From: Offical Route Book of Ringling Bros. World’s Greatest Railroad Shows, Season of 1892, Buffalo, NY: Courier Co., 1892. Compiled by O. H. Kurtz. Lists of staff in all departments, performers, program, and detailed day-by-day route. Permission to place the information from this route book on the Circus Historical Society website has been provided by Feld Entertainment, Inc., Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Circus World Museum's Parkinson Library provided the photocopy of this route book. All information should be checked with additional sources. There will be spelling and typographical errors.
As my girl has gone clear back on me since writing the above,
I respectfully dedicate this boo to
“Hey Rube, King of the Sawdust,”
Who never went back on a Circus man.
Among the nobler managers of America, who have sought to make the current amusement era an “age of better metal,” the Ringling quintette stand proudly eminent, poised upon five of the highest peaks that are known to the circus world. They are now in the full flush of fame and fortune. Great glorious gains and rousing round receipts have heaped their coffers full. With lucky stars on foreheads sound in judgment, they still aspire to “grow from more to more.” To see them plumed with victory is pleasant, for their record is white as linen. They treat the public as friends, and the level scales of justice hang over all their doings. They have never stooped to questionable methods. They have always believed that being sharp is all right, and being sharpers all wrong. With banners of victory flying and bugles of triumph blowing, their show has closed the eventful season of 1892. It has scored a tremendous business all along the line, from the time the first drum taps sounded clear down to the closing stand.
Many thanks are due to the various heads of departments for their noble and faithful work. To those who bore the good tidings, the very grandest advance brigade ever organized by a circus, our very especial thanks are warmly due. So wide was their billing that “Ringling Day” ceased being a town affair, and its business drained the population of counties. To all the motley army of employees a thousand thanks are due for their high deportment and ever efficient service. They take their cue from the Ringling Brothers, who work with that harmonious accord which makes a combine of brothers the strongest partnership known. As the hand’s five fingers of different length when bent are seen to meet equally, so the five Ringlings, bent to their work, have one common stature, and merge to one common harmony.
In compiling this book I have had full sway over manuscript, and for everything contained therein I am strictly and solely accountable. No doubt there are lines that might have been blue-penciled, and perhaps, as in case of the man with the second concert announcement, there is “something I forgot to mention.” My business as a circus juggler would hardly require me to juggle the English language, and besides there are spots on the sun and flies on Nancy Hanks.
And now, lovely or lively reader, as the sex may be, I submit my first and last Route Book. Whoever you chance to be, I trust you will live a happy life, and die of extreme old age. I am, “yours without a murmur,” - O. H. Kurtz.
William P. Weldon, Musical Director
William H. Fay ,Superintendent of Transportation
John Snellen ,Superintendent of Canvas
Edward Kennedy, Assistant
John Pfeiffenberger, Assistant
Frank Scott, Assistant
Rhoda Royal, Superintendent of Ring Stock
Delevan Alexander, Superintendent of Baggage Stock
Charles Malloy, Superintendent of Menagerie
G. W. Ezell, Superintendent of Elephants
Albert Parson, Superintendent of Candy Stands
Charles Miller, Superintendent of Properties
W. W. Rees, Superintendent of Male Wardrobe
Miss Ida La Rue, Superintendent of Ladies’ Wardrobe
Theodore Miller, Superintendent of Dining Pavilion
Ernest Arnold, Superintendent of Mechanics
Charles W. Roy, Superintendent of Chandelier Department
C. F. Ryan, Superintendent of Pinkerton Detectives
Henry Ringling, Superintendent of Concert
A. W. Melzl, Superintendent of Inside Tickets
Fred Madison, Superintendent of Reserved Seats
Jules Turnour, Mail Agent
Joseph Levis, Hotel Agent
Charles Reed, Route Rider
Fred Ehlers, Tonsorial Artist
Jerry Alton, Theatrical News Agent
Lawshe, King of Ice-water
Dan O’Brien, General Cyclone Indicator
O. H. Kurtz, Stenographer
Delevan Alexander, Surgeon “Hotel de Hoss”
Rhoda Royal, Parade Inspector and Pony Express
John Ringling, Router and Railroad Contractor
Charles Ringling, General Advertising Agent
W. D. Coxey, Press Agent
B. M. Drake, Contracting Agent
J. W. Campbell, Contracting Agent
Charles Walters, Special Agent
J. Howe, Special Agent
B. R. Clawson, Agent Advertising Programme
Brigade of Boomers, A. G. Ringling, Manager
John White, Boss Billposter
Wm. Horton, Lithographer
Henry Floss, Lithographer
Reuben Strouss, Programmer
Geo. Allen, Programmre
Car No. 2. - “The Thunder Bird”
Brigade of Rustlers, Charles Ellis, Manager
Edward Green, Boss Billposter
W. C. Hovey, Lithographer
M. Fagan, Programmer
Billposters: G. B. Buford, B. Lester, R. D. Burke, Frank Ward, J. Lester, J. S. Downey, Frank Otto, W. Cook, H. Kelley, W. Collinger, M. Burke, Mike Boylan, Frank Frye, Charles Walters. W. Green, Porter.
Car No. 3. - “The Battle Bolt”
Brigade of Hustlers, Thomas Dailey, Manager
W. M. Franklin, Boss Billposter
W. Willey, Lithographer
Billposters: J. H. Brown, H. P. Cushing, T. Dalton, B. F. Duschane, Geo. Slader, W. Glad, Lou Harrison, Ed Norris, J. Sullivan, C. Trenton, G. H. Saunders, W. P. Hogan. H. Allen, Porter.
Car No. 4. - “The War Eagle”
Brigade of Warriors, Charles Walters, Manager
Charles Murray, Boss Billposter
Frank Murray, Lithographer
Billposters: Henry Dilley, James French, Geo. Powell, Tom Ward, Wm. Morton, Charles Trenton, Ed Warner, H. C. Cushing, Fred Kettler, Mort. Nelson, Ed. Norris. Will Crippen, Porter.
Reserved Seat Gate Tenders: Caius Sylvester, George Maxfield.
Reserved Seat Ushers: Dick Martin, Head Usher. John Bone, Al Gilson, Charles Drum, Addison Brown, Mat Hubbert, J. Robertson.
Ernest Arnold, Master Mechanic
August Mayer, Carver and Decorator
Myron McPherson, Designer and Painter
J. M. Carnahan, Blacksmith
Ralph Morris, Fireman to Blacksmith
John Hamilton, Buggy Man
Frank Riley, Oiler
James Johnson, Carpenter
Stage No. 1.
Will Smith, James Hicks, Fred Schofield, Frank Eckerson.
Chas. Hardway, Curtain man
John Shortley, Curtain man
Schuyler Montgomery, Supt. of Dressing Room
Fred Nass, In charge of Leaping Run
Ernest Ablemans ,In charge of Vernon Bros’ Aerial Rigging
Big Top Men
Charles Drum, Charles Pearley, John Knell, Wm. Whilson, Howard Hubbard, Pat Gilmore, J. K. Robertson, Walter Spaulding, Arthur Dun, John Bone, John Rymar, Ed. Foy, Geo. Louis, Ed. Bitting, B. Furgerson, John Bismark, John Hartley, L. Dooley, Geo. Babbitt, John Collins, Mike Higgins, Wm. Norton, Wm. Morrey, Carl Clair, James Adair. J. Drudy, James Foster, Richard Martin, Geo. Clark, Wm. Dullivan, F. C. Klopfer, James Hickey, Pearl Day, Richard Howard, Fred Waldron, Fred Warth, Caius Sylvester, John Hose, Morris Ahern, Harry Sargent, Steve Brodie, Mick Dun, Fred Leavett, James Sinclair, S. Herbert, Geo. Welzel, James Donahoe, Wm. Keys, John Boles, John Lynch, Dinnie Powers, Wm. Cramer, Chas. Prentis, Thos. Myaco, Geo. Horner, Bob Long.
Frank Scott, Superintendent
William Whilson, Back Leveler
William Smith, Back Leveler
Fred Klopfer, Second Size Jacks
Charles Pearley, Third Size Jacks
George Louis, Toe Jacks
John Bone, Toe Leveler
Fred Black, Toe Pin Driver
Thomas Smith, Toe Pin Driver
James Gorman, Toe Pin Driver
Henry Connelly, Toe Pin Driver
Simon Pearce, Toe Pin Driver
Frank Brown, Stringer Setter
John Louis, Stringer Setter
Charles Miller, Leveling Plank
Frank McDonald, Flanker-up
John Williams, Flanker-up
William Norton, Block Man
James White, Superintendent
Dick Morton, Back Leveler
George Babbitt, Back Leveler
Frank Green, Second Size Jacks
Thomas Gabriel, Third Lize Jacks
Frank Delono, Toe Jacks
Charles Stout, Toe Leveler
Ike Miller, Toe Pin Driver
Frank Sanders, Toe Pin Driver
Jim Smith, Toe Pin Driver
John Carpenter, Toe Pin Driver
Joe Jubs, Toe Pin Driver
Thomas McGlue, Toe Pin Driver
James St. Glair, Stringer Setter
William Upton, Stringer Setter
Sam Kelley, Leveling Plank
William Connely, Planker-up
Pat Clark, Planker-up
Thomas Ashton, Block Man
Ed. Kennedy, Superintendent
Charles Drum, Back Leveler
Addison Brown, Second Size Jacks
Howard Hubbard, Third Size Jacks
Cains Sylvester, Toe Jacks
Richard Martin, Toe Leveler
Howard Hubbard, Toe Pin Driver
Addison Brown, Toe Pin Driver
Mat Hebert, Toe Pin Driver
John Rymer, Planker-up
Mat Hebert, Planker-up
William Norton, Block Man
Cages and Animals, in regular order
Cage 21, Beautiful Tropical Birds
Cage 32, Silver Bear
Cage 27, Sable Antelope
Cage 40, Pair South American Llamas
Cage 41, African Zebra
Cage 31, South American Tapir
Cage 38, Many Merry Monkeys
Cage 35, Beautiful Ibex
Cage 34, Russian Deer, Young Ibex
Cage 36, Asiatic Lion and Three Cubs
Cage 33, Pair of Mexican Lions
Cage 29, African Lion and Lioness
Cage 26, Pair of Royal Bengal Tigers
Cage 23, Puma and Leopard
Cage 42, Giant White Nile Hippopotamus
Cage 22, Pair of African Hyenas
Cage 25, Pair of South American Jaguars
Cage 28, Pair Australian Kangaroos
Cage 24, Monkey-faced Comedians
Cage 39, Mammoth Grizzly Bear
Cage 43, Ant-Eaters, Armadillo, Condor
Cage 19, Pair of African Ostriches
Cage 45, Magnificent Mountain Lions
Cage 44, Gnu, or Horned Horse
Cage 46, Black Swans, White Peacocks, Golden Pheasants
Bert Marshall - Four Cages of Lions
Charles Grothe - Tigers, Hyenas and Jaguars
Fred Bradway - Hippopotamus Den
J. C. Grinn - Gnu, Zebra, Ibex, Antelope
William Bearse - Monkeys and Kangaroos
William Wallace - Leopard, Puma, Tapir, Deer, Young Ibex
James Warren - Ostriches, Ant-Eaters, Armadillo, Condor
Clinton Berry - Bears, Birds and Monkeys
G. W. Ezell, Superintendent
Albert Mann, Assistant
Names of elephants: Babe, Jules, Fanny, Zip, Queen, Lou.
Camel Men: Harry Wilton, Fred Wilbey.
Keepers of Equine Wonders
Julius Bresslau, Prince Chaldean, mane 9 feet 3 inches
Harry Walton, Bird, the Demon or Hairless Horse
Middle Uncaged Collection: Two Camels, four Dromedaries, two Elk, two Zebus or Sacred Cattle of India, one African Water Buffalo, fifteen Icelandic Welsh and Shetland Ponies, three Trick Mules, Bird, the wonderful Hairless Horse, and Prince Chaldean, the long-maned Percheron beauty.
S. Delevan, Superintendent
Charles Tollworthy, Assistant
J. M. Carnahan, Blacksmith
Ralph Morris, Assistant
John Hamilton, Harness Maker
Ernest Arnold, Wagon Repairer
Frank Riley, Wagon Greaser
Frank Norman, Master of Trappings
George Oliver, Assistant
Joe Howard, Forage Master
Harry Moran, Superintendent Stock Loading
Eight Horse Drivers
Charles Tollworthy, Big Band Wagon
Robert Meek, Moscow Bell Chariot
James McCall, Hippopotamus Den
Harry Moran, Second Band Wagon
Six Horse Drivers
Elkanah Walters, Third Band Wagon
Harry Lewis, Organ Tableau
James McCafferty, Continental Band Wagon
Charlie Clark, Neptune Tableau
Louis Hall, St. George Tableau
Four Horse Drivers: John Richards, Geo. Tolles, Louis Randall, Frank Sullivan, Charles Bowser, Tom Neylon, Geo. C. Kinney, Geo. Thayer, Fred Gmahling, Nick Strauss, Frank Cole, Otto Kuhl, James Graff, John Shea, George Ackelson, Otto Ziegler, I. J. Clark, Tom Murphy, Wm. King, Wm. Ellis, John Mumphord.
Pull Up Drivers: George Barton, Charles Watson, Wm. Whitted.
Delevan Alexander, Veterinary Surgeon.
Theodore Miller, Proprietor
Theodore Miller, Purchasing Agent
Ed. Steele, Steward
Fred Railton, Chief Cook
James Funnel, Second Cook
Frank Thomas, Third Cook
Harry Smith, Pastry Cook
John Hulbert, Pantry man
Dick Thomas, Butcher
Lee Craig, Camp Fire
Fred Roof, Wood Chopper
Thomas Hoy, Water
Chas. Young, Water
Sam Benson, Pan Washer
Steve Taylor, Oil Stoves
Frank Jones, Laundry
Philip Clark, Head Waiter
A. W. Melzl, In Charge of Tickets.
J. Appler, Door Tender
E. Walrath, Banner Man
W. Howe, Property Man
F. Herman, Painting Man
J. Whitteley, In Charge of Scenery
Miss Ida Williams, Mastodonic Fashion Plate
Miss Bertha Carnihan, Lilliputian Princess
Harry Nelson, Living Skeleton Dude
Col. Gilbert, Colossal Mexican Giant
Geo. Mellivan, Wonderful Tattooed Man
Sultana, Arabian Princess
Madame Leland, Snake Enchantress
William Morton, Arkansas Boy Giant
Joseph Brunagraf, King of the Dwarfs
Lizzie Cavaliero, Cavaliero Family, White Madagascar Moors
Willie Cavaliero, Cavaliero Family, White Madagascar Moors
Lillie Cavaliero, Cavaliero Family, White Madagascar Moors
Miss Oume, Japanese Fantasist
Albert Warring, White and Black Magic
Debonnaire, Mr. Punch and Miss Judy
Van, The King of Ventriloquists
C. B Neel, Leader
Clate Alexander, Bb Cornet
W. Friedell, 1st Alto
Fred Shaffer, 2d Alto
Fred Althouse, Trombone
E. Butler, Euphonium
Harry Blair, Tuba
Debonnaire, Snare Drum
Edward White, Bass Drum
Side Show Canvasmen, See Canvas Department
Side Show Dimensions, See Canvas Department
Albert E. Parson, Superintendent
George Proctor, Menagerie Stand
Will Schuler, Assistant
Ralph Smith, Assistant
Frank E. Parson, Outside Stand No. 1
M. V. Hartley, Assistant
Steve Schreiber, Outside Stand No. 2
George Leitch, Side Show Stand
1. Fred Madison, Biddy Turn
2. Nettie Carlyn, Serio Comic
3. The Dawsons, Amusing Sketch
4. Signor Areari and Sister, Italian Musical Act
5. White and Donovan, Scientific Sparring Exhibition
6. Schafer and Goetschius, Grand Musical Act
7. Mollie Regan, Skirt Dance
8. Harry Goetschius, Black Face Song and Dance
9. Fred Madison, Irish Turn
John Von Wald, Leader
George Gray, 2d Violin
James P. McMonies, Flute
Fred Ehlers, Clarionet
Guy Repasz, Cornet
Chas Schaffstall, Trombone
Wm. Van Cleve, Basso
Fred Sauthoff, Double Drums
William F. Weldon, Musical Director
James P. McMonies, Piccolo
Andy Eggiemyer, Eb Clarionet
George Gray, Solo Bb Clarionet
Fred Clannahan, 1st Bb Clarionet
Fred Ehlers, 2d Bb Clarionet
James Hennessey, Solo Bb Cornet
Frank Johnson, Solo Bb Cornet
Guy Repasz, 1st Bb Cornet
Bert Warren, 1st Bb Cornet
Harry Howell, Solo Alto
Sherman England, 1st Alto
John Von Wald, 2d Alto
Wm. Friedell, 3d Alto
Myron McPherson, 1st Trombone
Chas. Schaffstall, 2d Trombone
Fred Smith, 3d Trombone
James Foster, Euphonium
Will Van Cleve, 1st Tuba
E. Pitts, 2d Tuba
Fred Sauthoff, Small Drum and Traps
John Sidney Lantz, Bass Drum
James Hennessey, Leader
Bert Warren, Bb. Cornet
Andy Eggiemyer, Eb. Clarionet
George Gray, Solo Bb. Clarionet
Fred Clannahan, 1st Bb. Clarionet
Harry Howell, 1st Alto
John Von Wald, 2d Alto
Myron McPherson, 1st Trombone
Chas. Schaffstall, 2d Trombone
James Foster, Euphonium
Will Van Cleve, Tuba
Fred Sauthoff, Snare Drum
Sidney Lantz, Bass Drum
Charles Neel, Leader
Guy Repasz, 1st Bb. Cornet
Fred Madison, 1st Alto
Sherman England, 2d Alto
Fred Smith, Trombone
W. O. Boegel, Trombone
E. Butler, Euphonium
Harry Blair, Tuba
William Ashton, Snare Drum
Ed. White, Bass Drum
Frank Johnson, Leader
Clate Alexander, 1st Bb. Cornet
Wm. Friedell, 1st Alto
Fred Ehlers, 2d Alto
Fred Schaffer, Trombone
B. H. Killmar, Euphonium
Harry Goetschius, Snare Drum
Hank Miller, Bass Drum
Conveyed in the beautiful Continental Band Wagon of national design and banner colors, and surmounted by the draped living figure of Liberty. All wore blue Continental costumes crowned with three-cornered hats, in the style of “Ye Olden Time.”
