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Message Archive: Messages 651 - 700

700. Sells Bros., 05 July, 2005 - I would like to find out the history of the Sells Circus of Columbus, Ohio for a project. Can you help me? I live in West Virginia but am planning a trip soon to Columbus to take a picture of the Sells Mansion which I understand is still there. Thank you, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 July, 2005 - Fred D. Pfening Jr. wrote a basic article about the Sells show in Bandwagon, Jan-Feb 1964, pages 4 to 15. There's also a book titled "Sellsville" that will be found in some libraries. There's coverage of their Topeka, Kansas years in the writings of Orin King. See his book, "The Circus World of Willie Sells." Some of these materials will be at the Columbus Public Library or the Ohio Historical Center. The Sells brothers involvement basically spanned from 1872 to 1905. They operated two shows in some years, using titles other than Sells Bros. on the second show. Their operations were separate from those of Willie Sells, as well as other Sells-named operations including the variant Seils-Sterling. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 06 October, 2005 - The following information is listed in "The Pictorial History of the American Circus" by John W. Thomas. The copyright of this boook is 1957 and was published by A.S. Barnes and Company. New York Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 57-9907. SELLS BROS. CIRCUS Started in 1872 as Paul Silverburg Circus by four Sells Brothers of Columbus, and called Sells Bros. Circus in 1875. In 1878, the wagon show was retitled and a new railroad show was assembled under the Sells name. Billed in 1884 as the Sells Bros. 50-Cage 4-Ring Circus. Reached 45 car size in 1885, when it also had a subsidiary with 44 cars. Catered to Midwestern farm communities. In 1896 the Sells equipment was renamed Forepaugh-Sells Circus, and two of the Sells brothers, with James A. Bailey and W.W.Cole, owned the show. I hope the above information will help.

    Reply: 22 Jun 2008 - Franklin County Genealogical and Historical has Sellsville available for sale (we published it). go to for ordering info. Carol A. Hubbard, Volunteer FCGHS

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699. Detroit circuses, clown Drennan, 05 July, 2005 - I am trying to find any information about circuses in the Detroit area during the 1940's and especially about a clown named Drennan. Thanks, Randy Wright. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

698. Ira Olmsted, 05 July, 2005 - In reading old family correspondence, I found the following tantalizing reference to a circus supposedly owned in part by my ancestor, Ira Olmsted, that travelled from the US to Canada in the 1830s. It reads: "(He) can remember when quite young, his Uncle Ira who used to visit Canada frequently with a circus, of which he was part owner, always stopping at his father's place above Stoney Creek where the show was held. He usually preceded the circus with posters, and gave the members of the family free tickets, which were duly appreciated. It was understood that he died in England." I'd love to discover more about this circus and would appreciate any help or suggestions you or others can provide. I can offer little else except that Stoney Creek is in or near Ancaster, Ontario and Ira Olmsted was born in Ridgefield, CT. His older brother Russell Olmsted moved to Cananda and was the owner of the house above Stoney Creek. Russell's son, Moss Ingersoll Olmsted, who had the early childhood memory of Uncle Ira's circus, was born in 1830. Many thanks, Tim Abbott. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 05 July, 2005 - According to William L. Slout's, Olympians of the Sawdust Circle, p. 227: "Olmstead, Ira. Manager, western unit [for] June, Titus, Angevine & Co., 1841. You should be able to find information on this circus in a variety of circus history books. One that comes to mind is Thayer, Stuart. Annals of the American Circus, 1793-1860. Manchester, Michigan: Rymack Printing Co., 1976. Out of print. Annals of the American Circus, 1830-1847. Seattle, Washington: Peanut Butter Publishing, 1986. - J. Griffin
    Reply: 11 July, 2005 - In 1833 there was a menagerie in the U. S. called Miller, Mead & Olmstead. The partners were John Miller, Abraham Mead, and Ira Olmstead. The menagerie was built around the elephant "Gold Button," which was imported in Philadelphia in early 1833. This is the only reference to the name Olmstead in my files. In 1834 the menagerie became Miller, Mead & Delavan. They were in Louisville, KY from November, 1832 to 1 January 1833. Cincinnati, OH from 25 March to 4 April 1833. They were licensed in Morgantown, WVA, 24 September 1833. Stuart Thayer.

697. Durhams, iron jaw, 03 July, 2005 - We have pictures of Pearl Durham and her husband. One of the pictures is of her in costume for her iron jaw act. Another picture is of her sitting on a slice of the moon with her husband standing beside her. Can anyone tell me more about the iron jaw performance and has anyone heard of this couple. Does anyone know which circus they performed with? It must have been in the early 1900's as she was born before 1886. Thanks, Gail Howell, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

696. Nelson Bennett, clown, 03 July, 2005 - I am interested in finding out about Nelson Bennett, a clown who appeared in the Barnett Bros. Circus, later called Wallace Bros. Circus. At one time he lived in Tallahassee, Fla. Any help you can give would be appreciated. MargoBelle. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 05 July, 2005 - What period was he working at Wallace? Approx age in certain year? Natasha Gerson
    Reply: 11 July, 2005 - It's not the most direct route to information about your subject, but articles about the annual tours of the Barnett (1928-1936, 1938-1939, 1945) and Wallace circuses (1937, 1940-1944) have been printed in older issues of "Bandwagon" magazine. They can be located in the article indexes on this website. Some of the back issues might be available for purchase. It's possible that the person of interest to you may be mentioned in some of the rosters, or depicted in one of the images. "White Tops" magazine was also being published during the subject years and information may be contained therein, as well as in the weekly circus columns of the amusement journal "Billboard." Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 18 July 2007 - I have an oil painting titled “The Aerialist” (Nelson Bennett). The painting is signed by Margaret Moore Walker or Wallace 1936. I bought it for the beauty but would love to know if this is the clown about which you inquired. If you have more info, I’d appreciate hearing from you. Anita O'

    Reply: 10 Nov 2007 - To Anito O’. I really want to know – WHO IS NELSON BENNETT? I noted the “clown” painting of Nelson Bennett from web site but was informed the painting was sold and could not obtain any specific info from the dealer. It was a painting of him because I recognized his face and “eyes”. I have several, privately owned, professional photographs taken of Nelson Bennett, dated possible from the 1950’s. Just found an on-line 1910 article from the N. Y. Times about a clown named Nelson Bennett, You circus historians out there – help us research Nelson Bennett”. Nan D.

    Reply: 25 Sep 2009 - I found Nelson Bennett in a 1941 newspaper article – three photographs of Bennett included. Nan.
        ‘Perfect” Model Wouldn’t Pose With His Clothes On. Famous Parents Killed In Fall From Flying Trapeze. So He Gave Up Circus Life. The Milwaukee Journal - Journal Green Sheet, Friday May 30, 1941 - Page 1, Col. 5 & Page 2, Col. 4, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. By Fritz Jochem, Copyright 1941 - The Journal Company.
        NELSON BENNETT, who boasts a “perfect male figure”, was posing for the Milwaukee art classes the other day and H. Charles Risko, director of the Wisconsin Art Academy, brought him in for an interview and possibly a picture in the Green Sheet. You’d think a man who has made his whole living posing for artists and others since 1927 wouldn’t mind having his picture taken in any pose but that’s where you would be wrong. So was this reporter. “I’m sorry,” said Nelson Bennett. “But I can’t pose with my clothes on. I’m a professional figure model and it would be unprofessional for me to let anyone - artist or photographer - take just a head picture.” So it was all of Nelson Bennett or nothing. We chose all. The pictures on this page are the result.
        Famous Aerialists. You wouldn’t guess they represent a man of 50, either, but they do. Nelson Bennett was born in New York in 1891, of an Irish-American circus family that started making the rounds of eastern tank towns in 1841 – the period of “Chan Hanna” of recent serial, novel and movie fame. His parents were famous aerial trapeze artists – the “Aerial Bennetts” – tops in their line until they were both killed in one terrible fall in a performance at Paris, France, in 1927. His grandfather met a similar death in Muncie, Indiana, 30 years earlier. Nelson had been appearing with his parents on the high flying trapeze all over the world from 1904 to 1927, but he was badly hurt in the fall that killed his parents that after 100 days in the hospital he came out with part of his skull and all his trapeze ambitions missing. Since childhood he had been posing for artists in his spare time. So had his parents and professional modeling seemed to offer the best future to Nelson, than 36 years old.

