Circus Historical Society
Olympians of the Sawdust Circle - TOlympians of the Sawdust Circle: A biographical dictionary of the ninteenth century American circus
Compiled and Edited by William L. Slout
TALBERT, FLORA. Globe performer, John Wilson’s, California, 1875.
TALBERT, GEORGE. Principal rider, Lee’s, California, 1871.
TALLEEN BROTHERS [Paul, Jerome]. Gymnasts. James M. Nixon’s, 14th Street, NYC, 1864; S. O. Wheeler’s New Amphitheatre, winter 1864-65; Hippotheatron, NYC, winter 1864-65; New York Champs Elysees, 1865; Stone & Murray, 1869; Australian Circus, 1870.
TALMEZZO, SIGNOR. General performer, with VanAmburgh’s, 1874.
TAMPIER, ELLADA. Advertised as being from Champs Elysees, Paris, driving 6 ponies attached to an Imperial Caleche in the procession entering town. Presented trained black ponies, Coquette and Flirt, New York Champs Elysees, 1865.
TAMPIER, GRACE. Rider, P. T. Barnum’s, 1874.
TANNER, JERRY. Miles Orton’s, 1885.
TATNALL, MRS. SAM. Circus in Portland, ME, 1821; West’s, 1822; Price & Simpson, 1823-24. Performed in some dramatic productions.
TATNALL, SAMUEL. Equestrian, a native American. Cayetano & Co., 1810-12; Pepin & Breschard, 1817, where he was a pupil of Victor Pepin. Became celebrated for his feats on 2 horses—lightning quick in motions, on a single horse he would leap garters and pass through balloons. Did still vaulting and was an excellent horse breaker. Remained with the company for several years before joining James West’s; went with Price & Simpson after they bought out West, 1822-24. The previous year, James Hunter was brought to America from Astley’s Royal Amphitheatre, London, by manager Stephen Price and amazed audiences with his riding at full speed using no bridle or saddle, bareback riding being new to this country. Tatnall’s position as a celebrated rider had been over-shadowed, so in an attempt to regain that position, he and his pupil, LaForrest, practiced riding bareback after midnight, when the arena was deserted, and found the activity to be earsier than it appeared. When news leaked out of his midnight sessions, Tatnall made an offer to the management to perform an act in the manner of Hunter. Hunter denounced the effort as treachery. The management, not wishing to lose the profitable image of Hunter as the exclusive bareback star, ordered Tatnall to desist his practicing; however, for Tatnall’s benefit night, November 16, 1822, he advertised his first appearance on horseback without saddle or bridle. Within a month from the arrival of Hunter, he had accomplished the new feat of bareback riding, although he had not yet reached the balance and the ease with which his rival performed. [Charles Durang: “Sam Tatnall, a pupil of Pepin’s, was celebrated for his feats on two horses. He was quick a lightning in his motions. On a single horse his movements were very extraordinary in leaping garters, passing through balloons and many other daring and dashing performances.”] Tatnall also performed acting roles and managed the stud of horses for equestrian dramas. His wife was an attractive actress but because of his fiery temper his brutal treatment of her caused the marriage to end in divorce, summer 1826. She continued her career on the dramatic stage and was ultimately married 5 times. It was reported she died in a steamboat fire on the Red River. The divorce may have been responsible for Tatnall’s loss of position; he becamed a depressed and broken figure around Philadelphia and finally, it is said, died in the West Indies. Washington Gardens, Boston, spring 1825; Lafayette Amphitheatre, NYC (in its initial season), 1825-26; Tivoli Gardens, Philadelphia, 1826; Lafayette Circus, NYC, January 1827; Mount Pitt Circus, NYC, 1826-27, 1827-28; the Royal Pavilion Circus/Olympic Circus, 1830.
TATUM, B. F. [“Capt.”]. Press agent and general manager, W. H. Stowe’s, 1881.
TAYLOR, A. L. Treasurer, F. J. Taylor’s Great American Shows, 1892.
TAYLOR, ANNIE. Mind reader, Hulbert & Liftwich, 1892.
TAYLOR, CHARLES. See Charles Graham.
TAYLOR, C. T. Magician, Hurlbert & Liftwich, 1892.
TAYLOR, DAN [“Col.”]. Boss canvasman, John O’Brien’s, 1873; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1875-76, 1887.
TAYLOR, FRANK J. (d. July 28, 1917) Formerly a grain merchant, speculator, live stock auctioneer, farmer, and bank director, also mayor of Creston, IA, for a time. Son, Ray, was also in that business. Managed the F. J. Taylor’s Great American Circus for many years. Moved to Creston, IA, 1879, which became his winter quarters for the F. J. Taylor Wagon Show. Operated as late as 1900. Bought nearly all of W. S. Harris’ Nickel-Plate show, 1886. Proprietor, Taylor’s, 1889-93. Died at Creston of a stroke.
TAYLOR, J. H. One of Bunnell’s Minstrels, R. Sands’, 1863.
TAYLOR, JOHN. Tumbler. Howes’ European, winter 1864; Whitmore, Thompson & Co., 1865; W. R. Blaisdell’s, California, 1868.
TAYLOR, JOHN W. Mrs. Charles Warner’s Champion Circus, cornor of 10th and Callowhill, Philadelphia, 1869.
TAYLOR, L. F. Advertiser, Howes & Mabie. Died while he was a layer-out for VanAmburgh’s, Dubuque, IA, 1867.
TAYLOR, LIZZIE. L. J. Duchack’s New London Railroad Shows, 1889.
TAYLOR, MAGGIE. Race rider, P. T. Barnum’s Roman Hippodrome, 1875; Orrin Bros.’, Mexico, 1886.
TAYLOR, NELLIE. Equestrienne. Named in a domestic quarrel between Frank J. Howes and his wife, Philadelphia, November 1866.
TAYLOR, ROBERT. (d. February 20, 1913) Train-master, Miles Orton’s, 1885; Ringling Bros.’ for 18 years. Died from heart failure at Baraboo, WI.
TAYLOR, T. F. Agent, G. F. Bailey, 1858-59.
TAYLOR, W. A. Contracting agent, W. B. Reynolds’ Consolidated Shows, 1892.
TAYLOR, WILLIAM. Lee & Ryland, California, February 1869.
TAYLOR, WILLIE. Boneless wonder, William Main & Co., 1887.
TEAL, WILLIAM L. (1833?-September 5, 1895) Gymnast and acrobat. Born in Huson, NY. Ran away from home and went to sea, making several whaling voyages. As a professional athlete, traveled with Spalding & Rogers in the 1860s under the name of “Antonio”; also with Dan Rice’s. It was claimed that he introduced the Japanese high perch to South America and originated several movements on the flying trapeze and the hop and perch feat. In his time, was second to none as a tumbler but left circus life and opened a gymnasium in Lynn, MA. An accomplished linguist and a skillful chess player. Died in Nahant, MA, age 62.
