Irvin Deggeller


Irvin Deggeller 2005 OABA Hall Of Fame Inductee

Born Feb 14, 1926 in Silverton Oregon.

3 Bros’s Henry, Allen & Lish & 1 sister, Elizabeth

Attended school in Markham Oregon

1st Job in the Carnival Business at age 14 working for his brother In-Law Fred A. Thumberg, running the Eyerly Roll-O-Plane at the Tucson Rodeo.

In 1943, at 18 years old, Irvin joined the Navy during WW II.  He was assigned to the Heavy Cruiser USS San Francisco of the south pacific Fleet, during the battle of Okinawa.  

1946, Irvin and his Brother Allan purchased a used Roll-O-Plane in Lancaster Ohio.  booking with Gooding Amusement Company.

1947, Irvin created a Kid Land for Mr Gooding with 4 kid rides, benches and tops. Expanding to 9 Kid rides.  In the winter Irvin would travel south and book with: Penn-Premier, Strates, Eddie Young, L J Heth, Broadway & Bluegrass Shows.

1951 at the Fremont Ohio Festival, Irvin met Evelyn Leedy, the daughter of John Leedy, a concessionaire that had basketballs, French fry & sideshow. they were married that November in 1951 in Olmsted Ohio.

Fall of 1956, Irvin, Brother Allan & Father In-Law John Leedy purchased the Howard Brother’s 14 ride show in Ohio. The Deggeller Amusement Co formed, it now boasted over 25 rides, 2 elephants and 2 chimps. The ride help wore all white uniforms, a tradition that would continue into today’s modern carnivals.

1960-65 The show had 50 rides, West Palm, Martin Co, Dade Co, Lexington, Concord, Anderson, Shelby, Greenville, Ionia & Louisville was added.  Stunt SkyDiving into the Midway by Bob Coy & Tom Poots helped kick-off each fair. 1963 The show purchased its 1st Sky Wheel, 1964 Irvin was one of the founding Showmen starting the OABA at the Sherman House in Chicago. 1965 Irvin purchased a Piper Airplane,  The airplane became a valuable time saving asset.  This was the beginning of the Spectacular Magic Midway concept.

Back Ends Shows that balley on the midway were added “Speedy Babb’s Motor Drome”, “the Silas Green Revue”, 10-1 Illusions, “Miss Sandy O’Hare revue”, great talkers as Bill Thompson.  “Right on the inside”, was added.  A semi trailer for each fair was lettered its Logo.  This received a lot of attention from each and every fair, with people reporting back that they had seen there Fair on the side of trailer over 1000 miles from home.

1966 the 2nd Sky Wheel was purchased

1970 – 1975  Over 92 rides, Virginia State Fair, South Carolina State Fair, Maryland State Fair, Michigan State Fair, Illinois State Fair was added to the route, Irvin negotiated his 1st sponsorship of billboard type advertising on the back of all Coke delivery trucks in the area.  

1975, The Deggeller Amusement Co was featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, the 1st and only carnival to do so.

With the show now reaching its pinnacle,  Coy Deggeller Construction & IBSCO was created; building the Jensen Park Estates Land development, over 300 homes and other scaled housing developments in Martin Co.  

Irvin was a founding member and major stockholder/Investor of the American Bank, based in Stuart Florida,

Irv & EV hosted multiple Political Fund Raisers for senators, reps and governors, and gained one on one meetings with President’s Nixon and Bush.

Irvin built his 1st family fun center in New Smyrna Beach Florida with Louis Blackwell as his partner.

1978 The Deggeller Amusement Co was sold to Conklin Shows of Canada.
Stuart Confections, an Independent food concession business was formed.

1984 Deggeller Mfg was formed, building carnival rides.

1989 Irvin showed his love for golf by building 76 GolfWorld, Family Fun Center in Stuart.

Commercial real estate development was next, his locations would feature OutBack SteakHouse, Honda Territory, several Banks, gas station party stores and New car dealers, His parcels were the prime locations in Martin Co.

Irv wais a Mason, Shriner, Jester, Kentucky Colonel, member of OABA, SLA, IISA, Miami Club.