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February 11, 1910


The Rhoda Royal to Pass Through
the Streets in the Afternoon.

A street parade, in which will be seen the entire ensemble of the Rhoda Royal two-ring circus hippodrome and wild west, which opens in Convention hall next Monday night under the auspices of Ararat Temple, will take place tomorrow afternoon at 2:30 o'clock. The pageant, which will form at Convention hall at this hour, will make a tour of the principal downtown streets, returning to Convention hall within the course of two hours. Rhoda Royal and his entire coterie of circus celebrities will appear, and in addition the Shriners themselves will be seen in circus raiment for the first time in their lives. Besides taking part in this parade the Shriners will take no further part in the series of mid-winter performances other than assist in counting the profits derived from the engagement.

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October 11, 1909



The Fight Now Has Narrowed Down
to a Personal Basis, According
to H. H. Tammen of

A fight that has entangled almost every circus in the United States is in progress between the Ringling Bros., owners of a half a dozen of the big shows now on the road, and H. H. Tammen of Denver, the owner of the Sells-Floto show.

According to Mr. Tammen, who spent several days here last week, the fight has just begun, although it has been in progress throughout the south and west all summer. So far the fight of the big syndicate and the smaller show proprietor has the appearance of a draw with advantage at present in favor of Mr. Tammen.

"When we start to lose money, if we ever do," laconically remarked Mr. Tammen, "it will be with the knowledge that the Ringlings are losing several times as much as we do. When the question of standing a loss is considered, I guess we are able to stand as great a loss proportionately as are the Ringlings."


"Paper," that forerunner of shows and circuses is at the bottom of the trouble which, according to Mr. Tammon, promises to result in a fight to the finish.

"The fight is to be made a personal one," said Mr. Tammen, "inasmuch as we have positive information that the Ringlings have failed to pay license fees in many towns in Texas and we propose to see to it that all of their back license taxes are paid when they show in that state this fall. We will also see to it that their prices remain the same and are not put on a sliding scale. They have used this sliding scale where ever there has been opposition, making the prices cheaper and where there is no opposition, they have raised them."

At present the war between the shows is with twenty-eight-sheet posters, which the Sells-Floto people are using, and quarter-sheet posters which the Ringlings are posting alongside the other big posters. The Sells-Floto circus shows the photographs of the five Sells brothers and Mr. Floto, while the Ringling show, known as the "Adam Forepaugh and Sells Bros." show, containing the pictures of two of the Sells brothers and Adam Forepaugh. Recently the Sells-Floto aggregation billed Virginia. After them came the quarter-sheet posters of the Ringling show, which told the public that they should not be deceived, and that the Adam Forepaugh and Sells Bros.' shows, united, will not visit Norfolk before next year.


Down South the Barnum & Bailey show, which is one of the Ringling Bros.' attractions, began the real fight on the Sells-Floto show in April. On April 2 paper was put up in El Paso stating that the Barnum & Baily show was "coming soon." It is alleged that some of this paper was pasted over the Sells-Floto paper The Barnum & Bailey show did not appear in El Paso until the latter part of September. The statement that they are "coming soon" is declared by the Sells-Floto people as unprofessional.

"We expect to bring court proceedings against the Ringling's as soon as we can get service on them," said Mr. Tammen. "It is possible that we will stir up something before the begining of the next year's season."

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September 26, 1909



Burning of Museum in New York
Sent Joseph to Kansas City,
Where He Died of Dropsy.
Joseph Lucase, Famous Albino Violinist.

Joseph Lucasie, the Albino, who died of dropsy at the General hospital Friday morning, had in addition to an exceptional gift of harmony the distinction of having been one of the original exhibitions of P. T. Barnum, the pioneer showman.

It was in 1858 that Barnum heard of the strange family in Holland.

The fact that an Albino named Lucase had married an Albino wife and that both had abundant silken hair was in itself nothing remarkable. Barnum could have placed his hand on at least a dozen such couples in different quarters of the world.

It was the phenomena of two white-haired, pink-eyed children, a boy and a girl, born of this union, that made the Lucasie family worth having. The offspring of Albinos are almost without exception normal in every way, and the condition of being an Albino is said not to be hereditary.


When the Lucasie family was brought over from Holland, Joseph was 8 years old and his sister a few years younger. They were assigned to Barnum's New York city museum in 1859-60, where they were featured as having come from Madagascar and being the last of the great race of Albinos made famous by the writings of H. Rider Haggard. In this role they excited immense interest in the metropolis, attracting large crowds daily.

P. T. Barnum's Famous Albino Family.

When the Barnum museum in New York burned the Lucasie family started out on its own resources and made money. They were picked up by the W. W. Cole circus and taken to Australia, where they were featured with success in a country popularly thought to be the home of the Albino.