TEESE, CHARLES B. Gymnast, Mrs. Charles Warner’s, Philadelphia, 1870; one of the Arabian Brothers, 1872. Wife Bertha died in fall of 1876, age 27.
TEETS, ROBERT C. [with wife Emma]. (d. November 28, 1895) Acrobat and showman. One of 4 brothers who owned Teets Bros. Shows, 1891. Died near Norfolk, VA.
TEETS. Comic rider, Frost & Co., 1837; acrobat, W. Gates & Co., 1838.
TERRIES, JAMES [or Terry]. Acrobat, G. G. Grady’s, 1871.
TERRIES, WILLIAM [or Terry]. Acrobat, G. G. Grady’s, 1871.
TERRIES, PROF. Free balloon ascension, doing a double trapeze under the balloon while ascending, G. G. Grady’s, 1871. This may have been either William or James listed above.
TERRY, RICHARD. (1835?-December 29, 1893) Sideshowman. With many major circuses throughout a career that lasted over 40 years. With Adam Forepaugh’s for 2 years before his death in Philadelphia from Bright’s disease, age 58.
THATCHER, WILLIAM LAKE. See William Lake.
THAYER, HARRY. Proprietor, Harry Thayer & Co.’s, 1890.
THAYER, JAMES L. “DOCTOR.” (May 20, 1830-June 30, 1892) Born in Waddington, NY. Moved to Milwaukee with his parents when he was 7. Father was appointed a State Commissioner by President Van Buren to locate the state capital. But when his mother died, 1840, and then his father, 1842, he was thrown upon his own resources at a young age. 1846, was with Potter’s circus as chandelier man, filling the lamps with whale or lard oil. Following winter, learned the trade of tinsmith. Next employment, driving stage for Frink & Walker at a salary of $12 a month. Shortly, joined Mabie Bros.’ as bandwagon driver. 1849-50, drove stage for Zimmerman & Green between Vincennes and Terre Haute, IN. Following year, started a tinshop of his own at Clinton, IL, but, in the spring of 1852, joined Johnson & May’s Circus, again as bandwagon driver. Following year, drove bandwagon for Welch’s, but left the show at Columbus, OH, to accept a job with the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Transfer Co. Next, became master of horse for Levi J. North’s. Spring 1855, with Dan Rice’s as boss hostler and 20-horse driver and also appeared in the ring, exhibiting a test of strength, pulling against a pair of horses. Still with Rice, 1857, made his debut as clown and by the winter of 1857-58 was leading clown with Spalding & Rogers on board the Floating Palace and at the Academy of Music, New Orleans. Engaged to personify Dan Rice as clown on Rice’s own show, 1858, and was so successful that few were aware of the deception. Leading clown, VanAmburgh & Co., 1859-60. Started a small clown and gymnastic show with Frank Phelps of Elmira, NY, 1861; Nixon’s Cremorne Garden Circus, Washington, DC, October-December 1862. Originated the circus of Thayer & Noyes, 1862, and continued in that partnership until the spring of 1869; the latter year being a disaster, the loss of some 70 head of horses by disease. Sold off in Cincinnati, OH. Subsequently, engaged in a variety of speculations - formed a partnership with W. H. Burdeau and W. F. Hogle, 1870; chief door-keeper, P. T. Barnum’s, 1873, representing Barnum’s interest with the show; assistant manager, Burr Robbins’, 1875; inspector of admissions, Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition, 1876; Parisian Circus at Operti’s Tropical Garden, Philadelphia, fall 1876. Started his own railroad show, 1877, but shortly sold out to the Lowandes. Had an interest in Thayer, Diefenbach & Lewis’ Great Show and London Sensation, 1878. Organized Dr. James L. Thayer’s New Circus, 1879-80. Assistant manager, Sam McFlinn’s, 1888. On April 3, 1860, married Helen Martin, eldest daughter of Agrippa Martin, a union which produced 9 children. One daughter married Sam McFlinn. Died in Chicago.
THAYER, S. C. J. Treasurer, John Robinson’s, 1861-62; Lake & Co., 1864; advertiser, Caldwell’s Occidental, 1867.
THAYER, T. F. Business agent, George F. Bailey & Co., 1859; treasurer, Palmer’s Great Western, 1865.
THEALA, MILLER. “Human fly,” Cooper, Jackson & Co., 1884.
THEURER, JOHN. Claimed to be the only performer who could stand on his head on a swinging bar while balancing balls, glasses of water, etc., 1883. “$1,000 in gold to anyone that will do my act.”
THOMAS. Rider, Pepin & West, Olympic, Philadelphia, fall 1817; Pepin’s, NYC, 1818-19; West Indies, 1819-20.
THOMAS, DAVID S. Press agent, P. T. Barnum’s, 1872-73; P. T. Barnum’s Roman Hippodrome, NYC and on the road, 1874-75; remained with the Barnum organization to 1887. J. M. Hickey’s “A Flock of Geese” Combination, winter 1880-81. The day after Barnum’s balloonist W. H. Donaldson’s tragic mishap in Chicago, July 15, 1875, Thomas made an ascension himself. Later stated, 1880, that as an amateur he had made 34 trips in a balloon. Louis E. Cooke credits Thomas as being the first press agent to travel back with the show and devote full time to entertaining newspaper men, which was in 1871 when Dan Rice, touring with his Paris Pavilion Circus, engaged Thomas for that purpose and the practice soon caught on. On retiring he bought an interest in a printing establishment in New Haven, CT.
THOMAS, F. General performer, Spalding & Rogers, 1856.
THOMAS, FRANK. (July 3, 1819-February 6, 1898) Elephant handler. Born at Doylestown, PA. Orphaned at an early age and bound out to a silversmith. Ran away and joined the Hopkins Shows, 1833. Following year, with VanAmburgh’s and continued with that organization until 1863. Drove Hannibal for 12 years and also handled Bolivar, Queen Anne, Columbus and others. Died in Nebraska City, NE.
TOMPKINS, E. A. Agent, Robinson & Howes, 1864.
THOMPSON. Juggler, Handy & Welch, West Indies, 1829. Work with the magician’s rings was considered marvelous.
THOMPSON, A. Treasurer, Robbins & Co., 1872.
THOMPSON, ALBERT “BALDY.” Elephant keeper and trainer from Putnam County, NY. Head elephant keeper with Adam Forepaugh, 1885.
THOMPSON, C. Lion tamer and ringmaster, Campbell’s, 1869.
THOMPSON, C. N. (December 15, 1856-January 4, 1918) Born at Marseilles, IL., where he attended the public school. Became identified with outdoor shows early in life and remained continuously until the time of death, only two months after finishing the season with Ringling Bros.’ With circuses as claim agent, adjuster, or on the business staff. S. B. Barrett’s, Doris & Robin, W. W. Cole’s, Adam Forepaugh’s, Sells Bros.’, Forepaugh-Sells Bros., Wallace & Co., Pawnee Bill’s, Buffalo Bill’s, and Ringling Bros.’ Longest period of service, Sells Bros.’ as assistant manager and later as general manager, having had charge of the concern on its trip to Australia. [D. W. Watt: “Mr. Thompson was unquestionably one of the most popular showmen the outdoor world ever knew. Though his earnings were great, he was of that type which finds utmost satisfaction in succoring to the needs of others, and it was a byword of the arena that ‘Charlie Thompson never turned anybody away.’”] Married at Morris, IL, 1884. Died suddenly of heart trouble, age 61.
