, a member of Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre; enraged, Stickney had him arrested; ultimately, tried and convicted and sentenced to Van Dieman’s Island.
HUNTER, G. V. Manager, Handenburger & Co., 1871.
HUNTER, JOHN. See Charles Hunter.
HUNTER, JOSEPIL Advertising agent, Gregory & D’Alma, 1889.
HUNTERSON, JOHN A. (d. February 22, 1890) Hurdle rider, J. W. Wilder’s, 1872; Roman standing race, Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1882; also Thayer & Noyes, Martinette Bros.’
HUNTING, CLARENCE. Hilliard & Hunting’s Great Pacific Circus (M. M. Hilliard, R. Hunting, proprietors), 187778.
HUNTING, CLARICE [or Clarissa]. Wife of Robert Hunting. Gymnast, G. G. Grady’s, 1874; aerialist, Hurlburt & Hunting, 1885-87.
HUNTING, LEW. Wire-walker, Hurlburt & Hunting, 1887; tight-rope, Hunting’s, 1888.
HUNTING, MOLLIE. Robert Hunting’s Railroad Shows, 1897.
HUNTING, ROBERT. (May 10, 1848-April 21,1902) Born in Baltimore, MD. Clown and proprietor, rider, trapeze artist and bar performer. Haight & Chambers, 1865; Gardner, Kenyon & Roberson, 1869. Married Clara King, New Castle, PA, 1869. Adam Forepaugh’s, 1870-73; G. G. Grady’s, 187374; Hilliard & Hamilton, 1875; assistant manager, clown and co-proprietor, Hilliard, Hamilton & Hunting’s Great Pacific Combination, 1876; proprietor and clown, Hilliard & Hunting’s Great Pacific Circus (H. H. Hilliard, R. Hunting, proprietors), 1877; Great Pacific Circus and Congress of Educated Horses (H. H. Hilliard, R. Hunting, proprietors), 1879; clown, Hilliard, Hunting & DeMott’s Great Pacific, 1879. Sold interest in the Great Pacific to Hilliard & DeMott, November, 1879. Sells Bros.’, 1880-81; purchased interest in the Wambold Circus, September 1983 (the show was to be re-organized for the following season); Washburn & Hunting, 1884, sold interest to Washburn at season’s end; equestrian director and aerialist, Hurlburt & Hunting, 1885-97; Great 100 Railroad Show; proprietor, Hunting’s New York CirqueCurriculum, 1888-89; Hunting’s Circus, 1892-98, ultimately sustaining a great fmancial loss. Jailed in Canandaigua, NY, for shooting Thomas F. Leddy, bandmaster, an incident occurring in the main circus tent, July 25, 1898, because salaries of some band members were overdue and Leddy and other musicians were preparing to leave the show. There were hot words between Hunting and Leddy and blows were struck. Hunting, a much smaller man, whipped out a revolver and fired twice at the band master, hitting him in the shoulder and abdomen. Was freed August 5 on the grounds of self-defense. Died of a stroke at the Soldiers’ Home, Erie, PA.
HUNTING, TONY. Robert Hunting’s Railroad Shows, 1896-97.
HUNTINGTON, BENJAMIN. Clown, ringmaster. Aaron Turner’s, 1833, 1835; ringmaster, Quick, Sands & Co., Baltimore, 1933; clown, J. J. Hall’s, 1836; ringmaster, H. H. Fuller’s, 1838; clown, June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1839-40, Bowery Amphitheatre; clown, eastern unit, June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1842; clown, S. H. Nichols’, Albany Amphitheatre, winter 1843; clown, Nathan A. Howes’, winter circus, 1842; Rockwell & Stone, 1843; clown, winter circus, Niblo’s Garden, NYC, 1843-44; John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1847; ringmaster, Sands, Lent & Co., 1847; June, Titus & Co., 1848-49; ring-master, Spalding & Rogers, 1850; ringmaster, G. C. Quick’s, 1852; ringmaster, Sands & Chiarini, 1854; equestrian director, Sands, Nathans & Co., 1857; ring-master, Sands & Nathans, 1859; R. Sands’, 186062; ringmaster, Melville, Cooke & Sands, 1863.
HUNTINGTON, CHARLES M. Clown, George W. DeHaven’s, 1860.
HUNTINGTON, HARRY. (December 22, 1832-June 1860) Agent. Born in Springfield, MA. Entered show business as agent for Everitt, the Magician. Next joined Robinson & Eldred. Married Susan Denin, Richmond, VA, January 25, 1856, while traveling with Christy’s Minstrels. Died in Emira, NY.
HUNTLEY, TOM. Variety troupe, Haight & Chambers, 1867.
HUNTLEY, THOMAS L. Tight-rope walker, known professionally as Delane. Killed while performing in Wilmington, NC, November 27, 1865.
HURD, SAMUEL H. Having married P. T. Barnum’s oldest daughter, Helen, in the fall of 1857, his connection with the Barnum management began as early as 1864 when he was listed as an assistant for the second American Museum. The couple was divorced, 1871. Appointed assistant treasurer for P. T. Barnum’s, 1871-73; Barnum’s Roman Hippodrome, 1874-75. Was there, in part, to protect Barnum’s interest. Later was promoted to treasurer, receiving 20% of the yearly gross. 1874, worked under the title of superintendent and treasurer.
