From: The Circus Annual. A Route Book of Ringling Bros. World's Greatest Shows Season of 1902, Chicago, IL: Central Printing and Engraving Co., 1902. Staff, performers, program, and detailed day-by-day route. Not included are all photographs. 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.
Al. Ringling, Director of Exhibitions
Otto Ringling, Director of Finances
Alf. T. Ringling, Director of Press
Charles Ringling, Director of Advertising
John Ringling, Director of Advance
Clay Lambert, Contracting Agent
Samuel McCrackin, Contracting Agent
W. D. Coxey, Press Agent
James J. Brady, Press Agent
Herbert S. Maddy, Press Agent
Ralph W. Peckham, Excursion Agent
A. G. Ringling, Manager Advertising Car No. 1
Thomas Dailey, Manager Advertising Car No. 2
George Goodhart, Manager Advertising Car No. 3
W. H. Horton, Special Advertising Agent
M. F. Nagle, Special Advertising Agent
George Heiser, Forage Agent
Kerry Meagher, Assistant Treasurer
Thomas B. Buckley, Auditor
Henry Ringling, Superintendent Front Door
Charles Andress, Legal Adjuster
Charles Ryan, Superintendent Pinkerton Detective Force
Lew Graham, Superintendent Side Show
Al. S. Conlon, Superintendent War Show
George Ganweiler, Musical Director
H. A. Weaver, Time Keeper
Alfred Witsenhausen, Manager Down Town Ticket Office
Jules Turnour, Mail Agent
Edward Shipp, Assistant Equestrian Director
John Snellen, Superintendent of Tents
Spencer Alexander, Superintendent of Baggage Stock
Geo. Stumpf, Assistant Superintendent of Baggage Stock
Ed Jenkins, Assistant Superintendent of Baggage Stock
Robert Meek, Superintendent of Ring Stock
Jack Clayton, Superintendent of Properties
C. W. McCurran, Superintendent of Animals
Pearl Souders, Superintendent of Elephants
Robert Taylor, Superintendent of Transportation
Charles Roy, Superintendent of Lights
Wilson Reese, Superintendent of Wardrobe
Mrs. Slater, Superintendent of Ladies' Wardrobe
A. E. Parsons, Superintendent of Refreshment Stands
A. L. Webb, Steward Dining Tents
Wm. Fay, Steward Dining Cars
H. S. Rubins, Steward Lunch Car
Arthur H. Gollmar, Official Surgeon
Henry Ringling, Superintendent
Ticket Takers: Wm. Alexander, John Mercier, Edward Alexander, H. A. Abbott
Door Men: James Malloy, Otto Stanfield
Otto Ringling, Manager
Kerry Meagher, Assistant Treasurer
Alfred Witsenhausen, Manager Down Town Ticket Office
Thomas B. Buckley, Auditor
Eugene Wall, Wagon Man
Chas. F. Ryan, Detective
Charles Andress, Legal Adjuster
Reserved Seat Ticket Sellers
Charles Carroll, Superintendent
M. T. Kirkendall
H. A. Weaver, Superintendent
Dan Keating, Frank Milton, Ben Goodwin
Concert Ticket Sellers
M. T. Kirkendall, Superintendent
John C. Mercer
Alfred T. Ringling, W. D. Coxey, Jas. J. Brady, H. S. Maddy
Advertising Car No. 1
A. G. Ringling, Manager
W. H. Hoskins, Boss Bill Poster
F. C. Estes, Ass't Boss Billposter
Joseph Dahlem, Chief Lithographer
Jean Kavanni, Programer
E. F. Bluski
B. F. Deschane
J. P. Miller
A. H. Johnston
C. C. Hutchinson
J. W. Costello
C. G. Snowhill
Advertising Car No. 2
Tom Dailey, Manager
Louis Knob, Boss Billposter
O. E. Snyder
P. M. Comes
D. T. Hamill
Ed. S. Gleim
Chas. A. Yecker
Geo. Goodhart, Manager
John Hartman, Boss Billposter
Chas. Bostwick, Chief Lithographer
Miles Edwards, Assistant Lithographer
John Stoll, Chief Programmer
Chas. Dillon, Assistant Programmer
J. M. Davidson, Lithograph Boards
Chas. Sellers, Lithograph Boards
J. P. Metzger, Banners
E. W. Chase, Banners
Adam Dommel, Paste Maker and Porter
Professor George Ganweiler, Conductor
E. P. Whitcom
F. R. Kramer
G. William Lay
Shell P. Davis
C. W. Cleveland
E. S. Brady
E. D. Hogandobler
W. A. Jackson
E. B. Henderson
Lew Graham, Superintendent
Charles E. Griffin, Lecturer
Ticket Sellers: L. A. Borella, John Walker, Arthur M. Gruber
John Gee, Ticket Taker
John Jennings, Boss Canvasman
Curiosities and Performers
Enoch, Man Fish
Natho, Hindo Necromancer
Octavia, Serpent Enchantress
Charles E. Griffin, Sword Swallower
Hashash, Asia Minor Dervish
Garband and Mangasarian, Turkish Musicians
Piramel, Double Bodied Hindoo
Francisco Lentini, Three Legged Boy
"Big Joe" W. Grimes, Biggest Man Alive
Soopromani, Singhalese Pigmy
Doc Samis, Singhalese Attendent to Hindoo Curios
Side Show Band
Ben Horner, Leader and Cornet
C. D. Whitney, Cornet
Joseph Wantock, Cornet
W. W. Beebee, Alto
Irwin Hunter, Trombone
Elmer Eckert, Baritone
Victor E. Messner, Bass
Robert Perkins, Drums
Al Conlon, Superintendent
Clifford Orr, Ticket Taker
Harry Conlon, Chief Operator
Chester White, Ticket Taker
Albert Parsons, Superintendent
William F. Cody
C. D. Allen
J. H. Snellen, Superintendent
Lee Coleman, 1st Assistant
Robert Wise, 2nd Assistant
Wm. Webb, 3rd Assistant
Con. Hogan, 4th Assistant
Back Door Men: George Beckirslaff, Col. Runyon
Wagon Man: E. W. Wall
Program Man: Fred Chady
J. J. Collins
W. H. Auhnman
Stake and Chain Men: Charles Brady, Eugene Rogers
S. W. Clark
F. C. Gibson
E. E. French
W. H. Yarrmgton
C. D. Dillon
R. F. Hansen
C. L. Kemp
Jack Clayton, Superintendent
W. E. Gray
P. T. Boyna
J. H. Freeto
R. H. Hall
J. Jennings, Superintendent
W. H. Wilson
A. M. Flowers
Chester White, Superintendent
Baggage Stock Men
Spencer Alexander, Superintendent
Ed Jenkins, First Assistant
George Stumpf, Second Assistant
O. B. Lee
C. R. Robinson
W. W. Benson
E. A. Banks
J. G. Harper
P. H. Briggs
E. C. Bickford
H. E. Grow
Robert Meek, Superintendent
W. H. Glass
Lead Bars Man: Geo. Hahn
Robert Taylor, Superintendent
Charles Brown, Assistant Superintendent
S. C. Wells
J. H. Sheppard
J. H. Rogan
Tom F. Kelly
J. C. Rice
J. F. Brown
A. L. Webb, Steward
T. B. Sperling
B. E. Brown
W. H. Roberts
H. C. Wiggins
S. D. Botkih
Charles W. Roy, Superintendent
Charles F. Sherman
W. W. Reese, Superintendent
Charles A. Brady
H. A. Nye
S. H. Hoffman
W. E. McGuire
F. H. Bryant
Pearl Souders, Superintendent
R. J. Taylor
C. W. McCurren, Superintendent
W. L. Johnson
A. L. Porsch
S. A. Deselm
John C. Carr
Geo. F. Smith
J. H. Scott
J. F. Hughes
George Hartzell, Dancing Master
J. H. Rutherford
John M. Mercer
George W. Kealey
George L. Wood
Robert Nelson, Sr.
Robert Nelson, Jr.
Gus St. Leon
Philip St. Leon
Syl. St. Leon
Reg. St. Leon
Cass St. Leon
C. A. Lyon
Mlle. Naomi Ethardo
Daisy St. Leon
Gertrude St. Leon
May St. Leon
Otoma Ando, Sr.
Otssoy Ando, Jr.
Albert and Steve Miaco
Philip St. Leon
Gus St. Leon
Cass St. Leon
Syl. St. Leon
Reg. St. Leon
John M. Mercer
"Prince," the clown dog
Steve Miaco, Leader
Philip St. Leon
Syl. St. Leon
Gus St. Leon
Reg. St. Leon
Ringling Brothers' Military Band. George Ganweiler, Conductor. Popular concert preceding each performance. Numbers will be rendered from the following repertoire and announced by placard displayed from band stand, corresponding with numbers of selections, as below:
1. Norma - Bellini
2. Franz Schubert - Suppe
3. Schauspiel - Ch. Bach
4. Idealistic - Brooks
5. King Dodo - Pixley and Luders
6. Florodora - Leslie Stuart
7. Dolly Varden - Julian Edwards
8. The Casino Girl - Englander
9. The Chaperons - Witmark
10. The Explorers - Lewis
11. A Runaway Girl - Caryll & Monekton
12. The Burgomaster - Lueder
13. Attila - Verdi
14. Lucia - Donizetti
15. Lombardi - Verdi
16. Ernani - Verdi
17. Lucrezia Borgia - Donizetti
18. Carmen - Bizet
19. Un Ballo - Verdi
Characteristic, Descriptive, etc.:
20. Finale from Ariele - C. Bach
21. The Holy City, Hail to the Spirit of Liberty (march) - Sousa
22. Popular Songs
23. Columbus - Herman
Display No. 1 - Brilliant introductory pageant, representing the Inaugural Ceremonies of the Grand Fetes of Ancient Rome. A kaleidoscopic panorama of regal magnificence, completely filling all the rings, stages and immense hippodrome course, concluding with a unique equine ballet. A beautiful, moving scene of color, grace and art.
Display No. 2 - A Potpourri of Phenomenal Performances by Artists of Skill and Diversified Talent.
Ring No. 1: The Roberts, dexterous and difficult feats of balancing and wonderful exploits upon the unsupported ladder.
Stage No. 1: Little All Right, oriental pastimes on the rope, concluding with a sensational and daring slide for life.
Ring No. 2: Ando, Mitso and Ohana, nationally characteristic and intensely interesting exploits on the vibrating bamboo perch, presenting unusual feats of equilibrium.
Stage No. 2: Velette & Julian Ty Bell, artistic evolutions and graceful performances on a skillfully balanced breakaway ladder.
