Billy “Single” Cliﬀord /Cliﬀord Theater
Billy "Single" Clifford
Wm. C. Shyrigh, better known as Billy Clifford, was born in this house on January 24, 1869, to Levi and Sarah Shyrigh. Coming from a musical family, he developed an early interest in music and practiced with the family in the barn behind the house. At the age of ten, Clifford joined the circus when it was in town and played the snare drum, sold tickets, and eventually performed a song and dance routine. A leading vaudevillian of his time, Clifford once performed with Buster Keaton and went on to act with the best troupes in New York City, Baltimore, Norfolk, Richmond, and Europe. Eventually, he created his own company of performers, including an all-girl orchestra. Clifford died in this house on November 20, 1930, and is buried in Oakdale Cemetery in Urbana.
In 1905, Billy Clifford built the Clifford Theater, now the Urbana Cinema, on the spot where his family's barn stood on South Main Street. That was the same year motion pictures were first shown in Urbana. Built at a cost of $75,000, the theater was the first building in Urbana constructed solely for theatrical purposes. The ground level was large with an eighty-foot stage; the theater held an audience of 700. The building had three floors each with separate exit doors. While visiting
Erected 2009 by Charles Mott Family and Friends Champaign County Bicentennial Historical Marker Committee The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 29- 11.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
Location. 40° 6.359′ N, 83° 45.197′ W. Marker is in Urbana, Ohio, in Champaign County. Marker is at the intersection of Water Street and Main Street (U.S. 68), on the right when traveling west on Water Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 114 W Water St, Urbana OH 43078, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dayton, Springfield, and Urbana Electric Railway (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Champaign County Civil War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); This tablet mark's the Site of Doolittle's Tavern Simon Kenton (approx. 0.2 miles away); Champaign County World War I Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); Champaign County Veterans Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); John Anderson Ward Farmstead / John Quincy Adams Ward & Edgar Melville Ward (approx. ¼ mile away); Harmony Lodge No. 8 Free and Accepted Masons (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Urbana.
Categories. • Entertainment •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 11, 2015, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 266 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on November 11, 2015, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.