THOMPSON, CORPORAL. Co-proprietor, John Tryon, Alhambra Circus, NYC, October, 1848, a specially erected semi-permanent stucture. Franconi’s Hippodrome, 1853, was constructed on the site formerly occupied by Thompson’s resort of refreshment and conviviality, noted as a popular stopping place for turfmen.
THOMPSON, C. S. Proprietor, Thompson’s, 1889.
THOMPSON, DICK. Holton & Gates’ Harmoniums, minstrel band organized for the the Simon Pure American Circus in New York, October 1, 1866.
THOMPSON, EPH. Black trainer and boxing partner of John L. Sullivan, the boxing elephant. Performed on Adam Forepaugh’s, 1888. The elephant wore a boxing glove on the end of his trunk and would watch his chance to land one on Thompson and often knocked him over the ring bank. Went to London and trained elephants for performing in the different theatres of Europe.
THOMPSON, FRANK. Sideshow operator. Native of Culpepper Court House, VA. O. S. Wheeler’s, 1863. Later, engaged in securing animals for circus menageries, operating out of the Cape of Good Hope.
THOMPSON, G. A. Proprietor, Whitmore, Thompson & Co.’s Equescurriculum, 1865. Started the season in May from Boston through Vermont, Canada and the western states.
THOMPSON, GEORGE Shakespearean clown, Robinson’s (Frank Frost, manager), California, 1886.
THOMPSON, G. W. “CAPT.” Managing director (with Ed Backenstoe), Cosmopolitan Circus, Museum and Menagerie, winter 1871-72.
THOMPSON, JOSEPH. Advertiser, Palmer’s Pavilion Circus, 1836.
THOMPSON, MRS. Slack-wire performer, Price & Simpson, 1824-25.
THOMPSON, WILLIAM. (1854?-February 19, 1920) Animal trainer. Campbell’s, 1869; Montgomery Queen’s, elephants, 1876; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1880; ringmaster, John Robinson’s, 1881; Frank A. Robbins’, 1888. Also handled elephants in vaudeville. A skilled glass blower, at one time placed a glass blowing exhibit aboard a railroad car. Died in Chicago, age 66.
THORBER BROTHERS [George, Harry, Walter]. Acrobats, VanAmburgh & Co., 1881.
THORNE. Gymnastic clown, Spalding & Rogers, 1854.
THORNE, JOHN. Juggler, With Moore Bros.’, 1887; Charles Lee’s London Circus, 1888; C. W. Kidder & Co.’s, 1893.
THORNE, NICHOLAS. (1822-1899) Crossed the equator 4 times on a whaling vessel before he was 20. Came to Delavan, WI, just before the Mabie Brothers arrived. Sold the Mabies about 400 acres of land on Delavan Lake which was used as circus quarters. Traveled with them for 5 years as boss hostler. Specialized in procuring non-ring circus horses. Later, set up a horse stable at Marshalltown, IA, dealing almost exclusively with circuses. Returned to Delavan, 1875, and served as village constable for 6 years and town marshal for 2 terms. Son, William, became internationally known as a portrait painter.
THORPE, A. C. Agent, Major Brown’s, 1856; Horner & Bell, 1855; Hippoferean, 1855.
THORPE, CHARLES R. General agent, Thayer & Noyes, 1886.
THORPE, HENRY H. (d. 1907) Sells Bros.’
THORPE, IRA B. (d. October, 1878) Contracting agent, Sells Bros.’, 1878. Died at Topeka, KS; buried Columbus, OH.
THORPE, J. Sideshow manager, Harry Thayer & Co.’s, 1890.
THREE ALBINOS. Gymnasts, John Robinson’s, 1882, 1887.
THREE DECOMAS. Arialists, John Robinson’s, 1886-87.
THRIFT, SAM. Clown and slack-rope performer. Aaron Turner’s, 1835; Ludinton, Smith & Bailey, 1836; Joseph E. M. Hobby’s, 1839; clown, Philadelphia Circus, 1840; Sam H. Nichols’, 1840; Bartlett & Delavan, 1841; Welch & Mann, 1841; Rockwell & Stone, 1843; John T. Potter’s, 1846; John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, NYC, 1846; Dan Rice’s, 1849.
THUMB, GEN. TOM [Charles S. Stratton]. (January 4, 1837-February 19, 1920) Midget. Born in Bridgeport, CT. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood E. Stratton. In November, 1842, P. T. Barnum stopped at Bridgeport on his way to Albany to visit his brother, Philo, who kept the Franklin House. While there, Philo presented young Stratton to him. The boy was described as being 5 years old, not 2’ high, weighing less than 16 pounds, perfectly formed, bright eyed, with light hair and ruddy cheeks. With parental consent, Barnum engaged the youth for 4 weeks at a salary of $3.00 per week, plus traveling and boarding expenses for himself and his mother. Was first exhibited in NYC, Barnum’s Museum, December 8, 1842, where he was announced on the bill as General Tom Thumb. At the end of that period, was re-engaged for a year at $7.00 a week and a gift of $50.00 at the end of that year. Popularity was so enormous that before the contract had expired his salary was increased to $50.00 a week. After being exhibited at the museum for a number of weeks he was sent on the road. Another year’s contract was submitted with plans for a European tour. Sailed for England, January 18, 1844. Briefly unveiled in Liverpool and London. March 20- July 20, on exhibition at Egyptian Hall, with daily receipts averaging around $500.00. Tour of England followed. Appeared in a play written for him by Albert Smith, Hop O’ My Thumb, at the Lyceum Theatre first, and then at some of the provincial playhouses. Visited Paris, where he received recognition from King Louis Phillipe; and Brussels, where he was honored by King Leopold. Contract was rewritten, January 1, 1845, making Barnum and Stratton equal partners. After 3 years of absence, the parties returned to America, February, 1847, remaining for a time at Barnum’s Museum. There was a tour of the United States and in January, 1848, a visit to Havana, Cuba. 1862, Barnum engaged another midget, Miss Lavinia Warren of Middleboro, MA, for exhibiting alongside General Thumb at his museum. The two were married the following year, February 10, 1863, at Grace Church, NYC. June, 1869, the General Tom Thumb Co. left for a trip around the world under the management of Sylvester Bleeker. In late years, the General grew in size and corpulence but, although there were other midgets that were smaller, Tom Thumb always drew an audience. Through the years, developed extravagant habits; consequently, in the last years of his life his resources were extensively depleted. A few years before his death, built a mansion in Middleboro. He died there of apoplexy.
