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Message Archive: Messages 2001 - 2050


2050. "Cookie" RBBB, 30 Aug 2007 - "Cookie" RBBB. Does anybody remember a "Cookie" who was RBBB in 1952? I tried the route book for that year, but nothing. Thanks, Ron Erday Sarasota, Fl. ronandstan@verizon.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2049. Ringling Bros. ticket, 30 Aug 2007 - I have and old Ringling Brothers ticket: 1911 says admit one boy is it worth keeping? Thank you, scotty parno Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2048. Circus troupe, early 1900s, 28 Aug 2007 - I am trying to find out the name of the circus troupe my grandmother was associated with in the early 1900s. I know that one member was a gymnast named Walter Horton and they were possibly called the Heathen Japs or ? Chinese. I know this a real long shot, but any information, no matter how small or how obscure, would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks. Gill Jones, gill@jones-31.freeserve.co.uk. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 13 Nov 2007 - I have received information that the circus troupe my gt. grandmother was associated with was called the Dezmonti Trio. I would be extremely grateful for anything regarding this trio. Many thanks Gill.

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2047. Anton and Cecelia Hehal circus owners, 28 Aug 2007 - Looking for info on my relatives who owned a circus in Petrzalka, Slovakia in 1920's & 30's I just found out after he died that my father grew up as part of a carnival or circus. It was situated on the banks of the Danube River in what is now known as Petrzalka, a suberb of Bratlislava. Back then it was called Engerau. My grandmother, Auguste Hehal and my grandfather, Stefan Rieger, ran the carnival. The circus was originally owned by Anton and Cecelia Hehal (my great grandparents) in the early 1900's. I am trying to find out details of that circus because I'm writing a biography of my father's life and wanted to include the details of living and working in a circus like that in the 1920's and 1930's. If anyone has any information or resources for me, I'd be most appreciative. - Thank you, Carla. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2046. Howard Y. Bary, 28 Aug 2007 - Please send me any information you may have regarding Howard Y. Bary. Here is information I have found on him, but would like to know more: Mr. Bary was a big game hunter who had connections with Clyde Beaty. Mr. Beatty used many of the animals Bary captured in his circus. Bary also, in his later year, was a "tub thumper" for the Barnum and Bailey Circus. He resided in Buckingham, Pennsylvania, until his death. I have been searching the web for his name with negative results. Would you please help me. I knew him and his wife, Agusta Bary, during my years as a child when our mother would take us to their home. I can remember all of the stuffed African animal trophies and his boa constricter, "Methusula," which he kept in a pen, located in a second floor room in their home. Looking to hear from you. Alan Nelson, REALDEAC@AOL.COM. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 01 Sep 2007 - Howard Y. Bary [not his real name], is best remembered for taking over the leased Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus in 1937 and operating it that season and also in 1938. It folded in California and was sold piecemeal by the Ringling interests, from whom the property had been obtained. Joe Bradbury wrote extensive stories about both annual tours in "White Tops" magazine. You can likely locate them in the WT index on this website. A couple of interesting articles about Bary's exploits were printed in the Milwaukee (WI) Journal's famous "Green Sheet" insert in the 1950s or 1960s. They provide some insight into his African exploits and other adventures. Bary was also involved with a traveling zoo housed in several railroad cars in 1950, the British American Zoo. It was last parked on a siding at Reading, PA and may have been scrapped there. A photo of the three cars is in "Show Trains of the 20th Century," page 80. The 3 x 5 note cards in the Tom Parkinson collection at the CWM library provide other insights on Bary's name and his earliest show affiliations. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 03 Sep 2007 - Mr Bary also worked press for the Beatty-Cole show for a few years in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Whitey

    Reply: 04 Sep 2007 - Can you tell me Howard Y. Bary's real name and if he is of Belgian extraction or not?
          Thank you for your response to my request for information for big game hunter, Howard Y. Bary. If you find out any more about him, please let me know ASAP. I did find out that his wife's name was "Agusta," and that she was from Texas. I remember her very much when she lived in Buckingham, PA. She and my mother, the late Lillian Nelson, were very good friends. As a child, I remember visiting Mrs. Bary's home, when our mother would take me, my brother and baby on walks there. I can still remember the strange smell in the home and the many stuffed African animal heads on the walls; a giraffe leg lamp and a stuffed elephant's foot stool with a red padded seat on it. Thanks again, Alan Nelson, realdeac@aol.com.

    Reply: 05 Sep 2007 - Howard Y. Bary was a circus proprietor and an agent for circuses owned by others. He was never a big game hunter in the sense of one who stalks and shoots or captures animals in the manner of Carl Akeley, John Lagard, Frank Buck and others. Bary did, however, make three trips to exotic lands to brings back attractions for the Ringling Circus. These were - (1) the so-called Giraffe-Neck women from Padaung, Burma (shown on the Ringling-Barnum circus in 1933) - (2) a group of African forest elephants and a trained giraffe that went to RBBB in 1936 - (3) another African forest elephant for RBBB in 1947. On that early '47 African trip he was commissioned by RBBB to get a number of other things but he failed - they were the saucer lipped women of the Sara tribe (the so-called "Ubangis"), an okapi, and some baby gorillas. There is no evidence I have seen that he caught and provided animals for Clyde Beatty. However, he did serve as press agent for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. circus in the early 1960s.

    There are a number of good biographical articles about Bary and his career. I would cite the following -
    * * * Kirk Bates, "Here's the Man Who Brought the Giraffe-Neck Women to America, Milw. Journal, Mar 7, 1940;
    * * * Kirk Bates, "Giraffe-Neck Girls Fell for Bary's Feed 'Em Good Plan," Milw. Journal, Mar 7, 1940 (2nd article, same issue);
    * * * Kirk Bates. "Bary Brought Bushy Haired Animal Hypnotist to Circus," Milw. Journal, Mar 8, 1940;
    * * * Kirk Bates, "Old Circus Man Plans a Zoo on Wheels," Milw. Journal, April 4, 1951;
    * * * Blanche Day, "The Guests Fly or Slither - The Barys of Buckingham have boarders ranging from a python to a bossy parrot," Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine, March 6, 1960,
    * * * Bill Hall, "Far -Off Lands With Strange Sounding Names Furnish Bary With Colossal Finds for Circus," The White Tops, Nov-Dec. 1966
    * * * Anonymous, "Howard Y. Bary" - - Obituary (Died December 20, 1966 at age 72) - - The White Tops, Jan-Feb, 1967.

    Two people with a lot of information about Bary are Robert Sabia, current President of the Circus Historical Society, and Henry Hayden of Norristown, PA. The last named knew and visited the Barys in Buckingham. If I had to summarize Bary's career, I would say that he thought big, talked ever bigger, but delivered a bit less. Richard Reynolds, RJR3RD@aol.com

    Reply: 05 Sep 2007 - Regarding Mr. Bary, for what ever reason, I was not aware that it was not his real name. When he died, it is my understanding that his wife was in the process of burning much of his collected items in his backyard. A circus fan from Norristown, PA came by and salvaged a fair number of collectibles including pygmy elephant ears, at least one giraffe tail, numerous photographs used on the British Zoo Train, some written material etc. About 15 years ago, I accessed the elephant ears, giraffe's tail, the photos and other material which I do not recall in specifics. Subsequently, I gave away the ears and tail, and some of the photographs (which were mounted). I believe that his house was on Rt 202 if memory serves and had two concrete lions at the entrance to his driveway. I have a fair amount of material on the British Zoo train as it is my intent to write an article for the Bandwagon on this misadventure. Mr. Bary worked for many years for the Ringling Show often in the capacity of a finder of sensational animals and or exhibits to be featured on the show. He also worked on the advance of the King/Cristiani circuses. Robert F

    Reply: 07 Sep 2007 - Thanks to all of you who have responded to my questions in paragraph #2046, regarding HOWARD Y. BARY. I am still seeking the following information:

    (1.) What was HOWARD Y. BARY's real name?
    (2.) Was HOWARD Y. BARY of Belgian extraction?
    (3.) Was HOWARD Y. BARY ever in the Belgian Congo to capture animals; if so, who authorized and financed his trip there?
    (4.) Did he ever write a book or are there any of his letters or manuscripts, if so, where are they filed?
    (5.) Is there any information regarding HOWARD Y. BARY in the Philadelphia Zoo, or any other Zoo archives?
    (6.) Did Mr. and Mrs. Bary have any children, or does anyone know about his or her relatives?