Ring No. 3: Mmekichi and Moto, marvelous equilibristic performances upon a frail and lofty framework of bamboo, with breakaway finish.
Display No. 3 - A series of mid-air performances of exceptional skill, daring and endurance.
Ring No. 1: Kelly Brothers, laughable antics and grinning, freakish mad-cap frolics on the revolving suspended ladder.
Stage No. 1: Pettit, Vannerson and Livingston. Astonishing evolutions, somersaulting, swings, drips and exhibitions of strength and daring upon the aerial bars.
Ring No. 2: M. J. Conway, specialties of a thrilling nature, ably executed on a single swaying ribbon.
Stage No. 2: The 4 Banvards, a sensational new aerial exhibition. A series of deft accurate and intricate feats of juggling, in which the objects thrown and caught are human beings. Positively the only artists in the world throwing a triple somersault and catching hand to hand.
Ring No. 3: Plamondon and Amondo, a convulsing performance on revolving ladders, suspended in mid-air.
Display No. 4 - Highly skillful medley of contortion specialties, hand balancings and unique performances on the high wire.
Ring No. 1: Miss Addie Nelson, highly interesting feats of equasion on a single swaying strand of wire. Fortuns Bros., athletic exploits on the parallel bars. Leon Sisters, two petite sisters in acrobatic pastimes.
Stage No. 1: The Nelson Sisters, an immensely clever acrobatic duo in a pleasing double contortion act, showing the flexibility of the human form, the direct result of physical training.
Ring No. 2: Mlle. Noami Ethardo, the European wonder contortionist. A performance in which the flexibility of the human body is shown in a most astonishing degree.
Stage No. 2: Genaro and Theol., agile, flexible, nimble bodies in a peerless double contortion act. Confusing tangles of seeming boneless beings.
Ring No. 3: Miss Ida Miaco, an elastic, mobile, plastic Miss, bending, twisting and turning her flexible form in remarkable contortion feats. Miss Nettie Carroll, deft and dexterous exercises on a frail and swinging wire.
Display No. 5 - Coterie of the World's Most Famous Equestriennes and Equestrians.
Ring No. 1: The Hobsons, double vaulting equestrian exhibition. Two peerless champions alternating mounting and dismounting. Riding simultaneously upon a single horse.
Stage No. 1: Forty Clowns, bubbling over with fun and frolic. Forty "Merry Andrews" to please the old and young.
Ring No. 2: Miss Julia Lowanda and Miss Augusta Fredericks, America's two principal equestriennes appearing in one ring at one time.
Stage No. 2: A Potpourri of Comic Fellows, in an ever-changing medley of funny situations. Laughable antics and ludicrous maneuvers.
Ring No. 3: Miss May Davenport and Mr. Reno McCree, double vaulting equestrian exhibition. Two peerless champions alternating mounting and dismounting. Riding simultaneously upon a single horse.
Display No. 6 - New Astonishing Diversified Trained Animal Display.
Mr. John Carroll, a troupe of diminutive Shetland ponies in an exhibition of especial interest to the children.
Miss Nelson, an interesting exhibition of digs and birds.
Capt. Webb's Company of awkward looking, deft juggling, wonder working seals. The most unique display of animal training ever attempted. Unquestionably the most wonderful act of the kind in the known world.
Prof. George Woods, a splendid group of trained Icelandic ponies. Introduced by their trainer.
Display No. 7 - International Exhibition of Famous Saddle Horses.
Mr. John Carroll and Miss Georgie Cole, riding a duo of perfectly trained saddle horses in an exposition of the haute ecole.
Mr. John O'Brien, Mr. Michael Rooney, Miss Etta Jordan, Miss Ida Miaco. A peerless exhibition of special horse accomplishments. Four distinguished prize-winners appearing together in one ring. Ridden by the famous masters and mistresses of the saddle.
Mr. Rhoda Royal, Madame Royal. Superb double high-school equestrian display. Riding two superb perfectly trained menage horses.
This number concluding with a most laughable burlesque equestrian conceit.
Display No. 8 - A Series of International Athletic and Acrobatic Sensations.
Ring No. 1: The Petit Family (5 in number), novel and unique display of skillful acrobatic feats.
Stage No. 1: The Roberts Family (4 in number), an admirable, pleasing, refined acrobatic divertisement.
Ring No. 2: The De Bolian Brothers (3 in number), novelty Brother act by a trio of past-masters in athletic excellence.
Stage No. 2: The Famous Nelson Family (10 in number), the unquestioned premier acrobats of the world in the most marvelous display of greace, dexterity and skill ever attempted. The undisputed champions.
Ring No. 3: The 8 St. Leons, the lastest conceits and most elite novelties - statuesque acrobatiques by the Australian experts.
Display No. 9 - The Holloway Trio. A Late European Importation - An Absolute Sensation - Introducing their Original Aerial Acrobatic High-Wire Display - Performing Miraculous, Seemingly Impossible Feats upon a Single Swaying Strand of Wire that No Others Dare Attempt upon the Ground.
Display No. 10 - A Number of Unique, Thrilling and Varied Equestrian Specialties.
Mr. & Mrs. Homer Hobson, beautiful double carrying act on the backs of two fast running horses. Artistic poises and pictures and graceful transitions. Mr. Ray Thompson, a terrific scramble by a nimble clown, who does not know how to stay on his mule's back, while the latter swiftly circles the arena.
The Schadels, a new equestrian novelty. The seeming awkward gait of horses, trotting in a circle, lends itself to the accomplishing of beautiful and artistic equestrian feats by two expert riders. Mr. Albert Crandall, the inimitable peer of comic riders. The whirlwind equestrian clown and his funny mule "Thunderbolt."
Mr. Reno McCree & Miss May Davenport, statuesque double riding. An exhibition of unusual grace and beauty in equestrianism. Albert Thompson, a Merry Andrew on a long-eared companion who insists on running too fast and bumping too hard.
Display No. 11 - The Three Greatest Herds of Performing Elephants in the World.
Mr. Geo. Clark, a company of highly educated, unwieldy brute actors in an unique exhibition of elephantine sagacity.
Mr. Pearl Souders, a quintette of elephant comdians in a medley of unquestioned funny ludicrous, button-bursting, terpsichorean, athletic, musical and Bachanalian revels.
Mr. Geo. Ezell, a company of intelligent, agile giants in picturesque pyramids and displays.
Display No. 12 - Highly Skillful Medley of Juggling, Ladder Acts and Up-to-Date Vaudeville Specialties.
Ring No. 1: Amondo, skillful throwing, catching and juggleing feats. Mmekichi & Otosi, peculiar oriental display. Two deft Japanese experts, introducing spelendid balancing feats on the perpendicular shoulder ladder. Mr. John Rooney, terpsichorean movements, lofty somersaults and high vaulting on the tight rope.
Stage No. 1: The Fortuns Brothers, absolutely first American appearance of Europe's most famous horizontal bar champions in an entirely new comic conceit.
Ring No. 2: Mme. Ando & Ohani, Japanese posturing act. John Slater, George Motz, Geo. Hartzell, John Carroll, the Giant Cakewalkers, four famous contestants, whose aggregate height is 40 feet. John Mercer, Ernest Milro, George Searles, the Docile Giraffe and his triumphant trainers. George Cole and Paul Roberts, the Clown's Carnival.
Stage No. 2: Ty Bell Sisters, incomprehensible high-air divertisements upon a slender wire, held by the teeth, showing the possibilities resulting from physical culture.
Ring No. 3: Ando & Moto, Japanese balancing, breakaway ladder specialty. Mons. Jules Turnour, dexterity, skill and agility in rapid juggling. Miss Petit, artistic dancing and vaulting on a tight rope. Albert & Steve Miaco, comic casualties caused a clown by a fractious mule.
Display No. 13 - Pleasing Novelties in High-Air Sensations by Eminent Artists.
Ring No. 1: Miss Adelia Davenport, flying ring specialty and fearless mid-air evolutions. The St. Leon Sisters, exploits on two swaying aerial swings.
Stage No. 1: Miss Nettie Carroll, novelty diversions, graceful jposing and muscular exercises on the flying rings.
Ring No. 2: Mr. John Smith, accurate, unusual balancing trapeze act. The performer excuting equasions requiring minute accuracy - head down, feet up.
Stage No. 2: Miss Augusta Fredericks, finished artistic, perfect exhibition of premier trapeze exploits by the great lady aerialist.
Ring No. 3: Roberts Sisters, exceptionally clever and finished performance on the flying trapeze by the celebrated aerial artists.
Display No. 14 - The Unquestioned Champion Bareback Riders of the World.
Ring No. 1: Mr. Albert Davenport, magnificent bareback somersault and trick riding act.
Stage No. 1: The Clown's Holiday. A famous lot of fools on a lark.
Ring No. 2: Mr. Michael Rooney, splendid high-class bareback somersault riding act.
Stage No. 2: A company of famous fools in frolic and fun.
Ring No. 3: Mr. John Rooney, exceptionally great and artistic equestrian bareback somersault act.
Display No. 15 - A New Big Aerial Number.
The Dunbar Trio, sensational long distance mid-air leaps and somersaults, by Australia's remarkable aerial meteors, first time in America.
The Austin Sisters, an absolutely new and original aerial display, including the remarkable head downward pedestrienne "Mlle. Aimee," aptly named the Human Fly. The only act of the kind in the world.
Grand Hippodrome Sensations. Hotly Contested Trials of Speed and Skill.
First Event - Gentlemen's Jockey Race, three times around the track. Horses: Hazard, Tornado, Thunderbolt, Fire Fly. Riders: Al. Thompson, green; John Mercer, red; Geo. Cole, black and yellow; Ray Thompson, blue.
Second Event - Tandem Over Hurdles. Four thoroughbred horses ridden by one man, Mr. John Carroll.
Third Event - Shetland Ponies ridden by Monkey Jockeys, twice around the track.
Fourth Event - Ladies' Jockey Race, three times around the track. Horses: Salamander, Ben Hur, Stalker, Sam Cox. Riders: Miss Etta Jordan, purple and gold; Miss Jessie Fred, red and white; Miss Georgie Cole, black and white; Ida Miaco, red and blue.
Fifth Event - Tandem Act. Thoroughbred horses, showing all gaits, ridden and driven to buggy by Madam Royal.
Sixth Event - Roman Standing Race, three times around the track. Horses: Danger, Sultan; Rider John Carroll, purple. Horses: Chicago, Avalanche; Rider Al. Thompson, white. Horses: Philip and Nero; Rider John Mercer, red.
Seventh Event - Clown's Race, once around the track. Shetland ponies to Sulky. Ernest Milvo, George Motz, W. Pamondon, contestants.