THUMB, MRS. TOM [Lavinia Warren Bump, Countess Magri]. (1844-1919) Sideshow midget. Born in Middleboro, MA. Daughter of James S. and Hulda Bump of Revolutionary stock. Made first appearance, age 17, under the management of a cousin who operated a floating palace of curiosities on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Met and was contracted by P. T. Barnum, 1862. Married Tom Thumb a year later, and traveled throughout the world with him until his death, 1883. 2 years later, married Count Primo Magri, also a Lilliputian and a member of her company. Heaviest weight was 29 pounds and height 32”. 1911, appeared in vaudeville in a sketch entitled The Enchanted Statue, assisted by her husband, Count Magri and his brother Baron Magri. After a public life of some 56 years, made a farewell tour, 1912. Died at her home, Middleboro, age 77, leaving her memoirs.
THURBER, P. H. Miller, Stowe & Freeman (Charles A. Miller, James B. Stowe, William H. Freeman, proprietors), 1887.
TIBBS, HARRY [or Henrico]. Juggling on horseback and scenic rider. Englishman by birth, but worked for a time in Cuba. Haight & Chambers, winter 1866-67; with trick horse, Stonewall, Haight, Chambers and Ames, 1867; C. T. Ames’, 1868-70.
TIDMARSH, CAPT. T. U. (d. September 25, 1866) Former Lieutenant in the Confederate army. Robinson & Eldred, 1850-53; Henri Franconi’s, 1854-55; Rosston’s, 1856; Lent’s, 1858; James M. Nixon’s, 1860; Robinson & Lake, 1861; manager, Stone, Rosston & Murray, 1866. All in all, was in the circus business over 25 years. Died in Memphis at the Commercial Hotel. At the time of death, was business manager of the Greenlaw Opera House in that city.
TIDORA, LAVAN. Horizontal bar performer, Fulford & Co., 1890.
TILDEN, LUKE. (1828-1877) Started as a roustabout with Mabie Bros.’, 1847, starting as a workman and rising to position of manager. Continued with that firm until the show was sold to Adam Forepaugh and John O’Brien, 1864. Manager, Melville’s Australian Circus, 1865; manager, Phillips & Babcock, 1866-67; Coup & Castello, 1869-70; treasurer, then assistant manager, P. T. Barnum’s, 1871-75; business manager, Coup and Reiche’s Aquarium, 1876. Died suddenly the following year of heart trouble.
TILLOTSON, G. E. Manager, E. G. Smith’s, 1867.
TINKHAM, EDWIN A. [or Edward]. Agent. Son of an elder of the church in Lima, NY. P. T. Barnum’s Roman Hippodrome, 1874-75, W. C. Coup’s, 1878-82; contracting agent, Nathans & Co., 1882; Barnum & Bailey, 1884; Fainted from the bursting of a blood vessel while listening to a minstrel performance at the Grand Opera House, Rochester, January 8, 1886, and died 2 hours afterward at his boarding house. [Charles H. Day: “A wicked, paragraphing journalist declares that poor Ed’s demise was occasioned by the end man telling a new joke.... Ed could talk faster than Maud S. ever trotted or the Journal ever sold and wrote left-fisted to keep time with his tongue tangle.”]
TINKHAM, GEORGE. Bill poster, with Howes & Cushing, 1894.
TINKHAM, JOSEPH. (1831?-April 3, 1900) General performer. Born in Augusta, ME. Moved to Dubuque, IA, at about 12 years old. Began to practice tumbling with other children in an old barn. Orton’s, 1855-57; Ganung’s, 1858; Orton & Older, 1859; George W. DeHaven’s, 1862; Castello & VanVleck’s, 1863; Old Cary’s, traveling by rail and boat down the Mississippi, 1864; George W. DeHaven & Co., 1865; Johnson & Co. (James T. Johnson’s Great Western and VanVleck’s Mammoth Show combined), 1866; Maginley, Carroll & Co., 1867; George W. DeHaven’s, 1869; P. A. Older’s, 1871; rider, John Stowe & Sons, 1871; pad and hurdle rider, Cooper & C0., 1874; Indian hurdle rider, Hamilton & Sargeant, 1878; equestrian manager, Hunter’s, 1884; DeBonnaire’s Great Persian Exposition, 1884-85; equestrian director, D. A. Kennedy’s, 1896. Claimed that while with a small wagon show, 1849, he was the first man to turn a double somersault from a springboard over animals. When age ended his acrobatic career, retired to doing light farm work. Died at Ricardsville, IA, age 65. Had been in the profession for over 50 years.
TINKHAM, MME. Ascensionist, Maginley, Carroll & Co., 1867. Severely injured from an 18’ fall while undertaking an outside climb in Franklin, KY, October 16.
TINNEY, HANK. Boss canvasman, John Robinson’s, 1857-58.
TITUS, ALFRED. Band leader, Dan Rice’s, 1878.
TITUS, LEWIS B. (December 11, 1800?-December 29, 1870) A life-long bachelor. Owned and leased the elephant Little Bet with Gerard Crane, 1826; Angevine, Titus & Burgess, 1827; American National Caravan, 1831; co-proprietor, June, Titus & Co., 1833-34; VanAmburgh & Co. (Lewis B. Titus, John June, Caleb S. Angevine and Gerard Crane, proprietors), 1846-47; proprietor, VanAmburgh Menagerie, United Kingdom, 1838-45; returned to United States, fall 1845; partner, VanAmburgh & Co., 1846-49. Said the first to introduce to England the practice of traveling with a tent. Retired, 1849. Died in North Salem, NY.
TOLE, A. R. Caterer, Burr Robbins’ for several years, beginning around 1878. Ran the workingmen’s cook tent. Drove over the road with a single horse and buggy. All the heaviest equipment of his large tent was packed in a 4-horse wagon. All his edibles were drawn by 2 horses, so the outfit consisted of 7 horses.
TOLMAN, J. Rider, E. F. & J. Mabie’s, 1849-50.
TOMLINSON, ELIZA. (d. January 24, 1899) Second wife of Sam Rinehart. Had 2 sons, Charley and Willie, and 2 daughters, Beatrice and Goldie. Began performing as a lion tamer and chariot driver. After husband’s death, managed a museum in Des Moines, Iowa, for about 6 years, as well as the Rinehart Opera Co., headed by her daughters. Died in NYC, age 61. See Sam Rinehart.
TOMPKINS. Equestrian, Lailson’s, Philadelphia, 1798. When Lailson sold his circus stock and returned to France, Tompkins remained behind.
TONER, ANTHONY “BUCK.” (March 29, 1864-August 13, 1893) Acrobat. Born in Union City, PA. Black Bros.’, John Robinson’s, James M. French’s’, Miles Orton’s, and George M. Hall’s, visiting Cuba with the latter. Joined Rentz’s, 1890, with Bernard Dooley as a partner in an act. Fell from a swinging perch, August 11, 1893, while with that show and died in Erie, PA, 2 days later.