    Reply: 14 Aug 2010 - I can't give you much more information on Nelson Bennett than what has already been stated; aside from the fact that he posed for my 9th grade Art Class at Litchfield Junior High School in 1967. And he DID pose in his clown costume but later took off the top . My finished drawing of him was the first piece I ever sold. It was purchased by one of our Guidence Counsellors. He was a very interesting guy but looking back on it, it's hard to separate his facts from fiction. Phyllis Williams

695. Mills Bros., 03 July, 2005 - I have purchased a 1950's Mill's Bros. Circus poster, that announces the tour year as being their 25th anniversary. The event was held in Manassas, VA, and they promised to bring "Tons of Elephants". I would very much like to date this, but cannot find a birth year for Mill's Bros.Circus. Can you help? Thank you. Mike Hopkins Lexington, VA, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 05 July, 2005 - I have the 1950 Route book stating the 11th Annual tour. That should make 1939 the first year on the road. Although the winterquarters moved from town to town as the years went by Jack, Jake, & Harry Mills always called Ohio home. They stayed in Circleville for three years, the State Fairgrounds in Columbus, Greenville, as well as the final years in Jefferson, Ohio. Their "Tons" of performing elephants was a standard window card poster they used for years. I have 6 elephants recorded in the 1960's, Wallace Jennie, Bunny, Lelabardi, Suzie, Una and the famous Burma. Burma was the elephant at the White House for the presidential inaugurations. She is also the same elephant that was called Virginia that gave Colonel William Woodcock fits by running away as the occassion served her in her earlier days. She also ran on the Mills show at least once that I'm aware of. Bob Cline
    Reply: 05 July, 2005 - The Mills Bros. Circus began operations at Tallulah, La. on April 20, 1940 with the acquisition of some circus property and ended the season Sept. 12 at New London, Ohio before going into winter quarters at Berea, Ohio. Since 1940 was the first year - the 25th season was 1964. The show left their winter quarters at Jefferson, Ohio on April 18, played Manassas, Virginia Sept. 25, closed the season Oct. 3 at Cortland, Ohio and returned to their quarters at Jefferson, Ohio. The show was based out of Cleveland, Ohio, and at the end of the 1966 season the show was sold to Sid Kellner as the basis of his James Bros. Circus. Ted Bowman Route Collection.
    Reply: 12 July, 2005 - Greatly enjoyed reading about the Mills Bros. Circus, and especially about "Burma," the elephant, as during part of the 1964 season, when I performed on that show, at the end of the elephant act she would pick me up by my head and carry me around the center ring {that might explain a lot about me now - LOL!}. Somewhere in my scrapbook, I've got a picture that had been taken of her years before I worked with her with at-the-time President Eisenhower.
    Reply: 31 January, 2006 - I am looking for information, and/or pictures about my father. He was a star performer on the Mills. Bros. circus in the '50's. His name was Ryerson Gaudet, aka Ray Goody, and he was a tight rope walker. He also did what they called the "slide for life" where he walked up a rope from the ground to the top of the tent and slide down backwards on his feet. Regarding Burma, the elephant: My father and Burma had a love affair going. Each year when we would return to winterquarters the first thing my father would do is seek out Burma, and when she saw him coming and calling out to her, she would trumpet like there was no tomorrow, and she would pace and trumpet until he finally reached her, and then she would hug him practically to death. As a child of 3 until I was 10 or so I would ride her in the parade, and at one point I rode in a hoop she would carry in her mouth. One time though, I went up to her when no one else was around, and she rolled me up in her trunk and threw me down to the ground. I never could tell about Burma, but she sure did love my father. Hope to hear from you soon, Patti Koester (Gaudet)

    Reply: 04 August, 2006 - This is a reply for Patti Koester (Gaudet). I remember you Patti very well. I was one of the English girls, Patricia Jameson. Your parents were my sponsors to get me out of Cuba and I stayed with you for a while with Jinx Addams. I loved your wonderful parents and it was a great blow when your dad called to tell me your mom had passed at such an early age. Somewhere I have a clipping of your dad's rocket invention. I would love to hear from you and catch up. My email is or you can write me, Patricia Cuneo, Bostic, NC

    Reply: 15 February, 2007 - I came across the replies about Burma and the other acts in the Mills brothers show. My husband grew up in the show and has told me many stories about Burma and many of the people in the show. We have been searching the web for some time now and it was nice to be able to read about all of you. His name is Karl Schmitz and we would love to hear from any of you. Lynda Schmitz,

    Reply: 20 May 2007 - My mother is the daughter of the late Jack and Rose Mills. The circus opened in 1939, and my mother was born in 1940. Her father (Jack Mills), always said that the year his daughter was born, was the first year the circus made money. I would love to see what poster you purchased, as I am an avid collector of Mills Bros Circus posters myself. Thanks, Jon Madorsky

    Reply: 21 Feb 2008 - My great grandmother was the sister to the Mills brothers. If there’s any information you could provide me with I’d appreciate it., thank you. Kandyce

    Reply: 22 Feb 2008 - According to an article by Murray Powers in White Tops Sept-Oct, 1971 p 6, in 1940 Jack Mills went to Tallulah, Louisiana, and bought the Richards Bros Circus for $1200 . See questions #'s 41 and 156 on this website for some facts about the Richards show. Whitey

    Reply: 01 Jul 2009 - Can anyone help me re the Mills Bros. circus, did they ever perform in the UK? Also there are many refereneces to the English Girls who performed with them throughout the 50's but no names, my ancestor Betty Horrocks travelled over in 1951 but cannot find out what her act was, again I hope someone can assist. Thanks Vicki

    Reply: 02 Jul 2009 - The UK had the Bertram Mills Circus. The USA show was Mills Bros. Circus owned by Jack, Jake, and Harry Mills. Other than recruiting some acts from Europe, the Mills Bros. was all US mainland. Bob Cline

    Reply: 30 Jul 2010 - I wonder if there is a way to contact the Mills Bros. to let them know I have written a story about them when they came to Wallingford, Connecticut, on June 29th, 1953. The young elephant, Miss India, died that night and is buried in Wallingford. I wrote the story for The People's Press, and it begins on page 1. Here is the link:

    The story continues on page 3. I then have another little story about India's grave on page 11, and have since discovered I had the wrong burial location, but I wasn't too far off. I will be writing a story to correct that. Barbara Sherburne

    Reply: 18 May 2011 - Hi, My name is Joani and my Grandmother Joan was one of the English girls that came over and worked at the circus. She passed away a few years ago, and we have some pictures but if anyone has any pictures I could get a copy of I'd greatly appreciate it! She married the ringmaster Proctor Baughman, and her name was Joan Smith Baughman. Thank u!

694. Silverlake Trio, 03 July, 2005 - I'm looking for information on the Silverlake Trio. They are mentioned with the Mighty Haag Shows in 1929 and 1933, Tiger Bills Wild West 1932, Almond and Conley 1934, and Kay Bros 1934. I have the 1934 Kay Bros program which lists the Silverlake Trio and also Miss Billy Silverlake on the web. Archie Silverlake was probably the lead member and Brownie Silverlake may have helped with the act. Thanks, Darren Bryan in Georgia, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

693. George W. Richardson, RBBB, 03 July, 2005 - George Washington Richardson was a front man for Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey circus approximately from 1900 - 1940. We know he traveled in a wagon in the early days going from town to town making arrangements for the circus. Before this he was with Wild Bill's Wild West Show. I would like to find some record of his association with the circus, photos, or even advise on where I might continue my search. Any help is greatly appreciated! Steven A. Richardson. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

    Reply: 30 June 2009 - My Great Great uncle was a front man for RRBB circus and I would lke more information. His last name was Raymond. Terry

692. George Redgewell, 03 July, 2005 - Hello. Trying to find out about the death of George Redgewell from Bow, 1896. He was reputed to be a professional Circus Artist on the High Wire. Had a fall and died. Worked in London and the provinces. Have you come across him. Pleased with any suggestions you might have as to finding him. Regards Edwina. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

691. Garagata family, Falinos, 03 July, 2005 - Do you have any information on a Garagata family, Herman and Angelina and two daughters Rose and Mildred and an adopted son "Pepe"? 1923-1937 Or a The Falino's with two daughters Tina and Becky? Connie L. Lambert, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

690. Cetlin-Wilson Shows, 30 June, 2005 - Hi, I am looking for information on the Cetlin-Wilson Shows, Miami Bch, Fl. My dad worked for them between 1944-46. I have a picture of my Grandfather painting Carnival rides from the 30's -40's? He was Charles Ganley. My Grandmother was listed on the 1930 Fed Census as a fortune teller, and I have a picture of her holding a crystal ball. She was Annette Ganley, nee Shelly (Zelda the Great) I also supposedly have Aunts and Uncles who were involved with the Circus or Carnivals based in Florida. Can someone give me advice as to where I might find more information on the above Show out of Miami? Thanks, and Regards, Jeanine Z, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 03 July, 2005 - The best overall reference on Cetlin & Wilson is the book by Bob Goldsack. His contact information can be found in the response to question 601. More detailed information is contained in the carnival coverage in the weekly publication "Billboard." The people often moved between shows, but there's no finding aid for carnival personnel at this time. There's a collection of carnival materials at the International Independent Showmens Foundation in Gibsonton, FL that might contain relevant materials. You'll need to contact the office there as to availability. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 01 September, 2006 - I know the Cetlin and Wilson show appeared in New Brighton Pa in the 1950's and maybe 1960. I was a young kid and fascinated by the whole thing. It was the best carnival I ever saw. It was also the BIGGEST. No, it wasn't a circus. It had carny rides and side shows and girlie shows that I was just barely able to buy tickets for . The girls were great of course. I took that for granted (like burlesqe). As a musician, I also remember the big band in both girlie shows. I played trumpet. One was all black and the other all white. Integration was just around the corner. I often wondered what happened to the show. I guess TV did it in like everything else. Good luck and reply if possible. Who were Cetlin and Wilson? Lonzie Cox jr,