HURLBURT, D. P. Manager, performer of trained horses, Hurlburt & Hunting, 1885-87; Hurlburt’s, 1888; Hurlburt & Leftwich, 1890-94.
HURTT, ANNIE. Trapeze, Baldwin, Wall & Co.’s Great Eastern, 1880.
HUSTED, E. C. Agent, Howes & Co., 1846.
HUSTED, N. R. Proprietor (with I. P. Frost), Frost, Husted & Co., 1836; agent, Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1840; agent, Howes & Gardner (Nathan A. Howes and Dan Gardner, proprietors), 1844.
HUTCH, JIM. Sideshow. For some 40 years care-taker of the curiosities on John Robinson’s. Considered to be an eccentric with a heart of gold.
HUTCHINGS, PROF. W. S. Proprietor, European and American Museum, Amphitheatre and Indian Show (managed by John Weaver), 1867, starting out of Louisville, KY.
HUTCHINS, [“MASTER”]. Rider, John Bill Ricketts’, Philadelphia, 1795-99. In 1800, while on their way to the West Indies, their ship was set upon by pirates and the company put ashore at Guadalupe. There, Hutchins fell ill and died, age 9 or 10.
HUTCHINS, W. L. Lecturer, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1872.
HUTCHINSON, BEETLE. Boss hostler, with Adam Forepaugh’s, 1872.
HUTCHINSON, C. A. Master of transportation, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1876; master of transportation, Robbins & Colvin, 1881.
HUTCHINSON, CHARLES R. (February 3, 1868-July 10, 1934) Treasurer for the old Barnum & Bailey Circus and continued in the same capacity with the combined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey for some 35 years. Earlier, was with Adam Forepaugh’s, 1892-95; Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. His father, Calvin A. Hutchinson, held executive positions with Cooper Bailey & Co. His mother, Anna Isabel McCaddon Hutchinson, was a sister of Mrs. James A. Bailey. Married to Tillie Patterson. Died on Long Island, NY, at home of his son, Charles M., age 66. Other sons were Harry B. and Fred B.
HUTCHNSON, GEORGE P. Acrobat. Performed the Roman Brothers with John H. Murray, Stone & Rosston, 1864-66; Stone, Rosston & Murray, 1867; Stone & Murray, 1868-69. Also, presented a troupe of performing dogs, 1867-69. At one point, had an interest in the firm.
HUTCHINSON, JAMES L. (November 18, 1846-September 3 or 9, 1910) Born in Jerseyville, OH. Entered show business as canvasman, Lake’s; joined Mabie’s, 1863, employed by Stewart Craven for the “peep show,” and remained through the season of 1864; Yankee Robinson’s, 1866-69; contracting aqgent, P. A. Older’s, 1870; autobiography agent, P. T. Barnum’s, 1871-1873, from which he made a small fortune; remained with Barnum’s, 1874-75, as press agent, etc.; privileges, VanAmburgh’s, 1876-78; controlled all privileges, Cooper & Bailey, 1878-80; Following the 1880 season, by good fortune, became a partner with P. T. Barnum and James A. Bailey in forming the combined P. T. Barnum and Great London Shows and held an interest in Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson until he sold it October 27, 1887. [Hugh Coyle: “... was the best lecturer for a concert that ever did that work in a tented show.”] Married Miss Frankie Watt, professionally known as Mollie V. Lubin, in NYC, March 25, 1880. She died 1903. At time of death, owned 3 homes: in NYC, Englewood, NJ, and on Shelter Island, NY, where he died from heart failure while playing golf. Had two sons, James and Guy, and a daughter.
HUTCHINSON, THOMAS. Manager, Joseph D. Palmer’s, 1836.
HUYCK IKE. Clown, Orton’s, 1856; Mabie Bros.’, 1858-59. Performed with trick mules.
HUYLER, A. Gymnast, First National Union, 1861.
HUZLITT, GEORGE [or Joseph]. Rider and athlete, L. B. Lent’s, 1867.
HUZZA, IDA. See Mrs. Littlefluger.
HUZZA, ROBERT. See Major Littlefluger.
HYATT, FRANK. (February 21, 1842-February 17, 1927) Born in Jefferson Valley, Putnam County, NY. Entered the business as proprietor, Hyatt & Co., 1859; VanAmburgh’s, 1863, and remained until 1865, when the organization became Barnum & VanAmburgh’s and exhibited on Broadway between Spring and Prince Streets. After firm dissolved, 1870, continued with VanAmburgh until 1875, transferring to Great London as treasurer until the company closed in Augusta, GA, 1876. Manager, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1977; advance agent, Forepaugh’s, 1878, joined the Barnum show at the time of its consolidation with Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1881, and remained for some years; assistant manager, 1893. Throughout his career, filled nearly every position connected with the circus. Died at Connersville, IN, age 85.
HYATT, OSCAR W. (d. April 10, 1887) Entered circus business in the early 1850s. Although a man of rugged physique, was never a performer. Manager, Harry Buckley’s, 1856; also, L. G. Butler’s, Mabie’s, W. W. Cole’s, and VanAmburgh’s (assistant manager, 1881-82). Died of pneumonia, NYC.
HYATT, WILLIAM. Chief bill poster, J. F. Taylor’s, 1889.
HYMAN, SPAFF. Sideshow privilege, Thayer & Noyes, 1864; sideshow talker, magician and juggler, Shellenberger’s, 1871; wizard, P. T. Barnum’s, 1874; Batcheller & Doris, 1879.
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