Eighth Event - Shetland Pony against Thoroughbred Horse, once around the track. Horse Napoleon, ridden John Mercer. Pony Spider, ridden by H. Redmond.
Ninth Event - Terrific Four-Horse Roman Chariot Race, three times around the track. Horses; Battle Ax, Trooper, Samson, Sheridan, Harrison, Cyclone, Mermaid, Zenobia. Drivers: Mr. John Carroll, red; Mr. John Slater, white.
Chicago, Ill. Wednesday, April 9. The big show opened its annual Chicago engagement and the season of 1902 under very flattering conditions. Although no parade was given, judicious advertising was sufficient notification the that the Ringlings were in town, and the spacious Coliseum was crowded to the doors.
A recent addition to the Wabash avenue show structure in the shape of a two-story annex, gave sufficient room for the menagerie which was exhibited on two floors. The elephants, camels, lions, tigers, giraffe, hippopotamus and all the larger animals were on the first floor. On the second, which is known as the Coliseum ballroom, Mr. Charles Ringling arranged the smaller cages around the four walls and down the center placed, in charming profusion, fully fifty beautiful palms. The effect was one on the big hits of the engagement and was favorably mentioned by all the Chicago papers. In the basement of the buildings was stabled the ring stock. Eight rows of stalls the entire length of the structure were inadequate to accommodate all the horses and ponies, and neighboring barns were used for the overflow.
The performers were fed a numerous hotels and boarding houses in the vicinity of the Coliseum. In order to care for the property men and hostlers, Steward Webb fitted up a temporary cook tent in a building on Wabash avenue near Fourteenth street.
The main portion of the Coliseum was used, of course, for the show. It was, in reality, the "big top." Boxes were constructed around the arena, and in the center three rings, a stage and a splendid hippodrome track were laid out. Every seat in the big building was numbered and a competent corps of ushers furnished by the Coliseum company, handled the first night's crowd without the least bit of confusion. The entry was called promptly on time and the entire performance went like clock work. In the second number, "Shorty" Wilson, one of the famous forty clowns, fell from a revolving ladder and fractured a finger. Nothing of importance happened until, the races, when "Skinks," a monkey rider fell from his pony, and chattering with fear, leaped into the lap of a lady, who was calmly fanning herself in one of the boxes. The lady screamed at the top of her voice and poor "Skinks," frightened almost to death, cowered down in her lap until his keeper rushed to the rescue. The show made a big hit and many compliments were showered upon the Ringlings at its conclusion.
Two performances daily were given, until and including the night of the 26th, to immense audiences. Numerous "turn-aways" warmed the hearts of everybody connected with the "Big thing" and three rousing cheers were given when it was announced that the receipts greatly exceeded those of last season and completely dwarfed the proceeds of the two weeks of grand opera at the Auditorium.
One of the amusing features of the engagement was the clown work of Jack Hammond, assistant city editor of Hearst's Chicago American. Mr. Hammond, in order to write his impressions of the duties of a clown, placed himself in the hands of George Hartzell who gave him make-up that his own mother failed to penetrate. The newspaper man was then lef forth in full view of the audience and was the butt of many a joke perpetrated by the "Merry Andrews." He took all that came his way in rare good humor and made himself a jolly good fellow with the dressing room crowd.
Quite a number of distinguished visitors were noticed in the boxes at both matinee and evening performances. Among them were Governor Richard Yates and family, Mayor Carter Harrison, "Bath House" John Coughlin, George Ade and all the pretty girls from his "Sultan of Sulu" Company, Opie Read, author of "The Harkriders," Guy Steely, who wrote "The Storks," and who accomplished splendid press work for the show during the season of 1901.
On the night of the 26th, the sixty-five cars used to transport the show pulled into the railroad yards near Park Row station and all of them were loaded by two o'clock. The long road season was then commenced in earnest.
The Dumitrescu Troupe of aerialists and Professor Batty's performing bears closed at the conclusion of the Chicago engagement. Louis Plamondon, who signed with his brother "Judy" Amondo, to do revolving ladders and clowning, was unable to work in the "Windy City" on account of illness, and after a siege in one of the hospitals was removed to his home in Topeka, Kansas.
Champaign, Ill. Monday, April 28. The first stand out of Chicago and the first show under the new spread of canvas ws productive of splendid business. The initial parade of the season was given here and it moved from the lot without a hitch. Thousands of people witnessed the parade, although a chilling rain was falling. The rain continued at intervals all day but did not dampen the ardor of the employees in the least. Everybody from the smallest pony boy to the Ringlings, were pleased with the smoothness with which the parade and the two performances moved.
The big new tents, every one of them, with the exception of the "black top," being fresh from the manufacturer, were erected with dispatch by "Happy Jack" Snellen's lusty crowd of men, and long before the parade was over each stake had been driven home and the last guy line securely tied.
Just before the command to "mount" was given for the afternoon performance, word was passed about that students from the University of Illinois would visit the circus and cause trouble. Preparations for the reception of these young gentlemen were speedily perfected. The students were out in force, but beyond a few college yells they were very quiet. During the night performance some miscreant threw acid on a section of side wall and partially destroyed it. Shortly before the dinner hour fire was discovered in the roof of the dining car "Washington." Steward Fay sounded the alarm, and with a volunteer department, soon extinguished the blaze.
Decatur, Ill. Tuesday, April 29. The run of 46 miles was made in good time and all tents were up and the parade on before ten o'clock. The lot was good, and although rain fell quite freely mud was an unknown quantity. The haul from the runs to the lot was almost two miles. During the day, Mrs. Steele and Mrs. McMahon, formerly of the McMahon circus, visited in the dressing rooms.
Danville, Ill. Wednesday, April 30. A short run of 28 miles enabled the bosses to get their paraphernalia on the lot in good time. John Harrison, a former circus press agent, met the first train with the announcement that he owned a Danville newspaper and that for the day it belonged to the Ringlings. He was as good as his word. Danville is the winter home of the LaPearl show and numerous retired performers visited with old friends. Business at both afternoon and evening performances was good.
Terre Haute, Ind. Thursday, May 1. After a run of sixty miles the haul to the lot was over a mile. An extended street car strike was the cause of several union men asking all performers to take busses or walk to the lot in preference to riding on the cars, which, so they stated, were being operated by non-union motoneers and conductors. In numerous instances the request was heeded. George Stout, a member of the big band, was forced ot go home on account of sickness. Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Wilson of the Harris circus, visited during the afternoon. George Motz, one of the forty clowns, closed here. The Puff Club held its first road meeting here, and George Hartzell was unanimously elected vice-president to assist President George Kealey in his arduous duties.
Evansville, Ind., Friday, May 2. The three trains arrived early after a run of 109 miles. It was a long haul to the lot, and rain was falling before the cook tents were up, yet the parade was off on time and the streets were fairly black with people. A steam dummy line that ran near the dressing tent caused the performers considerable amusement. At the afternoon performance the Ringlings entertained three hundred inmates of the state insane asylum. The visitors applauded every act to the echo and were wildly enthusiastic when Albert Crandall came out with his mule. None of the unfortunate persons showed symptoms of violence, but several of them were rude enough to make faces at the clowns.
Effingham, Ill., Saturday, May 3. This thriving little city turned out in force to greet the Ringlings, and the crowd was dense from morning until night. The weather was very hot and dust was several inches thick. The lot was but a short distance from the cars.
St. Louis, Mo., Monday, May 5. The show arrived before noon yesterday and pulled to the lot at Grand and LaClede avenues in a driving rain. Of course the lot was exceedingly soft and both horses and men were tired out before the necessary Sunday work was finished. The majority of the performers sought comfortable quarters in the various hotels, and then visited the summer theatres, despite the damp weather. Kerry Meagher, the little man with the gray hair who does the work of half a regiment in the ticket wagon, was all smiles because of the arrival from Chicago of Mrs. Meagher. The busy treasurer and his estimable wife live during the week at the Southern Hotel.
St. Louis, Mo., Tuesday, May 6. Business yesterday was almost a record-breaker but it did not reach that of to-day. A "turnaway" at the matinee and another at night make everybody feel good. The boys with the show who displayed Elk and Eagle badges were kept busy shaking hands with St. Louis brothers. Pressing invitations to visit the lodge rocms were given with hearty goodwill.
St. Louis, Mo., Wednesday, May 7. Two more "turnaways" to-day broke the record in this city. "When the chains were put up, Superintendent Henry Ringling of the front door and his able corps of assistants were forced to ask the police to help keep the crowd out. Men, women and children struggled and fairly fought to get in, and several people were slightly injured.
St. Louis, Mo., Thursday, May 8. More record-breaking business marked this day. The chains were again put up at the two performances and fully a thousand people were given improvised seats on straw around the hippodrcme track. Superintendent Charles McCurran of the menagerie department proudly announced the arrival of two wee lion cubs. He promptly named them St. Louis and Handlan, the latter being the name of the park on which the tents are pitched.
St. Louis, Mo., Friday, May 9. Business was big again to-day. Two performances to capacity. The lot has dried out nicely and the clowns have discarded their rubber boots. A pony colt was born to-day and christened Richard after Mr. Alf T. Ringling's handsome son. Master Richard is greatly pleased with his namesake and has promised to faithfully care for him.
St. Louis, Mo., Saturday, May 10. And business is still good. This week has been the best the Ringlings ever experienced in St. Louis. The run to-night is over the Vandalia to Indianapolis, where many of the performers have warm personal friends.
Indianapolis, Ind., Monday, May 12. The trains were frequently delayed in making the run of 240 miles to this city, and the lot was not reached by the first wagons until 4:30 o'clock Sunday afternoon. Owing to the condemnation of several bridges over White river the wagons and animals were forced to cross the stream by way of a temporary structure constructed on Washington street by the Indianapolis street railway company. As the safety of the bridge was in doubt, Pearl Souders was asked to test it with his elephants. The big brutes negotiated the bridge without a bit of fear and the wagons were quickly hauled over. It is a well-known fact that an elephant will not cross either a culvert or a bridge without first testing it. Nature has supplied them with an unerring instinct, and any structure they refuse to cross is always tabooed by circus men. On Monday pictures of the parade were taken for the "black top" annex. Business at both performances broke all records for Indianapolis. Among the dressing room visitors was Hiram Marks, an old-time clown.
Bedford, Ind., Tuesday, May 13. The run was 86 miles and the lot close to the runs. During the afternoon show a violent wind and rain storm caused hundreds to leave the big top. They returned when the storm subsided and they had been assured by attaches that there was nothing to fear. Mrs. Schadel was taken sick here.
