Circus Historical Society
Olympians of the Sawdust Circle - NOlympians of the Sawdust Circle: A biographical dictionary of the ninteenth century American circus
Compiled and Edited by William L. Slout
NAGLE, HENRY. Acrobat. Welch & Mann, 1846; Welch’s, 1847; Sands, Nathans & Co., 1854; Welch & Lent, 1854; H. P. Madigan, 1856; Welch’s, Philadelphia, winter 1857-60.
NAIL, JOHN W. (1855?-March 1, 1882) Associate. Started into show business with Alex Robinson’s, fall 1868; privilege department, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1873-75, 1881; Pullman’s, 1876; John O’Brien’s, 1877; Campbell’s, 1878; Batchelor & Doris, 1879-80. Married Annie Bostwick of Allegany, NY, winter 1879. Died after a brief illness in Mocksville, NC, age 27.
NAIL, MARIAH. Midget. Adam Forepaugh’s (Pullman Bros.’ sideshow), 1876.
NANO, SIGNOR HERVIO. See Harvey Leach.
NAPIER, ALICE. Gymnast. Wife of William Forepaugh. Montgomery Queen’s, 1873; Burr Robbins’, 1874-75. See Josephine F. Forepaugh. See Josephine F. Forepaugh.
NASH, AL. Singing clown, Great Exposition Circus, 1895.
NASH, FRANK E. (d. September 4, 1882) Elephant trainer and ringmaster. Dan Rice’s, 1849-1852; VanAmburgh’s & Co.’s northern, 1859; VanAmburgh’s southern, 1860; VanAmburgh & Co., 1865-66, 1871; Dan Rice’s, 1868. Died in Philadelphia. In last 8 years, was head keeper at the Zoological Garden, Fairmount Park, Philadelphia.
NATHAN, EMANUEL. Russian lion tamer. About age 40, made his appearance in this country for the first time with Barnum & Bailey, 1886, arriving from Germany, October 20, 1885.
NATHAN, THOMAS B. (b. 1807) Singer. Buckley & Co., 1834-36; Raymond & Weeks, 1836; Lion Theatre Circus, 1837; J. J. Hall’s, West Indies, 1837.
NATHANIELS, R. Acrobat and comic rider. Spalding & Rogers, 1857-58; McCorkle’s, 1859; Niblo & Sloat (Nathaniels & Ashton), 1860.
NATHANS, ADDISON M. (b. December 27, 1835) General and press agent. Younger brother of John J. Born in Florida. Entered the Confederate Army, April, 1, 1861, and served throughout the war, after which he returned to his home state and entered into the mercantile business. Fall 1868, moved to NYC and joined the European Circus on Broadway. George F. Bailey & Co., 1869; advance, European Circus, 1870-71; Melville, Maginley & Cooke, 1875; assistant manager, P. T. Barnum's, 1876-79; proprietor (with E. D. Colvin), Nathans & Co., 1882-83.
NATHANS, DAVIS. Superintendent of automatic and mechanical dept., P. T. Bamum's, 1875.
NATHANS, EMMA. [r. n. Emma C. Paulin]. Equestrienne. Was step-daughter of J. J. Nathans and daughter of Amelia astor Nathans. Welch & Nathans, 1851; Sands & Quick, 1852; E. F. and J. Mabie's, 1854; New York Champs Elysees, 1866.
NATHANS, ESTELLE. Dan Castello’s, 1870.
NATHANS, JOHN JAY. (1814-December 26, 1891) Showman and rider. Younger brother of Thomas B. Nathans. Married Amelia Pastor, 1840. Was one of the first to ride 4-horse while carrying a child above his head. Was a tutor to many young men who became prominent equestrians - a few being Edward and William Kincade, Tony, Frank, and William Pastor. As a performer, was connected with Benjamin Brown’s, 1828; vaulter, Asa T. Smith’s, 1829; Handy & Welch, West Indies, 1829; William Harrington’s, 1832; director, Quick, Sands & Co., 1833; Buckley & Co., 1834; Buckley, Weeks & Co., 1835; J. J. Hall’s, 1836; J. J. Hall’s, West Indies, 1837; Hall, Nathans & Tufts, 1839; Clayton, Bartlett & Welch, 1840; Welch & Delavan, 1841; equestrian manager, eastern unit of June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1842; 2-horse rider, Welch & Mann, 1843; Mann, Welch & Delavan, 1844-46; Welch & Delavan, 1847; Welch, Delavan & Nathans, 1848-50. Partnership with Richard Sands, 1850s, a union which continued until Sands death, 1861. Took Sands, Nathans & Co. to the Bowery and Broadway circuses, 1858. With Sands, Seth Howes and Avery Smith, erected Franconi’s Hippodrome, Broadway and 23rd Street, NYC, 1853, marking the introduction of hippodrome performances to America. Managed Mabie’s Menagerie and Nathans’ Circus, 1861; S. P. Stickney’s, 1861; L. B. Lent’s, 1862; manager, Seth B. Howes’, 1864-69; George Bailey & Co., 1867. With Lewis June, Avery Smith (Smith died the first year), and George F. Bailey, took out P. T. Barnum’s, 1876-80. Wife Mary died in Philadelphia, February 18, 1869. Then married the English equestrienne, Lucille Watson, who had come to USA with Seth B. Howes’ Great European. See Lucille Watson. Nathans died in NYC, age 77, leaving an estate at close to a half a million dollars.
NATHANS, MRS. J. J. See Lucille Watson.
NATHANS, PHILO R. [r. n. Rust]. Rider. Apprentice of John J. Nathans, described as being a spirited somersault and 4-horse rider. Married Sophia Victoria North, daughter of Levi J. North, in Philadelphia, March, 1866, but the couple were divorced, December 17, 1877. Sands, Nathans & Co., 1854-57; Sands, Nathans & Co., Bowery and Broadway circuses, 1858; Sands & Nathans, 1859; Mabie & Nathans, 1861; Tom King’s, winter 1861, Washington, DC; Gardner & Hemmings, 1862; George F. Bailey & Co., 1863, with same at Spalding & Rogers’ Academy of Music, New Orleans, winter 1863-64; Tom King’s, 1864; Seth B. Howes’, 1866-68; winter circus, at Chestnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, 1868-69; Dan Castello’s, 1870; Philadelphia Circus, winter 1870-71; George F. Bailey & Co., 1872; P. T. Barnum’s, 1873; Montgomery Queen’s, 1873-74; equestrian director, Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1880; Robbins & Colvin, 1881; Nathans & Co., 1882-83.
NATHANS, SOPHIA VICTORIA. See Sophia Victoria North.
NATHANS, THOMAS B. (b. March 31, 1805) Older brother of John J. Left home at age 16 and apprenticed with Daniel Champlin. See John Jay Nathans.
NATHANS, W. H. Proprietor, Metropolitan Pavilion, 1874.
