Bandwagon, Jul-Aug-Sep, 1954. Note: Only some articles are included in this online edition. Illustrations are not included. The Circus Historical Society does not guarantee the accuracy of information contained in the information in these online articles. Information should always be checked with additional sources.
Gentry Bros.' Famous Shows No. 2 opened the season at Sabinal, Texas, March 31. It requires five double-length cars to transport the No. 2 show this season. Everything is new, novel and up to date, and the show is conceded to be one of the most elegantly equipped dog and pony shows ever launched by any management. C. W. Finney has full charge this season and according to present indications the season will be a most profitable one. As a special feature, a parade has been added. Roy Rush, ringmaster and trainer deserves much credit for the manner in which he conducts the different acts as performed by the animals of his own training. The circus part of the performance is taken care of by Berry and Hicks, with their sensational iron jaw, backward ladder drops and bounding wire acts, and the Cherry family in their comedy bar act.
The concert rendered before the performance by J. E. Richardson and band of 13 pieces received much comment. Bert Misner is again manager of the Annex. The executive staff follows: C. W. Finney, manager; Lon B. Williams, general agent; H. C. Bruner, auditor; J. D. Wright, treasurer; Roy Rush, ringmaster; A. L. Hinkley, concert and reserve seat tickets; Bob Hampton, superintendent of canvas; Frank Kohn, lights; Jess Allen, boss hostler; Chas. Hayden, trainmaster and boss of props; George Armstrong, wardrobe and seats, Joe Murray, wagons; John Smith, chef; J. T. Sullivan, boss porter.
The following shows appeared in the circus routes of The Billboard, April 18, 1914: Barnum & Bailey; AL G. Barnes; J. H. Eschman's; Gentry Bros.; Hagenbeck-Wallace; Happy Bill's; LaTena's Wild Animal Show; Frank A. Robbins; Rentz Bros.; Ringling Bros.; Sig Sautelle; Sells-Floto; Sun Brothers; Tompkins-Cooper & Whitby, and Wheeler Bros. shows.
Today I mailed a letter to a good pal and grand Joe, Jack LaPearl, and in so doing I said I must pen and ink some memories (if only for the record) of another LaPearl, yes Harry LaPearl.
It is often said "Where would the movies be if it were not for the Joeys," gosh, we can count many of them for it was in the early 1900's that the film industry began to make inroads into the Circus industry, not for circus but for the comedy it could not get elsewhere. True, pantomime was in many parts of amusement but the Joey pantomime was of a different type.
Min A Fils were the first to go to the circus for art and talent, for when they lifed Harry LaPearl out of the Circus they had an artist of talent. Harry as a youngster was a bareback rider on his father's circus - LaPearl Circus. Soon he was doing specialties of all sorts, and a most famous Clown, and you can name any act of art on a circus and Harry did it. Later he was honored by Barnum and Bailey Circus, as their principal clown, (for 2 seasons) for Harry went to the New York Hippodrome, here it was thought that he would be a permanent fixture, but the Min A films changed that, Harry being of the producing type knew what kinds of people could support him in the plays he hoped to film. Some may recall such top performers as Shooks Hanson - what a comic tumbler he was; George Zammatt, of the Famous Dollar Troupe; Bob Jordan, Jimmy Corbley, Johnny Mayon, Charles Johnson, Nat Beck and George Williams, all were great pantomime artists.
Yes, it was Harry that founded that grand order, "Fraternal Order of Comiques." This club was world wide, but admitted none but silent clowns and panomists. Harry often remarked that he knew all the clowns in the world, and he loved them all.
How many of you can recall his picture "The Girl of his Dreams?"
This year marks the 9th season that Floyd King, well known circus man, has owned a motorized show. From all reports he is a confirmed believer in the superiority of trucks over rails when it comes to transporting a circus, and it is unlikely that he will ever return to the railroad field. However, King was at one time a railroad showman, and he and his brother Howard, from 1919 through 1930 owned and operated rail circuses varying in size from 2 to 15 cars. His last railroad show was Cole Brothers, a 10 car circus, in 1930. That show is the subject of this article.