TOOKER, T. W. Business agent, Palmer’s Great Western, 1865.
TOOLE, THOMAS R. [“Col.”]. Agent. Levi J. North’s, 1856-58; Alex Robinson’s, 1862; Howe’s Great London, 1874-75; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1878; manager advertising car #1, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1879; Sells Bros.’, 1880s. [Peter Sells: “Col. Toole was also a great agent. He was one of the finest looking men that ever followed circus business—a high-minded, honorable man.”]
TORBETT, JAMES K. (d. June 24, 1896) Ticket seller, Wallace & Anderson, 1884-86; Sells Bros.’, 1888; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1889; John Robinson’s, 1890. Left the circus profession and went into the stone and cement sidewalk business in Chicago until retirement, 1894. Died at his home, Mason, OH, from kidney and liver trouble.
TORELLO BROTHERS. Classic posturing, C. T. Ames’ New Orleans, 1869.
TORRES, LEONARDI. Probably William or James Terries. Aeronaut and trapeze performer, with G. G. Grady’s, 1871. Died when making a balloon ascension in Massilon, OH, July 22 of that year. While performing on a trapeze suspended from the balloon, let loose his grasp to prevent being smothered by the balloon exhaust, falling into the water-filled Ohio Canal, some 8 or 9’ deep. His feet lodged in the mud at the canal bottom, causing him to drown. Was about 28 years of age.
TOTTEN, JAMES S. “COL.” (1821-1903). Treasurer, Great Eastern, 1873-1874, perhaps had money in it. Born at Deerfield, Warren County, Ohio, June 4, 1821; self-made man; parents were poor and unable to give him any advantages of a common school education; but his energy, ambition and capacity supplied many deficiencies, and enabled him to push his way from obscurity to the several prominent positions he has occupied. Privileges (with Mallory), Commonwealth Circus, 1879; New Bartine Consolidated Shows (Col. James S. Totten & Co., proprietors), 1896.
TOURAINE BROTHERS [Charles, Robert, Cass, and Theodore?]. Lake’s Circus, 1869.
TOURNIAIRE, BENOIT. (d. September 13, 1865) Horse trainer, rider, and juggler. Brother of the famous equestrienne, Louise Tourniaire, and a pupil of François Tourniaire. Married Rosaline Stickney, 1851. J. M. June’s, 1850; Rufus Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1851; Spalding & Rogers’ Floating Palace, 1852-53; Whitbeck’s Cirque des Varieties, 1854; Ballard & Bailey, 1855; Jim Myers’, 1856; G. F. Bailey’s, 1857; Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858. Died in Havana, Cuba, while with Abisu’s Circus. [John Dingess: “...known on the bills as Mons. Benoit, he was a trick rider and gave grand equestiran displays in which he did light balancing and plate spinning on horseback, as well as juggling cups, balls, stick dancing, etc.”] See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.
TOURNIAIRE FAMILY [Madame Louise, Mons. Benoit, Josephine, Theodore, Ferdinand; r. n. Ciseck or Zhieskick]. French equestrians. Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1851; E. F. & J. Mabie’s, 1851; Franconi’s New York Hippodrome, 1853; Bowery Amphitheatre, 1857; George F. Bailey & Co., 1857; Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; National Circus, 84 Bowery, NYC, winter 1858-59; Levi J. North’s, 1859.
TOURNIAIRE, FERDINAND. Rider. Ballard & Bailey, 1855; Sands, Nathans & Co., 1857; Buckley & Co., 1857-58; juvenile rider and double act of horsemanship with brother Theodore, Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; Chiarini’s, Havana, winter 1859-60; R. Sands’, 1860; principal rider, Tom King’s, 1861-62, Washington, DC; Spalding & Rogers, West Indies, 1863-64; Hippotheatron, NYC, Spalding & Rogers, spring 1864; Rivers & Derious, 1864. Married Kate Ormond, May 15, 1864, while both were with the latter show. J. F. Orrin’s, South America, 1865-66; Dan Castello & Co., 1866; Stone, Rosston & Murray, Front Street Theatre, Baltimore, winter 1866-67; Orrin Bros.’, South America, 1867-68; Hemmings, Cooper & Whitby, 1870; James E. Cooper’s, 1872; J. W. Wilder’s, 1873; Sells Bros.’, 1874. See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.
TOURNIAIRE, FRANÇOIS. From the Cirque Napoleon, Paris. First husband of Madame. Louise Tourniaire. J. M. June’s, 1850-52; Mann-Moore, 1853; equestrian director, Whitbeck’s, 1854; Sands & Nathans’, 1857; proprietor, Francois Tourniaire’s, 1865. See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.
Researcher note: Just in case you want a full representation of the Tourniaire family that came to the US in 1850, there was another daughter born to Francois and Louise Tourniaire: Mathilde Tourniaire, born in England while the family was there running a riding academy. Mathilde died in New jersey and in buried near her father in a local Peapack, NJ cemetery. I actually went there and found her grave which had her headstone partially destroyed. I had a new headstone made for her as a family remembrance of the little child few knew or remembered. - From Gloria DeMott Harmon, Great-granddaughter of Francois and Louise Tourniaire, Granddaughter of James DeMott and Josephine Tourniaire DeMott, Daughter of William DeMott and Eunice Storke DeMott.
TOURNAIRE, JOSEPHINE. Daughter of Louise Tourniaire; wife of James DeMott and mother of Josie DeMott. J. M. June’s, 1850; Whitbeck’s, 1854; Ballard & Bailey, 1855; Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; George F. Bailey & Co., 1861-62; S. O. Wheeler’s, 1863; Robinson & Howes, Chicago, 1863; Howes’ European, 1865; bareback equestrienne, DeMott & Ward, 1868. See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.
