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Message Archive: Messages 3401 - 3450



3450. Aerial Lazellas, 28 Aug 2010 - My parents - Wilbur Richard Coleman LaZella and my mother Helen Louise and my sisters and brothers - Weegee (Phyllis), Miliicent (Deedo), Teddy and Mike were performers called the Aerial Lazellas. I have numerous flyers, articles pictures etc. of the act and many other things. What I am trying to find out: 1. does anyone out there have any recollection of them, any stories, memories etc. 2. What circuses did they perform with and during what years. 3. Does anyone have any pictures etc. of them. My father was a clown and trapeze with my mother - my sister worked on the ladder and the web - my brothers were clowns etc. and they had a trick acobatic house called THAT UNHAPPY FAMILY. Please respond to my email at withoutid4616@msn.com. Elizabeth LaZella. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3449. Lew Rich, Rolf's Circus, 26 Aug 2010 - I am researching a clown by the name of Lew Rich aka Bozo Kelly - he was a friend of my grandfather's - I found some Billboard articles referencing him from 1955 & 1956. I came across a couple of original clown paintings by him, remember meeting him in the early 70's (he was in a wheelchair at the time) and was wondering if anyone knew more of his history.
    Also, on a side note (history is strange) - I moved from CT, close to the Barnum Museum, to northern Illinois in 1982. My daughter's father's side of the family (in Wisconsin) also had a circus background - it was called Rolf's Circus and all I know is her grandparents were close friends with Gunther Gebel Williams (didn't even know who he was, just remember them talking about Gunther all the time). While plenty is available on him, can't seem to find out about the family circus and where the connection to Gunther came from. Any help appreciated, thanks! Terri. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 04 Sep 2010 - If you go on ebay and type in Barnum Festival, you will find a postcard of a clown looking at a statue of Barnum, this is Bozo Kelly. I don't know if he was ever with any circus. He was the head clown with the Barnum Festival in Bridgeport for many years. Bob Connor

    Reply: 07 Sep 2010 - Thank you, Bob - it is an interesting photo and one is mis-marked as Emmett Kelly. Reading the Billboard articles, I guess his great-grandfather was an associate of P.T. Barnum, which makes sense, then, if he was head clown for the Barnum Festival. As far as Rolf's Circus, Ringling in Florida suggested a book - "Badger State" something or other that lists all the shows from Wisconsin. I am moving and will not be able to check it out at the library any time soon - if anyone knows of the book and has a copy & could look it up for me - greatly appreciated! Thanks. Terri

    Reply: 24 Jan 2012 - I am Peggy Rich. My father was Charles Lucas rich. My grandfather was Lucas Rich aka Bozo Kelly. My grandfather made me a circus wagon toy box it was a lions cage and he also painted a portait of a tiger jumping thru a ring of fire. He lived in Milford, CT. My grandmothers name was Cora Rich. I have a portrait of Bozo in costume if you would like to see it. My email is phopkins4226@gmail.com

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3448. Jack and Bonnie Norman, 25 Aug 2010 - I am searching for information/photos of my great aunt and uncle named Jack and Bonnie Norman. I found a link to a message on google, but upon scanning down the entire page couldn't find the whole message/question from Norman Searna. He was asking about info on a "Edward Seago" and mentioned Bonnie's name as a performer trained by "Sweetpea". I'm thinking this could be my great aunt as she worked for James E. Strates show until her death. Apparently, after my great uncle, Jack Norman, passed away in the early or mid 80's, the folks who worked at the carnival (not sure if this was a defunct version of the Strates show or what) ransacked his trailer and either stole or disposed of all his belongings, including photos. This has left me trying to search for any information on them. Any guidance or help you could provide would be immensely appreciated. All the best, Nicole Dana, proud great niece. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 01 Oct 2010 - I can tell you, that Jack and Bonnie Norman, ran (were in charge of) Girl Shows on the Strates midwy for quite some time. Bob Goldsack wrote a book on the James E. Strates Shows. Perhaps they are mentioned in this book. Jim Elliott

    Reply: 27 Nov 2010 - I ended up with 6 or 7 boxes of material from Jack and Bonnie's home in Gibsonton a few years back. This find encouraged me to write the book: Girl Show -Into The Canvas World of Bump and Grind. The book is published by ECW PRESS, Toronto. Just Goggle it or my name.This will explain the business jack and Bonnie were in - in detail. In it you will find several photos of Jack and Bonnie and of their shows. I talked with a few performers that worked for them in researching the book. By going through the Billboard I pieced together's Jack history as he went from one show to another. Dancer Val Valentine was one of the few performers left that worked for Jack. Jack ended his career running the fun house on James E. Strates Shows.
        My late friend - magician, show drummer Roy Houston bought their home in Gibsonton. It is next to Ward Hall and Chris Christ's home. Jack had a large barn to one side and a shed outback built. The shed was the location for some very good show parties. Jack had just poured a cement walkway to it when along came giant Al Tomani and his foot print is in the walk. From what I understand - after Jack died the government took over the house and it was boarded up but people broke in and took stuff. During one of the Feb. trade shows, someone told me a chap was selling Jack's stuff at flea Tampa markets. I hunted the guy down and brought what he hadn't sold. Some of the photos I donated to the museum at the Gibsonton Club. Get the book. It will help you. Al Stencell

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3447. Masterson’s circus, 25 Aug 2010 - Does anyone have any information on a Masterson’s travelling circus which I understand toured America sometime around the early 1900’s. The story has persisted in my family that the Masterson’s owned a circus, but so far I‘ve not been able to find any information to validate this. All I know is that the Masterson family originated in Co Carlow in Ireland. Regards, Bob Coyle. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 25 Aug 2010 - Robert L. Parkinson's Directory of American Circuses lists a Masterson's Show for 1911, L. Topping, proprietor. J. Griffin.

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3446. Ms Kotoa Shimakura, 24 Aug 2010 - It seems as if this Japanese lady worked for Barnum and Bailey in London in the early 1900s as a magician. She died in London in 1902 and was described in hospital records as a widow. I would like to hear from anyone who has information on her or on her husband. Google suggests that there was a magican called "Shimakura" working in the Boston area in 1898. Regards, Peter, London UK. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3445. Flying Nelsons, Carl Meltzer, 21 Aug 2010 - Looking for any information on Carl Meltzer. According to his 2004 obituary in the New York Sun, Carl Meltzer joined The Fling Nelsons at the age of 15, which would make it in approximately 1923. and toured with them in the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. According to the obituary, " Meltzer recalled to a family friend how the fliers would signal each other during the act: 'One boy would shout in Italian, 'You have an ugly face!' and I would shout back in German, 'You are a nut!' and when we heard each other, we knew it was right. The obituary continues, "His circus career came to a nearly catastrophic end at Eau Clair, Wis., where Meltzer took up a dare to dive from an 80-foot tower into a tiny tank of water." After a muliti-faceted career, including vaudeville with "The Versatile Steppers, he founded a childrens' camp named Camp Chic-a-Lac near Liberty, NY which he operated from 1954 to 1965. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Bob Eber, email: chicalac@gmail.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3444. Mark David Pilger, 19 Aug 2010 - I would like to find all I can on Mark David Pilger Flying Trapeze The King of the air. He was a very close friend of mine in the early eighties. I knew him very well when he worked for Jim and Heidi, preforming at the Florida State Fair etc. From the Helicopter. We kind of lost track of each other through the years. I was trying to contact him when I found he past away September 13, 2008. He didn't live to far away from me. He was a true friend to me. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Pictures anything. Thank you so much, Nathan M. Williams. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 18 Jan 2014 - Mark grew up with my mother. I grew up calling him "Uncle Markie" and entering through the back gates of Circus World Museum in Baraboo, WI by the performer's trailers every single day of my youth to see him perform in the big top. My mother made all of his capes and costumes that he used in his performances here. Our lives were forever changed with his loss. We've been searching for items, pictures, and memories of Mark since he passed, as well. I would love to talk to a friend of Mark's and I'm sure it would be a great comfort to my mother too. April