    If you have any of the above information I am seeking, please reply to me at: www.realdeac@aol.com (or) http://www.circushistory.org/Query.htm. Thank You again for your assistance. Alan Nelson (One who knew Mr.and Mrs. Howard Y. Bary in the days of my youth, in Buckingham, Pa.)

    Reply: 15 Jan 2008 - Howard Y. Bary's real name may have been Howard Yonkers. It needs to be verified that it's not simply another alias. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 25 Feb 2008 - I'm still seeking more in depth information on Howard Y. Bary.

    1. Does anybody know what his exact name was? Was he of Belgian extraction?
    2. Where was he born?
    Did he ever write any books? If so, what was the title(s)?
    4. Is there a recorded biography of his life?
    5. Does anyone know of Howard Y. Bary was involved with the 1939 New York World's Fair exhibits?

    Note: "Circus History" is a great, very informative web site. It's archives has helped me to find important information regarding Howard Y. Bary that I have been seeking for so many years. If anyone has more informatin about hism, other than what is listed in the archives, please let circus history know. Also you can contact me: Alan Nelson (REALDEAC@aol.com). Thank you.

    Reply: 26 Feb 2008 - In 1939 Bary filed a damage suit in New York, claiming Universal Studios used his copyrighted story, "A Circus Episode," the film used the basic themes, thoughts and ideas from his story. The film seemed to have been "You Can't Cheat an Honest Man." Oakland (CA) Tribune, April 3, 1939. When I checed newspaperarchives.com, there were 62 articles on Howard Y. Bary (advanced search, searched exact phrase: "Howard Y." Bary., the quotes are needed, otherwise the Y. is ignored. But also found an additional articles with just the words Howard Bary.) You may want to subscribe, there is an option for a short-term subscription.
          Have you done a Google Books search for Howard Y. Bary/Howard Bary? One item may have been authored by the Howard Y. Bary you are interested in. A copy at Illinois State University, Normal, IL. There were three additional items regarding Howard Y. Bary.
          1930 Census, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Roll: 2105; Page: 9B; Enumeration District: 634. Ancestry.com. Henrietta G(?) Bary, age 60, married at age 27, born PA, parents born PA, occupation none; Henry A. Bary, husband, age 60, married at age 27, born Russia, parents born Russia, Jewish, salesman, securities; Howard Y. Bary, son, age 34, married at age 25, born PA, father born Russia, mother born PA, occupation showman Circus; Augusta Bary, daughter-in-law [Howard's wife], age 33, married at age 25, born PA, parents born Germany, occupation none. Howard was also found in earlier censuses on Ancestry.com.
          There is a WWI Draft registration card for a Howard Yonkers Bary, Philadelphia, PA. Born July 30, 1896. On Ancestry.com, but the image was not available. You may be able to access Ancestry.com at your local library.
          There is a WWII draft card for a Howard Yonker Bary, resided at Buckingham, Bucks County, PA. Age 45, born Philadelphia July 3(?) 1896. Employed Amusement Conf(?) of America, Chicago, IL. He was age 45. Contact person listed was Mrs. Augusta Bary, Buckingham, PA. So seems to confirm the 1930 census was your Howard Y. Bary and his wife. There are five entries for the Howard Bary on passengers lists at Ancestry.com.
          Social security death index shows Howard died in December 1966 at Buckingham, PA. You can probably order his death certificate. I'd suggest you also try to contact a historical society for either Bucks County or Buckingham, PA. - Judy Griffin

    Reply: 07 Apr 2008 - Thank you for the reply you printed on your site, dated 26 Feb. 2008, regarding information on the late Howard Y. Bary of Buckingham, Pennsylvania. I viewed your site this evening. Sorry to say, I haven't viewed it since early February 2008. I will continue to research Mr. Bary's life, using the latest leads mentioned. Thank You, Deacon Alan Nelson. (One who knew Mr. and Mrs. Bary as a youngster, while residing in Buckingham) If you come up with any more info that will assist me in my research, please e-mail me at: www.realdeac@aol.com

    Reply: 03 Jul 2008 - Does anyone out there have any more information that is not listed in the "circus history" replies regarding the late Howard Y. Bary? Did he ever travel to the former Belgian Congo? If so, please respond to me, Deacon Alan Nelson at realdeac@aol.com or to circushistory@gmail.com. Thank you very much Circus History for running my requests on Mr. Bary and listing your readers' responses. With best regards, Alan Nelson

    Reply: 17 Jan 2009 - I just today posted a short article about Mr. Bary on our newspaper's website. I'm so happy to find all this information here! How amazing. A link to the article: blogs.phillyburbs.com/news/intelligencer/from-the-archives-24/ - Rayna

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2045. Performer death Greensboro, 27 Aug 2007 - I am trying to find information on a "circus girl" who was killed while performing in Greensboro NC in the late 1800's-early 1900's. She was buried in the First Presbyterian Church Cemetery in an unmarked grave. The cemetery is undergoing a preservation at this time and we are seeking information on this girl in hopes of finding her gravesite. Keith Osborn, gkeitho3@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2044. Dr J M Turner, 26 Aug 2007 - I was a friend of Dr J M Turner (1933-2007) who I believe was your librarian for some years. I wonder if you have got copies of any obituaries written about him. I fear I missed them. Please reply to Rod.Brunt@tiscali.co.uk. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2043. Lillian Kincaid, 26 Aug 2007 - My great aunt, Lillian Kincaid, was with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily Circus in the early 1900's. I don't know what named she performed under, but she was a trapeze artist. Her married name was Lillian Harvey. Do you have any information on her? Please e-mail me at Carolynglf@aol.com. Thank you for your assistance. I wish I had found out more about this when she was still alive. Carolyn Chancellor. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 12 Apr 2008 - I am working on my dance scrapbook and was looking through the Internet for information on Mrs. Lillian Harvey, who came to my home in Independence, Missouri, when I was only ten years old to give me private lessons in contortion acrobatics. I will ask my Mother what she remembers about Lillian Harvey. Carol Parker

    Reply: 17 June 2009 - Not only was she my great aunt but you are my long lost cousin. I have been trying to find you for the last 5 years or so. My mother lost your forwarding address when you moved and has been feeling awful about it ever since. Please send me your address. Laura Yolton, 11864 Haro Av, Downey, Ca. 90241

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2042. Gus the Great, 25 Aug 2007 - In April of this year, in a comment on this message board regarding the novel "Water for Elephants," Ole Whitey mentioned another circus novel called "Gus the Great" by Thomas Duncan. I am now reading this book and enjoying it immensely! An article I read on the Internet re: Gus the Great said it was a huge success for the author and was subsequently made into a movie. I can't seem to find out the name of the film (according to Imdb, it wasn't "Gus the Great.") Does anyone know if, indeed, Gus the Great was ever made into a movie - and if so, what was the name of the film. Many thanks, and a special thanks to Old Whitey for recommending the book! Rick Whelan (rickwhelan@sympatico.ca). Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 01 Sep 2007 - Many thanks, Rick. Glad you liked the book; it's a dandy and unlike the water book quite convincing as to accuracy. A number have written me privately to share my opinions of both books but for their own reasons didn't want to say so on the website. Regarding a Gus movie, I have also read that but I am certain this is not correct. It SHOULD be made into a movie even at this late date. Regards - Ole Whitey