From 1926 through 1929 the Kings had on the road both a 10 car and a 15 car circus. In 1929 the 15 car show was called Gentry Bros., and the 10 car show, Cole Bros. Cole had a fairly good season in 1929 but what profits it made had to be put into the Gentry show to keep going. Gentry Bros. suffered an extremely bad year due to foul weather, heavy opposition, and poor business, and despite the financial help it received from the smaller show, it finally went broke at Paris, Tenn., on Oct. 27. Cole Bros. continued out the season and went into winter quarters at Brenham, Texas.
The Cole show also found itself in financial difficulties during the winter of 1929-30. King had obtained new steel flat and stock cars from the Warren Tank Car Company earlier and found that he was now unable to make further payments on them. In order to complete payments on them he was forced to sell 5 of the cars to the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Wild West Show, and an all steel elephant car to Christy Bros. Circus. Rumors went around that the Cole show would not go out in 1930 but King was able to obtain 4 flats of semi-steel construction from the Venice Transportation Co. and also the necessary stock cars to put out a 10 car circus. All cars except the coaches were of semi-steel construction and the entire train was in good condition for opening day.
Winter quarters in Brenham, Texas, were comfortable, located about two blocks from the main part of town. Show was housed in a large brick warehouse near the Southern Pacific freight depot, and the lead stock were quartered in a corral nearby. Dave Matson served as Supt. during the winter and with 10 men did the work of overhauling and painting the equipment. Mark Smith, boss canvasman, built 8 new lengths of seats. Bill Hayes was in charge of the menagerie which was visited each Sunday by many residents of that section of the state.
Everything was in good shape by opening day. The wagons were all repaired and were painted red with white lettering. The rail cars were painted red and yellow. Stocks and coaches were lettered with the shows' full title and the flats with "CBC."
There were 22 pieces of rolling equipment. No motor equipment of any kind was carried and Cole was the only railroad show on the road in 1930 without a single truck or tractor. The wagon equipment had mainly come from the Gentry-Patterson Circus, which the Kings had purchased in the winter of 1925-26. This equipment in turn had been of Gollmar Bros. and Gentry Bros. origin. The Sea Serpent tableau had been purchased from Sparks Circus in 1924, along with another tableau which had ended up on the Gentry show in 1929.
Wagon lineup consisted of 9 baggage wagons, 5 tableaux, 1 steam calliope, 5 cages, 1 ticket wagon, and 1 light plant.
The menagerie had 3 elephants - Modoc, Pinto, and Queen; also 1 camel, and 5 cages of wild animals. The 5 cages were all small and were loaded crosswise on the flats. All cages had come from the Gentry-Patterson Circus, with one dating back to the Gollmar Bros. Circus of 1916. This cage had a large carved dragon on the side and twin dragon heads on the skyboard. The other 4 were plain and had painted designs.
All canvas for 1930 had been used the previous season and consisted of a big top, about a 90 with 3 40's, menagerie, sideshow, cookhouse, dressing room, horse, and concession tops. Big top housed the 2 rings and 1 stage in which the performance was given.
As was the Kings' policy during their rail show operations a grand free street parade was given daily. The 1930 parade consisted of the 5 cages, lead stock, 4 bands, the tableaux, and steam calliope. The old Gollmar Bros. 4 Mirror Tableaux was painted red and gold and was used as the No. 1 bandwagon. The Sparks tableau, painted red, which had carvings of sea serpents on the side was used as the sideshow bandwagon. Clown bandwagon was a plain wagon with a few painted designs and clowns heads painted on the skyboards. Another tableau, painted blue, was formerly a Gollmar Bros. cage and had a large oval carving in center that at times encircled a painting. The last tableau was painted orange, and had a large diamond carving on the side and this one too is believed to date back to Gollmar Bros. A small oriental band rode one of these tabs in parade. The steam calliope was one of the twin wagons built by Sullivan & Eagle in 1902-03 for the Gentry Bros. Dog & Pony Shows and this wagon come by way of Gentry Bros. through 1922, Gentry-Patterson 1923-25, and then to the Kings who used it on the 10 car show from 1926-30. The old John Robinson steam calliope was used on the 15 car show.
This Spring Floyd King gave an interesting account of the ticket wagon which was used in 1930. It was built at the old Louisville quarters when the Kings had the small 2 to 5 car circuses, and this wagon was loaded into one of the tunnel cars carried at that time.
Abe Spencer was boss hostler and had 35 fine head of draft stock. N. Hargreaves was supt. of ring stock and had 10 head of horses and 14 ponies.
