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Patrick, Warren A. (ed.) / Show world
(October 30, 1909)

High jumper Cowan near jaws of death,   p. 6

Page 6

Well-Known Carnival Diver Has a Close Call at Princeton, Ill.,
During Red Men's Festival.
Tom Covwan, the high jumper and
diver, closed his season at the Red
Men's Carnival at Princeton, Ill., last
week and in his dive on Friday night
had   a  narrow  escape  from   being
drowned in the small tank into which
he (lives when giving his exhibition.
Cowan, with his body swathed in cot-
ton from his feet to his waist, sets it
on fire as he jumps and at the same
time, his tank is also set on fire around
the sides. He uses four twenty-foot
ladders and generally makes the jump
from a heighth of seventy-two feet into
a tank 12x14 feet.
Wires Are Guides.
Cowan, after iounting to the top,
depends much on the top guy wires on
each side of him to "center" the tank
at the bottom, so he can strike the
water without injury to him. These
wires, when possible, are stretched at
an exact angle by Cowan and long cus-
tom has enabled him to tell by them
when ,he is 'centered." Owing to a
high wind on the night of his first
jump, he could not stretch the wires
and was forced to cut down the heighth
of his jump on Friday when lie moved
up to the limit. Having been unable to
place his wires at their usual angle, he
found himself vithout his usual famil-
iar guides, and consequently, lie was
greatly bothered. Trying to guage the
-center of the tank, lie finally nerved
himself to make the leap, knowing in-
wardly that it was simply a matter of
-conjecture, without the wires to "cen-
ter" him.
Cowan Has Close Call.
He hit the tank near the side and had
the breath knocked out of him. The
fact that he did not come to the surface
gave the carnival men, his manager and
-others close to the tank great concern
-and they were on the point of entering
it to locate him, when lie finally came
up to one side in a dazed condition. He
was quickly assisted to a hotel, where
he was wrapped in blankets and given
stimulants.   After   some   minutes,
'Cowan was himself again, feeling none
the worse for his dangerous experi-
It was a close call for Cowan and lie
will endeavor to make sure of hitting
the center of the tank before again at-
tempting the feat.
Cowan, who is thirty-six years old, i.
a native of Opeliba, Ala., starting in
the high diving business when eighteen
years old at Pensacola, Fla.
The Princeton papers contained long
accounts of Cowan's accident at its
Waukegan Showman Has a Novel Suit
Brought Against Him-Price of
Two Nickel Tickets The Cause.
WAUKEGAX, Ill., Oct. 27-William
Madsen, manager of a nickel theater
here was sued for the sum of ten cents
by A. E1. Parker, of Highland Park. In
-explaining the suit Mr. Madsen said;
"Sunday night, Oct. 3, Mr. Parker and
wife came to my place and bought two
tickets at 5 cents a piece. Being told
that there was a full house, so they
would lave to wait some few minutes,
both went out again and went to an-
other place, but only to find this
packed too. They then decided to go
'back to my place, but in the meantime
my lobby had filled up with people,
and in order not to overcrowd this, I
did not allow any more to get in, but
'told them to wait a few minutes. This
I did in accordance with the city or-
dinance, which forbids us to crowd
aisles and lobbies.
"Mr. Parker did not like to stand out-
side, although it was a fine evening and
-demanded to get in, having paid for
his tickets. I asked him to kindly wait'
a few minutes, but he demanded to
get into the lobby or get his money
back. This would have been the easi-
-est way out of the whole thing, but
the way lie asked, I simply told him
that he was not any better than the
other fifty people standing outside.
"Mr. Parker now went to the police
-and wanted them to interfere, but they
"A few days later, I was surprised
by a constable with a summons from
HighlandParkwithorder tomeet before
Justice of Peace E. S. Gail on Satur-
day, Oct. 15.
Haled Into Court.
"I did not at the time know the
man's name or where he belonged and
the constable did not know what the
trouble was, and in order to find out
something about it, I went to my law-
yer, City Attorney E. V. Orvis, who
-called Mr. Gail up over the 'phone and
found out what the suit was about. In
fact Mr. Tucker was suing me for 10
'cents and costs.
"Saturday ewm and I went to High-
land Park with my lawyer, Mr. Orvis.
Outside of Mr. Gail's office we met Mr.
Parker, and Mr. Orvis told both of us
that there was a good chance to settle
this affair without spending money on
both sides.
"As I did not start all this, I told
them I did not care, but Mr. Parker
held up his head high and would not
settle, but go ahead with what he called
a friendly 'test case.'
