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December 31, 1909

PUGILISM OR NAIL EATING?

Pardon Board Doubtful Which Tends
More to Good Citizenship.

Terence O'Grady, the human ostrich, is free from the workhouse by action of the pardon and parole board yesterday afternoon. He was arrested several weeks ago at the insistence of his wife, who said that his dual role of prize fighter and crockery eater unfitted him for the more domestic one of providing for her and their children. He was fined $500.

Investigation by the board disclosed that O'Grady, if not always a hard working man, possessed a heart as good as his punch and as elastic as his stomach. He said and proved by receipts that he is supporting his widowed mother in Ireland whom he has not seen for more than twenty years. The last money sent to her by Terence was mailed from Kansas City November 4 in the shape of a check for $100. It was one of many such remittances.

"I'll either go back to the prize ring or the kerosene circuit as the human ostrich," said O'Grady to a member of the board who asked him what he would do if paroled. He then added, "It's immaterial to me which I follow. I leave the matter with the board entirely."

Mrs. Kate Pearson stated during the session yesterday that she was afraid O'Grady might swallow a shovel if he were put on the street force. William Volker and Jacob Billikopf could not even guess which of the two occupations named were the best from the standpoint of good citizenship, so the original proposition was remanded back to O'Grady for a decision.

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December 29, 1909

AEROPLANE BOWLS
OVER A CONSTABLE.

OFFICER GETS IN TRACK OF CUR-
TISS AIRSHIP AND PREVENTS
ITS DESTRUCTION.

Grabs Machine and Holds On,
Though Dragged for
Thirty Feet.

The several hundred people who attended the airship exhibition at Overland park yesterday afternoon and were treated to some genuine thrillers, and although Aviator Charles K. Hamilton succeeded in making only two flights in his Curtiss aeroplane, no one could complain because there was not enough excitement.

In his first attempt to fly Hamilton gave a pretty demonstration of the feasibility of the machine for aerial navigation until he tried to land in front of the grandstand. Just as the supporting wheels reached the ground a strong gust of wind caught the planes and despite the fact that the aviator had all the brakes on the machine fairly skidded across the field at a rate of about twenty miles an hour.

SAVES MACHINE; IS HURT.

It seemed inevitable that the aeroplane would crash into the grandstand and accomplish its own complete destruction, but Homer Breyfogle, constable of Johnson county, Kas., was standing near by and before he could get out of the way, the machine struck him and knocked him about fifteen feet. Officer George A. Lyons, a member of the motorcycle squad of the Kansas City police force, rushed to the rescue, but when he grabbed the swiftly moving machine he was hurled into the air and dragged to the ground. However, he "stayed with the ship" and was dragged fully twenty feet before the machine came to a standstill.

With the exception of a few bruises about the limbs, Officer Lyons was uninjured, but Constable Breyfogle sustained a painful cut on his neck and severe bruises on the face. Aviator Hamilton wrenched his foot in an effort to stop the airship.

HARD LUCK AGAIN.

The plane with which Breyfogle collided was so badly damaged that it required an hour to repair it, but at about 5 o'clock Hamilton was again soaring down the field majestically, and for a few seconds it appeared that he was at last to make a record-breaking trip, but after he had t raveled over a mile and was trying to turn for the homeward stretch, the engine suddenly stopped and the machine landed in a snowbank.

"I simply can't conquer that wind," said Hamilton after his last flight. "One can't imagine how strong this wind is until you get a few feet in the air and then it seems to be twice as fierce. It was all I could do just to keep the machine from capsizing just now, because the wind twisted me in every shape in a cyclone fashion. Dangerous business on a day like this, but I always hate to disappoint the crowds, and if there is any flying to be done, I'll do it no matter what kind of weather prevails.

"Aren't there too many trees and hay stacks around here to make aerial travel very safe?" asked a spectator.

HIGH WINDS HIS ENEMY.

"Yes, there isn't hardly enough room on this field, but if the wind would only go down for one day, I'd make some surprising flights. We may get some ideal weather yet. How's that? No, I don't imagine the North Pole district affords any desirable aviation fields. Anyway, we're not going to attempt any emulation of the Dr. Cook stunt. I am heading for sunny California, where I expect to carry off some prizes in the contests to be pulled off next month."

Hamilton will make the usual flights this afternoon at the park, and he promises to avoid any further attempted "assassinations" of police officers.