Gene Staats was manager of the No. 1 Advertising Car and with his crew posted a lot of paper at each stand. National Printing & Engraving Co. furnished the paper and more than a dozen new designs were used in 1930. Jack Mills was the banner solicitor and 24 hour agent, and also got the ads for the daily magazine and program review.
Official staff roster for 1930 was as follows: Central Circus Corp., prop.; Floyd King, mgr.; Harold Frederick, treasurer; M. C. Carter, secretary; Karl Knudson, local contractor; L. C. Gillette, general agent; Frank Browning, contracting press agent; Frank A. Goldie, asst. side show manager; Alex Lowande, equestrian director; Frank Orman, supt.; W. E. Tyres, bandmaster; Mark Smith, boss canvasman; Blackie Baker, trainmaster; and Gus Schwab, legal adjuster.
The train consisted of 10 cars, 1 in advance, and 9 back. Cars back were 4 flats, 2 stocks, and 3 coaches. It is always a marvel to see this much circus loaded on a 10 car train, and especially the number of baggage wagons on only 4 flat cars. From photos of the train I have attempted to make up the train load order. The type wagon is correctly given, however I don't have the exact load that the tableaux carried, nor the exact contents of some of the others, but main point is to show how 22 wagons carrying this much circus could load onto 4 70 ft. flat cars.
Flat Car 1:
( 1) No. 55 box type baggage, poles on side
( 2) box type baggage, poles on side
( 3) No. 123 poles and stringers wagon
(4) water wagon
(5) ticket wagon
Flat Car 2:
( 6) box type baggage, cookhouse
(7) cross cage
(8) cross cage
(9) cross cage
(10) cross cage
(11) box type baggage, menagerie
(12) steam calliope
Flat Car 3:
(13) painted clown head tableau wagon
(14) box type baggage, poles, props, canvas
(15) Diamond carving tableau wagon
(16) big top canvas wagon, ring curbs on side
(17) Old Gollmar 4 mirror bandwagon
Flat Car 4:
(18) box type baggage wagon, planks
(19) cross cage, dragon carvings
(20) Old Sparks sea serpent tableau wagon
(21) Oval carvings tableau wagon
(22) No. 116 light plant
The 1930 season opened March 29 at Uvalde, Texas. A Billboard reporter caught the show April 5 at Las Cruces, N. M. and wrote as follows; "Cole Circus On the Road. One of the bright features of the show is the street parade. Four bands of music and the steam calliope, under the direction of Harry Wills, lent plenty of harmony to the picturesque and colorful pageant. All of the parade wagons were fresh from the hands of the painters and decorators and elicited more than passing interest. The Oriental band was under the direction of Sig Arcaris.
"The performance is one of the snappiest and most pleasing ever given by a circus with two rings and one stage. Foreign features and novelties predominate throughout the program. In fact, but few American artistes are in the program. Floyd King, the manager, is to be congratulated for assembling a performance of such genuine merit. Alex Lowande, equestrian director, was assisted by Jack Moore. The big show band, under the direction of Prof. W. E. Tyree, gave a 30 minute concert preceding the big show.
"The program follows:
No. 1 - Miss Hama, slack wire; Tetswari Duo, Risley performers.
No. 2 - Clown walkaround
No. 3 - Pony drills, Miss Rose and A. G. Lowande
No. 4 - Swinging ladders, Misses Orman, West, and Bonta.
No. 5 - Tetswari Namba Troupe, head balancing and foot posturing, and Sakata in foot slide.
No. 6 - Clown walkaround
No. 7 - Bounding rope, A. G. Lowande
No. 8 - Sengali Family, bicyclists
No. 9 - Elephants, Miss Orman and William Hayes.
No. 10 - Bonta Trio, acrobats
No. 11 - Perch acts, Tetswari, Miss West and Harry Rooks.
No. 12 - Clown number by Arthur Borella Trio, Jack King, Art Lind, Phil King, Basil Williams, J. M. Azar, Tom Hayden, Bonta Trio, and Tehar Trio.
No. 13 - Tight wire act, Jack Moore Trio
No. 14 - Clown band, Arthur Borella, director
No. 15 - Perez-Laflor Troupe
No. 16 - Loop trapeze, Misses Darcy and Orman, and double trapeze, Williams and West.
No. 17 - Six Tehar Troupe, Arabian whirlwind acrobats
No. 18 - Clown number
No. 19 - Iron jaw, Miss Vanderburg, Perez, and Orman
No. 20 - Menage, Misses West, Laflor and Hayes, and Harry Rooks.