NAYLOR, HENRY. (d. August 28, 1867) Night watchman, Herr Driesbach & Co.’s Menagerie, 1856. Died of pleurisy, Worcester, OH, age 34.
NAYLOR, JOHN W. (b. December 8, 1838) Rider, ringmaster and general performer. Born in New Orleans. Pupil of Levi J. North. Levi J. North’s, 1857-59; scenic rider, Hyatt & Co., 1859; Gardner & Hemmings, 1863; tumbler, George W. DeHaven & Co., 1865; tumbler, leaper, Palmer’s Great Western, 1865; ringmaster, Haight & Chambers, 1866-67; ringmaster, Mike Lipman’s, 1867; Maginley, Carroll & Co., 1868; Lake’s Hippo-Olympiad, 1869; ringmaster, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1869-70, 1873-74; J. W. Wilder’s, 1872.
NAYLOR, WILLIAM H. (January 17, 1837-May 8, 1879) Bareback and hurdle rider. Native of New Orleans where his father was a prompter in many of the first-class theatres. Began his professional career at the age of 4 as a pupil of the great rider, Levi J. North, with whom he remained until he was 21. Gardner & Hemmings, 1863; Nixon’s Cremorne Garden Circus, Washington, DC, October-December 1862; Tom King’s, 1864; George W. DeHaven’s, 1865; Haight & Chambers, 1866-67; C. T. Aymes’, 1868; S. P. Stickney’s, 1869; James M. Nixon’s, 1870; E. Stowe’s, 1871; James M. Nixon’s, Chicago, 1872. Forced to retire because of severe rheumatism and died some 4 or 5 years later in NYC, age 38. His father was for many years a prompter for various theatres in the country.
NEAL, GEORGE. G. W. Hall, Jr.’s Circus and Trained Animal Shows, 1895.
NEAL, JOSEPH H. Gymnast. Niblo & Sloat (L. B. Lent, manager), West Indies, 1860; Rogers & Ashton’s acrobatic troupe, 1861; Spalding & Rogers, South America, 1862; Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1869; equestrian director, G. G. Grady’s, 1874.
NEARY, ED. Clown. Sells Bros.’, 1882; French & Monroe, 1885; S. H. Barrett’s, 1885; Wallace & Co., 1887; Frank A. Gardner’s Circo Americano, Central and South America, 1888. It is believed he died in 1888.
NEARY, JAMES. Alex Abar’s Pavilion Show, 1889.
NEAVE FAMILY. Musicians. R. S. Neave, Cincinnati Buckeye Brass Band, Cincinnati Circus, 1845; “bugle champion from Berlin,” E. F. Mabie, 1847, E. F. & J. Mabie, 1848. William H. Neave, A. Turner & Co., 1849-50. M. T. Neave, National Union Band, Robinson & Eldred, 1851-52; David S. Neave, New York Knickerbocker Band, Welch-Nathans, 1851; band leader, Robinson & Eldred, 1852.
NECELLO, FRANK. Swiss warbler, sideshow, Gardner & Hemmings, 1863.
NEEDHAM, HENRY. Thomas Taplin Cooke’s, 1838; manager, S. H. Nichols’, 1840-41; Aaron Turner & Sons, 1842; ringmaster, Niblo’s Garden, NYC, winter 1843-44; equestrian director, Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1843; equestrian director, Nathan A. Howes’, winter 1843-44; equestrian director, Rockwell & Stone, 1843-46; Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding’s, 1847.
NEHAMO. Dwarf, Alex Robinson’s, 1866.
NEIDRACK, LOUIS. See Louis Fanlon.
NEILL, WILLIAM and HENRY. Tom King’s, 1864.
NELLIS. See K. G. Saunders.
NELSON, ALBERT “MASTER”. James E. Cooke’s, 1880.
NELSON, CHARLES. Gymnast, H. M. Smith’s, 1870.
NELSON, E. Clown, Barnum & Bailey, 1893.
NELSON, EMILIE. DeMott & Ward, 1868.
NELSON FAMILY. Arthur Nelson was head of the famous Nelson family of 9 - 6 daughters, 1 son. Acrobats who worked together for a long time, and were rated tops in their line of work. Made their home in Mount Clemens MI. After retirement because of age, the children carried on. Daughters were Rosina, Oneida, Hilda, Theol, Estrella, and Carmencita. Paul was the only son. Arthur was a rider, P. T. Barnum’s, 1874; pantomime clown, Great Commonwealth, 1879; James E. Cooke’s, 1880; P. T. Barnum’s, 1880; Orrin Bros.’, Havana, 1880, Mexico, 1883; Beckett’s Great Exposition Circus, 1881. Died January 23, 1941, age 75, at Mount Carmel Hospital, Detroit, of injuries sustained in an auto accident January l. There is confusion with Nelson Family below.
NELSON FAMILY [Sam, Louis, Robert, John]. Gymnasts and acrobats. Founder Robert Nelson, Sr. (r. n. Robert Hobson, 1840-December 25, 1915) Born in London, England. Apprenticed to a cabinet maker. Ran away from home and formed an acrobatic act with Sam, John and Louis. Married Miss Emma Smart before coming to USA as head of Nelsons’ Great World Combination Shows. Played vaudeville houses and appeared with circuses for some 25 years. First engagement, Chiarini’s, 1866-67. Louis died from yellow fever in Cuba. John and Sam went to South America where with their families they started a circus. Robert, Sr. formed a new Risley act with his sons, Arthur and Robert, Jr. Prof. Nelson tossed his two children about like Indian-rubber. [St. Louis Missouri Democrat, April 19, 1871: “They pirouette while standing on the soles of their father’s feet, and wear a smile of confidence, and perform with the grace and activity of a Bonfanti. They give acrobatic acts that would be credited to matured and skillful gymnasts.”] Nelson’s, California, 1870; Dan Rice’s, 1871-74; James Robinson’s, 1872; South America with Bidwell’s “Black Crook” Co., 1875; European engagement, 1875-80, P. T. Barnum’s, 1880-81, introducing performing pigeons to USA; returned to Europe, then India with John Wilson, 1884; back to England, 1885; returned to to USA with George Primrose to be featured with Primrose & West’s Minstrels, which opened in Detroit, June 1885; Orrin Bros.’, Mexico, winter 1885-86; Reilly & Woods, 1886-88, with Nelson taking a partnership in the company; formed his own show, Nelson’s Great Combination, 1889-91, 1894-95; John Robinson’s, 1893; Milwaukee Mid-Winter Circus, 1894; Ringling Bros.’, 1895-96. Arthur Nelson married Miss Sarah Warren, 1896. Great Wallace, 1897-1901; Ringling Bros.’, 1902-03; Walter L. Main’s, 1904; engagements with parks and fairs, 1905-06; Hagenbeck-Wallace, 1907; Sells-Floto, 1909-10. Robert, Sr., retired, 1910, turning the act over to his son, Arthur. Hagenbeck-Wallace, 1911-12; Wirth Bros.’, Australia, 1913; Robinson’s Famous Shows, 1914-16. Robert, Jr. died, July 1914. Robert, Sr. died from pneumonia at his home in Mt. Clemens, MI, Christmas Eve, age 74. See Nelson Family above.