    Reply: 09 Sep 2007 - An interesting question re: whether Gus the Great was ever made into a movie. I recently read a short article about author Thomas Duncan (who died in the '80s, I recall) that mentioned the book's huge commercial success, including a film. My guess is that the film rights were purchased on the strength of the book's popularity in the late 1940s but no movie materialized. It's commonplace for film rights to be purchased on best-selling books but getting films financed and produced is another matter. Agree with Ole Whitey that Gus would make for a dandy movie. It was good yarn then and it's a good yarn now. Paul Holley

    Reply: 12 Sep 2007 - FYI- Thomas Duncan also wrote another book about the circus entitled, “Ring Horse” that was published some time after “Gus the Great.” This second book is quite obscure and never met with the success of Duncan’s first book of the subject. Neil Cockerline

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2041. Maisie and Carrie Baker, 24 Aug 2007 - I am searching for information about Maisie Baker, nee Brown, and/or her daughter Carrie. Maisie, of course, was married to Pat Baker, one part of the famous horse riding act 'The Cumberlands'. I am trying to find this information for my Mother Ethel Green nee Brown, Maisie's sister. I believe Carrie married but I do not know her married name. We last heard of Maisie and her Mother, Florence, in the late 1960s when they lived at Nine Mile Drive Wokingham. I would really appreciate any information regarding the above as my Mother is 82 and would dearly love to know how Maisie and Carrie are. My email address is tony@tonygreen.plus.com (South Devon) England. Thank you very much, Tony Green. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2040. Frenchy Santier, clown, 24 Aug 2007 - I am looking for any information about my grandfather (Frenchy Santier). He worked for Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus as a Clown in the 1960's. He passed away in 1972. I am trying to find pictures or anything about him. Any help would be very apprciated. Thank you. Sandra Phelps. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2039. Bob Cimse, 24 Aug 2007 - Does anyone have any information about Bob Cimse and aerialsists and their motorcycle act? They performed at Crystal Beach, Ontario in July of 1947. Thanks, Bill Kae. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 04 Sep 2007 - I don't know about the Bob part, but Rudolph Cimse & his family did a 4 people Platform Motorcycle Act, the time frame sounds about right. Most people now remember them for several dog acts, the daughters worked a Collie Act, an act with Russian Wolfhounds, and more recently Rudolph worked an act with Pomerainians. The girls also did an act on a revolving double hoop, the name was The Sils Sisters. Some where along the way there was also a balancing act performed on the same rotating table used in the Pomerainian act. Bill Strong

    Reply: 27 June 2009 - I grew up (and still live) next to the home of Rudy Cimse and his daughter (her last name was Sils) in Hedding, NJ, a small village oustide of Bordentown. I used to wait for the school bus at the corner of their property and was always *the reason* for the swarm of barking dogs that roamed their yard. Early in the 1990s the daughter hired a local yard man to help clean out their garage and he was received 2 classic motorcycles out of the deal. One was an early (1920's I think) Norton which was quickly sold for about $6000. In the late 60s Rudy had walked over to our farm because he thought he heard someone yelling "Help!" and assumed someone was locked in the outhouse. Turns out it was one of our peacocks making its loud, but strange, pea bird calls. Dave

    Reply: 22 Jan 2013 - I have an original photograph in the form of a promotion for this act. It has in a circle the writing, "The Rob Cimse & Co Original" then words at the bottom "THE FLYING MOTORCYCLE." In the photo is a man with white shorts, white motorbike gloves, white boots, white helmet and some sort of wings on a bare chest. The photo also shows a showground with cars pre 1950 and the acts. Cheers. Greg, Australia.

    Reply: 17 Oct 2016 - An old postcard reads "Cimse's Russian Wolfhounds, Pomeranians. Old York Road, Bordentown, N.J." - Art

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2038. Boom-Boom Browning: Seeking information for a memoir, 23 Aug 2007 - Boom-Boom Browning, drummer and band leader, was my father and I'm hoping to find photos, programs, or articles featuring him. Also, if you knew him please let me know if you would be willing to be interviewed, either via email or by phone or in person. Thanks, Maggie Browning, maggiebrowning@mac.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 24 Aug 2007 - Try contacting George Hubler in Dayton, Ohio. He's a long time circus producer who hired Boom Boom for some engagements. Other producers, known to George and some fans, may be able to offer similar insights on his career. Back issues of "Circus Report" and the CFA magazine "White Tops" will also be a source of information about Boom Boom's engagements through the years. Googling "Boom Boom Browning" provided four hits, one a "White Tops" article and image [1988, 6, page 68]. You might also check with Charlie Conrad in Carmel, Indiana, an authority on circus music, bandleaders and musicians. Boom Boom's employment card for RBBB in 1952-1956 will be in the RBBB collection in the CWM library. Slingerland Drum went through various ownerships, I believe, and may now be part of Yamaha, with corporate records in different places, including Michigan and Japan. There may be some people retired from or still working with Beatty-Cole in the Deland, FL area, so you might try contacting their office. Members of the Showfolks of Sarasota might also recall working with him at various dates. Fred Dahlinger

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2037. Famous Finotto Troup, 23 Aug 2007 - My grandmother was a member of The Original Famous Finotto Troup in the early 1900's. My great grandmother was Mrs. Finotto and was considered a strong lady. My great grandmother would support about 1000 pounds on her shoulders, including 5 of her family members. Can you please help me find any information on their act. Thank you Alisa Dulak, Libertyville, Illinois. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2036. Souvenir 1881, 22 Aug 2007 - I am looking for information on a souvenir coin/medallion/pendant I found in my father’s coin bank. I don’t know where he got it, but it has been in amongst other coins for years, stored in a pirate chest bank. It is 2-sided, with a small ring for hanging; it is about an inch in diameter. One side: picture of Tom and Mrs. Thumb, says “Gen’l and Mrs. Tom Thumb, Souvenir 1881” Other side: P.T. Barnum’s Greatest Show on Earth, United with the Great London Circus.” What event is this from? How old is it (do I take the 1881 at face value, or did the date memorialize something? Was it sold or given away at the circus? Thanks, Lee McEnery. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 23 Aug 2007 - The famous Tom Thumb toured with a circus in just two years, 1855, with the Seth Howes show, and 1881, with the Barnum & London outfit. Unless your token is an outright fake or reproduction, it would have been made for that tour. Tokens were often sold as souvenirs, to supplement the subject's income. There are a few collectors who specialize in circus tokens. Max Kramer Goodall II in St. Albans, WV is one of them, but I doubt that he has e-mail. There is a standard volume available in some larger libraries concerning all types of commemorative coins and tokens. Look for Russell Rulau, "Standard Catalog of United States Tokens, 1700-1900." Your local librarian should be able to secure it on loan for you. Be advised that it does not include all circus tokens. It's possible that A. Morton Smith also contributed a story about circus tokens in his column for the defunct magazine "Hobbies." Coin authority Q. David Bowers has also written extensively about selected circus tokens. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 23 Aug 2007 - The Charles Strattons or "Tom Thumbs" were with the Barnum and London Circus in 1881 and these were probably sold by them on the show at the time. These medallions pop up on eBay from time to time. A nice piece of Tom Thumb memorabilia. Regards, Whitey

