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Message Archive: Messages 2301 - 2350

2350. 'Flint' Harry Lee Barlow, 20 Mar 2008 - From my grandfather's obituary: 'Flint' Harry Lee Barlow (17 Mar 1866 - 11 Sept 1939), who was a painter by trade, was an accomplished musician, and was one of the organizers of the Old Shelbyville Military Band. He was married December 14, 1919 to Blanche McGinnis (1st husband's surname). "He had traveled with Barnum and Bailey’s Circus for several years." Dad said "Flint" Barlow was an acrobat, and played the coronet in the circus band. I believe he met his second wife Blanche in the circus. Blanche sewed costumes for the circus performers, and played in the band, too. We have an old picture of Flint in circus costume. There is also some suggestion from family oral history that he may have been a "strong man" and/or the base of a human pyramid. Does anyone know anything about his act? I'm not certain how many costumers there may have been for the circus, but I am curious about any costumes that my grandmother may have made. Thanks so much for any information! Pam Barlow. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 27 Sep 2010 - I just noticed your inquiry. I am looking for a Blanche Sloan who lived in Queens and worked as an aerialist for Barnum and Bailey Circus (while young.) She may have kept this name due to having a career. Her family consisted of: James Forman Sloan (Tod Sloan) the famous horse jockey and Isaac Fremont Sloan (brothers.) Her father was Samuel Sloan, mother, Martha Young-they moved to Iowa for a while, her grave is in Kokomo, IN. I have been looking for a connection to her and a possible spouse and/or child. I know she had a home in Jamaica, NY. She traveled back to Kokomo, IN (Kokomo newspapers) visiting relatives. email when you can. Victoria Wilson (Sears/Sloan),

    Reply: 26 Nov 2013 - Flint Barlow was my grandfather. Pamela

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2349. Helms, Woman With the Iron Jaw, 20 Mar 2008 - I am seeking information about a woman who was billed as "The Woman With the Iron Jaw". We read in a book that her name was Mary or Matty Helms and supposedly she performed with the Montgomery Queen Circus in 1874 in Indiana and then went to the VanAmburgh's Circus in 1875 in Indiana. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Joyce Sarber. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2348. John Fanning, 19 Mar 2008 - I'm searching for information on a John "Jack" Fanning of Orange Connecticut who was in the circus from 1900 to 1906, before being injured and unable to perform. Trying to find out what circus he was with and when, where, and what of his injuries. Any help is appreciated. John's great-great nephew, Tim. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2347. Clyde Beatty, DeLeon Springs FL, 18 Mar 2008 - Dear All, A Florida newspaper is attempting to do an article on The DeLeon Springs State Park in DeLeon Springs, Florida and it's possible connection with Clyde Beatty probably in the 1950's. Although Clyde Beatty (and Cole Bros.) made their winterquarters 10 miles away in DeLand starting in 1956-57, there remain rumors - and at least a few publicity photos - to indicate that Clyde Beatty either once had attempted to strike a deal for a winterquarters there or perhaps to create a seasonal theme-park attraction, similar to his one-time park in Fort Lauderdale. Would anyone have any more details or knowldege on this subject? Any help, as always, would be greatly appreciated. Bruce W Pratt, VP/Nat'l Marketing Director, Cole Bros. Circus, Inc. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 18 Mar 2008 - My undated brochure for Ponce de Leon Springs, the winter home of Clyde Beatty Circus 8 miles north of Deland on U.S. Highway 17, also noted that you could see the World's Only Water Skiing Elephant. Plus championship water ski shows, jumping boats, a jungle cruise, speed boat rides, a African Queen boat trip, a tropic garden tour, Texas Jim's Wild Animal Compound and free swimming in the fountain of youth. While Ponce de Leon Springs noted they were the winter home of the Clyde Beatty Circus they were also home to the nationally famous Texas Jim's Wild Animal Compound. You could see the world's largest lioness in captivity, the rare laughing hyena, ferocious tigers, giant lions and friendly deer. "As the Winter Quarters of the famous Clyde Beatty Circus, Ponce de Leon Springs Wild Animal Compound gives visitors an exciting opportunity to view many wild animals at close range - be sure to bring your camera, you'll get spectacular shots!". Stock photos in the brochure and a note that the bathing suits were by Alix of Miami. Must have put some of the menagerie on display and improved Texas Jim's 'factual fascinating view of many species of reptiles'. John Polacsek

    Reply: 21 Mar 2008 - Thanks to Bob Cline, I discovered the Circus History Message Board and located the message re Clyde Beatty, DeLeon Springs, FL and the fact that an elephant once water-skied there. To the best of my knowledge, there have only been two elephants that ever water-skied at Ponce de Leon Springs, in DeLeon Springs, FL. The first one may well have been associated with the CBCB show, but I'm not positive as I wasn't there at the time. However; the second water-skiing elephant, Queenie, was owned by my family. My Dad, Bill Green, trained Queenie to water-ski at Ponce de Leon Springs in the winter of 1958-1959. I water-skied with Queenie the winter of 1959-1960.
          We bought Queenie in 1953 when she was approximately nine months old and she remained in my family until 1967 when we sold her to Walt King of Kings Performing Elephants in Richmond, Michigan. Walt sold Queenie to Circus Gatti in 1981. After suffering various forms of mistreatment and neglect, she was transferred to Wild Adventures, in Valdosta, GA, in 2001 where she remains to this day. After not having seen each other for 38 years, Queenie and I were reunited in October of 2005 - and the old saying "an elephant never forgets" is true. She remembered me! I have seen her each year since and will see her again this June. I have no idea if this "message board" accepts pictures, but if it does, I can e-mail pictures that will attest to Queenie's water-skiing.
          Bruce - If you would let me know which newspaper is attempting to do an article on the DeLeon Springs State Park, I'd love to contact them. Also, FYI - when I last visited the Park (probably 10 -11 years ago) they had at least one big blown up picture of the first elephant that water-skied there. It was hanging up in the building that also served as a snack bar. And, of course, I've got lots of pictures (both still and movie) of my families elephant, "Queenie", of the water-ski show, the Jungle Cruise, etc., etc. from the winter of 1959-1960. My e-mail address is Hope to hear back from you. Liz (Green) Dane [note: discussion board does not permit photos/graphics - J. Griffin, webmaster]

    Reply: 29 Mar 2008 - The Ponce de Leon Springs matter is somewhat confusing. In January 1958 Floyd King announced that the four co-owners of the Beatty show had bought the 54-acre tourist attraction eight miles north of Deland as the permanent quarters for the show. He added that the move of the show to the new home would begin at once.
          Despite this, the Billboard reported in March that the show was leaving Deland Quarters for the road tour. Some of the 1958 show trucks were painted with advertising for the supposed winter quarters at Ponce de Leon Springs and there were indeed brochures for the attraction which called it the quarters for the Beatty show.
          By October an announcement was made that plans to winter in Ponce de Leon Springs had been scrapped and that the show would return to Deland and in November a story in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune referred to Ponce de Leon Springs as "an attraction formerly owned by Jerry Collins and three associates."
          It is my belief that the show never actually wintered there even though there was much hoopla about it at the time. Dave Price

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2346. Louodini family, 17 Mar 2008 - Want any info on the history of the Louodini family of acrobats who were to have performed in the European version of Barnum and Bailey's circus. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2345. Ben Tanner, Rosie Pankratz, 16 Mar 2008 - I am seeking information about Ben Tanner and Rosie Pankratz. They performed with the Skerbach Circus which was headquartered in Dorchester, Wisconsin in the late 1800s and early 1900s. They married in Wisconsin in 1899 and continued to perform, perhaps in a wild west show and perhaps later in an aerial show. Ben Tanner was a contortionist and sharp shooter. Rosie Pankratz Tanner rode horse back, trapeze work, and other stunts. I have located pictures of them and would be willing to share them in exchange for information about the tragic death of Rose Pankratz Tanner. According to family stories, she died when the hot air balloon from which she was suspended struck a water tower. I do not know the date or place of the accident. Any information on either performer would be greatly appreciated. SGales, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 17 Mar 2008 - The Skerbeck family descendants are still in the outdoor amusement business today, but there is no surviving family archive nor business records from their circus days. You can gain some insights into Skerbeck and other Wisconsin circus activity in books by Richard E. Conover, Dean Jensen and this writer and Stuart Thayer. The CFA's "White Tops" carried an article about the Skerbecks in the 1950s or 1960s, by George Chindahl or Mitch Gorrow. You may be able to find it in the WT article index on this website [under Publications button, then Periodicals link]. There is also gathered information about the Skerbeck operation in the George Chindahl collection in the CWM library. There is also a large folder of collected Skerbeck material in the "Badger State Showmen" research files in the CWM library. Other than those files, you'd likely need to check newspaper files [hard copy or digital, like] or the weekly issues of the trade journal "New York Clipper" for further information about these troupers. A quick Google search turned up numerous hits for "Skerbeck circus," but I didn't find anything of immediate relevance to your search. The date and location of their marriage may be significant; it might reveal the winter quarters of a known circus, or a show engagement. Fred Dahlinger