NELSON, HARRY. James T. Johnson’s, 1888.
NELSON, HORATIO. Clown, San Francisco Circus, 1872.
NELSON, JACK. Edward Shipp’s Winter Circus, Petersburg, IL, 1893-94.
NELSON, JOHN. Boss hostler, Donaldson & Rich, 1885.
NELSON, JOHN. (d. January 25, 1913) Acrobat. Wife was a trapeze performer. Died at his home in Hot Springs, AR.
NELSON, JULIA. With Donovan’s South American Circus, Cuba, winter 1894-95.
NELSON, KATIE. (d. January, 1894) Equestrienne. Died in Central America.
NEOLA, ED. High-wire and outside ascension, Shedman Bros.’, 1894.
NESTOR & VENOA. Flying rings and trapeze, Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 1882.
NEUBER, PHILLIP. See Phillip Nieubhr.
NELSON SISTERS [Belle, Blanche]. Dan Rice’s, 1872; James E. Cooke’s, 1880; Orrin Barber’s, 1888.
NEVILLE, THOMAS. Clown. Began as a rider. Satterlee, Bell & Co. , 1858; Great Union Circus, 1860; Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding’s, 1844. Became famous for his pirouettes on horseback and his backward riding. Welch’s National, 1846-51; trick rider, Johnson & Co., 1852. First appearance after returning from California, Welch & Lent, Philadelphia, 1854; Levy J. North’s National Amphitheatre, 1857-58, 1859-60; Harry Whitby’s, 1859. Died in Germany about 1873.
NELSON, WILLIAM. Cannon ball performer. With Welsh Bros.’, 1894; E. A. Griffith’s, 1894.
NEVILLE, THOMAS. Rider. Welch’s National, 1850-51; as Master Neville, June, Titus & Co., 1849; National Cicus, 1853; Franconi’s, 1855; Madigan & Co., 1856.
NEWCOMB, FRANK. 4-horse rider, John Forepaugh’s, California, 1888.
NEWCOMB, J. Gymnast, First National Union, 1861.
NEWCOMB, WILLIAM W. (August 4, 1823-May 1, 1877) Born in Utica, NY. Became orphaned at about 5 years of age and was taken in charge by the gentleman who had been the chosen physician of his parents. Developed a taste for banjo songs and straight jigs and ultimately placed himself under the wing of Fitzallan, song-and-dance performer. Traveled with him for 3 years at the tail end of circuses. Joined S. B. Howes’ circus, with which he remained as a jig dancer for 3 years. With Abijah L. Thayer of Boston, organized a minstrel band. Thayer was forced by ill health to withdraw after a 4-year partnership. First appearance in NYC, an olio at Tripler Hall, December 4, 1851. Invented and danced for the first time in public “The Essence of Old Virginia,” Fellow’s Minstrels, 444 Broadway. First minstrel who produced burlesque stump speeches, his first being “Woman’s Rights.” Died, NYC, City Hotel, corner Broadway and 8th Street. With cords attached to the door latch, gas jet and bell pull, and with a rope so rigged that he might take at least a little exercise while lying in bed, he laid in that room almost helpless for 10 weeks, or since he broke a leg while performing in a pantomimic sketch at Hooley’s Opera House, Brooklyn. Was found kneeling in death at his bedside with his hands supporting his face. The funeral was very poorly attended, there being only 12 persons present; having been reduced to poverty, living his latter days on the charity of others, he was forgotten by all his old associates.
NEWCOURT BROTHERS. Australian Circus, 1870.
NEWELL, HENRY. Howes’ European, winter 1864.
NEWELL, W. D. [“Yankee”]. General agent, Robbins & Colvin, 1880-81; Hudson & Castello, 1881 (which came to grief).
NEWKIRK, A. P. Press agent, VanAmburgh & Co., 1871.
NEWMAN, WILLIAM. Elephant performer, Barnum, Bailey & Hutchinson, 188, asst. elephant trainer, 1882; elephant keeper and trainer, Barnum & Bailey, 1889-99.
NEWTON, ALBERT. Orton & Co., 1869.
NEWTON, CLINT M. Orator and press agent, Welsh & Sands, 1893.
NEWTON, S. W. Manager, Goldenberg’s, 1874-75.
NEYGAARD, HERR CARL and MARTHA. See Herr Carl Nyegaard.
NIBLO, THOMAS. Clown, whose greatest success came in the pantomime Humpty Dumpty. Partner, Niblo & Sloat, 1860, West Indies, 1861. Died in Denver, CO, March 1905.
NICE, GEORGE A. See George Dunbar.
NICHOL, THOMAS J. (1857-1931) Builder of steam calliopes. Served as bookkeeper for the calliope firm of William Kirkup & Sons; took over the business, early 1890s and continued until his death.
NICHOLS, ADOLPH. Band leader. Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1870; “Humpty Dumpty” Opera Co. band, J. W. Wilder’s, 1872-73; cornet band of 25 musicians, Maginley & Co., 1874.
NICHOLS, ALEXANDER A. (d. March 24, 1877) Clown. Born in Switzerland. Father of Wash, Tillie, Martha, Antonio, Maggie and Marie Nichols. Died in Toledo, OH.
NICHOLS BROTHERS. Sam McFlinn’s, 1888.
NICHOLS, D. L. John F. Stowe & Co., 1888; Howe’s New London, 1889.
NICHOLS, FRANK. F. J. Taylor’s, 1889.
NICHOLS, HORACE F. (1818?-January 19, 1886) Rider, equestrian director, ringmaster. Native of Massachusetts. Connected with various circuses for 40 years. Once staged the entertainment, The Spirit of ‘76, which included the characters of Washington, Putnam, and Anthony Wayne, and a tableau in which Washington was born aloft on the shoulders of his brave Continentals. Also an animal lecturer. Son, William John Nichols, was a rider. Vaulter, S. H. Nichols’, 1838, agent, 1842; negro minstrel, John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1844; John T. Potter’s, 1844; ringmaster, Mann, Welch & Delavan, 1845-46; Welch’s National, 1847; June & Turner, 1847; Spalding & Rogers, 1849-51; Welch & Lent, 1856; John Robinson’s, 1857; Nixon’s Cremorne Gardens, NYC, spring 1862; James M. Nixon’s Alhambra, NYC, fall 1863; Hippotheatron, NYC, late winter 1864; Seth B. Howes’ European, 1864; Slaymaker & Nichols, 1864; Dan Castello’s, 1865-66; Seth B. Howes’, 1866; ringmaster, George W. DeHaven’s, 1867; Lake’s Hippo-Olympiad, 1869, equestrian director, winter 1870-71; VanAmburgh’s, 1870, equestrian director, 1871; ringmaster, P. T. Barnum’s, 1872-74; ringmaster, North American, 1875; ringmaster, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1876; New York Central Park, 1877; ringmaster, Allen’s Great Eastern, 1879; James E. Cooke’s, 1880. Died at St. Mary’s Hospital, Hoboken, aged 68, after being fatally injured by a fall from the stoop of his house a fortnight earlier.