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2035. John Ringling North, 20 Aug 2007 - I am trying to located the letters and records of John Ringling North. If anyone knows where they are located, I would love to hear from you. Thanks, pete1853@insightbb.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2034. Smallest Lady, 20 Aug 2007 - I would like to have some information on the smallest lady in the world who performed with Anna Swan. Brenda Hogan. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2033. Alabama Winter Quarters, 20 Aug 2007 - I live near Cottonwood, Alabama which is sandwiched between Alabama, Florida and Georgia in the southeast. There is a story of a circus which wintered near hear eons ago and supposedly buried an elephant. Would there be any information about where circuses wintered anywhere in your archives? I would love to find out all about which circus and what they did while they were here. Thanks, Julia Smith. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 21 Aug 2007 - You're not far from Marianna, Florida here the Mighty Haag show used to winter. They had two elephant for many years named Tip and Alice. I know Alice died in Medora, Indiana, but Tip may have died at quarters and been buried there. Bob Cline - can you help? Whitey

    Reply: 22 Aug 2007 - As Dave Price already mentioned, the Mighty Haag Shows called Marianna, Fl. home for several years. Tip was mentioned, but Tip died in a nasty truck wreck near Ebensburg, PA. on July 16, 1937. They owned six different elephants that I'm aware of over the years. The only one I can't give you a final answer to is Babe. She was on the show from 1907 to 1927. After 1927, there's been no finding her again. It's possible she died in Marianna and is buried there. It's only speculation however. If you find a newspaper article or such, please be kind enough to share it with us. Bob Cline

    Reply: 01 Feb 2009 - The Dothan Progress, a weekly paper in Houston County, AL, printed an article in it's January 29, 2009 edition regarding an elephant buried there. Although the copy of the paper I received was missing the main portion which covered the elephant burial, there is a picture on page 4 of the paper which has a picture of the large limestone tombstone which ws pulled over the elephant, according to the article to "prevent wild animals from digging into the grave." The article further wrote that the tomb could be seen from Hwy 53, which runs North to South through this serene, peaceful town. Sorry for the small amount of info, but your info is right, there IS an elephant buried in the SE corner of Alabama. Ed Lewis, Dothan, AL

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2032. Hagenbeck Wallace wagon 46, 19 Aug 2007 - Hagenbeck Wallace wagon number 46 had a motif of Popeye and Olive with Popeye painting a picture on one side. Can any one tell us what was on the opposite side of the wagon? Or even a picture of the opposite side? Nedcircus@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2031. RBBB Longview, TX, 19 Aug 2007 - I'll never forget seeing the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Baily circus in Longview, Texas in 1937 or 1938. If anyone can tell me the date they played there I would greatly appreciate it. David Wilson, Matawadave@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 20 Aug 2007 - Have a date of Oct 3 1938 they played Tyler TX being that close to Longview it could have been the show you saw. NedCircus@aol.com

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2030. Historical Image Research, 18 Aug 2007 - I am seeking to date an image for the Lewiston (ID) Tribune. In the image, a poster for the Jones Bros Shows appears faintly. Do your archives contain any mention of the company appearing in Grangeville ID, c. 1914-1915. Thank you for whatever information you may be able to provide me. Steven Branting, Lewiston ID. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 19 Aug 2007 - You can rule out 1915 and 1916, the show didn't play Idaho those two seasons. The 1914 route is incomplete, but Idaho doesn't look like a possibility for that tour. The location suggests the possibility that the community was visited when Jones Bros. was a two-car outfit, not the larger flat car circus (1914-1917). The specific variation of the title might be a clue as to the year, as well as the featured topic. Try 1900-1904, 1906, 1910-1911 and other ownership in 1935. If there's a date tag on the litho, giving the month and date, and the day of the week, a check of the perpetual calendar would provide year candidates for further examination. The local newspapers could also be checked for advertisements. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 19 Aug 2007 - A quick check of Robert Parkinson's book the Directory of American Circuses, indicates that in 1914 the show was titled Jones Bros. and Wilson's Circus and in 1915 it was just Jones Bros. Circus. Both shows were owned by Elmer H. and J. Augustus Jones. Perhaps someone else can fill in an exact date for that town if possible. Bob Cline

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2029. High Diving Accident, 17 Aug 2007 - When I was a boy, sometime in the early to mid fifties, a circus came to Kansas City, Missouri and the performance was held at the Municipal Auditorium there. During a high diving act an accident occurred. The performers were diving into a tank made of sheet steel. The wall of this round tank was supported by eight steel cables that were attached around the circumference and attached to the ceiling of the arena. There was a tower situated next to the tank that had both a ladder and elevator leading up to the diving platform. The elevator was there to lift a horse that was to jump from the top with a rider on it's back. During the performance and as the horse was being elevated and about half way up the tower, two or three of the cables separated from the ceiling. The wall of the tank immediately ripped open as if it were made of paper. A wall of water came rolling down the arena floor like a tidal wave. One of the performers had just left the platform. He began flapping his arms as if to level out. There was probably only two or three feet of water under him, if that much, when he hit the floor. The tower, complete with horse and human performers, toppled over. I remember that the horse was killed, although I don't know if it was immediately. The lights went out and women were screaming. I remember seeing electrical sparks flickering and snapping in the dark. The circus audience was evacuated. When walking down the street beside the auditorium afterward, water and sawdust (which they used to cover circus floors in those days) was rushing out of the building and into the gutters. Does anyone else remember this incident? I saved the article from the Kansas City Star/Times for years but somewhere along the line, I've misplaced it. If anyone has knowledge of this incident, please respond. Bill Latta, Kansas City, Mo, kcbill43@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 22 Aug 2007 - Dear Bill, I would check with THE KANSAS CITY STAR/TIMES. Most big city papers have what they call the "Morgue", that is where they keep copies of their old papers. The may also have it on Micro Fish or now perhaps switched to CD's. Good luck. Sincerely, Erny Karoly

    Reply: 27 Jul 2010 - My new address is kcbill43@kc.rr.com

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2028. Barbara Leffler and William Sharp albinos, 17 Aug 2007 - I am looking for more info on Barbara Leffler and William Sharp (they were eventually married). Barbara and her brother Joseph were albino. They were in the show up in Baraboo near 1900, exact time frame not known. Thanks, Shannon. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 26 Aug 2007 - Barbara Leffler and William Sharp are my great grandparents. I personally don't know all that much about them, but have seen family and circus photos of Barbara and Joe. Shannon

    Reply: 01 Sep 2007 - These folks were with the Ringling side show in the 1890s. You might check the route books of that era. There are photographs of them therein and you might also check photos of the entire Ringling side show cast. Specific date entries can be found in the yellow ticket index in the Circus World Museum library. They later resided in Richland Center, WI at one time. You might check with the library or local historical society. Traveling show people often have a presence in local community archives. A quick check on Google confirmed various things; go to http://www.monticellowi.com/RichlandCo/leffler.htm. You can also find other data by Googling the names. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 17 Jun 2011 - Hi, Barbara Leffler who married William Sharp was the daughter of Alva C. Leffler and Elizabeth Oliver. They wrote that she was born 1877 on her grave stone but she is one year old on the 1880 census Washington twp. Blackford, Indiana where she was born. Her grandparents were Daniel Leffler and Elizabeth Townsend, 2nd great grandparents George Leffler and Elizabeth Foy, 3rd great grandparents Godlieb Leffler Jr. and Magdalena Fisher, 4th great grandparents Godlieb Leffler Sr. and Susanna unk. who lived in Northumberland, Pa. I am looking for her obituary if anyone has it. Louise Rock

    Reply: 18 Aug 2012 - They were my my great great great grandpas' brother and sister. My grandma has a lot of pics and info about them if you guys are interested. Sammantha

    Reply: 23 Sep 2012 - Barbara Leffler Sharp was my Great Grandmother and I am trying to find out anything I can about her life and family still surviving. Andrea, brelin5011@gmail.com