No. 21 - Comedy acrobats, Tehar Trio and Bonta Trio
No. 22 - Races: Jockey races, Jim Brown and Gilbert Shouch; pony and monkey races; cowboy and girl, Jess and May Coppinger; chariots, Gilbert and Brown."
After the opening the show headed across Texas towards New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Route from April 2 to 19 was as follows: 2. Sanderson, Texas; 3, Alpine, Texas; 4, Sierra Blanca, Texas; 5, Las Cruces, N. M.; 6, Silver City, N. M.; 7, Deming, N. M.; 8, Clifton, Ariz.; 9, Safford, Ariz.; 10, Lordsburg, N. M.; 11, Douglas, Ariz.; 12, Bisbee, Ariz.; 13, Nogales, Ariz.; 14, Tucson, Ariz.; 15, Ray, Ariz.; 16, Mesa, Ariz.; 17, Phoenix, Ariz.; 18, Ajo, Ariz.; and 19, Yuma, Ariz.
The show very soon got into the first opposition fight of the 1930 season. As Cole Bros. was going West, Schell Bros., a motorized circus, owned by George Engessor, was going East after opening in California. Schell Bros. was in Safford, Ariz., Mar. 31; Clifton, April 1; Silver City, N. M., 2; Lordsburg, 3; Deming, 4, and succeeded in beating Cole into all of these towns by a few days. Both shows had billers in each of the towns fighting for every bit of available space. No other serious opposition was encountered throughout the season.
Entering California Cole Bros. went up the State playing the smaller towns skipped by the 30 car Al G. Barnes Circus. On May 3 the two shows were quite near each other, Cole at Richmond and Barnes at Oakland. California stands played beginning April 24 through May 11 were at Santa Paula, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, Pasa Robles, Salinas, Watsonville, Hollister, Richmond, Oroville, Marysville, Woodland, Colusa, and Williams. Dunsmuir on May 14 was the last California stand and show entered Oregon the next day at Ashland, and played stands at Grants Pass, Cottage Grove, Albany, Tillamook, Hillsboro, The Dalles, Hood River, and Astoria. Show then moved into Washington and then to Idaho. Pocatello was the last Idaho stand on June 18, and on 19th show played Ogden, Utah, with stands following at Salt Lake City, Provo, and Price, and into Colorado on June 23 at Grand Junction and on June 24 at Montrose.
After Colorado, Cole moved into Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky. All along the way business was poor. Very few good stands came up. Poor crops, a terrific heat wave, and bad business conditions caused by the depression all combined to make the shows going rough. The depression was already counting the toll of many shows that were destined to fall due to bad business. Christy Bros. Circus had already closed on July 7 at Greeley, Colo., never to return to the road, and on Aug. 3, the Miller Bros. 101 Ranch Wild West Show had closed at Prairie du Chien, Wisc., and gone back to Maryland quarters.
The show finally come to a halt at Scottsville, Ky., on August 11. Money had run out and rail transportation costs and other obligations could not be met. To show the effect the depression had on the show, Floyd King told this writer that the combined gross take at Scottsville that day was only $600 where as two years before, the show had taken in $3,000.
The Billboard gave the following account of the shows closing.
"Scottsville, Ky., Aug. 16. Cole Bros. Circus, a 10 car show, closed its season here Monday night, two months and a half before schedule time. The continued business depression, the severe drought, and six weeks of scorching, searing weather, in which the temperature seldom dropped below 100 degrees, hastened the close. Preparations are being made to ship the equipment to winter quarters. It is probable that the circus will be sold as a whole or piece-meal.
With the passing of the Cole Bros. Circus, the crown of Floyd King as a circus owner slipped from his head, and leaves but two owners of big railroad circuses in the field - John Ringling and Fred Buchanan. For 20 years King has been an important factor in the realm of the white tops, first as a press agent with the Al G. Barnes Circus in 1912, and the following six years as general press representative of the Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus. Entering the field as an owner in 1919, the show grew from a small two-car circus, until 1926, when the King Bros., Floyd and Howard, owned, with no indebtedness, the Gentry Bros. Circus, operating on 10 cars, and the Walter L. Main Circus, traveling on 15 cars.