NICHOLS, LEW. Talker, Thayer & Flinn, 1884; privileges, Great United States Circus, 1891; sideshow manager, Great Wallace, 1896; sideshow mgr., Young Buffalo Wild West, 1913.
NICHOLS, MRS. H. F. Dan Castello’s, 1866.
NICHOLS, SAMUEL H. Clown. The brother of W. W. Nichols. Ludlow & (Ben) Brown, Cincinnati, 1828; J. Purdy Brown’s, 1829; clown, William Blanchard’s, Front Street Amphitheatre, Baltimore, beginning September 10, 1829; minstrel, Harrison & Buckley, 1830; J. Purdy Brown’s, 1830; introduced negro minstrelsy to circus performance with Brown’s, 1831; listed as Grecian juggler, 1832. Started touring his own circus, 1838, Victory Arena or Nichols Extensive Circus, based in Albany, NY. Constructed an amphitheatre, Albany, 1840, an octagonal building with 41’ ring, 900 box seats, 1,500 in family circle, 600 in the pit; continued as proprietor through 1843; managed for John T. Potter, 1844. Was the first to sing “Jim Crow”; author of minstrel classics “Zip Coon” and “Clare de Kitchen.” Also, said to be the first showman to hire Dan Rice, but this is questionable. T. Allston Brown credits him with the following: A man of no education, yet he was the author of many anecdotes, stories, verses, etc.; would compose the verses for his comic songs within ten minutes of the time of his appearance before the audience; “flights of fancy” and “flashes of wit” were truly astonishing and highly amusing; first conceived the idea from a French darkie, a banjo player, known from New Orleans to Cincinnati as Picayune Butler - a copper colored gentleman, who gathered many a picayune by singing “Picayune Butler is Going Away,” accompanying himself on his four-stringed banjo. An old Negro of New Orleans, known as “Old Corn Meal,” furnished Nichols with many airs, which he turned to account. Arranged “Clare de Kitchen” from hearing it sung by the Negro firemen on the Mississippi River; “Zip Coon” was taken from a rough jig dance, called “Natchez Under the Hill,” where the boatmen, river pirates, gamblers and courtesans congregated for the enjoyment of a regular hoe-down in the old time.
NICHOLS, THOMAS. Tumbler, Cross & LeRoy, 1884.
NICHOLS, WILLIAM JOHN. Bareback rider. Son of ringmaster Horace F. Nichols. Born in New Orleans. Made first appearance as a performer, April 23, 1872, in a bottle pyramid act with the Central Park Circus, Amenia, NY. Remained with that company until the end of the 1873 season. First appearance as an equestrian, Howes’ Great London, Battle Creek, MI, June 9, 1874, riding a pad act. Continued with Howes through winter 1875; following year, principal equestrian, P. T. Barnum. Specialties were pirouettes and somersaults, but was a fine tumbler as well.
NICHOLS, WILLIAM W. (September 4, 1821-December 12, 1887) Rider and showman. Born into a circus family, North Adams, MA. Placed under the tutelage of a dancing and riding master in Philadelphia at the age of 9. At 12, began career as a circus rider and continued in the business for 50 odd years. First trained as a rider with his brother, S. H. Nichols, 1830. 1865, started off with a circus company to South America. Off Cape Hatteras, the boat encountered a severe storm which swept some of the horses over-board; continued on only to meet a more severe storm off the Florida coast where everything was lost; Nichols was picked up by a government boat and landed at Fort Monroe, with everything lost except the money from an insurance policy on the horses he rode, $4,000. After that incident, never ventured into management again. Married Lucy E. Lathe, 1864, and had 3 children - Mrs. C. C. Barrett, Robert E. and George. Equestrian director, Grand Reserve Combination, 1866; 1872, started performing as a double bareback act with his son Robert. Family received notoriety when Robert was mistaken for Charles Ross, the kidnapped son of a wealthy New Yorker. Buckley, Weeks & Co., 1835; Thomas Taplin Cooke’s, 1838; scenic rider, S. H. Nichols’, 1838-43; James Raymond’s, 1843-44; rider, John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1844; John T. Potter’s, 1844; Mann, Welch & Delavan, 1845-46; Dr. Gilbert R. Spalding’s, 1847-51; Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1852; Welch & Lent, 1854; Jim Myers’, 1856; George F. Bailey & Co., 1857; VanAmburgh’s, 1858; Nixon & Co., 1859; principal rider, George F. Bailey & Co., 1860; Slaymaker & Nichols, 1864; James M. Nixon & R. Platt, 1865; Charles Noyes’, 1871; Dan Rice’s Paris Pavilion, 1871-72; Howe’s Great London, 1874; North American, 1875-77; Great American, 1878; Cooper & Jackson, 1880; Hudson & Castello, 1881. Nichols began living in retirement, 1882, at his residence in North Adams, MA, where he died from apoplexy. Lucy died at the Old Ladies’ Home, North Adams, October, 1919, age 81.
NICOLI, EUGENE. Equestrian manager, Romelli & Co., 1872.
NICOLO, BOBBY. James M. Nixon’s Alhambra, NYC, fall 1863; trapeze and Zampillacrostation, James M. Nixon’s Hippotheatron, NYC, 1864; Howes’ Great European, 1864; S. O. Wheeler’s, winter 1864-65, 1865; New York Champs Elysees, 1865; Albisu’s, 1865. One source states that the Nicolo troupe was lost on the sinking of the Evening Star en route from NYC to New Orleans, October 6, 1866. Another says that Bobby combined with William Rodney and Thomas Tolliday as the Talleen Brothers. See below.
NICOLO FAMILY. Gymnasts. James Nicolo came to USA from England, bringing 3 boys - Thomas, George, and John Ridgeway - to appear at Franconi’s Hippodrome, NYC, 1853, in acts of posturing and acrobatics. Joe Pentland’s, 1854-56; New National Circus (John Tryon, proprietor), winter 1857-58; VanAmburgh’s, 1857-59. Returned to England, where the boys became known as the Ridgeway Brothers. James paid another visit to this country, 1863, with a young sensation, Bobby Nicolo, billed “The Flying Boy.” Nixon’s Alhambra, NYC, fall 1863.
