Walt Disney World
Walt Disney--The Man
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
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Walter Elias Disney was born on December 5, 1901 to Elias Disney, of Irish-Canadian descent, and Flora Call Disney, of German-American descent, in Chicago's Hermosa community area at 2156 N. Tripp Ave. Walt Disney's ancestors had emigrated from Gowran, County Kilkenny in Ireland. Arundel Elias Disney, great-grandfather of Walt Disney, was born in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1801 and was a descendant of Robert d'Isigny, originally of France but who travelled to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. The d'Isigny name became Anglicised as 'Disney' and the family settled in the village now known as Norton Disney, south of the city of Lincoln, in the county of Lincolnshire.
His father Elias Disney moved from Huron County, Ontario to the United States in 1878, seeking first for gold in California but finally farming with his parents near Ellis, Kansas until 1884. He worked for Union Pacific Railroad and married Flora Call on January 1, 1888 in Acron, Florida. The family moved to Chicago, Illinois in 1890, where his brother Robert lived. For most of his early life, Robert helped Elias financially. In 1906, when Walt was four, Elias and his family moved to a farm in Marceline, Missouri, where his brother Roy had recently purchased farmland. While in Marceline, Disney developed his love for drawing. One of their neighbors, a retired doctor named "Doc" Sherwood, paid him to draw pictures of Sherwood's horse, Rupert. He also developed his love for trains in Marceline, which owed its existence to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway which ran through town. Walt would put his ear to the tracks in anticipation of the coming train. Then he would look for his uncle, engineer Michael Martin, running the train.
The Disneys remained in Marceline for four years, before moving to Kansas City in 1911. (Its is said that Main Street USA is Walt's version of the town of Maracline.) There, Walt and his younger sister Ruth attended the Benton Grammar School where he met Walter Pfeiffer. The Pfeiffers were theatre aficionados, and introduced Walt to the world of vaudeville and motion pictures. Soon, Walt was spending more time at the Pfeiffers' than at home. During this time he attended Saturday courses as a child at the Kansas City Art Institute While they were living in Kansas City, Walt and Ruth Disney were also regular visitors of Electric Park, 15 blocks from their home (Disney would later acknowledge the amusement park as a major influence of his design of Disneyland).