Missouri and Ozarks History

Information and comments about historical people and events of Missouri, the Ozarks region, and surrounding area.

My Photo
Location: Missouri

I'm a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding region. I've written sixteen nonfiction books, two historical novels, and numerous articles. My latest books are Wicked Women of Missouri, Yanked Into Eternity: Lynchings and Hangings in Missouri, and Show-Me Atrocities: Infamous Incidents in Missouri History.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Emmett Kelly

America's favorite clown, Emmett Kelly, Sr., was born in Sedan, Kansas, around 1898, and the family moved when he was about seven years old to rural Houston, Missouri, near the village of Yukon, where he grew up. Both Sedan and Houston claim Kelly as a favorite son. I live in the Joplin area, which is almost exactly halfway between the two towns, and I've been to both places. (In fact, I lived at Houston for a year during the early 1970s.)
Sedan has an Emmett Kelly Museum featuring clown memorabilia, especially that which is related directly to Emmett Kelly. The museum was opened in the late 1960s, and Kelly came back to Sedan for the occasion.
Kelly got his start in entertainment when he was still a teenager at the Old Settlers Reunion in Houston (now called the Texas County Fair and Old Settlers Reunion) drawing cartoons and doing a chalk talk while dressed as a clown. The town named a city park for Kelly in 1975, and just as he had returned to Sedan for the museum opening, he came back to Houston for dedication of the park. Every year Houston also hosts the Emmett Kelly Clown Festival during the first weekend in May.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

hit counter
web hosting providers