Mary Henry

Posted By on July 20, 2017

My mother’s stage name was Toni Madison. The reason she decided to change her name was because all of the Henrys had dog acts which made it hard to know what dog act the booking agent wanted. So Toni Madison’s Wonder Dogs was a good separation from the rest of the Henry clan.

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Mary Henry

Posted By on July 18, 2017

My mother did not come for a circus background. Mom did however had studied music and dance which made it easier for her to become a fine performer. Her singing voice was perfect and she could hit E above C. Knowing that she had a great voice, the show producers would ask her to open the show and she aways sang her favorite, God Bless America. It  would always bring the audience to their feet applauding her. 

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Clifford and Mary Henry

Posted By on July 18, 2017

In the early 1940’s my Mom and Dad did 5 acts in what ever show they were on. Henry Bros, Yankee Patterson, Arthur Bros and the 101 Wild West show and circus. Dad did comedy Trapeze, Flying Rings & Rolling Globe with Mom along with Mom’s Dog Act, Swinging, Ladder, Web and elephants when needed for the show. The purpose of  doing many acts was for more money. In those days you would average $25.00 per week per act. The most important thing was the cookhouse for your total family. Your deal with the circus cook house was always included. 

I’ll explain the cookhouse for those not familiar with circus life. All major and some small circuses carried  free food prepared in a large tent, or semi trailer. There was  a separate place for the working crew and the performers. In some cases performers would rather prepare there own food. The working crew and non-performers. were given food and found,….sleeping quarters…… and a small salary per week, as well tips form the performers. Actually they were quite happy with this arrangement. I think the idea of having a cookhouse came from the cattle ranch era. Cowboys got there food and a bunkhouse pulse a dollar a day. In recent years when I was still in the business, most cookhouses were no longer in use. It became a joke when you would negotiate for your salary, then ask for cookhouse. I do remember that Sid Kellener would feed his tent crew on set up day…………. Did not have too, he was just a nice guy.           

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Mary Henry

Posted By on July 18, 2017

 

I don’t know for sure,but I think this photo was taken in 1944 with my dad Clifford Henry. The elephant is Babe or Dutch. The circus was Yankee Patterson, produced by Jimmy Wood and Martin Arthur. 

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Bertram Mills Circus 1951

Posted By on July 18, 2017

This poster is the busiest I have ever seen. I do see the name La Tosca who I knew. She was a Canasterlli, I believe.

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The 101 1908

Posted By on June 16, 2017

 

    Bill Caress stands on the far right. His life as a performer, took him from the 101 Ranch Wild West show, to the Great Circuses of our time. then into motion pictures as an actor. What a wonderful career………….. Reminds me of someone.

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Tom Mix and Bill Caress

Posted By on June 16, 2017

After Bill Caress left the 101,  his acting career started. Bill is in the center pointing at the pocket watch that Tom Mix is holding.

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Action Movies

Posted By on June 16, 2017

                         Bill Caress on the right in a French foreign legend action movie.

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Drama

Posted By on June 16, 2017

Bill Caress is in the white shirt, acting out some sort scene….FEAR? The over acting was obvious but necessary in the old motion pictures …the  reasons being  silent movies or bad sound.     

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The Prisoner

Posted By on June 16, 2017

Bill Caress is having a bad day. According to his great nephew Dave Chestnut, he worked in many motion pictures. His years of experience on the 101 Ranch show helped him as an actor.

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