After their return to America they hired out to the Lemen Bros.' circus, touring the West with it until 1898. Then, Joseph's father, mother and sister died in quick succession, leaving him practically alone in the world. The disruption of the family, which had been such a drawing card as a whole, left Joseph Lucasie in rather poor circumstances. He had, however, one recourse which stood him in good stead up to the time of his death.


During the years he spent with Barnum in the museum business he had learned to play the violin. Later he had improved his talent by constant practice, so that when his father died here ten years ago he was able to go into vaudeville and make good. It is said that there are few professional violinists in the west who are not personally acquainted with Joseph Lucasie.

Mr. Lucasie at his death was large and thick-chested. His luxuriant growth of white hair had been shorn a year previous because it made his head ache and there was little of the Albino distinctions left about him apparently, with the exception of his pink eyes. He was very sensitive and disliked to be alluded to as "the Albino" or have any name applied to him indicating that he was different from other men.

His memory of P. T. Barnum was very vague, owing to the great lapse of time and his extreme youth when he was in the great showman's museum, and he could tell few anecdotes about him. Since 1894 he has lived at 1117 Norton.

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September 24, 1909


Joseph Lucasie Imported by Show-
man Fifty Years Ago.

Joseph Lucasie, who was one of the Albino family which the late showman P. T. Barnum imported from Belgium to his museum in New York city, over fifty years ago, is dying of dropsy at the general hospital. It was thought last night that he could not survive through today. His hair is white as wool and his eyes are pink.

In his show bills, Barnum advertised the Lucasie family, consisting of four members, as being the last of a famous tribe of Albinos of Madagascar. They were Joseph's father, mother and sister. Joseph was 9, and his sister 12 years old. All were musicians.

Joseph was taken suddenly ill Wednesday afternoon at his home, 1117 Norton street.

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September 6, 1909


T. B. Baldwin Reports Disappear-
ance of 7-Year-Old Son.

T. B. Baldwin, 2115 East Thirty-fifth street, reported to the police yesterday that his 7-year-old son had disappeared from home. They boy's parents believe he has run away and followed the circus which was in town yesterday.

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August 31, 1909


One Uses Dish in Which Food Is
Served for a Hat.

The menagerie department of the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth, which comes here Saturday, enjoys, in addition to its entertaining features, a wealth of fun and humor.

The monkey cage holds a fascination for many. There is a monkey, of the baboon species, that at times will take hold of a dish in which her food is served and put it on her head, as if it were a hat. Thus adorned, she provokes roars of laughter, to her evident gratification, from the crowd around her.

The elephants have a decided sense of humor, and many are the amusing capers they indulge in between exhibition hours. There are forty of these mammoth pachyderms with the Barnum & Bailey collection, two of which are said to be the rarest and most costly in the world. They have huge, umbrella shaped ears which cover nearly half of their bodies. One of them is deeply attached to "Boston," the baby elephant of the group, and is never quiet when "Boston" is out of her sight.

The zoological department of the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on earth is, it is said, the largest collection of rare animals in the world.

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August 11, 1909


Once Kept a Boarding House for
Benefit of Policemen.

Mrs. Sophia L. Wakefield, "mother" of the police department, died of paralysis at 11 o'clock last night at her home, 2906 Penn Valley park. She was 70 years old and a widow. Her husband, a major in the Union army, was killed in the civil war. Funeral arrangements have not been made.

Many of the older members of the police force will remember "Mother" Wakefield, as she was lovingly called in the days when she kept a little boarding house for the benefit of policemen at 206 East Sixth street. No restaurant in the North End, then a better place in which to live than now, could compete with her in the culinary art, and when her pleasant smile of welcome and ready sense of humor were thrown in with the repast, the satisfaction afforded by the meals to the big officers knew no bounds.

Mrs. Wakefiled was born in Chatham, Canada, and came to this city forty years ago. She is survived by two sons, Hank Wakefield, a former circus press agent, and William, a member of a troup of acrobats.

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August 10, 1909


Council Passes Ordinance Favored
by Mayor in Special Message.

In order to allow members of the trade unions to have the full benefit of "spending money" on Labor Day, Mayor Crittenden last night sent a special message to the council favoring the passage of an ordinance to bar circuses from Kansas City on that day, it transpiring that shows have made it a practice to map out their routes as to be here on general holidays, especially Labor Day. A complaint had been made by the ways and means committee that circuses were taking about $25,000 out of the city each Labor Day.

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July 22, 1909



Betrayed to Police by a Boyhood
Friend, Fines Stark of Neosho
Learns the Girl He Shot
Is Still Alive.