Louisville, Ky., Wednesday, May 14. The show arrived early and was put up on a level but very dusty lot. Parade was started at 9:30 o'clock and was not finished until noon. Many of the business houses were draped in crepe in honor of the memory of Hon. W. H. Haldeman, an associate in business with Colonel Henry Watterson. Mr. Haldeman died from injuries received in a street car accident and his funeral occurred the morning the circus arrived. Mrs. Al Conlon and son visited during the day and were guests of Mr. Conlon at luncheon.
Greensburg, Ind., Thursday, May 15. No events of more than ordinary interest occurred here. The parade and performances were started on time and splendid business resulted. Walter Lay of the big band entertained a number of friends between shows.
Hamilton, Ohio, Friday, May 16. Seventy-eight miles run, a sunny day and a splendid lot close to the business portion of the city. The Ringlings had as honored guests, "Governor" and Gil Robinson and Oliver Scott of the John Robinson circus. They visited all departments during their few hours' stay and managed to see a portion of the afternoon show. In the evening, Charles Scheinfest, a former musician in Ringling Brothers' big band, entertained every musician with the show. The event was greatly enjoyed and many a stirring toast was drunk to the future prosperity of the jovial ex-leader. Mrs. John M. Mercer came in from Cincinnati to visit her husband, and had the pleasure of cheering him to victory in the gentlemens' flat race. Among other visitors were Mrs. George Heiser and daughter.
Dayton, Ohio, Saturday, May 17. This thriving Buckeye city, the home of the National Cash Register and of George Heiser, our "twenty-four hour" man and just twenty-four miles from Hamilton, was productive of immense business. The lot was on the Fair Grounds, and the performers, taking advantage of the level race track, arranged several exciting foot races. One of the best of these events was a "dead heat" between Ray Thompson, a Roman standing rider, and John Agie, the youngest of the famous forty clowns. Detective Charles Ryan caught a negro pickpocket in the afternoon and sent him to the police station nursing a bruised head. The negro was rash enough to resist capture and was handled in a lively manner until subdued. The sprinting craze was revived in the evening, with Mike Rooney and Homer Hobson as the principals. Rooney won and still holds the title of champion which he claimed when the show opened, and which he announces he will defend the entire season.
Portsmouth, Ohio, Monday, May 19. A 161 mile run caused the show to arrive late Sunday afternoon. Monday afternoon the first serious accident of the season occurred. Frank Smith fell thirty feet from a single trapeze while accomplishing a head balancing act and was carried unconscious to the dressing tent. He was examined by Dr. Gollmar, the circus physician, who announced that the aerial artist had broken his left arm in two places, dislocated his right shoulder and was severely bruised. The injured man was taken to the new city hospital where he was given every attention by a competent corps of surgeons and nurses. Smith was unconscious when the hospital was reached, but soon revived sufficiently to inform his friends that he would soon be ready to work again. He attributed his fall to the intense heat which made him very dizzy. Shortly after he fell, a rope holding a double trapeze on which the St. Leon sisters were working, slipped a bit and the performers were thrown to the ground. Fortunately they escaped with a few minor bruises.
Wellston, Ohio, Tuesday, May 20. Mileage 45. Lot located on a side hill which gave the tents a very peculiar appearance. The spotted ponies driven at the head of the parade were back on the lot before the calliope had left. This was the result of a monster parade in a small city.
Parkersburg, W. Va., Wednesday, May 21. Mileage 73. Good lot outside the city limits. Slight rain at night. Afternoon business was tremendous. During the day a stranger struck a horse over the head, causing him to back into a grocer's window. Of course the grocer blamed the circus and endeavored to collect damages. Charles Andress, assisted by Detective Ryan, soon convinced the irate tradesman that he would have to look elsewhere for remuneration.
New Philadelphia, Ohio, Thursday, May 22. This was the first and only day of the season that Ringling Brothers failed to show. The run of 115 miles was made in a walk, figuratively speaking, and the walk was an awfully long and tedious one. Although the three trains left Parkersburg in good time after the evening show, the third section did not reach New Philadelphia until 9:30 at night. The other two sections were but a short distance ahead. Rain was falling, and owing to this and to the late hour it was decided that no show could be given. The trains were delayed at intervals throughout the day by flat wheels on the elephant cars and the fact that two of the little cabooses hitched to the trains persisted in lumping the track every few miles. At one point in the Southern state where the third section was held up for an hour, fully half the performers called at a nearby farm house and were welcomed by one of nature's noblemen. He was a farmer, this man. and stated that he was rapidly accumulating a fortune through a recent strike of oil on his land. His family of grown sons and daughters were introduced to the "show folks" and an impromptu party was held on the lawn in front of the house. The daughters of the family, learning that there were several babies and older children with the show, gave them generous bowls of milk and delicious bread. In this manner the dairy and pantry were depleted of their stores. The afternoon spent at this home in good old West Virginia will long remain fresh in the memory of the troopers as one of the bright events of the season. The arrival of the third section at New Philadelphia was greeted with cheers from thousands of citizens and country folks who had waited patiently all day long. They were greatly disappointed when it was announced that no show would be given. The Mayor was especially cast down, as he had worked like a trooper to induce the Ringlings to place the city on their calling list. The citizens had donated, not only the lot and the use of water, but also the license. Treasurer Kerry Meagher used the dining car as a temporary office and paid all outstanding bills by the light of a sputtering oil lamp.
Steubenville, Ohio, Friday, May 23. Run 72 miles. Arrived late, and everyone tumbled out of the cars fully two miles from the lot. Street cars were conspicuous by their absence and several hundred "drilled" to the lot. The latter was situated in a hollow near several large iron mills and in many places was decidedly soft. A stream of pure, cold water near the horse tents greatly assisted the grooms in their work. The afternoon show started late but was witnessed by a banner crowd. During the races one of the horses in the Roman standing event, ridden by Jack Carroll, fell on one of the turns and broke his leg. Colonel Delavan, superintendent of horses, ordered him shot. Carroll was thrown heavily against a quarter pole but escaped with minor, bruises.
Youngstown, Ohio, Saturday, May 24. The run was an even 100 miles and was made in good time. Although the lot was two miles from the runs and up hill all the way, the boys soon had the parade paraphrenalia ready and the "big thing" was under way before noon. Passing railroad trains in the center of the city caused several delays. The Austin Sisters closed here to join a carnival company. At the afternoon show Mayor Jones was a welcome visitor. The Mayor visited every tent on the lot in person, and after a close inspection, said: "This is the cleanest and best show that ever visited Youngstown. I have failed to find either a grafter or a gambler, and I desire to compliment the management for the manner in which each department is conducted."
Cleveland, Ohio, Monday, May 26. We arrived early Sunday and disembarked in a driving rain. The Monday parade call was for nine o'clock and the spotted ponies driven by Mr. Al Ringling were not turned toward the lot until almost noon. Mrs. Alf T. Ringling and son Richard came on to visit. Business was a record breaker although the cold was very penetrating. Both performances resulted in people being turned away for want of room. Hundreds struggled in vain to enter the big top at the night performance, and details of police were called to keep them back from the doors. Mr. Charles Ringling left the show here to look after business ahead. This is the home of Phil King, the stilt clown, and he was kept busy entertaining his wife and numerous friends. Joe LaFleur joined here and was given a regular ovation by his old-time chums in the dressing room.
Akron, Ohio, Tuesday, May 27. A 35 mile run was speedily accomplished. The lot was a mile and a half from the runs and a bit soft from rain. It rained almost the entire day and the air was so chill that ladies wore seal jackets to both the afternoon and evening performances, while their escorts were muffled in long ulsters. Despite the cold the show played to capacity.
Canton, Ohio, Wednesday, May 28. This pretty little city, the home of the late President William McKinley, was reached at daybreak, and before parade hundreds of performers and laborers were enroute to the cemetery to pay silent respect to the memory of that great and good man who was shot down by a cowardly assassin on that long-to-be-remembered day at the Buffalo Exposition. With bared heads they stood at the tomb of the dead President, and many a silent prayer was offered for the invalid wife, whose bereavement, is shared by every loyal man, woman and child in the world. James A. Bailey, of the Barnum and Bailey circus, accompanied by Whiting Allen of the Bailey Bureau of Publication, visited the "World's Greatest" during the afternoon. He seemed to enjoy the show immensely. Mr. Allen renewed old acquaintances with the business staff and performers. Harry Zella, an ex-trooper, formerly with the World's Greatest, spent the day on the lot. Canton is his home and he wears a bright deputy sheriff's badge.
Tiffin, Ohio, Thursday, May 29. Run 117 miles. Weather nice and balmy; lot as good as the best and business splendid. After the night performance the Pullman homes of the show folks were switched directly opposite the lot.
Toledo, Ohio, Friday, May 30. The city was fairly covered with red, white and blue bunting and the glorious American flag in honor of Decoration Day. Being a national holiday the residents were out in large numbers, and the parade passed through a solid wall of sweltering humanity, as the day was a bit warm. The lot was good but was five miles from the cars. During the evening a liquor-crazed Swede, a giant in size, attempted to run the side show to suit himself. Charles Griffin, the lecturer on Freakology. remonstrated and was promptly knocked down. Then one of the band boys felled the Swede with a well-directed blow, but the big man was up in a hurry and proceeded to start trouble afresh. At this juncture Detective Ryan and several Toledo policemen rushed into the tent and arrested the Swede. The latter fought viciously and the officers were forced to use their night sticks to subdue him. Toledo being the birthplace of Albert and May Davenport, bareback riders, and the home of Reno McRae, who does a principal act with Miss Davenport, their friends cheered them to the echo. At the night performance Mr. McRae was called to the ring bank at the conclusion of his act and presented with a handsome cane and a bunch of flowers. The favors were accompanied by a card bearing the inscription: "From your friends."
Ft. Wayne, Ind., Saturday, May 31. Run 93 miles. Weather raw and cold. Lot high and dry. All of the elephants and the calliope were left out of the parade owing to a strict city ordinance prohibiting them from traversing the streets. The Ladies' Puff club gave a social session in the big top after the first show and sold tickets of admission at 25 cents each. Even the Ringlings were forced to purchase in order to join in the festivities. Among the amusing features were foot races between the fat and lean women of the troupe. Mrs. George Dunbar and Mrs. Gus Milton started in the first race. Mrs. Milton won with ease. In the lean race there were two starters, Miss Edith TyBell and Mrs. Rhoda Royal. Miss TyBell ran like a professional and won by ten yards. The races were held on the hippodrome track, and quite a sum of money was added to the Puff Club treasury. Mrs. Herbert Maddy journeyed from Chicago to spend the day with her husband. Mrs. Roberts re-commenced work after being confined to the car for several days with a slight touch of fever. George Harrison, of Charley Carroll's staff of reserved seat ticket sellers, claims Ft. Wayne as his home, and was pleasantly entertained by relatives and friends.