"Arriving at the office of the justice,
my lawyer demanded a jury trial, and
I paid the money for this.
"Mr. Parker now seemed to change
his mind a little and started to talk
about a settlement with my lawyer,
and after an hour's talk too and fro,
le was willing to settle if I would pay
part of the cost and redeem  the two
tickets with ten cents. This I refused
to do and I told him, that he had
started this case and he could go ahead.
I did not care if I had to spend a
"By and by, he cut down his de-
mands and only wanted the ten cents
for the tickets. I told him, however,
that I would not pay him one cent and
he could do just as lie pleased. In
order to settle, my lawyer offered to
buy the two tickets from Mr. Parker
and keep them as souvenirs, and after
some more talk, Mr. Parker gave in
and received the ten cents and paid
all the costs."
Stock Company In Trouble.
SANDUSKY, 0., Oct. 26-The season
of stock at the Lyceum Theater ended
abruptly last Tuesday owing to finan-
cial troubles, but will probably reopen
next Monday. This sudden close was
effected by a third party, whom Messrs.
Lawrence and Griffith had taken in
with them, absconding with the box
office receipts.
W   WORLD                                 October 3o, i
Echo of Famous Kidnaping Case in Suit Filed in Ohio Town
for $100,000 for Alleged False Imprisonment
YOUNGSTON, 0., Oct. 27.-Joseph
Wess, formerly manager of Avon Park,
and well known in theatrical circles of
various cities, has begun suit against
James B. Whitla, of Sharon, Pa., the
father of "Billy" Whitla, and the Per-
kins Detective agency for alleged false
and malicious imprisonment in   con-
nection with the famous kidnaping case
Wess asks $100,000 damages.-ARMOR.
Cole Animals a "Zoo."
CORRY, PA., Oct. 26.-The manage-
ment of Cole Brothers' circus decided
it would be more convenient for the
men if all the stock was together, there-
fore all the animals were removed to-
day from the radiator building and in-
stalled in Floral and Agricultural halls
at the fair grounds.
The show is wintering four elephants,
seven camels, two cages of monkeys
and one of birds, besides 20 cages of
carnivorous animals. So interested are
Corry people, that a day is to be set
aside each week for visitors to see the
"Zoo."  There are 104 baggage horses
and 3S head of ring stock being win-
tered here.
James Downs arrived from Toronto
Sunday evening, accompanied by Mrs.
Martin Downs.    Harry Potter is in
charge of the circus here. Nothing has
as yet been given out for publication,
so it will be some time before it is
known if tnere will be any changes be-
fore the opening of another season.
The Cole Brothers' snow has always
been a hard competitor of the larger
circuses, billing as heavily as any of
them, yet playing only two rings and
a stage, and carrying only 22 cars, and
it is a known fact that Ringling Bro-
thers would like to see the show out
of the way.-BERLINER
Suit begun in California Court to Recover Money Subscribed
by Citizens for the Well-Known Show.
SANTA CRUZ, Cal., Oct. 27.-The
Norris & Rowe circus winter quarters
will be sold, and after all debts have
been paid those who subscribed to pur-
chase the property will receive their
pro rata of the proceeds. A suit was
commenced in the Superior Court by F.
D. Baldwin and W. T. Jeter against
Duncan McPherson and a long list of
defendants, who were F. A. Hihn, Wil-
liamson & Garrett, Henry Willey, Walti
& Schilling Co., J. J. C. Leonard, Wes-
sendorf & Staffler, Kate Handley, F. H.
Parker, Robinson   &   Co., Montroyd
Sharpe, D. W. Johnston, James Nor-
mand, S. Leask, Francis Budgett, J. W.
Forgeus, J. M. Walsh, 0. J. Lincoln L.
N.Trumbly, John Notley, F. R. Cum-
mings, Mabel Dieter, administrator, Ma-
kinney & Dake, C. D. Hinkle, C. E. Fa-
gen, E. Jeffrey & Son, D. Jonas, J. W.
Dickinson, S. H. Bailey & Son. H. E.
Irish, J. B. Maher, F. R. Walti and
Joseph F. Geisler as trustees of Clar-
ence I. Norris and Hutton S. Rowe.
In the complaint it states that on
May 12, 1905, all the defendants, with
the exception of F. R. Walti and Jos.
Geisler, subscribed $3,495 toward win-
ter quarters for the circus in amounts
ranging from $5 to $400.
To raise the balance, a promissoryv
note for $1,200 was executed, due April
12, 1907, on which is due $693.61.
The real property cost $1,711.50. Nor-
ris & Rowe have only paid thereon two
$300 payments and $541.54 for taxes.