    Reply: 02 September, 2006 - Fred Heatley, Robert Spivey and I have been collectively researching the Cetlin and Wilson Shows all summer long. What started out as a request to write an article for the Carnival Model Builders magazine turned into a major project. I started out borrowing the Bob Goldsack book from my friend Hal Guyon and wanted to write an article about things that might not be in the book. 18 pages of typing later, I believe it's too large for an article. I have spoken to so many people this summer that had an involvement with the show or knew first hand what went on, it has been a real joy to do this. I just returned from a trip to Savannah where they showed for the last time, gathering more information and photos. We hope to have it ready to publish sometime next year. For every answer we get to one of our questions, it seems to open another question. Trust me, there are plenty of unanswered questions also. We are now concentrating on the final year of existance in 1968. We have learned many things never heard of before and none has ever been in print so it should make for a Historically accurate accounting of the shows progress through the years. Just for the record, Issy Cetlin and Jack Wilson started their partnership in 1928. They bought their train in 1945 and closed Nov.3, 1968 still travelling by train although both Mr. Cetlin and Mr. Wilson had passed away by then. Bob Cline

    Reply: 26 Jul 2008 - My Mother in law worked for the carnival as a kid in the 30’s. She had a brother there too, Their names were Bud Monroe and Ethel Monroe. Ethel is still alive today and remembers a lot about those days If you want you can contact me and I will see if she remembers any of them. Gary Polito, NJ

    Reply: 25 Aug 2009 - Issy Cetlin was my mother's cousin. He visited our home in Brooklyn on occasion and would join us for dinner. It is hard to believe, but I never got to see the show. I seem to recall Issy saying that he and his partner varied the name regularly: i.e. Cetlin-Wilson, Wilson-Cetlin - is that true? Where and when did Issy die, and did he leave a wife, children? I would love to learn more about the man. Fred Siegmund

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689. Circus elephants, 28 June, 2005 - Hello, I am a student in a non-fiction writing program and I am looking to focus my attention on circus elephants. If there are any trainers, handlers, presenters out there, who would like to be interviewed please contact me at the following e-mail address: Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 03 July, 2005 - Hello, I just purchased a 1950's Mills Bros. Poster. There are elephants pictured and a promise for "Tons of Elephants" at the show. If an image of this poster would be helpful in your writing project, let me know. Sounds like it could be interesting. Mike Hopkins

688. Joseph S. Rettinger, 28 June, 2005 - Does anyone know where abouts of Joseph S. Rettinger long time Circus Historical Society memeber and one time Director of Division #7. Last address I had was PO box in Phoenix, Az. Thanks. R. Sims, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 30 June, 2005 - Joe passed away and his collection has been at least partially dispersed. Fred Dahlinger

687. Clyde Beatty, Shreveport, 27 June, 2005 - Does anyone know what year the Clyde Beatty circus spent the winter in Shreveport. Louisiana? We would walk over to the fair grounds every day to see Clyde Beatty. I think that the year was 1948. Thanks, Johnny Jones, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 28 June, 2005 - According to an article in Shreveport Magazine, May 1950 by Tom Parkinson, Clyde Beatty wintered in Shreveport after the 1947 season. The article is, "The Great Raft Left Some Sawdust." One sentence states, Last big street parade of a circus was held in Shreveport two years ago when the Clyde Beatty circus wintered here. The paragraph of interest reads, Several carnivals have wintered here and it was after one of them - Beckman and Gerety - went out of business that a new circus was organized in Shreveport. Arthur Concello, now manager of the Ringling Barnum show, bought part of the carnival train and wagons and combined it with some circus equipment to form Russell Bros. Circus in 1945. A year later Clyde Beatty bought it and it was this show which Beatty wintered here after the season of 1947. Some of Beatty's Circus was stored in the buildings Jones had used 20 years earlier. Beatty's general manager had been an employee of Jones then. Darren Bryan in Georgia,
    Reply: 28 June, 2005 - The Beatty Railroad show went into Shreveport twice: after the 1947 season and again in 1950, after Harriet's death. Best regards, Dave Price
    Reply: 16 August, 2005 - I remember the year as 1948 because my Dad had taken me to see the baby black panthers that were born while Clyde Beatty shows were wintered there. I wanted one so bad. My Dad and Clyde had struck up a friendship during his stay. Of course, I did not realize that cute little black kitten I held would grow up to be a big bad cat. Pat Cooper Colby.

686. Circus Suhr, 27 June, 2005 - Hello I am wondering if anyone had come across a circus called Suhr. I believe it was Russian. Any info gratefully received. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 30 June, 2005 - Not Russian but Swiss, actually. The Nock family stemmed from it. Natasha Gerson
    Reply: 09 August, 2005 - Yes, Circus Suhr was indeed a Russian circus - although his founder, the equestrian Wilhelm Suhr, came from Germanic Europe (and, of course, the Suhr family may have a branch that settled in Switzerland, or the entire family may have come from Germanic Switzerland). Wilhelm Suhr went to Russia in the 1870s, settled there and started touring the provinces, building wooden constructions in the places he visited. His son, Otto-Rudolf, continued after him, and Tsirk (circus) Suhr was one of the most important itinerant circuses in Russia at the turn of the 20th century. Like all private circuses, Circus Suhr disappeared when circuses were nationalized by a decree of Lenin in 1919 - but being a circus with foreign roots, its owners, the Suhr family, may also have fled Russia at the beginning of the WW1, or at the outcome of the Bolshevik revolution. I don't have precise information on this. The American elephant trainer Ephraim Thompson toured in Russia with Circus Suhr. - Dominique Jando

685. Canned music, 27 June, 2005 - Here is the last of my three questions for CHS feedback: The first American circus to go with phonograph records - that is, no musicians in the show. In his book, The Circus From Rome To Ringling (p. 245), Earl Chapin May rues the advent of canned music, alluding to a circus experimenting with records the year Chapin's book was written - since it bears a copyright date of 1932, I am thinking either 1931 or 1932. Does anyone have the name of that show? Also, any information on other circuses using canned music before John Ringling North, in the wake of the musicians' strike in 1942, for a spell played phonograph records? Thank you! David Lewis Hammarstrom. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 30 June, 2005 - Check Joe Bradbury's coverage of the 1931 Sparks Circus in a back issue of the "White Tops." I believe that he mentioned canned music was in use on that circus. His information source would have been "The Billboard" or perhaps one of the people that he interviewed. His notes are now stored in a library. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 05 July, 2005 - Excellent lead from Fred Dahlinger. I nailed it down in a Billboard microfilm search at the library. Yes, Sparks, 1931. And, according to uniformly upbeat Billboard reports (somewhat hard to believe), public and press reception along the way was very favorable to the canned music. Although, a man working the records "next to a calliope" played cymbals. How like some shows today! Thanks much. DLH

684. Clown troop, 4 Comrades, 27 June, 2005 - I recently aquried a picture of my Great Uncle Earl and his clown troop "4 Comrades". He was supposed to have been with the Barnum and Bailey circus around 1910, and was with them for several years. Have you ever heard of this clown troop? He was also know for his high stilt walking abilities, but I do not know if he did that for the circus. Any information would be appreciated. Sharon Dennison. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

    Reply: 26 Aug 2009 - If I am not mistaken one of the Four Comrades was Al Sylvester or Al Crist of Allentown, Pa. Al was a contortionist, front bender if memory serves me correctly. I remember visiting him and his son with my parents in the fifties. Al Sylvester was his stage name. So, that would give you two of the comrades. Sorry I do not have any other info. Al was on Ringling in the twenties, but not sure when he retired. His son's name was Elmo. Checking the obituary columns of the Allentown papers may be of some help. Bob Good Jr.

    Reply: 29 Aug 2009 - Another member of the 4 Comrades was Jack Hedder who I interviewed in the early 1970s though he was getting a bit senile at that time. His wife Emily was a flyer in the Silbon troupe. They were both on the Barnum & Bailey show through the teens and for a couple of years after the combination with Ringling in 1919. A search of the show’s programs will find the 4 Comrades listed. It was a comedy knockabout acrobatic act, not a clown act as generally understood. The Hedders were living in a Sarasota trailer park when I met them and had neighbors with whom they had trouped that filled in some of the information that Jack Hedder himself could no longer remember. He did go back as a performer at least to the 1899 Pawnee Bill show but whether that was with the 4 Comrades, I cannot say without further research. I’d welcome hearing from Ms. Dennison as I’ve not seen a picture of the troupe. Richard Flint. Baltimore, MD

683. Philippines, 27 June, 2005 - I am interested in learning what a circus would be like in the Philippines in ca. 1898. This was the period transitioning from Spanish to American rule. Any leads to more information would be appreciated. Ken Nugent, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