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2344. Escalante Family, 15 Mar 2008 - I am sending you a link to my web site for the Escalante Family, again I hope you can help me add photo’s and history to these pages. Thank you, Erlene, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2343. Ellen Kemp, acrobat, 15 Mar 2008 - Trying to find Ellen Kemp born 1844 and her family who were circus acrobats. She married Edward Johnson and settled in Co Durham. Regards, Shelagh. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2342. Circus Flora, 15 Mar 2008 - Circus Flora – St. Louis' one-ring circus. New show for its 22nd season production "Sherwood Forest," a tribute to the legend of Robin Hood and his band of merry men. The show will premiere June 5 – 22. More information at Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2341. Wirth's 1949, 14 Mar 2008 - I am looking for records of Wirths Circus, the year 1949. Departure from Auckland New Zealand on board the ship Wanganella to Sydney Australia. douglasdobson, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 22 Mar 2008 - Mr Jim Fogarty has written 2 books on Wirth's Circus you can contact him at PO Penrith New South Wales Australia the ex manager of Wirth's. Mr Doug Scott now in his 80s, was at my place last week. When I was 14 I went from Sydney to Wellington on the Wangella in 1956 with Wirth's. Robert Perry, Australia

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2340. Baltimore Sun, 13 Mar 2008 - Check the for a video of horses and elephants unloading from a train and also a photo gallery of 16 pictures of various acts. Was in Wednesday’s edition. RG. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2339. Train crash, early 1900s, 13 Mar 2008 - Train crash kills trapeze artists in early 1900s. Has anyone any information? Many thanks, Shirley Coxon, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 18 Mar 2008 - My great uncle may have been on the train, Bill Caress. I told my mother about this web site and she told me about a train crash that killed several animals, etc. Dave Chestnut

    Reply: 20 Mar 2008 - There have been many train wrecks over the years involving circus trains. To try to assist in your research, you would need some more information. Do you have any idea what the name of the show was? Any idea what state or town this wreck occurred in? Any approximate timeframe? (small space of time say two to six months perhaps?) Perhaps if you knew the names of one or more that were lost in the wreck you might be able to trace Obituaries found on the internet nowadays. The next step is if you have any of the above information, you can search specific topics in This is a wonderful search tool with almost 80 million newspaper pages available right now and growing daily. If you live near the event, you can scroll through the local newspapers, usually found on microfilm at the library. If you have none of the additional information, I'm afraid you might be looking for a needle in a haystack. If we can help in any other way, ask! Bob Cline

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2338. William Kessecker, high diver, 13 Mar 2008 - My name is Betty Hinkell and I looking for the history on my grandfather who was a high diver. His name was William Kessecker and he also had a son who was a Jr. If you could find the information for I would appreciate it. Thank you, Betty Hinkell. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2337. Circus families Ireland, 13 Mar 2008 - I am trying to track down possible family connections to circus families originating in Ireland at the end of the 19th century/beginning of 20th century with family names of Culley/Cully, Goulding/Golding/Golden or Clark/Clarke. Has anybody any knowledge of these please. Dan and Jean, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2336. How many circuses, 11 Mar 2008 - I am 8 years old and I have a school project to find out how many circuses there are in the world today, could you please help me. Kind Regards, Mitchell. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 12 Mar 2008 - Mitchell, I don't have accurate information on the number of circuses in the world today. But a very approximate number of circuses in the United States in 2006 seems to have been about 65. Some were youth circuses. I took the information from an article titled "2006 Circus Year in Review," published in the Circus Historical Society's publication, Bandwagon, March-April, 2007. It may not have listed all the circuses. Judy Griffin

    Reply: 13 Mar 2008 - Dear Mitchell, I am so glad that an 8 year old is showing an interest is circus, even if it is a school project. There is a new circus web site for kids that has a links listing to many circuses all over the world. check out: Jim Cole, Circus4Youth Editor

    Reply: 14 Mar 2008 - Dear Mitchell. For your school project for posters and fotos you might want to (in the search circus) H.Best-Otte The Netherlands

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2335. Kickapoo Circus, 11 Mar 2008 - A friend in Yorktown, VA, has a small sideshow banner in her art gallery right now. The subject is a geek about to dine on a snake. It's signed by J. Holton and dated 1923(or 8). On the reverse side are the words Kickapoo Circus OH. Any ideas? I'm not up on the artists of the period nor the Kickapoo show. David Tetrault, Williamsburg, VA. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2334. Bruce Greater Shows, 11 Mar 2008 - Bruce Greater Shows was a small carnival working the eastern United States from New York-to-Georgia during the 1910s through the 1930s. It was home-based in Virginia. Local historian and friend of the founding family is seeking ANY info relative to this traveling carnival. No information would be considered too trivial. To date, the only online link mentioning Bruce Greater Shows references a list of carnivals that Colonel Tom Parker worked with in the late 1920s/early 1930s. Thank you kindly, Phil. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 12 Mar 2008 - Joe McKennon's book "Pictorial History of the American Carnival" lists dates of operation for Bruce Greater Shows as 1926-1935. It would have been a motorized, over the highway operation. If the family has no personal papers and no business records survive in a local repository, the best place to look for information will be in the weekly issues of the trade journal "Billboard," which carried a carnival news column. Therein you will also find the routes, if they were supplied for publication. That will lead to the communities where it showed and thereby one can read the local newspapers for commentary. It's also likely that the hometown newspaper may have carried periodic news reports, especially if the carnival opened in the city or played a date there during the season. My memory tells me that Bruce Greater Shows may have purchased some coverage in a consolidated circus and carnival program that was issued during the show's operational time frame. Perhaps another member can check their holdings and provide confirmation? Usually they were a page or two long and included some text and a couple illustrations. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 16 Mar 2008 - Thank you, Fred, for your reply and for the info from McKennon's history. McKennon's dates of operation bring the realization that, although this carnival was always owned by the Bruce (and related Davis) families, it must have operated under a different business name both before and after those dates. The founding family has business records detailing venues and receipts for the years 1927 thru 1934, plus a photographic record taken during that time span.
          George Bruce ran a circuit with only a merry-go-round in his earliest days, the 1910s. His operation grew steadily and his son James "Jim" Bruce was the manager of Bruce Greater Shows during McKennon's dates - which were probably the "peak" years for the show. The founder, George Bruce, died in 1933. His son, Jim Bruce, died a few weeks before the 1935 season began. The show continued operations under the management of Jim Bruce's mother, wife, and in-laws.
          Family photos show trucks and rail cars being used to transport employees and rides. One of the rail cars has Bruce Greater Shows professionally emblazoned on its side. Only the Charlottesville, Virginia, newspaper has been accessed for this Albemarle County, Virginia-based carnival, for the years 1927, 1928 and 1929. Several sideshow acts are also listed by name in this newspaper.
          The Bruce Greater Shows / Carnival's detailed listing in a "consolidated circus and carnival program" would be a wonderful piece of info to have. We hope that another reader may share that data if it is available.
          How/where may I access the "Billboard" issues to check their "carnival news columns?" Thank you again for your generous and encouraging help. Phil James

    Reply: 17 Mar 2008 - Phil: The listings in the McKennon book should be taken only as a general guide. Such compilations are always subject to interpretation limitations. It could be that the 1926 entry was simply Billboard talk about going on the road in 1927, and that for 1935 was the anticipation of a 1935 tour, which may not have taken place. Speak to your local librarian about how to obtain microfilm of "Billboard" either via interlibrary loan or where the closest file may be relative to your home. There are several institutions that have it, but it's been increasingly hard to procure via local libraries. I just scanned the news pages and indexes for the late 1920s to early 1930s Eli Bridge Company's house publication, "Big Eli News," but there were no entries for the Bruce family deaths or the show itself. It's possible that the show did not communicate with this builder of the Big Eli wheel, Scrambler, etc., but often they did cover the initial purchase of riding devices. Checking out the vendors that supplied various pieces of equipment to the shows might also prove beneficial. You might also try connecting with carnival historians, Fred Heatley and Al Stencell. There's also a collection of carnival materials at the International Independent Showmen's Foundation in Gibsonton, FL. A trip there would be necessary, but a local university may be in the process of loading their holdings on-line. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 20 Feb 2009 - To whom it may concern: I believe my father and his siblings talked about this circus. His father, my grandfather, Marshall Hughes Bruce, worked for Penn Railroad and often worked out of NYC. My grandmother, Marie Ross Bruce, lived with the children in New Jersey for a time when they were young. My father remembered the four children being left alone for a short time so that Marie and Marshall could go visit Marshall's "cousins who were in town. They were with the carnival." Dad seemed to remember this time because they were children and never left alone except this one particular occasion.
        I asked Dad, when he was still alive, and I've talked with his sister, Jean Bruce Mancuso, many times since, but they could not pin down a date - not even as close as a decade. The children were all born in the '20's and, if the circus was still traveling in the '30's, perhaps this is what they remembered. However, everything else seems to fit. It was made clear to me, also, that the carnival was owned by these cousins - they did not work for it.
        I was told the circus would start out from Virginia [probably north of Charlottesville, where the Bruces are from] every spring right around the peach festival time. Apparently, the area was known for growing peaches and there was a celebration every spring. I did question my aunts about the peaches repeatedly and they assured me the fruit was peaches and not apples, cherries, etc.
        I am just about beside myself with excitement about this information. I have been looking for years for information on this family "enterprise." There is just one sibling left alive and I'm going to share this news her and the rest of the family as soon as I can. If there is anything elseI can share with you, I would be glad to. So far, the above is all I remember. Sincerely, Lee Bruce

