About Philippe Adélard Nicol
Philippe Adelard Nicole was born on September 27, 1881 at St Henri, Levis County, Quebec. He was the 6th child of Alexandre Nicole and Josephine-Philomene Brousseau
He was born with a peculiarity; he was of small stature. He had 2 brothers and 3 sisters of normal stature. His parents had 13 children, 7 of whom died in infancy. In his young boyhood, he was remarkably small so that he was detained from going to school at 6 years. At 12, he quit the parish school and attached himself to circus acts and participated in vaudeville. This brought a lot of money. He was then able to travel and managed to accumulate a fortune. He worked for Barnum & Bailey, Forepaugh & Sells. He journeyed the world. He had a gay personality and the trait of a great wish for success
He was after all an artist and a clown who loved to amuse those around him as well as the public. He had a good mind and always had a prompt and pointed rejoinder. He was esteemed by his patrons and cherished by the crowds. He was personable in his relations and made all comfortable around him. Because of the difference of his stature, he made a trump to make his life successful. It was a fantastic mutation. He was animated with a good soul and always had the prompt and pointed rejoinder. He took the management of his own affairs. In fact, he was remarkably qualified in management, equipped with an alert mind and a quick, prompt intellect. We find him at Manchester, NH USA where he runs his society the Philippe Nicol Farm for 14 years. During this period of success he decided to call himself Count Nicol. With the intermediary of a friend, Mr. Champagne director and manager of Louis Cyr, claimed the world's strongest man of this period, he made the acquaintance of Rose Dufresne of Lowell, MA USA. Rose was the daughter of Charles-Gergoire Dufresne and Josephine Gagnon. She herself was a midget. She was born at Lowell on June 17, 1887. She had a sister, Alice, and 2 half-sisters, Corona and Angeline Versaille After an assiduous but short courtship, he asked for the hand of Rose from her guardian, Mr. Pierre Gagnon, brother to her dead mother.
The marriage ceremony took place in splendor on November 21, 1906 at St Joseph Church, Lowell. The happy couple were united in marriage by the Rev. Fr. Amyot, O.M.I. It was a memorable day for the city's annals and a memory for a man who never saw a crowd as on that occasion. Many commercial houses as well as numerous factories closed their doors during the ceremony. A marriage of 2 midgets incited curiousity.
After the wedding party's tour of several weeks, the couple returned to live at Manchester, NH. They built a small building adapted to their needs. But he was fidgety and he retook to the roads with his wife travelling with the greatest circuses and going even to Europe In 1913 Philippe Nicole as he called himself decided to live at Montreal. He again began his affairs and very rapidly his business prospered. Philippe lived at Montreal 30 years when he decided to build his virtual palace on Rachel Street. Here many hundreds of meters of Lafontaine Park. The cars packed with tourists came from all over and many from the States.
The Midgets Palace was the secret of his success. It was truly a museum of miniatures. But it was not exactly what the Count had envisioned. His biggest hope was to erect his palace in the center of Lafontaine Park amongst the pretty green lawns, pools of quiet water, shaded walkways, colorful flowers. Sadly, his negotiations with the City's Zoning Committee left it impossible to reach an accord.
However, in their new palace, happiness was not complete. Something was lacking in their happiness.
The heir so desired for 20 years was born on September 19, 1926. They named him after his father, Philippe Nicol. He weighed 3-1/2 pounds at birth. He was perfectly made, very lively and normal hands, but a midget like his parents. The doctors assured the mother at the birth of her baby by cesarian section at Mercy Hospital on the corner of Dorchester and St-Hubert roads in Montreal that in their opinion, he would be as small as his father and would never grow beyond 38 inches tall (3 foot 2).
They were the only midgets in the world to give birth to a viable child at that time.
Philippe Nicol's Timeline
September 27, 1881
Lévis, QC, Canada
November 21, 1906
Lowell, MA, USA
September 19, 1926