Charles Nestel was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1849; his sister Eliza followed in 1857. They began performing publicly in 1861 in a show called The Little People. At full maturity both of the siblings stood around three feet tall. With the stage names Commodore Foote and the Fairy Queen the two performed in dime museums,with the sideshow of P.T. Barnum’s circus and the with the American Lilliputian Opera Company.