About Ivan M. Henry

Dear Circus Friends,

My name is Ivan M. Henry and I am the 5th generation of a circus/show business dynasty. What you are about to read is an accumulation of circus history spanning 6 generations, starting in the 1800’s to the present. It will include Mud Shows, Vaudeville, Modern Circus, Motion Pictures, and Television including a host of circus performers.

“Once seen, never forgotten, and once it’s over, all that’s left are wagon tracks and peanut shell”s.”

So…Sit back, Relax and Enjoy the Show!


Ivan M. Henry


PPS. For more information about Ivan, see categories entitled “Ivan M. Henry” and “Henry’s Chimps”


109 Responses to “About Ivan M. Henry”

  1. Aaron Schallock says:

    Hello Ivan,

    As a long time circus professional and amazing artist I am hoping you may be able to take time out of your busy day to assist our little circus group dream bigger!
    I was wondering if you could help out our small grassroots circus group in Portland, Oregon by doing a write up about our Indiegogo fundraiser and about our circus troupe! Here is the link to the Indiegogo page. I ask that you read the story and see what you think!


    Aaron Schallock
    Neverland Aerial Arts
    Cloud City Circus

  2. Joanne Bigcrane says:

    Hello Ivan M. Henry, I have just started some research about Joaquin Sanchez. I was wondering if you ever received a photo of him? If you can assist, I would be most pleased. Thank You. JOanne

  3. Bob Sawallesh says:


    I have a letter to my late mother from L.B. Greenshaw, Parker & Watts Circus, 11 May 1942.

    I would like to forward a copy for your blog, if you send me your Email address.

    Bob Sawallesh

  4. Manuel King says:

    When I saw Barnes & Carothers I had to make a comment or two. I opened with my lions and dog act with them at Ionia, Michigan fair in August of 1934. Made the jump with a stop in Chicago to see the Worlds Fair there. Met a cat trainer, cannot his name, but enjoyed the fair. Our next fair was the Minnesota State Fair where I had my 11th birthday. Billy Lorette, the clown cop, presented me with a birthday cake for a press picture. The rest of my first year on the road ended after the Dallas, Tx. State Fair and two other small fairs in Louisiana. “Those were the good old days”!
    Yours with a roar,
    Manuel King
    If I make it to September 5th I will be 92 years old.

  5. Dear Mr. Henry,

    Might you be willing to share some of the following information with your readers?
    Those of you who continue to collect such fine circus and sideshow with passion will find this interesting.

    Join us April 3rd at Garth’s Auctions (Delaware, Ohio) for a chance at approximately 70 lots of circus posters and banners to be offered during the Eclectic Auction. Contact 740.362.4771 or bid@garths.com for questions. Visit garths.com for more pictures & lot descriptions beginning March 20.

    ​I produced a video ​(​http://tinyurl.com/CircusPostersatGarths​) ​to give circus/sideshow banner enthusiasts an overview of what will be in the sale.

    It autoplays at ​http://www.garths.com/WebPhotos/4_03_15_Eclectic/4_03_15_Eclectic.asp as well​.

    Thank you in advance!

  6. michelle hilman says:

    Looking for any info about my Grandpa and Grandma,, Tex Vaughn tattoo artist and hi s wife Margie Blair snake charmer/dancer… any info about them would be wonderful if anyone knows.. My family was torn apart in 1947 in Wis im trying to reunite them all before time runs out…
    time frame between 1946 and 1971.. Thank you

  7. Dean Cappy says:

    Hello Ivan,
    My name is Dean Cappy we met a long time ago back in the early 1970’s. My brother is Michael Cappi. I traveled with the George Mathews circus in the summers of my 72&73
    when I was off from school I have very fond memories of my circus days. I was the only kid I knew who got to run away and travel with the circus. I remember Poncho and Cindy, Lothar, Jack and Sandy there last name slips by me they had a Arabian stallions act. . I remember your chimps one time walking into the side door of the big top tent one of them grabbed the tent canvas sidewall and ripped it to shreds like it was paper.memories from long ago. I hope you are well

    Dean Cappy

  8. toni ellis albright says:

    Hi Ivan;
    It has been a long time, 45 years..sure is nice to find you on here.
    My name is Toni, as a child, my mother Sarah “Sally” Ellis-Johnson (married to chuck Johnson the ride superintendent) and my brother Larry traveled with Siebrand Brother’s Circus and Carnival Red Unit during 1959, 1960 and 1961 summer seasons.
    I would sit on a bench and watch your family practice. One unforgettable moment for me was when the show was making a hop, we were driving behind you. You were pulling the Dog Trailer behind you and started weaving across the middle line of the road. My mom drove up along side of your rig into oncoming traffic. Mom yelled and banged until she got your attention and had you pull over onto the shoulder of the road. You came into our trailer, had coffee and took a break. Before we all got back on the road I asked my mom Why she had done such a dangerous thing and she said “We are all family and we take care of our own!!”
    Would you happen to still have the route sheet for the Red Unit and if so, could you please send me a copy?
    I hope to hear back from you! Great site!

  9. Pam Marquie says:

    Hello – would you please mind posting this on your page or forwarding it to any circus groups you ay be part of. Thanks!!

    Inga Vinicky Smaha, widow of Tony Smaha, will be celebrating her 90th birthday Dec. 2 and anyone wishing to send her birthday wishes may do so addressed to:
    Inga Vinicky Smaha
    c/o St. Clare Meadows
    1414 Jefferson St. Baraboo, WI 53913

    Thank you so very much,

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