After hiding from justice for two years in the mountains and deserts of the West, following an attempt to kill his sweetheart on the steps of the South Methodist church at Neosho, Mo., on the night of April 3, 1907, Fines Stark, 36 years old, was captured in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 5. Last night Stark was placed in a cell at police headquarters for safe keeping, while I. H. collier, the sheriff of Newton county, waited for a Kansas city Southern train to take both back to Neosho.

Shortly before train time last night Stark was led from the cell and waited a few minutes while the handcuffs were adjusted to his hands by the sheriff, who evidently wished to take no chances with his prisoner. He looked careworn, and his face was deeply lined. Until the time of his arrest in Salt Lake City, he imagined that his attempt to kill Zea Carnes, his sweetheart, had been successful.


"I'm mighty glad I didn't kill her," he said. "I've been wandering all over the West, thinking I was a murderer. But I'm going back to face an awful crime, that I wasn't responsible for at the time. I was so crazed with love that I didn't know what I was doing.

"She had refused to marry me and I waited for her on the steps of the South Methodist Episcopal church. As she came down the steps that night with her sister, I fired at her twice with a revolver, and if it had not been for the sister, I would have fired again.

"When the people began running out of the church, I fled into the darkness, for the first time realizing what I had done. I hid in the hills for a couple of days and then beat my way to Arizona. Since that time I've never heard a word from home, until the day of my capture."

If it hadn't been for Samuel Williamson, a boyhood friend, Stark might have still been enjoying his liberty. For the last few months, the fugitive has been a ticket seller for the Sells-Floto circus, though he realized that his constant contact with the crowds might be his undoing. Williamson, who had grown to manhood on an adjoining farm in Newton county, unknown, of course, to Stark, was working in Salt Lake City. On circus day he approached the big tent and at one of the ticket boxes was Stark.


"How are you, Stark?" he said.

That was the fugitive's first intimation that he was recognized. He smiled weakly and admitted his identity.

"For God's sake, don't give me up," he pleaded, and to conciliate his friend, refunded the money he had paid for the ticket. At the conclusion of the performance he took Williamson down town and exacted a promise from him that his secret was to be safe. But an hour later a detective placed him under arrest.

Possibly the $300 reward which was offered jointly by the governor of Missouri, the county court and the father of the injured girl, might have been instrumental in Williamson's anxiety to break his word. At any rate, he lost no time in finding the chief of police after he left Stark.

Prior to the shooting of Miss Carnes, Stark had been her devoted lover. They had become acquainted at Pierce City three years previously and when the girl moved with her parents to Neosho, Stark followed her. At last she refused his attentions and the shooting followed.

The community was extremely wrought up over the affair and and at the time there was considerable talk of lynching should the young man be captured. Will Carnes, the father of the young woman, is a contractor in Neosho.

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July 22, 1909


Unidentified Monster Found in North End
to Be a Circus Exhibit.

James Lockwood, who discovered a peculiar reptile near Second and Wyandotte streets Tuesday, was possessed of a spirit of commercialism yesterday morning and placed the long-tailed creature on exhibition near Twelfth and Main streets. After he had been visited by naturalists and curious ones for half a day and had cleared at least $3, he decided to sell his new found possession. A man who claimed that he was a circus advance agent gave him $15 for sole possession. He promptly took down his sign and left his place of business.

No one was able to tell what the creature really is. It was agreed that it belonged to the lizard family.

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July 19, 1909



Performers Were Not in Evidence,
as It Was a Day of Rest.
Parade in Downtown
The Circus Makes Everyone Feel Young Again.


The route is north from the grounds, on Indiana avenue to Fifteenth street, west of Fifteenth to Walnut street, north on Walnut to Fifth street, west on Fifth to Main street, south on Main to Fourteenth street, east on Fourteenth to Grand avenue, south on Grand to Fifteenth street, east on Fifteenth to Indiana avenue, south on Indiana to the circus grounds.

You have heard people say that the circus is no longer the magnet it once was, but if you were able to persuade yourself into this opinion, take a car out to Seventeenth street and Indiana avenue, where Ringling's circus city is encamped, and behold your mistake; for it's dollars to dill pickles that you'll suddenly be bereft of your enthusiasm.

Crowds streamed through the grounds all day yesterday just because it was a circus that held all the charm that circuses have always held in the popular heart. Big red wagons; forests of pegs and guy ropes; great hollow mountains of belying canvas; roustabouts seeking a minimum of warmth in the scant shade of the vans; squads of cooks and scullions making the next meal ready for the circus army vendors of cool drinks and hot meats, barking their wares; the merry-go-round, grinding out its burden of popular airs, all these things to be seen and heard constituted the lure that drew perspiring thousands to the show grounds, even though no performance was given Sunday.


It was remarked that few of the performers could be seen on the grounds.

