"Old Joe"



In his 1959 obituary, William Petty Fortson was remembered as a veteran entertainer, Vaudeville performer, musician, magician and ventriloquist.  Born in 1886, he moved to Little Rock Arkansas with his family in 1890.  He was an entertainer all his life and finally retired in 1953.  He was also an avid collector and left an estate which was literally a time capsule of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


He traveled extensively throughout the western United States and had an impressive collection of American Indian artifacts.  Stored away since his passing in 1959.


These are the original shoes for Mr. Fortson's first ventriloquist Figure "Old Joe"  They probably date to about 1912.


WILLIAM PETTY FORTSON   1886-1959 and two of his figures

Musician, magician, and ventriloquist from Little Rock, Arkansas.


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