NIEUBHR, PHILLIP [or Neuber]. Band leader. Welch, Raymond & Driesbach, 1852; Driesbach & Derious, 1853; Ballard’s, winter 1853-54; Chiarini & Rayuond, 1855; Driesbach & Stickney, 1857; VanAmburgh & Co., 1858.
NIRCH, CHARLIE. Whitmore, Thompson & Co., 1865.
NIXON, ADELAIDE. (b. 1848) General performer. Daughter of circus manager James M. Nixon and wife Caroline. Born in NYC. Made first appearance on any stage as a vocalist, Butler’s Music Hall, 444 Broadway, NYC, 1864. Sickness caused her to take leave from entertaining for a while. Resumed her profession in New Orleans, Academy of Music, for Spalding, Rogers & Bidwell’s company. Winter 1865-66, Havana, Cuba, joined Chiarini’s; while there, received instructions as an equestrienne, and before leaving the 8 month engagement, could ride a principal act. One day, 1866, after finishing her manège act at Chiarini’s, she suffered a stroke, from which she recovered. Later, performed in variety theatres. Described as “a lady of prepossessing appearance,” a ballad singer with a voice that was judged sweet and correct.
NIXON, ALBERT. Rider. Pupil of James M. Nixon. Crane & Co, 1849; J. M. June & C., 1850; Welch, 1852; Myers & Madigan, 1855.
NIXON, ANDREW J. Advertiser, S. P. Stickney’s, 1869.
NIXON, CAROLINE L. [Mrs. James M. Nixon]. Equestrienne. Sister of circus proprietor Charles Bacon. Worked primarily under James M. Nixon’s management; however, was an equestrienne with John T. Potter’s, 1845; Howes & Co., 1846-48; New Broadway Circus (John Tryon and Corporal Thompson, proprietors), 1848; James M. June & Co., 1850; feats of equitation, manège act with her horse Fire Fly, Jim Myers, 1856. After being divorced from her husband, she and her trained horse, General Scott, Slaymaker & Nichols, 1864 (Nichols was her uncle). Died while traveling with the show, July 20, Bangor, ME, age 35.
NIXON, FRANK. Daughter of Caroline and James M. Nixon. Slaymaker & Nichols, 1864.
NIXON, GEORGE [r. n. George Ross]. Protégé of James M. Nixon. Rider, Howes & Co., 1846-48; Crane & Co., 1849; J. M. June’s, 1850; Rufus Welch’s, 1852; Castle Garden Circus, NYC, fall 1854; First National Union, 1861; Whitmore, Thompson & Co.’s Equescurriculum, 1865; Alex Robinson’s, 1866. After finishing his apprenticeship, returned to the name of George Ross. Married, 1867, in New Zealand, to the daughter of Major General Kirby, of Nottingham, England.
NIXON, JAMES M. (1820-September 16, 1899) Showman. Worked his way from a mere groom with Aaron Turner's around 1836 to performing with various troupes in the 1840s and 1850s as acrobat, ringmaster and equestrian director. From a Turner stable groom, graduated to other menial tasks with the show - lamp trimmer, ring builder, and ultimately performer. Actrobat, Welch & Mann, spring 1843, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC; left the Bowery quarters, July 6, and moved to Brooklyn's Military Gardens for a week; Lent & Delavan, Boston, 1843; ringmaster, Bowery Amphitheatre (John Tryon, proprietor), 1843, equestrian director, winters 1845 and 1846; also equestrian director, Dr. G. R. Spalding’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, 1845. Around this time married first wife, Caroline; took two apprentices under wing, William Armstrong and George Ross. Equestrian director, John T. Potter's, summer 1845; Bowery Amphitheatre, fall 1845; Howes & Co., Palmo's Theatre, NYC, January 1846 and for summer seasons 1846, 1847 and 1848; New Broadway Circus (John Tryon, proprietor), NYC, winter 1848. Daughter, Adelaide, was born, NYC, 1848. Equestrian director, western unit, Howes & Co., summer 1848; manager, Crane & Co, 1849; New Manhattan Circus, NYC, December 1849; James M. June & Co., 1850; Welch's National Circus, Philadelphia, winter 1851, and touring summer 1852; equestrian director, Franconi's Hippodrome, NYC, winter 1852; equestrian director, Castle Garden Circus, fall 1854; Jim Myers’, summer 1856. Co-proprietor, Nixon & Kemp, 1857, 1858; equestrian director, New National Circus (John Tryon, proprietor), winter 1857; Nixon & Co., 1859; proprietor, Cooke's Equestrian Troupe, Niblo’s Garden, beginning January 1860. In addition to his involvement with the Cooke troupe, was the house proprietor at Niblo’s; also had Edwin Forrest under a one hundred night contract to perform in the principal cities of the country. Cooke’s Equestrian Troupe terminated its run at Niblo’s, March 3, 1860, and moved to the Boston Academy of Music for five weeks; then returned to Niblo’s, April 9 until end of May; then went on tour. In partnership with P. T. Barnum, Grizzly Adams’ California Menagerie, NYC, summer 1860; toured Cooke's Royal Circus with Old Grizzly Adams California Menagerie, fall 1860; sold equipment to Boston showman George K. Goodwin and put out an outfit on rails under the name of Nixon's Royal Circus, routed through the southern states. Sloat's New York Circus combined with Nixon's Royal Circus to form the First National Union Circus, 1861; finished season on lot between the Palace Gardens concert pavilion and the Fourteenth Street Theatre, Fourteenth and Broadway, NYC, opening September 2 for an indefinite stay. Spring 1862, took a lease on Palace Gardens, converted and enlarged it to resemble Cremorne Gardens, London; developed three new features on the property - a stretch of canvas under which equestrian performances were given; a building devoted to the display of trees, flowers and shrubbery called Floral Hall; and a concert pagoda designated the Palace of Music; opened June 9, shut down at the approach of cold weather. Following, took Carlotta Patti under his managerial wing, leased the Academy of Music, NYC, and reintroduced her to opera loving New Yorkers; at the same time, took over management of the Boston Theatre, 1862-63 winter season, which opened in September. Also at this time, sent a company to Washington under the management of T. Allston Brown and erected a semi-permanent wooden and canvas building, Pennsylvania Avenue and Seventh Street, said to be the same structure used at his Cremorne Gardens, NYC, and opened October 18; split his company between Washington and Alexandria, VA; closed December 26. Returned to Washington, spring 1863, billed as Madame Macarte's Grand European Circus Combined with Nixon's Great Cremorne Troupe from New York; show moved next to Alexanderia, remaining until early June; then took to the road. Erected an arena, NYC, 14th Street and Irving Place, which opened August 31, 1863, as the Alhambra. Next major endeavor opened February 8, 1864, in a permanent structure of corrugated iron erected on the site of the Alhambra, called the Hippotheatron; re-opened for the 1864-65 winter season October 3; spring 1865, erected another temporary building in Washington, DC, near 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. In the fall, a tour was organized for visiting the principal towns of Texas by rail; company left New York the 19th of October on the