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October 5, 1909

SAURIANS WELCOMED
THE BRIDE.

WEDDING MARCH BLARED BY
TWO BRASS BANDS.

Thousands of Strangers in Line to
Congratulate Mr. and Mrs. "Al-
ligator Joe," -- "She's My
Peaches Now," Said Groom.

It's an unusual privilege for guests at a wedding to be able to buy young alligators from the bride. It was not only possible last night at Electric park but was done. It was one of the many features of the wedding of "Alligator Joe," who figured in the marriage license as Warren B. Frazee, and Miss Cleopatra N. Croff. The ceremony was witnessed by many thousand persons. The wedding was perfect in every way. From the moment the bridal party entered the gates of the park until the finish there was but the main hitch. The wedding principals entered the gates in t his order:

Michael G. Heim, manager of Electric park.
J. A. Wilson, secretary of the Missouri valley fair.
Platoon of police.
Hiner's band.
Two flower girls.
The wedding party in an auto.
The Independence, Kas., band.

A complete circuit of the colonnade at the park was made with either of the bands tooting away on a wedding strain. Reaching the entrance to the alligator farm, the bands and autos deployed. The wedding party was marched up the center aisle. On either side of the aisle, crocodiles and alligators splashed in the water or spread their leathery lengths on the sand. But "Alligator Joe" ignored for once the presence of the saurians.

WEDDING BELL OF ALFALFA.

It was an exclusive affair, an admission being charged, but several thousand guests were in the enclosure while hundreds more hung by their elbows on the fence. Outside thousands of persons stood. The marriage was celebrated on a raised dais. Overhead there were rafters of wheat straw and grasses. A wedding bell built of alfalfa and crimson tissue paper was suspended over the couples' head. James A. Finley was best man and Miss Genevieve Johnson the bridesmaid. The Rev. Wallace M. Short performed the ceremony.

A slight inadvertence on the part of "Alligator Joe" marred the occasion somewhat. When it became necessary for "Alligator Joe" to produce the ring, he could not. Never before had eh ever tried to reach gloved fingers into his vest pocket and hold a brand new hat in the other hand. So he clapped his had on his head. Mr. Finlay removed it. "Alligator Joe" dug and dug until he got the ring. Some of the guests snickered, even those who had paid to get in joining in the laughter. The man with the searchlight took pity on "Alligator Joe" and switched off the intense gleam.

After the ceremony "Alligator Joe" reached over and smacked "Mrs. Alligator Joe" heartily. The crowd cheered. Then Mr. Finley essayed to kiss her. "Alligator Joe" gave him the throttle clutch with his four fingers spread under Mr. Finley's chin.

"Quit," "Alligator Joe" said. "This is my peaches now."

"Mrs. Alligator Joe" protested. Then "Alligator Joe" relented and Mr. Finley was allowed to kiss the bride. Afterwards 1,000 persons filed by to congratulate the couple.

ALLIGATORS FOR SOUVENIRS.

The bride was dressed in white and wore the conventional veil and orange blossoms. "Alligator Joe" was in black, his only ornament being a shark's tooth, worn pendant as a watch charm and an exquisite scarf pin fashioned of a fish fin.

"Lad--ies and gentle--men--n-n-n," "Alligator Joe" announced after the reception, through a megaphone, "we are about to give you one of the grandest exhibitions of alligator charming and hypnotism it ever will be your good fortune to see in the wide world. I have in my hand the crocodile Hiki-Kiki, which I will hypnotize before you all-l-l-l. It is simply a sample of the grand-est-t-t-t ex-hi-bi-tion within the park. Inside we will give the performance in a few minutes. All who wish to see it may buy their tickets now. The bride will give to each visitor-r-r-r who wishes them, a souvenir-r-r-r of the occasion."

Which she did, for a consideration. Arrayed in her white dress en train, the infant alligators were sold by the bride. "Alligator Joe," showman that he is, put in a stock of 800 of the tiny saurians.

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October 3, 1909

ALLIGATOR JOE TO WED.

Public Ceremony at Electric Park
Next Monday Night.