    Reply: 20 Dec 2011 - To whom it may concern, You can check out a magazine in Albemarle County, Va. Called Secrets of the Blue Ridge. This has an article on Bruce Greater Shows. Those Folks were related to me on the Davis side of the Family tree. I don’t know a whole lot but they were out of the Boonesville Virginia area. My uncle has more of the pictures from that time. Gale

    Reply: 02 Nov 2012 - In searching through some of my Grandmothers old papers, she has a “Route Book” from the 1930 season of the “Bruce Greater Shows”. It lists the staff with James H Bruce as the owner and manager, and tour dates from April 21st-Nov 3rd, 1930. Bill

    Reply: 13 Feb 2013 - Appreciate the replies re: Bruce Greater Shows. Bill, I have seen the 1930 Route Book. Would be interested to learn how your Grandmother (or any others) may have connected with this carnival. Thanks, Phil - secretsoftheblueridge at gmail dot com

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2333. Circus history presentation, 11 Mar 2008 - Greetings all, The Kansas City Metropolitan Library Information Network has selected the book "Water for Elephants" for it's 2008 city-wide reading program. The story is of an elderly man as he reflects on his life as a circus veterinarian. Is there anyone from your organization living in or near the Kansas City are who might be interested in presenting a program about the history of the circus during September, October or November of this year? Thank you. Helen Hokanson, Reference Librarian, Johnson County Library, 9875 W. 87th St., Overland Park, KS 66212, (913)495-2472. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 12 Mar 2008 - John Thiel, a CHS member in Topeka, has provided circus history teaching as part of Elderhostel and other programs. Fred Dahlinger

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2332. Hunter, Niagara Falls, 10 Mar 2008 - My mother, who's maiden name is Madge Charlene Hunter always told us that she never knew her father, and that he was killed walking a tightrope over the Niagara Falls. I have searched and searched and cannot find anything like that. Maybe she was wrong and he was walking the tightrope over some other body of water. He was supposed to be French, and that's all I know. My mom was born in 1933, so, the timeline would have been 1932 or after. Any info, is greatly appreciated. Thank you. amy cawthon, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 28 May 2009 - H. Hunter tightrope walker. I think the mans name begins with an H. The mother of Madge is Cloe Balentine. Any help is appreciated. I am doing some research for The great grandaughter of this tightrope walker.

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2331. Frank Bailey, 09 Mar 2008 - A few years ago, I attended an estate sale in Mount Vernon, New York. An elderly woman had died and left behind items that once belong to Frank Bailey. Her story was that many years ago, her Aunt and Uncle were the caretakers of the Bailey estate in Mount Vernon, New York. When Bailey died, the caretakers were given certain possessions. Among them were a wallet (obviously never used, with circus animals on it and the name Frank Bailey engraved in gold lettering) and an oak parlor table. I purchased both these items. The Mount Vernon Historical Society has the provenance on these items along with hand written notes from the women whose estate I purchased these items. The Mount Vernon Historical Society has been slow to log in all the information they received but they did forward to me a copy of a post card picturing his former home in Mount Vernon. These items were removed from the Estate where I purchased the artifacts. I know all about James A. Bailey but who was Frank Bailey? Is it possible that the name engraved on the wallet was a mistake? Thanks for any help you can give me. Kathryn Boone, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2330. Davis family, Ringling, 09 Mar 2008 - My maternal grandparents were both with the Ringling circus, as well as other circuses. My grandmother, Cora Bailey Davis, was a single trapeze artist and my grandfather, Larry Davis, was the elephant superintendant. Some of the stories my grandmother shared with me were incredible. How can I find additional information on my grandparents? I would love to see pictures that others may have of my grandparents. Bambi Martin, Clayton, NC, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 08 Dec 2008 - Well, So there search goes on for you too. We are related! Yes. My name is Ron Shaer. Your Grand Father had a brother That's right. In fact, I believe that the name Davis was not the original name. It was a stage name that evolved in to an accepted name. Please contact me to see if we can piece our history together.

    Reply: 13 Dec 2008 - Ron - you wrote to my sister, Bambi, concerning the Shaer family history. I've since responded to your AOL email address with no response. Please contact me at

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2329. Watkins, Barnum & Bailey, 08 Mar 2008 - My Great Grandparents met while both working for the Barnum and Bailey Circus in England around 1878. My Great Grandfather was Thomas Wlliam Watkins, an artist who did elaborate paintings, carvings, and inlaid glass. My Great Grandmother was Lucy Frye Watkins, a bareback rider. Can you verify this? Thank you, Ingrid Daniels,, San Clemente, CA. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 02 Apr 2008 - My grandfather Joe Cooke (Josef Kokes) performed at the Barnum/Ringling circus in the 1900's as I get more information I will see if your family were known to my grandfather - I have been told that the performers arranged a birthday party for him - he had a balancing musical act in later years and I have been told had a balancing act whilst at the circus - have you any knowledge of him? natalie at

    Reply: 03 Apr 2008 - Barnum & Bailey did a winter season at the Olympia in 1889 and then went back to England in late 1897 and toured the country 1898-1899. They were not present in 1878. Your great-grandparents names are not in Slout's "Olympians," which can be checked on this website. You might look into the biographical dictionaries compiled by the late Dr. John Turner. They provide some entries for British performers. Fred Dahlinger

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2328. Ethnic backgrounds, 08 Mar 2008 - For traveling circuses in the United States in the 1930's, what were the percentages of different ethnic backgrounds amongst workers, performers, managers, owners? - and what were those ethnic backgrounds? I need this information as soon as possible for a book club discussion. Thank you. devi, e-mail Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2327. Human cannonball Hugo Zacchini biographical information, 07 Mar 2008 - Hello circus historians and afficionados. My name is Kevin brown, I am a law student researching a Supreme Court case for a student paper. I was directed to this message board by the people at the Circus World museum. The case is Zacchini v. Scripps-Howard Broadcast Co. It involved an incident that took place at a country fair in Ohio in 1972, where a TV camera crew filmed his act and played it on the evening news. Mr. Zacchini sued the station for infringing his right to publicity/privacy. As part of my research, I am looking for biographical information about Mr. Zacchini. Please note, I am referring to the elder Hugo Zacchini, the son of Ildebrando Zacchini. Hugo Zacchini died in 1975, before the end of the case. Specifically, I am looking for basic biographical information (where he was born, education, career, etc.) as well as "anecdotal" information: what kind of man was he, what was his temperament, etc.? I know that he was an artist, and that he performed his act for over 50 years, but I have little else to go on. If anyone can help me, or point me to a good resource for my research, I would be most grateful. Sincerely, Kevin Brown, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 08 Mar 2008 - Fred D. Pfening, Jr. wrote an extended, illustrated article about the Zacchini family and published it in Bandwagon, the CHS journal. You can locate it in the article index in this website. Hugo Zacchini, the son, is, I believe, the descendant who composed a memoir about the family. It's on the shelves at the CWM library, or in a Zacchini file. You can also try contacting the younger Hugo in Florida, in the Tampa directory. There are also other Zacchinis in FL that might have relevant information. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 14 Mar 2008 - For fotos about the Zacchini family you might want to (in the search ) H.Best-Otte NL

    Reply: 08 Sep 2009 - Help, we are looking for anyone, for any living members of Hugo. Years ago in LA, CA we had Hugo over for dinner along with the circus people that he preformed with, small little people and clowns. When he left that night he forgot his circus coat, the original one. It does belong to his heirs. Please help me. This was back in the fiftys. ralph gasser

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2326. Barney Vining, 07 Mar 2008 - I am trying to find out about a circus or carnival in the Vinings Georgia area. It has been told that there was a Barney Vining who was an "artist" with the Circus and that his wife Vesti stayed home and ran the store while he traveled. The store became known as Vinings and that is how the name of the town was made. Carolyn Thomas Platt. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2325. Frank Kametaro, wire walker, 05 Mar 2008 - This is my first inquiry on this board. As a magic historian, I need help on a subject who once performed wire rope walking. I was told that Frank Kametaro, an old time Japanese wire rope walker around 1902, had performed an act in which he slid down a wire, upside down on his head, from the balcony of the theatre to the stage while he was in England. His true name is Kametaro Fukada.
      I know that there were many performers who slid down from the balcony of the theatre to the stage in second half of 1800s, however, upside down sliding sound unbelievable that I can not imagine. (You may know famous Little All-Right of the Japanese Traveling Troupe who performed this feat (not upside down) in 1867 for the first time.
      Although I have looked for any evidence, article, or advertisement by searching through The Times newspaper of London, I have failed to find it any. (I think Kametaro tried to achieve the feat by practicing, not for the public.) The story (from the people who worked in the show) was that he'd had a fall one day during the sliding performance, which forced him to stop this act. Then he joined a magic troupe for his later life. I am grateful to have any information on this subject very much in advance. M. Matsuyama, From Yokohama, Japan. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 08 Mar 2008 - If you are looking for information on the "head slide," the article on Feliz Morales (1901-1975) in Bandwagon, Vol. 38, No. 4 (July-August), 1994, pp. 26-29, provides details on how the act was done by Morales (and probably others) before circa 1914 and in future years, including a photo. Interesting that Morales began working on the act when he was ten years old after he saw it in a vaudeville act. He performed it for 47 years. He was also a wire walker, among other acts. You can order this issue of Bandwagon. Just click on "Bandwagon" on the navigation sidebar, and scroll down the page for ordering information. - Judy Griffin

    Reply: 11 Oct 2008 - Dear M. Matsuyama, from Yokohama. I am Fukada (Frank) Kametaro's Great Granddaughter and I am very interested in his career before he became Chung Ling Soo's assistant and manager. I know he was with Barnum and Bailey prior to joining CLS but I know very little about his life and career in Japan. Any information from Japanese records would be greatly appreciated. I am especially keen to find out where in Japan Frank originated from which will enable me to apply for his family koseki. In the 1901 English census Frank was living in Leeds, England with the family of his wife to be and declared his birthplace as Chika, Japan but I have been unable to locate this. Natalie Randall, Leeds, England

    Reply: 07 Apr 2008 - There is some information about Frank Kametaro in a book called "The Glorious Deception" by magic historian Jim Steinmeyer.