Detroit, Mich., Monday, June 2. The show arrived in good time Sunday, and several hundred of the "boys and girls," including the Nelson Family, hied themselves to Mt. Clemens, twenty miles away, where the Wallace circus spent Sunday. The Nelsons reside in Mt. Clemens and were given quite an ovation by their friends. Many of the Wallace troopers visited the lot in Detroit. On Monday, Mr. and Mrs. Al Martin and Eddie Martin had seats in section "E" and were very generous in their praise of the show, which, by the way, played to immense business. Sunday evening the Ringling Puff Club entertained their brothers from the Wallace lodge. Delicious refreshments were served in Knights of Pythias hall and numerous speeches were made.
Pontiac, Mich., Tuesday, June 3. Good lot not far from the runs. Capacity business was cheering. The parade made a decided hit with the Pontiac folks.
Saginaw, Mich., Wednesday, June 4. The weather was a bit cool and somewhat damp during the morning, but there was a monster crowd out to witness the parade, and thousands attended both the afternoon and night performances. Saginaw is the home of the Roberts family of acrobats, and many friends visited with them in the dressing room. They were entertained at both luncheon and dinner. Phil Pickard lives here and made it a point to spend all his spare time in the dressing room. During parade a slight collision between the big band wagon and a street car caused considerable excitement.
Lansing, Mich., Thursday, June 5. The first train did not arrive until after eight o'clock, but all the paraphrenalia was transferred to the lot in good time. The fair grounds was used and the main entrance was directly in front of a big automobile factory. This factory was thrown open for inspection and many availed themselves of the opportunity. While the parade was lining up, Mr. Al Ringling's buggy tipped over. The well-trained spotted ponies stood perfectly still until the vehicle was lifted up.
Battle Creek, Mich., Friday, June 6. Big business here in spite of a slight rain. The big sanitariums which have made Battle Creek famous, were visited between shows. During the day Steward Webb inspected the various brands of cereals manufactured in this city and purchased enough to last the entire season. Colonel Spencer Delavan is again bothered by men who desire to sell him seven-toed roosters, three-legged calves and other freak animals of a like nature. The man with a freak who calls at the ticket wagon is invariably directed to Delavan's tent by either Kerry Meagher or Tom Buckley.
Kalamazoo, Mich., Saturday, June 7. Another day of good business with a splendid lot and hard roads. Dr. Arthur Gollmar, the official surgeon and physician with the show, announces that a few slight headaches and several bruised toes comprise his hospital list. Among the visitors to the dressing tent was Madame Marantette, of Mendon, Mich., and Karl Milvo's aunt. The latter pinned roses on the coats of each and every one of the forty funny clowns.
Grand Rapids, Mich., Monday, June 9. The short run from Kalamazoo was speedily negotiated Sunday and the pleasant sunny afternoon was hailed with joy by everybody about the show. All the points of interest about this pretty city were inspected. Mr. and Mrs. Charley Carroll found Lew Sunlin, formerly with the Ringlings, and brought him to the lot. Mr. Sunlin is operating a stone quarry near Grand Rapids and avers that he is fairly coining money. Mr. and Mrs. James Rutherford entertained friends during the day. Business was equal to the best to-day. Colonel Delavan left for Chicago to purchase a dozen head of baggage stock. One of his best horses was killed and several crippled during the run into the city. The rough manner in which the engineer stopped the train threw the horses down, and they were trampled upon before Delavan and his men could get them up. Three hundred Shriners, resplendent in their evening clothes and bright red fezes, visited the show at night and were immensely pleased with a bit of a burlesque arranged and executed by Mr. Al Ringling, who pressed all the camels and half the clowns into service.
Benton Harbor, Mich., Tuesday, June l0. Business was good here and the day was bright and fair. Pearl Souder, the veteran trainer in charge of the elephants, discovered that Fanchon's corns needed trimming. He chained the beast securely and soon carved out the tender bits of calloused flesh. Fanchon trumpeted long and loud, and then when the corns were out walked as sprightly as she did when the Ringlings purchased her ten years ago.
Joliet, Ill., Wednesday, June 11. We showed here on a lot that was covered with slimy mud and several wagon loads of sawdust and straw was used before the place was made presentable. A cloud burst had swollen a near-by stream to such proportions that it overflowed and spread over miles of the surrounding country. Our lot was under eight feet of water a week before we arrived. Mr. and Mrs. Homer Hobson enjoyed a visit from their baby daughter, who journeyed from Chicago with her grandmother. Mrs. Phil King and child also visited, as did Master TyBell.
Rockford, Ill., Thursday, June 12. Splendid lot close to the business portion of the city and excellent paved streets for the parade made everybody feel good. The afternoon crowd was immense and the show never went better. A very busv man around the big top was Fred Loomis, of Chicago, one of Mr. John Ringling's closest friends. Mr. Loomis knows every man, woman and child connected with the show and endeavored to shake hands with all of them. Shortly after six o'clock angry looking clouds gathered in the west, and a few minutes later a terrific storm broke over the city. Rain fell in torrents and the wind was so strong that for a time it was feared that all the tents would go down. The elephants were taken out to prevent a stampede. Before seven, however, the wind died down and the rain ceased. The night house was good. But one herd of elephants were worked at night.
Watertown, Wis., Friday, June 13. For the first time during the present season the Ringlings are showing in their home state, and fully two-thirds of the people who attended to-day knew one or more of the proprietors. Business was good at both performances.
Appleton, Wis., Saturday, June 14. Another small city, but business was above the average, nevertheless. The advent of a baby kangaroo was the cause of rejoicing among the menagerie employees.
Calumet, Mich., Monday, June 16. The long run from Appleton consumed the major portion of Sunday; in fact the third section did not reach Calumet until after dark. Monday dawned bright and clear, with just enough chill in the air to make an overcoat a comfortable article of apparel. This is the city of many nationalities, owing to the varied assortment of employees in the various mines. The door tenders had considerable trouble in making the visitors understand that children over four years of age must have a ticket. The altitude here is quite high and caused one of the little elephants to breathe with difficulty. Dr. Gollmar and Trainer Pearl Souder were equal to the emergency and kept the little fellow alive by judicious injections of the salt solution. Grace Washburn, an ex-rider, visited with friends in the dressing room and talked over old times.
Hancock, Mich., Tuesday, June 17. The tents were pitched on the side of a hill in an enclosure known as the Calumet driving park. The run from Calumet was less than twenty miles, the shortest run of the season, and everything was in shipshape order long before eight o'clock. A distinguished visitor during the day was Frank O'Donnell, contracting press agent for the Buffalo Bill show. After the evening performance a drunken bus man attempted to drive out of the park gate, which at the time was jammed with women and children. He was stopped by George Hartzell, who dragged him from the seat and administered a good lecture, accompanied by a vigorous kick. The women warmly thanked Hartzell for this gallantry.
Ishpeming, Mich., Wednesday, June 18. This is the reddest town in the state. It don't need painting, although several of the boys attempted to increase the color of vermillion that was apparent on all sides. The soil here is a clay containing a red chemical that stains everything it comes in contact with. It thoroughly permeated the hair of all the white horses and ponies and gave them a very peculiar appearance. During the afternoon nearly every store in town was closed and almost the entire population came to the show. The various mills in the Ishpeming district were closed for the day. The employees threatened to strike providing the bosses failed to give them a holiday.
Escanaba, Mich., Thursday, June 19. This pretty little city in the Lake Superior district was productive of immense business. The afternoon concert was the largest in the history of the circus. Over thirty-four hundred people paid admissions to see the after show and overflowed from the reserved seats into the blues.
Iron Mountain, Mich., Friday, June 20. More red clay was encountered here. The crush about the ticket wagon was so great that over a thousand dollars was taken in at the door, from visitors who were unable to make their way through the jam to the ticket windows. The big cash register was filled and emptied several times. Several days before the circus arrived a deer was killed on the plot occupied by the menagerie tent.
Ironwood, Mich., Saturday, June 21. Another crush at the ticket wagon caused an extra amount of money to be received at the door. Six entrances were used, and both Mr. Andress and Mr. Ryan were pressed into service as ticket takers.
Duluth, Minn., Monday, June 23. The Sunday run to Duluth was made in good time and actors and laborers secured a much needed rest. At Maple Grove, near Duluth, about an hour before the first section hove in view, some miscreant, bent on settling a grudge with the railroad company, blew up a section of track with dynamite. Several hours were consumed in repairing the track. During the parade Monday a female leopard in "Bear Jack's" den leaped upon the back of the trainer and bore him to the ground. The leopard was busily engaged in tearing Jack's clothes from his back, when help came from an unexpected quarter. "Billy," the male leopard in the cage, jumped on his mate and choked her almost to death. He dragged her from Jack's back, and the latter was then forced to call for assistance to prevent "Billy" from killing her. "Billy" is very fond of Jack, and went to his aid just as a faithful dog would assist his master. Richard Mansfield played opposition at night to ordinary business, while the big tents were crowded to the hippodrome track.
Chippewa, Falls, Wis., Tuesday, June 24. Back in old Wisconsin again. Big business and fine weather. Two more lion cubs born to-day makes Superintendent McCurran a very happy man. McCurran has all the animals in the best of condition. At this point John M. Mercer received a telegram announcing the death of his father, a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio. Ray and Al Thompson entertained their parents during the day.
Stevens Point, Wis., Wednesday, June 25. Arrived late, but everything was put up in a hurry and two shows were given to big business. Many old friends from the winter quarters at Baraboo visited and were shown all possible favors.
Fond du Lac, Wis., Thursday, June 26. Big business here and a pretty day. Colonel Delavan tried in vain to purchase a pair of big gray horses. Tom Genaro entertained Zavo, a well-known contortionist, who was in Wisconsin for his health.
Milwaukee, Wis., Friday, June 27. Judging from the surging crowds at both performances, representatives of every family in the city turned out to pay their respects to the Ringlings. Business was splendid and numerous swell press notices, secured by Alf T. Ringling, were pasted in the scrap books. At night the Shriners, several hundred strong, took possession of the reserved seats and fairly lifted the canvas with their cheers of approbation. The Shriners can make a deal of noise when they get started and they were surely started on this night. "Rube" Newton joined here to do a rube clown race. He made a hit on his first appearance.