"That's because it is their day off," said one who has eleven years of circus experience behind him. "They're at all the parks and other places of interest. More of them are in church than you would guess, too."

No one was allowed in the menagerie yesterday and the animals had the big tent largely to themselves and their keepers. Beasts ranging in disposition from mild to fearsome, crouched, paced and slept behind the bars. A large herd of elephants was lined up on one side of the tent and the huge pachyderms stood quietly swaying their trunks, and munching the wisps of hay they would now and then tuck under their proboscises.

Jerry, the Royal Bengal tiger. lay peacefully asleep in his cage. He is the Apollo Belvedere of the feline species. Out of all tigers and near-tigers in captivity, he was chosen as a model of his kind for the two bronze guardians of the entrance of old Nassau hall, Princeton.


Jerry was chosen as a model by A. Phimister Proctor, the sculptor, who was commissioned by the class of '79 to replace the two lions that now stand before the famous old hall.

Weather and undergraduate ebullience made their marks on the lions and the class of '79 decided to have them replaced by two bronze tigers which will not only be more durable but more emblematic. They will be presented to the university by the class next commencement week.

Two performances will be given today, the first at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and the second at 8 o'clock at night. The parade will start at 9:30 a. m. The circus will give two performances at Manhattan, Kas., Tuesday.

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July 18, 1909



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.

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.


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.


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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July 18, 1909


Iowan Coming to Meet Old Circus
Friends Tomorrow.

ST. JOSEPH, Mo., July 17. -- From circus clown to coffee salesman is the odd step that was taken by John W. Swisher, long one of the most famous clowns this country knew. For years he was the principal funmaker with the old John Robinson show, and he and Al White, now Ringling's best clown, were associates of the sawdust track. White will be in Kansas City Monday with the Ringling show, and Swisher will not miss the chance to renew the acquaintance.

When Swisher is off the road he lives at Brighton, Ia., the village where he was born and reared. There, too, live the family of White, as well as the relatives of several other circus performers, and Woods, the horse trainer, now touring in Europe. They winter and spend many evenings talking over the days when most of them worked together.

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April 22, 1909


Officials Will Attend Circus Per-
formance at Convention Hall.

Tonight will be "city hall night" at the circus. All the officials will attend the performance at Convention hall and will boost for the Kansas City zoo.

Everybody would like to see the Swope Park zoo stocked with animals and birds this summer, and to raise the money for that object the Zoological Society of Kansas City induced the Campbell Bros. to bring their circus and animals to Convention hall for one week, ending with a performance next Saturday night.

All the proceeds, after paying expenses, will be applied to the purchase of animals by the park board and the Zoo Society. Campbell Bros. do not handle a dollar of the money. The city and county exacted no license always required for a circus, which amounts to $800.

The performance is most excellent, and if patronized as it should be, the money to buy lions, tigers, leopards, monkeys and birds will be raised and honestly expended for that purpose.

Every person who goes to the Campbell Bros.' show this week assists in securing the new public menagerie which will be installed at Swope park. Performances are given every afternoon and evening. Remember the good cause and make it a point to take in the circus.

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April 17, 1909


Campbell's Elephants Raid an
Italian Fruit Stand.

The Campbell Bros.' big show, on a special train consisting of forty cars, arrived in the city yesterday over the Rock Island from winter quarters in Fairbury, Neb. There will be a parade this at 11:00 and the show opens in Convention hall in the evening, where performances will be given every afternoon and evening until April 25. The greater part of the receipts go to the Kansas City Zoological Society, which intends to establish a menagerie out at Swope park.

The Campbell show has a complete menagerie, has over 200 head of horses and employs over 500 men. After unloading, the animal cages and the horses were located in a vacant lot south of the big hall. The bulls, two herds of elephants and the camels were placed inside the hall.

"The baby camel, which was born three weeks ago and is the only one born in captivity, is doing fine. So is the mother, and the father is also pretty proud of his son."

The big parade will be nearly one mile long. All of the animal cages will be in line along with the trained animals. Performers will ride their trained horses and clowns will cavort for the benefit of the children. Three brass bands and a drum corps will furnish the music.

The elephants, while on the way to the hall, nearly stampeded when they came to a street fruit stand run by an Italian at Twelfth and Wyandotte streets. Alice, who was in the lead, spied the fruit, and, being ravenously hungry, protruded her snout and plucked a large luscious banana from a big bunch hanging on the outside of the stand. The others fell right in line and made a run for the fruit stand. The Italian threw up both hands and deserted his post.

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April 11, 1909


Feature of the Show That Is Coming
to Big Hall.

