Texas Jim Tarver


Today is the birthday of James Grover Tarver (1885-1958). During his 26 years with various sideshows (1914-1940) he was billed at different times as “Texas Jim”, the Texas Giant” and “What-a-Man-Tarver”. Shows he ran with included Hagenbeck-Wallace and Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey. Those dimensions on the pitch card are almost certainly exaggerated. There is a legend that was replaced at Ringling Brothers by Texas Jack, but it looks to me like they both retired around the same time. Tarver spent his last years working on his Arkansas farm.

To find out more about show business past and presentconsult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famousavailable at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.


And don’t miss my new book Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc



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