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S.W. Gumpertz, or Samuel Gumpertz was born in Washington, D.C., in 1868, but soon after moved with his family to St. Louis, and at the tender age of nine, he ran away to join the circus--in this case, the Montgomery and Queens Circus. For his ability to walk on his hands and do flip-flops, he was promoted to the job of "top mounter" with the Jackley family of acrobats, although this particular line of work lost its appeal one day when he somersaulted from the top of a human pyramid and landed on his head.