Miss May Reed, Principal Bareback Act
Miss Blanche Reed, Principal Bareback Act
Miss Josie Marks, Principal Bareback Act
Miss Ida La Rue, Beautiful Manege Act
Miss Allie Jackson, Elegant Manege Act
Miss Villette Ty bell, Perch and Impalement Acts
Miss Kittle Arcaris, Impalement and Musical Acts
Miss Nettie Carlyn, Slack Wire and Serio Comic
Miss Mollie Regan, Slack Wire Juggling Act
Miss Ella Cook, Lady Jockey Rider
Miss May Dawson, Fancy Skating and Sketch
Miss Oume, Japanese Rope Act
Miss Okee, Japanese Ladder of Swords
Al. Ringling, Equestrian Director
Charles W. Fish, Champion Principal Bareback Trick Act
Mike Rooney, Jockey and Principal Somersault Acts
Will Marks, Principal Bareback and Carrying Acts
Charles Reed, Grand Carrying Act
Charles O’Dell, Five-Horse Tandem and Four-Horse Act
Master Johnny Rooney, Pony Tandem Act
Joseph Levis, Running Dogs and Two-Horse Act
Dan O’Brien, Principal Leaper
John Moncayo, Boneless Wonder
Ashton Bros., William and Harry, Bars and Brother Act
Killmar & McPhee, Bars and Brother Act
Brazil & Alton, Perch and Brother Act
Julian Tybell, Perch and Impalement Acts
Signor Arcaris, Impalement and Musical Acts
Vernon Bros., Ben and Chas, Astonishing Flying Return Act
Debonnaire, Chair Balancing Trapeze Act
Francisco Guiral, Trapeze and Flying Perch
George Belford, Double Trapeze Act
Mons. Natalie, Learned Pigs, Chair Pyramid, Flying Rings
Lew Sunlin, Tutor of Wise Donkeys, Acrobatic and Talking Clown
Jules Tumour, Skilled Juggler and General Clown
Oscar H. Kurtz, Exponent of Toss Juggling
Bailey Dawson, Skatorial Artist
Harry Goetschius, clown, “King of the Dudes”
J. F. Schafer, clown, “The German Emigrant”
C. H. Clark, General Performer
Francis Reed, Trick Leaper
Fred Madison, Special Concert Attraction
Will and Josie Marks, Beautiful Carrying Act
Charles Reed and Daughter, Artistic Carrying Act
George Arcari and Sister, Impalement and Musical Acts
Julian and Villette Tybell, Perch and Impalement Acts
George Belford and Wife, Daring Double Trapeze
The Dawsons, Bailey and May, Fancy Skating Act
From the city of Yeddo, Whose feats invade the realm of the impossible.
S. Oura, Manager. Ando Hamakichi, Akimoto, Tan Zabaro, Toyou Kichi, Sam Kichi, San Kichi, Miss Oume, Miss Okee.
Leapers and Tumblers
As they stood on the run.
Francis Reed, John Rooney, Harry Ashton, Chas. Vernon, Belford, McPhee, Marks, Dan O’Brien, Mike Rooney, Natalie, Brazil, Goetschius, Alton, Turnour, Wm. Ashton, Sunlin, Debonnaire.
Ben. Vernon, Levis, Moncayo, Tybell, Kurtz.
“Carried the Banner”
Schafer, Sunlin, Billings, Goetschius, O’Brien, Frisco, Natalie, Debonnaire, Turnour.
Charles Reed, J. H. Levis, Charles O’Dell, Julian Tybell, William Ashton.
Four Horse Chariot Drivers
Al. Ringling, Starter.
Charles O’Dell, Rhoda Royal, John Rooney, Francis Reed.
Roman Standing Riders
Mike Rooney, J. H. Levis, Charles O’Dell.
Ella Cook, Mollie Regan, Lilly White, Allie Jackson, Jennie Golden.
John Engel, Jack Foley, Frank Jones, George Williams.
Clate Alexander, Bailey Dawson.
Charles O’Dell, John Rooney.
Elephant Race Riders
F. C. Bradway, Albert Mann. Bert Marshall.
Camel Race Riders
William Wallace, James Warren, Clinton Berry.
Clown Sulky Race Riders
Jules Turnour, Lew Sunlin.
Charles Drum, John Wilson, James Oates.
Bert Cooley, Frank Ripley, Oscar Lynch, Charles Mann, Peter Newman.
Operatic and Popular Musical Selections, Grand Military Band. The most novel, new and artistic musical festival ever heard under canvas, introducing many beautiful solos and displays of individual excellence. Concluding with the grand descriptive overture, “A Trip to Coney Island,” depicting in a realistic manner the following story of incident: Off to the boat, the farewell cannon shot, the steamboat whistle “all aboard,” “Life on the Ocean Wave,” the Italian boat orchestra and jubilee singers, landing whistle “all ashore,” the carousal bell, passing a free and easy ejecting an unpleasant customer, the little German street band, entering West Brighton hotel and hearing the greatest living cornetist, Mr. James Hennessey; thunder in the distance, storm, clouds break away; Seidl’s famous orchestra at Brighton Beach, locomotive whistle, arrival at Manhattan Beach and hearing Gilmore’s famous band and anvil chorus; signal for Paine’s fireworks, cannon shots, sky-rockets, etc, and “Home, Sweet Home.”
Auditorium Clowns. Preluding the circus performance, laughable capers and antics in the seats and among the audience, by Goetschius, “The Broadway Swell,” and Schafer, “The German Emigrant.”
Display No. 1.
See, the Conquering Hero Comes. Colossal first production of the great historical pageant, Caesar’s Triumphal Entry Into Rome, a many-hued and glittering grand spectacle, unfolding in arenic and scenic splendor on triple rings and elevated stages, and around the entire area of the enormous amphitheatrical hippodrome course. Huge sights of joy and victory. At the blare of trumpets and blast of bugles, a tremendous outpouring and outspreading of a vast bannered army and motley throng of mailed marching warriors, gladiators, charioteers, steel-clad knights, royal grandees, mounted cavaliers and ladies, helmeted spearmen, civilians, squires, pontifical high-priests and wandering Jews, actors courting the dramatic muse, Moors and Mamelukes, Bedouins of the desert, outlaws booted and spurred, Grand Turks, nobles, vestals, senators, gray-beards, orators, barbarians, captives, travelers, wayfarers, embassadors, dames of the harem, turbaned Arabs on camels, Nubians bearing gifts, slaves bearing incense, chariots of conquest, huge herds of swaying elephants, prancing war horses, wild beasts, runners, couriers, pages, etc. Magnificent ostentation. The flash of sword and helmet, spear and shield. Garments rich with the dyes of the Indies; cloth of gold and glitter of silver; the peacock pride of princes and the vanity of earth; the pomp of power and purple of authority. The dancing; plumes and clanking steel of chivalry. Flaunting, flashing and flaming costumes; oriental opulent splendor and semi-barbaric grand doings; immense array of flags, banners and devices. Displaying all the pageantry and pride of Rome’s victorious legions, and introducing the unparallelled scenic and spectacular resources of Ringling Brothers’ World’s Greatest Shows,
Display No. 2
Supplementing the Roman Entree, grand mounted knightly combat,
“Hushed is the din of tongues; on gallant steeds,
With milk-white crest, gold spur and light-poised lance,
Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds,
And lowly bending to the lists advance;
Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance.“
Display No. 3, Prominent American and Noted European Star Artists
Exhibiting in the rings, upon elevated stages and in mid-air.
Arena No. 1.: Ed. Billings, the high-stepping King of Stilts, in his comical creation, “Little Willie Green,”
Arena No. 2.: Ando Hamakichi, the Japanese Juggling Wonder, in amazing oriental pastimes.
Arena No. 3.: Quaint Japanese contortions, Little Sam
Stage No. 1.: Unique serpentine amazements, living knot-tying and posturing by the human enigma, Moncayo.
Display No. 4
Grand leaping rally and tournament, by the principal athletes of the three circus companies, over pyramids of elephants and camels. Introducing individual styles of twisting and difficult somersaults, remarkable doubles by Mr. William Ashton, and a motley array of gifted clowns in merry and laughable foolery. Terrific principal leap by Dan O’Brien, acknowledged champion leaper of the world, and long distance double somersault artist.
Display No. 5
Arena No. 1.: The Japanese Slide for Life, by the feet on a rope from the dome of the pavilion, Tan.
Arena No. 2.: Mounting the Japanese Ladder of Death, an escalement of glittering razor-edged swords, keen as Damascus blades, Miss Okee
Arena No. 3.: Astonishing pedestal equipoise of a Japanese Double Ladder, surmounted and performed upon by a cunning mite of Oriental humanity, Akimoto and Sam.
Stage No. 1.: Japanese Butterfly Act, Miss Oume.
Display No. 6
Arena No. 1.: Artistic and beautiful principal act by the fashion
plate of equestrianism, Miss Blanche Reed.
Arena No. 2.: An interlude of merriment by the funniest fools on earth, Turnour, O’Brien, Sunlin.
Arena No. 3.: Pleasing and wonderful principal act by perfection’s peerless paragon, Miss May Reed.
Stage No. 1.: Three jolly kings of the cap and bells, Natalie, Debonnaire, Goetschius.
Display No. 7
Arena No. 1.: A medley of marvelous acrobatic maneuvers, concluding with a balance Head to Head, Ashton Brothers.
Arena No. 2.: Classical groupings and acrobatic amazements, with Head Balance Hat Spinning finish, Brazil and Alton.
Arena No. 3.: A swift-running series of lightning achievements, concluding with beautiful Head Balance, Killmar and McPhee.
Stage No. 1.: Grand parlor brother act and show of double posturing, concluding with inverted equipoise, as seen in the three arenas, Rooney and Reed.
Display No. 8
Arena No. 1.: The children’s delight. Beautiful Troupe of Imported Trick Ponies, performed by, Charles O’Dell.
Arena No. 2.: Mons. Natalie, the great Grecian Clown, and his comical school of educated pigs, Pedro, Domino, Keno and Cinch.
Arena No. 3.: Two ludicrous Ear Winking Donkeys, known to the world as Peanuts and Pickles, performed by their trainer, Lew Sunlin.
Stage No. 1.: Nonsensical Mardi Gras Figures, masking, Moncayo, Frisco, Belford and Dawson.
Display No. 9
Arena No. 1.: Startling and astounding Scientific Impalement Act, with knives, battle-axes and swords, Sig. Arcari and Sister.
Arena No. 2.: A series of beautiful juggling exercises on a thread of invisible wire, Miss Mollie Regan.
Arena No. 3.: Prodigiously skillful impalement of a living human target, with knives, Roman hatchets and lances, Julian and Villette Tybell.
Stage No. 1.: Wonderful Top Spinning Pastimes, Ando Hamakichi.
Display No. 10
The arenic champion of champions, Mr. Charles W. Fish, recognized in five Continents as The World’s Greatest Living Equestrian. Introducing backward backs, one-foot-landing somersaults, a triple succession of somersaults over banners, and a varied medley of intricate feats performed by himself alone. The attendant clowns, Sunlin, Turnour, Goetschius, O’Brien.
Display No. 11
A hurricane of applause greets Master Johnny Rooney, riding and driving twenty beautiful ponies around the great hippodrome track. Names of ponies: Nugent, Salem, Minnie, Bud, Tom, Jerry, Nellie, Kidney, Frank, Dick, Topsey, Belle, Hazel, Lizzie, Maud, Queen, Rocky, Chub, Spider and Bismarck.
Display No. 12
Arena No. 1.: Wonderful Japanese Posturing Act, Tan and San.
Arena No. 2.: Astonishing shoulder-balanced break-a-way Bambook Ladder, Akimoto and Sam.
Arena No. 3.: Antipodean Block Building Equipose, Toyou Kichi.
Stage No. 1.: Japanese Rice Barrel, Miss O’Kee.
Display No. 13
Arena No. 1.: Beautiful performance with her Schooled Horse,
by the queen of the side-saddle, Miss Ida La Rue.
Arena No. 2.: Grand Double Trotting Act, by the favorites of European capitals, the Sisters Reed. A refined, picturesque and perilous performance.
Arena No, 3.: Graceful High School Manege Education, exhibited by the noted horsewoman, Miss Allie Jackson
Stage No. 1.: Merry and Mirthful Clowns.
Display No. 14
Arena No. 1.: Wonderful feats on the Floating Mexican Perch. Signor Frisco
Arena No. 2.: Truly magnificent Perch Act, finished with fearless head balance on the top of the perch, Brazil and Alton.
Arena No. 3.: Fastastic and perilous marvels by Miss Villette Tybell, on a perch pole skillfully held and balanced by Mr. Julian Tybell.
Stage No. 1.: Comical Evolutions on Roller Skates, The Dawson..
Display No. 15
Arena No. 1.: $10,000 Troupe of Full-Blooded Imported Thoroughbreds, displayed by Charles O’Dell. Names of horses: Charlie, Frank, Tom, Buck, Sultan.
Arena No. 2.: Troupe of Trained Dogs, Lew Sunlin.
Arena No. 3.: Clever company of Highly Trained Ponies, “The Children’s Circus,” directed by Joseph Levis. Names of ponies: Nugent, Sailor, Chub, Spider.
Stage No. 1.: Artistic Wire Act, Miss Nettie Carlyn.
Display No. 16
Arena No. 1.: Exhibition of intricate Toss Juggling, Kurtz.
Arena No. 2.: A series of lightning evolutions on Triple Silver Bars, by McPhee and the Ashton Brothers. Clowns, Debonnaire and Killmar.
Arena No. 3.: Marvelous feats of skilled Juggling and Delicate Balancing, Jules Turnour.
Stage No. 1.: Magnificent Olympian Wrestling Exercises, Donovan and White.
Display No. 17
Arena No. 1.: Feats on the Perilous Japanese High Wire, Tan Zabaro.
Arena No. 2.: Mons. Natalie, the Grecian Equilibrist, in feats on a Towering Pyramid of Bottles, Chairs and Tumblers, built aloft by himself.
Arena No. 3.: Achievements on the Lofty Wire, by the wonderful Prince Akimoto.
Stage No. 1.: Miss Oume in Feats of Fantasy.
Display No. 18
Arena No. 1.: The Equilibristic Sailor, Debonnaire, in Amazing Chair Balancing Oddities on the High Trapeze.
Arena No. 2.: Pendulating Bamboo Perch Originalities, Little Sam
Arena No. 3.: Sensational Perilous Mexican Feats on the Lofty Swinging Trapeze, Signor Frisco.
Stage No. 1.: Wonderful Sword Exercises, Signor Arcari.
Display No. 19
All Europe and America’s Greatest Aerial Meteors, the Vernon Brothers, absolute Kings of the Air. Introducing every conceivable style of mid-air pirouettes, somersaults, lion leaps, flights and catches. In conclusion a full double somersault from flying bar to hand clasp, and Mr. Charles Vernon’s fearless dive from the dome of the pavilion, caught and held by Ben Vernon.
Display No. 20
Arena No. 1.: Classical Postures and Double Carrying Feats on
the bare backs of two horses, Charles Reed and Daughter May.
Arena No. 2.: Pleasing and Wonderful Jockey Act by Baraboo’s Pride, Mike Rooney.
Arena No. 3.: Artistic and Graceful Carrying Act on a duo of speeding horses, Will Marks and wife.
Stage No. 1.: Grand Carnival of Clowns.
Display No. 21, The Great Roman Hippodrome Races
Illustrating the Sports of the Caesars, Combined with Modern Triumphs of the Turf.
First Event.: Brilliant and Dashing Five-Horse Tandem Hurricane Hurdle Race, five thoroughbreds, twice at break-neck speed around the great hippodrome track, ridden and driven by Charles O’Dell, and leaping hurdles and obstacles as they fly. Names of horses: Rover, Belchazzar, Dynamite, Beazel, Sultan.
Second Event.: Handicap Coursing Contest between the fleetest English Whippet Racing Dogs, displayed by J. H, Levis. A most novel and interesting event.
Third Event.: Gentlemen’s American Jockey Race. Three times around the course. Jockeys, Colors, Horses: John Ingle, Red and Green, Hindoo; Frank Jones, Blue and Orange, Wally; George Williams, Yellow and Pink, Cloud; James Nelson, Green and Lavender, Foley; Henry Clark, Black and White, Firefly.
Fourth Event.: Swaying Ships of the Sahara swiftly sailing around the track. The wild, unique and picturesque Camel Race of the desert. Once around the course.
Fifith Event.: Pony Chariot Race. Once around the track. Charioteers, Horses: John Rooney (Green), Minnie, Bud, Dick and Jerry; Francis Reed (White); Sailor, Nugent, Topsy and Ned.
Sixth Event.: Ladies Flat Race. Twice around the course. Riders, Colors, Horses: Allie Jackson, Pink and Blue, Paducah; Ella Cook, Red and Yellow, Bismarck; Mollie Regan, Green and Orange, Maud H.
Seventh Event.: Children’s Pretty Pony Steeple-chase. Ridden once around the course by chattering monkey jockeys.
Eighth Event.: Ponderous and Awkward Race by Elephants. Once around the track. Riders, Colors, Elephants: F. C. Bradway, “Elephant’s Breath,” Jule; Albert Mann, “Elephants Breath,” Zip; Bert Marshall, “Elephant’s Breath,” Fannie.
Ninth Event.: Comical Wheelbarrow Race.
Tenth Event.: Ludicrous Sack Race.
Eleventh Event.: Thrilling Two-Horse Roman Standing Race. Twice around the track. Riders, Colors, Horses: Chas. O’Dell, Red and White, Rover and Dynamite; J. H. Levis, Blue and White, Dollie and Flora; Mike Rooney, Yellow and Black, Fannie and Lizzie B.
Twelveth Event.: Handicap Race of a Man against a Running Horse. Once around for the man and once and a quarter for the horse. Name of runner, Clate Alexander. Name of horse, Kittie.
Thirteenth Event.: Grand Four-Horse Roman Chariot Race. Twice around the track. Charioteers, Horses: Rhoda Royal (Red), Toots, Dollie, Pollie and Willie; Chas O’Dell (Blue), John, Midget, Mollie and Nellie.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the show is out. We thank you for your very kind attention and very liberal patronage. ALL OVER. All those holding tickets for the Concert will please pass over to the opposite side of the pavilion, and occupy the reserved chairs.”
“ ’Tis pleasant, sure, to see one’s name in print,
A book’s a book, although there’s nothing in ’t.” — Byron.
Saturday, April 30th. Baraboo, Wis. Pop. 4,605. St. Paul, 234 miles, Devil’s Lake, 3 miles, Milwaukee, 119 miles, Chicago, 175 miles, New York, 1,088 miles. Fare to Chicago, $5.03. Hotels - Warren, Wisconsin, Urban, Railroad, Pratt, Union, etc. Beautiful, thriving town - “The Gem of Wisconsin.” Water-works, fire department, gas and electric light; 1,050 feet above sea; 250 business firms; over 500 railroad men; big flour mills, foundries and factories; second largest opera house in state; big railroad shops; grand masonic temple in erection; 4 public schools, 12 churches. 2 banks and 2 breweries; also renowned far and wide as the winter headquarters of Ringling Brothers’ World’s Greatest Shows.
“To your tents, O Israel!” cried the ancient Hebrews, and with similar impulse the clans of the Ringling’s blew in on four winds to Baraboo, awaiting the “grand spring opening.” Many of the “old familiar faces,” while many new ones also arrest attention, like a strange face in perdition. Everything, from hoof to helmet, new. Brand new snow-white canvas, new chariots, bright as a gold-piece, and wardrobe new-fangled and spangled. The five Ringlings come up smiling, with that look on the face which sporting men describe as “the air of winners.”
“The elephant now goes round, the band begins to play,
The boys around the monkeys’ cage had better keep away.”
To the tune of Al. Ringling’s whistle, the show runs as smooth as a top. Despite hard rain a heavy crowd attends, and all wish the circus bon voyage, and a happy return in the fall to its countless friends in Baraboo.