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3443. Billy Barton, 17 Aug 2010 - I have been trying to research Billy Barton (my father's first cousin) and the cloud swing act that he performed. The pictures that I have found so far are not very good showing his act. I know that he died in 2005, but I have very little information about him other than he spent his whole life in the circus. I wish I had asked his father Lew Barton more questions about his and Billy's life but Uncle Lew died in 1970 and at age 24, I never thought much about extended family. Any help that anyone can give me or a direction that I might research would be helpful. Betty Waldron (betty613@gmail.com). Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 11 Sep 2010 - Betty, Billy Barton (Prince Najvez, Mister Sensation) wrote a column in the weekly publication Circus Report from 1973 to at least 1990. His column was circus news (people/circuses) and gossip, often with information about himself and his career. These back issues of Circus Report can be found at the Circus World Museum library and the Ringling Museum of the Circus. He his also mentioned in other articles in this publication. I believe there is more than one photo of Billy's act in Circus Report for these years. The publisher of Circus Report is Bill Biggerstaff. I don't know if they have back issues available. There is a photo of Billy on Buckles Blog, http://bucklesw.blogspot.com/2008/02/billy-barton-and-mae-west.html. Billy Barton was also the author of one or more books. J. Griffin

    Reply: 25 Nov 2010 - Hello Betty: Billy Barton was one of the best known performers of his generation. His cloud swing act was amazing and I had the pleasure of seeing him perform it many times over the years. He appeared with all of the major indoor shows over the years although his parents, your Uncle Lew, appeared on more modest shows during their career. His title of “Mr. Sensation” was given to him by Mae West after the first time she saw him perform, probably somewhere in or around Los Angeles. He was very proud of that and always had a great love and respect for the actress. I last saw Billy a few days before he died, as performance director on the Eastern unit of Jordan World Circus that was playing a Shrine Circus date in Duluth, MN. I asked him to autograph a circus book that I have been collecting autographs of performers in for years. He inscribed it, “To Neil, I’m still around after all these years. Billy Barton”, which is all the more poignant, since he would pass on his way from Duluth to the next city where the circus was to play. I remember when I walked up to ask him, he said, “Oh my God, You still remember me?” and I think he was most pleased when I related how wonderful and thrilling his act always was when I saw it. Billy was always a task master as a director and always demanded the most from each and every performer, but he would never ask anymore of anyone than he was willing to give 10 times over himself. His wardrobe (costumes) and rigging were always immaculate and extremely flashy, sometimes even over-the-top, but he was sensational as Mae West so rightfully pointed out early in his solo career. He was a perfectionist and often would complain about other performers in his column in Circus Report, which he always ended with, “See you down the road Luvs”. Billy wrote a detective novel, sometime in the early 1980’s I believe, entitled, “Past Murder Imperfect” and I have an extra copy that I would be more than happy to send to you. Later in his career when he stopped performing his cloud swing act, Billy appeared with a younger partner in a comedy spoof of the classic clown gag called the “washer women” that was billed as Blanche & Baby Jane, obviously the names taken from the movie, “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” I have several publicity photographs from Billy’s career in my collection that I will be happy to scan and e-mail to you, but in the meantime, please know that your relative was and still is a Circus Legend! – Neil Cockerline

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3442. Circus relatives, 17 Aug 2010 - Do you have any information about Dippy Diers or Dizzy? How about Loa Vivian Diers? Mars A Foreit? Mars Bennett? Maude Foley? They are relatives that were in the circus and I was looking up history. Thanks, Marcella (Foreit) Zinser. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3441. Chameleons, 17 Aug 2010 - What year(s) did some of the circus' sell live chameleons to be worn as a pin on ladies dresses? Lynda. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 18 Aug 2010 - There are numerous entries in Google for the sale of chameleons in the post-WWII era. A good article about the trade, Tom Parkinson's "Life Among Lizards Not Always Rosy," Billboard, January 5, 1957, pages 1 and 56, dates their first sale to 1905, with a presence on circuses by the early 1920s. The article is available on-line via Google Books. You will find past CHS query 2927 to be of further interest. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 18 Aug 2010 - Live Chameleons on a string tied to a safety pin were sold at Polack Bros in 1949. I’m not sure that the target was ladies for their dresses. I remember mostly parents buying them as pets for their children. RAG

    Reply: 19 Aug 2010 - RBBB also sold small turtles in boxes. I recall that specifically from 1942 when a girl who went to the show with us bought one. Her mother had given her $5 to spend and she used it all. That was extravagant. In 1942 $5 was worth $65 in today's dollars. RJR

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3440. Photos, 1850-1950, 17 Aug 2010 - Greetings, I am a fiction writer researching historic circus photos, specifically ones with ornate circus wagons. I'm looking for 3-5 photos from the 1850-1950 era that include circus performers, parades, big tents, animals - but most importantly include a recognizable circus wagon off to the side or in the background. These photos would be used in a "book trailer" - a brief 20-second online video to promote my upcoming short story publication (about a haunted circus wagon in modern times). The historical images would show a kind of prologue, as snapshots of circus culture for over a century beforehand. My publisher is small, and promotion being my responsibility, I wanted to show something of the rich circus history that has fascinated me in my research. If you have any photos to share, please contact me. - Andrew Fuller. my email is asfuller AT owlsoup DOT com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 12 Sep 2010 - Look for circuswagons at www.circusmuseum.nl/engH. Best-Otte

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3439. Wheeler Big Show, 16 Aug 2010 - Hi: I was looking for a photo for Wheeler Big Show for my town's newspaper to go along with the entry in our 100 years ago this month column the Wheeler Big Show and came across your site. I take it this might be of interest to you, it's from out September 16, 1910 paper. Michael.
    Flying Machine Coming. Professor Perriot and his wonderful aircraft “Skyscraper” will appear here in two sensational flights with the Wheeler Big Shows, which will exhibit here on September 27. Many other new and exclusive features have been added this season, including Wheeler’s Dancing Horses, Educated Ponies, Dogs and Mules, World’s Greatest High School Horses, Marvelous Troops of Acrobats and Aerialist, and a host of happy, mirth provoking clowns. Also enjoy a tremendous free spectacular street parade at noon. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3438. Windham NY, 16 Aug 2010 - Dear Sirs, Did the Great Amburgh Circus pass through Windham NY, perhaps known as Osbornville at the time? Possibly 1876? Did Barnum or any circus travel through this area prior to 1900? Or around that time? I am attempting a painting called The Circus comes to Windham NY and I would appreciate any information you can supply. Sincerely, Robert Cepale, art website: www.robcepaleart.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 17 Aug 2010 - The Van Amburgh Great Golden Menagerie only played in Windham, New York on October 23, 1876. Ted Bowman Circus Route Collection

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3437. Printing blocks, 14 Aug 2010 - Recently, I bought 4 "mastheads" (not sure if this is the right term - but the seller called them this believing they were used for graphics in publishing). I was told that they are the printing blocks for posters for circuses, carnivals, and amusement shows as well as billboards.
    They are maple boards - about 39" long and 8" wide and each has the name of a different show carved into it: Amusements of America, W. R. Geren Presents Mighty Hoosier State Shows, Groscurth's Blue Grass Shows, and a 2-sided sign: Side 1 reads: Cetlin & Wilson Shows and Side 2 reads: George Clyde Smith Shows.
    The seller explained that they were likely hand carved and hand routered as it was before the age of computers. The boards and the letters have a wash of blue ink on them which makes them really beautiful - and these seemed to speak to me just as the very old, hand made carnival punks I collect. However, unlike old fashioned printer's type blocks which has letters that are raised or stand higher than the rest of the block, the letters on these are carved into the board or recessed as a "negative" image. I guess ink could have been rolled over these boards, and then perhaps the poster paper or banners were placed on top-- but I am not even convinced that they were used to print show advertising.
    I can send pics if that would help. I'm hoping you could tell me what they were used for - and when they were used as well. Also, if you know the value for these, I'd be interested as I can't find anything like them online. If you don't know anything about these, could you refer me to someone else who might know? I so appreciate your time and am hoping you'll respond. Best, Diane. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 16 Aug 2010 - These are just what the seller told you. They were used at the top of posters to put a title on them. In your case the title would have white letters on a blue background, assuming they were printed on white paper. Read about letterpress printing at this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letterpress_printing. Regards, Dave

    Reply: 25 Oct 2010 - I don't know the monetary worth of the blocks but I am interested in buying the Groscurth's Blugrass Show block as it is part of my family history. My Grandfather Wilber Groscurth and his two brother's CC and Russell started the Bluegrass Shows. Could you please send me a picture of the block? charleyhardesty@gmail.com

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3436. Sautelle canal boat Circus, 13 Aug 2010 - Does anyone have any photos of the Sig Sautelle canal boat Circus from NY State? Don Kowell, Syracuse NY. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3435. Barnum 1897, 12 Aug 2010 - John Lincoln travelled to England 1896/7 with the circus. Does anyone know what his job was? Any help appreciated. Dave. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3434. Al G. Barnes train fire, 11 Aug 2010 - There was a train that caught on fire, carrying the horses of Al G. Barnes 12 horse Liberty Team. All horses parished in this fire. It happened in Nord, California, Butte County, near Chico, CA. sometime in the 1920's. I would like to know if I can find the exact date of this tragedy. Thanking you, Pat. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 12 Aug 2010 - The fire took place the evening of Sept.30/Oct. 1 1924 during a move from Chico, CA to Willows, CA. An account of this appears in an article written by Joe Bradbury for The White Tops Nov/Dec 1963 on page 13. Flint.

    Reply: 13 Aug 2010 - Pat, found this old newspaper clipping: Circus Horses Burn to Death - San Francisco, Oct.1, 1924 - Thirty high class horses of the Al G. Barnes circus were burned to death at Nord, Calif., today when the second section of the circus train caught fire. The animals were valued at $25,000. The fire was caused by the explosion of a lantern. Tom

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3433. William Murphy, 11 Aug 2010 - I have just found this website and it is so interesting, I wondered if anyone could help me find any information about my husbands Great Uncle. His name was William Thomas G Murphy he was born in Sheffield England in 1877, we believe he emigrated to Canada around 1900 and worked for a circus. Family folklore tells that him and his sons became a flying trapeze act around 1920 in Canada any information would be greatly appreciated. Lindsay. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3432. Garcienetti Family circus, 10 Aug 2010 - My great-grandmother, Amelia Finnotto, joined the circus in Milan, Italy. She met her husband, Emmanuel Garcia, who was in the circus in Madrid, Spain. This was around the late 1800's before Barnum joined with Bailey. They then had two sons and had a circus name of 'The Garcienetti Family'. Their act consisted of Amelia stacking her husband and two sons on her arms and shoulders like a pyramid. Any further information on them would be greatly appreciated, such as where the fairgrounds in Milan and Madrid were, etc. Thank you, Cathy Moran from Chicago, IL. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3431. William Milton Reed, 09 Aug 2010 - I am doing research on my family history and found that my GGGgrandfather William Milton Reed went with a traveling circus in or near Middlefield New York in the county of Otsego. All I really know is he died and was buried there. He was married to Martha Truax Reed and had one son. What I am hoping is that you have some record or information on him that can assist me in my search. You can reach me at this email address. I look forward to hearing from you about this matter. Thank you so much for you time. Katy, hasakate@juno.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Aug 2010 - Posting the birth and death dates of the person of interest is a fundamental step in starting any research on a person. They set forth a possible timing for their participation in the circus business. Do you have them for Mr. Reed? Have you checked census records or other local documentation for him? Was he a farmer, a man familiar with work horses?
        Otsego County is not too far south of Utica, NY, where Alexander Robinson (1812-1887) resided and sometimes quartered his circus (organized in 1861). There's a brief biography of him on this website, under Slout's "Olympians of the Sawdust Circle." You can navigate there by going to the home page and then to the History icon on the left margin. The entry was based in part on the New York Times of March 2, 1887, which is available on-line and also contains an inaccuracy or two. Further information on the Robinson family genealogy is in Richard E. Conover's book "Give 'Em a John Robinson."
        "Olympians" lists a William Reed as boss hostler (the man in charge of the "baggage stock," the work horses of the circus) for the John Robinson circus, 1866, 1871 and 1872, sources not given (possibly "New York Clipper" rosters?), but a check of the rosters in the back of Gil Robinson's book "Old Wagon Show Days" lists Aleck Reed in 1866, 1871, 1872 [A. Reed] and 1873. Whether they are one and the same person I don't know. Sometimes people were given nicknames based on their past life experiences. "Aleck" might be a derivative of Alexander; Alexander Robinson was listed as Aleck Robinson in the Robinson book rosters. Steve Albasing, a Ringling wardrobe man, was nicknamed "101 Heck," after having served on the Miller Bros. & Arlington 101 Ranch Wild West.
        It may also be pertinent that W. W. Cole wintered his circus in Utica, NY in the winter of 1881-1882, opening there in the spring. There's coverage of this in "The Ways of the Circus" and also Slout's "Chilly Billy."
        The above is not intended to limit the search or the possibilities of employment for your ancestor, but only to suggest two possible affiliations based upon the limited information provided. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 16 Aug 2010 - Thank you for that information but I see that William M. Reed died in 1849 in Middlefield NY. I do know that he was just released from NYS Penitentiary and thats about it. Anything else you can add to assist me would be appreciated or anyone else. Thank you, Cathleen J. Palmatier

    Reply: 17 Aug 2010 - Your best source for information on the circus before 1849 will be Stuart Thayer's book, "Annals of the American Circus 1793-1860." Perhaps you can obtain it via interlibrary loan. The index doesn't list your ancestor, but frankly few workingmen ever gained recognition beyond a place on the payroll list, unless they did something noteworthy, or bad. You might scan local newspapers, and also the routes listed in Thayer, to see which circuses and menageries may have come into the area. Often locals just tagged along to see the world or find cheap transportation elsewhere. After fulfilling their desire for wanderlust, they often returned home. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 25 Aug 2010 - Fred Dahlinger, Thank you very much for you time and information. Cross your fingers : ) Thanks again, Kate