Warren Baxter Frazee, professionally known as "Alligator Joe," of Palm Beach, Fla., and Miss Cleopatra Nancy Croff of Carthage, Mo., yesterday obtained a marriage license and will be married publicly Monday night before the throng attending the Missouri Valley fair at Electric park. The prospective bridegroom gave his age as 34 and the bride-to-be 19. When she becomes Mrs. "Alligator Joe" it is said that the bride will act as her husband's helpmate by selling infant alligators as souvenirs.

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September 26, 1909

NEW ACTS AT HIPPODROME.

East Side Place of Amusement Opens
for the Season.

The Hippodrome, at Twelfth and Charlotte streets, opened for the season last night and nearly 5,000 persons attended, the roller skating rink and the dance hall, both remodeled and redecorated, drawing the most patronage. Last night's visitors saw a brand new Hippodrome. There was a greater floor space, better illumination and a bigger variety of attractions than ever before. The new ball room, which has been latticed and banked with satin roses and artificial shrubbery, aroused the admiration of the Hippodrome dancers.

Last night's visitors found plenty outside the dance hall and the skating rink to interest them. There was the Vienna garden, a new permanent feature, which seems destined to meet with favor. Free continuous vaudeville is offered in the Vienna village, which is laid with tanbark and inclosed by lattice work. Elston's dog and pony show was another new attraction that offered many novelties.

The Great La Salle, one of the most daring of roller skate experts, was the big arena attraction last night. La Salle makes a thrilling descent on a 60 per cent incline from the roof of the Hippodrome, and his exhibition belongs in the division of hair raisers.

Numerous concessions along the Hippodrome "Boardwalk" offer plenty of diversion. The place will open this afternoon at 2 o'clock and the performance will be continuous until midnight.

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July 19, 1909

WRESTLES WITH CROCODILE.

"Alligator Joe" Gives a Novel Act
at Electric Park.

An attractive programme of amusements is offered by Electric Park this week. Perhaps the most noteworthy is Gargiulo's Italian band which has been engaged to prolong its engagement until next Sunday. Of the new things, however, the one that will probably attract the most interest is the nightly wrestling match between "Alligator Joe," proprietor of the alligator farm and one of the largest crocodiles in his collection. Costumed in a bathing suit "Joe" plunges into a tank of water and mounting the crocodile's back fights with it until it is sufficiently subdued to be led from the pool.

There is a new vaudeville show in the German village. The bill contains a wide variety of entertainment. The programme includes Kelly and Lewis in a novelty balancing and juggling act, Ethel Hunter, a Kansas City violinist, who has made a pronounced hit with music lovers; Murill Window, a singing comedian; the Hamlins, who dance, sing and play a variety of instruments and the American Singing Four, a splendid male quartet.

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July 18, 1909

KIDS WAITED ALL
NIGHT FOR CIRCUS.

RINGLING'S BIG SHOW CAME
EARLY THIS MORNING.

A Big Crowd Watched Transfer of
Four Train Loads of Wonders
to Grounds at Fifteenth
and Indiana.
A Monkey from the Ringling Bros. Circus Menagerie.
ONE OF THE THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS IN THE RINGLING BROTHERS' MENAGERIE.

The great circus of the world -- the one which has made the name of Ringling Brothers a household word -- is here. It rolled into Kansas City quietly before daylight this morning. A good big crowd of the circus faithful, old and young, were in waiting at the railroad yards and gave a royal greeting to the sleepy-eyed workmen and unloading caravans. Many of the kids had been up all night to be sure they would not miss anything. It took four special trains to transport here the great army of people, horses, elephants, wild animal cages, parade features and enormous mechanical effects.

It was a strange sight to see forty elephants lumbering along a quiet roadway in the gray light of early dawn. The keepers had their hands full keeping the venturesome youngsters away from the amiable beasts, and when the big animals were ranged in a circle at the grounds waiting until their place in the menagerie was ready, the trailing kids were apparently in a seventh heaven of delight.

It took about two hours to transfer the immense equipment to the grounds at Fifteenth street and Indiana avenue and about the same time is required to erect the twenty tents that constitute the circus city. The big canvas in which the performance takes place is the largest ever made, and the menagerie tent is almost as big. There are 650 horses with the show and in the dining tents are served 3,000 meals a day.

"DARWIN," THE MISSING LINK.

The Ringling tents are perfectly waterproof and the illumination is beautiful. Even the menagerie cages have each a power light, so that the wild animal rarities may be scanned with keener interest. In this valuable department is "Darwin," the missing link, a man-sized ape that feeds on oranges and grapes, shaves himself, likes music, plays cards and ball and is a stout prohibitionist. The human-like creature has caused much comment, both humorous and serious.