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2324. Ringmaster, 04 Mar 2008 - Hi, I am Becky and I am doing a research project about the ringmaster of a circus and I have a few questions.

Do they have educational requirements, and if so what are they?
Does the ringmaster have to have any licensing, and if so what are they?
What is the beginning salary of a ringmaster?
What are the daily job duties of the ringmaster? On show days and also when there is not show.

Thank you for your time. I would appreciate a respond to this email. Thanks again. Becky Whaley. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 05 Mar 2008 - Hello Becky, I might be able to help having spent a season as ringmaster for Billy Smarts here in England - 1970 season. A traditional ringmaster is a key manager along with any number of other managers depending upon the size of the circus. A ringmaster may do more than one job on a smaller show ie., two management situations perhaps. However, assuming that you mean that he carries out one task then there seems no rules to the job for I see persons engaged at times without prior experience and of course ladies to. I do think that a ringmaster should be a male but that is just my view. The correct person should have much experience and should be, ideally, a past artistes, the older person, who knows the ropes! He should be able to make sure that all artistes are available for the show (one person or act may be sick) to change acts around even during a show if needed. Track or Run-In clowns are available to entertain the public for whatever length of time is required for the next act to enter the ring. (The minimum said Smarts!) Being an ex-act/artiste the person would know about skills and requirements. He must also manage the ring staff and to make sure that riggings and equipment is safe for the act and also the public and to make sure his staff carry through these task at each performance. He must make sure that the ring staff are always clean and tide. He must also be a 'straight man' or even the 'fall guy' to the clowns for routines and sketches. He is the chosen 'go-between' between the management and the artistes throughout the day and the season to be a mediator sometimes. In short a most powerful job. A good ringmaster is the ring itself! I do not know if training is given but the best training is years spent with tenting circuses! He must also look the part. Best Wishes, Tom Sandow

    Reply: 21 Mar 2008 - To Becky Whaley: Let me recommend most highly a book that will give you all you need. The Big Top - My Forty Years with the Greatest Show On Earth, by Fred Bradna, as told to Hartzell Spence (New York, Simon & Schuster, 1952). Bradna held this post with Barnum & Bailey, and continued throughout his career with the Ringling combine. His book is a primer for anyone wanting to learn circus, and he details his assignment by first explaining the honored title is Equestrian Director, not ringmaster. The 332-page book includes a glossary of circus terms and Bradna's personal choices for a Hall of Fame, inclusive of fine, vintage photos. The elegant language stylings of Hartzell Spence enhance the presentation of this indelible memoir. Type in "Fred Bradna", click "Go", and you'll find sources of copies ranging in price, of course, from very affordable to outrageous. Happy reading. Roger Smith.

    Reply: 23 Mar 2008 - Further to Becky's question. One must assume that Three Rings would require three ringmasters? The concept of three rings failed in England when tried so the central one ring is dominant. The term Equestrian Director is not applied here (not in my experience) although the ringmaster would be knowledgeable of equestrian matters. Certainly my father was a horse expert and ringmaster. I must suggest that if the ringmaster carried through all the tasks that I previously listed he would have his hands full without managing horses as well. With Billy Smarts they had one exceptional Equestrian Director during my season there in John Gindl. Tom Sandow

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2323. Bible imagery in circuses, 04 Mar 2008 - I am doing some research on the use of Bible imagery in circus shows and have evidence such use in American circuses towards the end of the 1900's and am trying for find out if such images were used in British circuses. Liz Sheffield, UK. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 08 Mar 2008 - A circusposter with the 3 wise men from the east, Maria , the cradle and the text "Winter fairy tale, Circus Krone" in German you can find on if you type this number: 7867 in the search area. Herman Voogd,

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2322. John Hengler, 04 Mar 2008 - I hope someone can help! I am researching my family history and have a John Hengler (born sometime between 1835-1840). I know he lived in Hull from about 1871 and died there, but I cannot find out where he was born and what his connection to Hengler's Circus was. I know there was some connection as his daughter (my great grandmother) talked about her father and the circus. If anyone knows anything about him or his connection to Hengler's Circus I would love to have the information. Many thanks, Alison Squibb. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 26 Mar 2010 - I am interested in when John Milton Hengler was born and when he died? I need this information for an article I am writing. Can you please help? Best regards, Jan Ingemann Soerensen

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2321. Frank Brown’s Circus, 03 Mar 2008 - I wonder if anyone can help please? I am researching my family history and have discovered some letters written by an ancestor of mine called Eugenie Taylor who in 1890 was attached to Frank Brown’s Circus and at that time was writing from Buenos Aires in South America. She mentions the Theatre San Martin in her letters and I am wondering if anyone would have any information about her or more about the circus and its movements around that time? Many thanks, Dan Jones. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 06 Mar 2008 - Hello Dan, do you know if your relation had a stage name they went under whilst attached to Teatro San Martin? Would the letters have any mention of Rosit and Dolinda de la Plata or Frank Brown? ray perkin

    Reply: 13 Mar 2008 - Frank Brown was born in England and arrival to Argentina in 1884 with the brothers Carlo circus company and performing in the Buenos Aires Politeama Theater. In July 4 of 1887 the Carlo brothers company, Frank Brown including, inaugurated the San Martin Theater. In 1889 Frank Brown becames circus owner and contracts Rosita de la Plata, a famous equestrienne and acrobat (trapeze) artist. Rosita lives with him after the death of his wife, the american equestrienne Addie Austin, all his life. Frank Brown was very popular in Argentina, retirement in 1923 and died in Buenos Aires april 24 of 1943. Today one street takes his name. I not seen the name of Eugenie Taylor in the programs, perhaps had a stage name. I have a 1890 picture of the Frank Brown company, if you want I can send you one scanning, possibly between that people are your ancestor. Cesar Ortega.

    Reply: 15 Mar 2008 - Gentlemen, Thanks very much for your replies to my posting. I am not aware of any stage name that Eugenie went under although I do have a very old program card which is difficult to read. The program is all in the local language so I cannot understand it all, however, she is shown on the program as Miss E Taylor. Cesar, I am emailing you a copy of the program directly as it might help you. The program seems to be dated as July 1893. Thanks once again for your help! Dan

    Reply: 16 Mar 2008 - Hi, Mlle E. Taylor is mentioned in Der Artist 1894 under Rio de Janeiro. Frank Browns Circus as a serpant dancer. Ray Perkin, England

    Reply: 30 Jun 2008 - Exploring the site looking for info on my great grandfather Edgar(o) Brown who with his wife (Fanny Lawson) were in Buenos Aires in the 1890's, they were definetly there in Sept 1896 because my grandma Edith May was born then! Birth reg no 1207 enrolled by Ernest Barber of 663 Le Valle Street, witnessFredrick Juan Rayson and Luis Velar both living at Esmeraldo Street 354. They must have returned to England as they are listed as living with Henry and Sara Brown in the census of 1901. I will try contact Cesar direct but if unsuccessful I hope he can contact me with any info on my great uncle. Moira Aitken, Portmahomack, Ross-shire Scotland IV20 1YW

    Reply: 02 Jul 2008 - Moira, the names that you mention in the 1901 census correspond with the parents of Frank Brown, then Edgard was the Frank brother? In that case If you can give me one e-mail I can send you somes pictures of your great greatuncle. Cesar Ortega

    Reply: 14 Sep 2010 - Hello, My name is Philippa Gold - and stumbled upon this site when googling for more information and pictures of my Great Great Grandfather - Frank Brown. Please can you send me any information or pictures that you have of him so that I can show my family! Thank You!

    Reply: 15 Sep 2010 - Look for 2 affiches frank Brown at H.Best-Otte The Netherlands

    Reply: 20 Sep 2010 - I was researching Frank Brown’s circus because my grandmother mentions seeing them in a Buenos Aires in a letter dated June 30th 1918. After a lovely dinner we went to Frank Brown’s Circus. Not much of a show, but they had a couple of good stunts, such as tight wire walkers and funny clowns. The two clowns who did the cat stunt in Montevideo are with this circus & they were very funny. Just to add my two-cents! Betsy.