Highly enthusiastic over the new-born camel are those connected with the Campbell Bros.' circus, which will be given for eight days in Convention hall, beginning April 17, and that same baby camel, now one week old, will be the source of amusement in the menagerie when the aggregation reaches Kansas City. At first it was feared that the camel would not be able to walk because of some malformation of the legs. The circus veterinary was put on the job and the long, slender legs were made strong and straight, until now the little beast is just as spry and awkward as any camel could ever be.

The show is to be given for the benefit of Kansas City's zoo in Swope park and part of the proceeds will go towards the purchasing of animals for that purpose.

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February 12, 1908


For This and Loss of Time Owner
of Arrested Menagerie Says
City Must Pay.

For the loss of one zebu, killed by three elephants which broke loose and also disabled the zebra; the cancellation of three weeks' engagement at Santa Cruz, Cal, and the loss of transportation there amounting to $800, P. B. Glassock, proprietor of the menagerie arrested by the detective department Tuesday, under orders from Mena, Ark., says the city must pay.

Thomas C. Wingate, the sheriff from Mena, arrived here yesterday and said the party had been detained by mistake, and the show was released. Glasscock says he has two lawyers on the way here.

When six detectives acting under orders of Inspector Ryan surrounded the car in the railroad yards Tuesday and took the inmates to police headquarters, the car was run into the roundhouse to protect the animals from the cold. But in the absence of the trainer, the three elephants got loose and injured the zebu. The animal was dead yesterday when Glasscock went to the roundhouse to inspect his belongings.

The zebra was also badly injured and, according to the owner, will be unfit for exhibition purposes. In the absence of the circus employes, the elephants had done all but demolish the car.

Glasscock with his father owns sixty-one circus cars and has four small circuses on the road. He intends to stay in Kansas City until the matter is adjusted to his own satisfaction.

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February 11, 1909



"Hello, Jim," Said Emmet Dalton to
J. H. Knapp, "Glad I Didn't
Hit You That Time
at Vinita."

Two men who parted ten years ago with murder in their hearts after keeping up a running fire with Winchesters, met on the tanbark of the Rhoda Royal circus last night and one of them, Emmett Dalton, formerly one of the notorious Dalton gang of bank robbers, extended his hand to the other and said:

"Hello, Jim. Glad I didn't hit you that time down at Vinita."

The other man, dressed in the fez of a Shriner and evening clothes, turned and looked at the man who addressed him but did not recognize in the sombrero topped circus rider before him the fleeing desperado who had turned in his saddle ten years before on the Oklahoma plain and so nearly snuffed out his life with a bullet. Dalton introduced himself and the other, J. H. Knapp, president of Knapp Construction Company, grasped the hand of the brown skinned man in his own.

"And I'm glad I didn't hit you," he said.

For half an hour the men stood there talking, and parted friends.

Emmet Dalton is the youngest of the old Dalton gang. Knapp was at that time a special officer for the Wells-Fargo Express Company. While chasing the Dalton brothers the incident occurred which both remembered so clearly. They became separated from the others and Knapp took several shots at the fleeing outlaw, which the latter returned, but neither was hurt. Dalton's horse finally outstripped that of the officer and he got away.

Dalton is with the 101 Ranch Wild West show and is taking part in the Rhoda Royal exhibition to keep in training in the winter. He was released from Leavenworth prison three years ago, where he served seven years.

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February 10, 1909


Elephant and Giraffe as Well as Ten
Human Beings In Haul.

The police department yesterday "arrested" a menagerie, which included one elephant, one giraffe, one zebra, one hungry-looking tiger and ten human beings. The arrest was made under the orders of the sheriff of Mena, Ark., and the Kansas City department faithfully carried out the instructions, though no one yet knows the reason for the arrest.

"When Detectives James Todd, David Oldham, Ralph Trueman, John Farrell and Samuel Lowe went to the Kansas City Southern yards they found a weather-beaten circus car with more than half of the windows broken. The inmates, consisting of five men, two women and three children, all shivering, seemed to be glad to be arrested. The animals seemed satisfied when the car was run into the Kansas City Southern roundhouse under the orders of the inspector of detectives.

"We are waiting for further instruction," said Inspector Ryan last night.

Members of the company said that they were on their way to Santa Cruz, Cal., and that they did now know why they were being detained. The women and children remained in the matron's room, while the men were locked up in the holdover.

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February 10, 1909


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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February 7, 1909



Advance Sale of Seats for Twelve Per-
formances Is Enormous -- 30,000
Tickets Having Already
Been Sold.
Rain Couldn't Stop the Shriners' Parade

Three sharp blasts on three shiny bugles, blown by three nattily clad circus women, astride three snow white horses, and the Shriners' monster parade began its course from Convention hall promptly at 2:20 o'clock yesterday afternoon. It had begun to rain, but that made no difference to the Shriners. Circus parades always had to happen, "rain or shine," and the nobles clambered into the many automobiles waiting for them and started out to show what might be expected from the Rhoda Royal Indoor circus, which will be given in Convention hall all this week.