Madison, Wis., Saturday, June 28. More people from Baraboo visited to-day; in fact it seemed from the familiar faces on the lot that the entire population of the town made famous by the Ringlings, was there. Among the visitors were Mrs. Sarah Ringling, Miss Ida Ringling, Mrs. John Slater's father and mother, Mrs. Jack Carroll and Mrs. Charles Andress. Mrs. Andress announced at luncheon that she would travel with her husband for a few davs.
Minneapolis, Minn., Monday, June 30. Thanks to the efficient press work of that prince of jolliers, James Jay Brady, a turnaway resulted in Minneapolis. The afternoon house was a wonder. A long parade was a bit too much for several of the ladies and for the afternoon they were on the sick list. This is the second visit of the season to Minnesota.
St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, July 1. Although the circus moved but eight miles to reach St. Paul, big business resulted, another feather in the cap of Mr. Brady. It was whispered about in the dressing tents to-day that Mr. Brady is a hypnotist in disguise and uses newspaper men as subjects. The little press agent, however, strenuously denies the allegation and protests that he is only a plain Irishman imbued with the gift of "gab."
Sauk Center, Minn., Wednesday, July 2. Big business again. In fact the money is coming in so fast that Mr. Meagher and Mr. Buckley, who preside in the ticket wagon, aver that incessant counting is making their fingers sore. Charley Ringling suggests that they use cast iron gloves and keep on counting. The entire bunch thinks it is a mighty good thing to be with a show that is fairly coining money.
Grand Forks, N. Dak., Thursday, July 3. The first invasion of the season into the Dakotas resulted in record breaking business. Thousands swarmed into the city from adjoining towns, and restaurants and hotels were absolutely cleaned of all food. The Rev. Frank Harper Hayes, of the First Presbyterian Church, was a guest at the afternoon performance. Seven years ago the Rev. Hayes had a church at Muncie, Ind., the home of Herbert Maddy, and witnessed the circus as Mr. Maddy's guest.
Grafton, N. Dak., Friday, July 4. The glorious Fourth was celebrated in Grafton with impressive ceremonies. In the dressing tent Phil King, Steve Miaco, Mons Natalie and Camille Fortuns insisted upon reciting the Declaration of Indepndence in unison. Edward Shipp sang "Columbia" and was promptly hissed, not on account of the good old tune, but because his voice was a fright. Fire crackers were shot in abundance and everybody had a good time. But one show was given in Grafton. The cars were loaded before six o'clock and a start made for Winnipeg, in King Edward's domain.
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Saturday, July 5. On this, our first visit of the season to Canada, business was exceptionally good. Great difficulty was experienced in securing a lot large enough to hold the tents. The lot used was just a trifle small, and Happy Jack Snellen's, the boss canvasman, was forced to take one center pole out of the big top. The Lord Mayor of Winnipeg had decided that the Ringlings must pay a license of $500. Mr. Andress appeared on the scene the day before the circus arrived and succeeded in inducing the Mayor to change his mind. His Worship and members of his council were convinced that no games of chance were countenanced by the Ringlings and that the show was absolutely clean in all departments. Mons Natalie, John Berger and Camille Fortuns went fishing after the matinee and before they had finished were fished out of the water themselves. Their boat capsized. A wee pony colt was born here and named after the city.
Fargo, N. Dak., Monday, July 7. We arrived here yesterday afternoon shortly before three o'clock and were met by fully two-thirds of the population. A beautiful day and splendid streets caused a dearth of livery rigs. Business Monday was another record breaker. Both performances were greeted by enormous crowds. Fargo is noted the world over for its beautiful Shriner's Temple and its generous hearted citizens.
Ortonville, Minn., Tuesday, July 8. More business than ever here, although the town is quite small. Weather was all that could be desired and the lot was a beauty. A baby kangaroo was born here and named Minnehaha.
Aberdeen, S. Dak., Wednesday, July 9. Circus arrived late here but the parade was on before noon. Lew Graham hustled the side-show top up and was gathering in the money a half hour previous to the return of the parade. Big business at two performances marked the day. In the absence of Mr. Andress, Detective Ryan looked after the license and the city officials.
Watertown, S. Dak., Thursday, July 10. The banner single performance crowd of the season was secured here. The Ringlings advertised but one show and the big top was packed with a sweltering mass of people from end to end and side to side. The blues and the extras were quickly filled, all the reserves were sold long before the last overture by the band, and then the visitors overflowed into the hippodrome track. Twenty of Happy Jack Snellen's men were sent on the run after straw which was scattered about the track in place of seats. And still the people came until the crowd reached to the ring banks. The audience was so large that it was impossible to give the races. It is estimated that over fifteen thousand witnessed the performance. They were admirably seated, in fact they were fairly overlapped, especially in the blues. Mr. Andress is in Seattle arranging for the engagement there of the big show.
Sioux Falls, S. Dak., Friday, July 11. This is the mecca of the divorcee. They are here in large numbers from all portions of the United States, all eagerly awaiting the decree that will free them from unhappy marriages. One woman, from New York state, visited the horses' tents in the afternoon and announced that her divorce had been granted the day previous. "And I am looking for another husband," she announced. All the widowers and unmarried men about the show ran to cover at the announcement. The crowd in Sioux Falls was so dense that Mr. Otto Ringling decided that three shows should be given. This decision was revoked when it became apparent that everybody could be accommodated at two performances.
Sioux City, Iowa, Saturday, July 12. A splendid day and big business. The lot, high and dry, was situated near a good street car line and the crowd cq.me early to both performances. Many Indians attended and swapped Elks teeth for tickets of admission.
Des Moines, Iowa, Monday, July 14. The devastation wrought by recent floods to Des Moines and the surrounding country were viewed with wonder by the circus people yesterday and to-day. The lot originally contracted for was under three feet of water and the location was changed to East Des Moines. The steam roads ran hourly trains to the show and managed to care for all the people without the least bit of confusion. Devanney and Allen, who were doing clowning and concert work, closed here.
Boone, Iowa, Tuesday, July 15. The show arrived late. Mud was in evidence on all sides and the lot was a regular fright. The mud was so deep and sticky that Delavan was forced to leave the cook wagon on the street. The big top was raised on the side of a hill some distance from the menagerie and the entire layout was peculiar.
Belle Plaine, Iowa, Wednesday, July 16. Big business in this pretty little city. Many Indians, in gaily colored blankets attended. Detective Ryan arrested three pickpockets on the street and hustled them to the County jail.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Thursday, July 17. Rain — just a little of it — fell to-day, but it did not deter either the city or country people from attending both performances. The parade was frequently stopped by trains, as several railroads intersect the business portion of town. At the afternoon performance, a policeman of the Cedar Rapids force insisted in climbing into the reserved seats. He was informed that all the seats were numbered and that he must have a ticket. The officer became angry and announced that he would take a seat and remain there. Mr. Andress remonstrated with him and the burly officer struck him a powerful blow in the face. Mr. Andress was knocked down by the force of the blow and the officer drew back to repeat the offence but did not strike as Mr. Andress prepared to meet him on his own ground. Then members of the troupe came running up and and would have severely handled the man in blue had not Otto and Charley Ringling interfered. The policeman was severely scored by the Ringlings and sneaked away like a whipped cur. His act was reported to the Mayor and Chief of Police, and a week had scarcely passed before he was discharged. The Cedar Rapids newspapers, in mentioning the event, scored the policeman and absolved the circus attaches from all blame. The trouble was deplored by the Ringlings, as it was the first of the season. Dick Reno joined the show here, and at once went into the ring in white face make-up. Dick is a mighty good clown, as everybody around the "big thing" well knows.
Waterloo, Iowa, Friday, July 18. Opposition with the Wallace show here made business better than ever. Rain fell all day and it was a very bedraggled set of men, women, horses and elephants that paraded the streets. Opposition banners on all corners, on street car wires and plastered over vacant buildings gave the city an amusing appearance.
Marshalltown, Iowa, Saturday, July 19. Business was the best ever at both performances. A heavy rain at five o'clock in the afternoon made the lot a bit soft and transformed the streets into veritable torrents. The Campbell show was but eighteen miles away and was unable to exhibit on account of the rain. "Doc" Campbell and Frank Burcham visited in the evening. The Banvards, aerial artists, closed here to fill park engagements. Mons Natalie, attired in his flowing black frock, and silk hat, was the happiest man in town. He entertained his wife and pretty little daughter Sultana, who came on from Chicago.
Oskaloosa, Iowa, Monday, July 21. The show arrived shortly after dinner Sunday. A beautiful day made life pleasant for the tired troopers, who visited the various small parks. Little Miss Sultana Natalie was in tears all day on account of the loss of a beautiful gold medal, a present from the Elks' lodge at Charlestown, N. C. The Ringling Elks were royally entertained by the local lodge whose quarters were in an old church. Business at both performances Monday was good.
Creston, Iowa, Tuesday, July 22. The first small town in a week was productive of splendid business. The lot, a dry one close to the business part of the town, was crowded with country people all day. Louis Plamondon joined the show here. Plamondon signed before the season opened but was unable to work on account of an attack of pneumonia. He was given a generous welcome when he appeared in the dressing room to make-up in his familiar Chinese clothes.
Marysville, Mo., Wednesday, July 23. Business was more than satisfactory here. The parade was a long one, up hill and down. George Ganweiler, director of the big band, changed the program of the circus music here.
St. Joseph, Mo., Thursday, July 24. The show arrived early and the parade was started on time. Thousands of people lined the streets and gave the Ringlings a right royal welcome. Two big houses was one of the features of the day. Several hundred members of the Third and Fourth Missouri National Guard, in camp at Lake Contrary, near the lot. visited the night performance.
Wymore, Neb., Friday, July 25. Small town, but it was productive of excellent business. But one performance was given and all the trains were loaded and enroute before eight o'clock.
McCook, Neb., Saturday, July 26. Owing to poor railroad facilities the three trains used to transport the circus did not reach McCook until after six in the evening. Thousands of people had waited patiently all day, and many of them crowded about the private car of the Ringlings and urged that a performance be given. The trains were speedily unloaded and Happy Jack Snellen soon had the big top up. The menagerie was corraled and side walls were hung from the tops of the dens. Otto and Charles Ringling and all the members of the managerial staff worked with the canvasmen and laborers, while Professor Ganweiler made a parade with the big band, and Lew Graham announced that the doors would be opened at ten o'clock. Everything was in readiness by that time and the show played to capacity business.
Denver, Col., Monday, July 28. The third section did not reach Denver until after six o'clock last evening. Everybody disembarked in a hurry and took carriages and street cars to one of the prominent churches where Miss Lola Milton, of the Four Miltons, and Mark Kirkendall, a popular reserved seat ticket seller, were married. It was the first circus wedding of the present season, and presents and congratulations were poured in upon the happy couple until they were almost swamped. During the evening, Mr. and Mrs. Kirkendall received friends at the Windsor Hotel. They were assisted in receiving by Miss Edith Ty Bell, who was the bridesmaid of honor, and by Mr. and Mrs. Gus Milton, parents of Mrs. Kirkendall. The latter is known to the show folks as the "Gibson Girl of the Circus," and was very sweet and pretty in a white silk gown. Business Monday was splendid.
Denver, Col., Tuesday, July 29. The second day's business in Denver was a record breaker, although the sun beat down in all its fury and the lot was dry and dusty. Otto Floto, proprietor of the Floto dog and pony show, was a constant visitor during the two days. Detective Ryan entertained James McParland, assistant general superintendent of the middle division of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, who became famous during the Mollie McGuire troubles in Pennsylvania. Mr. Ryan called on Captain Mahady, a former Pinkerton operative, who is ill unto death with consumption and blood poisoning.
Colorado Springs, Col., Wednesday, July 30. The garden spot of the West was reached to-day and Mr. Al Ringling experienced considerable trouble in keeping the performers from straying away from the show and visiting the numerous points of interest. Immediately after the matinee hundreds of the show folks made a flying trip to the top of Pike's Peak on the famous cog railway. Mr. and Mrs. James Jay Brady were in at the night performance after a trip to the Peak and to the Garden of the Gods. Mrs. Meagher is on from Chicago to visit her busy husband. During the day they entertained George Andrews, city passenger agent of the Rock Island, and Thomas Noonan, treasurer of the Illinois Theatre. Both gentlemen hail from Chicago. They were shown the entire works. Herbert Maddy of the press staff had as guests Mr. and Mrs. "Manny" Barnes, Mr. and Mrs. John Kirby, Mrs. Robert Widdecombe and Mr. Julius Kirby, all of Colorado Springs.
Pueblo, Col., Thursday, July 31. Pueblo is a hot, dry town, and the sun tried its best to down the troopers. The lot was dirty and sandy. Business was away above the average. Edward Jenkins drove stage in this portion of the country before he entered the circus business, and received calls from a number of old friends.
Florence, Col., Friday, August 1. But one performance was given here. Water was scarce and ice was secured only at a premium. The lot was a hot, dry desert and many of the troopers suffered severely from the heat. Mr. Al Ringling and "Butch" Parsons drove forty miles on a fishing expedition, and did not find enough water to allay the thirst of their horses. The thermometer registered 110 degrees at noon in the shade of the big top. The three trains were loaded and enroute to Leadville before eight o'clock, and the wagons on the flats were fairly covered with men, women and children, all anxious to catch a glimpse of the beauties of the Royal Gorge, the magnificent creation of nature through which the Denver & Rio Grande railway winds its devious way. The gorge was passed before midnight and the wonderful scenery was plainly discernable by the bright light of a full moon.
Leadville, Col., Saturday, August 2. The lot here was covered with stones and a hundred employees were kept busy for an hour clearing them away. The weather at night was decidedly cool and overcoats were in demand. A slight rain fell during the afternoon. Major Soopromani, the wonderful Singalese pigmy, one of the features of the side-show, received a visit from his cousin who is employed as an interpreter in a mining corporation.
Mt. Pleasant, Utah, Monday, August 4. The run from Leadville to Mt. Pleasant was one of the longest of the season and the three sections did not reach this city until Monday morning at eight o'clock. The trains were kept moving steadily all day Sunday with the exception of two hours. This stop was made for the purpose of feeding and watering the horses and animals. Col. Delavan and Bob Meek took their stock from the cars for an exercise gallop. One horse, a valuable gray, died of influenza during the trip. He was kept alive for ten hours by frequent doses of whisky. Superintendent McCurran of the menagerie rode the entire distance on the cage train in order to keep a personal watch on the animals, and would have gone hungry had it not been for the kindness of Lew Graham, Kerry Meagher and Detective Ryan, who sent him a half chicken, two boxes of sardines, a bottle of pickles and a loaf of bread. McCurran divided this lunch with "Jim," the talking monkey. Business here was good. Many Mormons, accompanied by huge families of children, attended both performances.
Provo, Utah, Tuesday, August 5. The lot here was a good one with plenty of grass. It was surrounded by an immense irrigation ditch that furnished plenty of good, cold water for both horses and men. Members of the Puff Club held a business meeting, and finished with a water carnival, during which several unruly Puffs were ducked.
Salt Lake City, Utah, Wednesday, August 6. Splendid business here. The lot was grassy and in good condition. Major Burke of the Buffalo Bill show, and Lou Houseman, sporting editor of the Chicago Tribune, visited and met old friends. During the afternoon George Hartzell received a cute little clown hat, in the Elks colors of purple and white. The hat was donated by fourteen handsome young ladies employed in the millinery department of the Baker Dry Goods Company. After the night show many of the performers visited the famous warm springs bath and did high dives and flip-flaps for the edification of a number of Salt Lake citizens.
Ogden, Utah, Thursday, August 7. The lot here was almost in the center of the city and business was a record breaker. At the matinee performance one of the natives started trouble and was promptly hustled out by the hack door men. At nine in the evening a lone desperado entered a gambling house near the Union Pacific depot, and at the point of a revolver made seven gamblers and the proprietor hand over their money. At the time nearly every policeman and sheriff in the city were occupying reserved seats in the circus.
Logan, Utah, Friday, August 8. This stand marks the last in the Mormon state. One performance was given to good business.
Idaho Falls, Idaho, Saturday, August 9. One performance here to capacity on a lot near the river. Lava beds on all sides were an attraction and hundreds of souvenirs were secured. Dust was in evidence everywhere and troopers in black clothes bore the appearance of millers.
Boise City, Idaho, Monday, August 11. The show arrived at three o'clock Sunday afternoon and all the tents were up and the stock and animals housed before dark. Almost the entire personnel of actors visited the big Boise swimming bath. Reports of immense gold findings in the Thunder Mountain district are rife. John Agie entertained his father and sister Monday. James Rutherford met Mark Sheller, an old friend, and talked over boyhood escapades. Business was good. A distinguished visitor at the matinee was "Coyote Bill," one of Idaho's most noted rough riders. John B. Price, a hostler, fell from the cars on the run into Boise City and broke his back and neck. The accident occurred near Pocatello and the body was taken there and placed in the hands of an undertaker. Inquiries by the railroad company failed to locate the relatives of the deceased, and in consequence Ringling Brothers wired the superintendent of the Oregon Short Line to arrange for the funeral. The Ringlings paid all expenses.
Weiser, Idaho, Tuesday, August 12. But one performance was given here. Business was good. Nothing of unusual interest occurred. The trains were loaded and enroute to Baker City before night.
Baker City, Ore., Wednesday, August 13. The show arrived before six o'clock and was put up on a good lot close to the business part of town. Thousands of people witnessed the two performances. The mining camps in the vicinity of Baker City were closed for the day and everybody came to the circus. Charley Carroll received a postal announcing that his baby girl Helen Mathewson Carroll had cut her first tooth.
La Grande, Ore., Thursday, August 14. The tents were pitched on the peak of a hill overlooking the city. Rain fell during the matinee. The afternoon concrt was large and extra ticket takers were pressed into service.
Walla Walla, Wash., Friday, August 15. Big business, splendid weather and courteous treatment on the part of newspapers and public made this day one that will long be remembered. Frank Milton endeavored to visit the penitentiary, and was advised by a guard with a gun to go the other way. He went. Phil King, Jules Turnour and John Slater mourn the loss of their pig actor, "Little Rooty." The latter fell from his stateroom in one of the wagons and broke his neck. "Rooty" was a rising young animal actor and the boys were greatly attached to him.
North Yakima, Wash., Saturday, August 16. Big business here. Good lot and fine weather. Al Miaco surprised his dressing room friends by making a thorough search of the city for souvenir tin cups. A collection of this kind is one of Mr. Miaco's fads.
Tacoma, Wash., Sunday, August 17. The first serious wreck of the season occurred at Tacoma at five o'clock in the afternoon while the show was enroute to Portland for a two days' stand. The third section was moving slowly out of the city on the Northern Pacific, when two elephant cars and one flat car left the track and piled up in a ditch filled with several feet of water. Pearl Souders, superintendent of elephants, and Charles McCurren, superintendent of the menagerie, were in their stateroom in one of the cars entertaining Mons Natalie, Pere Fortuns, Phil King, Will Howard and several others of the troupe, when the wreck occurred. McCurren was seated nearest the door, and as the car careened he made a jump for the ground. A broken brake beam struck him on the left leg, breaking the ankle. C. A. Weams, an elephant man, had a shoulder dislocated, and Martin Smith, another elephant man, received numerous severe bruises. Souders suffered a scalp wound, Howard was cut in the back, and the other members of the party were more or less bruised. McCurren, Weams and Smith were removed to a hospital and given immediate attention. Souders refused to have his injury attended to until satisfied that his elephants were not injured. All but one were taken from the wreckage without trouble. The one exception was Fanny, the oldest beast in the herd, who was thrust through the top of one of the cars into the ditch. She landed under a small bridge and could not regain her feet. Souder dosed her with whisky, and after placing chains around her neck used two other elephants to pull her to terra firma.
Portland, Ore., Monday, August 18. Owing to the wreck at Tacoma the third train was delayed in reaching this hustling Western city. Furniture cars were substituted for the elephant vans. The first day's business was a record breaker for Portland. Albert Crandall, the burlesque mule rider, and Miss Lizzie Leon, of the Leon Sisters, acrobats, were married here. None of their friends knew that the event was to occur.
Portland, Ore., Tuesday, August 19. Business was up to the top notch again to-day. A turnaway at night made everybody feel good. "Rube" Newton had a spill during his race and was sent to the Pullman sleeper, "Baltimore," with a badly sprained ankle.
Centralia, Wash., Wednesday, August 20. One show was given here to good business. The Western climate seems to be bracing on both troopers and stock and there is but little sickness.
Everett, Wash., Thursday, August 21. This is the city James J. Hill, President of the Great Northern Railway, intends to bring before the United States as the best place in the West. Business was decidedly good on a lot just three blocks from the main business street. John Mercer and Camille Fortuns missed the third section when it pulled out for Whatcom and followed on a passenger train.
Whatcom, Wash., Friday, August 22. Big business and nice weather. Thousands of people lined the streets at parade time. Richards and Pringles minstrels played opposition to poor business. Mons Natalie had dinner with the minstrel folks in their private car.
Vancouver, British Columbia, Saturday, August 23. The second invasion of the Ringlings into British territory was a very successful one. Both matinee and night houses were what Mr. Meagher calls "Big capacity." The lot, right in the center of the city, was too small for all the tents. The wardrobe wagons were left in the street and the baggage and ring stock were "tied out" along all the available fences in the neighborhood.
Seattle, Wash., Monday, August 25. The run Sunday into Seattle was a long and tiresome one with a tedious wait at the boundary line, where customs officials inspected the trains. Seattle was reached late in the afternoon, and the majority of the show folks, glad of a chance to stretch their cramped legs, left the cars and took quarters at hotels. It. being Elks carnival week, the city was filled with visitors, and business was phenomenal. Two turnaways marked the first day. Capacity was sold for the evening performance at four in the afternoon, and all the money was taken in at the down town sale, presided over by Albert Witsenhausen.
Seattle, Wash., Tuesday, August 26. More business than ever to-day. Hundreds were turned away at night. The Austin Sisters, playing at the Carnival, visited their many friends in the dressing rooms. Ten riders, acrobats and clowns were initiated into the mysteries of the lodge of Eagles.
Tacoma, Wash., Wednesday, August 27. The lot to-day was near the scene of last week's disastrous wreck. Both officials and employees visited the hospital where McCurren, Weams and Smith were nursing their injuries, and bade them be of good cheer. Rain fell during the day but it did not prevent crowds flocking to the big top.
Ellensburg, Wash., Thursday, August 28. Just one show was given to-day to immense business. Dust is too plentiful for comfort. Small town this, but it is a hustler.
Ritzville, Wash., Friday, August 29. Another small town and plenty of dust. Charles Carroll received a second postal stating that baby Helen possessed four teeth in place of one. Carroll wired the little one: "Get five more teeth and you shall have a new rubber rattle."
Spokane, Wash., Saturday, August 30. Big business in Spokane. Hundreds of people tell the ticket takers that they traveled for miles and miles to see the show. The kodak fiends with the circus were out in force taking shots at the Falls. Mrs. Schadle is ill with fever and was removed from the cars to a hospital for treatment. Mr. Schadle wanted to remain with her, but was told by the doctors that he would be of no assistance. He left with the show after arranging that his wife's condition be communicated to him each day by telegraph. W. L. Maiden, a musician with the big band, closed in Spokane.
Missoula, Mont., Monday, September 1. The three trains did not reach Missoula until early Monday morning. Sunday and Sunday night were spent on the road. It was a hot, dusty ride. One show only was given. John O'Brien, a former member of "Happy Jack's" force, visited the bosses. O'Brien now has a lucrative position with a big lumber company and is prosperous.
Great Falls, Mont., Tuesday, September 2. The managerial staff will never forget the visit to Great Falls. The immense business was of minor importance to the highly successful efforts of Philip Gibson, the prince of good fellows, to entertain everybody connected with the show. The unanimous opinion of Treasurer Meagher, Detective Ryan, Charles Andress, Lew Graham, Geo. Heiser, George Hartzell and Herbert Maddy is that Gibson is the best fellow that ever lived. His father is a United States Senator from Montana, and he — well, Phil is one in a million and his natural bent is to make everybody happy. In his hotel, the Park, are a number of rare paintings executed by Charley Russell, the famous cowboy artist, and had the show folks asked for these treasures Gibson would have taken them down from the wall with a smile and handed them over. If the circus ever returns to Great Falls there will be a plate in the dining tent for Gibson, and amid flowers an inscription will read: "We have traveled far and wide and met many people, but this Chesterfieldian boniface from Montana is the best ever." Russell, the cowboy artist, was an interested visitor at both performances and presented several of the boys with bundles of his pen and ink sketches. The circus trains pulled out of Great Falls shortly after midnight, thanks to the energy of Superintendent Brown of the Montana Central, and as a result twenty actors were left behind. Charles F. Byrnes, a former Pinkerton operative, who now lives in Montana, was a guest during the day of Detective Ryan. The two sleuths worked together on many an important case in the vears gone by.
Helena, Mont., Wednesday, September 3. The show arrived early from Great Falls and as the lot was only a few blocks from the runs, all the paraphrenalia was quickly conveyed there. At ten o'clock, when Assistant Equestrian Director Edward Shipp surveyed his parade people, he noted the fact that fully twenty were missing. "Where are they?" he asked, in tones that boded ill for the culprits. "Guess they are walkin' from Great Falls; they didn't come over on the circus trains," responded an elephant man who had gained a foothold on the last section just as it was pulling out. Some lively work followed. Mr. Shipp mustered all the available property men, hostlers and cook house employees, put them into uniforms and started the parade. The calliope was returning to the grounds when the missing ones came into the city on a freight train. Business in Helena was good at both performances.
Butte, Mont., Thursday, September 4. This day in Butte will be remembered for two things — capacity business and a sand storm, accompanied by wind, that tried to the limit every horse and man about the show. The tents were pitched in a hollow at the foot of the hills from which millions of dollars worth of copper have been taken. The wind was blowing a perfect gale at the time and was whirling the sand along like wildfire. Small particles of dirt and stone were dashed into the eyes and faces of the workingmen and many of them were almost blinded, but like true soldiers they stayed at their posts and soon had the tents erected. The fact that the tents were actually raised and then stayed there in the face of such a gale, reflects great credit upon the master of canvas, "Happy Jack" Snellen, his able lieutenants, and his corps of men. One could scarcely see ten feet from the front doors at one o'clock, yet an enormous crowd was in waiting long before the chains were taken away. Great difficulty was experienced by Henry Ringling's little army of ticket takers, as their eyes were filled with dirt and dust and at times it was impossible for them to see the people. All the available men assisted at the door and the crowd was soon handled. When the circus commenced, swirling dust was so thick in the big top that all the chandeliers were lighted and even the persons on the seats could scarce discern the actors. The storm continued all day and late into the night, and everybody, from the Ringlings to the smallest pony boy, was glad when Butte was left in the distance.
Bozeman, Mont., Friday, September 5. The lot here was close to the cars; in fact the haul was but a few yards over a block. One show was given to a packed tent, and at seven o'clock the first train pulled out for Billings.
Billings, Mont., Saturday, September 6. One show in Billings netted a profit that was really encouraging, and before dark the show was headed for Alliance, Neb., almost six hundred miles away. In Billings, Indians were numerous, and from them Albert Witzenhausen, George Hartzell and others purchased numerous Elk teeth. There is a story afloat to the effect that a shrewd old Indian sold Witzenhausen two imitation teeth for real ones, and that the ticket seller still believes he secured the best of the bargain.
Alliance, Neb., Monday, September 8. The show arrived early Monday morning with a very tired lot of men, women and horses. Once on the lot the troopers were informed that but one show would be given, and then three cheers were given with hearty good will. Albert Yerkewitz, the giraffe keeper, called at the ticket wagon, and with tears streaming down his face, informed the proprietors that Prince, his favorite dog and the constant companion of the giraffe, had fallen from the cars. Prince dropped off twenty miles out of Alliance, near a small station, while endeavoring to leap from the car into the giraffe's cage. Telegrams were at once sent to the railroad agent and a reward offered for the discovery and return of the canine.
Broken Bow, Neb., Tuesday, September 9. Two shows were given here to good business. Although the show arrived late the parade and afternoon performance were completed before six o'clock. Detective Ryan arrested two pickpockets and turned them over to the local police.
Grand Island, Neb., Wednesday, September 10. For the first time in many weeks the lot was grassy and in some parts well shaded. Steward Webb erected his dining tents under spreading oaks and served an extra good meal in honor of the surroundings. Business was good both afternoon and. evening. During the matinee. Superintendent McCurren of the menagerie, who had just joined the show after a siege in the Tacoma hospital nursing his broken ankle, the result of the elephant car wreck, struck an intoxicated individual who kicked "Skinks," McCurran's favorite monkey. "Skinks" was being dressed for his ride in the hippodrome races when the man lurched up and gave him a vicious thrust, with his foot. The monkey screamed with pain and an instant later the human brute was stretched on the grass by a well-directed blow from McCurran's crutch. As soon as he recovered, the Grand Island man insisted that McCurran be placed under arrest, but Detective Ryan, with all craftiness, solemnly informed the chief of police that the monkey had died from the effects of the kick, and to prove his assertion exhibited the body of a monk who had succumbed to a cold earlier in the day. This shrewd move saved McCurran from a trip to police court, as the chief announced that the intoxicated individual had not received half the beating he deserved, and promptly locked him up.
Hastings, Neb., Thursday, September 11. The old soldiers were in evidence here, as the circus exhibited on the Fair Grounds where the State Grand Army Encampment was on. Thousands of people attended the two performances. Proprietors and freaks from many of the little shows on the Encampment grounds visited at night.
Holdrege, Neb., Friday, September 12. A little town but big business. Nothing of importance transpired here among the employees, but one woman, a Mrs. Glenn, residing in Oxford, Neb., will always remember a slight favor extended her by the Ringlings. Mrs. Glenn with two children secured a place on the blue seats, and being lame slipped and fell. She dropped her pocket-book containing two return tickets to Oxford and a fifty cent piece, and a strange countryman grasped the receptacle and hurried away. The affair was reported to Mr. Otto Ringling, who purchased tickets to York for Mrs. Glenn and sent her on her way rejoicing.
York, Neb., Saturday, September 13. Big business characterized the business of the circus to this village. Strangers who flocked into the city nearly doubled the population for the day. Colonel Delavan purchased a pair of standard bred bay horses for the chariot race, and Dr. Arthur Gollmar rejoined after a visit with his wife in Chicago.
Omaha, Neb., Monday, September 15. The Omaha performance resulted in splendid business. Mrs. Sarah Ringling, Mr. and Mrs. Alf T. Ringling and son, and Mrs. Herbert Maddy came on to the show here. The show arrived before noon Sunday, and during the afternoon enormous crowds thronged the lot and grew enthusiastic over the horses. James Jay Brady, special press agent ahead of the circus, closed a very successful season here to go ahead of Klaw and Erlanger's "Ben Hur" production. Mr. Brady was loath to leave and the Ringlings were very sorry to see him go. Mrs. Brady was with him in Omaha, and in their honor Mrs. Alf Ringling gave a dinner Sunday evening in the dining car "Washington." Sunday evening telegrams to Mr. Al Ringling and to Frank Schadle brought the painful tidings of the death of Mrs. Schadle in Spokane where she had been ill since the circus exhibited there. Men and women from every department of the show who knew Mrs. Schadle and admired her for her many rare qualities, were astounded at the news, and hastened to extend sympathy to the grief-stricken husband. Ringling Brothers at once assumed charge of all arrangements for the funeral, and at the request of Mr. