Explore Illinois’ rich circus history through the images of the men and women who started it all. In 1867 horse trainer James T. Johnson came to Illinois, establishing his winter quarters at Galesburg, where he began a circus tradition which still carries on today. During his stay in Illinois, two boys broke in with the circus: Harry Lamkin and Frank A. Gardner.
Follow along as you meet other legendary circus innovators, including Edward Shipp, the Fisher Brothers, the Kelly Brothers, the Flying Wards, and many more.
In association with Milner Library’s Circus and Allied Arts Collection, 150 Years of Circusin Illinois gives you a glimpse into the past and shows how the circus culture in Illinois is still present today.