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2320. Christiana family, trapeze, 02 Mar 2008 - I am looking for information about a circus family by the last name of "Christiana" (not sure of the spelling) who I believed lived in New York during the 1929s thru the 1930s. They were trapeze artists. My uncle and his identical twin brother were part of that family and at a young age were put in a orphange. Do not know the name of that orphange. They lived there for 12 years before they were adopted by the Hicks family. Back then their names were Richard and Don or Donald Christiana. They were born August 15th 1929. Any information on the family or the orphange would be great or anywhere I can get information. Thank you so much, Sandee. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 02 Mar 2008 - Is this the family you are looking for? 1930 Census, Hudson, Columbia County, New York; Roll: 1417; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 22. Leon V.(?) Christiana, age 26, born New York, parents born NY, occupation packer(?) for a cement company; Edna C. Christiana, wife, age 30, born NY, parents born NY; Virgil W. Christiana, son, age 6, born NY, parents born NY; Marion F. Christiana, daughter, age 5, born NY, parents born NY; Maude A. Christiana, daughter, age 3, born NY, parents born NY; Evelyn Christiana, daughter, age 2, born NY, parents born NY; Richard Christiana, son, age 8/12 (8 mo.), born NY, parents born NY; Donald Christiana, son, age 8/12 (8 mo.), born NY, parents born NY; The family lived at 8 Union St., Hudson City, Columbia County, NY. Undocumented: Leon V. Christiana born September 1, 1905 in New York, parents unknown; Wife Edna Blass, born 1899; Marion F. Christiana, born 1925; Leon Virgil Christiana, born 1905, Green, NY. - Judy Griffin

    Reply: 07 Mar 2008 - Thank you soooooo much for the information! Not really sure about all this, just started digging into it. Would you happen to know the name of the orphanage in New York that they may have been in? Thank you Sandee

    Reply: 07 Mar 2008 - Sandee, no I don't know the name of any orphanage. Sorry, I don't have any more information on this Christiana family. Judy Griffin

    Reply: 12 Mar 2008 - I am looking for photos of the Christiana family that preformed in the circus during the 1930s. Thank you, Sandee

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2319. Montgomery circus, 01 Mar 2008 - I would like to know more about the Montgomery circus that existed in Tangent, Oregon in the early 1900s to about 1941. I understand the circus housed elephants and tigers, etc, in buildings south of Tangent (near Shedd), and also at times on the Schultz property on 99E in Tangent. The circus used the railroad stop in Tangent to load the animals for circus tours. I read a brief excerpt of its existence in my uncle Milton Newport's memoirs. I would like to know more detail if anyone is familiar with the Montgomery circus of Tangent, Oregon. My family name was Newport. I am Gloria. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 02 Mar 2008 - There's a comprehensive, illustrated article about the C. R. Montgomery Circus in the CHS journal, Bandwagon, in the Sept-Oct 1991 issue, pages 4-16. It was operational 1945-1947. Montgomery had a farm in the proximity of Tangent, Oregon, where he boarded animals. It's possible that you may be able to secure the issue for purchase from the society from back copy sales. Fred Dahlinger [click on Bandwagon on the navigation sidebar, then scroll down for ordering back issues - J. Griffin]

    Reply: 03 Jan 2011 - Hi Gloria, Re Ruckert here. I was married to your niece Roslyn. My close friend Greg McLagan owns the property we have all called the "Lion Shed" for years. It is where the Montgomery Circus animals were kept when not performing. I was there with him today. He knows a lot of the history. Today we discovered a huge chunk of concrete with a large embedded steel ring. He thinks it is what they used to secure the elephant.

    Reply: 01 Oct 2010 - Hi, C.R. Montgomery was my grandfather. Let me know what you would like to know!

    Reply: 31 Aug 2011 - I have all of the pics from the home place! That's what my mom calls it. There where to elephants keep there Betty and Lucy. Willy would ride Betty to Tangent with Lucy in tow to be loaded on the trucks. Sometimes Lucy would get loose and have Betty walk to the grande by the mail boxes and have Betty call for her. Snookie the chimp would get loose and go to my great-aunts house next door. One trick grandma would do was get a cat She loved cat! Willy sleep at the end of the animal sheds which is still there. The slab of concrete is right. We I have to run I'll get on later and tell ya some more. Joe.

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2318. Jay Gould circus, 01 Mar 2008 - My name is Rene'e (Raiber) Hjelmeland, daughter of Patricia (Gould) Raiber and Ormand Raiber. My Grandfather was Jay E. Gould of the Jay Gould circus. When I was 4-1/2 years old (1955-56) I had a flying ladder act in his show and am looking for photos of this. Thank You! Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2317. Children's book, 01 Mar 2008 - When I was in elementary school I read a book about a little boy (like 4 years old) who was taken in by a foster family. Later in the book when a circus came to town, he got into the circus and found that the man riding on the elelphant was his father. There had been a disaster at the circus and he was lost from his parents. This is a fiction book and I can't remember the title or author. I do remember that the little boy called himself Gary Elbow. It turned out that his name was Gary L. Bowe. This was my first piece of fiction that I read and would love to locate the book if it exists. Allan Podbelsek, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 01 Mar 2008 - This seems to be the book you are asking about, "The Circus Comes to Town," by Lebbeus Mitchell. Found at You can read the whole thing online or at least have the title to locate a used copy. I found it with a Google search for Gary L. Bowe. Judy Griffin

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2316. Arthur Eldridge, animal trainer, 01 Mar 2008 - I am looking for information about a man named Arthur Eldridge. I just saw him on an episode of a game show called "What's My Line" from 1950 or 1951. He was presented as an animal trainer (chimps) with Ringling Brothers and gave his home town as Elgin, IL. I have this show recorded and thought someone in his family would like a copy of it. I am not charging anything for this copy. Bob Bixler, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 11 Mar 2008 - I'm not familiar with this gentleman but there was an Art Eldridge in the early 1900's to 1920's who worked for William P. Hall as an elephant handler and went to India for some of his imports of elephants. He worked for other circus titles as well. He also was a show owner in 1915. I don't know if he is related to your Mr. Eldridge or not. I remember "What's my Line?" from the late 1960's and early 1970's. I didn't realize it went back to the early 1950's. Bob Cline

    Reply: 13 Mar 2008 - Thanks Bob. We could be talking about the same man since the man who was on the show looked to be in his mid-sixties. Bob Bixler

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2316a. Norah Kayes, trapeze, 29 Feb 2008 - Does anyone know anything about my Grandmother, Norah Rose Kayes (married and became Collins)? A trapeze artist. Gareth Watts, Email: Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2315. Circus Tents' color, 29 Feb 2008 - What color were circus tents? Martha. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 02 Mar 2008 - Unfortunately, there isn't just one answer. The basic tents were made of canvas which was white and stained easily thereby making them "dirty" shades of white. The Ringling show went with a dark Blue tent in the 1950's to make better use of newer lighting effects. Then the striped tents have to be recognized. The Basic Red and white striped or Blue and White striped tents were used a lot. Then the vinyl tents became a part of the circus industry allowing for multiple colors and designs on the tent. Also with the vinyl tents, the tent might be yellow and red outside and be different colors inside. I'm sure there have been other variations as well but this gives you a general idea that there wasn't just one color of tent. Bob Cline

    Reply: 02 Mar 2008 - This is just a beginning statement on the topic. The choice of colors varied in time and between shows, and also with the conversion from canvas or duck to vinyl. The color of circus tents is both their natural color and also the soiled color achieved after many placements on soil and grass. Canvas tents may have started as a beautiful white [thus "white tops"] or light tan, but through a season became increasingly darker tan.
          Vinyl tents of today might be red, blue or white, and other colors, or combinations thereof. Again, they are soiled by placement on earth and grass. Around the turn of the century there was some interest in using narrow striped sidewall in red and white. It can be found in some manufacturer's catalogs. In the nineteenth century there were striped tops of two and three colors, often red, white and blue.
          RBBB in its under canvas existence sometimes used a blue big top, to create a darkened interior for the more dramatic use of spotlights. Some tents had star patterns applied at the locations of pole ends and others had small stars across the entire tent surface. Marquees, sun skirts, edging and trimming also varied widely in design and color. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 08 Mar 2008 - If you want to see the colors yourself: www.circusmuseum.n/eng search for: circustent. Herman Voogd,

    Reply: 11 Jun 2008 - In Slout's book, "Chilly Billy," he states that W. W. Cole's 1875 circus had four all new tents made of "longitudinal striped linen cloth, blue and white." Judy Griffin