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2027. Edward Levi Lightfoot, 16 Aug 2007 - I am looking for information on Edward Levi Lightfoot. Any info is appreciated. Thank you, jacqui bishop. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2026. Shorty Hinkle, 16 Aug 2007 - Does anyone know the last name of Shorty Hinkle's wife Billy ( Wilhilamina)? Or anything about her? Twilia. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 13 Oct 2007 - Do you know if Shorty Hinckle worked as a rodeo clown in the late 1930's and 1940's? I faintly remember a Shorty Hinckle who worked for my uncle's X-X Ranch Rodeo about those dates. Jim Mougey (bigcage@hotmail.com)

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2025. Elephant seal, 15 Aug 2007 - Looking for information on the Elephant seal. Have pictures of it on a wagon but where did it travel? Did it have a separate wagon? Was it displayed in the menagerie? And were was it when it was on the train? Have had someone ask me this and it has sparked an interest of my own. Nedcircus@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 16 Aug 2007 - Try a search on Goliath the sea elephant. Time magazine reported in its April 18, 1932 issue that there had been two of them, both owned and exhibited by Ringling:
          "Sick Star. Last year's Circus premiere was saddened by the absence of Lillian Leitzel, famed trapezist who was killed in Copenhagen (TIME, Feb. 23, 1931). This year's absentee was Goliath II, the 5,000-Ib. sea-elephant who, with his friend Goliath I, brought the lower animals back into their own at a time when they were threatened with being eclipsed by aerialists, acrobats and human freaks. Circus-man Ringling bought the two Goliaths in Hamburg four years ago, exhibited the larger and elder until he died, then brought forth his understudy, who by then weighed some 4.000 lb. and was getting his growth. For two seasons spectators gaped at Goliath II as he was carried around the arena in a motor truck, snorting like thunder, gulping fat herring by the barrel."
          Don’t have my copy handy, but The Circus Moves By Rail mentions the special car, which I also found at http://www.trainweb.org/circus/train_equipment.htm#STOCK%20CARS
          "Goliath" Car - In 1928, Ringling featured a sea elephant, named Goliath. The previous year, the Warren company had built Ringling a modified stock car for a white elephant which had been exhibited in 1927. This car had an off-center dividing wall which divided the car into a short and long end. In 1928, Ringling installed a large water tank in the short end of the car for Goliath, and filled the long end of the car with regular elephants. When Goliath was returned to the car each day, his specially built flatbed wagon was backed up to an extra door on this customized stockcar and Goliath would enter his private compartment. This specially modified car presented problems during transportation since the sloshing of Goliath in the tank and the movement of the water would cause the car to sway and frequently derail. This car was on the Ringling circus train for four years and traveled a fifth year with the Ringling owned Sells-Floto Circus train.
          Not sure how he was shown in the menagerie — the only wagon I'm aware of was the flatbed as mentioned above, offered for some years as a kit by Circus Craft and referred to as the “Goliath Wagon.” I think he/they also rode on this in parade or spec. Lance Burton

    Reply: 17 Aug 2007 - Thanks Lance. Nedcircus@aol.com

    Reply: 17 Aug 2007 - There are two separate species in the elephant seal (often referred to as "sea elephant"), the northern and the southern. Both species have been on public exhibit in circuses and zoos, world-wide. In published accounts, it is therefore recommendable to clarify which species, for more accuracy and authenticity. I am sure that Richard Reynolds, et al. will shed a light on this subject. Ken Kawata, buteo007@aol.com

    Reply: 17 Aug 2007 - The 1927 white elephant car was no. 33 and it carried the white elephant in the short end and a bunch of zebras in the long part. John Ringling bought a herd of new zebras for 1927. You can see from the photos that the long part is designed for hoofed stock. When the elephant left the show after that season, the car continued to haul zebras through at least 1936. IT WAS NEVER USED FOR THE SEA ELEPHANT. You can put that down as gospel. The sea elephant was in a new car built in 1928, no 34. Both Nos 33 and 34 rode on the third section hooked to one another. There is photographic proof. Additionally the official loading orders show them to have been different cars. The sea elephant car was much different in design, not least the position of the doors. When RBBB sent the sea elephant to Sells Floto for the 1932 season it used no. 34. It was used next by Hagenbeck Wallace to take the sea elephant to Chicago for the 1933 opener. It was returned to Peru and then the animal went to Cincinnati zoo. Thereafter, the sea elephant car was in the Hagenbeck-Wallace train (sans seal) with some modifications. It wound up in California when H-W crashed out there in 1938. The myth about the sea elephant going into the white elephant car seems to have originated with the late circus equipment connoisseur, Gordon Potter. He once wrote me both animals used the same car. Most of the item Gordon was correct but on this one he was dead wrong. Fox-Parkinson just parroted the Potter error. Incidentally, current taxonomy does not call the animal "sea elephant." No, it is the "elephant seal" which is more accurate. There are two forms, the southern from the waters near Antarctica and the northern off California. The Ringling animals were of the southern subspecies. Both were obtained from the Hagenbeck animal firm. The first one was "Goliath." He made the 1928 and 1929 tours whereafter he died. They had a backup named "Colossus' and it was he who did 1930 and '31 with RBBB and 1932 with Sells Floto. Colossus was always advertised as Goliath. I get the impression he was not as impressive looking as the original. Richard J. Reynolds III

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2024. White family, 15 Aug 2007 - What a great website! I have found many interesting items here about my GGG Grandfather, Alasco Charles White, and his son, Charles Henry White, both of whom worked for Barnum and Thayer & Noyes in the 1860s-1880s. We have a small number of photos of these men, and a family history of their involvement in the circus world, but I am always looking for more. I found reference to two additional articles from the Bandwagon issues of October 1945 (pg. 9) and November/December 1948 (pg. 7). Can anyone provide me with a transcript of these articles, or with any additional information on these men? Thank you all very much for your time and assistance, Kip A. Lindberg. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Apr 2008 - I am interested in sharing information. My husband's ancestor Anna Matchett Donovan White was married to Alasco Charles White. Linda White, lwhite@starband.net

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2023. King of Babylon Royal Chariot, 14 Aug 2007 - King of Babylon Royal Chariot on Barnum and Bailey 1903. Does any one have any pictures or details on this wagon? I would like to try an construct one in 1/16 scale. I am a member of the Circus Model Builders of America. Looking for close ups of any parts of this wagon or undergear. A top view, bottom view, end views or any pictures would be appreciated. I would be happy to pay for them. Regards, Don Doerner, Waterloo, Ontario, dondoerner@sympatico.ca. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 15 Aug 2007 - There is a 1903 Glasier photo of the wagon on page 39 of the Fox and Kelley book "The Great Circus Street Parade in Pictures." The CWM library has numerous photos in coverage of the 1903-1904 and later B&B parades through 1918. In the 1910s, when Ned Brill had the B&B band, the wagon body was painted a lighter color and a true novelty, a ladies band accompanied by an air calliope, rode the wagon in parade. The 1903-1904 parade vehicles are covered to some degree in Fred Fried's book "Artists in Wood" and by a "Bandwagon" article by Greg Parkinson [check the article index on this website]. The former doesn't include an image of the wagon. The latter is based around an actual 1904 film of the B&B parade and you might be able to borrow a copy of it from CWM. Fred Dahlinger

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2022. The Plessons, trapeze, 14 Aug 2007 - I am seaching for information and pictures from the trapeze act "The Plessons." They were active in the circus around 1920 I guess. They were three brother and one niece, they were from Amsterdam The Netherlands. My grandma always talked about them but I have never seen them. I hope to find a clue on the internet! Hope you all know or have heard about them. Greetings, Ida Beekman. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Dec 2007 - Was this their actual name? Do you know what circus they were in? Natasha Gerson