Last fall the Gentry Bros. Circus closed under a financial strain, and the continued efforts of the Cole Bros. Circus to keep the former organization going, continually drained its financial resources, from which the show was never fully able to recover in the face of adverse conditions. The heroic efforts of the owner, and a staff of bosses, many of whom Floyd King had with him since the first year he started a circus, kept the organization going by an almost unparalleled feat in the long history of the sawdust arena.
Opening at Uvalde, Texas, March 29, with a bankroll scarcely large enough to make change, the Cole Bros. Circus headed for the Pacific Coast and the Northwest. Scarcely once a week would the circus have even a fair day's business. Yet not a pay-day was missed the first 12 weeks of the season, until the tropical heat descended on the show the middle of July. It was then that the performers were acquainted with the real conditions. It was explained that to continue the battle might mean a loss and absence of pay days until better days come. Almost to a man the entire personnel elected to stay and take their chances. They gambled with the owner and lost, but took it good-naturedly with the trouper's laconic remark: "Next season it will be better."
Through their old territory the business of the Cole Bros. Circus day after day was from one-fifth to one-sixth less than in former seasons. In spite of the business depression the hardest blow was the continued heat, with about 20 degrees above normal, which cut the existing business to about one-half. When the close come here there was not an attachment. Simply a case of an exhaustion of financial capital.
All of the employees spoke in the highest praise of Floyd King, and sympathizes with him in his loss."
The following story appeared in Billboard August 20.
"Nashville, Tenn. - Aug. 23 - The Cole Bros. Circus, which closed at Scottsville, Ky., August 11, was brought here last Saturday night and will be sold. It is being looked after by David F. Masten. W. W. Mayberry, an official of the National Printing & Engraving Co. of Chicago, a creditor of the circus has been here.
The cars are on a siding near the Cumberland River in East Nashville at the end of South Fifth Street. Through arrangements made with B. L. Calhoun, proprietor of a barbecue stand at Hillsboro and Jones Roads, the animals, tents and other property are on the farm adjoining Calhoun's stand. Performances, although not as complete as when the show was en tour, were given yesterday and today."
On Sept. 6, Billboard carried this story.
"Chicago, Aug. 30 - H. C. Ingraham, of Peoria, and Bert Rutherford, of Houston, Texas, announced this week that they have purchased the Cole Bros. Circus, which closed recently at Scottsville, Ky., and with animals and equipment which they have been quietly acquiring they plan to organize a 30 car show to take the road next Spring. The Cole show was purchased from Thomas Hanks, who held a mortgage on it.
Ingraham and Rutherford are at Aurora, Ill., this week where they have charge of the independent shows at the Central States Fair. As soon as the fair closes Sept. 5, they will move the circus paraphernalia which they have at the fair to Peoria. The equipment of the Cole Bros. show, which is now at Nashville, Tenn., also will be taken to Peoria."
The proposed show that Ingraham and Rutherford had planned never come off. Claims continued to come in against Cole property and after a lot of legal wrangling the whole idea was cancelled. Property was sold off to pay claims. The three elephants were sold as follows. Modoc went to Jess Adkins who later sold her to Ringling-Barnum. Queen and Pinto were sold to Downie Bros. Circus, The wagons were later loaded on flats and shipped to the old Christy quarters at South Houston, Texas, where they remained intact until 1947. Until a year or so ago 21 out of the 22 wagons were accounted for. Only the light plant was missing and it perhaps went to some carnival or possibly went to the 1935 Cole Bros. Circus. At present the following wagons remain. The steam calliope is on King Bros. Circus. It was sold to Dr. Karland Frischkorn of Norfolk, Va., in 1947 and he sold it to Floyd King in 1952. Thus an old calliope after 22 years came back home to the King fold. A Mr. Alread in Red Bluff, Calif., owns the ticket wagon and 5 cages, all of which are in excellent condition. Sutliff & Case Druggist Assn. in Peoria, Ill. owns the old Gollmar 4 Mirror Bandwagon and it has been completely restored. Circus fan, Bob Senhauser purchased from the Chicago Railroad Fair the old Sparks Sea Serpent tableau, the Oval Carving tableau, and the Diamond tableau for the Boy Scout Council and the wagons are currently housed at the Tuscarawas County Fairgrounds in Dover, Ohio. The remaining 10 wagons, 9 baggage and painted clowns head tableau were parked at South Houston until 1953. It is rumored they were destroyed by burning last year.
