|Birth: ||Apr. 12, 1836|
|Death: ||Jul. 1, 1911|
4th Regiment Missouri State Militia Cavalry
The Winfield Daily Free Press
Monday, July 3, 1911
"Tony" Agler Has Passed Away
Oldest Living Circus Clown Died Saturday Night
Had Been Sick Many Weeks And Death Was Expected
His Death Marks the Passing of One of Winfield's Most Picturesque Characters
The Story of His Life and Experiences is One of Thrilling and Intense Interest
"Tony" Agler (Parker), the oldest living clown in the world, and for many years a resident of Winfield died Saturday evening at seven o'clock at one of the local hospitals in this city. He had been ailing for many months, and for the past few weeks had declined rapidly. The funeral will be held this afternoon at half-past five o'clock at Davenport's Undertaking Parlors. Burial will be in the Old Soldier's lot at Union cemetery.
Tony was born April 12, 1836, making him a little past seventy-five years of age at the time of his death. He was born in Pennsylvania, and lived there until he was ten years of age. At that time he went out with the old Van Amburg circus as an acrobatt and rider. In 1850, he joined the Jerry Mabee circus, and in 1855 the old John Robinson's circus. He served four years in the Civil War.
In 1861, he enlisted in Company G, 4th Missouri State Militia Cavalry, from which he was discharged April 15, 1865. He was not injured in the battle himself, but he had two brothers killed in the war, and his father died in the hospital.
After the war, he played in Yankee Robin's show. Since that time he has played with a number of shows over the country, Wagon shows, boat shows, and three ring circuses. A number of years ago he was injured in leaping, and this took him off the stage.
His career during the circus days was a picturesque one. He has traveled over the country visiting the inland frontier towns, has floated down the Mississippi and the Ohio on a circus "boat", pulling up at the river towns, and giving exhibitions on the boat. The experiences of his life make interesting and thrilling reading.
For the most of the past thirty-five years, he has been a resident of Winfield. He was one of the 'characters' of town, always attracting attention wherever he went. He was small and weazened, but possessed a great big heart, and was a faithful friend of the children. He would talk by the hour, telling his experiences in a lively fashion. He spent much of his time around the fair grounds and livery stables, and for many years had Shetland ponies which he kept in tiptop shape, and taught them many tricks. He was known the town over, and had a great many friends.
For some time, he has been in a bad state of health, and destitute. A year or so ago, a benefit was given here for him. At another time, at a performance of "Polly of the Circus," here he appeared in his trappings, took the part of the clown in the show, and was given many curtain calls. Eight weeks ago, he was taken to the local hospital, where he was cared for until his death.
Tony's career was a peculiar one, but he was an honest man on the job, and even though it was but to entertain mankind and make them laugh at his jests, he did his work well and millions of smiles all over the land have crowned his efforts.
Plot: Union Cemetery section
Created by: Judy Mayfield
Record added: Jul 20, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14990628