Grant Ross, Known to the Amusement World as Bill Farmer, Producer of Clown Novelties. POPULAR ENTERTAINERS, CIRCUS, TEXAS.
Grant Ross, Known to the Amusement World as Bill Farmer, Producer of Clown Novelties
Grant Ross, Known to the Amusement World as Bill Farmer, Producer of Clown Novelties

Grant Ross, Known to the Amusement World as Bill Farmer, Producer of Clown Novelties

Autograph letter in a beautiful hand, on Ross' pictorial letterhead. Hutto, Texas, 1914. 8.5 x 11 inches, framed with clear glass on verso so entire letter can be read. Very good. Born in Ohio in 1867, Grant P. Ross moved to Texas in 1879, when his father obtained a homestead in Hutto and also became the town’s postmaster. Prior to becoming an entertainer, Ross earned a living through his penmanship skills, teaching at a business school in Austin and working as a show card writer (i.e., maker of handwritten signs for store displays). In this letter, addressed to an old friend he has not seen for many years, he says he was “a wonderful penman when I quit it and went into the show business.” That transition occurred in 1907, when he got his first job as a circus clown. Over the years he worked for Sun Bros. Circus, John Robinson’s Circus, Gentry Bros., and Wheeler Bros., traveling extensively, but returning to his farm in Hutto in the winters. He performed under the name of Bill Farmer (as noted on his letterhead, and apparently invented new routines and produced clown shows as well as appearing in them. This letterhead advertises his “cartoons and novelty blackboard penmanship act,” as well as his “dancing, monologue, and comedy wire act.” Ross’s letter, addressed to R. L. Ziller of Austin, recounts all the traveling he has done since entering show business: “I have been in Mexico twice, Cuba once, Canada four times, Honolulu twice, Fiji Islands once, Australia once, Over most of the United States quite a number of times.” He also report that “Politically I am a Socialist Labor Party man. Religiously I am a Theosophist.” He asks Ziller to write back with his own news and signs off “Yours truly, Grant Ross. Hutto, Texas. Capitol of the world, garden spot of the earth.”.

Item #20872

Price: $295.00

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