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2314. Community circuses, 27 Feb 2008 - My name is Colleen Mastony. I’m a reporter from the Chicago Tribune and I’m writing a story about the Triton Troupers, a small community circus outside of Chicago. This organization is associated with Triton College, but they accept students from the community – adults and teens, experts and novices alike. A person who joins the circus becomes a member for life, so that many people have been coming for decades. In some families, three generations participate. I’m wondering if this sort of community circus was more common in the past, perhaps in the early 1900s? If someone could call or email, I would be grateful. Colleen Mastony, Reporter, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL, 312-222-4201, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2313. Wheel of Death, 27 Feb 2008 - Hello wise men, Fred. D. Pfening Jr. and Fred D. Pfening III you are! Here is an interesting, a novel, question: when, where and by whom was the Wheel of Death act invented and first time performed? The "Sensational Leighs" springs to my mind, but....? Yes, I know the Russian "Sisters Koch" who bicycled outside an a little similar shaped oval rotating; And that was at least back in the 1950's, if not before, but? The reason for my question is, for writing a press-release for the Danish circus Baldoni, for which I have booked such an act. And all of a sudden, my question intrigued me. Looking forward to the wise mens - or others - opinion or knowledgeable wisdom, thank you. Reply please: Kind regards from Denmark and yours most sincerely, Jorgen Borsch. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 03 Mar 2008 - Dear Jorgen, There is an article by Bill Strong on the history of the revolving wheel act on with lots of photos. Check it out in the Features column. Jimmy Cole

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2312. Bobby Snowden, 26 Feb 2008 - I want to do a local interest story on Chico's Monkey Farm, a local roadside attraction in Richmond Hill, GA. in the late 60's/70's. It was owned by Bobby Snowden, affliate of King's Circus, I think. How can I find out more info or maybe obtain pics of his show? I see in your copies of your magazine, there is a story of him in the issue of July-August 2006 Volume 4. How can I purchase a copy? Angi Kennedy, Richmond Hill, GA. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 26 Feb 2008 - Just click on "Bandwagon" on the navigation bar. Information on ordering back issues is at the bottom of the page. A Google search found Bob Snowden living in Sarasota, FL in August 2007. J. Griffin

    Reply: 27 Feb 2008 - I visited Chicos many times over the years and remember being most fascinated at what was billed as Gargantua's air conditioned cage/railcar. As a former organgrinder, I remember Chico's selling squirrel monkeys for $9.95 each. Altho I use capuchins to grind with, a pair of breeding squirrel monkeys today fetch $ 12,000.

    Reply: 09 Mar 2008 - The ex-gorilla cage at Snowden's Chico was the one built by Ringling-Barnum in 1941 for the female gorilla Toto. She was supposed to be Gargantua's mate but the two never bred. Her cage was a near duplicate of the one built in 1938 for Gargantua. That one is at the Circus World Museum, Baraboo, WI where it was fully restored. I am not sure just when the Chico place closed, but the gorilla cage was said to still be there, rusting away in the woods and undergrowth, as late as 1996. - Richard Reynolds

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2311. Jess Martin(ez), 25 Feb 2008 - My grandfather Jess Martin(ez) ran away to the circus abt 1910 age age 14 or 15 yrs old; he used to live in an orphanage in Whittier, CA. I am not sure what he did in the circus; he was a small slim man. Any info would be helpful. Esther Perez Martin, Fresno, CA. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2310. Walter L. Main, William Allen, 23 Feb 2008 - Hello, I am an historian researching the Walter L. Main Circus as it relates to showcasing a person named William Allen. Allen was the individual who discovered the Lindberg baby that was kidapped in 1932. Following the grisly discovery Allen was booked in Walter Main's circus to tell his story of finding the baby. State and local authorities eventually stopped the circus from featuring Allen. I am doing an article on Allen and would appreciate any photos or related documents that may exist among the papers of Walter L. Main. Please contact me at, Thank you, James E. Johnson, Ph.D., Clayton, NJ. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 24 Feb 2008 - Walter L. Main was a bonafide circus owner from Geneva, OH, but after selling his own circus in 1905 he reverted to primarily leasing his name to other showmen. That was the case in 1932, when it went to James Heron, and 1933, when Tom Gorman had it. I doubt that there's much in the way of surviving personal papers or business correspondence from these two motorized efforts. Both circuses were also re-named in mid season, the 1932 outfit to Bostock Wild Animal Circus and the 1933 operation to World Bros. Circus. Likely Main himself had nothing to do with the hiring of Allen. Your best bet will be to examine the circus news columns of the weekly trade paper, "The Billboard," for references to Mr. Allen's affiliation with the circus business. The magazine will also have the show routes and you could check the local newspapers for what may have been printed about the visit of the circus and the presence of Mr. Allen. There were a number of crime-related exhibitions on circuses and carnivals in that period, from Rasputin's daughter to relatives of Dillinger. Al Stencell's tribute to sideshows, "Seeing Is Believing," will provide you with background. It has a chapter about crime shows on midways. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 27 Feb 2008 - William Allen was supposed to be an attraction in the side-show of the Walter L. Main Circus in the spring of 1932, but according to an article in the June 13, 1932 issue of TIME magazine, he only made one appearance with Walter L. Main – and that was in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Local officials in Brockton, Quincy and Lowell, Mass evidently refused to issue the circus performance licenses unless his appearance was eliminated from the side show. There is no indication that he continued to travel with the circus after that, but the TIME magazine article makes that appear unlikely. Perhaps the TED BOWMAN ROUTE COLLECTION can give you the exact date that Walter L. Main was in New Bedford (and the other Massachusetts towns) in 1932. A check of the local newspapers on those dates MIGHT yield more information about the controversy. Chris Berry

    Reply: 29 Feb 2008 - For the 1932 season Walter L. Main played May 30 - New Bedford, Mass., May 31 - Fall River, Mass., June 1 - Newport, R.I., June 2 - Woonsocket, R.I., June 3 - Brockton, Mass., June 4 - Quincy, Mass., June 5 - Sunday, June 6 - Lynn, Mass., & June 7 - Lowell, Mass. Ted Bowman Route Collection

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2309. North Attleboro, MA 1933-34, 23 Feb 2008 - I am inquiring as to a circus that came throught North Attleboro Massachusetts around 1933-34? It was set up in my grandfather's backyard on Spruce St. Any information that you can give would be helpful. My mom was around 10 and remembers waking up to elephants and tents, but does not remember much else. Thank you. Judith Brissette, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 24 Feb 2008 - Your most accurate source of information is going to be the local newspapers. They are usually stored on microfilm at the local library. Simply scroll through them until you find any ads or notices of the circus coming. The ad will tell where the circus would be set-up for all to find. You can basically search from Mid-April to early October to save some time looking as this was an out doors show, the circus wouldn't be there if it was freezing cold. It would not be unheard of to find 2 or 3 circuses in your town in the same year, so you'll have to pay attention to where they played. Good Luck! Bob Cline

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2308. James McGarity Raftery, 17 Feb 2008 - I'm trying to find some information about the circus which my Great-great grandfather was involved with. His name was James McGarity Raftery. I have many photos of the circus and my family members at the circus. I believe it was a very prominent circus around 1920 which toured the Eastern Coast. I have photos of a high-wire act. I also have many other photos. One exhibit appears to have a sign that says ADRA. I know that one of the a Virginia Shows, Inc was associated with the circus as a sign shows Property of Virginia Shows, Inc. Then, I think it says Leased by Mark Schultz or something of the sort. Thanks, Robert. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 18 Feb 2008 - Your description sounds somewhat like the Sparks Circus, which for a time used a title "John H. Sparks Old Reliable Virginia Shows." The incorporated holding company may have utilized a name other than "Sparks." The firm used letterheads with the Virginia show title on it into the 1920s. Sparks was a railroad circus between the late 1890s and 1931. If any of the photographs depict circus parade wagons [vehicles with carvings], it should be a straight forward matter to identify the circus and also zero in on possible years of operation. You are welcome to e-mail a few selected photos [compressed files, please] to and I'll examine them for you.
          Some traveling carnivals had "back end" one ring circus operations. Looking at the title listing in Joe McKennon's "Pictorial History of the American Carnival" suggests two carnival possibilities: Virginia Amusement Company 1919-1935; and Virginia Exposition Shows 1923. I don't recall either of these being railroad shows. If there's only motor trucks and trailers in the photos, it's possibly one of these two. If there are wagons, it's likely a different railroad show. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 15 Oct 2014 - My mother – Eleanor Raftery Wolfe - is the daughter of James McGarity Raftery. She is age 92 today. I was named after my grandfather. I have information on the shows and news clippings. The individual who is looking for this would be a 2nd cousin to me whom I have never met. I do know his mother named Summer (last name Marshall I think) but they live in TX and I’m in NC. I did go see his grandfather named Buddy back in the early 90’s – probably before Rob was born. Buddy died a few years later. I would like to connect with Rob and share information and try to answer his questions. Obviously he has some precious items that I would like to see; especially the pictures. I have uploaded pictures to my Facebook page. His grandfather’s 1st wife died in 1934. He remarried and one of the pictures he has posted is of a picture of his second wife Carrie and her sister Lera. Carrie would have been his grandfather’s half sister. She died in December 1984 and is buried in Virginia. Thank you very much for helping us connect. Jimmy Wolfe

