December 21, 2010

Jo-Jo, The Dog-Faced Russian Boy!

Daily Yellowstone Journal,
July 31, 1887, page 2
The staff involved in Montana's National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) grant spend many hours of looking at historical newspapers on microfilm. To keep things interesting, we look for pages with intriguing headlines, illustrations and ads.
One such advertisement was for S.H. Barrett’s New United Monster Show, which visited Miles City on August 16, 1887. We noticed the ad in the July 31, 1887 issue of the Daily Yellowstone Journal and saw it reappear daily for a few weeks (see ad above). Then it would disappear until the following summer. The show's main attraction was "Jo-Jo, the Dog-Faced Russian Boy." Our Photo Archives staff located a photograph (below) of Jo-Jo in our collection. According to his Wikipedia entry (, "Jo-Jo" was actually Fedor Jeftichew, born in Russia in 1868. Fedor’s distinctive look was due to the medical condition called hypertichosis (hair growth in amounts considered abnormal). Fedor was first brought to the United States in 1884 by P.T. Barnum and he toured extensively until his death in 1904.

Jo'Jo' The Dog Faced Russian Boy, Chas Eisenmann
Jo'Jo' The Dog Faced Russian Boy, Chas Eisenmann,
The Popular Photographer, NY, Tilton Family Photograph
Collection Lot 5 Box 4 Folder 6

The Daily Yellowstone Journal’s review stated:
"While we were not particularly stuck on Jo-Jo the fact remains that he is all and more than represented. The human skye terrier was the wonder of the women and children who apparently appreciated his wonderful growth of hair to a greater extent, even than the men. Barrett’s circus and menagerie is well worth the admission charged.”

Find additional information on Fedor Jeftichew at The Daily Yellowstone Journal (1887-90) is available online at Chronicling America ( .