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Fred C. Jenks (1871-1944)
Born in Bay City -- career as a circus clown, and in vaudeville.

1944: Obituary. (Added Jun., 2009)

The Billboard The World's Foremost Amusement Weekly Feb. 26, 1944


February 26, 1944:

JENKS, Fred C., 73, former circus clown and vaude performer at his home in Saginaw, Mich., February 14. He retired 25 years ago. Born in Bay City, Mich., he ran away from home when a boy and teamed with Harry Watson, Saginaw native, who later became one of the leading comedians of his day. The team of Watson and Jenks comedy acrobatic duo, later became a trio, Bickle, Watson and Jenks, playing small theaters and on wagon show tours thru Michigan. The team toured with Matt Wixom's McConkey's and Andrews', and Stowe Bros.' Wild West shows. Jenks married Grace Burk in 1891, and formed the team of Burk and Jenks. They appeared with Sun Bros.' Circus and later on the Pantages and other vaude circuits. In 1910 they joined the Ringling Circus as a clown and equestrienne, respectively. They also toured with the Barnum & Bailey and Hagenbeck Wallace circuses. Jenks produced his own Honey Bunch Minstrels at one time. Survived by his widow. Interment in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Saginaw, February 16.

Additional Notes:

  • 1880 Census - Bay City:
    - Fred Jenks, age 9 years, born in Bay City, MI
    - Parents: William Jenks and Lavina Jenks, both born in Ohio.
Related Pages/Notes

Related Pages
Theater History.
Theatrical News History
People Referenced
Burk, Grace (wife)
Jenks, Fred C. (subject)
Jenks, Lavina Mrs. (mother)
Jenks, William (father)
Watson, Henry
Subjects Referenced
Barnum & Bailey
Bay City, MI
Bickle, Wilson, Jenks
Burk & Jenks
Forest Lawn Cemetery
Hagenbeck Wallace Circus
Honey Bunch Minstrels
McConkey & Andrews
Ringling Circus
Saginaw, MI
Stowe Bros.
sun Bros. Circus
Watson & Jenks
Wixom, Matt
WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.