While fortunate as we circus fans are that so many wagons of this show are preserved and we hope will remain so for many years to come, the small 10 car railroad show has now passed into oblivion. No doubt the large railroad show will be with us for some time to come, but for shows like the 1930 Cole Bros. Circus we shall not see there like again.
Charles Wirth, writing in the Billboard in 1930, in his column, Sawdust & Spangles, paid a very fine tribute to Floyd King, and predicted that he would return to show ownership again sometime in the future but would forsake the railroad show and take to trucks. King was press agent for the Al G. Barnes Circus in 1930, later associated with Zack Terrell and Jess Adkins in their Cole Bros. and Robbins Bros. circuses, and then true to Wirth's prediction did return to ownership field in 1946 with the present King Bros. motorized circus.
Devils Circus (about 1924-25) - Norma Shearer-John Miljan
Polly Of The Circus (about 1915) - Mae Marsh
The Monkey Talks (1927) (Fox) - Jacques Lerner-Olive Borden
Sunny (about 1945) - Roland Young
I'm No Angel - Mae West
The Lady And The Tiger (about 1926) - Adolph Menjou
You Can't Cheat An Honest Man - W. C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, Princess Barbara of Sarawak
Pappy - W. C. Fields
Mad Wednesday - Harold Lloyd (Originally come out as the "Sin Of Harold Diddlebock)
Red Wagons - Charles Bickford
Simon The Jester - Ernest Torrence
Murder Of The Circus Queen
Pink Tights (1920) - Jack Perrin-Gladys O'Malley
The Side Show Life (1924) - Ernest Torrence-Anna Q. Nielsen
It's A Small World (about 1951)
Jungle Fury (1953) - Wallace Ford
Annie Get Your Gun (1951) - Betty Hutton
Annie Oakley (about 1945) - Barbara Stanwyck-Preston Foster
Three -? - Charles Boyer, Barbara Stanwyck
She Was A Lady (about 1938) - Helen Twelvetrees
Rain Or Shine (about 1936) - Joe Cook
In 1931 a circus musical starring Helen Twelvetrees
Oliver Hardy was in a circus movie
A serial starring Jack Mulhall taken on the 101 Ranch Show about 1925
George K. Arthur and Karl Dane were in a circus movie
Moran & Mack also put out a circus movie
1927 - Ronald Colman and Vilma Banky made an all circus picture. A European wagon show.
TOM PACKS' CIRCUS opened its summer tour of ballparks and stadiums.
ROGERS BROS. had a blowdown at Kokomo, Ind.
R. M. HARVEY, Tiger Bill Snyder and other staffers left Diano Bros. James Allen Winters and C. C. Smith joined.
VIRGIL CAMPBELL, last of the brothers who had Campbell Bros.' Circus, died at Fairbury, Neb.
TONY DIANO sent part of his animals back home but the show continued.
WALLACE & CLARK and Hagan-Wallace were in opposition and bad weather in Canada.
AL BRUCE, veteran rider and clown, died at El Monte, Calif.
CLYDE BEATTY business hopped upward in the Northwest, with Portland giving straw houses.
RINGLING-BARNUM limped away from a losing tour of Eastern Canada and headed westward.
HAGAN-WALLACE abandoned a damaged big top after a storm at Wakaw, Sask.
SAM DOCK, one of the oldest active showmen, died at Reading, Pa. He began circus business in 1883.
WALLACE & CLARK CIRCUS trouped into upper Manitoba and Alberta, going farther north than any circus with the possible exception of Elmer Jones' two-car shows of 30 years ago.
MRS. JEROME WILSON, wife of the Puerto Rico show operator, died of injuries received in an explosion aboard their boat at New Orleans. Wilson and their son were injured.
VERNON REAVOR, former circus staffer, died at Des Moines.
MISS LEXI, Polack aerialist, was injured in a fall at Mankato, Minn.
RINGLING-BARNUM business spurted upward in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin.
HAGAN-WALLACE folded in Montana after staggering out of Canada.
REMOTE PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND gave King-Cristiani top business.
JAY GOULD CIRCUS won big business in South Dakota.
BARY'S AFRICA ZOO TRAIN completed its west-to-east hop across Canada.
NEW YORK STATE business was okay for Mills Bros.
KELLY-MILLER found Ohio and Michigan business strong.