    Reply: 06 Feb 2008 - Goede morgen, Excuseer, dat ik geen engels spreek! Reactie op The Plessons: Er moet in mijn familie nog een foto zijn van the Plessons, die dateert echter van een latere datum. Eén van The Plessons (waarschijnlijk Willem Ples) was getrouwd met mijn oma. Deze vader Ples (uit Amsterdam) trad op als trapezewerkers in het circus, met zijn 2 dochters: Wil en Sjaan (beiden nog in leven, ca. 80jr, wonende in Nederland) Ik weet niet of er nog andere foto’s bestaan (bij de tante’s?). Misschien heeft u iets aan deze kennis! Met vriendelijke groet, J. Pilkes, joke.pilkes@facta.nl

    From webmaster, Babel Fish translation: Good tomorrow, excuse, that I speak none English! Response to The Plessons: There must be in my family still a photograph of the Plessons, which dates however of a later date. One of The Plessons (probable Willem Ples) had married with my granny. This father Ples (from Amsterdam) acted as trapezewerkers in the circus, with its 2 yet-delicate: And I want Sjaan (both still in life, approx. 80jr, living in the Netherlands) exist weet not or there photograph still other (at the tante's?). Perhaps you have something to this knowledge! Kind regards, J. Pilkes, joke.pilkes@facta.nl

    Reply: 08 Feb 2008 - Reply to 06 feb.2008: One member of The Plessons probably Willem Ples, had 2 daugthers (still alive), Whith them he had a trapeze-act and there still must be a photograph of them. Joke Pilkes

    Reply: 29 Oct 2011 - Hallo Ida, Ik ben ook op zoek naar gegevens van de heren...als zij het zijn ik weet bij wie ik moet zijn. Maar ik weet niet zeker of The Plessons mijn familie is! kunt u mij vertellen hoe deze broers heten? Met vriendelijke groeten, Marco Knies [translation: I am also looking for data on the men, if they are I know who I should be. But I'm not sure if The Plessons my family! can you tell me how these brothers names? Sincerely, Marco Knies]

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2021. Herbert Worboys, 14 Aug 2007 - I am attempting to solve the great mystery of my grandfathers busy, well traveled life, all I have is small bits of information but so far things have assembled well but I am missing the time spent in SOUTH AFRICA, between 1892 and his joining up for the Boer War in 1901. He was supposed to have been a trick rider in a circus, a very good trick rider, he would have been between 13 and 20 yrs of age, his name was HERBERT WORBOYS, but preferred to be called HENRY, the name on his army records, many who knew him called him HARRY and he even later called himself ALBERT GEORGE. He traveled widely around SA with an uncle (lets say an older male relative) whose surname could have been WORBOYS or NEWLAND or LEE, His great grandmother's name was WHITEHEAD a name common in SA and I have never found any RODGERS in the family tree despite my uncle's conviction that they were related. Help please - Elizabeth Leris, e.leris@austarnet.com.au. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2020. Circus clowns 1962, 13 Aug 2007 - I have just finished "Water for Elephants" and started remembering that my father, Robert J McMahon (Newport News, VA) was a serious circus buff and amateur circus photographer in the 60's. I have a few of his pictures of clowns taken in 1962 and would like to identify them. Is there a book or site where I can identify famous clowns of that era as I have no names, only dates of 1962. My father went on the road with his friend John Yancey's miniature circus exhibit in the 60's in the Va/NC area for at least a year. He photographed the circus on his Yearly trips to Sarasota and when the circus came to VA.
      One more question. I have a photograph of his friend who was a "Chaplin" of sorts to the circus. I think. The identifier is Mills Brother Circus, 1960 Rev Edward S Sullivan, Roxbury, Mass. Think he was known as Father Ed. Could I find out anything about him? Thanks for your help. Elizabeth Wendling, Corolla, North Carolina. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 15 Aug 2007 - There are numerous books that identify clowns by name. If you email me the pictures, I will attempt to put names to faces. Robert Momyer, Comarts40@aol.com

    Reply: 18 Sep 2007 - Regarding Fr. Ed Sullivan. Yes he was a “Circus Chaplain” for many years. You may be able to get information on him from the Office of Migration and Refugee Services of the USCCB [Catholic Bishops]. Office Coordinator for that area of ministry is: Sr. Myrna Tordillo, (202)541-3035. Fr. Ed was funded through Catholic Extension Services in Chicago who might have further info as well. In addition, contact the Diocese he served in, i.e. Roxbury, Mass. And they should have most of the info you might want. Fr. Charles Watkins, Circus Chaplain, Chicago, Illinois

    Reply: 23 Sep 2009 - I just found your question regarding Edward S Sullivan of Roxbury MA from Aug 2007 on the Circus History website. I had googled him looking for information myself. If your still interested in info regarding him, a close family friend has his trunk with his clown costume, tricks, makeup, etc, along with a few personal items including a program from his church in Roxbury which has his name and a very good portrait on the back. His clown name was Edsie the Clown. The trunk was purchased at a yard sale from the rooming house he lived in before he died. I don’t typically use my outlook express, so please reply to the following email address: info@capewayappraisalservice.com. My name is Jodi Langford

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2019. Mighty Doris Shows, 13 Aug 2007 - As a boy in 1940 in Westfield, NJ, I knew Doris Moore and her brother Harry. She showed me pictures of the rail cars and the tent. In her earlier life, she was married to the owner of the Mighty Doris Shows. A newspaper report in 1940's indicated Harry, an employee of the show, murdered Doris' husband. I am researching a book and am Interested in receiving more information about the Mighty Doris Shows, the alleged murder and why Harry was not incarcerated. Bruce Geiger, Georgetown, FL, brucegeiger@bellsouth.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 14 Aug 2007 - Mighty Doris Shows, a railroad carnival, was owned by John Theodore Brunen (1874-1922), known as "Honest John." He was murdered on March 10, 1922 at Riverside, NJ. His wife was acquitted and her brother was then charged, convicted and sentenced. "The Billboard" and other newspapers of the time have coverage of the event. "Billboard" and "New York Clipper," another weekly trade serial with carnival news, are your best resources for show information. You might start with a tertiary source, Joe McKennon's book "Pictorial History of the American Carnival," which you can either buy or obtain via interlibrary loan. His Vol. II, page 39, includes a cameo biography of Brunen, assembled from information in "Billboard." Further carnival information is available from the hobby journals about carnivals, including Bob Goldsack's "Midway Journal Illustrated," "Carousel" and "Carnival Midway." To the best of my knowledge, no business records from the show survive and I've seen extremely few photographs of the show. Brunen's portrait was on the cover of the April 13, 1918 issue of "Billboard," testimony to his rising stature in the outdoor show business. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 05 Apr 2008 - My grandfather's brother was a lion tamer in the Mighty Doris/Colonel Ferrari circus in the early 1920's. He had secretly married Hazel Brunen, Doris Brunen's daughter and Honest John's step-daughter. This information came out at the trial and is mentioned in the newspaper article, but I'm not sure how it was relevant! There are three articles available at the New York Times free online archives, dated 6/14/1921, 12/14/1921, and 12/19/1921 detailing the murder trial of "Honest John" Brunen's killer, who was another lion tamer at the circus named Charles Powell. My great-uncle is misidentified in the last of the three articles, but correctly identified in the second. Brian O'Malley.