TOURNIAIRE, LOUISE. (1825-April 12, 1901) Born in Germany of a family of acrobats by the name of Ciseck [or Zhieskick]. Apprenticed to the Tourniaire family in Europe as a child rider at the age of 5. Later married François Tournaire. Had a daughter from this marriage, Josephine. Awed Londoners by her principal act in the 1840s. Tourniaires came to America, 1846, Louise, François and Louise’s 3 equestrian brothers, Benoit, Theodore and Ferdinand, who had also been pupils of Francois. All took the name of Tourniaire professionally. Often referred to as Madame. Tourniaire, her career that lasted until 1883. Noted for her nerve, daring and grace; one of the first women to stand on one foot on a cantering horse, balancing herself erect; elegant act upon a single bareback steed was featured wherever she went. At Cirque Napoleon in Paris, became the first female to successfully ride a 4-horse act. Also famous for her outstanding manège act. While with the Montgomery Queen's, 1876, she presented the trick and dancing horse, Rienzi, a coal black thoroughbred. [John Daniel Draper: “Faultlessly seated in her side saddle, with tiny whip in hand, she compelled Rienzi to march, trot, gallop, waltz, dance, pirouette, balance and do high leaps and a number of other difficult moves, all evidence of complete and masterful control.”] With James June’s American and European Amphitheatre, 1850, was billed as horse trainer and the only equestrienne appearing in America without saddle or bridle, coming from Franconi in Paris and Le Cirque Nacionale in Brussels. Last mention of François Tourniair’s appearing with her, 1857, on Sands, Nathans & Co. It is unclear when Mme. Tourniaire married her second husband, William C Brown, a circus musician (one report listed 1872); but around 1860 a daughter was born to this union, Mary (Maria or La Petite Louise Marie), known in the circus ring as Little Mollie Brown. J. M. June’s, 1850; Whitbeck’s, 1854; 6 horses bareback, bounding from steed to steed, Ballard & Bailey, 1855-56; Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; George F. Bailey & Co., 1861; Nixon’s Cremorne Gardens, NYC, spring 1862; S. O. Wheeler’s, 1863, 1867-68; L. B. Lent’s Broadway Amphitheatre, NYC, winter, 1863-64; George W. DeHaven’s, 1865; Dan Rice’s, 1865; S. P. Stickney’s, 1869; manège, Batcheller & Doris, 1870; Montgomery Queen’s, 1875. [John A. Dingess: She was “beyond a shadow of a doubt the most intrepid female rider that has ever appeared in this country.”] Died in Philadelphia, age 76, preceding Brown by 2 years.
TOURNIAIRE, MARIE. See Mollie Brown.
TOURNIAIRE, ROSALINE. See Rosaline Stickney.
TOURNIAIRE, THEODORE. Rider. Ballard & Bailey, 1855; juvenile rider and double act of horsemanship with his brother Ferdinand, Tourniaire & Whitby, 1858; Hippotheatron, NYC, Spalding & Rogers, spring 1864; Spalding & Rogers, 1864; George W. DeHaven’s, 1865; Howes’ European, 1865-66; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1867; DeMott & Ward, 1868; Mrs. Charles Warner’s, Philadelphia, winter 1868-69; S. P. Stickney’s, 1869. See Tourniaire Family and Louise Tourniaire.
TOWERS, CAL. Sideshow talker, John Robinson’s, 1890-93.
TOWN, BOSWELL C. VanAmburgh’s Menagerie. Died of typhus fever, Connellsville, IN, 1866.
TOWNE, JOHN S. See J. T. Leon.
TOWNLEY, T. B. Proprietor (with D. Cornwell), Great Oriental Pavilion Show, 1877.
TOWNSEND, ALBERT. (1818-October 3, 1903) Cousin of Hyatt Frost. Elephant keeper as early as 1838 when he handled Siam with June, Titus, Angevine & Co. Became a pioneer sideshowman, 1840, when exhibited South American snake in a tent connected with Dick Sands’ circus; net profit for the first season said to be $420. While with James Raymond, 1950s, drove a 4-hand team of elephants (Siam, Columbus, Hannibal, Virginius) harnessed to a bandwagon. Died at Brewster, NY, age 84.
TOWNSEND, CHARLES. With Hyatt Frost, ran a “six-and-a-quarter-cent” exhibit with Raymond & VanAmburgh, 1849. Traveling in a one-horse wagon, the show consisted of a seven-banded armadillo, a big snake, and 4 rattle snakes. [Charles H. Day: “As the California fever was at its height, the armadillo was known as the big bug of California.”] May have been the Townsend who was a sideshowman with Bailey & Co., 1864.
TOWNSEND, D. R. Advance agent, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1878; contractor, Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1879. Was arrested, St. Louis, MO, September 20, 1878, on a wife abandonment charge. Wife was Mary A. Townsend, living in Santa Cruz, CA.
TOWNSEND, FRANK. (1848?-August 10, 1913) Received early training in the sideshow business with his uncle, Jacob Townsend. Father was in charge of elephants for James Raymond and for VanAmburgh. Frank was salesman and barker. Later, with Howes’ Great London, owned by James E. Kelley and Henry Barnum, which was stranded in Atlanta, GA, and attached by the sheriff. Subsequently, traveled for a short period with Adam Forepaugh, Jr. Died in Brewster, Putnam County, NY, age 65.
TOWNSEND, JACOB. In charge of the elephants for James Raymond and for VanAmburgh. As agent for the sale of Barnum’s autobiography, The Life of P. T. Barnum, was given the sideshow privileges on the Barnum show.
TOWNSEND, M. L. Director of publications, S. P. Stickney’s, 1869.
TOWNSEND, ORRIN “PUT.” (1810-December 5, 1870) Elephant handler. Said to be one of the first to engage in that business in America. Worked with bulls for 38 years. Inventor of an apparatus consisting of fall blocks, rope and pulleys by which a wild elephant was subdued. First elephant was driven in harness in the country under his direction; afterward, taught 4 elephants to draw a large chariot in harness. Connected with Titus & Angevine, Raymond & Waring, and VanAmburgh & Co. Hannibal, Columbus, Siam, Virginius, Pizzaro, Bolivar, and Tippo Saib were all under his care at one time or another. Died in South East Putnam County, NY, age 60.
TRACY, NED. Clown, Ryland’s, returning to California after about 5 years spent in South and Central America, 1878.
TRAIN, FRANK. Treasurer, Walter L. Main’s, 1893. Killed on May 30 of that season when the Main show was nearly destroyed by a train accident near Tyrone, PA.
TRAINER, EDWARD H. See Davenport Brothers.
TRAMBLEY, J. Orchestra leader, G. G. Grady’s, 1867.
TRASK, FRANCIS. Advertiser, Association’s Celebrated Menagerie and Aviary from the Zoological Institute, Baltimore, 1837.
TRAVIS, JAMES. Proprietor, Travis’, 1892.
TREEWALLER BROTHERS. Dan Rice’s, 1862.
TREMAINE BROTHERS [Dan Leon, Lucian Ector and Faust]. Gymnasts and acrobats, Howes & Sanger, 1872.
TREMAINE, T. J. Press agent, Stowe Bros.’, 1889.
TRENT, HARRISON FULTON. Publisher of the New York Clipper, which first appeared on April 30, 1853, to serve as a theatrical and sporting weekly. Sporting subjects included boat racing, prize fighting, baseball, pedestrianism and even checkers. The paper’s theatrical focus increased during the 1860s, until, practically speaking, it was the only periodical in America dealing with show business news thoughout the decade from 1865 to 1875, and it continued in the forefront as such until competition from the Billboard and Variety forced its demise in 1924. Paper was sold to Frank Queen, 1855.
TREVINO, JOHN. Manager and proprietor, Hobson Bros.’, 1893.
TREWALLA, JEANNIE [or Trewolla]. Equestrienne, Dan Rice’s Paris Pavilion, 1873; Melville, Maginley & Cooke, 1875.