682. J. E. Henry's Worlds Greatest, 23 June, 2005 - My name is larry carroll. I have some glass negatives but I dont know how old they are. They are all horse and buggie; some school photos and family pictures. One is a horse drawn fire dept photo but my main question is about J.E. Henry's Worlds Greatest wagon show on Tues. Nov. 18th. One of the negatives has a bunch of people standing in front of a barn with horses & buggies and on the barn wall is this poster but there is people standing in front of it and I can't see the complete poster. Its something about jungle animals. I can see the word jungle on the bottom of poster and it has tigers on it. Also I'm trying to figure out when the picture might have been taken. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 24 June, 2005 - In general try with 8000 posters from 1880 till now. In dutch but you can search circus, artists (artiest), year (beginjaar/eindjaar), place (plaats) click also on this symbol. Soon 6000 photographs will follow. It will not dissapoint you., Haarlem Holland
    Reply: 30 June, 2005 - The J. E. Henry outfit was a modest overland operation. A known feature was a band on the back of an elephant, until such time as they purchased a bandchariot. The Parkinson title list offers years of operation as 1902-1922. By using a perpetual calendar you can determine that the Tuesday, November 18 date occurred in 1902, 1913 and 1919. If you know the locale, and if the local newspaper exists, you could check the dates. The city is often given on the date tag by the poster. It's also possible to search for the engagements in back issues of Billboard and the New York Clipper. Fred Dahlinger

681. Great Circus Train, 23 June, 2005 - Please let me know what issues Bandwagon magazine from 1965 to 1973 have articles and photos on the Great Circus Train that ran from Baraboo, Wi. to Milwaukee, WI and if they do are these issues avaliable. Please email me, thank you, Wayne Kempen, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 July, 2005 - One wonders if the only thing that exist on the CHS site is the DISCUSSION segment. Taking the time to examine the many features will not only enlighten the searcher but also answer questions without the necessity to make inquiries. "America's Great Circus Parade" by C.P. "Chappie" Fox(1993 Reiman Publications) along with "The Great Circus Parade" by Herbert Clement & Dominique Jando (1989 The Guidebook Company Ltd.) are two excellent books that cover the annual event that include segments about the Great Circus Train. Insofar as the wagons and flat cars are concerned there part of original rail equipment belonging to various circuses. Rescued by circus historians and fans who lovingly restored this national heritage, providing a vanishing vista for us and our descendants. - Giovanni Iuliani

680. Bob Dover, 23 June, 2005 - Does anyone have information on Bob Dover former Ringling under canvas and later Performance Director? Bob started on Ringling around 1949 and continued thru the early building tours of Ringling. Actually, Bob Dover was his stage name. Billie Rosenthal was his real name born in San Antonio, TX around 1930. He was last seen in Sarasota, FL during the 1970's. David Orr, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 27 June, 2005 - Hi David, Rumor has it Bob Dover, had a breakdown, and, at one time, was seen with little or no clothes, on the streets of Washington, D.C. Later, he supposedly, committed suicide. Many folks would like to know the real story. He was a handsome and charming young man when I first met him, in the mid-fifties. Best Wishes,
    Reply: 30 June, 2005 - Hmm, 1930 census gives the birthdate of Billy Rosenthal, son, from San Antonio as 'approximately 1928' as his age was 2 at the time. Fitting with that There was a B. Rosenthal born 25th november 1927 according to the Social Security Index who died December 15th, 1987, with no last residence. Entry indicates someone destitute, so might be fitting with the above. Natasha Gerson

    Reply: 04 Dec 2009 - To Whom it May Concern, My name is Carl Rosenthal and I am the nephew of Billy Rosenthal, or as you might know him Bob Dover. He was my father's brother. He had a daughter by the name of Michelle. Let me know if you need any more information regarding him. Sincerely, Carl Rosenthal.

    Reply: 07 Dec 2009 - Dear Carl, I remember Bob Dover from the Ringling show in the 1950s. I would be interested in hearing what happened to him ... and if he indeed did suffer a breakdown and take his own life. Any information on Bob's post-Ringling life would be much appreciated. Rick Whelan

    Reply: 09 Dec 2009 - Hello: Whatever happened to Bob Dover is one of the biggest mysteries of 20th century circus history and it is truly unfortunate that his legacy is clouded by this shroud of mystery concerning his death. Whenever his name is brought up in circus historian circles or circus fan circles, the same question inevitably comes up: Whatever happened to Bob Dover??? I truly wish that Mr. Dover could be remembered for what he accomplished during his long and stellar circus career and not be remembered by rumors surrounding his death. It seems that later in his life, he may have faced depression or some other anxiety disorder that at the time was not understood nor were the types of treatments available 20 years ago that we have today. It is still extremely unfortunate that many young people, as well as people of all ages, suffer needlessly from depression, which is simply another type of Human disease, just like heart disease, cancer or diabetes. That the leading cause of suicide remains depression in this day and age is one of Humankind’s biggest failings in my opinion. My father suffered from depression for decades, but he was from an earlier generation that believed depression was a mental disease that was associated with “being crazy.” Even in my father’s own later years, when members of my family, including myself begged him to seek some help, I can still hear him shouting, “I’m NOT crazy!” Of course he wasn’t, but none-the-less my father needed help. I have followed in my father’s footsteps and have suffered from depression for most of my life, as well as diabetes, heart disease and kidney failure, but I have sought the marvels of modern medicine and after two separate solid organ transplants and seeing every type of medical specialist available, I am probably the healthiest and happiest that I have ever been. One organ transplant cured my kidney failure and another one cured my diabetes; and thanks to modern medications, I no longer have to suffer from depression. I am very lucky. And I can only wish that Mr. Dover would have had the opportunities that I have had to help him.
        There was a photo album that appeared on eBay several months ago that was supposedly from Bob Dover and I paid several hundred dollars to purchase it, so it will end up at the Ringling Museum of the Circus in Sarasota with the rest of my collection. In it were several photos from his career, many with celebrities that became his personal friends, including Arthur Godfrey, who apparently was quite the horseman and one in particular of Marilyn Monroe on an elephant outside of some unknown building, maybe RBBB Winterquarters (?) practicing riding an elephant before her appearance at Madison Square Garden in 1954 or 55 (I’m at work, so I can’t look up the actual year). There were a few extraneous documents in the album as well, including papers from a Texas court when he officially changed his legal name from Billy (William) Rosenthal to Bob Dover. There were a few photos of an elderly woman, whom I have assumed may have been his adoptive mother, although I am not sure. His Driver’s License was also in the album along with some more legal papers establishing Bob Dover, Inc., which was based in Sarasota and had Rudy Bundy as a Board Member, which I again assume was created for tax reasons. Of special note was a letter to Mr. Dover from then CFA Secretary-Treasurer Allen Duffield, dated from 1987, sent to Mr. Dover at a V.A. Hospital in Washington, D.C. or a Virginia suburb right outside of D.C. Apparently Mr. Duffield was a close friend of Mr. Dover’s as well. The text in the letter suggests that Mr. Dover, indeed may have been in a mental health ward at the time, and if indeed records indicate that he passed in 1987, then perhaps his death was related to this hospital stay. Although this may very well be rumor only, I once heard that his body was found in the Venice Winterquarters hanging from a noose- an apparent suicide. If this indeed occurred, I certainly wish that something could have changed his path. I also wish that his death could be confirmed, so that his soul could rest in peace without all of the rumors that surround his memory. It would be great for those of us who revered him and his memory, his contributions to the circus and his career could have our questions finally answered. I would love to communicate with you, Mr. Rosenthal and find out what information that you could provide us about Mr. Dover’s life and death, and if his daughter and family are still alive and are at the very least healthy and happy. I would certainly be more than willing to share copies of all of the documentation from that notebook that I purchased too, so that you would have a record of your uncle as well. You can e-mail me at, if you are interested. Neil C. Cockerline, Minneapolis, MN

    Reply: 09 Dec 2009 - The biography below is an edited version of the one used to honor Bob Dover as a "Power Behind the Scenes" by the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art earlier this year. Fred Dahlinger

    Robert Dover
        Robert "Bob" Dover [real name William Allan Rosenthal, per his RBBB employment card] is remembered by performers and other troupers as one of the most admirable, caring and talented performance directors of the American circus. He dedicated over thirty years of his life to working behind the scenes of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows. Bob Dover was one of the leaders who kept the show and its people on the road.
        Born in San Antonio, Texas in 1930(?), Bob was always attracted to the circus life and joined up with the Greatest Show on Earth. [1930 was the year quoted by Dover, but January 24, 1928 is on his RBBB employment card and Social Security death information states November 25, 1927.] He stated that he joined at the age of fourteen, as an usher, in 1945, serving in a variety of entry-level positions to learn the business. According to his RBBB employment record, Dover was hired into the tractor department on June 6, 1945, became an usher on June 24, 1945, then followed it with positions in ring stock on June 30,1945, wardrobe on March 19, 1946, usher on July 27, 1947, and so on.
        Working his way through the organization as an usher, a candy butcher, and as an assistant to renowned Performance Director Pat Valdo, and even as a performer in the spec and manege displays, Bob learned the logistics of the traveling show. He reportedly became a part of the performance staff in February 1949, participating in spec and manege displays. Dover was promoted to assistant to long-time General Director Pat Valdo. Working with Valdo into the 1950's, Bob was a clear choice to transition into the role of Performance Director upon Valdo's retirement in 1956.
        Dover married Ringling-Barnum equestrian and aerialist Antoinetta Bisbini in 1955 and their daughter, Michele [Michelle], was born in 1970.
        In 1963 Irvin Feld promoted Bob Dover to Associate Director, placing him at the heart of the planning and preparations for both the Red and Blue units of the Ringling show. In addition to his responsibilities in planning and realizing the great traveling productions, Bob served as co-producer for NBC's televised productions of the Greatest Show on Earth. In 1963 he served as technical director for John Wayne's “Circus World”. He left his position with the Ringling show in 1977 and passed away in 1987 [per Social Security information].
        Bob Dover was described as a "walking encyclopedia of circus knowledge." Using his experience, intuition and charming personality, Bob was able to balance the logistical business concerns with the more human day to day realities of the traveling circus during his twenty years as Ringling's Performance Director.