The plaintiffs have in hand $2.50, and
there is due for taxes, 1908-09, first in-
stalment, $74.11; second  installment,
The plaintiffs ask the court to de-
cide that neither Geisler nor Norris
have any lien on the property.
They ask that the court order the
sale of the property; that after the
costs and attorney fees are paid; also
the plaintiff for money advanced, that
the balance should be divided pro rata
according to amounts of money ad-
Well-Known Vaudeville Man Will Book
His Own Acts Through Chicago
Sources-Opens Offices at 167
Dearborn Street.
Announcement has been made that
Jake A. Sternad, formerly connected
with the Western Vaudeville Managers'
association, who recently severed his
connection with that organization, has
formed what will hereafter be known
as the National Producing company, and
in addition to staging and producing
acts for vaudeville, will put big attrac-
tions on the road. Sternad will not
any   booking   except  his own ac
through Chicago sources. Since he lef
the W. V. M. A., Sternad has not be t
letting the grass grow under his fe
and he has been planning to spri
some surprises on the public, the firs
being consummated this week when he
signed with Jack Johnson for the latter
to tour under his guidance, announcE
ment of wihich is made elsewhere
this week's Show World.
Sternad, who is a prominent Elk and
is associated with other organizations
has a number of big acts in vaudeville
at present and is arranging to put oth
ers out before the season is over. H
has been in the vaudeville managerial
and booking game for twelve years and
for five years was with the W, V. M. A.
Fred Kressman, who has been Ster.-
nad's secretary and personal representa
tive for the past year, will contine to
act in the same capacity for Mr. Ster-
Sternad, on    Wednesday   afternoon,
made arrangements for permanent head.
quarters in Room 503 in the buildingat
167 Dearborn street.
Big Brunette Heavyweight Will Read a
Vaudeville Troupe Which Will
Soon Go on the Road.
Following the announcement that J.
A. Sternad, formerly of the Western
Vaudeville Managers' Association, has
organized a producing company and
would act as its general director, Ster.
nad announced that he had secured Jack
Johnson, the    negro champion prize-
fighter, to head an all-star vaudeville
troupe, which Sternad will send on the
road in a fortnight.
While the arrangements were prac-
tically made on last Tuesday, It became
generally  known    that  Sternad had
signed Johnson as his newest vaudeville
attraction, when the big black visited
Sternad at the Saratoga hotel Wednes-
day afternoon, just prior to his depart-
tire for New York city. The crowd that
followed the "champion" jammed the
hotel corridor, and it was necessary
to have a squad ofpolice to makeway
for the fighter.  Johnson and Sternal
completed their plans for Shefarmer's
triumphal entry into vaudeville, appear
ing solely under Sternad's guidance.
Johnson is bound to prove a great
drawing card anywhere by reason of his
prize ring prominence and recentvictor
over that popular white "scrapper,"
Stanley Ketchell.
Sternad says his new offering will be
known as the Jack Johnson All-Star
Vaudeville Troupe, and that he wille
the only negro in the company, fifteen
white artists being engaged for the
In addition to the champion heavt"
weight   pugilist  appearing with his
sparring partner in a scientific exhibi-
tion of the manly art, the pictures5of
his fight with Ketchell on October 16
will be shown.
Sternad has known Johnson for sIX
or seven years, and by reason of his
long acquaintance with the fighter,was
able to get first call onhis services as
a vaudeville novelty.
Johnson's contract holds good until
the day le begins training for his fight
with Jeffries. The tour of the Johnson
troupe will begin in two weeks.
Acrobat is Injured.
Max Sandor, the agile "topper" of the
Sandor trio of acrobats, which openea
last Monday afternoon at the Ameri-
can Music Hall, was injured during the
first performance and the act wa
forced to close for the week, the man-
agement of the Morris house gettin
George W. Day, the blackface come-
dian, to fill in the gap at the night
show. Sand rwas working through one
of the trio's difficult stunts, 'w-ere a
strap is used and it broke, precipitat
ing him to the stage floor in such
mnanner that hisleft armwas painfullY
The trio had gotten along toward the
finish when the accident occurred and
the artist complained of severe pain it
his left shoulder. The injury will no
prove a serious one and the acrobats
will be able to resume their work ina
few days.
Sandor, while the oldest of the trio,
is the shortest, and in the act, has
some hazardous feats to performfrm
the shoulders of his acrobaticbrothers.
The Sandors were the closing number
on the bill, but the mishap to 1laxand
the  subsequent engagement of Pat
through a hurry-up call, caused ashit
in the program at night.
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