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I am looking for information on Jack Wilson of Cetlin and Wilson. I have been told that my great grandfather, of the same name, ran a circus/carnival and I have been looking for some biographical information on Jack Wilson to confirm or deny that he is my great grandfather. I have seen several posts mentioning books or articles written about Jack Wilson, but I have been unable to find any, nor have I found any online biographies. I just need some basic information about him to see if it matches up with what I have, but the more detail I can get the better.

Scott

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Your best resources for information on John W. ‘Jack’ Wilson will be: Bob Goldsack’s book, ‘A Pictorial History of Cetlin & Wilson [check abebooks and other second hand sellers, or interlibrary loan]; checking entries in Billboard, available on Google Books, for Wilson entries; and local newspapers at the time of his death. Wilson sold the show in 1960, when Billboard coverage ends, and Goldsack didn’t report on his demise. See query 2521 for information about partner Izzy Cetlin. There was an article penned by Bob Cline about C&W later, by 2008, in the journal Carnival Midway, but I don’t have it to access. Perhaps Cline can post any information he found about Jack Wilson? There’s an online obituary for Thelma B. Wilson, his wife, who passed in Petersburg, VA on July 15, 2007. Here’s a video of still shots documenting C&W: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmhO0puuIkg.

Fred Dahlinger Jr., Curator of Circus History, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

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