    Reply: 22 Dec 2009 - Thank you for all the information that you have posted, but you have some minor errors in what you have found. My uncle, Billy Rosenthal, or Bob Dover, did not have an adopted mother. His mother's name was Annie Rosenthal. She had three sons, LeRoy, my father, Sydney, and Billy. My father, LeRoy, also died from suicide. Billy Rosenthal died in 1979. He was very good friends with Gunther Gebel Williams, who I met many times when the circus came to San Antonio and corresponded with him and his wife. My brothers and I and our cousin are the only living relatives of Uncle Billy. Again thank you and I will gladly give any other information. Carl Rosenthal

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679. Charles Bradbury, 23 June, 2005 - I'm looking for any information on Charles Bradbury. I don't have much info on him, but I know he was involved in the circus in Europe (Late 1800's). Thanks, Yo Bradbury, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 17 August, 2005 - He died in 1948 as a result of falling of a horse, Or the story goes. James L. Bradbury, Whittier, CA,

    Reply: 16 May 2010 - Charles Bradbury, age 31, equestrian, (B. Sunderland), is in the 1861 British census with his equestrian wife Johanna, 22, (B. Austria), and son Richard, 1 mo. (B. Berlin) He was living with Alfred Bradbury, 33, also an equestrian, (B Devonshire), his wife Anna, 26, (B France), his widowed mother Eliza, 49, bro-in-law Emile montero, 20, acrobat (B. France), and several other circus performers. They were located in the census at the Holborn Ampitheatre, Holborn London. C Murray

678. Von Bros. Circus, 23 June, 2005 - Looking for information on the Von Bros. Circus, late 1940's to early 1950's. I have a friend who ran away and worked for this circus at an early age. He ended up being a clown, Zacko. Thanks, Maureen. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 24 June, 2005 - You might try contacting Albert Vonderheid on the Carson & Barnes Circus.
    Reply: 28 June, 2005 - The Directory of American Circuses has Von Bros. Circus listed from 1954 to 1967. It was owned by Henry Vonderheid the same years. Darren Bryan in Georgia,

677. Stumbo & Lambeth Shows, 23 June, 2005 - I am trying to locate information on the Stumbo & Lambeth Shows that operated from the late 1930s to the 1950s in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska area. Fred Stumbo of Avilla, Missouri was one of the owners. I have a brief newspaper article (not dated) that shows the Stumbo & Lambeth No. 5 BIG ELI Wheel set up on the main street of downtown Siloam Springs, AR in the late 1930s or early 1940s. Fred Stumbo married Sue Meadows in Oklahoma and they continued together in the business. I am interested in any pictures, stories, or newspaper articles about this carnival. Thank you for any assistance. Nancy Feroe, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 July, 2005 - The mention of the Big Eli wheel suggests that you're searching for a carnival and not a circus. It would have been a motorized operation, traveling by trucks, trailers and autos over the highways. For smaller shows, local newspapers sometimes have coverage. Otherwise, the only consistent source is "Billboard," the weekly publication that carried carnival news. Small outfits often supplied no copy for printing, so you may be looking for a needle in a haystack. Joe McKennon's "Pictorial History of the American Carnival" lists Stumbo's Shows 1938-1939, 1946-1948 and 1961-1963, as well as Stumbo's Tri-State Shows (Ark.) 1959,1961-1964. There's no mention of Lambeth in the titles. Given the Big Eli wheel, they may have been mentioned in the Eli Bridge Company's house journal, the "Big Eli News." Copies are on file at the factory in Jacksonville, IL. It's possible that contemporary Arkansas carnival people may remember them. Given the relatively late existence, some one should know something about them. I'll forward the question to another interested party or two. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 29 Dec 2007 - Hello, I have a friend who is related to that group of Stumbo's. She is in her early 70's and was telling me the story of the carnival. I believe her Grandpa was a Stumbo. She's a wealth of information and so pleasant.

    Reply: 16 Oct 2008 - I am doing research on the Stumbo Show. My name is Skip Moody and my Grand parents and my parents and aunts and uncle's were with this show. Would like to talk to other in the show. Thanks, Skip Moody

    Reply: 26 Dec 2012 - My great grandfather was G. I. Lambeth, he was with Stumbo for several years. I have very little information except for one copy of Big Eli news showcasing the Stumbo/Lambeth carnival. My grandmother, (would have been her father in law) is 97 and says she is excited to share what she remembers, including pictures. (I used to visit with my dad's aunt Sue about the carnival). I will be seeing my grandmother in about a week. Please email me and I will be happy to share anything I gather., (Holly Lambeth Huber)

676. Frediani family acrobats, 23 June, 2005 - I am trying to find any information on 'The Frediani' family acrobats they were very popular in the 1940's and 1950's. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you Samantha Ward. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 30 June, 2005 - A Frediani descendant wrote an article about the family and their experience in working for Barnum & Bailey in Bandwagon a number of years ago. Check the Bandwagon index on this website for the reference. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 07 February, 2006 - I know a lot about the Frediani of the 50s and sixties. I also sent an email to samantha ward, let me know what you want to know. Regards, margarita,

    Reply: 17 June, 2006 - I was in an ice show at Wembley, Empire Pool in 1953, "Humpty Dumpty on Ice, with the Four Fredianis and knew the brothers well as we were pretty much the same age. The four Fredianis were the father, Ramon, Guillermo (known as "Gigi") and Bruno. They had a younger brother, I think Paolo, and a baby sister. I still have a program from the show with a photo of the act. Afterwards they played at the Savoy hotel and a girlfriend and I went to dinner there and saw them. I had gone out with Gigi and she was Bruno's girlfriend. They went on to Europe afterwards and I got a couple of postcards and that was that. I later saw them on the Ed Sullivan show in the US.

675. Gridneff, 23 June, 2005 - Could you please send any information on George and Lydia Gridneff's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show circa mid-1950's? Also, any info on Raphiel Herman/German? Thank you for your effort, John and Yael Bourgouin. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 December, 2005 - George & Lydia appeared on the Ed Sullivan TV Show "Toast of the Town" on the 12th October 1958. Also on the same show were Carol Channing, Genevieve, Line Renaud and The Talbot Brothers. Paul Michael Herman, [A photo of George and Lydia was attached to this reply. Unfortunately this message board does not permit attachments. Contact for a copy of this photo. - J. Griffin, webmaster]

674. Nell Hubbard, 21 June, 2005 - I am trying to locate information on Nell Hubbard who performed in circuses prior to the turn of the 20th century. She was a tightrope walker until she fell and fractured her hip. After that she was a fire eater and snake charmer in the side shows. She wintered at her sister and brother-in-law's farm in Ashtabula, Ohio. She crossed the country seven times with the circus. Several photos of her were taken by E. Oisenmann in New York City. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

673. Poster, 21 June, 2005 - Hello. Am writing from Montreal Canada. E-mail: Found an original poster representing a aerial acrobatic ballet (about 6 men and 6 women) with a banner announcing Barnum & Bailey/Ringling Bros Circus in Montreal on Monday June 26th and Tuesday June 27th. Another poster bearing the same dates represents a lady standing on a horse. I have found a newspaper article from 1933 that mentions the Circus in town with what could be corresponding features. But there was also a Monday June 26th and Tuesday June 27th in 1905, 1911, 1916, 1922 and 1939. Can you help me and/or can this help you? Looking forward to hear from you. Alain Besré. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 24 June, 2005 - Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Combined Shows began in 1919. This means that your dates for 1905, 1911 and 1916 are irrelevant. In 1922, RBBB was in Montreal on July 3-4. As for June 26, 1922, the circus played a one day stand in Portland, Me. and on June 27 was in Bangor, Me. In 1939, the Greatest Show On Earth was in Montreal for two days, July 10-11. Its obvious that you found corresponding Mondays June 26 (Albany, N.Y.) and Tuesdays June 27 (Springfield, Mass.) for 1939 but only in 1933 do we find that they match with the Montreal engagement. - Giovanni Iuliani
    Reply: 28 June, 2005 - Yes, the show played Montreal on June 26-27, 1933. Dave

672. Royal Hanneford, 21 June, 2005 - Who is the ringmaster for the Royal Hanneford. And who is Tommy and his wife Struppi Hanneford and I need to find a webpage for the Royal Hanneford circus and when will the Royal Hanneford circus come to PA. Thanks, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 July, 2005 - John McConnell wrote an entire book about the Hanneford family, "A Ring, A Horse and A Clown." It's out of print, but you may be able to locate a copy somewhere. The Hanneford winter quarters were in the vicinity of Osprey, FL. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 19 July, 2005 - What can you tell me about Tommy and his wife Struppi Hanneford. I was on the show last year. I need some to find what theme park the Tommy and his Struppi worked at and do you Tommy and his Struppi have any kids. Thanks,