    Reply: 16 Oct 2014 - Virginia Shows, Inc. would have been the formal corporate name for the Raftery carnival, a motorized show. If you know the state in which it originated you can write the Secretary of State and request a copy of the incorporation papers. You’ll need to ask for “Virginia Shows Inc.” Some states have digitized these records and made them available online, others are still in hard copy only and will cost a few dollars to procure. McKennon’s book, “Pictorial History of the American Carnival” lists the show as active 1942-1950 as James M. Raftery Shows and in 1951 as Raftery and R&S Shows, likely a combination, in 1951.
        Billboard magazine, a weekly trade journal covering the outdoor show trade, is accessible for much of that time frame (starts in 1944) with key word searching on Google Books. Do an advanced search and enter “Billboard” as the title. Use search words in other fields to locate your specific interest. A quick search yielded 486 hits for the name Raftery. There were zero hits for “Mark Schultz,” so that name may be mis-read; it may well have been John H. Marks. Marks may have leased the equipment that formed the Raftery carnival. There were also no hits for Virginia Shows” or “Virginia Shows Inc.,” which isn’t surprising. Other Billboard issues for the 1930s and early 1940s are available on microfilm, via interlibrary loan, or online at ProQuest’s Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive, a paid service available in some larger libraries and historical societies.
        Jimmy Raftery’s obituary in Billboard, September 10, 1949, page 69, says he was with the John H. Marks Shows before forming Raftery Shows and also R&S Shows/Amusements; so there may have been two different units, or two names; further research will resolve the issue. His unexpected death at age 60 in Rockymount, VA on August 30, 1949 resulted in his show passing to his spouse; Carrie Raftery was named as the owner of Raftery Shows in 1951. Raftery was a tailor in Wilmington, NC before becoming a showman. The carnival was wintering in that city at the time of his death. He was survived by his widow, Carrie of Leland; and four daughters, names and cities of residence were given. There may some details to resolve on respective show ownerships and other facts concerning Raftery. Fred Dahlinger Jr., Curator of Circus History, “The Ringling,” John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

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2307. Lee Greer circus, 1906, 15 Feb 2008 - I have been researching the Campbell Bros. Circus prior to 1912 for a while now. One of the founding members, Lee Greer took out his own show in 1906 and then combined it back with Campbell Bros. in 1907. The Lee Greer Circus carried three elephants as evidenced by a Bill Green photo at the CWM Library. Robert Parkinson's book "Directory of American Circuses 1793 to 2000" confirms the shows existance. I've contacted a few people I had hoped might have a little something but we have all come up empty handed on this one. I've found nothing on ( which is a great source to use for you researchers and historians ) Would anyone have any piece of information about this show? Was it an existing show that was re-titled, built from the ground up, a wagon show, a railer, where was it based out of, etc. Any tidbit would be gratefully appreciated. Bob Cline. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 16 Feb 2008 - Lee Greer is listed as General Manager of the 1905 Campbell Bros. Circus, and he is listed as Manager of the Side Show in the Campbell Bros. 1910 route book. In 1912 he was listed as general supt. on the Campbell Circus. When the Campbell Bros. Circus closed in 1912 their property went to 'Bill Hall', and it may be there that the stock was purchased. Have you tried the Wm. P. Hall Papers in CWM? There was a Greer & Cannon Wild West and Trained Animal Show in Lancaster, Wisconsin July 3 1915. And in 1916 the Greer and Hatfield's Trained Animal Show had the July 5 date in Trenton, Nebraska cancelled, and an August 13 date in Claflin, Kansas matinee lost due to the show getting in late because of mud. (The 1912 Campbell Roster lists Fred Hatfield as manager of the show). Not much else to say. Ted Bowman Route Collection.

    Reply: 17 Feb 2008 - Thanks John! You provided a couple titles after the Campbell show closed that I was not aware of. Yes, I've been through the Hall papers twice but still no luck on the Greer show. I'm going to keep looking though. I'll be heading towards Nebraska in a few weeks if everything goes right. Bob

    Reply: 18 Feb 2008 - You might be chasing your tail on the "1906 Lee Greer circus." If the only item in the entire library bearing testimony to the existence of the title is Bill Green's title, that makes the identification, by name and/or date, suspect. The lack of documentation is a real Achilles heel for the lesser known entries in the Parkinson title listing, like Greer.
          I'd suggest looking through Orin King's extensive Kansas notes; perhaps the outfit made it out of Nebraska to Kansas? You can start that by examining his books and also the articles he published in "Bandwagon."
          The Wisconsin-based Greer was Joseph R. "Joe" Greer, 1883-1946, out of Bloomington, WI. There's a 1915 newspaper ad for Greer & Cannon's Wild West and Trained Animal Show, letterheads in 1920 and 1922 for Greer's Society Circus and Wild West, and in 1926 there was a Greer's Wild West Circus, located at Luna Park, Coney Island, according to a "Billboard" review. The partner was identified only as far as "Prof. Cannon." There was also mention of Joe Greer's Wild West in the Chindahl and Sigsbee files. You can see all of this in the Greer file in the documentation for the book "Badger State Showmen." Greer was included in Dean Jensen's book, but not Badger State Showmen since it was very unclear whether his enterprises really qualified as a bonafide circus. I don't recall any mention of owning elephants, but further searching might reveal something.
          Given the time frame of activity, maybe Bill Green was confused on which Greer and the date 1916, rather than 1906? John's posting of that 1916 Greer and Hatfield operation should cause some real questions. It would be interesting to determine if it was Lee or Joe Greer involved with Hatfield. 1906 was before the Panic and why Greer would have had elephants and such, if he was still connected to the Campbell operation, is very suspect.
          I found a tertiary note, without reference, to Greer & Hatfield opening a Cole Bros. overland outfit in 1915 on 20 wagons, 40 people, one elephant.
          Repositories in Grant County, WI may have additional data on Joe Greer [an application they generated some time ago stated he had a society circus in 1912].
          I'd suggest looking at the Chindahl note cards for Campbell, Greer and Hatfield. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 18 Feb 2008 - Thanks Fred. What little bit I have followed is based on the Jefferson County Historical Society / Levi Bloyd booklet on the Campbell Bros. which states that Lee Greer had his own little wagon show with three elephants on the road in 1906 and brought it back to Fairbury. It is documented that the Campbell show had 7 elephants in 1907. So far, all I've been able to document is them losing the three elephants in the 1904 fire, getting four more from Hagenbeck immediately, losing one on May 1, 1905 due to poor weather and a week's worth of indigestion, then 7 elephants in 1907. There is correspondence with Wm. P. Hall for a $2500.00 note in 1906. Although it doesn't state what it was for, Wm. P. Hall was selling elephants for about $2500.00 each back then. IF and that's only an IF, it was indeed another elephant that would bring them back up to four then adding the three from Lee Greer would make the seven elephants in 1907. That's only speculation right now, I know. So I continue to search with information provided by yourself and others. I certainly couldn't do this by myself. Many Thanks again. Bob

    Reply: 20 Feb 2008 - Dear Bob: Lee Greer filed a civil case against Campbell Brothers Consolidated Shows 26 August 1912. Here is the information:

    Civil Case 2234; Docket M143; Filed August 26, 1912, District Court, Jefferson Co., NE
    Lee Greer, Plaintiff Vs. Campbell Brothers Consolidated Shows.
          “That on or about the 10th day of January, 1910, the defendant Corporation entered into an oral contract with this plaintiff by the terms of which the plaintiff was to render his services and time and labor for the benefit of the said corporation and in addition thereto, was to and did rent and lease for purposes of performance three elephants. That he was to receive for his own service and the service of the three elephants for the said corporation the sum and amount of $70 per week, during the show season.”
          “The plaintiff further shows unto the Court that the plaintiff under and by virtue of the said terms and arrangements did perform the services as required by the terms of the said contract and the services of the said elephants in the performance in which the said corporation was engaged for the period of thirty weeks during the year 1910 and thirty four weeks during the year 1911, for which he was to receive under the terms of said contract, the sum and amount of $5480.00.”
          “That the plaintiff, during the year 1910 and 1911, received for such services and the use of the said elephants as aforesaid and as a part payment of the contract aforesaid, the sum and amount of $680.00. That there is now due and owing of and from the said defendant to this plaintiff on the said contract for the year 1910 and 1911, the sum and amount of $4800.00, with interest thereon at 7 c/o per annum from the first day of January, 1912.”
          This clearly states that Lee Greer was renting elephants, whether or not he did the same in 1906 is not cleared up. Richard Georgian

    Reply: 21 Feb 2008 - Thanks Richard. I have someone working the Jefferson County Courthouse records for me as we speak. I do know that a complete inventory of the show's belongings has been found including names of all animals. I'll be glad to pass any more info I find on to you if you want me to. Bob Cline

    Reply: 22 Feb 2008 - Richard, I didn't state that very clearly. A complete inventory of the 1912 Campbell Bros. Show has been found already. They are still looking for everything else. Bob

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2306. Grace Weed, 15 Feb 2008 - I am searching for information about one of my great Aunts. She, a family tale, which maybe just that, was kind of an adventurer and took up with a man from the Ringling brothers circus. Her name was Grace Weed. It is possible she went by Grace Wiig. Thank you for anything. Connie. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2305. Ringling Bros. clowns, 14 Feb 2008 - I have uncovered a set of medium format transparencies taken in Sarasota, FL in 1954, of several members of the Ringling Bros. clown troupe. The photos are paired images of each of the performers with and without their makeup. They were taken by my father for an article that was to appear in Ford Times (but was never published). The performers include, Emmett Kelly, Prince Paul Alpert, Gene Lewis, Carl Stephan, Charlie Bell, Paul Horomeo, Bill Hanlon, Frank Cromwell, Paul Jung and Walter Guice. I would appreciate any information on any of these men (except Kelly and Alpert). I am in the process of scanning and restoring the transparencies and would like to do a small POD photo book. Any information would be very helpful. Thank you. Michael Rainwater, Sammamish, WA, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 11 Aug 2008 - Frank Cromwell clowned on RBB&B in 1955, my first year on the show, and I've been trying (with little or no success) to find out more about him! Did he do an aerial act with his wife many years earlier? What did you find out about him? Please forward it to me, Chuck Burnes at (cburnes Thanks very much!