Catherine Whiting headed for Galveston; but after leaving port the ocean became so rough that the ship had to lay over-night at Sandy Hook. On the 23rd a heavy gale set in and the following day one of the ring horses went overboard; by nightfall all of the horses had been washed into the sea (including the performing horse, General Scott, all belonging to William W. Nichols, but all ring stock fortuitously insured; at the height of the storm, the ship's engine gave out, exposing the boat and passengers to the mercy of the tempest for a period of 32 hours; October 28 the steamer went ashore five miles south of Carysfort Reef, FL; finally, the brig stopped at Key West for repairs, but for whatever reason may have been towed to New Orleans; the circus, too badly bruised to continue to Texas, was sold or leased to Thayer & Noyes. Went to Little Rock, AR, January 1866, where all or part of Seth B. Howes' Great European Circus was stored; bought part of the outfit in partnership with Dan Castello, and Egbert Howes and put out a show under the Dan Castello name - Castello was manager and drawing card, Howes the treasurer, and Nixon the contracting agent. Was married for the second time, the bride a Buffalo born Emma Maddern, an actress not yet twenty years of age. For 1867, Castello's Great Show opened at Mobile, AL, and proceeded north to Louisville, where it met up with the Barnum and VanAmburgh parties (owned by Hyatt Frost, Henry Barnum, James E. Kelley and O. J. Ferguson) and combined with them into one large company under the banner of Barnum, VanAmburgh & Castello's Great Show and Mammoth Moral Exhibition (not the whole VanAmburgh outfit, but surplus animals andsome of the choicest and most popular curiosities in the Barnum collection); this seemingly formidable combination was short-lived, as much of the property was withdrawn part way into the season. The troupe started out, 1868, traveling in rented railway cars, the routing took them through Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and as far west as Kansas.; when towns were off the established lines, equipment was moved by wagons, probably commissioned from local farmers; fall weather sent the show southward and at season's end it came to rest for the winter in New Orleans. After opening the 1869 season there, January 4, and after a swing through Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, Dan Castello's Great Show, Circus, Menagerie and Abyssinian Caravan reached Topeka for a stand on Thursday, May 13, being the first flat car show ever to play there; the show then swiftly moved northward, arriving at Omaha for May 26-27; the outfit was loaded onto an eight-car special the night of the 27th and started on the journey which ended in California. Fall 1870, Nixon's New York Circus commenced an unsuccessful southern tour which died in Texas. December 1871, Nixon resurfaced in New York City, where he opened what he called Nixon's Amphitheatre in a building on the east side of Broadway, opposite Waverly Place. Leased a lot in the unburned west side of Chicago, 1872, and erected Nixon's Parisian Hippodrome and Chicago Amphitheatre, opening May 18; Buffalo Bill Cody and company premiered an artless drama, The Scouts of the Prairie there December 16. It has been suggested that Nixon had an interest in the company and went along on the tour. Assistant director, P. T. Barnum’s Great Roman Hippodrome, 1874-75; in addition to serving as equestrian director, gave the signal for starting the races, struck the warning bell for the homestretch, and decided who was the victor - a combination of judge, bailiff and jury. [New York Clipper: “James M. Nixon, the veteran circus manager, discharges his arduous duties as superintendent with an easy grace and the utmost fairness.”] There is little left on record. We know that Nixon was in Europe in the spring of 1876; 1879, was said to be running a cheap theatre in Chicago; at this time he teamed with Oliver P. Myers in attempting to establish a zoological garden there which came to nothing; still in Chicago, 1882, when on June 22 he appeared at W. C. Coup’s circus during an engagement in that city; 1886, a Clipper item announced that Nixon had gone to England to make arrangements for Cody’s wild west show’s first trip abroad. There is no other mention of him again until Monday, September 18, 1899, when the New York Times carried a small item: “James M. Nixon, at one time the proprietor of James M. Nixon's Circus, died on Saturday of Bright's disease at the Putnam House, Twenty-seventh Street and Fourth Avenue. Mr. Nixon was eighty years old. His circus performed at the old Hippodrome, on the spot where the Fifth Avenue Hotel now stands. It also performed in different parts of the country and abroad. Mr. Nixon had for fifteen years past been living at the Putnam House, and was a well-known character in that locality. He leaves two daughters.”
NIXON, LAFAYETTE. (1820-December 18, 1893) Rider, circus manager and privilege man. Born in NYC. After having been with the Louisa Wells Equestrian company, joined the Sloat & Shepherd, mid-season 1859; that year teamed with W. T. Aymar for a circus at the renovated Chatham Amphitheatre (former National), NYC; sideshow, Madame Macarte’s European Circus (James M. Nixon, proprietor), 1863. Was keeping a hotel, corner of 14th St. and Fourth Ave., NYC, 1866. Candy privileges, James M. Nixon’s, 1870; candy privilege, New York Central Park Circus, 1877. Eventually left show business to run a liquor store. Married to Louisa Wells. Died at Kings Park, NJ.
NIXON, MRS. LAFAYETTE. See Louisa Wells.
NIXON, WILLIAM [r. n. Armstrong]. Protégé of James M. Nixon. Rider, John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1845-46; Howes & Co., 1845-47; J. M. June’s, 1850-52; no longer an apprentice, Joe Pentland’s, 1854; Myers & Madigan, spring 1855; Seth B. Howes, summer 1855; Cushing’s, winter 1855; Sands & Nathans, 1856; Levi J. North’s, winter 1856; George F. Bailey & Co., 1857; Levi J. North’s, winter 1857; Mabie & Crosby, 1858; Levi J. North’s, winter 1858; Antonio & Wilder, 1859; James M. Nixon’s, 1860. Died on returning from Havana with Nixon’s circus when the Black Squall foundered after a stormy 16 days near Cape Hatteras, April 19, 1861.
NOBLE, J. E. Special agent, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1888.
NOBLE, JOSEPH. Juggler, acrobat. Apprentice, H. H. Fuller’s, 1835; Aaron Turner’s, 1837; H. H. Fuller’s, 1838; Welch & Bartlett, winter 1839-40, 1840; Welch & Mann, also June, Titus & Angevine, winter 1841-42; with performing dogs, Rockwell & Stone, 1842; proprietor, Olympic Circus, Australia, 1851-52; W. H. Foley’s, Australia, 1854.
NOBLES, MADAM TOMAS. Rider, Howes Trans-Atlantic Circus and Risbeck’s Menagerie (Frank Howes, proprietor), 1868.
NOLAN, PROF. DICK. Leader of Silver Cornet Band, Dodge & Bartine, 1868.
NOLTE, ALBERT. Leaper and tumbler, P. T. Barnum’s, 1880.
NOON, ARCHIE. Clown, Great Pacific, 1878.