    Reply: 09 Apr 2008 - Well I've been doing more research online via the NY Times archives, and they wrote many detailed accounts of the "Honest John" Brunen murder trial. If you simply google "Brunen" you'll find a plethora of articles on the subject. The NY Times requires a free registration to access the articles. It turns out that the murderer was Charles M. Powell, a tent man with the Mighty Doris show, not a lion tamer as one article says. My great-uncle was William Parkstrom the lion tamer who had eloped with Hazel Brunen, Honest John's daughter and Doris's step-daughter. He is misidentified in the series of articles variously as "William Parkston" and "Charles Parkstrom". In fact my great-uncle's name was Axel Parkstrom, middle name Wilhelm or William, and presumably went by William because of World War I, although he served in the U.S Army and was born in Sweden. My uncle's marriage to Hazel Brunen was annulled, and he was questioned briefly by detectives in connection with the murder, but he was not in the vicinity of Burlington County at the time.
          The newspaper articles also contain an account of a Christmas Day shoot-out (yes, with pistols) between Honest John and Doris, which was the result of an argument that I believe was caused by the revelation that Hazel had eloped and married William Parkstrom. Sometime later on, Honest John got wind that Doris was having an affair with Doc Ward, the superintendent of the circus, and travelled to Hoboken to confront them where he also found Hazel and William Parkstrom. Honest John had them all arrested, although it's not clear what the charges were. Perhaps in those days a circus owner had that kind of influence with the police!
          Harry C. Mohr was convicted of arranging the murder of Honest John Brunen, although it was certainly Powell who fired the fatal blast. Harry was sentenced to life in prison, but he must have been parolled by the 1940's. The murder, investigation, and trial spanned 1922-1923. Brian J. O'Malley, Sr.

    Reply: 03 Oct 2008 - My grandfather was Charles Powell. He shot honest John. My mother was eight months old and they were very poor people. He did it for $150. Doris’s brother got life in prison, as he hired my grandfather, and my grandfather got 20 years. My grandfather worked setting up the circus & my grandmother was the one who got in the box and had swords stuck in it. Both were very young. I was born in 1950 and was told my grandfather came once to see me when I was little. He was killed in a car accident I believe. If anyone knows more please respond. Charlene Sanders, csanders@muesingmgmt.com

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2018. Berniece, cowgirl, 13 Aug 2007 - My grandmother (Adella Berniece Bright) was born in 1905 in Ohio. She told me that the name "Berniece" came from a woman who worked in a circus in a cowgirl act. Any idea who this Berniece may have been? Thanks, Roger Bohn, Columbus, OH. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2017. Posters, 13 Aug 2007 - There are several posters on ebay that are being sold by a seller named walnutts. They appear to be authentic but the sizes are not exactly 21, 28, or 42. In the description it says that they have been trimmed. Probally to fit in a frame. How much does this affect value. Also can you tell me something about The Riverside Printing co.? Thanks, Don. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2016. Elephant Susie, 12 Aug 2007 - During the 60s and 70s there was a Elephant named Susie. What ever happened to her? And who was the head trainer during that time period. Lloyd G. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 19 Aug 2007 - During the 1960 to 1970 era there have been several elephants named Susie or Suzie. All were Asian Female elephants.
    1.) Suzie - 1959 to 2007 - owned by Carson & Barnes Circus. Has been on different shows being leased by Carson & Barnes Circus.
    2.) Suzy - 1968 to ???? - Owned By Ringling Bros. She came from the Chipperfield Circus in England. I don't know how long she was with Ringling.
    3.) Susie - 1952 to 1977 - Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus. I lost track of her after 1977.
    4.) SuzieQ. 1963 to 1977 - Hoxie Bros. Circus. She has a long history. These are just the 60's/70's dates. Again I have no record of her after 1977.
    5.) Suzan - 1954 to 2007 - Ringling Bros. I assume she is still alive. I've not heard anything different.

    There might be another Susie that I'm not aware of. I have a couple others in the early 1960's that I can't account for after that but may have been the one that you are thinking of, I just can't document it. Depending on which Susie you are asking about would matter as to who was her trainer and caregiver. Bob Cline

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2015. Dobritch 1964 circus, 11 Aug 2007 - I am researching the Dobritch 1964 circus and in particular the Kayarts equilibrists. Would you have any information on them? Thank You, Roland Essig, printmaster@hnet.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 12 Aug 2007 - The Al Dobritch papers are at Milner Library, Illinois State University, Bloomington, IL. You might try contacting them and solicit the assistance of Steve Gossard in your search. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 19 Aug 2007 - I believe the Kayarts were Arthur Ducheck and his wife. I toured with them in 1963 on Rudy Bros Circus until the accident, mid season, that killed his wife. The last I heard of him he was performing the "King Arthur" comedy piano act and acting as an agent. Jerry Jacobson

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2014. William F "Doc" Carver, 10 Aug 2007 - I saw that someone was looking for information on William F "Doc" Carver, world's champion marksman, and originator of the High Diving Horse act. What would you like to know? I can probably help. Regards, Donald L French. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2013. Ferris Wheel Girls, 07 Aug 2007 - I am looking for any information on the Ferris Wheel Girls. Sell-Floto prior to 1920. My grandmother was one I have some fabulous photos and wondered if there were any more out there. She also posed as part of a famous statue in lead grease paint. She lived to be 108. Her name was Alma Ackert and married a bandmaster Henry, Hank, Werner. Sbkebler@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 09 Aug 2007 - The "Ferris wheel girls" likely performed a novelty trapeze act. The apparatus was an elevated set of bars that revolved around a horizontal axis, in a sort of "Ferris wheel" style of motion. Given that it was an ensemble presentation, it's likely that program listings will specify the act, and not the performers by name. Norman D. Anderson, the world's expert on Ferris wheels, residing in Raleigh, NC, might have some applicable images. Steve Gossard, the expert on the flying trapeze, in Bloomington, IL, might be another source of information. Fred Dahlinger

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2012. Horse Diving, 06 Aug 2007 - I'm looking for information on a woman who would dive off a platform on horseback. I have two names. Eunice Padfield and Eunice Winkler. Both are listed a horse divers, I'd like to know if they are the same person and also, a bit about them. Thanks, Janet. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2011. Cuba ca 1952, 06 Aug 2007 - My father was sent to Cuba in 1949 after WWII to build warehouses, homes, and other buildings for United Fruit Co. During the time we were there (1949-1953) A large circus with much fanfare came to Cuba, I think to Havana but it could be Santiago. I believe the circus was there in fall of 1952 but I am not sure. Something caused a panic and people fled from the bleachers to the exits. Does anyone have info on this period as to what circus was there and what caused the incident. I was a small child and was there when the incident happened. allenantiques@peoplepc.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 22 Aug 2007 - The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus extended their playing season in the winter of 1950/1951 for a tour of Cuba. Perhaps someone else is knowledgeable of the towns in Cuba that they played. Bob Cline

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2010. Carousel, 05 Aug 2007 - Hello. My name is Ross Fairbairn and I have an old picture of a carousel dates back around the early 1900’s. Its not a great detailed picture but I was wondering if there is anyone I might send it to who could shed some light on this carousel. Many Thanks, Ross Fairbairn, fairbair@nbnet.nb.ca. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 06 Aug 2007 - You're welcome to e-mail a scan to me at afdj@g2a.net. Please make it at least 300 dpi. Fred Dahlinger

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2009. Labella Margurita & Ronnie, 03 Aug 2007 - Does anybody know anything about a perch pole act in the late 1800's with Labella Margurita and Ronnie. I found this really beautiful antique showposter featuring these acrobats and cannot find anything anywhere. magnus.hellberg@crafoordauktioner.se. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2008. Little Miss 1565, 03 Aug 2007 - Was the little girl who died in a circus fire, Little Miss 1565, ever identified? The fire was on July 6, 1944 in Hartford, Connecticut. Sheila. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 10 Aug 2007 - I kept thinking someone would respond to this, but since no one has... June and Lyle Coates researched and published in White Tops of May-June 1991 a study of the Hartford Fire including the matter of unidentified remains, which one Rick Davey had investigated for years. Little Miss 1565 was finally identified years after the fire as Eleanor Emily Cook. Her brother had been killed in the fire and her mother was severely burned, so much that she was covered in bandages and hospitalized for six months. The children had been living with her brother in the period leading up to the fire. Mrs Cook had harbored the hope that possibly her daughter had been placed with another family to live; apparently she did not see the published photos of her daughter's face which appeared in so many stories. Her brother later stated that the family had gone to the morgue but may have been shown the wrong body or bodies. Whitey