This is the twenty-fifth anniversary of Ringling Bros, in the circus business, and the ring acts are mostly European novelties and sensations. Two-thirds of the 400 performers in the programme are announced as making their first appearance in America. The Ringling show has always presented an exceptional and satisfactory list of acts, in which refinement and novelty have been leading characteristics. In fact, the tone and individuality of this big show have brought it to the first place in the circus world.

ALL NATIONS REPRESENTED.

There are acrobats from Persia, riders from Italy, gymnasts from England and Germany, jugglers from Japan, dancers and equilibrists from France, and specialists from twenty-two countries of the world. Acrobats that do tricks on the back of a running horse, which have heretofore been considered difficult on the firm foundation of ground; a man who walks on the top of his head like other people do on their feet; gymnasts who turn triple somersaults in midair before they alight upon swings or recover hands; horses that jump through beer casks, drink out of mugs and unharness themselves and go to bed like a man; pigs that climb ladders and shoot the chutes; elephants that can act out humorous skits with amazing intelligence; horses, dogs and ponies that are educated beyond human belief, and a lot of other things that are out of the common and entertaining, if not astounding, are in the varied circus bill of 100 numbers.

As a thrilling climax a ponderous automobile is driven down a sheer incline, and, shooting into space about twenty feet from the ground, turns two complete somersaults before landing upon a distant runway and wheels with terrific momentum into the racing track. A daring young French woman is seated in the car and steers it in its dreadful plunge and revolving flight. This is the most nervy and puzzling sensation every brought forward by circus ingenuity.

Two performances will be given Monday at 2 o'clock and 8 o'clock.

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February 10, 1909

AERIAL ACROBAT TUMBLES.

Thrilling Accident at Shriner Circus
Witnessed by 6,000.

Toki Murati, the Japanese aerial acrobat who does the "slide for life" in the Rhoda Royal circus, fell from his precarious footing in midair at Convention hall last night, and as he was protected by no netting, struck the floor of the big arena. He was unconscious for half an hour, and upon examination by Dr. Emanuel Manko, it was found that he had suffered injuries to his back and chest. Dr. Manko will make another examination today and will be able to say whether the performer can go back to his act. The doctor said the performer may have suffered a slight fracture of one of the ribs. Fully 6,000 persons saw the accident.

Murati wears soft shoes which are cleft between the big toe and other toes of his feet. Thus he is enabled to walk up the rope which is attached to one of the big girders, forty-one feet in the air. When he reaches the top he releases his grip with his toes and slides down the rope, which is steeply inclined.

He had reached the middle of the rope last night when the spectators saw him sway and then fall from the rope. After he had regained consciousness he said that the flapping of some of the trappings of the circus had distracted his attention and thus he lost his balance.

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January 17, 1909

ACCIDENT AT THE HIPPODROME.

Trapeze Performer Injured Last
Night Before Large Audience.

While doing his "swing of death" at the Hippodrome about 10 o'clock last night, Senor Frisco fell from his trapeze to the floor of the skating rink fourteen feet below. He was taken in an unconscious condition to the general hospital where it was found that his spine was either dislocated or severely wrenched and his knees bruised. The injuries are not fatal.

Senor Frisco's act is what is known as the "giant swing" with his feet instead of his hands on the bar. Metal attachments in the soles of his shoes fit in a narrow groove in the steel bar of the trapeze. At the center of the bar, the groove is wide so that he can insert the attachment and then maintain his hold by keeping his feet spread apart.

This last he failed to do for some reason last night, and as his feet came together his body was suddenly released and hurled to the floor at the end of the first revolution. His wife was in the large crowd and saw the accident, and she was nearly overcome. The performer is said to have had a presentiment that something untoward would happen.

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January 11, 1909

LAST-MINUTE CHANGE AT
THE HIPPODROME.

Australian Trick Skater Repla-
ces Vontella and Nina.

Owing to the fact that Vontella and Nina, who were to appear at the Hippodrome this week, were called away at the last moment, the management secured for a free attraction Hector De Silvia, the champion trick and fancy skater of Australia. De Silvia accomplishes all the tricks that the skating devotees are used to seeing and then goes them one or two better and introduces several of his own origination.