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3430. Hoxie Bros Circus, 09 Aug 2010 - Hi, I was a billposter for Hoxie Bros Circus for 5 years during the 1970's. We travelled from our Sweetwater, Miami, winterquarters up the East Coast and back. There are cherished photo contact sheets, and newspaper articles in my possession that I'd like to donate somewhere effective. Is anyone able to put me in contact with an organization who would value these? Celia Guida, cguida@cox.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Aug 2010 - Greetings, There are certainly several Institutions of Academia and the Circus both that would cherish your collection. At the drop of a pin, I would suggest the Circus World Museum in Baraboo, Wisconsin or the Ringling Museums in Sarasota, FL, as both having great circus collections. Academically, I highly recommend the Illinois State University and their incredible Special Collections Division of the Milner Library. Princeton University has a good collection of Circus Posters on line for your viewing pleasure. I would aslo offer an alternative idea first. There are several people who have circus blogs that offer photos and stories of the circus for one and all on the internet to read, see, learn from and enjoy. Without a doubt, the most well seen blog is operated by legendary elephant trainer, Buckles Woodcock. I would ask you to consider allowing a Circus blog of your choice to post these items in your collection for the world to see before you kindly donate them to a final resting place. Sadly, with the huge Circus collections, many items don't get seen by many at all once they get in a Museum, Library or other holdings. Please visit Ken Young's website at www.kenyoung.net/circus.html to find a wide variety of circus blogs, Museums, and Circus related Associations. I hope this helps. Bob Cline

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3429. Elephant, Glasgow, 05 Aug 2010 - Re: Circus elephant in Glasgow around l941. Do you have information/photo's? GM. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3428. Linda Davis, Sky Kings, 03 Aug 2010 - In 1957, my sister, Linda Davis, was a member of Bill Atterbury's Sky Kings. At the Oklahoma City Bicentennial in 1957, a picture appeared in the newspaper of her on a small platform off the top of a building. Does anyone know where I might be able to find a copy of this picture? Moana L. Davis, La Mesa, California. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 05 Aug 2010 - You could try contacting the newspaper [the "Daily Oklahoman" was quoted in an Atterbury advertisement] that published the image, to determine if they retained the print in their photo "morgue." If the newspaper no longer exists, their photographic holdings may have passed to a local library or historical society. If it's a publicity still that was supplied by the booking agent or Atterbury, monitoring on-line auctions might be a possibility; more than one copy would likely exist. You might also contact dealers who sell such materials on-line or directly at their shops. Fairs that have maintained a photo archive, such as the Minnesota State Fair, might also have retained prints of acts at the fair. Atterbury was booked into St. Paul at least once.
        If you do a Google search for "Sky Kings" + Atterbury, one hit will be an Atterbury advertisement in the June 26, 1954 issue of "The Billboard," which includes an image of a double sway pole act. A hit for the May 27, 1957 issue doesn't list anyone named Linda, but she may have been part of an ensemble presentation. Bill Atterbury and partner Darrell Hornbeck were operating their Atterbury and Hornbeck Enterprises out of a 40-acre site at Springfield, MO at the time and had a Chicago agent, Ernie Young Agency, booking their acts. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 05 Oct 2011 - Hi: My Aunt Evie VanHumbeck was a performer in Sky Kings at the PNE 1957. I am trying to obtain a photo of her performing this act with her partner. Can you help? They did the performance on Sway Poles. Thanks, Lynne

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3427. Crawford Droege, 02 Aug 2010 - Henry H.and Susie C. Droege of Dunkirk NY had a son, Crawford H. Droege who was a clown with Downie Brothers Circus. Crawford was born ca. 1897. Henry was a cashier and then a banker in Dunkirk. He and his wife retired to Fredonia NY in 1924. Doug Shepard. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3426. Heinz Bros., Grace Burton, 01 Aug 2010 - Hi, I am looking for any information on the Heinz Bros. Show. I am looking for information on a show girl named Grace Burton. I think she worked for the Heinz Bros. Show in 1917. The show was possibly traveling in Illinois in 1917. Thanks in advance for any info, Kristi, crookedface@wildblue.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 03 Aug 2010 - Heinz Bros. wasn't a circus, unless it's one that's fallen through the cracks of history. There was a Heinz Bros. traveling carnival. McKennon's book "Pictorial History of the American Carnival" lists: Heinz & Beckman 1915; Ed Heinz 1916; and Heinz Bros. 1917-1929. It was a railroad show for at least part, if not all of its existence; in 1915 it was a fairly substantial 24 to 26-car operation. The status after Beckman went elsewhere is unknown to me. I don't recall seeing any significant writing about the show or its principals, other than long time showman Fred Beckman, who was profiled by McKennon in his Vol. II, pages 7-9.
        There are references to Heinz & Beckman in 1915 issues of the "New York Clipper," and probably the "Billboard." If you can obtain those journals for 1917 on microfilm, via interlibrary loan, they might provide further information about Grace Burton. Sometimes they printed show rosters and you may learn what Ms. Burton did from them. The journals also printed the show routes, which would confirm or refute the possible presence in Illinois.
        I know of no major repository of material on the Heinz operation. There is a piece or two of Heinz business correspondence, filed with the William P. Hall Papers in the Circus World Museum library, but they don't relate to ms. Burton and are from 1920. They may reveal the show winter quarters, and that might be a location to initiate a search for additional Heinz documentation, including information about Ed Heinz. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 05 Aug 2010 - Mr Dahlinger, I want to thank you for your reply. Wow, I am really excited about the information. I have a letter that was written by Grace Burton in 1917. She stated that she was a show girl in the Heinz Bros. Show. I am trying to confirm if this was her real name or a stage name. She gave up a baby for adoption in 1916. This letter was part of the correspondence with the adoptive parents. On the adoption deed she was widowed, then she stated her husband was looking for the baby to take it away. If that weren't enough she then claimed that she was divorced. She claimed the baby was born in Texas but all signs point to St Louis, MO. I think the only true statement was her association with the Heinz Bros. Show. If I can find some traces of her and confirm her claims that she was a show girl in the Heinz Bros. Show, then this will help me. Her biological grand-daughter has asked me to help find out what I can. Kristi

    Reply: 28 Feb 2013 - Hi my name is Haley Dressler and my great grandmother I do believe is Grace Burton's adopted daughter. She was born on dec 26, 1916 in Texas. The town was not disclosed on her birth certificate. She was adopted out of St. Louis, MO in March of 1917 by Floe and John Harrison. My great grandmother has several letters from Grace, stating she worked at a carnival. Her adopted name was Mildred Harrison and resided in Coulterville, IL until her recent passing in Nov 2011. We would like to get more information about Grace Burton and her family. My email is halez91@gmail.com

