Agnes Lake married two Wild Bills. The second one we all know, but the first one was a clown of some renown: William Lake Thatcher. I think of him as a Civil War era Sammy Hagar.
Billed as "Master Thatcher" early in his career, the east coast native performed in a number of equestrian acts with multiple companies between 1834 and 1840. Some believe he suffered a bad accident while performing dangerous stunts on horseback and he was forced to switch his circus performances to the clown arena. After the 1841 season he focused on witty clown routines and developed a bit with his two dogs, Bibo and Rolla. He worked with multiple circuses before he met and married Mary Agnes Mersmann in New Orleans in 1846. Together the two traveled the country, with Bill becoming the "Master of the Arena" and "Director" for the next 20 years. The Lakes finally started their own circus because they were tired of not getting paid when the shows they worked for went out of business. Bill Lake developed a reputation as a solid performer and a steady employer.