NORBERRY, CHARLES EDWARD. See Edward LeRue.
NORMAN, HAM. Sideshow operator. Gardner & Kenyon, 1869; Rosston, Springer & Henderson, 1871; sideshow privilege (with Chris B. Stout), Dr. James L. Thayer’s, 1877. Noted for sporting an array of diamond jewelry.
NORMAN, WILLIAM. Elephant trainer, P. T. Barnum’s, 1886.
NORRIS, PROF. D. W. Band leader. Montgomery Queen’s, 1873-74; Beckett’s Great Exposition Circus, 1881.
NORTH, A. J. Gymnast, G. G. Grady’s, 1871.
NORTH, GEORGE. Rider, M. O’Conner’s Great Western, 1870; scenic rider, P. T. Barnum’s, 1871-73; 2-horse racer, Barnum’s Hippodrome, 1874-75.
NORTH, HENRY C. [r. n. Henry Coyle]. (d. August 19, 1870) Rider. Apprentice of Levi J. North. George W. DeHaven’s, 1865-66; Haight & Chambers, 1866; Stone & Murray, 1868-69; grotesque, L. B. Lent’s, 1870. Died of consumption, Lake Calhone, MN, leaving $1,000, a gold watch, and a saddle and bridle.
NORTH, LEVI J., JR. “KIT.” (1854?-April 18, 1867) Equestrian son of the famous bareback rider. George W. DeHaven’s, 1865; New York Champs Elysees, 1866; Perry Powers’, 1867. Died of consumption, Columbus, IN, at nearly 14 years of age, connected with Lake’s Hippo-Olympiad at the time.
NORTH, LEVI J., SR. (June 16, 1814-July 6, 1885) Rider, vaulter, and showman. Born in Newton Township, Long Island. Apprenticed with Isaac Quick, of Quick & Mead’s, 1826. Made first appearance in the ring as an equestrian at Camden, SC. 2 years later, finishing his apprenticeship and engaged with Handy & Welch for Cuba. On return, took employment with Purdy Brown which lasted until 1836, when Brown died. Following year, was in New Orleans with Waring’s. It was here he met the clown, Joe Blackburn, with whom, 1838, he accompanied to England. There, North answered the challenges of Price, the European vaulting champion, and managed to beat him thoroughly on several occasions in the vaulting ring, establishing himself as the world’s greatest vaulter, defeating all comers. Greatest feat was accomplished at William Batty’s, Henley, England, 1839, when he turned the first somersault ever accomplished while standing on the back of a running horse. Performed the feat in the United States in NYC for Welch & Bartlett, Bowery Theatre, 1840. Spring 1841, engaged to Rufus Welch for a tour of the West Indies. Returning to NYC, mid-summer, joined Jonas Bartlett in Baltimore. In the fall, went to New Orleans and played with old S. P. Stickney, St. Charles Theatre. Returned to England, spring 1842, where he married Miss Sophia West, the daughter of circus manager James West. The marriage produced 3 children, Henry, a non-professional; Levi J.; and Sophia Victoria, who became prominent as a serio-comic vocalist. In England, North connected with the American Company, owned by Titus, June & Sands. Joined his old rival, Price, 1843, and took out Price & North’s Circus but soon left it in charge of Price and returned to the United States. That year, opened with Rockwell & Stone, Niblo’s Garden, NYC; spring 1844, returned to England and disposed of his interest in the circus; after which, appeared with the American Company, Theatre Royal, Liverpool. While a member of Franconi’s, Champs Elysees, appeared by royal command before Louis Philippe, King of France. At the end of 5 months, returned to Philadelphia and Welch’s. Rockwell & Stone, 1846; again with Welch, 1847; Jones, Stickney & North, 1848; Stokes’, 1849; from the winter of 1849 to 1851, Dan Rice’s; leased the Bowery Amphitheatre for performances, summer 1851; had a circus in Williamsburg, 1852; 1853, North & Turner conducted a canal boat show and, during that winter season, leased the National Amphitheatre, Philadelphia; summer 1855, North & Turner traveled by wagon; in the winter, appeared in a circus which they built in Chicago; 1856, North erected an amphitheatre on that site; following year, was elected an Alderman of Chicago; 1858-59, North’s National Circus was on the road; 1860, he again ran a canal boat show and, in the winter, played a star engagement with Spalding & Rogers, Bowery Theatre, NYC; Lake & Co., 1863; 1863, associated himself with William Lake and Hod Norton; 1864, traveled with Haight & DeHaven; equestrian director, George W. DeHaven’s, 1865; New York Champs Elysees, 1866. Died in Brooklyn, NY. North is looked upon as being the orignator of style and grace as an American bareback rider.
NORTH, SOPHIA VICTORIA. Daughter of rider Levi J. North. Billed as “The Smallest and Youngest Equestrienne in the World.” Rufus Welch’s, 1852; serio-comic singer, Miller’s Winter Garden Theatre, Philadelphia, 1878; Tony Denier’s “Humpty Dumpty” Pantomime Co., 1879. First married to Philo R. Nathans; divorced on December 17, 1877. Frank Hildreth, former treasurer and business manager for Tony Denier, was her second husband. She died in Brooklyn, January 12, 1905.
NORTH, THOMAS. Howes’ European, winter 1864.
NORTH, WILLIE. Rider. Pupil of Levi J. North, Welch’s, 1852; Levi J. North’s, 1853-60.
NORTON, H. Howe & Norton’s Circus (formerly Robinson & Howe), November 1864.
NORTON, JOE. Juggler. Adam Forepaugh’s (Pullman Bros.’ sideshow), 1876.
NORTON, JOHN. Alex Robinson’s, 1866.
NORTON, NICOLO. Juggler. Stowe’s, 1867-68; Stowe & Norton’s Western World Circus, 1869; balancer, juggler and comedian, James Robinson’s, 1870.
NORTON, N. T. Agent, Cooper, Jackson & Co., 1882.
NORTON, ROBERT. H. Buckley & Co., 1857-58.
NORTON, TILLIE. Tight-rope performer, Stowe & Norton, 1869.
NORTON, WASH. Jig dancer, VanAmburgh & Co.’s northern, 1859.
NORWOOD, SAMUEL. General performer, Thompson, Smith & Hawes, 1866.
NOSHER, JOSEPH. Band leader. With Victory Arena, New York Brass Band, 1844; Robinson & Eldred, 1849-50; G. C. Quick & Co.’, 1851; Robinson & Eldred, 1854-55; Bryan’s, with Mrs. Dan Rice, 1863.
NOUMA, PRINCESS. (d. 1909) Considered one of the most renowned midgets since the days of Mr. and Mrs. Tom Thumb. After working with Maurice A. Gowdy, a sideshow giant from Shelbyville, IN, standing 6’ 4” tall, in touring comapanies, they were married, 1904, in Los Angeles, CA. Her father was much the size of her husband. A clever actress and fine impersonator, she stood 32” and weighed 30 pounds. Died in child birth, Hot Springs, AR.