    Reply: 19 Aug 2007 - You may want to consult Stewart O'Nan's 2001 book, "The Circus Fire," for his explanation of the identity of Little Miss 1565. He disagrees with Rick Davey's determination. The wikipedia account of the event, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartford_Circus_Fire, while tertiary in nature and not a final authority by any means, provides some comparative discussion of the disputed identification. The usual DNA detective techniques that might bring final resolution to the case are apparently beyond accomplishment. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 05 Jan 2008 - You might like to read "A Matter of Degree" by Don Massey and Rich Davey about the Hartford Circus Fire and the Mystery of Little Miss1565. Printed in 2001, Non fiction www.hartfordcircusfire.com. Capt Snug, captsnug1@cox.net

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2007. Diving horse, 03 Aug 2007 - I had an Aunt who dove a white horse into a van of water 1900-1914. The circus traveled to Syracuse, NY, where she joined it. What was her stage name? She died in Texas. Borek, Kathleen, BorekK@dshs.wa.gov. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 05 Aug 2007 - If you post your aunt's real name, both single and married, it might be recognized. Checking her newspaper obituary might reveal some insights on her show business career, which is often a highlight in such pieces. If she had a bit of profile, her obituary might have been picked up by "Billboard" [until 1960], or perhaps thereafter by "Amusement Business." You might also check for her obituary in the "Variety" obituary index, a multi-volume set available in larger libraries. If you're sure about the time frame, and the Syracuse location, you could also try scanning newspapers for ads describing such activity.
          If you do some general searching, you will likely find articles and such about Carver's outfit, and others, but the smaller itinerant operations will likely be difficult to trace unless you pore through the old trade journals. You might get lucky in trying a key-word searchable database of newspapers, such as www.newspaperarchive.com, or others that your local library offers.
          Most later diving horse activity was stationary, but former sharpshooter and Wild West proprietor W. F. Carver and others had traveling outfits that were booked onto carnival midways, street fairs, amusement parks and agricultural fairs in the pre-war period, circa 1900-1917. There are ads for them in "Billboard" and perhaps "New York Clipper." The time and energy required for the erection of the diving apparatus [ramp, tank, water filling] made them less suited to the daily-movements of a typical traveling circus, except for perhaps longer opening engagements. In 1991 a film was made about the life of one diving horse rider, Sonora Webster, "Wild Hearts Can't be Broken." She was at Atlantic City, which is the site most frequently remembered for the activity. Fred Dahlinger

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2006. Orton Circus, 02 Aug 2007 - I am looking for Orton Circus posters or advertisements or newspaper articles, especially around 1884. We are “reviving” a resident of our local cemetery for a historic presentation. The fellow, a Mr. John Kelly of New York, was working with the Orton Circus and died when the train car he was on caught fire. Nancy Lynch, Exhibits Curator, City of Greeley Museums, Greeley, Colorado. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 11 Aug 2007 - There are several great collections of circus posters and advertisements throughout the United States. I would think that the foremost collection would be at the Circus World Museum Research Library in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It’s real easy to find on the internet. Erin Foley is the current archivist on staff. The Ringling Museums in Sarasota, Florida are now home to the Howard Tibbals collection of posters. The Princeton University has circus posters in their collection as well and many are viewable on-line. Also the Smithsonian in Washington DC has many circus posters in their collection. Many are viewable on-line as well. Hope this helps. Bob Cline

    Reply: 20 Sep 2007 - Orton's Anglo-American Railway Circus and Menagerie started out from Norris, Michigan, a little north of Detroit. The 1876 Wayne County atlas shows the Miles Orton property with a house and a ring barn. The show went west from Michigan to Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, etc. I have been able to locate 4 copies of different ads for the show that year. Please advise if you are still interested in copies. artistofdetroit@aol.com.

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2005. Trapeze, 02 Aug 2007 - I'm an author of middle-grade fiction. My first book will be released next year by HarperCollins. My work-in-progress takes place within a circus and involves a trapeze accident (purely fiction). My question is, can trapeze accidents occur because of faulty equipment, or equipment that has been tampered with? If so, how? I really appreciate any help you might offer on this, as I know nothing of 'trapezing'! Sincerely, M Kelsey. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 08 Aug 2007 - Yes , most certinaly, A broken clevis or one that has come loose. A guy cable coming loose, a stake pull. The net not tight enough, a net pole kicking out. A flying trapeze rig is a very complex collection of 100s of parts. Any one of 100s of parts not playing nice together or improperly assembled can cause a catastrophic failure of the rig. Hope this helped. R. Seaton, Catcher, robertmseaton@yahoo.com

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2004. Andrey Minaev, 01 Aug 2007 - Our client, Andrey Minaev, performed with circus Amar in France in 2001. Any background information is appreciated. Imiglaw71@aol.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2003. Buffalo Bill's Wild West, 31 Jul 2007 - I am a historian who has come across some references to Buffalo Bill's Wild West show visiting New Zealand in the late 1880s or early 1890s. The sources I have are recollections recorded decades after the visit. I wondered if anyone knew of the dates and locations that the show visited. Any other details or leads would be greatly appreciated. Tony Ballantyne, tony.ballantyne@stonebow.otago.ac.nz. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

    Reply: 01 Aug 2007 - The bonafide Buffalo Bill's Wild West, named for Col. William Frederick Cody, never visited Australia or New Zealand at any time during his 1883-1913 involvement. Cody was also with the Sells-Floto Circus in 1914-1915, the Miller Bros. Wild West in 1916 and the Jess Willard Wild West in 1917, of which were domestic operations. The operation toured North America and visited Europe several times. Either someone has recalled the incorrect title, or perhaps a local showman "appropriated" the name for their own purposes, either for the show or for a featured attraction. Even in the United States, there were pretenders to the title of "Buffalo Bill." A few American shows did visit both New Zealand and Australia and some confusion in identity is possible. Mark St. Leon's book, "The Circus in Australia," has some references to Wild West and American circus activity, which included Wild West performance, in Australia. Knowing that there's usually some kernel of origin in such matters, perhaps one of the Australian outdoor show historians will have an explanation for the confusion in names. Fred Dahlinger

    Reply: 01 Aug 2007 - Hello Tony, Buffalo Bill’s Show definitely did not visit New Zealand. The Wild West show you are looking for would be Wirth Bros. Circus and Wild West Show. The dates for Otago were Oamaru 13th November 1890 and Dunedin commencing 15th November 1890. The company departed from Bluff 15th December bound for Australia. Regards, John Sullivan Christchurch New Zealand.

    Reply: 02 Aug 2007 - Hello Tony, sorry I stated the wrong departure date of Wirth's Wild West Show from Bluff. It was actually December 8th 1890. The vessel was the ss "Rotokino" bound for Adelaide, Australia. Cheers, John Sullivan

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2002. Campbells, acrobatic group, 31 Jul 2007 - I am trying to find information about an acrobatic group from the 1900's called "The Campbell's". I believe they were out of Maine. Can you help me? Thanks, nancy gaspar, nancy4871@yahoo.com. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.

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2001. Cullie Manning, Jess Manning, 30 Jul 2007 - I am looking for any information on my great uncle, Cullie Manning, that was a vaudeville actor for the circus. I found him listed as a circus performer in Boston on April 18, 1930. I would like to know the name of the circus and if any one might have information on my uncle. My guess is that the circus was Sells-Floto but not positive. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Also I think my great grand father (Cullie's brother) worked for the same circus as an acrobat between 1905 and 1909. His name was Jess Porter Manning. Thanks for your time. 0612manning@bresnan.net. Reply to this message, replies go to this board, not to the message sender.


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