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Gibbons, Artoria (16 July 1893–18 March 1985), tattooed lady, was born Anna Mae Burlingston in Linwood, Wisconsin, the daughter of the Norwegian immigrant and farmer Gunder Huseland, who at the time went by the name Frank Burlingston, and his wife Amma Mabel Mason. Anna was one of seven children. The farm was located on an island in the Wisconsin River that was referred to as “Treasure Island” or “Burlingston Island.” In 1907 the family moved to Colville, Washington, and shortly thereafter, Anna's father died. She and two of her sisters went to work as domestic servants in Spokane, Washington, to help support the family. She met the tattoo artist Charles “Red” Gibbons in Spokane; he was working in an arcade and had been tattooing professionally for a number of years. They married in Spokane in 1912; the couple had one daughter....

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Leitzel, Lillian (1891?–15 February 1931), circus performer, was born Lillian Alize Elianore in Breslau, Germany, the daughter of Edward Elianore, a Hungarian army officer turned theatrical impresario, and Elinor Pelikan, a Bohemian circus aerialist. There is much dispute over her birth date and name. The year of her birth is variously recorded somewhere between 1891 and 1895. There are also half a dozen variations on her given names and their spelling, although Leitzel never used her father’s name for any length of time during her life. If the facts of Leitzel’s life are clouded in controversy it is because she, herself, made it a habit to change the facts of her story each time she told it to a different reporter. Being exceedingly vain, she would also have taken care to present herself as being as young as possible....

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Rogers, Will (04 November 1879–15 August 1935), entertainer and social commentator, was born William Penn Adair Rogers near Oologah, Oklahoma, in what was then the Cooweescoowee District of Indian Territory, the son of Clement Vann Rogers and Mary America Schrimsher, Cherokee ranchers. Rogers County, which contains both Oologah, site of the historic Rogers home, and Claremore, site of the Will Rogers Memorial and Museum, is named after the prominent father, not the prominent son. “Uncle Clem” was a major player in Oklahoma politics before and after statehood (1907), serving as a judge, as a member of the Dawes Commission (to distribute Indian lands prior to statehood), and as the first local banker. Will’s loving wife, the former Betty Blake, whom he married in 1908, later remembered that “Will had everything he wanted. He had spending money and the best string of cow ponies in the country. No boy in Indian Territory had more than Uncle Clem’s boy.” (Yet being “Uncle Clem’s boy” could have its downside, too.)...