    Reply: 27 Sep 2008 - Michael, Will these photos be available to the public? I wold be interested. CFA member Bob Unterreiner, phone 847 358 5686, Palatine, Ill. Thank you, Bob Unterreiner

    Reply: 17 Feb 2009 - The photos have been scanned and most of them have been posted on the website. Search ‘rainwater’ to find all of them as Pat posted them over several days. Michael Rainwater

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2304 Announcement, 13 Feb 2008 - The History of Entertainment, part of Showzam! Blackpool's first 2 week festival of circus (February 16-24), magic and new variety. A series of talks by some of the most respected entertainers, producers and scholars in their fields. February 12-22, 2008.

Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside - Tony Liddington
The Music Hall in English Social Life, 1840-1914 - Dave Russell
Circus Families - Laci Endresz Snr and Maureen Endresz
Cavalcade of Fun: an illustrated overview of popular entertainment, 1850-1950 - Professor Vanessa Toulmin
Hocus Pocus: The Man Who Taught Daniel Radcliffe Magic - Paul Kieve
Side Slow Illusions - John Marshall

For information: Click on Shows & Events, then on History of Entertainment Talks and/or other events of interest.

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2303. Gooding Brothers, 13 Feb 2008 - I am looking for any information about Gooding Brothers circus that was going through the midwest in the late 40's and early 50's I think. I had a distant relative that travelled with this circus and would like to know more about it. Could you email me any information you have or contact me. Thank you. Beth Hart, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 14 Feb 2008 - Gooding Amusements was a giant motorized carnival operation owned and operated by Floyd Gooding of Columbus, Ohio. It wasn't a circus. Floyd's father and brother were also in the carnival and amusement park business in Ohio. Gooding had a very good reputation in the market for clean, family-oriented operations. It had an incredible number of rides and attractions and fielded multiple units in the Middle Atlantic area. You can find basic information in Joe McKennon's "Pictorial History of the American Carnival." Ask your local librarian to locate it for you, or do a Google search to locate a second hand copy for sale. Bob Goldsack printed an 11-page article about Gooding Amusements in his now defunct "Midway Journal Illustrated," May 2000, pages 35-45. Ask your librarian to obtain it, or try contacting Bob in Nashua, NH. His contact info is on this website. The Gooding firm also printed a booklet titled "Fifty Years Of Fun" (1948) that profiles the operation. Floyd passed away in 1972 and many of his top people are also now deceased. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 10 Sep 2008 - I wondered if Floyd’s brother’s name was “Arby” or “R. B.”. It was ARBY from Joe McKennon's book. I knew him. I have a pix of his wife Garnet on my parents wedding day June 15, 1927. The Goodings divorced sometime after WW2 and Garnet married Getty Pugh. I have a pix of Getty, also. Robert R. Rockwell,

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2302. Jimmy, clown, 12 Feb 2008 - Hello, my name is Annmarie Taylor (Maier), as far as I know my fathers first name is James (Jimmy). I don't know his last name. He worked for the O.C. Buck show, as far as I know he was a clown in the circus. He was with my mom for awhile. I don't know exactly how long. Her name is Donna Maier, she lived in Latham, ny at the time. From what I have heard he now lives in Florida. He also owns his own construction business. I have been looking for this man for a long time. My mom is not much help when it comes to this situation. She will not tell me anything about him. I want to let him know that he has a daughter and I have always thought about him and want to know if he knew about me. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 13 Feb 2008 - Hi, this is AnnMarie Taylor (Maier) again. I forgot to include some information in my first message so I decided to write this. My mom (Donna Maier) met my father in 1970 while he was with the O. C. Buck show in Latham, NY. I was born March 31, 1971. I was also told by my aunt that lived with us at the time that my dad used to send me letters and cards when I was a baby. When my husband and I lived in St. Petersburgh, Florida (between 1992-1993), I was told that my father contacted my mom to find out where in Florida we lived but apparently she lied to him. I am not sure how old my father was at the time but that doesn't matter. I just want to know who he is and ask him a few questions. Like I said I don't have a lot of information because my mom believes that I don't need to know who my father is but she is wrong. She told me after all these years that his first name is James (Jimmy) but she says that she doesn't remember his last name, I find that hard to believe. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am not sure if she even told me the right first name. If anyone has any information please let me know, or dad if by chance you are reading this please respond back to me. Did RBBB buy the O.C Buck show and if they did would they have kept the people that worked for them? My email address is Ann from Troy, NY

    Reply: 14 Feb 2008 - O. C. Buck Shows was operated by Oscar C. Buck from Troy NY. I believe this was a carnival not a circus. BJ

    Reply: 15 Feb 2008 - BJ, do you know if the O. C. Buck show was bought by RBBB? Also, would I be able to get any information about the people that worked for the O. C. Buck show? If so, how would I go about getting the information. I tried looking up the O. C. Buck show on the internet but did not get anything. I would really appreciate any info you could give me. Thanks for the help. Ann

    Reply: 17 Feb 2008 - The O.C. Buck Show was a Carnival. It was in operation from 1933 to 1969. It travelled by railroad from town to town. A Typical Carnival operation meant it played anywhere from Tuesday or Wednesday through Saturday or Sunday, tore down all the rides, games, and concessions and moved to the next town to set it all back up again for the next week. In answer to your last question, NO, the Ringling show did not buy the O.C. Buck show so No, none of those people went to Ringling unless they were hired individually. There is a Carnival Museum in Gibsonton, Florida where a lot of the showfolk stay during the winter months. Sorry, I can't help you with personnel. Good Luck. Bob Cline

    Reply: 18 Feb 2008 - The O. C. Buck Shows was started by O. C. Buck, Sr. (-1949) and then continued by his son, Oscar, Jr. (-1971). Oscar III never entered the business. It was a railroad show for only a brief period of its existence, in the 1950s. The show was an outgrowth of the elder' Buck's carousel construction business. It continued as a motorized show into the 1970s, with Roland Page becoming a full partner in 1976. The Buck-Page Exposition corporate offices were relocated from Troy, NY to Tampa, FL and the show quarters were established at the North Carolina-South Carolina District Fairgrounds in Monroe, NC. Buck-Page Exposition route and some rides were sold to Amusements of America in 1977. The majority of the rides went to Troy Williams of Charlotte, NC. Roland Page [wife Joan] was last known to be residing in Tampa, in ill health [2004]. That might be a place to start. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 19 Feb 2008 - I just want to thank everyone for all their help and I will use the info that everyone so kindly provided for me to try to further my search. If by chance I find my dad I will be forever grateful for all your help. Ann

    Reply: 24 Feb 2008 - I know when I was a kid in the late '60's we worked some dates where O.C. Buck had the midway in eastern New York, and I'm sure there are people who worked on the show in that era still around. You might try posting an information request on some of the carnival specific websites with discussion boards. and places like that. Ben Trumble

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2301. DeSoto shows, 12 Feb 2008 - Any one have information on my great grandfathers circus? It was called DeSoto shows. I believe he had worked for BBailey at one point then branched off into his own. He traveled California and Colorado. The circus was during the late 1800's(?). Any info would help or any info on how to search would be appreciated. You can respond to my email, michelle cabral, Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 17 Feb 2008 - Sorry, but I can't find a trace of this title for you. It wasn't found on and I tried several different names such as DeSoto Bros. or DeSoto Circus, etc. It is not listed in Robert Parkinson's "Directory of American Circuses 1793 to 2000". It is not listed in the Joe McKennon "A Pictorial History of the American Carnival, Volume II" either. That doesn't say it didn't exist. That just says it was under everyone's radar so to speak and hasn't been mentioned anywhere. If you have any idea where he lived during this time, that might be a good place to look in the local Library at the newspapers usually found on microfilm. You can try contacting the Circus World Museum Library in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Erin Foley is the archivist on duty. She has a couple lists of quick references that she could give you a yeah or a nay fairly soon. If you have a pretty good idea as to a time frame of its existance, you could try looking in the trade journals of the time such as the New York Clipper, Billboard, or Show World. The Billboard can be obtained with some luck through an interlibrary loan but I'm not sure about the others. Maybe this will help a little. Bob Cline

    Reply: 18 Feb 2008 - If you care to provide your great-grandfather's name(s) [real, stage, aliases if any] and a bit more specific information about him [birth, death, residence(s), occupation(s), internment] and anything further that you know about his show operation, some of the data might provide meaningful clues to his identity and activities. Fred Dahlinger

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