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I am seeking information about the “Leon Brothers” circus act in Chicago, Illinois in the ~1870’s. I’d like to know their first names, and any other information that is available. My 2x great grandfather, William Anthony Leon, is said to have been part of an act such as this. He was born in NYC in 1852 and moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1854. We know nothing about his parents or possible siblings. Any information would be appreciated!

Toni Leon Kovarik

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Go to the Virtual Library on this website, select the ‘people’ portion and then go to Slout’s Olympians of the Sawdust Circle. There are a number of gymnasts [also known as acrobats, tumblers, to some degree leapers] named Leon that might be the people you seek. There’s also an entry for a family that used Leon as a stage name. There are a number of first names that could be checked further in digitized newspapers, the online New York Clipper, census and genealogical documentation, etc. One is a Willie Leon, a leaper. They possibly had brief careers that included both circus and stage work.

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

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