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3425. James W. Wohtowicz, 01 Aug 2010 - Dear Friends: Over ten years ago, James W. Wohtowicz authored an excellent book entitled "W. F. Cody - Buffalo Bill - Collector's Guide with values". At the time, we had communicated fairly regularly. Over the years I have misplaced his home address and email address. I have some information on BB that I believe he would be interested. Can someone help me with his address (RFSabia@widomaker.com) Thanks for your help. Best, Robert f. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3424. Alexander and Payne 1884, 31 Jul 2010 - Has anyone heard of Alexander and Payne 1883-84? I am tying to find out about them, billed in 1883 as comedians and skaters, but listed in the curcus/amusement section of a Jan 1884 paper. They said they were coming to USA for 1884 season. I believe Alexander's last name was Todd, but it listed him as Alec Payne, so I am trying to confirm it. He married Julia Stevens about 1883 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Any info would at least be a lead for me, and much appreciated. love_lucy. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 03 Aug 2010 - Lucy, A search of the Era theatrical newspaper, in the 19th Century British Library Newspapers Collection, will reveal various adverts/reports of these two appearing at provincial UK Music Halls etc. (If you live in the UK your local library should be able to help you, or point you in the right direction to gain free on-line access). Paul Griffiths

    Reply: 10 Apr 2011 - I have tried repeatedly to find this ERA paper online, using Google, and a UK library, (I'm here in the US) with no avail. Do you have any ideas how I can access it? Thanks for any guidance. love_lucy

    Reply: 12 Apr 2011 - Lucy, The Gale Group digitised the Collection. Go to www.gale.centage.com. Look for Product Centre and click on Product Sites - 19th Century British Library Newspapers is 2nd on the list. That is the product you need to navigate on to get to 'The Era'. For free access you will probably have to find a US library or Institution which is a subscriber to Gale Centage Learning and to this particular product? Paul Griffiths

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3423. Frank Gardner, 30 Jul 2010 - My grandfather"s name was Frank Gardner and supposed to have been in the circus. We have little info on him but do have a picture when he was in the circus, so if there are any pictures of Frank Gardner I could compare to see if it is really him. Elizabet. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 05 Aug 2010 - Posting the birth and death years, and the locales of residence of the Frank Gardner of interest to you may help to refine his identity. What is revealed in the photo of him reportedly taken on the circus? The most famous Frank A. Gardner (1855-1905) in the circus business was a rider and a proprietor. You can see an image of Frank Gardner on this website at: http://www.circushistory.org/History/BiosF.htm There's a biography there and also in Slout's Olympians, also on this website. Go to the history button on the home page and follow it. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 21 Sep 2010 - Although there may have been more than one Frank Gardner employed by an American circus, Frank “Cheerful” Gardner (1884-1952) was one of the best known elephant trainers of the early 20th Century. "Cheerful" was born in Janesville Wisconsin in 1884 and started working for the Ringling Bros Circus in 1903. In 1906 he worked in St. Louis at the Carl Hagenbeck Zoological Exposition and when circus owner Ben Wallace bought that exhibit the following year and started the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus, Cheerful Gardner stayed with the show, responsible for a herd of elephants which was one of the largest in the United States. Over the years "Cheerful" also was in charge of elephants for John Robinson, Sun Bros., Cole Bros. and other circuses. After leaving the Ringling organization in 1943 he continued working with various elephant herds until his death in 1952. Photographs of "Cheerful" Gardner often show him doing his well-known "pendulum" trick where his head is inserted in the mouth of an elephant as he is carried around the circus ring. Chris Berry

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3422. John Baptista Raso, 28 Jul 2010 - My grandfather John Baptista Raso was in the Oklahoma Bill's Wild West and Indian Congress in 1913. I found a letter in a box asking my grandfather to return for the 1914 season from Major Charles F. Rhodes, proprietor and manager. I am trying to find out more information. I have a trifold postcard, with the whole troupe. Please send me some information if possible or point me in the right direction. My e-mail is raso_bitkower @yahoo.com. Sincerely, Ellen Raso Bitkower. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 05 Aug 2010 - A roster for the 1914 Oklahoma Bill's Wild West can be found in "Billboard," March 28, 1914, page 49. Other issues of "Billboard" and New York Clipper" may contain further references to Mr. Raso. Rhodes (died 1932, age 58) had a long and interesting career in show business, most frequently associated with exposition attractions, but also including traveling shows, notably the 1910 Young Buffalo Wild West. If you trace his career, you might find additional references to your grandfather. Attraction contractors formed relationships with responsible performers and perhaps Rhodes employed your grandfather more than one time. There are brief rosters for Rhodes 1913 and 1914 ventures on the CHS website. Simply Google "Major C. F. Rhodes" and they will be listed. The 1914 operation may have been at Point Breeze Park, Philadelphia, all season. In 1915, Rhodes was at the San Francisco Pan Pacific Exposition, opening for the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch, and perhaps your grandfather followed him there. Fred Dahlinger

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3421. Steven's Great Australian Circus, 28 Jul 2010 - Wm O'Dale Stevens, (of Wm O'Dale Stevens Australian Circus,1883) of was born into a circus/vaudeville family. His mother was Elizabeth, and his father Henry Peter (HP) Stevens. HP died during a circus performance in Madagascar, aprox 1872, his wife Elizabeth accompanied his body that was shipped back to England. I have Googled and searched all Wm O'Dale articles and can not find the name of the circus his father may have been in. Except for one of the photos that I have has writing on the back that says "Steven's Great Australian Circus", but I kinda thought it meant O'Dales Circus, because the name was so similiar? Does anyone have info on where I can find the circus' that traveled to Madagascar in 1872? Has anyone heard of Steven's Great Australian Circus? I'll appreciate any leads or even a history lesson, lol. Thanks. love_lucy. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 05 Aug 2010 - There is the distinct possibility that Stevens wasn't with or operating a circus per se at the time, based upon earlier operations. He might have been appearing on a theater stage with other family members, and fellow traveling performers. A Google search turned up the Wellington, New Zealand, Independent for 19 December 1865. It carried an advertisement for Professor Stevens' English Troupe, which included Pablo Fanque and a seven-year old William O'Dale Stevens on the trapeze. "Professor Stevens's English Troupe" can also be found in 1866 New Zealand newspapers. Here's the website for New Zealand newspapers: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast
        There's a similar website for Australian newspapers: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper. An April 1865 entry exists for Stevens International Circus, so the man may have been using different venues and formats depending upon the time of year and locale. No hits popped up for either the father or the son, so some additional searching is mandated.
        Rationally, it would seem that an Australian or International-titled circus could have served as an identification for the troupe as they turned towards England. Thus, ascertaining the identity of the troupe while in Australia seems to be a logical step in your search. The 1883 "New York Clipper" obituary of William O'Dale Stevens, which presumably served to support a cameo biography in Slout's recent "Olympians of the Sawdust Circle" [both on this website, under "history" on the home page] suggest that the family went, in sequence, from Australia to Madagascar, where the elder Henry Peter Stevens reportedly passed away in 1872. The last mentioned information would seem to have originated with family members, at the time of the son's passing in 1883. Is there any external corroboration for the location and date?
        I would also suggest perusing the extensive recent works of Mark St. Leon concerning Australian circus history. At least one volume covers routes and another foreign troupes visiting the country. I would suspect that Mark knows of Stevens presence in Australia. Here's a link: http://www.pennygaff.com.au/market.html. You can contact Mark by going to the home page and then clicking on his name. I did check his earlier "Spangles and Sawdust, The Circus In Australia" for Stevens, without success. His inclusion may depend upon whether Stevens was in a circus, or only on stage, during his time in Australia.
        You might check also for Stevens coverage in "The Era," which is available on-line with key word searching at UK libraries. It may have reported on his activities and passing in Madagascar. I would also recommend consulting Dr. Turner's several biographical dictionaries of British circus personnel. Unfortunately, they contain no documentation. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 06 Aug 2010 - Hello, Professor Stevens with sons William O"Dale and Charles William were active in Australia and New Zealand 1865 and 1866. In Australia they are noted from February 1865 with W. H. Foley's Californian Circus before appearing with Cousins Oriental Circus (a theatre show). After this they were a stage show called Professor Stevens English Troupe, the same show arriving into New Zealand in November 1865. They stayed till June 1866 and played theatres except one short season as a tented show in Wellington during December 1865. Professor Stevens supposedly had appeared in England as a juggler and acrobat with Howe's and Austin's American Circus also the Alhambra Palace. His performances before Royalty are listed as Her Majesty Queen Victoria, The King of Prussia, King of the Belgians,King of the Netherlands and the Emperor of Austria. In December 1866, approx. six months after leaving New Zealand, in Victoria, Australia it was reported in the Hokitika Star that the youngest son Charles William Stevens had been killed instantly when he landed on his head instead of his feet,dislocating the vertebrae in his neck whilst performing a "risley" act. It was also reported that such was the horror of the event, Professor Stevens had been confined to an asylum as a dangerous and probably incurable lunatic. I have no other references following this item. William O"Dale Stevens returned to Australia and New Zealand with W.W. Cole's Circus 1880/81 with his wife Linda Jeal. John Sullivan. New Zealand.

