Known as "Chiquita" (little one in Spanish), Alice Espiridiona (also known as Alice Zenda), was usually referred to with a descriptive phrase following her nickname such as "The Cuban Doll," "The Doll Lady," "Chick" or "The tiny Cuban atom of humanity."

In 1901, 31 year-old Chiquita, apparently a native of Cuba, was an experienced entertainer at fairs and expositions. Her claim to fame was her size; at the height of 26" and weighing 18.5 pounds, she was described as "fully developed and a little beauty." She also spoke 7 languages.

At the Exposition, Chiquita's concession was run by Frank Bostock who owned a number of concessions on the South Midway. Her principle act was to hold daily receptions (8:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.) in her Chiquita-sized drawing room where guests who paid the requisite $.15 could ask her questions and marvel at her beautiful gowns, admire gifts she received of jewelry, gems and bric-a-brac. She also showed off her collection of rare old lace.

In 1900, President McKinley presented her with a Chiquita-sized landau with appropriatedly-sized horses. But at the Exposition she was presented with her own electric automobile, which she rode during the summer in all the parades featuring Midway performers.


According to reports, Chiquita had acquired as much as $100,000 in personal fortune during her years on the circuit. Despite being referred to as the "Pan-American mascot," she seems to have exercised a great deal of autonomy concerning her life and activities. And, on November 1, she married a 17 year-old teenager from Erie, Pennsylvania, causing great excitement for her new husband's family and Frank Bostock, who had planned to take her show with him directly to the Charleston Exposition. It is unclear from the following article how much her new husband actually knew about his Chiquita:





Dainty Dwarf at the Exposition Becomes Wife of Young Spieler


Her Husband is a Mere Boy and Says Their Marriage is a Case of True Love

Chiquita, the dainty little Mexican dwarf, who has been a feature of the Midway, finished her season in Buffalo by getting married last night. She is now Mrs. Anthony Woeckener. The marriage took place last night at the home of Morning Justice Thomas H. Rochford.

"Tony" Woeckener, the groom, says that he is 21, just the age of his bride, but his appearance indicates that he is not more than 17 years old. His home is in Erie, Pa. At the opening of the Exposition he came to Buffalo to secure work and landed in the Bostock show as an usher where he remained for some time and where he became acquainted with Chiquita. Later he left Bostock and recently has been hot-sandwich man as a spieler.

Chiquita was missed from her quarters on the Midway about 11 o'clock last night, and the rumor was spread that she had been kidnapped. The story was regarded with suspicion by the police who supposed it was the final effort of the press agent for the show.

About midnight Chiquita and her intended appeared at Judge Rochford's and were married. Meantime the detectives connected with the Exposition were looking for the little lady and when the newly wed pair appeared the groom was arrested. As soon as explanations were made he was released.

Chiquita's husband, who is a mere boy in age and appearance, called at the NEWS office this morning and stated that one of Bostock's men made an attempt to separate them last night by pulling a revolver on him. "Give us Chick," the fellow is alleged to have said, and the young husband was forced to let her go to fill out her engagement on the Midway today. "Tonight we will meet again, and if they try to separate us there'll be a scene," said he. "I'll let you know all about it."

"Tony" seems to have great confidence in himself. He said Chiquita and he fell in love in the Exposition season and resolved weeks ago they would become married.

"I used to be with her much of the time," he added, "but when Bostock learned of it he put me out and wouldn't even admit me on tickets bought with good money. Then I would crawl into the building where she was through a rear window. Bostock found this out, and he boarded up the window."

Despite all these cruel tactics, "Tony," like a knight of old, pursued his fair maiden and at last succeeded in eluding those who sought to wreck his marriage.

"Chiquita is 21 years old, and I am 18," said her husband. "Her folks live in Mexico and we are going there to visit just as soon as we get away from here. She has money enough to take good care of us. After a sojourn in Mexico we will go to Charleston and from there to the St. Louis Exposition."

"Tony" strode out of the NEWS office wiht all the responsibility of a man of family resting on his young shoulders. He declares Chiquita loves him fervently and no Midway showman can separate them. He will foot the grocery bills for the future, he says, without their assistance.

The story does not end here and the NEWS followed up on November 8 and November 9 with results of legal action taken by Chiquita's husband and his family, freshly arrived from Erie. Chiquita was free to stay with Bostock or leave with her new husband but apparently chose to remain with Bostock's troupe. It appears that young "Tony" may have been sincere about his love for Chiquita, but the object of his affections had her eyes on continuing financial successes.

Nothing more is known of the civil suit filed by Woeckener, or of Chiquita after she left Buffalo with Bostock for Charleston.


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