De Silvia will introduce his coast of death at tonight's performance. In this act De Silvia coasts from the top of the auditorium blindfolded, on the toe rollers of one skate.

As an additional attraction, Signor Frisco, a Mexican aerial performer, does some very clever work.

In the wild animal show, Captain Cardona introduces a new leopard act. Ricardo has staged one of the new acts in which he uses pumas and leopards. Miss La Rose continues with her lions, and is this week working all six of the beasts in the arena at the same time. Professor Snyder continues with the Rocky mountain goats, and "Hess," the wrestling bear, is meeting all comers. The management has offered $10 to any one who will throw the shaggy grappler.

In the vaudeville theater, illustrated songs, music and motion photography make up the bill.

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November 23, 1908

COMSTOCK TO GO BALLOONING.

Kansas City Banker Will Try for
Record at Canton, O., Today.

CANTON, O., Nov. 22. -- (Special.) W. F. Comstock, secretary of the Fidelity Trust Company, Kansas City, and W. R. Timken, Canton manufacturer, will make a balloon trip from here tomorrow morning in an effort to smash records.

Comstock has come here solely for the purpose of going on the voyage. The men will go up in the training balloon, "All America," piloted by Leo Stevens. The "All America" has a displacement of 80,000 cubic feet and with only three in the basket will be able to carry plenty of ballast, so that with favorable weather conditions, the big gas bag should be able to stay in the air for many hours.

The start will be made form the grounds of the Canton Aero Club at 9 o'clock. Another ascension will be made in a smaller balloon, "Sky Pilot," after the "All America" goes off. A. H. Morgan and J. H. Wade, Jr., prominent Cleveland men, will be in the basket.

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September 30, 1908

HEART OF HUMAN FREAK
FOUND TO BE RUPTURED.

Henry J. Johnson, Who Died Sudden-
ly, Swallowed Glass and Ate
Nails and Tacks.

The inserting of steel hat pins in various portions of his body and eating broken glass while giving performances at state fairs and in museums caused the death of Henry J. Johnson of Erie, Pa. He was found dead in his room at 322 West Twelfth street yesterday. An autopsy held last night by Dr. George B. Thompson showed that death was due to rupture of the heart. It was found to be much enlarged, due probably to the nervous strain to which Johnson had subjected his system while making his performances. From newspaper clippings and cards found in his room it was learned that Johnson called himself the "Human Freak."

The man looks to be about 32 years of age, and aside from an enlarged heart, seemed to have suffered no other physical ailments. The description given of some of his performances is that he not only stuck hatpins through his arms, legs and neck, but that he chewed broken glass, bit nails in twain and swallowed tacks. No foreign substances were found in the stomach of the dead man at the inquest.

A. H. Sammitt, at whose house Johnson was found dead, stated last night that he knew little about the man. He arrived here about one week ago and stated that he came from Iola, Kas., where he had been with a country fair. He said that he was going to take a rest of three weeks before starting again on the road. His bill was paid and he kept to his room most of the time. The body was found by a maid when she went to clean the room.

Efforts will be made to locate relatives of Johnson at Erie, Pa.

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August 31, 1908

BUSY DAY AT FAIRMOUNT.

Biggest Sunday Crowd of the Season
There Yesterday.

There was a large attendance at Fairmount park yesterday, the largest since the Fourth of July. Everything at the park was busy. Graham, the "human fish," gave his last performances at the park yesterday afternoon, and last night. In his act, Graham ate, smoked and drank while under water, enclosed in a large glass-tank. He also gave an exhibition of the actions of a drowning person.

Wheeler's band played two interesting programmes. In the music was that of the "Girl Question" which opens the season at the Grand theater.

The bathing beach is a popular place with park visitors, and the fishing in the big lake is the very best.

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August 23, 1908

DRINKS MILK
UNDER WATER.

Graham, the "Human Fish," the At-
traction at Fairmount.

Graham, the "Human Fish," is to be the free attraction at Fairmount park today. A large glass tank, filled with water, is used. He descends into the water, and while under the surface eats and drinks a bottle of milk. To do this he must exhale enough air from his lungs while under water to correspond to the amount of air displaced by the milk. Graham gives an exhibition of a drowning person, showing the various actions, from the time the person falls into the water until he lied apparently dead at the bottom, showing the struggle under water. The shows will be given near the circle swing and will take place at 3 and 4 o'clock in the afternoon and at 9 and 10 o'clock at night.