671. Frosty, clown, 19 June, 2005 - I am a volunteer care-giver at a local nursing home. One of the residents had a write up in a local paper and claims to have been with the Robb as a clown "Frosty" for nearly 50 years. His name is William Strong. Does any one have a confirmation about his career or even know who he is? I know there is a famous "Frosty Little" - but no "frosty" whose real name William Strong. If anyone has anything about this guy - good or bad, I'd like to hear about it. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 02 August, 2005 - Thank You. I am interested to find out more about this Wm Strong, my name is William Strong ,and was in the Circus for 45 years, most of it as an aerialist. I did work as a clown with my father-in-law Dime Wilson for one year on the Gil Gray Circus (1961), and it was the hardest thing I ever tried to do. I know of Frosty Little but never met him. Bill Strong

670. Clyde Beaty, 16 June, 2005 - I have a number of old books belonging to and signed by Clyde Beaty. The Clyde Beaty Circus appeared in Ohio (my home state) and I would like to have more information about the family & circus fame. The books range in age from 1866 (about the Civil War) to 1897. Included is 1889 copy of The Buckeye Cook Book, book titled Struck by Lightning dated 1890, 1893 copy of The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper, 1885 copy of A Brief History of the United States (signed with name of school Oak Grove School), 1897 copy of Applied Physiology, 1893 copy of Our Young People and a few more. Some have interesting items stuck in pages (lock of hair, Quarterly Ticket for September 1827 Wesleyan Methodist Society, 4 leaf clover & more). I acquired these from sale. Thanks, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 19 June, 2005 - Clyde Beatty (with two "t's") was born and grew up in Bainbridge, Ohio - the one in Ross County, not the Bainbridge Township near Cleveland. If your books are signed as you state with one "t" in Beaty, I imagine you have books belonging to another individual. Regards, Dave Price

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669. Christiana Brothers, 16 June, 2005 - I am seeking any information about the "Christiana Brothers," their equestrian act or their circus. Also if it is possible to locate a organization that sells old video's of old circus acts, such as the "Christiana Brothers". About two months ago I was watching an old movie on the "Turner Classical Movie" channel, and after the movie they ran a short, it was the Christiana Brothers Equestrian act, it was an old black and white film from the late 1930's or early 1940's. It blew my socks off to see what they performed on their horse's, where they consided the BEST EQUESTRIAN ACT IN THE WORLD? Thank you for your help, Fred Engerer, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 19 June, 2005 - Hi Fred, The Cristiani Family are without a doubt, the worlds greatest riding act. Belmonte Cristiani is still alive and living in Sarasota, Florida. Ann Cannestrelli Cristiani, Daviso's widow is also living in Sarasota. A gentleman by the name of Jimmy Ridenour has probably one of the largest collection of circus videos. He also lives in Sarasota. Mia Cristiani Alvis, (Belmonte'a daughter) is also in Sarasota. Ringling brought the family over here originally, I believe. Hope this helps. Good Luck bunni,
    Reply: 27 June, 2005 - John Ringling brought the Cristianis to the USA in 1934. They started the season at Madison Square Garden along with Clyde Beatty on Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. They then followed the wild animal cage act over to the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. You can learn more about this amazing equestrian family by reading the following book; THE CRISTIANIS, Richard Hubler. Jarrolds Publishers (London) Ltd. 1967. - Giovanni Iuliani
    Reply: 09 August, 2005 - Christiani Family not only riders!! My family "The Karoly's" were also Bareback Riders. My Father told me a story when I was young about a time when my father and his brothers were trying to get a contract with a circus in Italy. He said that he and my uncles "checked out" the Christianis to see what kind of competition they were. Well first he said the were the best riders he had ever seen. Then he said when he saw them tumbling he knew that he wouldn't have a chance. He said that they were unbelievable in their talent. I later in my teens became great friends with Cosetta, Remo, Aldo, and the rest of the Christiani Family. They and Justino Royal were in my estimation the best circus riders ever. Erny Karoly

    Reply: 18 November, 2006 - Have you been able to locate the video and/or any other materials about this truly great circus? I would very much appreciate you sharing any information. Thank you, Nancy Barnes

668. Weston's Circus & Buckjumping Show, 16 June, 2005 - I am trying to locate information on Weston's Circus and Buckjumping Show. I have located their name in a newspaper in Bowral Australia in 1908. They travelled around NSW for quite a few years. Any information would be truly grateful. Margaret Weston. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

667. Ted Bowman Route Collection, 13 June, 2005 - I've seen several responses from the Ted Bowman Route Collection. Is this a published collection or is there a way to contact the owner? I am interested in the routes of the Mighty Haag Shows. Thanks, Darren Bryan in Georgia, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 05 July, 2005 - Ted Bowman, who passed away in 1999, was a circus historian who specialized in collecting circus routes. He verified complete and partial routes for thousands of circuses using route cards, route books, diaries, The "New York Clipper," The "Billboard," and newspaper ads. I was fortunate to know and work with Ted for some twenty years trying to locate route information that would fill gaps in his research. His data base of routes is still in hard copy, and it is used primarily to answer questions for this page and my personal research. Research on the Mighty Haag Show & Haag Bros. Circus covers some 40 years, complete season routes, partial winter routes, etc. If I have time I charge $40.00 per hour for research, plus copy charges at 25 cents a page and postage. This request will take two and a half hours for about 90 copies and postage. I accept MC, VISA, and Discover. John Polacsek, address per Bandwagon.

666. Poster, 13 June, 2005 - I am trying to locate a vintage circus poster that shows a wild elephant terrorizing african natives. The elehant holds one native in his trunk whiles others are shown running from the elephant. I'm certain I saw this as a youngster but my searches on the internet have turned up no results. Might anyone remeber this poster (possibly a mid way poster) and point me in the right direction. Thanks, P.Buriak, Pittsburgh Pa. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 16 June, 2005 - Hunt Bros. Circus used a similar poster to the one you describe in the late 1950's. It was a wild elephant attacking a village and chasing two natives. It proclaimed Giant Jungle Beast. It was a stock poster supplied by Neal Wallens Poster Corporation of Bureka Springs, Arkansas.
    Reply: 19 June, 2005 - This was a standard or "stock" poster that Neal Walters (sic) printed for years; many shows used it. After being considered not too desirable for years, the Walters posters have enjoyed a recent popularity due to many of them having been printed from hand made wood cuts. Regards, Dave Price, billposter of old

    Reply: 20 June 2007 - I am interested in aquiring a circus or carnival poster from Neal Walters poster corporation as he was my grandfather. I may be reached at (

665. Fillis circus, 09 June, 2005 - Would you be able to provide me with any information regarding a circus that toured South Africa in the 1800's. I was told that it was a Circus from England. The reason I'm asking is that I'm doing research on the Fillis Circus or Fillis as part of a circus. If you could only show me the way. Kind Regards, Jason C. Fillis. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 14 July, 2005 - I've just seen your note on the Circus History Message Board. I believe Frank Fillis was related to my Grandfather by his maternal grandmother. I understand he was born in London in 1858 and died in 1922. He had a circus group called Savage South Africa. I heard there is a portrait of him in Africana Museum in Johannesburg. His circus travelled to India, Dutch Indies, Australia, China, Japan and S America including England and South Africa. His wife also was in the circus. Hope this helps. Ann Eldridge

    Reply: 14 July, 2006 - I am trying to find out about Fillis Circus. I live in South Africa. I think Frank Fillis was my Great great Grandfather. If anyone can supply any information. Cindy Fillis,

    Reply: 04 August, 2006 - Have any of you seen Prof Floris Vd Merwe's book on Frank Fillis? It won't appeal to everyone as it's mostly in Afrikaans but of interest to Fillis fans. I can be reached at ndlovu8 at gmail dot com if any of you want more info on it? I'm interested in Clarence Welby Cooke who toured with him and sued him for non payment ;-) Jim Stockley

    Reply: 06 August, 2006 - I am researching a picture that appears on a local history website in Stockton-on-Tees, U.K. at

    A poster in one of the windows features the name VASCO. I believe this to be “VASCO the Mad Musician” who toured with the Fillis Circus in the early 1900s. I wonder if the troupe of gaily dressed individuals may have been part of the circus troupe who were going through the town to publicise the arrival of the circus? I am hoping that this might be a party from the Fillis Circus, during its tour of England. Can anybody comment upon the troup? Thanks, Cliff Thornton, Essex, U.K.