First in the line of parade rode members of the mounted squad from the Kansas City police department, followed immediately by Wheeler's band. Then came the notable Shrine patrol, every member of which was dressed in his bright Zouave uniform. Following the guard of the patrol rode the grand marshal of the occasion, Noble J. H. Knapp, in saddle for the first time in twenty-six years. The high nabobs or illustrious potentates, past and present, were placed up close to the head of the procession, also garbed magnificently in their mani-colored robes and turbans. They followed the grand marshal.

Then came the city officials, the mayor and members of the council. Then, high up on tally-hos, rode the Daughters of Isis, the woman's auxiliary of the Shrine. The rain didn't hurt them other than taking the curl out of the carefully trained locks of hair.

The general body of the Shrine nobles had planned to walk, but the rain made that too uncomfortable and automobiles were hastily gathered for them, and the several hundred nobles rode behind the tally-hos and the Daughters of Isis.


But the camel, he must not be forgotten, and it was a real live camel, too, with two real, ugly humps on his back. He, led by his daring keepers, Nobles Brown and Hartman, shuffled along the slippery pavements between the divan and the body of the nobles.

But the order of the parade has not been finished. After the body of nobles came the Wild West bunch, augmented in numbers by the boys from the stock yards. the saddles and horses had the appearance of the wild and woolly West, and the crowds on the street knew n o better. then rode the feminine contingent of the circus, some of them driving tandem.

Yes, the clowns were there, two of them, in fact, mounted upon jackasses. That's what made the circus parade real. Sandwiched in between the two clowns was a wagonload of prospective initiates to the shrine, masked and hideously decorated. The wagon which held them bore the legend: "We are going to cross the hot, hot sand," but nothing was said of the cold, wet, asphalt pavements.

Two or three more bands and another Wild West and stock yards contingent brought up the rear of the parade.

Crowds of people lined the sidewalks and streets watching the parade. The route was a convenient one, calculated to give every one a chance to see the procession twice, at least.

The automobiles at times didn't behave like well-bred automobiles should. At the Petticoat lane turn they insisted upon skidding into the crowds which had lined the streets. The drivers couldn't help it. Neither could Sergeant James Hogan of the traffic squad, although no one was injured. It was not infrequent that something went wrong with one of the numerous machines, and that blocked the parade. Two or three of the machines had to be pushed out of the path of the parade.

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September 8, 1908


Immense Crowds Attended Afternoon
and Night Performances.

It's a good circus that Ringling Bros. brought to Kansas City this year. In fact, it is no violation of confidence to state that the Ringling circus this year is about the biggest, brightest and best in its line. Owning, as they do, the Barnum & Baily, Sells-Fourpaugh and Buffalo Bill Wild West shows it doesn't require the wisdom of a Solomon for discern which name will be heralded premier in the circus world. The Ringlings have always prided themselves on conducting "clean" shows and they certainly live up to their pride.

The crowd that turned up yesterday afternoon filled every seat in the big tent and occupied the ground space five rows in front of the seats for the entire distance around the big tent. It is estimated that more than 30,000 people saw the circus yesterday afternoon and last night.

In the way of circus acts the Ringlings feature a number that possess genuine merit. The entire bill is marked by a high average. As usual the animal section of the show remains its popular interest.

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August 21, 1908


Giant, Tired of Circus Life, Finds Ex-
istence a Problem.

"Is there such a thing as a man being too tall to join the army?" asked a gigantic young fellow of a dapper looking officer standing in the entrance of the United States army recruiting office yesterday. He was told that a man could be too tall and that he probably was in that class.

"I thought so," he replied, "too tall for anything but the circus business, and I'm so blamed tired of that that I never want to see the inside of a canvass again. I'm too tall to work in the average shop, too tall to work in a store, too tall to be employed in an office, too tall to hustle on a boat, too tall to engage myself as a traction car motorman or conductor, too tall --ah, what's the use. I'm too tall for anything."

In answer to a question the man said his name was Jarvis Henderson, that he was 32 years old and hailed from a small town near Harrisburg, Pa. His parents, he said, were of average height and that other members of the family also were of medium stature.

"I do have an awful time," said he, looking down on the officer as though longing to suddenly shrink to his size. "Since I left the show out there in Kansas I have been unable to get sufficient to eat in hotels and have had to pay for two beds, which I broke when my legs straightened out after I had gone to sleep. I can't go any place unless I am gawked at by a lot of rubber necks."

"Well, I'm much obliged," resumed the giant as he prepared to leave. "If I can't join the army I guess it's up to me to get back and try to catch up to that show again. I don't like it a little bit, but I am convinced that it is the only thing for me. So long."