TREWALLA, JOHN H. [or Trewolla]. Dan Rice’s, 1867-69; equestrian director and ringmaster, Dan Rice’s Paris Pavilion, 1873; Ben Maginley’s, 1874; clown, Melville, Maginley & Cooke, 1875; general agent, Silas Dutton’s, winter 1879-80, 1880; W. H. Stowe’s, winter 1881-82; Sam McFlinn’s, 1888.
TREXLER, HERR. Contortionist, Driesbach, Rivers & Derious, 1853; Rivers & Derious, 1856-59.
TRIBBY, S. K. S. K. Tribby & Co.’s Mastodon Dime Circus, 1886-87.
TRIPP, CHARLES B. (July 6, 1855-January 26, 1939) Sideshow curiosity. Born in Woodstock, Canada, with no arms. Feet became his hands; could shave himself, write, and light and smoke cirgarettes; could use tools and developed into a skillful cabinet maker; was intelligent, educated and fair portrait painter. Arriving in NYC, 1872, at 17 years of age. Sought out P. T. Barnum and was hired on the spot. Worked for the showman for several years, touring the world 3 times with Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Bros.’ Cooper, Bailey & Co., 1879. Married late in life and for the last 14 years exhibited with carnivals. Died of pneumonia, Salisbury, NC, age 74.
TROLLOP, JULES. Clown, Burr Robbins’, 1886.
TRUE, CECIL A. True & McVeigh’s Mammoth Railroad Shows (Cecil A. True, John E. McVeigh, proprietors), 1896.
TRYER, R. W. Michael O’Conner & Co., 1870.
TRYON, JOHN. (1800-March 20, 1876) Showman, agent. Born in NYC. Began professional life as a reporter for the New York Herald; also conducted a job printing office in that city; credited with printing the first illustrated show bill in this country, a single sheet with figures printed in black ink. Considered a leading writer of copy for bills and other advertising. The first person to start a reading room in New Bedford, MA. Began management of the Bowery Amphitheatre, 37 Bowery, fall 1843. November 6 of that year the place was re-titled Tryon’s Independent Circus. February 20, 1844, opened as a theatre and circus combined. When the Bowery Theatre burned, February 25, 1845, Tryon went to considerable expense in refurbishing the place and re-opened as the New Bowery Theatre on May 5. Connected with the house off and on for the next few years; established the New Broadway Circus, 1848; operated the Pavilion Circus, Third Avenue and Eighth Street, NYC, 1849-50; accompanied ceiling walker Richard Sands to Europe as business manager, 1853; inaugurated the second New Bowery Theatre, 1857. Agent, Nixon-Macarte, 1863; Rivers & Derious, 1864; writer, Hemmings, Cooper & Whitby, 1868; writer, S. P. Stickney’s, 1869; press agent, Howe’s Great London, 1871; and agent, George F. Bailey & Co., 1872. Writer of superior ability—long enjoying the reputation for being the best writer of copy for bills and advertisements in the country, an intelligent and scholarly individual, highly thought of by his colleagues and the general public. Wrote several plays, one of which enjoyed popularity at the Chatham Theatre. Published a book, The Story of a Clown. Died in Boston at the residence of his son, Benjamin F. Tryon, age 75. At this time his son was treasurer of Boston’s Howard Athenaeum. The funeral services were in charge of Tony Pastor; Tryon was interred by torchlight.
TRYON, THOMAS H. Treasurer, S. P. Stickney’s, 1869.
TUBBS, A. Treasurer, New York Central Park Circus, 1877.
TUBBS, CHARLES. Strong man, Orton & Older, 1854-60; Orton Bros.’, 1864.
TUCKER, MATTIE. High-wire, bicycle, and balancing trapeze, Hurlburt & Hunting, 1885.
TUCKER, J. R. Contracting agent, Hurlburt & Hunting, 1885.
TUCKER, J. W. Contortionist. Satterlee, Bell & Co., 1858; double act as Tucker Brothers, Dodge & Bartine, 1868.
TUCKER, R. R. Program agent, Haight’s Great Southern, 1874.
TUCKER, WILLIAM R. Hurdle rider, John Forepaugh’s, California, 1888.
TUDOR, JOHN, LILLIE, and AMY. European specialty artists, Bunnell sideshow, P. T. Barnum’s, 1879.
TUFTS, THOMAS. Agent. Rockwell & Stone, 1846; co-proprietor, Waring, Tufts & Co.’s menagerie, 1834; manager and proprietor, National Gymnasium and American Arena Co., 1837 (the only season Tufts had a company on the road, the troupe combined with Purdy, Welch Macomber & Co. on April 27-29 and May 18.). P. T. Barnum’s, 1851; Rufus Welch’s, 1852; Sands & Chiarini, 1854.
TUPPEE, MME. English giantess, with Yankee Robinson’s, 1866.
TURNER, AARON. (1790-1854) Showman from Danbury, CT. Illegitimate and with no formal education, the son of Mercy Hony of Ridgefield, CT. Appointed guardian was Dorcus Osborn, also of Ridgefield. For some years, followed the trade of shoemaker. Married, 1815, a union which produced 2 sons and 2 daughters. Sons Timothy and Napoleon were riders. In partnership with Nathan A. Howes and Sylvester Reynolds in a circus venture, 1826. 1828, first used the title of Columbian Circus. Steadily employed in circus management until retirement in the late 1840s. Although not a performer, acted as ringmaster. P. T. Barnum described him as a genius, a man of untiring industry, a practical joker, a good judge of human nature. Close with the dollar, did not advertise lavishly, giving birth to the phrase, “Go it like old Turner.” Company based in Danbury and, for the most part, tours were in New England. Never wanted to stray too far from his home base. Became affiliated with the Zoological Institute, 1835. Operating the first circus of real note in America, he used no tent during his first season on the road, only sidewall; then made a tent with his own hands and by 1830 had a 90’ round-top; added a menagerie, 1844, leasing the stock, an elephant and 6 cages, from James June. A hippopotamus made out of leather was a feature, 1847. Hired George F. Bailey, who became his son-in-law, and eventually his manager. P. T. Barnum was a partner and treasurer for the organization at one time.
TURNER, BURRELL. 2-horse rider, the Royal Pavilion Circus/Olympic Circus, 1830.
TURNER, CHARLES A. Press agent, Older’s, 1871.
TURNER, EDWARD “NED.” (d. May 23, 1909) Clown. Coe’s, 1866; Michael O’Conner & Co., 1869; Smith & Baird, 1872. Attempted suicide November 19, 1872, in Peoria by shooting himself 3 times in the breast. Thought to be caused by domestic troubles. Apparently recovered, for had an ad for summer work by December, 1872. Put out Ned Turner’s Circus Joke Book, 1874, a do-it-yourself clown manual. Later years occupied with staging amateur shows. Died of apoplexy in Galeton, PA.
TURNER, E. W. Program agent, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1874-75.
TURNER, HARRY J. Aaron Turner & Sons Columbian Circus, 1842. Conducted a boat show with Levi J. North, 1853. With North, leased the National Amphitheatre, Philadelphia, that winter. The two traveled by wagon for the 1855 season and in the winter erected an amphitheatre in Chicago.