NOVELLO FAMILY [6 in number]. L. B. Lent’s, 1874.
NOYES, CHARLES W. (1832-October 20, 1885) Showman and animal trainer. Born near Utica, NY, but spent most of his boyhood in Syracuse. 1846, when S. B. Howes’ Circus was performing in Auburn, Noyes joined the show, remaining for most of the season until he returned home on the urging of his parents. 1849, joined June & Co. and assisted in the sideshow. Following season, traveled with Spalding & Rogers in similar capacity. 1851, P. T. Barnum’s, working with the animals under the direction of Alviza Pierce. Illness prevented traveling the following year, but in 1853 was engaged with Franconi’s Hippodrome, NYC, breaking and training monkeys that appeared in the hurdle races. Franconi had an elephant, Jennie, who was rebellous and refused to work; unknown to management, Noyes conquered the unruly animal. August, accompanied by a white performing camel and Jennie, joined the Dan Rice, Columbus, OH. Jennie was later purchased by Rice and renamed Lalla Rookh. Noyes remained with the show until the fall, 1855. While with Rice, broke and performed a number of panthers and tigers; also worked the perch and double trapeze with Omar T. Richardson, the bareback rider; appeared in the tournaments and acted as ringmaster. In company with Richardson, joined Spalding & Rogers, spring 1856. That fall, rejoined Rice, wintering in Girard, PA, and there broke the horse Excelsior, Jr., and presumably the first rhinoceros ever trained in America. During that time, taught Lalla Rookh to walk ropes. That same winter, the elephant was the star of a drama in Pittsburgh, The Elephant of Siam, performing under Noyes’ direction. Summer 1861, spent in Girard working with animals, during which time he broke the white performing stallion, General Scott. Winter 1862, was with Rice for a short time in Cincinnati, working with his new stock. Spring of that year, entered into partnership with Dr. James L. Thayer and put on the road Thayer & Noyes’ United States Circus, with James Robinson as the starring attraction. The company functioned under the Thayer & Noyes banner through 1869. At the end of that season, Noyes withdrew and formed C. W. Noyes’ Crescent City Circus, traveling by rail and boat until the fall of 1874. Equestrian director, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1880. [Charles H. Day: “He had been to the height of prosperity and in the depths of despair. Mr. Noyes had many good qualities and was a well-meaning but unfortunate man. It is well enough for those who never met with reverses to carp but a dose of his experience will take the starch out of any man. Besides financial difficulties, Charlie Noyes had another sorrow that bore him down. It’s all over now!”] Died Goldthwaite, TX.
NOYES, MRS. CHARLES. Manège. [New Orleans Daily Picayune, 1870: “She showed to great advantage the perfect power and mastery she has over her spirited Arab horse, D’Talma, and executed some feats which drew forth repeated and deserved applause.” See above.
NUGENT, DANIEL. (1866?-February 16, 1901) Agent, known in the profession as “Circus Dan.” Connected with W. W. Cole’s, Forepaugh’s, and Ringling Bros.’, also Rich’s Theatre, Fall River, MA; Walnut and Chestnut Street Theatres; and, at the time of death, with the Star Theatre, Philadelphia. Died there of heart trouble, age 35.
NUNN, ELLA. Dan Rice’s, winter 1850-51; Star State Circus, New Orleans, fall, 1852.
NUNN, MRS. THOMAS [Lucinda]. Equestrienne, Rockwell’s, 1848, riding in “Hebe, the Morning Sprite.”
NUNN, STEWART. See William Stewart.
NUNN, THOMAS. Rider and equestrian director. Appeared as “Hebe, or Morning Sprite,” Rockwell & Co.’s, 1838; equestrian director Rockwell & Co., 1847-48; S. Q. Stokes’, 1849-51; Australia, 1854-55.
NUNN, WILLIAM. Leader brass band and 12 piece orchestra, Gregory Bros.’ New Metropolitan Allied shows, 1884.
NUTT, GEORGE WASHINGTON MORRISON “COMMODORE.” (April 1, 1845-May 25, 1881) Well known midget, working in circuses and dime museums. Born of normal size parents. Of his 5 brothers and sisters, only one, Rodney, was a midget. He accompanied the Commodore on his travels. First exhibited by P. T. Barnum at his museum, NYC, 1860, and remained there for some time. James M. Nixon’s Cremorne Gardens, NYC, 1862; Nixon’s Amphitheatre, Washington, DC, fall 1862. June 21, 1869, left with the General Tom Thumb Co. for a world tour and returned ust 3 years later. While with the troupe, Nutt and Tom Thumb were rivals for the hand of Lavinia Warren, who became Mrs. Tom Thumb. Nutt and brother next made a tour of variety houses, and subsequently joined Deakin’s Lilliputian Opera Co., made up of little people with the exception of Col. Goshen, the giant. Nutt and Goshen were featured in Jack the Giant Killer. Later, Nutt and his brother managed a variety theatre in Portland, OR, and in San Francisco, neither venture proving successful. The Boston Post, June 21, 1869, carried an item on Nutt’s marriage to Miss Minnie Warren. Another source stated that because he never got over the loss of his lady love, Lavinia, the Commodore did not marry until about 2½ years before his death. His bride was the former Lillian Elstar, a short woman but much taller than her husband. This may have been a second marriage. In the summer, 1881, he was deputy-superinendent of the pier at Rockaway. Died in NYC, age 89.
NUTT, RODNEY W. “MAJOR.” (1840?-September 22, 1909,) Brother of Commodore Nutt and one of Barnum’s midget troupe. Stood 3’ 10” tall. His wife was 5’ 10”. Served as coachman for Tom Thumb on that star’s world tour. Was the last of the original Lilliputians, with the exception of Mrs. Tom Thumb. He accompanied his brother for most of his professional career. Died from heart trouble in Dorchester, MA, age 69, after having been in retirement for close to 19 years conducting a real estate business. See George Washington Mossison Nutt.
NUTTER, DAN. Advertising agent, Cushing’s, 1867. Died in Boston, August 30, 1867.
NUTTER, GEORGE. Elephant handler. Raymond & Waring, 1847; June & Turner, 1848; Turner’s, 1849; accompanied Stebbings June to Ceylon to purchase elephants for P. T. Barnum, 1850; returned May, 1851, with 9 specimen, first herd imported to America; billposter, Spalding & Rogers, 1851.
NYEGAARD, HERR CARL and MARTHA [or Neygaard]. Rider and horse trainer. Tandem manège act with 4 thoroughbred horses; P. T. Barnum’s, 1880; Robbins & Colvin, 1881; Leon & Dockrill, Iron Amphitheatre, Havana, winter 1881-82.
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