"But say," asked the soldier, "how tall are you, anyhow?"

"Only seven feet two," came the response.

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August 24, 1908


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


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


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 11, 1908


"Bottles" Was a Model Dog Until a
Vagrant Canine Came Along.

This is the story of a dog that was tempted and fell into bad ways. Henry Miller, a Kansas City saloonkeeper, owns a fox terrier named "Bottles." For two years Bottles was all that any self-respecting fox terrier should be. Then one night a dog of uncertain breed walked into a saloon and from appearances was nearly starved to death. Miller fed the dog, which stayed in the saloon from then on. She was named Rags and developed an abnormal appetite for beer, drinking all of it that was given to her. She would become so intoxicated that she could not walk. Within six month' time "Bottles" had acquired the hait of drinking beer and the two dogs would get "gloriously full" together.

Recently Miller purchased a saloon in the North End and Rags was taken to the new location, but not being acquainted with the patrons she refused to spend all of her time there. She goes out to the corner of Fourth and Main streets about noon every day and boards a Vine street car and rides to Nineteenth and Troost avenue, where she gets off and goes over to Eighteenth and Troost avenue, where she has lived for some time. "Bottles" is also an old street car rider. Each morning "Bottles" boards a Troost avenue car and rides to Twelfth street, where he transfers onto a Twelfth street car and rides down to a restaurant near Holmes street. The waiter in the restaurant gives the dog a meal, after which "Bottles" makes the return trip, including the transfer at Twelfth street and Troost avenue.

Not long ago Miller started out to attend a circus on the east side of town. He took "Bottles" with him, but the dog became separated from his master at Eighth street and Grand avenue. The owner retraced his footsteps, believing that he would find "Bottles" playing with other dogs on the street. When he reached Tenth street and Troost avenue he boarded a car to go to Eighteenth street and Troost avenue to his saloon. When the car arrived at Twelfth street he saw "Bottles" get off a Twelfth street car and run and jump on the rear end of a Troost car on his way home. "Bottles" has a son known as "Booze," but so far "Booze" has refused to partake of intoxicating liquors, nor has he learned the art of using the street cars in his travels around the city.

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July 30, 1908


Animal Is the Constant Companion
of "Doc" Waddell.

"Is it? It is. It's Doc Waddell and his pet elephant." All of this took place at one of the hotels in Kansas City yesterday when Doc Waddell, ahead of the Sells-Floto circus, came to the city accompanied by an elephant. The circus proper will not be in the city until Monday, August 10, but Doc is a part of it and he entertained the guests at the hotel for a considerable time.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Waddell, but you'll have to leave that animal in the basement," said the clerk; "we cannot allow animals of any sort in our hotel."

Mr. Waddell turned to his elephant, which is spoken of as "Waddy," and held a few brief words with him. "Oh, very well," he replied, "Waddy's used to livery stables and he considers hotel basements as tramps would consider palaces. Come along, Waddy -- and the clerk."

With that the trio went to the basement and a stall was fixed for the elephant. Mr. Waddell is the brother of Rube Waddell, a famous baseball pitcher.

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July 21, 1908


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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July 20, 1908



Case of Love at First Sight at the
Circus Grounds Yesterday --
Public Proposal by Midget.
"Big Top" is Up.
The Little Russian Prince who Fell in Love at First Sight
He is 32 Years Old, 26 Inches Tall, and Weighs 16 pounds.

It as a case of love at first sight with the Little Russian Prince. Often he had heard of Princess Wee-nee-wee, but he had never seen her until yesterday afternoon.

The Little Russian Prince is 32 years old, weighs 16 pounds and is 26 inches high. His affinity is a dark skinned young woman of similar dimensions, though somewhat smaller. Her height is 17 inches, she is 18 years old, and weighs 7 1/2 pounds. Princess Wee-nee-wee travels with the Barnum & Bailey circus. The prince is connected with the vaudeville circuit which makes the parks.

Last week the prince heard that Wee-nee-wee was to be in Kansas City yesterday and so delayed his departure from Carnival park in order to pay her a visit. Out at the show grounds the freaks' tent had just been raised when the prince walked in and inquired for Wee-nee-wee. When the princess's maid brought her out to see the prince they stared at each other for a moment, then the prince boldly put out his hand in greeting.

So struck was he with the midget's appearance that he immediately proposed marriage.

"How do you like me?" he asked. "Wouldn't you like to be my wife?" The prince had made his little speech without a blush and seemed dreadfully in earnest. Wee-nee-wee was painfully embarrassed and, despite her dark color, she even blushed. Meanwhile, a crowd had gathered about the midgets and the little woman was becoming very uncomfortable. She wasn't used to receiving proposals among so many people, so she took her suitor into another part of the tent. From behind the curtain, parts of their conversation could be overheard.

