Harry Goran Lamkin (1879 - 1980)

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Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Died in Corona, California, USA
Managed by: Rhonda-Lee Allen Barber, U.E.
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About Harry Goran Lamkin

LAMKIN, HARRY B., SR. (1849,1854, or 1856?-February 25, 1886) Ran away with M. O’Conner’s Circus, so by age 15 had already launched his career and was practicing as a bareback rider; first year listed on the O’Conner roster, 1870. Became an equilibrist, dancing barrel performer, leaper and tumbler. Mother remarried, 1856, to Rolla Shipp, making Ed Shipp Harry’s half-brother. Married Clarinda Lowande. Son Harry, Jr. was born in PA, 1879. A second son, Clarence, born, Petersburg, IL, 1884. The marriage brought a number of circus riders to his Petersburg, IL, home to winter. In need of a place to train, Lamkin built a ring barn, 1880, Petersburg, which brought more performers. Claimed, 1882, to be the originator of various balancing acts such as the Enchanted Globes, Phantom Cross, Magic Barrel and Mysterious Tables, also a 4-horse rider. Michael O’Conner & Co., 1870; John Robinson’s, 1871; clown, P. A. Older’s, 1872; leaper and tumbler, VanAmburgh & Co., 1874-77; acrobat, Great International, Offenbach Garden, Philadelphia, winter 1876-77; dancing barrel act, Theatre Comique, St. Louis, 1878; P. T. Barnum’s, winter 1878-79; Adam Forepaugh’s, 1880-81; Gilmore’s Zoo, Indianapolis, 1882; dancing barrel act, Cooper, Jackson & Co., 1883; Older, Crane & Co., 1884; Frank A. Robbins’, fall 1885. Co-proprietor, Gardner, Lamkin & Donovans American Circus Co. at the time of death. Died of yellow fever while touring in Panama during the building of the canal and was buried on Monkey Hill near Colon, Panama, age 32. http://www.circushistory.org/Olympians/OlympiansL1.htm

In about 1910 Harry married Pearl Robinson, daughter of circus owner John Robinson and his wife Caroline Haywood.

Pearl died in 1918, a victim of the flu epidemic in Chicago. Harry did not work in the circus for a brief time and then in 1921 he married Blanche Hilliard, a rider with John Robinson's circus who partnered with him in a riding act. Blanche and Harry did a two horse carrying act with Harry as top mounter, possibly the first instance of a lady carrying a man on her shoulders in a riding act.

Harry died just days short of his 101st birthday. On his death certificate it was noted he was a widower, indicating Blanche predeceased him.


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Harry Lamkin's Timeline

July 27, 1879
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
January 4, 1923
Age 43
Illinois,, USA
July 4, 1980
Age 100
Corona, California, USA
Harbor Lawn-Mount Olive Memorial Park