THE HOMER HOBSONS SR., observed their 60th wedding anniversary. The retired bareback riders live at Pacific Palisades, Calif.
LOYAL-REPENSKI CIRCUS was doing good business in Central America.
TRUCK WRECKS plagued the King show in Canada. Poor roads were blamed.
KING-CRISTIANI gave five performances in a single day to handle huge crowds at Halifax, N. S.
THE DIANO-DAVENPORT team blew up. Tony Diano took his animals back to Canton, O., while Ben Davenport continued on the road, switching to his Wallace Bros. title.
RINGLING's CHICAGO stand was a big winner.
TOM PACK'S CIRCUS drew more people (18,000) for a single show at the ball park in Pittsburgh than the Pittsburgh Pirates drew in a week.
GAY BILLINGS, veteran show owner and performer and father of Eva Davenport, died at Quincy, Ill.
BEATTY AND RINGLING routes crossed at Duluth, Minn., with Beatty canceling out and substituting Superior, Wisc.
MELVIN HILDRETH appeared before a Congressional Committee in Washington on behalf of circuses to ask for elimination of the admission tax.
CLYDE BEATTY lost three performances in Wisconsin because of slow rail moves and weather. The show had good business across the Northwestern States and was giving street parades in many locations.
RAIN AND THE MILWAUKEE BRAVES ball club cut Ringling business in the beer town.
JOE WALCH, animal trainer, was killed when struck by a car near Chicago.
ILLINOIS AND INDIANA gave Mills Bros. good business.
CLYDE BEATTY announced plans to make a technicolor movie with Mickey Spillane.
RINGLING-BARNUM lost Brainerd, Minn., because of a soft lot.
THE BEATTY SHOW arrived late at Joliet, Ill., and lost the matinee because the locomotive engineer on the show train broke a leg.
MILLS BROS. predicted a banner year and said its net was up 25 per cent.
CLYDE BEATTY CIRCUS rolled along in top shape with the George Hanneford Family stopping the show at most performances. Many former Cole Bros.' staffers were joining.
KELLY-MILLER won some of its season's best business in Upper Michigan.
RINGLING-BARNUM business was off in the Dakotas.
BEN DAVENPORT decided to keep Wallace Bros. out until October, rather than close early.
KING-CRISTIANI continued to score winning business and give extra shows as it headed for the South.
NORFOLK, NEB., gave Ringling its best matiness of the season.
HUNT BROS. ordered a big top with cable in place of rope for 1954.
BEERS-BARNES was 20 per cent behind its 1952 business.
CAPELL BROS.' CIRCUS changed its title to Edgar B. Buck's Circus.
SI RUBENS announced he would quit circus business and concentrate on his minstrel show after this season.
POLIO EPIDEMIC in Alberta hit Wallace & Clark Circus.
BEATTY AND KELLY-MILLER were in opposition in Indiana.
BAILEY BROS. ended its ballpark tour.
JACOBSEN BROTHERS, of Vail, Ia., ended their Hollywood Circus operation.
FLOYD KING'S routing put King-Cristiani in the tobacco belt at the height of the marketing season and business for the show returned to a high level.
RINGLING BUSINESS was hyped as the show entered the Northwest and West. Aerialists Tell Teigan and Miss Mara were injured in separate falls.
GIL GRAY CIRCUS became the first show to play Los Alamos, N. M., the atom center.
ALEX DOBRITCH, performer, was named agent for "Super Circus" TV show.
ZACK TERRELL boosted the Beatty show and visited it to contribute toward a big day's business at Owensboro, Ky.
A MILLS BROS. sleeper truck was wrecked in Nebraska and four were hurt.
FRED DE WOLFE, former Ringling-Barnum treasurer, died in New York.
MILLS BROS.' CIRCUS was host of the CFA convention at Wichita, Kan.
POLACK EASTERN signed Philadelphia, Baltimore and Newark, N. J.
VON BROS. went into quarters at Wapwallopen, Pa.
KELLY-MORRIS business was only fair in the South.
WALLACE & CLARK returned to the States and announced plans to winter near Los Angeles.
RINGLING-BARNUM was changing its route to avoid drought areas of the Southwest. Meanwhile it made a 700-mile jump from Portland to San Francisco, where business in the Cow Palace was off.
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Last modified December 2005.
without written permission of the author and the Circus Historical Society, Inc.
Last modified December 2005.