Manager Oscar Marechal assembled Les Marechal Midgets, also called Les Colibris Bearnais (the Bearnais hummingbirds), in France around the turn of the last century. The original troupe consisted of three siblings - Denis, Marguerite and Marie-Jeanne Bernadet - and one unrelated performer, Adriens Esmiliare. All three Bernadets were actually children at the time; Denis, born in Barritz, France, in 1892, was but twelve years old when Marechal recruited him. Marguerite was the eldest, born in 1890, and little Marie-Jeanne followed in 1897.
PRINCE DENNISON, was born at Barritz, France, is 25 years old, 36 inches in height, and weighs 35 pounds. PRINCESS MARGUERITE and LADY LITTLE are his sisters.
Denis Americanized his name to Dennison when he arrived in the United States and eventually legally changed it to Prince Denis. In 1933 he appeared at the Chicago World's Fair Midget Village and there he met Chicago native and fellow Midget Village inhabitant Ethel Wickman. When they married soon after, she became Ethel Denis. They appeared together as Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz and were later with Canada's Conklin Shows in 1949. Prince and Mrs. Denis retired to Phoenix, Arizona, in the 1950s. She died in 1968 and he in 1984.
LADY LITTLE was born at Barritz, France, is 24 years old, 28 inches in height and weighs 25 pounds.
Little Marie Bernadet, the youngest of the three "Colibris Bearnais", was underage when she first came to the United States with impresario Oscar Marechal and the Italian giant Baptiste Hugo in 1916. She was "adopted" by Sam Gumpertz of Coney Island so that she could be exhibited legally, and legend has it that he paid her parents $4,000 in cash. Around the mid-30s she married John Maroldo, an Italian-American midget from Pennsylvania who was also a member of the Johnny J. Jones troupe. John was known to the world as Johnny Winters, "champion Charleston dancer", and he and Marie both appeared in The Terror of Tiny Town in 1938 and The Wizard of Oz in 1939. They retired in San Diego, California. Marie passed away on March 20, 1974, and Johnny in 1985.
DUCHESS LEONA was born in Belgium, is 27 years old, 31 inches in height, weighs 29 lbs.
Not much is known about Leona Megest (later Mrs. Leona Parks), although she did appear as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz (see Midget Jamboree of 1938).
PRINCESS MARGUERITE was born at Barritz, France, is 28 years old, 29 inches in height and weighs 28 pounds.
There were actually two Princesses Marguerite in the world of 20th century sideshow dwarfs, the other being Margaret Cynthia Nickloy of Gloversville, New York (biography here). Marguerite Bernadet married Leon Wyatt, an average-sized man, and gave birth to Andre Richard Wyatt in Deland, Florida, on December 22, 1932. Little Andre was signed on with Sells-Floto the circus when he was but a day old, to appear as the son of the World's Smallest Midget Mother. A daughter, Rose Marie, followed a year later. The Wyatts' permanent home was in Florida and it appears that Marguerite died there in either 1976 or 1981.
BARON RAYMOND was born in Tull Correze, France, is 23 years old, 29 inches in height and weighs 27 pounds.
Nothing is known to this author about "Baron Raymond" - if you know something, please email me!.
BARONESS SIMONE was born at Hauntmount, France, is 30 years old, 27 inches in height, and weighs 20 pounds.
Called "The Smallest Personality", the "Baroness" was Simone Flamont (or Flament) when she toured the United States in the early 1920s. After she returned to France she married Leon Decaen, a fellow midget performer, at Lille in 1930.
From left: Major Arthur, Duchess Leona, Princess Marguerite, unknown,
Prince Denis, unknown, Lady Little, Johnny Winters, unknown (Baroness Madeleine?).
Real photo postcard, signed on reverse by "Baroness Madeleine, age 22". The
diminutive couple in the center may be Royal Rozika and Royal Georgie, a pair of
siblings from South River, New Jersey.
"Major Arthur", real name unknown, was a minor player in the
Johnny J. Jones troupe. Real photo poscard ca. 1920s.
Johnny Winters (John Maroldo) and Lady Little (Marie-Jeanne Bernadet).
Real photo postcard by Piggott Co., San Francisco, ca. 1920s.