Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Frank Shepherd Trapeze Artist

In the biographical files of the Sandusky Library Archives Research Center is an undated promotional item for Frank Shepherd, who was listed as “America’s Premier Single Trapeze Artist.” An article in the April 8, 1937 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal reported that Shepherd began his circus career when he was only fourteen years of age. He performed with the Cole Brothers Circus, Ringling Brothers & Barnum and Bailey Circus, and several smaller circuses. Mr. Shepherd was born in 1893 in Huron, Ohio, and his family lived in Sandusky, Ohio for several years. The Sandusky Register of June 5, 1938 reported that he was known for his appearances as the guest artist at the popular gym circuses held by Sandusky City Schools.

In 1936, Mr. Shepherd was seriously injured in an accident in Des Moines, Iowa. He missed a connection on a double flip with heel catch, and was hospitalized with two broken legs and two broken arms. He returned to the circus, but in 1943, he again was injured in a fall during a circus performance in Akron, Ohio. That injury also was serious, and kept him in a wheelchair for several years. 

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