    Reply: 21 November, 2006 - I hope this post won't be construed as advertising and deleted from this forum ;-) Back in 2002, South African academic, Prof. Floris Van Der Merwe of the University of Stellenbosch wrote a marvellous (but scholarly), illustrated history of "Frank Fillis - the story of a Circus Legend". It was privately printed and ran to 236 pages will lots of pictures and with all sources well referenced - it had input from John Turner, Fred Dahlinger, Mark St Leon, Heather Vallance & Dr Cathy Barrett, to name a few. It mentions Cookes, Wirths, Bells, Pagels, Wallet, Texas Jack and many more characters. Unfortunately, it was mostly in AFRIKAANS! The good news is that the Professor has now translated the whole thing into English and is getting ready to do a print run. If any of you are interested in this fascinating era of circus history, please contact him and place an order? This isn't a money-making exercise but the Prof hopes to at least cover his costs! Contact him at: Prof. Floris van der Merwe, University of Stellenbosch, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7602, South Africa, Email: Kind regards, Jim Stockley

    Reply: 24 Mar 2008 - I will have access to Professor van der Merwe's book on Frank Fillis and his circus tomorrow but I wondered if anyone might have information regarding Fillis Circus at Mauritius sometime between April and August 1890. I know that Captain Warden, commander of the Conway Castle, transported the circus to Mauritius but have no further information at this stage. Any details will be most welcome. Thank you! Sandy Rowoldt Shell, Cape Town, African Studies Library, UCT,

664. Circus on Ice, 09 June, 2005 - Circus on Ice. I'm looking for the Circus on Ice which came to New Zealand in the 1980s. One specific act I remember was Micky and Minnie Mouse on skates. Stefani. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 23 June, 2005 - There were two ice shows that toured New Zealand in the 1980's. Firstly 1985 The Moscow Circus On Ice" showed and in 1987 Walt Disney's "World on Ice" which featured all of the Disney characters, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse. This was not a circus but more of a fantasy show on ice. John Sullivan

663. Lion tamer, 07 June, 2005 - Can anyone identify this "lion tamer"? Picture was taken in Nelson, BC, Canada about 1970. Email reply appreciated. TIA, Powell, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 21 June, 2005 - I believe the man in the photo is Red Hartman. I am not sure, but since no one else replied, I thought that would give you something to go on. Ron Perry,

    Reply: 11 Sep 2008 - Where can I find the picture of the lion tamer, Red Hartman? I am trying to find the name of the circus he was with. Their winter quarters were at Seagoville Texas in the 60's. He dated a friend of mine, Helen Carpenter in the late 60's and early 70"s. Any one with information will be appreciated. B Stine

662. Flying Gordons & Holden Brothers Circus, 07 June, 2005 - Australian Circus - "The Flying Gordons and "The Holden Brothers Circus." I would appreciate any info on either of these families. Tracie Holden. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 June, 2005 - Barry & Frank holden live in Melbourne. Both are members of the circus family and toured with our show in 72 & 73. The Holdens have a lot of history with Australian circus. robert perry murray bridge south australia.

    Reply: 06 Nov 2007 - Information regarding the Holden Brothers Circus can be found on the following websites:

    Francis Holden was better known as Tex Gordon and his nephew Mark Holden is very well known here in Australia for his performing and song writing and in latter days as a judge of television's Australian Idol competition. Graham H Dodsworth,

661. Coco the clown, 07 June, 2005 - I am trying to find news of my Uncle Coco the Clown, real name Michael Polakovs in USA. We have heard he is ill or in trouble and can not reach home by phone,He is in the Circus Hall of Fame.Last address I think was Kentucky. Any news Please E-Mail direct to Many Thanks it is Urgent, Valie. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 07 June, 2005 - I will find out from one of his best friends here in Sarasota and get back to you. Fatima

660. Hawaii circus 1930s, 05 June, 2005 - I am trying to find out about a circus that went to the Hawaiian Islands in early 1930s (1932 or 33), leaving Los Angeles on the S.S. Lurline. Which circus would this have been? Are there any photos? I am making a documentary about an all-girl orchestra hired to play for that circus. Can any one help me? Dr. Jeannie Pool. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 09 June, 2005 - Lacking any names or the show title, you might try scanning the pages of the weekly trade magazine "Billboard." Hawaiian newspapers would be another possibility. If you haven't already checked the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, that might be a place to start. An archivist that periodically consults with them has some circus knowledge and expertise. CHS member Kent Ghirard in Hawaii might also be a source of information. His contact information might be obtained in the usual manner, from public resources. In 1926 a minstrel show (Milo's Minstrels) went to the islands, but there were three men within the otherwise female orchestra. A photo of the group is in the Bishop Museum collections, negative number CD 35343. It was published in Billboard, August 7, 1926, page 47. Milo, an apparently well-known person at the time was the troupe's owner/manager. Fred Dahlinger
    Reply: 11 June, 2005 - There was an E.K. Fernadez Circus in Honolulu for 10 weeks in 1935. They leased some of the Cole Bros. Circus elephants for the date. Bob Cline
    Reply: 11 June, 2005 - The Billboard noted in September 1933 that some of the acts from the Christy Bros. Circus would be heading to Hawaii after the close of the regular season. In Oct. 33 the Billboard ran a photo of George W. Christy, E. K. Fernandez and E. H. Kilsby, exalted ruler of the Honolulu Elks, in front of the 'cat' houses at Christy Bros. Circus quarters in South Houston, Texas. I would suspect that the acts were hired by the main showman in the islands (1928 to 1955) E. K. Fernandez who operate the All-American Circus. In October 1936 after a longshoreman's strike in Los Angeles the Fernandez show again sailed for Hawaii, but with circus and carnival acts. The show opened at the fair in Maua on Oct. 8 for 3 days, then Hilo two weeks, Honolulu three and 1/2 weeks, Kaui 2 weeks, and possibly other dates. George W. Christy was equestrian director, Charles Redrick, band leader, with two men to augment the Vivian Lewis ladies band of 12. Louis Roth had the cat act, Christiana troupe, three of Christy's elephants, eight horse Liberty act, six menage horses, Winston's seal act, Beckwith's three chimps, American Girl Review of 32 people, Leon Opshaw's colored review of 28 people, Speedy Babb's four dare-devil motorcycle riders, Yamashita Japanese troupe, clowns, and a side show also noted. Ted Bowman Route Collection.
    Reply: 19 June, 2005 - I don't think anyone has mentioned that E.K. Fernandez was called the "Barnum of the Pacific" for years. I met him in 1959 when he visited the Cristiani lot in Los Angeles. His identifying mark was that he always wore a lei around the brim of his hat. A fascinating man and successful showman. Best, Dave Price

    Reply: 05 Dec 2008 - My Grandfather was Milo of Milo's Minstrels. My Mother was Maxine Milo DeVore. I would like to know where I can get more info about them, in that most of their history has been lost. Thanks, Jerry DeVore, Portola, CA.

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659. Josephine Reed, 05 June, 2005 - I am looking for information about Josephine Reed who married William R. Forepaugh on 13 October 1873 at Cook county Illinois. I believe that both were trapeze artists and were probably performing with the Adam Forepaugh circus. My understanding was that William R. Forepaugh married Josephine McFadden. Was Reed a "professional" name for this Josephine. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 09 June, 2005 - Both Josephine F. Forepaugh and William Forepaugh are covered in William L. Slout's "Olympians of the Sawdust Circle," a biographical encyclopedia of 19th century American circus personalities. The Forepaughs are on page 101. The entry does not mention the name Reed and there's no entry under Josephine Reed in Slout. It may have been an interim stage name. His entry for the lady in question follows: "Forepaugh, Josephine F. [Mrs. Ludwig Simmeth]. (1850-September 6, 1907) Gymnast, born in Lewisburg, PA. Married William R. Forepaugh in the early 1870s. Using the professional names of Alice Napier and Alice Murdell, was connected with Montgomery Queen's, Rosston, Springer & Henderson, Adam Forepaugh's, Ringling Bros.', Orrin Bros.', S. H. Barrett's, Walter L. Main's, Burr Robbins', Frank A. Robbins, John Shields's, etc. Died in Philadelphia, age 57." It's likely that an obituary can be found in either Billboard or New York Clipper, as well as in Philadelphia newspapers. William R. Forepaugh's entry is a bit longer. Fred Dahlinger