    Reply: 27 Oct 2010 - I am so thankful for both replies above! I must say the information has me running around the room, lol, excited, as H.P. Stevens was my gg grandfather. As a historian you have provided me with many possibilities to further my research on him. I have newspaper article interviews from my Aunt Dallie (Todd/Julian/Ledgett/Andrews), and Uncle Alec (Todd), (H.P.'s grandchildren), that had also given H.P.s death year 1872, which also matched with what I had of Wm O'Dale (uncle) articles, (FultonHistory website/Clipper), but I still questioned the death year being accurate. Those articles stated HP died of a heart attack during a performance in Madagascar 1872. That may have sounded nicer than went looney?
        I recently ran across his 4th child Charles, and was completely taken by surprise. Nobody in the family ever mentioned him. Even all of the Wm O'Dale articles never mentioned Charles. However, H.P.'s daughter Julia Warren Steven's toured a season with PT Barnum in 1879 (same year as Wm O'Dale & Linda Jeal did), and the route book shows she was billed as "La Petit Julia", and there was mention of Master Cocoa as a jig dancer but it never listed his real name. I have family information that she was billed as "La Petit Julia and Master Coco" in old newspaper articles, now I suppose Charles could not have been "Coco", as he had died many years prior? Again, a million thanks for taking the time to respond. If anything else comes to mind I'm always checking in-and-out of this valuable site!

    Reply: 10 Apr 2011 - I looked up the bio of Wm O'Dale Stevens and highlighted this line below: "In this country he had traveled with John O'Brien's Show, John Murray's Circus on its trip to the West Indies when it was shipwrecked, Barnum's Show, and the London before it was consolidated with Barnum's. " Could anyone tell me the year and anything else about the shipwrecked John Murray's Circus trip to the West Indies? I'd like to find the route list that tells of the other performers if it is available, and any details. I'm looking for yet another younger brother of his named "Coco Stevens", who performed along with his sister Julia Stevens according the news articles I have found. Coco and Julia traveled with him on the Barnum show of 1879, also. I am so thankful to all who have answered questions for me in the past. I have been able to fill in the gaps due to many leads this site has given me. love_lucy

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3420. Harman Trio, 27 Jul 2010 - Hello Circus Historical Society, I have three pictures of a group called the Harman Trio. I have no information on them except for the fact that they were my Great Great Grandparents. I was trying to find out what circus they may have been with. I know my mom said they probably lived in Erie, Pa before they died and had a son named Robert Jay Harman which is my great grandfather. I have no date when my great grandfather was born, but his son Robert Harman was born in 1936 which I believe puts the pictures to the turn of the century. I have looked around a bit online but have found no records of them online as far as the name goes and thought I could ask the Circus Historical Society for help and see if you had any records of them or where I could look? Thanks, David Schlosser Jr. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3419. 4-Paw Hotel Collection, 27 Jul 2010 - Joe and Fannie Hayworth were former Cole Bros people and after that show closed they got into telephone promotions. In 1959 they were running phone rooms for the Cristiani show and I was on the advance when that show played westward to California. In some town along the way we ran into them and visited. After we had left town, my boss Elmer Kauffman commented that Fannie had inherited the "circus collection from the Forepaugh Hotel." Long afterward I got to thinking about this and asked a number of knowledgeable collectors about it but no one seemed to know a thing.
    Since the internet has come along I have found that the hotel was spelled "4-Paw" and was located in London, Kentucky. It had been the Stillwell until sometime during the 1930s or possibly early 1940s James and Elizabeth Shropshire, former circus people, bought it and changed the name to 4-Paw. They must have kept up their circus contacts as there were several mentions about them in the Billboard over the years. For instance Howard King and his wife visited with Elizabeth on Thanksgiving Day 1954 (James had managed the sideshow on King's 1928 Gentry Bros, where incidentally Joe Hayworth had been the fixer). James died some years before Elizabeth and she passed away May 16, 1959, just a couple of months prior to the conversation about Fannie inheriting the collection.
    Does anyone reading this know anything about this collection or what happened to it after Fannie died? Dave. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 21 Aug 2010 - Sorry, no update on the ultimate disposal of the "4-Paw Hotel" collection, but it might have been based upon the life-long gathering of materials by the Shropshires. Here's a run-down of their affiliations, based upon on-line Billboard issues and entries at Circus World Museum [Draper file and yellow tickets]. Fred Dahlinger

    James Shropshire

    c1883 born [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47]
    c1904 start in show business [Billboard, May 16, 1959, page 57]
    Year? With B. E. Wallace [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47]
    Year? With Sanger [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47]
    Year? With M. L. Clark [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47]
    Year? With Mighty Haag [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47]
    Year? With Yankee Robinson [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47]
    1917 LaTena, side show assistant manager, Punch and Judy [LaTena route book]
    1921 Howes Great London, side show, asst. manager [HGL route book]
    1923 Gentry Bros.-James Patterson, side show and annex manager [GB-JP route book, Billboard, December 8, 1923, page 81]
    1923? With World Bros. [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47]
    1924 Gentry Bros.-James Patterson, side show and annex manager [GB-JP route book, Billboard, January 10, 1925, page 74]
    1924 Gollmar Bros., late in season [Billboard, January 10, 1925, page 74]
    1925 Gentry Bros.-James Patterson, side show [Billboard, March 21, 1925, page 98; March 28, 1925, page 74; September 5, 1925, page 61]
    1925 Walter L. Main, side show manager [WLM route book]
    1926 Walter L. Main, side show manager [Billboard, March 20, 1926, page 211; August 7, 1926, page 62]
    1927 Walter L. Main, side show manager [Billboard, March 19, 1927, page 197; May 7, 1927, page 62]
    1928 Gentry Bros., side show manager [Billboard, March 24, 1928, page 174; May 5, 1928, page 13]
    1929 Gentry Bros., side show manager [Billboard, May 4, 1929, page 59]
    1930 Robbins Bros., side show manager [Billboard, May 31, 1930, page 112; May 10, 1930, page 82]
    1931 Robbins Bros., side show manager [Billboard, May 30, 1931, page 85; July 11, 1931, page 30]
    1933 Sam B. Dill, side show manager [Billboard, August 26, 1933, pages 50 and 53]
    Year? With Hagenbeck-Wallace [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47] 1930/1939? acquired the 4-Paw Hotel, London, KY [Billboard, May 16, 1959, page 57]
    1943 operating 4-Paw Hotel at London, KY [Billboard, November 6, 1943, page 39]
    1947 selling mechanical apparatus, pygmy elephants and leopard figures [Billboard, November 15, 1947, page 76]
    1948 operating 4-Paw Hotel at London, Kentucky, visited by Deacon Albright [Billboard, January 10, 1948, page 46]
    1948 died May 17, age 65, London, KY, burial in Maysville, KY [Billboard, June 5, 1948, page 47]