May: States traversed — Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska.
Sunday, May 1st. The Annual “Moving Day.” With us, every day is “moving day.” Late leaving lot last night. The first day’s capering on the pine-scented saw dust leaves all the actors too stiff to fall down or get up. The sky still over-cast.
“All day the low hung clouds have dropped
Their garnered fullness down.”
Monday, May 2d. Madison, Wis. C. & N. W., 37 miles. Pop. 13,426. Capital Hotel. Barbaric weather, but record-breaking business. Here poor Bob Memhard, our friend of last season, in “breathless darkness and the narrow house,” lies turned to pathetic dust. He was thirty years old, and died at Chelsea. Mass., Feb. 18, 1892. Green be the turf above him.
Tuesday, May 3d. Monroe, Wis. Ills. Cent., 37 miles. Pop. 3,768. Ludlow Hotel. Bottomless roads and juicy mud. No show. The sinking fair ground lot abandoned after pitching tents. Dan O’Brien’s new $5 silk umbrella blown to ribs and ribbons. Grand stand gallery roars as Dan gets soaking wet. Left 9 P. M. Stuck here Friday, May 9th, 1890, leaving Saturday noon.
Wednesday, May 4th. Savanna, Ills. I. C. and C., M. & St. P., 62 miles. Pop. 3,097. Occidental Hotel, run by Mr. Booz, but no “booze” sold. Special train between hotel and lot, two miles apart. Men rained out of work until morning. Left May 5th, afternoon, missing that day’s stand at Maquoketa, Iowa.
Thursday, May 5th. Maquoketa, Iowa. C., M. & St. P., 42 miles. Pop. 3,077. As per item preceding, this town was left out in the cold. We jumped it altogether, with two somersaults. Also missed by Cook and Whitby on account of accident, following July 10.
Friday, May 6th. Anamosa, Iowa. C., M. & St. P., 89 miles from Savanna, 59 miles from Maquoketa. Pop. 2,078. Kinert Hotel and Wallace Restaurant. Clear weather. Elegant business. Hippodrome steed falls dead. “Impalement act” billed “implement act.” Major Winnar, renowned dwarf, visits. After show, Anamosa and Rock City toughs, full of righting whisky, had a grand battle royal. One Irishman got his face pounded off, but denied that he hollered “enough.”
Saturday, May 7th. Sigourney, Iowa. C., M. & St. P., 88 miles. Pop. 1,523. Merchants’ Hotel. First week’s run, 313 miles. One show to banner business. Ruben’s opinion: “The best thing I liked in the hull show was the big tall giant that walked ’round the track between the two comical cusses, in the first piece. No use talking, HE WAS GOOD.”
Sunday, May 8th. A long south-western run to Kansas City. Arrived for late dinner. Rainy evening. Newt. Howard, tuba, closed. Lot 15th and Vine. Old side-whiskers fights us here, and we see many vivid pictures of canvasmen in Columbus clothes discovering America. To-morrow’s parade route over these streets: Fiiteenth, Grand Avenue, Thirteenth, Wyandotte, Fourth, Walnut, Eleventh, Grand Avenue, Thirteenth, Oak, Fifteenth.
Monday, May 9th. Kansas City, Mo. C., M. & St. P. 234 miles. Pop. 132,716. Fifth Avenue Hotel. Triumphal march and heavy hit of Ringling Brothers’ grand parade and pageant, a mighty millionaire eye-feast; in splendor “rich beyond the dreams of avarice.” A winding, dazzling river of silver and gold. An immense cavalcade of red-plumed horses burdened with costly trappings, and caravan of pi incely wealth on heavy rumbling wheels. New chariots, gorgeous with gilded lion and serpent, or carved with dolphins and dragons, and griffins and hippo-griffins. New tableau cars, four squared with Grecian gods and goddesses, or illumined with golden sea-horses, winged leopards, mermaids and fabulous figures. New animal wagons, ornate with designs from the dreams of Hesiod, and carvings grotesque, arabesque and picturesque. Classical figures of triple Graces playing harps and trumpets, and raised designs of silver horses necked with golden manes. Triumphal floats and barges with medallioned mythical faces, and emblazonry of heroic saints, Peruvian sun-gods, centaurs, moon-men, golden calves and Chinese dragon day glories. The giant highway locomotive Hercules; the puffing steam Calliope, and the sweet-tongued Bells of Moscow. The Tally-ho; the Roman teams; the ten-thousand-dollar beauty and Continental Band. Beautiful mounted ladies in gala-day regalia, escorted by knights on mettled steeds, in parrot-colored apparel. Seven wide-open dens of African wild beasts, and “Daniel in the lion’s den” is seen. Huge herds of swaying elephants, desert-born camels, and elfin ponies, followed by clowns, harlequins, buffoons. “Sonorous metals blowing martial sounds” shatter the air with melody. Still on and on it comes. Floods of music; glittering sights of joy. A processional amazement, astounding young-eyed wonder, and walling all the highways with humanity. A mile of gleam, gold, glint and glistening glamor.
Here opposition shakes its’ horns in vain. The Ringlings have out paper enough to bill the walls of China, and, dazzled by the glory of our circus, the folks refuse to “wait for Jumbo’s skeleton.” What time the smiling big parade danced around on its golden slippers, even the yellow dogs of the street sat up on their haunches to drink in its wilderiug beauty. In spite of a rain which drowns the town and turns the show lot into a dismal swamp, the spacious tent becomes a human beehive, packed black with swarming humanity afternoon and night. The enemy outside the breastworks still. We bag big boodle here, and knock out opposition with a blow, like Billy Burke when he knocks the clown elephant down. Kansas City Journal gives a page to the Ringlings. Clipper correspondent says: “ Ringling Brothers gave one of the best circus performances ever seen in this city May 9th, to an immense crowd, who waded through mud, under a constant down-pour of rain, to see the show.”
Tuesday, May 10th. Ottawa, Kan. A., T. & S. Fe, 58 miles. Pop. 6,248. Shaner Hotel. Jap kid says: “Is this the Sheeney hotel?” Dan O’Brien remarks: “The last time I showed on this lot we were carried 18 miles away by a cyclone.” Master Rooney fights Jap boy, Tan. Little Sam interfering, says: “I speak it, you no hittee me, and I, how it was tell you.” Tan grabs a lay-out pin with which to lay out Rooney, but the main-guy stops the fun. The red-paint gang, who missed the train while tasting the “roses and raptures” of Kansas City joy, made parade on the “implement train ”m - not very velvet riding. Diamond Dick visits. Wears good rags, white slouch hat and cream overcoat, Wild Bill hair the length of a lion’s mane, and a flash of white diamonds with glittering frozen fire. Profound impression on Kurtz, who also wears long hair to keep the flies off him when juggling.
Wednesday, May 11th. Osage City, Kan. A., T. & S. Fe, 35 miles. Pop. 3,469. Hotel Everest; beautiful building. Good business; bad wetness. Depot lot. Diamond Dick, who called last night,, was a compeer of that glittering character, the late Dr. J. I. Lighthall, who wore a $2,000 hat, carried a diamond-headed cane, and buttoned his princely clothes with blazing gems. He was known far and wide as “the diamond king,” met an unhappy end, and is buried at San Antonio, Texas.
Thursday, May 12th. Topeka, Kan. A., T. & S. Fe, 34 miles, Kansas City, 67 miles. Pop. 31,007; suburbs, 8,000. Hotel Chesterfield, by Ad. Sells, who cordially greeted, chatting of tan-bark and spangle. Town 821 feet above sea; show lot one foot under sea. Good place for Paul Boyton’s aquatic exhibition, but tough for circus unless we were web-footed. Elephants joyfully trumpet, showering themselves with mud. Incessant rain. No parade. Impossible to show. Money sacks fat as Boss Tweed’s settle all bills in full. At 10 P. M. loaded our mud-frescoed tents. 24,000 sheets of paper out here. Sells Brothers’ wet lot and one show, June 2, ‘91.
Friday, May 13th. Junction City, Kan. U. P., 72 miles. Pop. 4,502. Bartell House. Four miles away, at Manhattan, near Fort Riley, is the U. S. “geographical center.” This is the “storm center,” sure. Rivers spilled over their banks. Good business. Mollie Regan thrown by falling horse - just missing quarter pole.
Saturday, May 14th. Clay Centre, Kan. U. P., 33 miles. Pop. 2,802. Gillett House - landlord’s name, Rube. High lot, a mile out. Heavy business and heavy rain. Second week’s run, 466 miles. Arcari makes betting proposition, and throws five hundred bills on his trunk to back it. The walls of the dressing-room shiver.
Sunday, May 15th. Arrived at Brunswick Hotel, Beloit, about 9 A. M. Landlord says: “I didn’t know, you know, that you were coming.” Late breakfast in sections. Side dining-room door nailed up. Nice porch around hotel, and weather a sky blue and golden dream.
Monday, May 16th. Beloit, Kan. U. P., 123 miles. Pop. 2,455. Magnificent packed and jammed business. Clear till 9 P. M., when a big black storm drowns the dressing-room. All wardrobe in soak. Waded frog ponds to sleepers. Men hurt dropping canvas. Firefly, hippodrome horse, died.
Tuesday, May 17th. Black Tuesday. Due at Washington, Kan., Central Branch Mo. Pac., 78 miles. Thirty miles en route, and one mile east of Concordia, at 2:45 A. M., an appalling crash awoke train section No. 1. In an instant all was excitement and “confusion worse confounded.” Pouring out into the night, our men perceived by the flickering light of lanterns a chaos of wrecked cars, some crushed to utter kindling wood, and others hurled headlong or sidelong into a lake of mad waters that held both sides of the track, and whose under-mining power had wrecked a trestle and train. This lake was full of dead and drowning horses, the latter “dying with harness on,” in a literal sense of the term, and tangled in it most woefully. With humane bravery, our men plunged into the waters and cut harness right and left, or pulled the necks of drowning horses out of the water with halters. As the gray of the morning came on the situation grew worse. Robert O’Donnell, of Gratiot, Wis., was found in a mass of blood-stained wreckage, with a splintered piece of two-by-three scantling driven clear through his head. His brains were strewn in every direction. He was an Odd Fellow, and left his wife and three children some money, having recently sold a farm. His object in circus travel was to locate a new home West. Near by, mid twisted rails and rack and ruin, was the body of Albert Dietzler, aged sixteen, from Freeport, Ills. This poor boy’s head was crushed as if by a sledge hammer; it was nothing but broken skull and oozing brains. Twenty-six magnificent draught horses, heavy Clyde stallions, Normans and Percherons, floated dead in the lake on either side of the track. Other poor brutes had broken legs or ripped bellies, and had to be killed in the head. Many more, in bad condition, filled two livery stables. Half a dozen men were crushed or hurt internally. Two crowded sleepers just escaped destruction, while the engine stood tip-tilted just past the fallen trestle. ’Mid the utter disarray of the wreck stood a white board shaped like a tombstone, bearing a track number, but having monumental significance as it rose over death and suffering. A special train from Atchison came at once, bearing wrecking apparatus, and Assistant-chief R. R. Surgeon Farrar took care of the injured. These four had to go to the Kansas City hospital: William Marshall, Baraboo, Wis., left leg broken, hip dislocated, injured internall and about the head; Thomas McKinney, 325 South street, Chicago, hurt internally, and fearfully bruised about the left arm, head and shoulders: Frank Smith, Reedsburgh, Wis., head and face mashed, and injured about left side and arm; Charles Shay, Ottawa, Canada, mashed about face and chest, and hurt internally. The almost decapitated bodies of O’Donnell and Dietzler were taken to the railroad station, where a coroner’s jury rendered the railroad company culpable, and the track inspector guilty of gross negligence. He had found the culvert and trestle undermined and unsafe, but instead of returning one mile to warn Concordia, went four miles ahead to Rice Station, whence his telegram backward just missed our first section, and just stopped our second section from crashing into our first. When the coroner’s jury dispersed, the dead bodies were decently cared for, and expressed to their saddened homes. Meantime, the suffering victims received sympathetic nursing, and the wives of the various Ringlings showed great womanly kindness in their constant ministrations to the stricken. The next thing in order was horses, and the following hand-bill circulated:
WANTED! 50 - DRAFT HORSES. - 50. Weighing from 1,200 to 1,600 pounds. Will buy from morning of Tuesday, May 17 to evening of Wednesday, May 18 at A. Barcelo’s stable. Will pay what they are worth. RINGLING BROTHERS’ CIRCUS.
A number of first-class horses were bought, and a telegram to John Ringling at Chicago, ordered a carload more. In buying, the capable judgment of Messrs. Royal and Delevan came into important play. Counting horses that died after leaving Concordia, the circus was out about forty head all told. To narrate all the steps by which the show righted itself, would be a story very long drawn out. Though the scenes of this day of suffering made many an eye grow moist, the spirit of the Ringlings was undaunted. They arose to their duties with added vigor, recalling the tale of the fabled wrestler, who gained new strength whenever thrown to earth. They accepted their Kansas misfortunes in the spirit of the Kansas state motto: Ad astra per aspera (“through trials to the stars”).
Wednesday, May 18th. Concordia, Kas. Mo. Pac., 29 miles. Pop. 3,184. Hotels - Exchange and Iowa. Luckily yesterday’s accident was a mile from to-day’s town, instead of far in the country. Because of high hill lot and fearful winds, showed once with side-walls only. Admission 25 cents, a generous discount, people offering 50. Dressing-room top lowered almost to the ground. Between this dilemma and the wind, which blew great guns and knocked a Jap off his roost, we had some rich experience. But the citizens, who have our thanks for much kindness, made just allowance, and were heartily pleased with the show.
Thursday, May 19th. Abilene, Kas. A., T & S. Fe, 55 miles. Pop. 3,547. Continental Hotel. “We heard you were all killed and all the wild animals loose.” Large business. The spectre that made Hamlet’s fright-wig rise here walks his sheeted round, first time. “For this relief much thanks.” Clouds banking up. More sky-water.
Friday, May 20th. Marion, Kas. A., T. & S. Fe, 97 miles. Pop. 2,047. Elgin Hotel, rough stone front. Barrello closed. Maximus porter closed, Harry Edwards supplanting. Good business. Dampness. Many actors buy umbrellas, to “lay up something for a rainy day.” K. C. Journal squib: “This,” remarked the hippopotamus in Ringling Bros. Circus, as the car rolled down in a ditch and burst open the cage, letting him roam around on the Kansas prairie, “is all right for the mermaid, but it’s too damn wet for me.”
Saturday, May 21st. Wichita, Kas. A., T. & S. Fe, 65 miles, Kansas City 227, Topeka 154; six railroads; 22 years old. Pop. 23,853. Third week’s run 369 miles. Doc Miller’s home. Hotel Metropole. Lot, Riverside Park. B. & B. “coming soon” (Sept. 23). Light rain. Twenty Chicago horses arrive, making 38 bought since wreck. Jockey Jones’ head cut. While at show Mayor Carey’s silverware stolen by K. City thieves. Chief Burrows arrested same. Tremendous triumphant business, though Baruum’s flaming posters scorched the bill-boards. Daily Beacon: “The big show took over $10,000 out of Wichita.” Dramatic News: “Crowded tents both performances. Great Show.”
Sunday, May 22d. En route. Flight through the Cherokee strip into Oklahoma. Wild life on the plains. Cowboys with yard-wide sombreros and cartridge belts for hat-bands, raced with the train and galloping fired salutes. Coyotes and prairie dogs abounded. Many bad men from Bitter Creek seen herding countless cattle. A beautiful green prairie starred with flowers. The smoke of Indian camp-fires curled on high, and Chief Hailstones-in-the-stomach, Choctaw-Chickasaw, and other sockless red men of the plains, came down to the train and begged the pale faces for firewater. They also shook hands with our own celebrities, such as Canvasman-with-a-pocket-full-of-snakes, Clown-that-pulls-an-elephant-rouud-by-the-tail, and Little-six-dollars-and-cakes-and-a-piece-of-pie. Fertile section this, where the vines grow so fast they wear out the pumpkins dragging them over the ground.
Mon., May 23d. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Ter. A., T. & S. Fe, 172 miles, Kansas City 399. Pop. 7,631. In 1890 was 4,151. Commercial Hotel, quick service. New cook house man, from Wichita, loses foot under car wheel. Large business, breathing room only. The five civilized nations sent delegates to visit the five Ringlings, and Row-of-Lodges scanned our row of tents, while Hole-in-the-Day surveyed the hole in the canvas. Side show up-town with “wild man tearing a sailor limb from limb,” etc. An Indian with ears full of paint sells tickets outside and represents wild man inside. Street man with roller machine turns a paper slip to a $5 bill, and some of our boys turn $5 bills into booze. Large tracks of feet are painted all over the wooden sidewalks, all leading to a prominent saloon. Inspired with Oklahoma air, some of the gang are seen surveying these tracks, with a look like that on Robinson Crusoe’s face when staring Friday’s foot-step in the sand.
Tues., May 24th. Guthrie, Capital Oklahoma Ter. A., T. & S. Fe, 31 miles, Kansas City 368. Kansas 86 1/2. Pop. 9,000 estimated; 2,728 census of 1890. Palace Hotel. On night run out, intoxicated first section fireman, employed by the Santa Fe company, in advancing from third car back to his locomotive, fell between the wheels and was instantly killed. Both show trains passed over him, and he was dismembered of every limb and crushed into a shapeless mass. Identified by his clothing. Jerry Ward bitten badly by hyena. It took four men to hold him in his spasms of nervous agony. Recovered, with crippled hand. Enormous crowds attend, everybody and his wife. Governor Seay visits, munching peanuts. “If the Ringling Brothers are not satisfied with their business in this city, then they must want the earth.” - Daily News.
Wednesday, May 25th. Arkansas City, Kas. A., T. & S. Fe, 90 miles Pop. 8,347. State line 3 1/2 miles. Hotel Gladstone, where two men killed each other following June 14. Grand business. Second salary day. Lew Sunlin’s new cinnamon bear, tied in dressing-room, upsets buckets and stands on his head in the water barrel. Also makes a lion-leap at Sunlin, intent to chew him up and spit him out. (Laughter.) Lew finally pacifies him, and jumps him up under a flat car cage, “thus showing man’s power over the brute creation.” Dr. Palace-car Hunter, “The World’s Benefactor,” Mons. Niblo and Chief Many-feathers visit.
Thursday, May 26th. Wellington, Kas. A., T. & S. Fe, 36 miles. Pop. 4,391. Rock Island Restaurant. Fine weather. Big booming business. Eccentric darkey entertains Fred Madison. Considers Dan Rice the smartest man ever lived. Tells how to bake a possum. First you catch it; corn-fed variety best. When the dogs bark you say “hush.” When its baked, and the neighbors knock, you say “Nobody at home.”