"I have lots of money," urged the prince, "and I can show you a fine time. You need not go with the circus any more."

Little Princess Wee-Nee-Wee, who Loves a Captain
She is 18 Years Old, 17 Inches High and Weighs 7 1/2 Pounds.

"I have lots of money, too," answered the princess, "and I don't need you or your money. Anyhow, I am in love with Captain Jack Barnett, and he loves me, too."

Captain Jack Barnett is a midget just about the size of the prince. He is exhibited in the freak tent with the princess and they have been traveling companions for many months. So, when the prince learned that an ordinary captain had been the successful suitor for the little princess's hand, he gave up in despair.

As he left the tent he was heard talking to his manager who had gone with him to the circus grounds.

"I supposed that Wee-nee-wee would not be as small as they all said she was or that she would be mighty fat," he said. "But she is not fat and she is just as small as anybody can be. She just came up to my shoulders when she stood up by my side. Wouldn't we make the prize couple, though?"

Outside the freak tent there were thousands of persons who had visited the grounds to see the circus unload and to catch an occasional glimpse of the elephants and camels as they were being led to the menagerie tent.

Inside of the menagerie tent, or jungle top, as the circus men call it, the animals were being fed and the wagons polished for inspection which they will receive today. One of the most interesting sights inside the jungle top was a baby camel, 6 weeks old. When this camel was only two days old his mother stepped upon his left foreleg, breaking it above the fetlock. The camel would have to be killed, but since it was white and there is no other white camel connected with the circus, a great effort was made to save it.

It was placed in a cage and as much care taken of it as if it were a child. Every hour the little camel has to be given milk from a bottle, and he usually insists upon two bottles.

Next to the baby camel is a baby elephant, 2 weeks old. The baby elephant is also fed from a bottle and has a special attendant. These young animals created much excitement and amusement among those who were standing near the tent.

The circus train was late in its arrival yesterday morning and the "roustabout" gang worked overtime. Within fifty-five minutes after the tent gang as on the circus grounds, the menagerie tent had been raised. Quickly in succession were put up the cook tent, the stable tops and some freak tents. All day yesterday the gangs of men were busy getting the big tent in order and it will be stretched today. The tent for the big show i said to e the largest circus tent in the worked and from the looks of the ground which it is to cover it seems as if there were much truth in the statement.

It was necessary for five patrolmen under a sergeant to be present on the grounds yesterday in order to take care of the immense crowd which had gathered. The curious people insisted on getting in the way of the workmen and in taking an occasional peep under the menagerie, but the officers handled the crowd well and no more serious disturbance was reported.

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July 19, 1908


Will Arrive in Kansas City at 3
o'Clock Tomorrow Morning.

The movement of the Barnum & Bailey circus to this city will begin this evening and it is expected that the paraphernalia of the greatest show on earth will be on the Indiana avenue show grounds, where it is to be unfolded on Monday, by daylight tomorrow. The big show is to come here from Centerville, Ia., and it is expected that one of the show trains will be loaded and on its way here at 10 o'clock tonight. This train will be composed of the cook houses, horse tents and parade features. All of the men connected with this division are young and, owing to the speed with which they compelled to move, they form what is known as the "flying squadron." It is expected that this section will reach the unloading point about 3 o'clock in the morning.

Of late the tendency to see the circus come to town and unload has grown to a large extent, and for this reason it will not be surprising if there is a large reception committee at the unloading point to bid the elephants and "things" a welcome to the city. The second section of the show train will be made up of the menagerie; the third of horses, elephants and camels, together with the small tents used as workshops, and the fourth will contain the main tent and the performers. The four trains will contain eighty-six cars.

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May 31, 1908


Hugh Coyle, Barnum's Press Agent,
Stayed Till the Bricks Fell.

Hugh Coyle, circus man, the original Barnum press agent was the last to leave the Midland hotel when that hostelry finally closed its doors last night, after having served its patrons for many years. Mr. Coyle went to the Baltimore.

Among the last to leave were J. H. Adams and L. A. Poinsett, who have been guests of the hotel for years. Both went to the Baltimore, where they registered as coming from the Midland.

Workmen have already begun to dismantle the building in order to remodel it and make it into an office building. The buffet and barber shop, which remained open to the last, were closed last night.

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November 3, 1907


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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July 22, 1907


Frank Brown, 22 years old, of Burwell, Neb., had constitution enough to hold the hard job of cook for Ringling Bros.' circus, but he went down before the excessive heat of yesterday. At 2 o'clock he was prostrated at Fifteenth and Campbell streets. Dr. G. R. Dagg, ambulance surgeon from the Walnut street police station, sent him to the general hospital.

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