    Elizabeth [Mrs. James] Shropshire

    1921 Howes Great London, mind reader [[1921 HGL route book]
    1923 Gentry Bros.-James Patterson, side show and annex, psychic reader [GB-JP route book]
    1924 Gentry Bros.-James Patterson, side show and annex, mind reading [GB-JP route book]
    1953 Operating 4-Paw Hotel in London, KY, visited by Mrs. Howard King [Billboard, November 14, 1953, page 60]
    1954 Operating 4-Paw Hotel, London, KY, visited by Mr. and Mrs. Howard King [Billboard, December 11, 1954, page 65]
    1959 died May 16, London, KY, was in circus business 35 years with late husband, 20 years operating 4-Paw Hotel, buried in Maysville, KY [Billboard, May 16, 1959, page 57]

    Reply: 09 May 2013 - Eastern Kentucky University Special Collections & Archives just processed a collection donated by Mrs. James Shropshire that includes circus tickets, programs, photos, etc. Special Collections and Archives, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY

    Reply: 10 May 2013 - Eastern KY: Do you know how long the collection has been there and did the name Fanny Hayworth come up along the way? Thanks, Dave

    Reply: 10 May 2013 - Link to the collection: http://library-old.eku.edu/archon/index.php?p=collections/findingaid&id=278&q=&rootcontentid=78999

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3418. Circus Artist Damoo Dhotre, 27 Jul 2010 - I am doing Research on my great grandfather, late Damoo Dhotre life and in Circus World. As I check his Autobiography he had mentioned some names people from Circus World. If you have know of anyone of following please give details of that person or related person.

1) Alfread Court (Popular in Circus World)
2) Kane Jones (Press Reporter)
3) Captain Roman Praske (Animals farm House & Museum)
4) Mabel Starf (Animal Trainer)
5) Malewin Hildreth ( Circus Fan Association)
6) Robert Ringling (Circus, Sarasota)
7) Henry Ringling North (Ringling Brothers & Barnum Baily Circus)

Please help me for Research. Take Care! Thanks and Regards, Anand Dhotre. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3417. Ralph Swisher, 27 Jul 2010 - I am told by mother, that Ralph Swisher was a catcher with the Flying Behees. He was one of my father's best friends in Peru, Indiana. We called him Uncle Ralph. His wife was Phyllis and they had a daughter Carol Ann, I believe. They lived on East Main, two houses from my Grandparents, Aaron and Minnie Berger Mohler. If anyone has a picture they can share of Ralph and can verify that he was with the Flying Behees, please respond. Thank you, Elaine. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3416. Dallas, TX, 21 Jul 2010 - Have always loved the circus, but have never seen the unloading of the animals. Can you tell me when/where the train will be unloaded for the Dallas shows next week? Wayne Kendrick. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3415. Circus, Calcutta, 27 Jul 2010 - Does anyone know about the circus in Calcutta in the first decade of the 20th century? Abby. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 28 Aug 2010 - Circus Hagenbeck went to Calcutta. Search for “Calcutta” on http://www.circusmuseum.nl/eng

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3414. Darryl J Perry, 27 Jul 2010 - To whom it may concern, I'm currently trying to find information and perhaps obtain photographs of Darryl J Perry. He worked for Alberto's circus, adopted son of Albert Pery. He died under tragic circumstances in 1979. If you could be of assistance it would be greatly appreciated. Kind Regards, Lee. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 15 Oct 2011 - Hello I saw this post, I was in the same circus that Darryl was in, it was Perry Brothers Circus, and as far as I know he was murdered, shot as far as I know. Im not sure on the year, I hope this information helps in some way. B

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3413. Dunk tanks, 27 Jul 2010 - Hello, I am doing some research and was wondering if "dunk tanks" were used between 1820 - 1871 in California at any carnival or festival? Thanks, Chuck. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3412. Fay Romig, 19 Jul 2010 - I live in Los Angeles and have met an 88 year old woman living with her ailing dogs in a Toyata camper. Her name is Fay Romig. I take her water and ice several times a week and she shares stories and many pictures of the circus, also photos of her brother Ricky the clown. Irv Romig. Fascinating lady with lots of spirit. Dale Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 02 May 2012 - Dale, I believe Fay Romig's mother was Elizabeth Rooney who may be my great aunt. Am not sure if it's the same Elizabeth Rooney. Is Fay still alive? I wonder if her mother's parents were John & Mary of Baraboo, WI? MRogers Mary

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3411. Cole Bros. stakedriver, 18 Jul 2010 - I am the supt. of construction for the Circus Model Builders. I believe that most of the Cole Bros. circus wagons which remained in 1955 were stored at the Paul Kelly farm south of Peru, Indiana. In about 2003 Howard Holdsclaw bought a Cole Bros. three headed stakedriver at an auction. He restored the wagon and I drove a stake with it during a CHS convention at the Circus Hall of Fame in Peru, Indiana. I now have a plan of the wagon and photos which I plan to publish in the Little Circus Wagon, the magazine of the Circus Model Builders. I believe that this stakedriver was probably the last stakedriver Cole Bros. owned. The wagon is all steel except for the wood sides of the stake storage area. There also was a smaller wood spoked right rear wheel which was mounted in a pocket in the wagon so that the wagon could pass a stake driven by the right outside hammer. This stakedriver is similar to the one which was on Hagenbeck-Wallace. Does anyone have any history of this wagon which I could use as part of the information with the plan? Dick Britton. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 28 Jul 2010 - The history of circus stake drivers was covered in a three-part article in "Bandwagon." The first appeared in the Jan-Feb 1999 issue, the remaining two parts appearing within the year. The development of the triple hammer design is in the Bill Curtis section. You might also peruse Joe Bradbury's comprehensive series on the Cole show, and the 1938 Robbins outfit, for further details concerning that particular driver. Fred Dahlinger

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3410. Royal Bros. Circus, 17 Jul 2010 - My name is Bruce, I travelled with the Royal Bros. in the summer of 1971(not quite 16) and again in 1974 (not quite 20). Had the time of my life. Worked hard, loved it. When I was with the show in 1974 the film board of Canada, created a movie called High grass circus. Google the National Film Board Of Canada, request High Grass Circus, and (if you are a former employee) get a taste of what life was like back then. If you do watch the film and want to know what happened to Birf Steve and Bruce, I will tell you the tale. Stretch that canvas brothers. Regards Bruce. P.S. Anyone have any Royal Bros Circus posters? Sure would like to have one. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3409. Funeral, performers, 17 Jul 2010 - I’m curious about what sort of funeral services might be held for performers on the road in a turn-of-the-century show (early 1900s I mean) Was there a standard protocol or service? Would the burial be local? I’ve done a fair amount of searching and, except for the big 1903 train wreck, www.usgennet.org/usa/mi/county/shiawassee/circus.html, I can’t find any discussion of what happened when a performer died on the road. Thanks! Kate Rothwell in CT. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 18 Jul 2010 - Kate, not quite of the date you are looking for, neither is it quite 'on the road' but a fascinating account of the funeral of a lion keeper, in 1894, can be found by following this link. From my enquiries, I think that the choice of cemetery, in this case 'Odd Fellows', was purely arbitary!