Note. May 27th, one day after leaving Wellington, at 9 o’clock in the evening it was struck by a fearful cyclone, which swept from the face of the earth the puny works of man, and crushed out human lives in the twinkling of an eye. This whirling monster of the air wrecked property valued at $500,000, killed 10 people outright and injured 22 fatally, while fully 100 more were maimed or injured badly. Fire and lightning came to add to their terrors; and two sisters, one a bride, were burned to death. The husband, out of his mind, tried to leap into the flames. At the Phillips Hotel, where a ball was progrossing, 6 people were killed by falling walls. The cyclone played many wonderful freaks. It stood the Lutheran Church on its head, lifted a stove in a school-house clear up to its second story, carried Rock Island freight cars 200 feet, landed a four-wheeled vehicle in the middle of a graveyard, lifted a horse to the top of a two-story house, uprooted trees, turned buildings “right about face,” and crushed heavy plate-glass windows. Then, with a kindness like that which mad elephants show to children, it lifted the little child of Barber Bowers from its cradle, carried it two blocks, and laid it down uninjured on the greensward of a well-kept lawn. Fifteen surgeons hurried from Wichita on a special train, and tenderly cared for the dying and suffering victims. This twisting electrical terror struck the town where our show tents stood, and ran parallel to the Kansas Southern track. Only a providential day stood between us and utter destruction, and for missing this great calamity our thanks are rendered up to Him above, who “rides the whirlwind and directs the storm.”
Friday, May 27th. Kingman, Kas. A., T. & S. Fe, 78 miles. Pop. 2,390. Brunswick Hotel. Good business, followed by rain. Timothy Hay’s opinion : “I liked the knowing pigs and the elephant charmer, and the fire horse that jumped through the hoop. A good thing I liked was the pole-raising, and the little man that stood on his head on the pole and kicked the top of the canvas. A good thing they didn’t have was the man that broke a rock on his stomach.”
Saturday, May 28th. McPherson, Kas. H. & S. and C., R. I. & P., 59 miles Pop. 3,172. Merchants’ Hotel. Fourth week’s run 466 miles, exactly the same as week ending May 14. Breezy day. Nice business. “From grocer-ee to grocer-i” we chase for Sunday lunches. Lew Sunlin buys a coyote with teeth as sharp as Sharp’s needles. Debonnaire sings: “O! bury me not on the lone prairie, Where the wild ki-yoots will howl over my grave.”
Sunday, May 29th. En route. A long but pleasant ride to Northern Kansas, for many miles trailing the banks of the River Kaw. We take a glance at the Ringling Brothers in their new private car “Caledonia,” a rolling palace of luxury and a garden of delight. How happy they look caged up with their beautiful wives, wading in carpets up to their knees, and drinking out of gold and silver goblets. Also eating chicken, etc.
Monday, May 30th. Holton, Kas. C., R. I. & P., 158 miles. Pop. 2,727. City Hotel, very nice. Fine business. Steve Scaggs, holding a “box seat,” falls through it to the pavement. Fronting hotel, West India Museum, combined with five-cent alligator show. “They’re alive, alive, and ready to jump out of the wagon.” Five-a-glass man sells lemonade red enough to dye your tights. Heavy night rain; one show. At a K. P. meeting some of the boys sup too much flavoring extract.
Tuesday, May 31st. Pawnee, Neb. C., R. I. & P., 71 miles. Pop. 1,550. Exchange Hotel. Had a one-lunged engine that frequently stopped to take breath, or went ahead to give first section an elephant push up-hill. Cow-catcher needed on rear of the train, so a vicious cow couldn’t walk on and bite the passengers. Arrived 12 M. Hard rain; swamped lot. Show postponed till October 7th. Also missed by Sells Brothers, June 8, 1891. Month’s run 1,843 miles.
June: State traversed - Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Wednesday, June 1st. Fairbury, Neb. C. R. I. & P., 64 miles. Pop. 2,680. Commercial Hotel, near train. Clate Alexander, who blows sugared sounds from a cornet, once clerked two years in this house. Packed business. Dan O’Brien 34 years old to-day, and says he has been an Irishman ever since he was born. Delevan jokes about age, and says Dan has wrinkles enough in the back of his neck to make tracks for the stock yards in Chicago. Poleman Phillips breaks his leg under ticket wagon as it comes down the run from the train. Uptown Ferreri’s white rat show performs to big applause and cries of “rats.”
Thursday, June 2d. Hastings, Neb. St. J. & G. I., 74 miles. Pop. 13,584. Bostwick Hotel, superb. Third “wages day.” Clearing sky, with light clouds as blue as cigar smoke. Canvasmen raise $180 to send crippled Phillips to hospital, to which noble figure the dressing-room adds a handsome sum. Ando and Oume, two very nice Japanese, bid us good-bye. Big “down-in-front” house, and the sweet chink of counted money heard all day in the ticket wagon.
Friday, June 3d. York, Neb. St. J. &. G. I., 66 miles. Pop. 3,405. La Grand Hotel. Madame Sunlin’s beautiful manege horse Brilliant died in the cars last night. Race between Clate Alexander and Bailey Dawson, otherwise known as Steve Scaggs; they ran as close and pretty as two squirrels in a rolling cage, but Scaggs, at the final crisis, stuck out his tongue and won. It took a larger belly-band than usual to go around Steve’s pocket-book to-night.
Saturday, June 4th. Norfolk, Neb. U. P., 115 miles. Pop. 34,871. Hotels - Reno and Pacific. Fifth week’s run, 548 miles. Winter quarters Hurlburt & Leftwich Show (100 foot top, 40 foot middles). Cook & Whitby just here and B & B “coming soon” (Sept. 12). Despite many cuts of the John boats approaching America, and Humpty Dumpty among the Indians, the tents were packed. Sky a robin’s egg blue, and the weather clerk has favored us ever since Pawnee, May 30. Rubens’s opinion, expressed by James Whitcomb Riley:
“ Tha’s been a heap o’ rain, but the sun’s out to-day,
And the clouds of the wet spell is all cleared away;
And the grass is all the greener, and the woods is greener still;
It may rain again to-morrow, but I hardly think it will.”
Sunday, June 5th. En Route. At Sioux City saw the handsome white train of Cook & Whitby’s Circus, which pulled in just as we pulled out. We had only time to say “how-de.” Next month this train will have two bad smash-ups. The first will be at Richland Centre, Wis., July 7th, derailing several cars. The second will happen next day, July 8th, going twenty miles an hour and six miles from McGregor, Iowa, when three stock cars will be ditched, twenty-five horses killed and two more have to be shot; the Circassian Prince will have his leg broken; the show will miss Prairie Du Chien, Wis., and Maquoketa, Iowa. In a car containing fourteen horses and fifteen colored musicians, two men will be hurt and all the horses killed outright. We extend our sympathy, having been there ourselves.
Monday, June 6th. Sioux Falls, S. Dak. C. M. & St. P., 167 miles. Pop. 10,177. Hotels - Merchants and Commercial. The divorce city. Mexican Red closed and Nelson, living skeleton and general genius, “joined out.” The blue poles pointed up to a blue sky, and the people came in columns. Argus Leader on Show: “In many respects it can give points to Barnum and Forepaugh. It is big, it is new, it is groomed, it has go.”
Tuesday, June 7th. Yankton, S. Dak. C. M. & St. P., 110 miles. On Missouri River. Pop. 3,670. Once capital of Dakota. Pierce House, simply magnificent with its rough stone front and new furniture, but an hour slow. Head waitress says: “You all come hither and thither and thither and hither, and it’s very hard to wait on you all at once.” Grand audience, thick as hops. One hundred Indians Sautee Agency visit.
Wednesday, June 8th. Mitchell, S. Oak. C. M. & St. P., 77 miles. Pop. 2,217. Mitchell House. Banner business. Little Jap fell. John Ringling informs the landlord how “That all-softening, overpowering knell, The tocsin of the soul, the dinner bell,” is unnecessary. “Just lift your finger,” says John, “and they’ll come fast enough.”
Thursday, June 9th. Madison, S. Dak. C. M. & St. P., 88 miles. Pop. 1,736. Hotels - Madison and Lake Park. The circulating medium circulates, fourth time. Astonishing business. Audience 2,500 more than the county population. On night run out, cage blown off near Iroquois. Australian kangaroo escapes, wildly hop-step-jumping over the sea of plains. William Morton, Arkansas boy giant, is “going back to Arkansaw tomorrow.” Canvasman gets a mile ride on a rail. More fun than an armfull of monkeys.
Friday, June l0th. Huron, S. Dak. C. M. & St. P. and C. & N. W., 71 miles. Pop. 3,038. Dakota House. Beautiful business. Kangaroo captured; finders rewarded; fun. The five-ton band wagon mired hub deep, but the “big leather beast” got into the push, and it moved when behind it, as Milton says: “Behemoth, the biggest born, of earth, upheaved His vastness.”
Saturday, June 11th, Brookings, S. Dak. C. & N. W., 72 miles. Pop. 1,518. Hotels - Jourden and Brookings. Sixth week’s run 585 miles. Tybell gave his wife a solid gold watch of pretty enameled design. Large business. Man came 100 miles to see show.
Monday, June 13th. Watertown, S. Dak. C. & N. W., 48 miles. Pop. 8,755. Massasoit House and Kemp Avenue Restaurant. A-1 business. Gang fished. Three horses and kangaroo die. Harry Moran visits; also Healy-Bigelow and Pierce - Columbus Co.’s. Blanche Reed having measles, Mike Rooney substitutes. With curly wig and cheeks like two blush roses; with corset upside down and dainty dress of taffy candy pink, Mike looked “too sweet for anything.” Made a hit with his bow. Did splendid.
Tuesday, June 14th. Aberdeen, S. Dak. C. & N. W., 113 miles. Pop. 3,182. Keunard Hotel. Mr. Reed “blew the train” last night. Mrs. Tybell being sick, Mrs. O’Brien stands for impalement act. One show as advertised. Left 9 P. M. Superb business.
Wednesday, June 15th. Fargo, N. Dak. C. & N. W. and N. Pac., 162 miles. St. Paul, 251 miles. Pop. 5,664. Elliott Hotel. Dude Goetschius sings: “ I’ve been out East, I’ve been out West, I’ve been as far as Fargo, But a divil such a town I never saw as the city of Chi-car-go.” John Robinson’s scare-heads up. His agents visit. Triumphant magnificent business. Lemonade vender yells, “Don’t let your ladies go home dry.” O’Brien sings: “With all her troubles and aches and pains, I love her still.”
Thursday, June 16th. Crookston, Minn. N. Pac., 94 miles. Pop. 3,457. Commercial Hotel. Fifth ghost walk. Hill lot. Every seat filled. Man shows us a cage of horned hoot owls. One of our foreign artists, a little too full of Keeley cure, peeps in the cage and asks if they are eagles.
Friday, June 17th. Grafton, N. Dak. N. Pac. 77 miles. Manitoba 80 miles. Pop. 1,594. Oriental Hotel. Charles W. Fish, the world’s champion rider, joins. He is surnamed “The Royal Equestrian,” having appeared by special command before Her Majesty Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle, February 26, 1886. Surpassing business, crowded to hippodrome track. New kangaroo gives birth to a cunning baby one hour after receipt, squaring for kangaroo lost. Side-show down town has “Alice, the woolly girl,” excelsior “Jo Jo ” freak.
Saturday, June 18th. Grand Forks, N. Dak. N. Pac., 50 miles. Pop. 4,979. Griggs House. Seventh week’s run, 544 miles. Distant lot. Town well billed. Big Jumbo house. Daily Herald on Charles Ringling: “The same high bearing and cultured manners characterize him that have made his brothers the favorites with the people ever since their history in the show business.”
Sunday, June 19th. En route. Tiresome run. O’Brien’s chop-house, the Japanese restaurant. Lew Sunlin’s short order, Natalie’s Arabian coffee joint and Moncayo’s speak-easy at “No. 4 Second Floor,” all did a rushing business. Madison loses a hard boiled derby hat, and little Jap “me too.” Fish went ahead on passenger. At 3 P. M. reached “the Sunday place,” as Japanese Sammy calls it.
Monday, June 20th. Little Falls, Minn. N. Pac., 212 miles. Pop. 2,354. Imperial Hotel, by mistake; then Palace. The Dawsons retire and Van, ventriloquist, joins. Great business. Third ring added. “The smart man who sees at a glance all things, Gets left by the circus that has three rings.” Al Ringling enjoys the Robinson show at La Crosse. Orrin Hollis called yesterday, and Johnny Robinson, Gill Robinson and wife and James DeMott visit to-day. Hot race by O’Dell and Royal; the chariot hubs on fire. After show the O’Dell Billings-Ashton gang of old Cincinnati friends sees the pleasant Robinson party off. At 3 A. M. their train passes ours, and Gill Robinson’s lantern lights the new pictures on the sides of the cars, a splendid art gallery showing the lion, tiger, willipus wallipus, wonderoo, snaggle-tooth and ring-tailed giasticutis. Also depicting the famous monkey that married the baboon’s sister, and showing the Robinson foreign agent lost in the woods “nigh unto the mountains of Hepsedam, where the lion roareth, and the whangdoodle mourneth for her first-born.”
Tuesday, June 21st. Sauk Centre, Minn. N. Pac. , 38 miles. Pop. 1,695. Byron refers, speaking of days, to “The longest, even the twenty-first of June.” Sun rises 4:25, sets 7:37; day 15 hours, 12 minutes. Sauk Centre House, with sign, “Headquarters Ringling Brothers’ World’s Greatest Shows.” Fine dinner, rich velvet cream in coffee and fifteen kinds of pie. Landlord’s receipts $500. Splendid business. Baby kangaroo dies. Dude Goetschius, “the glass of fashion and the mould of form,” jumps over elephant babe, “the walking mountain.”
Wednesday, June 22d. Morris, Minn. N. Pac., 50 miles. Pop. 1,266. Metropolitan Hotel. Fine business. New spring board. Natalie’s pig rolls in red paint. Debonnaire sings an old timer - one verse:
“There was a chap from New Orleans, Big Ruben was his name,
He went out West; on a sardine-box he opened up his game,
He played so long, he played so strong, a million dollars he got in line,
But he fell in a hole, and he lost his soul, in the days of ’49;
The days of old, the days of gold, the days of ’49.”
Thursday, June 23d. Litchfleld, Minn. Gt. Nor., 80 miles. Pop. 1,899. Band to Lake Ripley House and performers to the Park, a no mucho bueno restaurant, though the pepper and salt were as good as you get anywhere. Sixth salary day. Walter L. Main visits, and is pleased to find a long canvas passageway erected for his entry, as shown by the sign, “MAIN ENTRANCE.” Heavy business.
Friday, June 24th. Marshall, Minn. Gt. Nor., 88 miles. Pop. 1,203. Atlantic Hotel. Splendid business. Manager Wallace, Band-master Goetz, and forty more from Cook & Whitby’s Circus, showing at Red Wing, come eighteen miles to visit the big show.
Saturday, June 25th. Willmar, Minn. Gt. Nor., 62 miles. Pop. 1,805. Merchants’ Hotel. Eighth week’s run, 530 miles. Big business. False Hey Rube. Our good friend Natalie is taking the Keeley cure, and will drink no more of red ruin, white wine and blue damnation:
“No more he’ll come home with his eye looking queer,
And his stomach distended with gallons of beer;
No more tread his room with a tangle-foot walk,
While he winds up the lamp and blows out the clock.”
Monday, June 27th. Duluth, Minn. Gt. Nor., 222. Named after Sieur Du Luth, early French explorer. Pop. 33,115, suburbs 8,000. St. Louis Hotel, superb. Fred Schaffer, alto, closed. Five mile parade. Runaway hurts baby; jockey thrown and sack racer hurt. New animal man, Ed. Reed, at a lady’s request to stir up the wild animals, incautiously reached in a lion’s den about feeding time. With lightning move the lion clawed his arm, and bared it to the bone with eager teeth. Despite sharp irons, the blood-maddened beast retained his hold, and Reed had to be torn away by main force. He fainted with pain. Removed to St. Mary’s Hospital, and arm amputated at shoulder. The king of brutes became roaring wild, trying to break his cage. Of a truth those scriptural times have not come when the lion lies down with the lamb, and “shall eat straw like an ox.” Magnificent business. Clipper correspondent: “Took the town by storm, their tent being packed.” Dramatic News: “ Ringling Brothers’ Show, 27th, had fully 10,000 people at afternoon and over 10,000 at evening performance. It was pronounced by all to be the best exhibit ever given in Duluth of the kind.”
Tuesday, June 28th. West Superior, Wis. Gt. Nor., 3 miles. Commercial Hotel. Pop. 9,000, East Superior 4,000, other divisions 2,000, total 15,000. Makes whale-back steamers; 2,100 iron and steel workers. Press compliments Sauthoff. Rev. C. S. Starkweather and twenty-one choir boys visit. Little girl ran over by buggy at grounds. Will recover. “Cincinnati Dutch,” so called, pinched between pole and wardrobe wagons. Badly bruised and sent to Ashland hospital. Phenomenal side show business. Four crooks arrested. La Belle and Webster works, South Superior, close to attend. Superior Leader: “One of the proprietors told Mayor Scott that there were 10,000 people at the afternoon and 9,000 at the evening performance.”
Wednesday. June 29th. Ashland, Wis. N P., 68 miles. Pop. 9,956. Million-dollar ore docks. Excellent hotels- Colby and Commercial. Advertising Sioux Indian bothers parade. Dan O’Brien discovers him “Irish as Paddy’s pig.” Horse scared at elephant upsets and leaps baby carriage. The precious baby unhurt, but its mother, Mrs. Martin Fox, fell bruised about head and hip. The gallant horse owner, Joe McDonald of Bayfleld, kindly pressed in her hands a $20 bill. Three pickpockets jailed. A Mrs. Burke lost pocket-book with $400-mortgage, $100-check, two $50-checks, one check $15 and $10 cash=$625. Made a roar, but found it on counter where she had been trading. Grand business.
Thursday, June 30th. Rhinelander, Wis. M. L. S. & W., 111 miles. Pop. 2,658. Fuller Hotel. Lumber town; eight saw mills. Arrived 9 A. M. One o’clock parade; three o’clock show. Realistic fake elephant follows parade. Lot thick with winter green, blue flags and ripe wild strawberries. Seventh tip of filthy lucre. Crack business. Annex fourteen shows. Month’s run 2,314 miles, from Baraboo 4,157 miles. Landlord on dinner push, “You come from here and there and all over and you come all in a heap.”
July, States traversed - Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa.
Friday, July 1st. Antigo, Wis. M., L. S. & W., 46 miles. Pop. 4,424. Commercial Hotel. Slop-hole grounds. Hippodrome track a swamp, and two wells of water irrigate middle ring. Little Jap does a Willie Green stilt act. Fun. Three pickpockets jailed, and left singing that plaintive song: “Turnkey, sweet turnkey, set the beautiful gates ajar.”
Saturday, July 2d. Shawano, Wis. M., L. S. & W., 65 miles. Pop. 1,505. Murdock Hotel. Ninth week’s run 515 miles. New blacksmith tossed in tarpaulin. Gusty storm tears a sky-light in canvas. Cut rubber coat parade; no mounted people. Tents jam-full. Billings howls for a stake-puller to yank his stilts out of the mud. Dressing-room soaked, but jolly. Debonnaire sings: “ Then he fell upon his knees and delivered up the keys To Frank and Jesse James.”
Sunday, July 3d. In turning a cage when loading last night at Shawano, James Wells, porter of car number 32, had a wet-weather slip and fell off the train, breaking his arm. The poor fellow has our sympathy and will be sent to-morrow to the Catholic hospital at Ashland, Wis. To-day Charlie Miller rejoices in a visit from his handsome wife and baby. Midnight ushers in the day of glory. Lizzie’s Willie blows the photograph money, and fast and furious fun takes the swelling out of our pocket-bopks. Fire-crackers shoot by the bunch, and everyone fully realizes that the days in a year are 365 1/4, of which the “fourth” is “the Fourth of July.” Going to sleeper, Sauthoff trips on a cage block, falling head first from train. Saved by a sand bank.
Monday, July 4th. Wausau, Wis. M., L. S. & W., 69 miles. Pop. 9,253. Hotels - Winkley and Bellis. County, fifty saw-mills. Gold mine on city border. Billings closed, with everyone’s kind wishes. To-day we celebrate. Big top, side show and horse tents flagged in extravagant style; reserved seats bannered and decorated; Vernon Brothers aerial rigging wrapped red, white and blue. Will Marks and wife ride their graceful act in costumes of national colors, and parade is a mile of star-spangled streamers and flags. Prof. Weldon’s elegant band plays a beautiful medley of patriotic airs. Tremendous business; crowded to the hippodrome ropes. At night grand spread-eagle fireworks. One Jap kid scared by the pin-wheel that carries a Hey Rube whistle, while another finds a Roman candle “too much rain in the face,” and drops it, scattering crowd. Big bonfires built, and a century’s worth of pyrotechnics fired, whose constant sheaves of golden rain kept up a quiet flirtation with the stars.
Tuesday, July 5th. Marshfleld, Wis. M., L. S. & W., 42 miles. Pop. 3,450. Thomas House. Fine business, but a frog pond lot, veiled with deceitful grass. Elephants feet tramp post-holes in the track. Great Ceasar’s chariot stuck. Riding acts cut afternoon; hippodrome cut night. Canvasman’s remark: “The duck that got this lot must have got it sitting on a chair in the hotel.” At night slight fight, and this dramatic speech: “I won’t live on the same world with him. He’s got to get off the earth.”
Wednesday, July 6th. Stevens Point, Wis. Wis. Cen., 31 miles. Pop. 7,896. Lumber town. Jacobs House. Lot twelve blocks out Main street. Hot weather, and our faces leak. Long parade through a street fenced in with pretty girls, and tent well filled with “lots of peep,” as friend Arcari says for “lots of people.”
Thursday, July 7th. Waupaca, Wis. Wis. Cen., 29 miles. Pop. 2,127. Connected twin hotels, Scoville and De Voin. Long grand army tables, with oranges stacked like cannon balls. Waupaca River back of lot. Chain of 8 lakes 2 1/2 miles out. Beautiful mill fall en route to lot; there was a dam by the mill site, but there wasn’t any mill by a d--n sight. Excellent business. Eighth prize package day. Reuben’s remark, looking in zebra cage: “What kind of an animal do you call that - a sea horse?”
Friday, July 8th. Neenah, Wis. Wis. Cen., 34 miles, at junction Fox River and Lake Winnebago. Show grounds on island. Porter’s call 6:30. Russel. House. Pop. 5,803. Depot mile north at Menasha. Pop. 4,581. Twin city, total 9,664. At Oshkosh, 13 miles, Barnum, August 12. Many factories, and a red-headed girl for every white horse in sight. Big business; night house best. Tybell deceives with taffy, which proves a chunk of decayed white wood wrapped up in tissue paper. When his ladder act comes, little Sam, asleep on his trunk, lies dreaming of his Oriential home beyond the setting sun. “That will cost you ten.” Sam’s eyes pop out of his head. He makes for the ring like a streak of greased lightning, but guesses the old man’s fine is “only a fool joke.”
Saturday, July 9th. Chilton, Wis. C., M. & St. P., 23 miles, across bay from Neenah. German town. Pop. 1,424. Hotels - Central and Chilton. Tenth week’s run 228 miles. Business fair. Principal industry, cheese manufacture. Tell Billings. On parade O’Dell and O’Brien saw three pickpockets “get their hands in.” All arrested, and left in that iron-bound house where the sign “shut the door” is needless.
Sunday, July 10th. Jules Turnour, on entering his adopted State of Michigan, smiles like a man with a basket of pups. Arrived 10 A. M. Arcari kicks at the Salvation army for stealing his tamborine act. Dan O’Brien espies a “burglar bold” in the darksome gloom of a scuttle over his room. The jolly burglar melts in thin air or rides away on a broom-stick, but a brave pursuer falls through the ceiling, spoiling $15 worth of plastering. Excitement, and much button-bursting comedy. Our Knights of Pythias thank the local lodge for a fine banquet tendered in the evening.
Monday, July 11th. Iron Mountain, Mich. C., M. & St. P., 129 miles. Pop. 8,599. Felch Hotel. Nice business; splendid reserved seat sale. Harry Howell, alto, joins. Gang swims in lake. Mose Deeming, intoxicated citizen, knocked down by switch engine and badly cut about head and face. Some canvasmen plant a beer keg on a stump in a lonely hollow and drain it to the dregs. Debonnaire fools with a snake. It bites him, being that scriptural kind that “heeds not the voice of the charmer, charm he never so wisely.” Deb. still lives by bull-headed luck, as a bull-head snake did the deed.
Tuesday, July 12th. Escanaba, Mich. C. & N. W., 52 miles. Pop. 6,808. On a point of land between Green Bay and Little Bay de Noquet. Oliver House. Largest iron docks in the world, 95,000 tons capacity, requiring over 4,000 cars and 100 locomotives. Sandy lot, long ways out. Parade caught in rain and hunts a livery stable. Large attendance. Two centre poles broken. Detective C. F. Ryan, of the world famous Pinkerton Detective Agency, joins here.
Wednesday, July 13th. Menominee, Mich. C. & N. W., 64 miles. On west shore of Green Bay and mouth of Menominee River. Pop. 10,630. Over river, Marinette, Wis., 11,533. Twin city total 22,153. Richard House. Next door P. O. and “Blind Man’s Cigar Stand.” Natalie overjoyed to find the lost silver collar worn by his learned hog, a beautiful present from friends in Salt Lake City. Street car to ground's, mile out. Dramatic News: “Crowded tents. The circus made a most favorable impression.”
Thursday, July 14th. Green Bay, Wis. C. & N. W., 55 miles. At the foot of Green Bay and confluence Fox and East Rivers. Oldest town in state, settled 1668 by French missionaries and traders. Pop. 9,069. Across Fox River, Fort Howard, pop. 4,754. Twin city, total 13,823. Cook’s Hotel. Nice boat direct to lot. May Reed fell; not badly hurt. Toyo cuts head on trunk. Abandoned bridge near lot turns parade. Tip-top business. Bad runaway in morning.
Friday, July 15th. Berlin, Wis. C. & N. W. and C., M. & St. P., 95 miles. Great cranberry shipping point. Pop. 4,007. City Hotel. Arrived 10:40 A. M. One engine. Engineer said: “We will play crack-the-whip with you after we get started.” Train stalled, however, on the steep grade between Fond du Lac and Ripon, necessitating a transfer of cars. Charles Ringling visits, and says our Milwaukee billing is 3,100 sheets ahead of the opposition. Old Money Bags calls, ninth time. Bum Barnum bills circulate, threshing old straw, and full of lies, gilt ginger bread and cage-worn ideas. Big business just the same.
Saturday, July 16th. Beaver Dam, Wis. C., M. & St. P., 54 miles. Pop. 4,307. St. Cloud Hotel and Milwaukee House. Fine day and business. Eleventh week’s run 449 miles. In unloading Frank Tuttle, a trainman, was run over by the big tiger den. One wheel passed over his jaw and another over his breast, crushing him terribly. Blood ran from his mouth, ears and nose, and formed in a pool around him. “Good-bye, boys, I am dying,” he said. That night he passed over the dark river which all must cross in time. His brother, summoned from Oshkosh by a telegram, took the body home.
Sunday, July 17th. Reached Milwaukee early. Mrs. Levis joins, and a son of Andy Gaffney greets us on arrival. Quite a showman’s convention here. Around the hotel corridors can be seen many men well known in circus annals: Louis E. Cooke, W. E. Franklin, and Press Agent Frank L. Perley head a large Barnum contingent; while Alf. T. Ringling, John Ringling, Charles Ringling, W. D. Coxey, Charles Ellis, and others, lead the Ringling warriors on to victory. The triumphant fight of our billposters here, assisted by the opposition’s unwise legal action, has given us tremendous advertisement. Yesterday’s Journal has a cartoon on the circus war, showing Press Agent Alf. T. Ringling on top of the Eiffel Tower, while capable Press Agent Perley soars in a balloon. As balloons are upheld by nothing but gas. Alf’s position seems a trifle best. To-morrow 8 o’clock parade over Third, Walnut, Twelfth, Prairie, Fifteenth, Grand Avenue, West Water, Clybourne, East Water, Buffalo, Broadway, Wisconsin, East Water, Juneau, Third, and to lot Third and Clark.
Monday, July 18th. Milwaukee, Wis. C. M. & St. P., 65 miles. Pop. 204,468. Fine hotels - Kirby and Pabst. We had trouble here with the “Big City Show,” not Cleveland’s, but one run by B. & B., which might mean Beach & Bowers, but don’t. Here Mr. James A. Bailey, who wants all the earth and a slice of the moon as well, and who thinks all the other showmen must sneeze when he takes snuff, put on his war plumes and tried to “cut a wide swath ” in our very prosperous business. “As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes,” so is the glory of Ringling Brothers to this would-be monopolist. When he woke one morning at five o’clock and found the Ringlings famous, his jealous heart fermented like a yeast-pot. Perceiving they were flying with the geese and running with the wind, he dashed in their smiling faces the cigarettes of his fury. Aspiring to rule the roost and be the king toad on the toad-stool, in the suburbs of his brain there lurked the thought, “I will make crushed violets out of the famous five.” With a bravery that would scalp a cigar store Indian, he sneaked on the Baraboo foe. Like Don Quixote fighting the wind-mill, he got slapped and banged pretty hard. It would make a cow laugh till her horns fell off to see how bad he got left. With chilled-steel gall and icy nerve, and the cold, hard cheek of a marble mule, the Baraum lah-de-dah brigade swept down upon our sheep-fold and slipped the dogs of war. They expected to wipe up the earth with the gentle showmen of Baraboo. But the Ringling Brothers, mild as cooing doves in times of piping peace, could now be seen where the battle smoke was thickest, with a comb in each hand combing cannon balls out of their hair. Wearing no breast-plate but a heart undaunted, they sailed into the whiskers of the foe. Every stroke of the opposition was met with crushing blow or knightly parry, and the key-note of their feelings was the old Shakespearian saw: “Lay on, Macduff, And damn’d be him that first cries ‘Hold! enough!’”
Never so merry a circus war since the days of the whitewashed elephant and the ten-thousand-dollar girl. Here Greek met Greek, and foemen worthy of each other’s steel had war to the knife, and the knife to the hilt, nor raised a flag of truce. Milwaukee was turned to a rosy picture gallery, for the knights of the ladder and bucket made the dead walls alive and pasted the town red. Every available awning, street car, dry-goods box and loafer’s lounging place was plastered, re-plastered and shin-plastered with eloquent red, blue and green. In addition the press was patronized very extensively, and the many slurs of a nil admirari nature were countered most effectively by Alf. T. Ringling and Coxey. As to wily John Ringling and Charles Ringling, they wore on their faces “a smile that was child-like and bland,” and a general air which showed they were up to mischief.
“ The horrible rumble and grumble and roar, Telling the battle was on once more,” awoke the folks of Milwaukee. Ringling stock was sky-high. It was evident from the very first that Bailey must play the dancing bear, and then pay the piper and fiddler. It was plain to see he was getting the steam taken out of him, and, his agents refusing to throw up the sponge, we awaited the knock-out blow. It came. When the smoke of battle cleared away, the Ringling quintette, with their legs neatly crossed, all sat on a beautiful rainbow, and either end of the rainbow led down to pots of gold. But the Barnum foe, with crape on their sleeves, were seen encamped on the banks of Weeping Water, with their harps of triumph hung on the willows of woe.
Our victory was something overwhelming. When the great parade trailed down the streets, giving back to the sun its radiance, like a herd of stampeded buffaloes the crowd was seen moving one way. So jammed were the street-cars that many good people hung on by their teeth and toe-nails. At the canvas the surging human tide poured in without cessation, filling the hundreds of extra seats clear down to the guard ropes that bound the great hippodrome track. Even then the long procession still kept winding in, and to seat the crowd was an utter impossibility. But “at night, at night,” as the serio-comics sing, the house was a corker from Cork. Otto Ringling sat in the ticket wagon with dollars up to his knees, and rolls of bills on either side big enough to choke an elephant. Inside Al Ringling hustled up the ushers, and tried in vain to pack away the sea of human beings. The people swarmed to the spacious tent like ants around a sugar bowl, and the seats were black with acres of humanity. Two hundred uniformed members of Tripoli Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, attended the show in a uniformed body, preceded by jubilant trumpeters. Each wore the picturesque Turkish fez, ornate with golden crescent, star and sword. As they marched and countermarched, each one saluting the Ringlings, the big tent shook with applause. Meantime the eager multitudes kept jamming and crowding in. A good deal of language might be used up in stating the size of that crowd, but suffice it to say that our doors were closed at 7:45, the ticket wagon shut down and locked up, and thousands upon thousands turned away. The laurel crown is ours. Ten thousand people compelled to “wait for Barnura,” as they couldn’t get in to see the Ringling Show. This victory set all the roosters in Baraboo crowing, and made the two laughing hyenas smile through the bars of their cage. This glorious triumph made Bailey’s spirit blue as the whiskers of Blue Beard, and made tears like marbles roll out of the statue of Barnum. Ringlingville triumphant. What do you think of the “Baraboo Brothers” now? Excuse grim fate for “playing at cross purposes.” Excuse the glass eggs for not hatching. As for you, Captain J. A. B., “This world is full of roses, and the roses full of dew, And Milwaukee’s tubs are full of soup, that drips and falls for you.”
In case you have any tears to shed, go out in the wood-shed and shed ’em. The Ringlings are a gallant foe, and would cheerfully hand you a snowball to eat in a land that is hotter than this, or in front of the Baraboo court house erect your stately statue, carved out of a cake of cheese. They even hope you will have good luck when you come, and take in the glorious golden boom they turned away from their doors. But never for a moment think you can make them climb a tree. If you want to make some other show lose money, go tickle the hand-organ monkey and make him swallow the cent. Though defeated, we hope your seconds will give you a good rubbing down and part your hair with a sponge. If you feel red-headed and feverish, you can cool your brow with a chunk of that ice which you bought to lay on the Ringling Brothers’ stricken saw-dust forms.
“If you feel a little dry, If you’re cross, and don’t kuow why;” you can wrap yourself in a blanket of comfort by reading how they reached you in the ribs. Just con the bunch of telegrams when your tent is dark and drooping, at the gruesome hour when the side-wall whistle blows and the ghost of Barnum walks, and the seats are falling down and the roof is caving in. At that grim hour, when your tottering show is “ready to go to pieces,” by laying the flap of your ear on the ground you can hear far away the faint, mellow and murmuring melody:
“Who are, who are, who are you? ”
“We are, we are Baraboo.
Ziss! Boom! Bah! Ah!”
The greatest honor ever paid to showmen was tendered to the Ringlings in Milwaukee, by the public greeting and uniformed attendance of two hundred members of Tripoli Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. They are all thirty-second degree Masons, and men of the highest prominence in public, private, professional and political life. They attended as a compliment to their friends, the Ringling Brothers, all seven of whom are high Masons, while the managerial five are members of the Consistory. When the circus was over the famous showmen had a surprise for their brethren in the shape of a sumptuous banquet at the Kirby House, one of the finest Joslyn & Carrothers ever superintened. Mr. Alfred Ringling opened the ceremonies with a modest, appropriate, interesting talk. Mr. L. L. Caufy, commanding the Shriners, made a most felicitous response, and referred to the glory of “Ringling Day” in Milwaukee. Col. Watrous said Wisconsin was proud of the Ringling Brothers, and predicted for them, within the next few years, the very greatest amusement enterprise the world has ever seen. Mr. H. F. Underwood made an exceedingly witty speech, and E. E. Chapin and W. S. Johnson spoke with eloquent feeling. Mr. Charles W. Fish, the scholarly and famous bare-back rider, made a splendid talk. He referred to the honor conferred by the Mystic Shriners, in their public greeting and recognition beneath the dome of our canvas, as “the very finest and most appropriate compliment ever paid to managers of this class of entertainment in the whole history of the world.” Grand Secretary John W. Laflin, a gentleman of great literary repute, gave a splendid recitation of the following beautiful poem, a paraphrase from the banquet scene in Lorn’s Castle, from Scott’s “Lord of the Isles.”
Ringlings, I rose with purpose dread
To speak my curse upon thy head
And give thee all as outcasts o’er
To Bailey, who burns to shed thy gore.
But, like the Midianite of old,
Who stood on Zophim, heaven controll’d,
I feel within my swelling breast
A power that will not be repressed.
It prompts my voice, it swells my veins,
It burns, it maddens, it constrains.
With thy superb and mammoth shows,
Thou’rt far surpassing all thy foes.
O’ermastered then by high behest,
I bless thee and thou shall be blessed.
Bless’d in the hall and in the field,
Under thy canvas as a shield.
Bless’d in thy fez and with thy sword -
Of Circus men the rightful Lords,
Upholders of Wisconsin’s fame,
Promoters of her honored name.
O'ermastered then by high behest,
I bless thee and thou shalt be bless’d.
Blessed in thy deeds and in thy fame,
What lengthened honors wait thy name.
In future ages sire to son
Will tell of praise the Ringlings won.
Go, then, triumphant; sweep along
Thy course; the theme of many a song,
A power whose dictates swell my breast,
Hath bless’d thee and thou shalt be bless’d.
Tuesday, July 19th. Waukesha, Wis. C. & N. W., 19 miles. Pop. 6,321. “The Saratoga of the West.” Hotels - Park Avenue and Cambrian. Hot as perdition’s hinges and the ice-cold strawberry booms. Pete, the blood-sweating hippopotamus, lay in his bath-tub all day.
Wednesday July 20th. Waukegan, Ill. C. & N. W., 68 miles. Pop. 4,915. Hotels - Madison and Waukegan. Red-hot weather. Two town clowns, blacked up, offend audience. Pearl Bradburn, Budd Hawes and 200 Chicago visitors. Nelson, living skeleton, closed. Mrs. Tybell to Chicago for a rest. Mrs. Natalie likewise - for a trunk.
Thursday, July 21. Lake Geneva, Wis. C. & N. W., 51 miles. Pop. 2,297. Hotels - Stafford and Garrison. Romantic, beautiful lake adorned with summer cottages. Tenth salary day. George Holland visits. Hot enough to hatch eggs. Lot between two graveyards and business rather grave.
Friday, July 22d. De Kalb, Ill. C. & N. W., 76 miles. Pop. 2,579. Hotel - Glidden. O’Brien overleaps tick, but the “big guy” saves him. Two years ago to-day, at Elkader, Iowa, Mike Rooney’s first public bare-back somersault. More collar-wilting weather. In the Roman entry much jaw sweat ran down the high-priest’s whiskers, like the precious ointment that ran down the beard of Aaron, even “to the skirts of his garments.”
Saturday. July 23d. Sterling, Ill. C. & N. W., 51 miles. Pop. 5,824. Hotel - Randolph. Magnificent business. Twelfth week’s milage 330. Hot as a bake-oven. Old Sol makes things sizzle.
“At noon the sun beats fiercely down;
The pavements, white with heat,
Have made a furnace of the town
And burn the passer’s feet.”
Sunday, July 24th. We lounged around all day on the court-house square at Tipton, having sylvan pleasure under the greenwood trees. In this town date Alexander outran Dodson, Independence sprinter winning a neat sum. Young Clate, like fabled Mercury of old, has wings upon his heels.
Monday, July 25th. Tipton, Iowa. C. & N. W., 89 miles. Pop. 1,599. Hotels - Fleming and Park. Fair ground lot. Good attendance. Kelly and Big Hungry Bill double up their “bunches of fives.” Uptown giant ox, 3,770 pounds. Ben Vernon hands a lady $2.00 for stepping on her parasol, his hack ride thus costing $2.10. She tears her dress getting out. Gallant Ben should have mashed the lady instead of her parasol.
Tuesday, July 26th. Belle Plalne, Iowa. C. & N. W., 73 miles. Pop. 2,623. Hurley House, a hotel that reached our hearts; delicious coffee and infinite cake. Fat landlord, a democrat 52 years. Fine business. Many Indians from adjoining Tama Agency. Artist Fish draws one, a living cigar sign, called George Jesus. B. H. B. tossed in tarpaulin. At night dramatic incident which need not be recounted, and only needed a little red fire on a shovel to look like a scene from a blood-and-thunder play.
Wednesday, July 27th. Eldora, Iowa. C. & N. W., 57 miles. Pop. 1,577. Name recalls Eldora, the famous juggler. Hotels - Edginton and Ellsworth. Lot past graveyard. Big business. Eleventh salary day. Warm weather, and our sweaty shirts stick closer than a friend. All the boys did “hot acts.” and wore a necklace of beads of perspiration. Blow-over storm at 8:15. Parade; three horses jump fence. Reuben to tattooed man, “How did you get branded?”
Thursday, July 28th. Eagle Grove, Iowa. C. & N. W., 58 miles. Pop. 1881. Hotels - Occidental and Devere. Richard Dialo, murdered Ringling cannon ball performer, buried at Webster City, 15 miles south. Hudson, Algona photographer, shows many circus views. Hard rain; 30 degrees colder. Yesterday red-hot weather, to-day red-hot stove. Lot changed. Heavy business. Parade; two horses tangled in harness. In dressing room, with raised umbrellas, actors have Indian war dance. Jerry Alton, with a war-whoop, scalps Debonnaire, lifting his wig.
Friday, July 29th. Jefferson, Iowa. C. & N. W., 94 miles. Pop. 1,875. Montes Hotel and Ladies Aid Society. At the latter, “punk pie and chick.” Nice red-clover lot. Immense business. Famous Yankee Robinson, once partner of the Ringlings, buried here. His grave is marked by a beautiful red granite monument six feet high, bearing carved Masonic emblems at the top. The inscription is as follows: In Memoriam. Erected by Sells Brothers’ Show and the Ringling Brothers, 1890. Fayette L. Robinson, Born May 2, 1818, died September, 4, 1884.
Saturday, July 30th. Ida Grove, Iowa. C. & N. W., 68 miles. Pop. 1,563. Farmer’s Home and Meyers’ Restaurant. Thirteenth week’s run, 438 miles. Werring, magician, joins. Big business crowds our wigwam. Policeman thinks Mellivan, tattooed man, a suspicious character. The living picture book squares himself by showing his India ink etchings. Snake dies, fourth this season. Madame Nichols awaits a new invoice from Amazonian swamps, where snakes are so common they use them for fence rails and clothes lines, and a drowning Ringling agent was saved by grasping one end of a tossed snake, being thus roped out of the water.
Sunday, July 31st. Reached Omaha for breakfast. Here opposition’s trumpet sounds. Buying a morning paper on the street car, see the full page ad. of the Ringlings, headed, “Last Call. To-morrow is Circus Day.” It is full of hot shot. The Barnum agents, busy as a hen with one chicken, are shedding much ink and talking like cages of parrots, calling their rivals the Ding-a-ling Brothers, the Sawdust Brothers of Baraboo, and other pretty names. But “we are the boys that fear no noise,” and to-morrow will give the old gentleman a few more pillow thoughts, and make him so sad he will call his affair“ The Munrab and Yeliab Show,” spelling the firm names backward. If he don’t keep away from the band wagon, we will make him think that the robe of his mighty fame is wearing out at the elbows. If every man took up the room he thinks he does, some of us would be crowded off the earth. Eight o’clock parade route: Twentieth, Paul, Cumings, Seventeenth, Davenport, Fifteenth, Douglas, Tenth, Farnam, Sixteenth, Cumings, and to showgrounds, Twentieth and Paul. Month’s run, 1,686 miles. From Baraboo, 5,818.
August. States traversed - Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.
Monday, August 1st. Omaha, Neb. C. & N. W., 130 miles. Pop. 61,885. Hotels - Union and Metropolitan. “Thank heaven, the wolves are after us,” exclaimed a pursued comedian, pulling the string of his fright-wig. Looking down at the yelping Barnum horde that is snapping around our heels, a similar feeling of thankfulness fills and thrills our souls. We know good advertising when we see it. The Ringlings don’t come from a very big town, but any one who runs up against them should put an edge on himself, and be as sharp as possible. No President of these United States was ever born in a city, and the Ringling Brothers, presidents of the show business, have the same good fortune. Mr. Bailey is trying to down these Napoleonic managers. He had better try something easy, such as hatching chickens from snake eggs, or training an elephant to catch mice. Having scratched their heads to set their intellects going, the Barnum free lances are filling the papers with malice. Reduced to desperation. our foes are fighting with claw and tooth and nail. “But to-day they will be buried, for we hear the deepening hum Of the people, and the stepping of our patrons as they come.”
We did a tremendous business here, by pumpkins and squash begosh. Like a hot knife into butter, the Ringling sword come down, smashing and crashing the helmets of opposition. The Barnum forces swayed back in awe, believing us all sworn members of the Holy Terrors Society. They were crushed completely, but they ought to have known better than to go between an elephant and a wall. With drooping mouths all puckered up from whistling against the wind, they had barely strength to murmur, “We are licked.”
The rush on the door was something appalling, and made the opposition folks look pale about the ears. The people stood two hundred deep around the ticket wagon, and came in swarms and droves. Unable to get reserved seats, the wealth and aristocracy of the city held lawn parties and circus picnics on the green grass of the hippodrome ellipse, crowding three rings when this was cleared for the races. The crowd was most uproarious and jolly, full of boisterous and girlerous enthusiasm. Two hundred and fifty members of Tangier Temple, Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, attended in a body, all wearing the fez and jewel, and accompanied by their wives. They were all in high feather, and yelled and crowed at everything they saw. The Ringling Brothers, tickled, but not laughing, looked on “the swelling scene.” Meantime, as in the case of Milwaukee, the ticket sale had been stopped before eight o’clock, and fully twice the population of Baraboo turned away from our doors. Just think of it, ten thousand people turned away from this scene of glee and glory. Truly the gods of Fate, Success and Luck meant the Ring in the name of Ringling to stand for a circus Ring. The show made a four-base bit, and all the papers gave us a world of compliment. To recount this praise, would fill whole columns and columns. When the show was over, the monkey dead, and the Barnum people disgusted, two hundred and fifty beautiful ladies, the wives of the various Shriners, made their way to carriages in waiting. There were ladies with brows like marble, ladies with cheeks like roses, ladies who had eyes as black as a silk hat. As their carriages made a turn in the road, with one common burst of melody they all sang sweetly and softly:
“Our carriages are going around the bend,
Good-bye, my lover, good-bye.
They are loaded down with Ringling men,
Good-bye, Jim Bailey, good-bye.”
We ourselves pause to murmur, in a voice that is hoarse with emotion, “ Good-bye, Jim Bailey, good-bye. A man can stop an elephant with a kick, but he can’t stop the Ringlings that way. And this is a tale of what happened in Omaha - “aha.”
Tuesday, August 2d. Council Bluffs, Iowa. U. P., 6 miles. Named from Indian councils on the bluffs. Pop. 21,388. Gordon Hotel. Fifteen crooks arrested, Pinkerton detective Ryan identifying one as the Belle Plaine housebreaker. Trainman John Crowley, from St. Louis, had a toe cut off last night by the rebound of one of the steel plates on which we run wagons from car to car. Queer accident. Juggler Edward A. Conklin visits. Long, late parade. “The huge tent was packed.” - Daily Globe.
Wednesday, August 3d. Atlantic, Iowa. C., R. I. & P., 59 miles. Pop. 3,842. Collins Hotel. Lot on Nishnabotna river. Swimming. Unblocked wardrobe wagon runs down hill. Stopped by trees. Japanese Sammy pushes break-away-ladder too soon, knocking it from Akimoto’s shoulder, and falling thirty feet. Carried out, but reappears later “O. K.” On parade saw a man with yard long beard. “The wind,”etc. Johnny Roouey sick from mixing ice-cream aud sausage. D. News: “Delighted ten thousand people. A clever show, free from gamblers and fakirs.”
Thursday, August 4th. Stuart, Iowa. C., R. I. & P. 41 miles. In two counties, Guthrie and Adair; post office in former. Pop. 2,147. Big crowd, thick as blackberries. Daniel Boone Co. visits; also “the man in white” - 12th time. When Arcari took gas at the dentists’ to-day he heard bag-pipes and bumble-bees buzzing, and exclaimed, as he faded away, “Cover me over with beautiful flowers.” When he awoke four teeth were lost, strayed or stolen.
Friday, August 5th. Indianola, Iowa. C., R. I. & P., 64 miles. Pop. 2,254. Central Hotel. Splendid business. Natalie’s pigs please the farmers. Projecting cattle chute knocks the bear cage off the train, and crushes front end of the tiger den.
Saturday, August 6th. Winterset, Iowa. Pop. 2,281. C.. R. I. & P., 33 miles. Fourteenth week’s run, 333 miles. Here’s a string of five “threes.” St. Nicholas Hotel. Winterset compliments Summerset (26 miles away), just as Good Hatchet, Idaho, compliments Bad Axe, Michigan. Business bang up.
Monday, August 8th. Washington, Iowa. C., R. I. & P., 139 miles. Pop. 3,235. Allen Hotel, very nice. Prof. Weldon springs beautiful new music. Big business. Actors photographed by W. S. Cole. Fish groups them in artistic styles. “Madison’s coming” (laughter). Good photographer - bad photo. Should have been taken outside. Not so good as the Kodak’s artistic society maidens used to take of us glittering actors when riding the morning parade.
Tuesday, August 9th. Iowa City, Iowa. C., R. I. & P., 78 miles. Pop. 7,016. State capital, 1839 to 1855. St. James Hotel, superb. Close central lot down hill, on Iowa river. Swimming. Good business twice. Two Mexican Pumas join. Two first section sleepers crushed by uncontrollable train, handled down grade without air brakes. Sent away for repairs. Hard rain at night. Left lot 3 A. M.
Wednesday, August 10th. Vinton, Iowa. B., C. R. & N , 55 miles. Pop. 2,865. Ralyea Hotel. Passing Cedar Rapids at 7 A. M., Mr. Reed saw our train cause a fatal runaway, throwing carriage occupant, crushing his skull on the track rails. Arrived 8 A. M. One o’clock parade. Fair ground lot. Excellent business. Our workmen and superintendent had a hard time last night, on account of the rain and wrecked sleepers.
Thursday, August 11th. Independence, Iowa. B., C. R. & N., 54 miles. Pop. 3,136. Empire Hotel. Great trotting town. “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.” Allerton owned here. Equestrian Fish has her shoe, worn trotting 2.09 1/4, a present from Bruce L. Baldwin. 200 insane visit. Wrecked sleepers returned. Hotel, great rustling waiter girl. Back of lot. Wapsipinicon River - swimming. Thirteenth salary day. John Snellen, our splendid superintendent of canvas, goes to Baraboo for a few days’ rest. “Here’s to his health.” Poor Andy Gaffney, our veteran cannon-ball tosser, died in New York to-day. “Here’s to his soul’s repose.” He was seventy years old, had been forty years with the white tops, had courtly manners, and was a typical representative of the genus, “old showman.” He was once called “The Irish Giant,” and looked as grand in his cannon ball act as the picture of fabled “Atlas poising the world on his shoulders.”
Friday, August 12th. West Union, Iowa. B., C. R & N., 35 miles. Pop. 1,676. Arlington Hotel. Harry Ashton warmly welcomed back, after being absent 346 days, on account of sickness. He left last year, at Edwardsville, Ills., Monday, August 31. Prof. Weldon, whose famous band thrills the circus air with melody, goes to Baraboo for a little rest, his first vacation since July 26, 1890. Mr. James Hennessey, one of the grandest solo cornet players known to circus business, supplants with satisfaction.
Saturday, August 13th. Cresco, Iowa. C., M. & St. P., 54 miles. Fifteenth week’s run, 435 miles. Pop. 2,018. Strother House. Manager Ben R. Warner, of Warner’s Comedy Co., makes a very enjoyable call. He has made a yearly visit to the Ringlings ever since they ran a circus. Jake Country Jake’s opinion: “I liked the two women gladiators that fenced in the first act, and the fellow that rode on the bob-tailed horse with boots on. That fellow that set on the chair that set on the trapeze was pretty near all right. A good thing I liked was the twistable man, that had two backbones and a double breast, and bent his legs in a circle. But the best thing of all was the king of the wild men, that let down his hair and did the sharp-shooting with butcher knives.”
Sunday, August 14th. The compiler, with his mouth full of apple pie, got left eating lunch at St. Paul, but juinped on a passenger flyer and caught the show train in the suburbs. Quick run, and a jolly, sociable crowd in “the little red caboose” behind the train. Killmar, with sad voice, sings: “ My eyes are red and sore with weeping, For him who has my heart in safe keeping; Sam Bass, by gosh!”
Monday, August 15th. Stillwater, Minn. Northwestern system, 170 miles. Pop. 11,260. Hotels - Elliott and Sawyer House, both delightful hostelries. Parade out 9:30; down dangerous hill and lined up 10 A. M. Tremendous business. Pickpocket arrested. Many visit state penitentiary. The Younger Brothers, well known in “the red romance of crime,” in zebra suits here find their “home, sweet home.” Convicts publish a very neat paper, “The Prison Mirror.” Mrs. Tybell resumes work.
Tuesday, August 16th. Menomonee, Wis. C. St. P. M. & O., 49 miles. Pop. 5,491. Hotels - Menomonee House and Hotel Royal. Lot out Main street. Dreadfully short on canvasmen. Mellivan loses pocket-book. Fails to find it at post-office, but Harry, the porter, finds it on floor of the sleeper, with $65 intact.
Wednesday, August 17th. Black River Falls, Wis. C. St. P. M. & O., 76 miles. Pop. 2,361. Hotel - Freeman. Howell’s town. Still short on big-top men. Many Winnebago Indians. One wrinkled squaw full of fire-water, “Old-woman-afraid-of-nothing,” with a shovel, procured at the stake and chain wagon, chases Pfeiffenberger and Big Hungry Bill all around the circus tent. Afterward does a green corn dance around the hippodrome track, wailing her woes aloud in seven Indian languages.
Thursday, August 18th. Reedsburg, Wis. C. & N. W., 75 miles. Baraboo 15. Pop. 1,737. Hotels - Briggs, City and American. Five hundred Baraboo visitors. Here many drank of love’s sharp wine, for “the girl I left behind me” came to see her “wandering boy.” Lot out over the sand hills. Willie Sells visits. Miller’s town, and he lazily lies in a hammock and sees the parade go by. Big business. Big drinking. Big street fight. As we left, “soft eyes looked love to eyes that spake again,” and a sound like that of a cow when she sinks her hoof in the mud bespoke love’s parting kiss. O dusty, dirty Reedsburg. We’d linger longer, but we can’t no longer linger. When leaving, a circus star exclaimed to a Baraboo maiden, handsome as the heart of a dream, “The story of my burning love has never, never passed these lips before.” “Then you must have talked through your nose,” said she, “when you told it to me last winter.”
Friday, August 19th. Dodgeville, Wis. C. & N. W., 99 miles. Pop. 1,722. Hotels - Wisconsin House and Merchants. Horse died. Excellent business. Turnour hurt in clown sulky races, a wheel running over his breast. Lot all coated and over-coated with dust. Al Ringliug in Baraboo. Leaps; no elephants. Had a marching entree and left turn quick, as if the sheriff was after us. Did this to make Janesville in time. Melzl puts on a white sheet and does the ghost act to-night. Fourteenth time.
Saturday, August 20th. Janesville, Wis. C. & N. W., 107 miles. Sixteenth week’s run, 576 miles. Pop. 2,767. Park Hotel. Prof. Weldon and “Happy Jack” are welcomed back, much improved in health. George James, our “Ohio Fat Boy” last season, calls to see his friends. Now runs a milk wagon here. Ex-circus manager J. R. Colvin calls. Now controls a big bakery here. Whistler, the water walker, and world-famous Paul Boyton and company, also call. Boyton said the show was “a peach,” and felt so delighted he even stayed to see our excellent concert. Addie Forepaugh makes his first call since Sunday, Sept. 21, 1890, at Titusville, Pa. Kurtz and Arcari fence with raw-hides, but neither is left on the battlefield.
Sunday, August 21st. En route. After a very pleasant call, during which he said some pleasant things, Addie Forepaugh left at Chicago. At the same place Charlie Vernon left for Baltimore, on a very sad visit indeed, to the bed of his dying brother. Tiresome run. At South Chicago boy fell between cars, narrowly escaping death. Lunch stands en route cleaned out as if a cyclone had struck them. At the little town of La Paz no lunch, and a citizen remarks, “You can’t expect three hundred people to feed six hundred people on a moment’s notice.” Reached Garrett for late night supper, held by telegram. Here the Belfords and Harry Hopkins join. Esquimaux Chief Debro visits and Miss Mabel Milton retires.
Monday, August 22d. Garrett, Ind. C. & N. W. and B. & O., 241 miles. Pop. 2,767. Ross House.
“Most sacrilegious murder hath broke open
The Lord’s anointed temple, and stolen therefrom
The life of the building.” - Shakespeare.
“In the midst of life we are in death.” This solemn scriptural text has pointed many a sermon, and is strangely fitting now. Frank Kelly, our worthy Assistant Master of Properties, moved among us to-day as a man in love with life, but to-night, with pale hands folded on a pulseless breast, lies wrapped in that, last marble sleep which rounds the life of all. It was “murder most foul,” but we know very little about the immediate incidents. The night was very dark, recalling what the Bible says about those who “love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil.” Mr. Kelly was lured from the door of the dressing-room tent, no doubt with intention to rob and waylay. He probably made resistance, and then came a struggle, a blow on the head with a coupling-pin, and finally the sudden shot which startled all in the dressing-room, laying the victim low. Mr. Kelly was borne to a neighboring house, where he lived an hour and a half in great apparent agony, but probably unconscious. He died at fifteen minutes of midnight. In the great excitement and darkness the murderer escaped. If caught his life would have been crushed out in a moment. Special Pinkerton detective Ryan, travelling with the show, arrested an associate of the murderer’s during the night, who is now behind the bars awaiting trial. He also traced some important clues, which cannot be divulged. Sad to say, many telegrams failed to find Mr. Kelly’s home, but the Ringling Brothers gave his body a most respectable burial, paying all the expenses. Although the assassin is still at large, for him is no peace of mind. Having brewed his hand in the blood of a fellow-being, he must walk the earth henceforward “beneath the curse of Cain.” In the dream of remorse that must haunt him always, he will realize the vivid words which Thomas Hood gave the murderer Eugene Aram: “ O God! that horrid, horrid dream besets me now awake, Again - again, with dizzy brain, the human life I take; And my right red hand grows raging hot, like Cranmer’s at the stake.”
Tuesday, August 23d. Goshen, Ind. B. & O. and L. S. & M. S., 53 miles. Pop. 6,033. Neufer and Western Union Hotels. Tent flags all at half-mast in honor of Kelly. Big business. Musical Clark closed to St. Louis, joining Baker, of Baker & West. Our best wishes go with him. John Ringling back. Turnour restores Akimoto’s magnificent diamond, found last night in grass. Honest boy.
Wednesday, August 24th. Three Rivers, Mich. L. S. & M, S., 42 miles. Pop. 3,122. Junction of Portage, Rocky and St. Joseph Rivers. Hotels - Central and Three Rivers. James Duffy, a trainman, cut off the forefinger of his right hand while shifting runs. Odd accident. Sent to Chicago. Schafer and Goetschius score heavily in their clever new musical act. Harry Ashton takes bell chariot, playing nicely. Kelly buried 9 A. M. to-day at Garrett, Ind. The poor boy’s coffin was covered completely with flowers, a tribute from the ladies of the place.
Thursday, August 25th. Cold Water, Mich. L. S. & M. S., 47 miles. Pop. 5,462. Southern Michigan Hotel. Beautiful town. Splendid art gallery. Uptown sideshow has mermaid, and alligator 75 years old. Fifteenth salary day. Mellivan, tattooed wonder, closed to Bangor Cigar Co,, Baltimore, in a new suit. Success. Two overflowing houses. Moncayo springs lively, new frog and lizard suits, as motley as rag carpet in appearance, and gay as Joseph’s coat of many colors. All our actors wear the latest styles of wardrobe and new silk tights hang round like Christmas stockings.
Friday. August 26th. Hillsdale, Mich. L. S. & M. S., 33 miles. Pop. 3,550. Smith’s Hotel and Keefer House. College town. Dressing-room, Queen Anne style, crowded under branching trees. Fine business. Mean leaping run. Bill Ashton’s remark, “The run’s up hill all the way down.” Master Johnny Rooney, flushed with last night’s triumph, is said to have written his girl the following letter:
“DEAR NELLIE : As I have pleuny of time I will write you a few lines. As I have nothing to say I will close. Yours, as ever, JOHNNY ROONEY. P. S. - I am now riding and driving eleven black ponies around the hippodrome track.”
Saturday, August 27th. Adrian, Mich. L. S. & M. S., 33 miles. Seventeenth week’s run 439 miles. Pop. 8,756. Lawrence Hotel. Big business. Mr. Rudolph, of Courier Co., calls. Lady’s remark at hotel: “There’s a cab out here with two little nigger babies in it, the sweetest things you ever saw in your life.” While crowded in the dinner push the lady who made this remark reached out her lily-white hand and actually bathed it in the long curly locks of the compiler’s hair, he being jammed between other ladies and unable to extricate himself. An act of such unwonted familiarity is deemed worthy of record in the Official Route-Book.
Sunday, August 28th. The Belfords closed last night and go home for a rest to-day. Good wishes. Delayed at Toledo yards, which are four miles long and notoriously hard to get through. Arrived 11:30 A. M. Charley Vernon returns from Baltimore and receives our condolence, his brother having died. In parlor the Ringlings sing sacred music. Very nice. Little girl with a tangle of golden curls takes a great notion to “show actors.” Hotel clerks remark: “There’s enough diamonds worn by that gang to set up a jewelry store.”
Monday, August 29th. Bowling Green, Ohio. L. S. & M. S. and C. H. & D., 52 miles. Pop. 3,467. Hotel, the New Ross. Tremendous packed business with five poles up. In making a sharp turn near lot the mammoth Moscow bell chariot fell off a bridge, landing in a deep trench. On the chariot were player Harry Ashton, eight-horse driver Bob Meek and a small boy. All three, like heated pop-corn, gave a jump and turned white. A very close call, indeed, as the chariot weighs more than our biggest elephant and fell with a merciless crash. Its chime bells alone weigh 800 to 1200 pounds apiece. No wonder the trio looked ashen pale. Happy Jack and a gang worked all day getting it out.
Tuesday, August 30th. Ottawa, Ohio. C., H. & D.,38 miles. Pop. 1,717. Beekman and Leopold Hotels. Big crowds. Fred Locke visits. Leaps; a lost run and a “tumble-set” came near leaving the dromedary with only a single hump. Rain, as foretold by the circus ring round the moon, and we spring our gold-headed silk “round tops.”
Wednesday, August 31st. Decatur, Ind. F. F. W. & W. and T. St. L. & K. C., 59 miles. Pop. 3,142. Hotels - Meisse and Indiana. Joseph Brunagraf, an interesting dwarf, “joins out.” Today was the thirty-first birthday anniversary of Mr. John Snellen, our especially capable superintendent of canvas, known far and wide as “Happy Jack.” He was pleasantly remembered by his very wide circle of friends in the shape of a beautiful cameo ring, set with six brilliant diamonds. Everybody was pleased with this tribute, and of course “Jack” was “Happy,” just as his sobriquet says. Claude La Verne made a jolly call. Concluding that honey was never made with one bee in a hive he has entered the state of matrimony, which is one of the “united states.” Success, my boy, and happiness. Excellent business. Month’s run, from Omaha, 1,802 miles. Street vender’s yell, “We have to steal ’em to sell ’em so cheap.”
September: States traversed - Indiana, Illinois. Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska.
Thursday, September 1st. Marion, Ind. T., St. L. & K. C.,46 miles. Pop. 8,769. Graham Hotel, and the excellent Sprague Restaurant. Sixteenth installment of “spending money.” As one of our big two-story elephants took his morning walk, fanning his mighty ears and picking his teeth with his trunk, he scared a horse clear out of his seven wits. Luckily four men caught and held it till three lady carriage occupants got out. Daily Leader says: “The immense tents are crowded to their utmost capacity. We have never met a more generous or gentlemanly lot of men than are the managers of Ringling Brothers’ Circus.”
Friday, September 2d. Kokomo, Ind. T., St. L., & K. C., 27 miles. Pop. 8,361. The New Clinton Hotel. Transposed rightly, OOOKKM spells KOKOMO. Brazil’s youngest brother visits. White & Donovan, agile boxers and wrestlers, open to a hit. Big business. This morning Captain McMonies took to his heart the words of King Solomon’s sluggard: “A little more sleep, and a little more slumber, and a little more folding together of the hands to sleep.” Therefore he missed parade, “ And his old three-cornered hat, And his breeches, and all that,” were missing from the Continental Band. As he walked up street he was greeted with derisive yells of “Landlord,” a nickname won by his clever impersonation of a rustic innkeeper.
Saturday, September 3d. Frankfort, Ind. T., St. L. & K. C., 25 miles. Pop. 5,919. Hotels - Garber and Coulter. Eighteenth week’s run 247 miles. Brazil’s “other brother,” Milt Furnas, delights us with a call. A family likeness traces through all the brothers, and all are nice people to meet. This and three stands preceding on the natural gas belt. Business, top notch.
Sunday, September 4th. En route. While delayed at Charleston, Ills., met the Phil Diefenbach show. Eccentric and prosperous Phil always keeps his show a convenient size for handling, and is credited with the characteristic saying, “My show and my hat are both the same size they were when I started in the business.”
Monday, September 5th. Edwardsville, Ills. T., St. L. & K. C., 227 miles. Pop. 3,561. Hotels - St. James and Broadway. Madden, the clown, visits. Distant lot. Good business. Jerry Alton is pleased by a visit from his “better half,” she who divides his sorrows and doubles his joys. In to-day’s St. Louis Globe-Democrat is a pleasing story about one of Ringling’s elephants getting drunk on a stray jug of whiskey. Happy Jack, Charles Malloy and Boss Hostler Delevan figure in it extensively. Perhaps Alf. T. Ringling, renowned for his versatile press work, knows how the yarn got in.
Tuesday, September 6th. Belleville, Ills. T., St. L. & K. C., and St. L., A. & T. H., 33 miles. Pop. 15,361. Belleville Hotel. Great business. Jerry Alton’s brother visits; also the pleasant mother of Harry Goetschius. Bannack, the great Spanish clown renowned in the City of Mexico, makes a flying call and meets several old friends. He is a globe-trotter, and a star of the first magnitude in his special line. This is an old-fashioned German town, and the picturesque sun-bonnets worn by pretty young girls recall the poet’s lines: “ Tying her bonnet under her chin, She tied a young man’s heart within.”
Wednesday, September 7th. Murphysboro, Ills. T., St. L. & K. C., 70 miles. Pop. 3,880. Logan House. Fine business. Al. Ringling’s remark, looking at country show-bill: “If a show isn’t bigger than a three-cent piece it always advertises, ’Wait for the big show.’” Debonnaire, McMonies, Schafer, Lou Nichols, Madison and Arcari got left in this town, drove seven miles to Carbondale to catch a train, and made the next town about star-set.
Thursday, September 8th. Du Quoin, Ills. St. L., A. & T. H., 33 miles. Pop. 4.052. St. Nicholas Hotel.
Do I sleep, do I dream, do I wander about?
Is the bean-eating fighter a failure, and is the great slugger knocked out?
This Bret Harte variation well expresses the dazed condition in which Sullivan’s backers woke. To-day many learn the sportingman’s first lesson: “To smile, and smile, and be a loser still.” Said a Sullivan darkey: “I bet all my money and then bet my pocketbook.” “ Fallen at length, That tower of strength,” we feel knocked out ourselves. One clause in a bet won by Goetschius off Levis. required his climbing the center-pole ere payment. He glanced up the pole with a look which said: “Pain would I climb, but that I fear to fall,” and a second look added: “If thy heart fail thee, then climb not at all.” But, finally, to the wailing music of “Climbing up higher and higher,” he started for the bale ring. As he neared the top he complained that the pole was greased, but he “got there just the same.” Wouldn’t do it again for $10. At depot, night, town darkey shot by one of the local “white trash.” Not hurt very bad; small bullet and thick skull.
Friday, September 9th. Greenville, Ills. I. C. and Vaudalia, 84 miles. Pop. 1,868. Hotels - Thomas and Hastings. Clouds of dust. Loads of people. Seventeenth “wages day.” Levis gets a new glove-fitting suit, light elephant’s breath in color. An actor’s expression: “She’s knee-sprung in the back.” Another actor: “She’s got a shape on her like a spring-board that’s been used a couple of seasons.”
Saturday, September 10th. Jacksonville, Ills. Vandalia and J. & S. E., 83 miles. Nineteenth week’s run 528 miles. Pop. 12,935. Park Hotel. The bell-ringer and stone-thrower made big hits. Arrived 10 A. M. Last night second section crashed into caboose of first section, pulled by a lighter power engine. Delayed three hours Wet weather parade. Business good, considering. At night the windows of heaven are opened, and a howling thunder-storm sours all the milk in the neighborhood, and drenches and drowns the audience and actors.
Sunday, September 11th. At 6 A. M. reached Hannibal, on the river SSSSIIIIPPM, which put together right is MISSISSIPPI. At night the White Moor of Madagascar, “the last living representative of an ancient and war-like people,” felt some of his war-like feeling return, and amused the sleeper occupants in a characteristic manner.
Monday, September 12th. Hannibal, Mo. Wabash, 68 miles. Pop. 12,857. Gessler House. Oh, what a lot! picturesque dressing-room walled by a wood-pile, and with “lumber-yard carpet,” as tramps say. Steamer Park Bluff brings Quincy colored excursion, with Darktown band, man that falls in the river, etc. On the levee some hot-colored wenches, who gab and gabble, throw sand at each other, and wear red and yellow dresses loud enough to disturb the peace. Willie Adair and Juggler Moss visit. Tremendous business. The White Moor closes, cutting his long pale hair. “ Beat the drums, the trumpets blare, The Wild White Moor has cut his hair.” “Ta ra ra boom de-ay.” etc. He looked like a cross between Bill Nye and the human billiard ball. By the way, as the old song puts it, “What funny things you see when you haven’t got a gun.”
Tuesday, September 13th. Pittsfleld, Ills. Wabash, 40 miles. Pop. 2,295. Pittsfleld Hotel. Canvas looks tobacco-spitten, result of muddy lots. Tremendous business, crowded to the guard ropes. Myron McPherson discontinued, but rejoins very soon to decorate wagons and chariots in his well-known artistic’style. Last night, when Salvation sister tried to sell Debonnaire a War Cry, he inquired, with an innocent smile, “Has it got an account of the Sullivan-Corbett fight?”
Wednesday, September 14th. Carthage, Ills. Wabash, 84 miles. Pop. 1,654. Cutler Hotel. Big business. Lot by railroad. Reuben’s remark, at hotel, “I liked the swinging and catching, and the pale, weepy-looking fellow that set at the table to-day, that turned the double summerset between.”
Thursday, September 15th. Memphis, Mo. Wabash and K. & W., 58 miles. Hotels - Central and Memphis. First-rate business. Eighteenth salary day. Nice green velvet lot. Oatmeal in ice-water discontinued, on account of the cholera scare. Beginning to-day, the hunger satisfiers and gratifiers are dispersed by Mr. Levis at the door of the dining-room. Here the Sunlins buy a very beautiful new chestnut sorrel thoroughbred, of mixed Hambletonian and Kentucky breed, and rejoicing in the Scriptural name of “ Mizpah.”
Friday, September 16th. Centerville, Iowa. K. & W., 45 miles. Pop. 3,668. Hotels - Continental and Rizer, the latter a small but good house whose landlord advertises: “ My wife and I are proprietors. The only second-class hotel in the country that charges everybody first-class prices. No special rates to drummers, preachers or shows.” Frightful runaway here. When second band-wagon passed, horse and carriage broke loose from their moorings, and dashed right through the ranks of the mounted people. Buggy shaft broken between Mons. Natalie’s boot-leg and his horse. Several ladies also had close calls. A young boy trampled terribly, and in all five people were injured, two perhaps fatally. Horse a habitual runaway, and belongs to a lawyer, who is said to have rather a mania for owning such animals. Large business. At night the bum kid leaper did a nose-spring over the camels, and fell down and broke his crown. As requested by him, I note this fact on the pages of history.
Saturday, September 17th. Chariton, Iowa. K. & W. and Burlington, 58 miles. Pop. 3,122. Hotels - Burns and Bates. Twentieth week’s run 353 miles. Large business. Pete Jenkins’ opinion: “I liked the limber, slippery cuss that did the bending and twisting, and stood on his head and feet at once and run all around his neck. There must be part snake in him. He must have packed his bones in his trunk before he came out to show his bendabilities.”
Sunday, September 18th. Arrived early. Some trouble getting rooms, and some had to put up with small rooms in a little hotel adjoining. By the way, the largest room in the world is said to be “room for improvement.” By another way, there is room for improvement in getting our Sunday rooms.
Monday, September 19th. Creston, Iowa. C. B. & Q., 60 miles. Pop. 7,200. Summit House, a strictly high-class hotel. Winter headquarteis F. J. Taylor show, and agent Dick Hunter visits. Werring, magician, closes. Mr. Lou Nichols leaves for a while, to undergo medical treatment. He has proved himself a very hard worker and very capable man, and has our best wishes and very kindest interest.
Tuesday, September 20th. Marysville, Mo. Burlington Route, 62 miles. Pop. 4,037. Linnville Hotel and Clark’s Restaurant. Two miles from town is One Hundred and Two River. Large crowds.
Wednesday, September 21st. Bedford, Iowa. Burlington Route, 23 miles. Hotels - Bedford and Elmwood. Breezy day; dressing-room side-pole broke, and quarter-poles danced in the air. Detective Ryan leaves two pickpockets safe in the local bat cage. Here Big Hungry Bill and Charles Drum, inspired by the boxing exhibition given in the concert, had a comical contest with gloves as big as pillows. When Big Hungry Bill came up to whet his appetite, he attracted the eyes of all. “His proud step Was free as India’s leopards, and the look Of his dark, haughty eye might quell a lion.”
As to Drum, he stood like a mountain oak. Both did some great hugging and slugging, all in extreme good nature, and everyone laughed till his ribs ached. Here many paused to admire the “Temple of Beauty,” built by C. W. Terpening, a rather eccentric but highly artistic citizen. It is ornamented with 14,300 porcelain head upholsterer’s tacks, 2,000 red, white and blue poker chips, 1,772 white porcelain shutter knobs, 350 harness rings, 210 colored marbles, and so on up to 25,000 vari-colored pieces. It is crowned with a pagoda, and is exquisitely beautiful.
Thursday, September 22d. Clarinda, Iowa. Burlington Route, 87 miles. Pop. 3,262. Hotels - Linderman and Henshaw. Good business. Debonnaire springs a new gem of song. Two lines: “ Boots for the winter, shoes for the spring, I’ll save up my boots till the winter winds sing.”
Friday, September 23d. Red Oak, Iowa. Burlington Route, 31 miles. Pop. 3,321. Hotels - Johnson and Central. John Schafer makes a jesting remark on his sudden elevation from the part of a German emigrant to that of “the bold first Caesar.” Though “the very head and front” of the opening tournament, let him temper his gratulation with the lines: “Imperial Caesar, dead and turned to clay. Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.” Or the sage remark of Byron’s concerning the Roman butcher: “Were things but only known by their right name, Caesar himself would be ashamed of fame.”
Saturday, September 24th. Plattsmouth, Neb. Burlington Route, 40 miles. Pop. 8,392. Riley Hotel, and all the boys gently humming:
“Is that Mr. Riley, they speak of so highly?
Is that Mr. Riley that keeps the hotel?
If that’s Mr. Riley, they speak of so highly,
I say, Mr. Riley, you’re looking quite well.”
Lot on grandfathter’s farm, three miles out in the country. Dustiest, dirtiest, meanest day of the season. The only redeeming feature was the seventh son of a seventh son, who walked his solemn nineteenth rourd, paying off all the “hired hands.” W. B. Kennedy, Josie Kennedy, and Mexis, the queen of rifle women, made a most welcome call. They are running a show of their own, and we wish them a hat full of money. They are nice people. Twenty-first week’s run, 303 miles.