Fishing is still good at the lake and so is the bathing. The concessions are all doing a rushing business and the band has a full programme for the day.

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August 24, 1908

THIS IS A DOUBLE THRILLER.

Ringling Circus Has a New Automo-
bile Slide Trick.

Automobile thrillers are a part of every circus now, and each succeeding show claims its thriller to be more thrilling than the one before. So it happens that the Ringling Brothers' show, which comes here September 7, is making so much noise over Miss La Belle Roche's "double somersault in midair." The Ringling press artists -- there are four of them, all in a row like the Ringlings -- see nothing extravagant in the description they have written of this act.

This is the way they see it: "From the dome of the tent down a slender metal track the heavy machine, throbbing and straining at every rivet, plunges with lightning speed and the crash of thunder. The ending of the incline in an abrupt curve lifts the auto high in air, the plucky young woman firmly clutching the guiding wheel. There is a pause of death-like stillness after the ponderous car has left the steel rails. Spectators, with straightened spines and tingling scalps, almost freeze to their seats, so keen is the suspense, so awful the dread of that brief moment.

"Once the machine turns a perfect circle, not a stir is heard among the audience. Breaths are held in fear of what may follow Again the automobile turns completely over, and then with the crash of a thunderbolt it lands upright on a steel runway and plunges onto the track to spend its terrific force, the young French woman at the wheel smiling with triumph The pent-up emotion of the audience vents itself in hysterical applause from the women and shouts of admiration from the men."

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August 24, 1908

THIS IS A DOUBLE THRILLER.

Ringling Circus Has a New Automo-
bile Slide Trick.

Automobile thrillers are a part of every circus now, and each succeeding show claims its thriller to be more thrilling than the one before. So it happens that the Ringling Brothers' show, which comes here September 7, is making so much noise over Miss La Belle Roche's "double somersault in midair." The Ringling press artists -- there are four of them, all in a row like the Ringlings -- see nothing extravagant in the description they have written of this act.

This is the way they see it: "From the dome of the tent down a slender metal track the heavy machine, throbbing and straining at every rivet, plunges with lightning speed and the crash of thunder. The ending of the incline in an abrupt curve lifts the auto high in air, the plucky young woman firmly clutching the guiding wheel. There is a pause of death-like stillness after the ponderous car has left the steel rails. Spectators, with straightened spines and tingling scalps, almost freeze to their seats, so keen is the suspense, so awful the dread of that brief moment.

"Once the machine turns a perfect circle, not a stir is heard among the audience. Breaths are held in fear of what may follow Again the automobile turns completely over, and then with the crash of a thunderbolt it lands upright on a steel runway and plunges onto the track to spend its terrific force, the young French woman at the wheel smiling with triumph The pent-up emotion of the audience vents itself in hysterical applause from the women and shouts of admiration from the men."

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August 12, 1908

BIG CROWDS GO TO CIRCUS.

Performance That Is Usually Seen
Under a Large Tent.

The show tent of the Sells-Floto circus was filled to its capacity at both afternoon and evening performances yesterday, and everyone seemed to enjoy the efforts of the regiment of performers to entertain. Every seat within the tent was occupied long before the time for starting and, with few exceptions, all remained in their places until the final spectacle, the driving of fifty horses by a single woman who stood on the back of one of the horses.

The fun section of the show was composed of fifty picked clowns, and during their occupation of the arena there was something doing all the time.

Aerialists in troupes gave the customary daredevil stunts at the top of the canvas.

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August 8, 1908

"DARE DEVIL" EVANS IS HURT.

Fell From Chute While Riding Bi-
cycle at Fairmount.

"Dare Devil" Billy Evans fell from his chute while riding a bicycle at Fairmount park last night and was severely injured. Evans does a leap-the gap act. The rain had soaked the pine board of which the elevation was built and his bicycle slid off the track fifteen feet above ground. Evans was taken to the hotel in the park, where a physician attended him. His injuries consisted almost entirely of bruises.

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July 21, 1908

CIRCUS DRAWS THE SAME
SWEATING, HAPPY CROWDS.

That It Always Does in Its Far Be-
tween Visits -- Its Wonders
Remain Ever Fresh.

Little small boys and big small boys, little girls and big girls; whole families were happy yesterday, happy with that kind of happiness that comes only once or twice a year. The little ones were happy openly, the big ones in a proper, staid sort of way, but all were happy for the same reason. It was circus day. It doesn't make the little bit of difference whether one is in the old country town or in the city, circus day is circus day the whole world over. On that day nobody cares anything about anything but the circus. What's the use in denying it? Everybody knows how everybody else feels.

"The great and only Barnum and Bailey Circus" pitched the tents of its little city out on Indiana avenue, just south of Fifteenth street. They say they were the biggest tents in the world and nobody who was there yesterday denied it.

Of course the "cutest" thing in the whole show was the baby elephant. They had him in a cage where not even a peanut could be slyly smuggled to his everready, ridiculously small trunk. Then there was a baby camel and other baby animals and giraffes, sleepy, aristocratic looking animals, and zebras and just about every kind of animal that has ever been exhibited in a menagerie.

In the "big tent" all the old acts were in evidence and many more. The aerial and equestrian acts were exceptionally high class, the clowns were just as funny as ever, the hippodrome races were wildly exciting, the automobile somersault act, which brought the performance to a close, was beyond a doubt the most daring, most hair-raising feature ever presented in a circus tent in Kansas City. Two big automobiles are drawn high up onto a steep track. In each is a young woman. At a given signal both machines are released and, with a roar and a rush, start on their downward course. The first one leaves the track and, rising high in the air, turns a complete somersault, alighting on a platform some distance away. While it is in the air the other machine jumps across the gap in is well away. Only by the most careful timing and adjustment, it is possible for the one to clear the track before the other comes crashing down. A collision would mean a tragedy that would be frightful to contemplate. but the two young women who ride in the auto don't seem to mind in the least.

The Barnum & Bailey circus has come and gone At two performances it packed its great tents to their capacity and nobody has yet been heard to register a "knock." It's a great big, smashing good show, and it's probable that if it were to be here again today just as many thousands would go as went yesterday, and probably a lot of them would be the same ones who went yesterday, too.

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June 15, 1908

WALKS A WIRE ON ONE LEG.

Novel Attraction Coming to Forest
Park Next Week.

The aerial act scheduled for Forest park did not go on yesterday, as the artists engaged for this act were unable to get to Kansas City on account of the flood. The management replaced this act with one equally as good, namely, the Long Brothers, premier acrobats and tumblers, La Wanda and Garrick pleased all who saw them in their ring contortion stunt and the Luken's bears game ther last performance in the evening. They leave today for St. Louis, where they will play a return engagement at Forest Park Highlands. The bears will be replaced by Roy Fortune, the world's premier one-legged wire walker. The couples' skating contest is popular. There are now entered over forty couples. A large crowd visited the park yesterday despite the threatening weather and the flood.

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November 3, 1907

HOUDINI AND MARTIN LEHMAN.

The Orpheum Manager Gave the "Hand-
cuff King" His Start in Vaudeville.

Harry Houdini, the feature attraction at the Orpheum theater this week, got his start in vaudeville in Kansas City. In the early days of his career Houdini was a contortionist, trapeze performer and general utility man with the Jack Hoefler Circus, and later a member of a company of barnstormers.

One of his turns was to permit himself to be tied to a chair with ropes, from which he would extricate himself. One day while playing in Chetopa, Kas., with a small traveling show, Houdini asked for volunteers to come up and tie him. A sheriff, who happened to be present with a pair of handcuffs, cried out, "If you let me come on the stage I will tie you with these so you cannot escape." Houdini had never seen a pair of handcuffs before. The idea of using them as a feature suggested itself to him and he hence took up the study of locks. He acquired several pairs of handcuffs and in a short time acquired the faculty of extricating himself from them.

He went to Chicago where he met Mr. Walters, then president of the Orpheum circuit, and importuned him to give him an engagement on the circuit.

Mr. Walters, impressed with the young man's eloquence, sent him to Kansas City with a letter of instructions to Martin Lehman, manager of the Orpheum. Instructions in the letter were to "try this Houdini, and if his act was good to book him on the circuit." On receipt of the letter Mr. Lehman coached Houdini thoroughly and put him on the bill. Houdini met with such pronounced success he was given a contract over the entire Orpheum circuit. Since that time he has traveled all over the world.

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