    http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn94052989/1894-02-17/ed-1/seq-8/;words=Thieman+LIONS+Carlo+lion+lions

    Hope it may be of interest. Paul Griffiths

    Reply: 19 Jul 2010 - A death on the road of a performer or worker could mean an immediate burial if it was an accident, a hushed up burial at night if the person had a disease, or the local county or city coroner taking over depending on the situation. In many cases local contacts took over the funeral arrangements if the deceased was a Mason, etc., and in some cases the owner of the show paid the funeral expenses. You might try looking at the New York Times Index and put in the words 'circus funeral'. There was the Orton Circus railroad car fire in the 1880s when the bodies were buried together, a few cases where lightning struck the tent, and the Stowe Circus disaster on the Mississippi River where it took a week or more to recover the deceased. When D. R. Miller the owner of the Carson & Barnes Circus passed away his remains were placed in a mortuary until the end of the season when a funeral was held in Hugo, Oklahoma. It was held under the big top and there was a regular parade to Showman's Rest which is the part of the local cemetary dedicated to those who follow the circus during their life. JFP

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3408. Site for 2010 shows, 15 Jul 2010 - I searched a number of circus web sites trying to find the particular show’s schedule for the balance of the year so I might plan on where I can see a particular show. I was disappointed to see that many shows do not give a schedule beyond the current month. Is there some web site that might give schedules for a number of current circus’ show locations for the balance of 2010? Thanks. William H. Barnes. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 07 Aug 2010 - Hello William: Most traveling circuses do not publish their routes any farther in advance than two weeks at the most. The reasons for this are many, but the primary reason is that show owners and promoters are extremely competitive and most show owners are very protective of their routes. In some cases, shows have been known to discover another show’s route and will “jump ahead” of another show basically “stealing” their business. In the past, route “wars” have broken out between shows. When another show jumps ahead of an opposing show, they often times will tear down the other shows posters and some have even been known to paste over another show’s title with their own. Most of the general public doesn’t know the difference between one circus and another, so unscrupulous shows use this to their own advantage. Although this was quite common in the past, it still happens today, thus the secrecy of show routes. The only exception to this are the shows that are toured under the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey title by Feld Entertainment, Inc. There are now 3 completely different circuses that tour under the RBBB title throughout the USA and the Feld Organization that owns the shows does publish their routes for the entire year. These can be found on their web site www.ringling.com. Most Shrine Circuses also will post their dates months in advance, as these shows are scheduled well in advance and many appear annually around the same time of the year. You can do a web site search for Shrine Circus and there is a web site that lists most of the Shrine Circuses throughout any given year. This is about the best you can do as far as locating shows very far in advance. The other possibility is to contact any particular shows you may be interested in seeing and give them a specific date or location where you may be trying to see them and they may offer you one or two specific dates, but beyond this you’d be asking for the moon. The other possibility would be to purchase a subscription to the Circus Report magazine, which is published in Las Vegas, which comes out every other week with current route listings for most circuses. Once again, though, even Circus Report usually does not publish routes more than 2-3 weeks in advance at the request of the shows, show owners and promoters. Neil Cockerline

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3407. Date Whittington, 15 Jul 2010 - Looking for information on Date Whittington. My Husband's Grandfather rode the unicycle in 1944, His name was Date Whittington. He was from Hoopeston, IL. marilyn186. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3406. Garden Bros. Circus, 13 Jul 2010 - I am interested in information on the Garden Bros. Circus (Canada.) Is it still in business and who is running it now? Thank you, Maryellen. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3405. Buffalo Bill, Vienna 1906, 12 Jul 2010 - Buffalo Bill in Vienna in May-June 1906. Looking for any information concerning a portrait by Austrian painter Wilhelm Vita of a man with a large hat, moustache and goatee. The subject looks like Buffalo Bill. This portrait should be included in Buffalo Bill iconography. Please contact wwsnyder@ticino.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3404. Circus strong girl, 10 Jul 2010 - Anyone have any photos or information on this circus strong girl? see the following links for a photo of the girl:

www.worthpoint.com/pmimages/images1/1/0907/22/1_8c969b1710ee7193a2788a90941fb5e8.jpg

Or www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/circus-cc-performer-little-agnes-with-dumbells

I think (not sure) she was named "Little Agnes." She may have been a performer in a circus in France or Germany, not sure though. She did feats of strength around the years 1894 to 1915, feats of strength such as harness lifting a 400 lbs cannon, holding heavy barbells on her outstretched arms, lifting heavy round kettlebells and lifting several people off the ground at one time. She may have (not sure) worked in the circus Hucke. Please respond to FitnFunKatrina25@aol.com or respond on this board. Thank you. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3403. Rubberman, Tiny Tim 2, 10 Jul 2010 - Looking for information on two circus performers said to be buried in a Cedar Spring, Michigan cemetery, known as Rubberman and Tiny Tim 2. I don't have any further information on their lives or birth names. Bobb. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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3402. Reed Trio, Roger McGinnis, 10 Jul 2010 - My name is Jeanette Boger and I recently came across some very old photos of circus performers. The back of the photo is marked, The Reed Trio. That photo is of a young boy in full clown paint and costume, an older man in either boxing or trapeze outfit and a middle aged woman in clown garb as well. It is a wonderful photo and I would appreciate any information that anybody might have regarding the Reed Trio. The other large photo is of the same boy clown and says, "Roger McGinnis" on the back. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Jeanette. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 24 Mar 2011 - Bonjour, Je recherche un Joseph REED écuyer dans un Cirque "Le Grand Cirque Impérial "en FRANCE en I867, Le Cirque d'ETE en FRANCE en 1879. Avez-vous des renseignements sur cette personne? Un petit détail, je ne parle pas Anglais - Cordialement Jocelyne [Attempted translation: Hello, I want a groom in a Joseph Reed Show "Le Grand Cirque Imperial" in FRANCE in 1867, The Circus BEEN IN FRANCE in 1879. Do you have any information on this person. A small detail, I do not speak English - Regards Jocelyn]

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3401. Dickey Miniature Circus, 09 Jul 2010 - I was wondering if anyone would have any idea what to do with or who might me interested in a very large miniature circus. It has over 62,000 pieces and was hand carved in the early 1900's by my grandfather. It goes up as a real circus would and everything packs into the wagons like a full sized model. It is a detailed replica of the John Robinson Circus between 1916 and 1923. It is skillfully hand carved on a one inch to the foot scale and displays on a 76X14 foot platform. We believe it to be a beautiful and priceless collection of art and history. If you have a response to this posting please send to: lauradougherty@live.com or barbaradickey@hotmail.com. Thank you. *Note: I posted this about a year ago and was unaware that I had received responses as I thought they would come to me through e-mail. I didn't come back to the post until now! I apologize for not thanking those who offered advice or acknowledging those who responded at that time. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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