Monday, September 26th. Tecumseh, Neb. Burlington Route, 124 miles. Pop. 1,654. Hotels - Western and Bradley. Grandest lot of the season, swept on one side by the Minnehaha River, and parked by noble trees. How pleasant to stand beneath them:
“Where the long, drooping boughs, between
Shadows dark and sunlight sheen,
Alternate come and go.”
Large crowds attend. McMonies and Johnson, stopping to take a bath in Plattsmouth, missed the train, and got here nine dollars wiser.
Tuesday, September 27th. Geneva, Neb. Burlington Route, 93 miles. Pop. 1,692. Jameson Hotel. A tremendous crowd attended. As Captain McMonies was overheard saying, there were “six more people than came to the hanging in 1868.”
Wednesday, September 28th. Red Cloud, Neb. Burlington Route, 80 miles. Pop. 1,839. Hotels - Holland and Valley. Many pleasant visitors from the Main show, including Tony Lowanda, Bert Cole, Archie Royer, Ernest Haley, B. Mont. Long, Walter L. Main’s mother and wife, and Mr. Miller. We were happy to see one another. Business good. Tom Dailey, in charge of advance car No. 3, dropped in to see us to-day. He is a man with a record, and one of the greatest all-around hustlers known.
Thursday, September 29th. Kearney, Neb. Burlington Route, 81 miles. Pop. 8,074. Hotels - Windsor and Brunswick. Hauling heavy circus trains is different from pulling emptied freights, whose only load is here and there a bum. Last night wise railroad man - one engine and usual results. Draw-bar pulled out - train stalled - telegraphed for help, etc. Arrived very late. In 18 minutes dressing-room up and all its trunks in order. The bursted look of the pie-box on which I am writing this volume, bears out the truth of this statement. Business large.
Friday, September 30th. Aurora, Neb. Burlington Route, 67 miles. Pop. 1,863. Hotels - Tuttle and Aurora. Large attendance. Master Johnny Rooney has added many ponies to his tandem act, which always brings down the house. Mr. Wenban, the husband of Miss Ida Williams, is pleasing her with a visit. September run, 1,690 miles, just 4 miles in excess of July run.
October: States traversed - Nebraska and Missouri.
Saturday, October 1st. Broken Bow, Neb. Bur. Route, 98 miles. Hotels- Grand Central and Inman. Twenty-second week’s run, 543 miles. Booming business. Henry Berdon and wife, years ago famous riders, called to shake hands with Charles Reed, Charles W. Fish, and other old-time associates. They own a ranch here. The Indian ghost dance troubles were near here, to commemorate which, our own most popular ghost made a dance through the dressing-room, scattering “jingle-money” as he went. Twentieth time.
Monday, October 3d. Grand Island, Neb. Bur. Route, 80 miles. Pop. 7,536. Palmer House, very stylish, where they serve soup in silver bowls and coffee in silver pots. Mr. W. D. Coxey, our advance press agent, is making a welcome visit. Mr. Coxey is the author of that famous Swedish play, “Yon Yonson,” and is a brilliant writer, as well as the prince of good fellows.
Tuesday, October 4th, Holdridge, Neb. Bur. Route, 100 miles. Pop. 2,601. Hotels - Arlington and Hampton. Wigwam packed. Mr. Drum, efficient reserved seat man, badly crushed by a falling center pole. Very sorry. Left here for surgical attention. After first section pulled out, some frog-eyed Rubes and gutter-snipes of humanity, who had double rows of teeth and felt much inclined to bite, attempted a daring hold-up on several performers. The would-be highwaymen got very badly left, and their eyes are as black as Bailey’s was after Milwaukee and Omaha. No more about this “scrap,” as this isn’t a “scrap-book.”
Wednesday, October 5th. Edgar, Neb. Bur. Route, 81 miles. Pop. 1,105. Hotels - Commercial and “B. and M.,” the latter translated by actors as “Bread and Molasses.” Charles Hardway, who had a joint of his finger amputated this week, in hunting up a surgeon here found one in the person of W. W. Hardway, an uncle whom he had not seen since childhood. They met as strangers and left as relatives. Business large.
Thursday, October 6th. Hebron, Neb. Bur. Route, 40 miles. Pop. 1,502. Central Hotel. Lew Sunlin has been delighting the Japanese boys with a book entitled “The Story of Robinson Crusoe.” Business overwhelming, and recalls what a newspaper said of Ringling Day last season: “The circus is supreme to-day and the government at Washington still lives.”
Friday, October 7th. Pawnee City, Neb. Bur. Route, 103 miles. Pop. 1,550. Exchange Hotel. We missed this town May 31, and found the folks circus hungry. Wigwam packed. Big “down-in-front” house. Many occupied sofas on the grass. “Lads lank and lean, and lasses coy and green, In buggy-loads and wagon-loads were seen.” Also the slicked-up country dude, with peppersass on his hair. A. G. Ringling, in charge of Car No. 1, and B. M. Drake, Contracting Agent, are with us. When we drove a coach and four right through the Barnum show these gentlemen were seated in the coach. Likewise Press Agent Coxey, just departed.
Saturday, October 8th. Falls City, Neb. Bur. Route, 36 miles. Pop. 2,103. Union Hotel, fine table. Twenty-third week’s run 439 miles. Old Purse-strings loosens up, twenty-first time. Getting colder and you can see your breath. Butch Parsons says this is very bad for the auburn-hued lemonade. Natalie, having punched the ears of his learned baby pigs, asked the blacksmith to make him some little gold rings to ornament the same.
Sunday, October 9th. Arrived early. Alf T. Ringling back, and his smiling face lightens the dining-room. By the way, at Pawnee a little boy came to the tent very early and asked for the Ringling Brothers. When queried why, he said: “Their pictures show them such fine-looking men that I want to take a good look at them.”
Monday, October 10th. Plattsburg, Mo. “Q” System and A. T. & S. P., 84 miles. Pop. 1,634. Settled 1833. La Clede Hotel. The weather is so cold that Lawshe, the ice man, is accused of warming the ice over and using it the second time.
Tuesday, October 11th. Richmond, Mo. A. T. & S. F., 38 miles. Kansas City, 45. Pop. 2,895. Wauson House. Jessie James made this town pretty hot at one time. We always do a big business here. The Geyers, Charles and Albert, live near by at Lexington, and always make a call. Charley is a very fine contortionist, and Albert one of the greatest trick tumblers ever known to the world.
Wednesday, October 12th. Brunswick, Mo. A. T. & S. F. and Wabash, 53 miles. On Grand River. Pop. 1,748. Settled 1835. Brown’s Hotel. Reed and Marks start an Uncle Tom’s Cabin Co. Reed plays the greyhound and Marks the chunk of ice. Why not “Marks the lawyer”?
Thursday, October 13th. Chillicothe, Mo. Wabash, 38 miles. St. Joe, 76. Grand river on west, Medicine river on east. Settled 1836. Hotels - Henrietta and Leeper. “This is the day we touch the sugar and give the kids a tightening.” Twenty-second time.
Friday, October 14th. Brookfield, Mo. H. & St. J., 26 miles. Settled 1859. Pop. 4,547. “Q” House, a Q-rious name. A fine farming country here and a consequent large attendance.
Saturday, October 15th. Macon City, Mo. H. & St. J., 34 miles. Pop. 8,371. Hotels - Tremont and Palace. Twenty-fourth week’s run, 273 miles. Sultana, “the crowning diadem of the Sultan’s harem,” has a grand, new painting which shows her, with servants in waiting, recumbent on a couch. How perfectly it fits to Byron’s lines:
“Rose the Sultana from her couch of splendor,
Softer than the soft Sybarite, who cried
Aloud because his feelings were too tender
To brook a ruffled rose-leaf by his side.”
Monday, October 17th. Kirksville, Mo. Wabash, 35 miles. Pop. 3,510. Pool’s Hotel. Charles W. Fish recalls hearing Abraham Lincoln make a speech on a red circus wagon, beneath the canvas of Spalding & Rogers’ circus. Pinkerton detective Ryan, in looking over his records, finds that he has arrested 18 pickpockets and dispersed 35 fakers within a few days past. A notable arrest was that of G. H. Barnum, alias “Stiff-neck,” a notorious confidence man and flimflammer, who was seized in Milwaukee after loudly proclaiming that no one could stop him from following up the show. Mr. Ryan is a hustler and a credit to the sign of the never-sleeping eye.
Tuesday, October 18th. Columbia, Mo. Wabash, 103 miles. Pop. 4,000. Powers House; also a restaurant. Called “The Athens of Missouri,” on account of its culture and colleges. Beautiful town; wide streets and rows of shade trees.
Wednesday, October 10th. Montgomery City, Mo. Wabash, 40 miles. Pop. 2,199. City Hotel, and restaurant. A word of praise is due Mr. William H. Fay, our master of transportation. He is a most capable official, and just as reliable and trustworthy as he is efficient.
Thursday, October 20th. St. Charles, Mo. Wabash, 59 miles. Pop. 6,161. Galt House. “Here, you actors, come up and get your dough.” Twenty-third time. This town is on the north bank of the Missouri river, 10 miles from the Mississippi, and 21 miles northwest of St. Louis.
Friday, October 21st. De Soto, Mo. Wabash and St. L. I. M. & S., 65 miles. Pop. 3,960. Commercial Hotel. On account of the dusty weather a new song: “O ladies fair, your sense assert. And fight against the trailing skirt.”
Saturday, October 22d. Frederlcktown, Mo. St. L. I. M. & S., 62 miles. Pop. 917. Smallest town of the season, but good show town, as the country is well settled round about, and everybody turns out. Hotels - Gregory and Allen. Twenty-fifth week’s run, 364 miles.
Monday, October 24th. Poplar Bluff, Mo. St. L. I. M. & S., 133 miles. Pop. 2,187. Riverside Hotel. Town on the Big Black River and a big black crowd on the seats.
Tuesday, October 25th. Charleston, Mo. St. L. I. M. & S., 59 miles. Pop. 1,381. Hotel Kenrick. Here the melon was stabbed to its pink and slushy heart. Nearly 5,000 cars of that fruit were shipped from here last year. Well, boys, I guess we will wind up the show to-morrow, and send it home for a rest, as it’s made enough money for one season. If the great White Nile hippopotamus was to bite the face from Otto Ringling’s safe, the floor of the ticket wagon would be swamped with shining gold. He will give us this gold to-morrow.
Wednesday, October 26th. Cape Girardeau, Mo. St. L. I. M. & S. and St. L. C. G. & Ft. Smith, 44 miles. Pop. 5,000. Riverside Hotel. The closing stand.
Run for first half 26th week, 236 miles. Month’s run to date 1,410 miles. Month’s run to Baraboo, 2,037 miles. Season’s run to date, 10,745 miles. Season’s run complete, from Baraboo to Baraboo, 11,372 miles. Last season we closed Octobpr 13th; this season 13 days later, going 1,278 miles more. Jump to St. Louis, by rail, 164 miles; by river, 150. Jump from Freeport, crossing to Chicago, 114 miles. Jump to Baraboo, Wis., 627 miles, as follows: Grand Tower and Carbondale, R. R. to Carbondale, Ill., 57 miles; thence Illinois Central to Freeport, Ill., 431 miles; thence C. & N. W., 139 miles.
On the banks of the Mississippi, the greatest American river, the greatest American circus closed its most eventful pilgrimage. Here the chariot wheels of the Ringlings rolled for the last time, and the sky of canvas fluttering fell on the season of ’92. Here the limber-jims and acrobats capered their final capers, and the wild beasts ceased, till the robins nest, to “hungrily survey the surging crowds.” The band played “Home, Sweet Home.” The boys adorned their trunks with cuts of the five Ringlings, and then a long procession filed out to the ticket wagon, whose hidden treasures of gold galore paid, to the uttermost farthing, every debt due by the management. Here, with California’s yellow metal, we filled our pockets full.
We have been as one great family. We have learned to like each other well, and now it is sad to part. To most of us there comes this consolation, like scissor-blades we “part to meet again.” But some, alas! have crossed the dark rolling river, have gone “beyond the parting and the meeting,” and are silent in the city of the dead. We will not forget them, and whenever we pass their final resting-places, dirges of sad music breathed above their graves will prove our cherished memory.
To all the ladies and gentlemen connected with this show, wherever the great future finds them dwelling, I wish all the gifts that all the good fairies give. May you have success and happiness unbounded, and never forget that memorable season - that mighty mile-stone in Ringling Brothers’ progress, the season of ’92. To all I wish good luck, long life and happy days.
To Ringling Brothers I wish all the favors of fortune, in other and grander seasons yet to come. To them I tender the hearty thanks of all for good and generous treatment. May their onward and upward progress know no backward step. May they live to be the amusement kings of the century. And now, with grasping hands: “ Farewell, a word that must be and hath been, A word that makes us linger - yet, farewell.”
The Tiger, Dedicated to Charles Mallow, Supt. of Animals.
Tiger! tiger! burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
And what shoulder, and what art,
What the hammer, what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil; what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
Tiger! tiger! burning bright
“But the poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend;
Whose honest heart is still his master’s own,
Who labors, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,”
can always be depended on. To win Bismarck’s loyalty, however, you must be a circus man, as he positively won’t recognize an outsider.
In his animal friendships the same idea prevails. He loves every animal round the show, from the elephants down to the little Shetland ponies, but he hates all outside quadrupeds. The single exception known to this rule is when he made friends with another dog at Harrisonville, Mo., and stopped off to see the town. It cost “Happy Jack” $5.60 to get him back again, but the sum was cheerfully paid. Bismarck answers every whistle that is blown by the superintendents, and when the canvas is being raised from the ground he is always the first to dart under it. He is a most lovable and eccentric character, and takes his name from John Bismarck, the keeper of the stake and chain wagon. He joined the show at St. Peter, Minn., Friday, June 5, 1891, and could not now be driven away from it. Everybody around the circus says, “Like me, like my dog.” Long live Bismarck!
There lived a maiden, fair of face
And form, whom I adore,
In a cottage white, ’neath trees of green
Along the sea-beat shore.
With Cupid’s aid I won the maid
Of face so dear to me,
And now I live with her I love
In a light-house by the sea.
One day a snow-white tent was raised
Close to the ocean’s spray;
My wife and I, among the few,
Who saw the show that day
Felt sorry for the actors all,
So sad they seemed to be,
While straining every nerve to please
A light house by the sea.
Charles W. Fish, On board S. S. Orizaba, Gulf of Mexico, January 15, 1891.
Longest day run, Janesville, Wis., to Garrett, Ind., 241 miles
Shortest day run, Duluth to West Superior, 3 miles
Longest week run, S. Dak., Sioux Falls to Brookings, 585 miles
Shortest week run, Wis., Wausau to Chilton, 228 miles
Coincident week runs, weeks ending May 14th and 28th, each, 466 miles
Longest month run, June, 2,314 miles
Shortest month run, July, 1,686 miles
Nearly coincident month runs, July, 1,686, and Sept., 1,690 miles
Oklahoma Territory, 2
North Dakota, 3
South Dakota, 8
Total stands billed in twelve States and one Territory, 154
Afternoon stands (Aberdeen, S. Dak.), 1
Performances missed (all in May), 13
Performances given, 294
Towns beginning with M (most), 19
Towns beginning with N (least), 2
Length of season (180 days), 25 weeks and 5 days
Advance Cars, 4
Total of Cars (summarized in Railroad Department)
Dimensions of Canvas (See Canvas Department)
Baggage Horses, 204
Ring Horses, 93
Diminutive Ponies, 26
Elephants, 5 [?]
Camels and Dromedaries, 6
Cages and contents (See Menagerie Department)
Total number of people employed, 400
Notorious Gold-Mounted Juggler and Money-Mad Manipulator,
In Gorgeous Costumes, buttoned from head to foot with $20 pieces.
“Gold, gold, gold,
Heavy to get and light to hold,
Round and yellow and hard and cold.”
That is the lucre with button the golden boom.
A Walking Gold Mine! A Perambulating Mint!
When I walk down the street I scare horses;
I have money to show and money to blow;
My teeth and pockets both are filled with gold;
Will appear next winter in my own original creation: -
“Beware! Beware! I wear long hair;”
Also the latest production of genius:
“Gold Button Ben, The King of Cheyenne.”
Two Season with Ringlings’ Circus, Last winter with Grand Circo Orrin, City of Mexico.
P. S. - I would like to hear from the Barnum & Bailey Show.
Mons. Natalie, The Grecian Wonder,
in His Great and World-Famous Lofty Pyramid Act.
Also introducing his Wonderful Performing Pigs, Pedro, Domino, Keno and Cinch.
These Wonderful Pigs go through all the tactics of a first-class Dog Circus, jumping hurdles, leaping through hoops of fire, rolling barrels, se-sawing, climbing ladders, tracing the figure 8, etc., etc.
Three seasons with Ringling Brothers&squo; World’s Greatest Shows. Address care of Clipper.
Charles W. Fish, Champion Bareback Rider of the World!
The only rider having the right to the title of The Royal Equestrian, Having appeared by Special Command before Her Majesty Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle, February 26, 1886.
Clivette, equilibristic marvel, Parisian hand shadowist, and juggler. Special European attraction with Goodyear, Ellitch & Schilling’s Refined Minstrels, scoring a round of triumph. Address Clipper.
Flying Men on Flying Bars, the World's Greatest Mid-Air Sensation.
Vernon Brothers, Aerial Marvels and Meteors!
Introducint astonishing Flights Through Space, and every known variation of Pirouette, Somersault, Double Somersault, Dive, Leap and Catch. The absolute Masters! The Acknowledged Kings! A daily and nightly triumph with Ringling Brothers’ World’s Greatest Shows.
Moncayo, Contortionist. The Australian Wonder.
Two successful seasons with Ringling Brothers’ Circus. Season of &lquo;92-93” (Winter) Irwin Brothers’ Great Specialty Combination. Permanent address: 925 West Ohio Street, Evansville, Ind. or New York Clipper.
Signor and Signorita Arcari
Introducing their astounding Impalement Act, also their beautiful Flageolet and Tambourine Solo, in Romana Compagna Costume. A great feature and astonishing sensation, fit for any Circus or Combination. Princely and magnificent wardrobe. A leading feature with Ringling Brothers’ World’s Greatest Shows. Address care of New York Clipper.
Charles W. O’Dell, Horse Breaker and Hippodrome Rider.
All my riding acts are elegantly costumed, and are dashing and sensational features. I thoroughly understand breaking and handling horses, and am a general all-round horseman. I make a feature of my sensational Five-Horse Tandem Act. Leaping hurdles and obstacles while coursing the track at great speed. Also introduce an exciting and picturesque Roman Standing Race and a terrific Four-Horse Roman Chariot Race. Two seasons with Ringling Brothers’ World’ Greatest Shows.
Brazil & Alton, only head balancing perch act in the world. Marvelous acrobats and head-to-head balancers.
The marvelously educated donkeys Peanuts and Pickles, whose comical antics and capters astonish and delight. Introduced by their trainer, Lew Sunlin, Knock-A-Bout Clown, Leaper and Animal Trainer.
Miss Allie Jackson, the Queen of the Side-Saddle, introducing her high-school manege act, with her thoroughbred horse, &lquo;Mizpah.’
[Not included here is the brief list of cities visited.]
CHS webmaster J. Griffin, last modified March 2008.