TURNER, JAMES. Acrobat, Nathan A. Howes’, 1845; slack-wire, June & Turner’s, 1845-46.
TURNER, J. C. Program agent, Maginley & Co., 1874.
TURNER, JOHN F. Supt. of curiosities, P. T. Barnum, 1876.
TURNER, NAPOLEON B. (June 1, 1816-1854) Born in Kent, NY. Oldest son of Aaron Turner. Rode without saddle or bridle, the 3rd person to accomplish this in America. Olympic Circus, Philadelphia, 1823, under the management of Price & Simpson; Simpson & Price, Baltimore, 1823; Walnut Street Theatre, 1824; William Blanchard and William West’s, Canada, 1823-25; J. Purdy Brown’s, 1825; Mount Pitt Circus, NYC, 1826, billed as “from Canada” and making his debut “on two horses”; Tivoli Gardens, Philadelphia, 1826 (during this stand executed a backward somersault from horse to ground); Lafayette Circus, NYC, January 1827; Samuel Parsons’, under the management of Simon V. Wemple, Troy, NY, 1828; Royal Pavilion Circus/Olympic Circus, 1830; Aaron Turner’s, 1833; Cole, Miller, Gale & Co., 1838; June, Titus & Angevine, 1838; 4-horse rider, Bowery Amphitheatre, 1841; Howes & Mabie, 1841; Aaron Turner’s, 1842-43; Rockwell & Stone, 1843; 6-horse rider, June & Turner, 1844-47.
TURNER, OLIVER “MASTER”. June & Turner, 1845-46.
TURNER, THOMAS. General performer, Aaron Turner’s, 1842.
TURNER, TIMOTHY V. (1820-1858) Youngest son of Aaron Turner and brother of Napoleon. Aaron Turner’s, 1835-39; June, Titus, Angevine & Co., at the Bowery Amphitheatre, 1838-40; Welch, Bartlett & Co., 1840; Bowery Amphitheatre, 1841; Howes & Mabie, 1841; Welch & Mann, 1841; Aaron Turner & Sons, 1842; performed somersaults on horseback and a nautical act of horsemanship, Welch’s, Philadelphia, 1843; flying cord, John Tryon’s, Bowery Amphitheatre, 1843; Rockwell & Stone, 1843; Nathan A. Howes’, winter 1843-44; Aaron Turner’s, 1843, 1849; June & Turner, 1844-47. Died apoplexy in Danbury, CT, age 38.
TURNOUR, EDWARD [of Turnour & Roberts]. (d. December 31, 1898) Knockabout clown. Nephew of Millie Turnour. Entered the business around 1890, performing with Sig. Sautelle and other circuses. Died of consumption at his home in NYC, age 28.
TURNOUR, JENNIE. (March 1860-April 26, 1884) Equestrienne and aerialist. Youngest of 4 sisters. Born in Lisbon, Spain, and came to America with her parents at the age of 10. Married Charles Ewers. C. W. Noyes’, 1872; Haight’s Great Southern, 1874; North American, 1875; John Robinson’s, 1875-78; Orrin Bros.’, Havana, winter 1878-79; Sells Bros.’, 1879, 1882-83; hurdle and fire hoop rider, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1881; Orrin Bros.’, Mexico, 1883. Killed while performing with Barrett’s Circus, 1884.
TURNOUR, JULIUS. (d. January 26, 1931) Clown. Born in a circus wagon while French parents were exhibiting their circus in Spain. First appeared at a London music hall in a “demon act,” in which, with red tights, a reddened face, and a dangling tail, he portrayed a little devil. Apprenticed with the Conrads for 10 years for no pay. Gave up acrobatics because of ill health. Began clowning while in North Africa. Connected with Circus Chiniselli in Berlin; a Spanish clown, Orrin Bros.’, Havana, winter 1879-80; Burr Robbins’, 1879-80; Ringling Bros.’ from about 1891 for some 20 years. While with Adam Forepaugh’s, was mail carrier for the show people; first business in the morning after breakfast was to go to the post office for all the show mail; after arriving at the show grounds, delivered to four stations - the ticket wagon, the sideshow, the menagerie and the dressing room; for this service, he was given the right to issue the route cards of the show, which he sold for five cents apiece. [D. W. Watt: “He was always painstaking and careful with the mail and always carried a few stamps in his pocket in case one of the working men or anyone around the show would be out of money, he would always mail their letters for them…. Today Jules Turnour owns a nice fruit farm in Michigan.”] Last appearance, Madison Square Garden, 1928, before going into retirement at Valley Stream, Long Island. Wrote The Autobiography of a Clown, 1910, published by Moffat, Yard & Co.; forward written by Alf T. Ringling. Died in Valley Stream, age 80.
TURNOUR, MILLIE. Trapeze performer. Debut at Tony Pastor’s Opera House, NYC, 1868; C. T. Ames’, 1869-70; Spalding & Bidwell, New Orleans, 1870. [New Orleans Daily Picayune, 1870: “A swinging bar is suspended about 50 feet in the air. Upon this simple bar she balances, swings, suspends, and enacts feats which are equally the amazement, the admiration and the fear of all who behold her. Her turns in the air are marvelous to behold, and as she descends to the stage, head downwards on a single rope, without the assistance of her hands, the tumultuous applause which invariably greets her, is an involuntary tribute to so much courage united with so much grace.”] C. W. Noyes’, 1871-72; John H. Murray’s, 1873-75; Haight’s Great Southern, 1874; Hengler’s, England, winter 1874-75; Montgomery Queen’s, 1877; John H. Murray’s, 1878; Orrin Bros.’, Havana, 1878; Mexico, winter 1882; with Lottie Miranda, a double-trapeze team, Adam Forepaugh’s, 1879-80, 1887; W. W. Cole’s (which left San Francisco for Australia, October 23, 1880), 1880-81; Inter-Ocean Show, 1883; Ringling Bros.’, 1899-1900; Walter L. Main’s, 1904. Married Wooda Cook while with C. W. Noyes’ Crescent City Circus, March 1872, Shreveport, LA. Later separated.
TUTTLE, A. F. Proprietor, A. F. Tuttle’s Olympic Show, a wagon show for some 18 years. Last notice found in 1907 when the show was sold to George W. Loudon.
TUTTLE, JEROME. Leaper. John Robinson’s, 1869-70; gymnast, Alex Robinson’s, 1869; Wootten & Haight, 1871; Empire City, 1871; Great Eastern, 1872.
TWAITS, JAMES W. Treasurer. Springer’s Royal Cirq-Zoolodon, 1875; Joel E. Warner’s, 1876.
TYKE, JOHN. Manager, George F. Bailey & Co., 1859; treasurer, VanAmburgh’s, 1866.
TYROLEANS. Minstrel troupe, Rockwell & Stone, 1846.
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