658. Diana Gordon, 05 June, 2005 - I am looking for any information on a Diana Gordon (dancer) that married circus owner Morris Lipsky. He was with the Johnny J Jones Exposition, Goodings Million Dollar Midway Show and Thomas Joyland Circus. Thanks, Janet, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 05 June, 2005 - Why is there a search for Diana Gordon? According to Janet who is making a frantic effort to find traces of Morris Lipsky's wife, the ex-dancer/model and actress is mentioned in a untitled book. While efforts are made by CHS members to answer circus related questions, I don't quite understand the misuse made by people who think they can repeat the same question as if this would give them the answer they seek. (see 651/629). J. Griffin's meticulous research brought related material in the following messages: Nos 13, 59, 96, 192 and 601. she also specified Johnny J. Jones as a carnival. Not to be undone, Fred Dahlinger gave very detailed instruction on how Janet should carry her search for Diana Gordon whom I suspect is a relative of some sort. However, the advice given on May 26 was put aside and she requested information on Goodings Million Dollar Midway (1964-69) and the Thomas Joyland Shows (1947-69). Then there is the mention of Morris Lipsky (Diana Gordon's husband whom she married in 1950). Why ask about Goodings Million Dollar Midway (1964-69)? Furthermore she claims that Lipsky was associated with these two circuses. All 3 shows she mentions are carnivals with probably one exception - Johnny J. Jones Exposition. Clyde and Harriet Beatty had a three-ring circus on the midway during the 1940-41 season. Many carnival shows carried midway shows that featured circus acts. Capt. Wilson was featured on the Joseph G. Ferari Shows in a lion den. Then there is the Royal American Shows that featured Majorie Kemp riding inside the motordrome with lions. Ethel Purdle did likewise on the World of Mirth Shows. Even Terrel Jacobs faced wild jungle beast on a carnival. Considering the original title, Johnny J. Jones Exposition Shows & Trained Wild animal Exhibition (1907), it becomes Johnny J. Jones Exposition in 1908-09, 1916, 1919-54. In 1912 its Johnny J. Jones Shows and in 1917 the show is called Johnny J. Jones Exposition Shows. Meanwhile, we still don't know much about Diana Gordon, Morris Lipsky or the book in question. While there are definitely circus elements I would suggest that Janet contact the Showman Organization (Morris Lipsky was a pass president) and the Carnival Historical & Model Builders Society of America. - Giovanni Iuliani
    Reply: 06 June, 2005 - I am reponding to a reply from question #658. I am new to this message board and maybe not asking the correct questions but I feel I have asked very important questions for me! As I get information sent to me I am asking the message board the only way I know how to ask. I have reasons for asking about the different circus's or carnivals or people so patience would be appreciated. Yes, we are trying to find a family member that may have gone by several names. The new name I have is Dixie Gordon and she was possibly with the World of Mirth Carnival - a dancer. Any information would be appreciated. If it is not appropriate to ask these questions, please let me know.
    Reply: 30 June, 2005 - Check with the Tampa Showman's Association of Tampa, Florida. The Women's Auxillary of this club has some older members that were with the named carnivals.

657. Carr & Carrol - Carson & Barnes, 05 June, 2005 - Wanted: Close up photos of Donald 'Okie' Carr and John Carrol, both deceased animal men of the Carson & Barnes Circus. I'm writing a book about my experience working the big cats on that show in the late 70's, and I need these photos for the book. I can offer a free copy, when published, if you can supply the photo I need. Dion, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

656. RBBB Combined, 05 June, 2005 - The circus poster has the title "Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey combined circus". Later, supposedly, the word "combined" was not used. What would be the years in which the word "combined" was used on the circus posters? Craig Barnum. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 07 June, 2005 - The first performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, was held at New York's Madison Square Garden on March 29, 1919. While the word circus often trails the word combine in the title, there is exceptions. For instance, in 1926. on a Strobridge two sheet litho featuring Miss Leitzel, the show title end's with "combined shows". Even during the Sam Gumpertz years (1933-37) some of the posters will use the word "combined". Insofar as the RBBB railroad stock is concerned, all the coach and advertising cars carried the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Combined Shows title. While I can not respond for the years after 1938, I can assure you that to this day, the Feld Entertainment, Inc. organization has the circus under the registered trademark of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey combined shows, Inc. - Giovanni Iuliani
    Reply: 11 June, 2005 - Giovanni, Tks for the info on the word "combined" on the RBBB posters. Sincerely, Craig Barnum

655. Circus Reco, 04 June, 2005 - Can anyone help me in finding out some history of 'Circus Reco' in the UK I understand the proprietor was one Herbert Reco, I saw the only once in a small village called GARFORTH Nr. Leeds in West Yorkshire England. back in the 70's on the bill I recall 'The Schikler Sisters' and 'Wimsical Walker' and I think the Big Cats were presented by 'Eugene Weidman' who I think, but not sure was married to one of the Schikler Girls. I would appreciate any info. Regards Paul (Gypsy) Petulengro in Spain. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 09 June, 2005 - The last chance you would have had of seeing Reco's before it folded was 1969 which incidently was the only year that Whimmy Walker (or Frank Bean, grandson of the original Whimsical Walker) was present. He also presented a dog entree with his daughter Louise. The Schickler Sisters were 3 equestriennes but I doubt if the originals were with Reco at the time. But big cats presented by someone called Eugene Weidmann? I think you must be either confused to the name, that is not possible the name of a real dompteur, or it was a strange joke of them. Eguene Weidmann was a serial killer in France. For more information on Frank Bean, please see John Turner's writeup on: The Mass Observation Society Archive, by the way, have some files on Reco's Circus.
    Reply: 11 June, 2005 - One of the all time best circus books of which there are only a few that really go into the 'real' circus on tour is that of Lady Eleanor Smith's British Circus Life . The book takes you through a season with Reco Bros. Circus including their winter playing theatres as acts and also putting their zoo into department stores at Christmas time. Great black and white and color photos. This book was easy to find in used book shops for a long time - now harder to find. Al Stencell
    Reply: 24 December, 2005 - The person that stated Eugen Weidman was NOT a big cat trainer was WRONG. He was indeed and still may be a very fine trainer that was employed with Circus Knie and other major Circuses. His wife was Edith Schickler of the famous Horse trainers and riders family.

654. Jack Carson, 04 June, 2005 - Any information about an American Indian who worked by the Name Jack Carson. I know he had a flat in London. We worked with him in a show called Tausend Und Zweite Nacht in Germany circa 1938. fatima. Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

    Reply: 06 Aug 2007 - I am interested to know if you have found anything out about Jack Carson. I believe the man you are talking about was my grandfather. I have some information on him,but am trying to find out more. Please respond. My e mail is

    Reply: 07 Aug 2007 - Jack Carson aka 'Chief Eagle Eye' travelled with our family circus, Chipperfields, in the early 1950s. He liked to have it understood that he came from South America and had run his own show in India before WW2. My mother said he was from CapeTown. If this is the right man I can tell you a few funny tales about him privately, contact me at, cheers, Jim Stockley

    Reply: 23 Dec 2007 - I am very interested in Jack Carson. I have some information and photos of him. He married a great Aunt of mine, Sylvia (Cissie) Moseley. I think he met her when he appeared with the French Circus at Cardiff 1933/4 season. Jack Carson died on 9th July 1962, aged 72, at his home 263 Old Brompton Road, London SW5. His funeral was at Golders Green Crematorium, on 13th July. Please contact me. Regards, Ian Moseley.

653. Miller Bros side show?, 04 June, 2005 - I know all about the Al G. Kelly and the Miller Brothers circus at the 101 ranch, but am looking for more information about this circus. I had a relative run off and join the Miller brothers in the late 30s and into the 40s, and have a wonderful picture(a one of a kind?) but did the Miller brothers have a side show? There seems to be very little if no records of a side show and any info would be great. Am very interested if there any records of personal in this side show. My great aunt was the fortune teller and my sister and I would just love if anyone knew any information. And thanks for this great website! From Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 11 June, 2005 - The Miller Bros. operated their 101 Ranch Wild West out of Oklahoma into 1931. It has no relationship to the later Al G. Kelly & Miller Bros. Circus of later years, operated out of Hugo, OK starting about 1937. For information on the latter, start with Doug Lyon's article in "Bandwagon" magazine about "high grass magic" and the circus history of Hugo. You should be able to locate it in the article index on this website, and then order a back copy issue. Descendants of the proprietors of the circus continue to operate Carson & Barnes Circus today, which is currently on tour. You might also check issues of "White Tops," the Circus Fans Association bi-monthly journal for the years in question, as well as the weekly issues of the trade publication "Billboard." They often contain staff rosters. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 10 Mar 2008 - My great great granddaddy started the circus ?William or David? Miller. My grandfather was William (Sonny) Miller. My uncles were Earl and Claude. My grandmother was the snake woman. My grandfather Sonny was the sword swallower. Aunt Cindy, Cally and my grandmother Rose were the fortune tellers. My grandmothers stage name was Madame Minge. I am babbling now. I have only known gypsy in my immediate family. My mother and aunt are still alive. They are old and the memories fade. Feel free to write. Cindy

    Reply: 17 May 2010 - Cindy, PLEASE contact me! I am researching my family's history with the circus. The fortune teller Rose was my father's aunt. My great grandfather was David Miller. (I am also named David Miller). My family still speaks some of the gypsy/carnie slang. We obviously are related! David Miller, Mobile, AL

652. Great Billetti Troupe, 03 June, 2005 - I'm looking for information on the Great Billetti Troupe. The troupe was Eddie and Helen Billetti, Fred Bergen and John Yancher. They were on Polack Bros in 1938. How long was the troupe together? Where are the Billetti's now? Darren Bryan in Georgia, Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.
    Reply: 07 June, 2005 - I've received a photo of the Billetti's on the Hagenbeck Wallace Circus dated 1933. Written on the photo is Joe, Ange, Otto, Eddie. I also have another photo undated with the names, Otto, Charley, Angle, Eddie and Joe Brown. Note: spelled as written on photo. Darren
    Reply: 22 September, 2005 - Helen Billetti Warburton still lives in Kenmore, Washington. She is 91 years old. She was married to Eddie Hebler from 1934 until after WWII, and traveled and parformed with the Billetti wire walkng act.

651. Goodings Million Dollar, Thomas Joyland Shows, 03 June, 2005 - I am looking for any information on the Goodings Million Dollar Midway Show and the Thomas Joyland Shows. Looking for pictures, etc. Morris Lipsky was associated with these two circus's and looking for info on him too. Thanks! Respond to this message, your reply goes to this board, not to the sender.

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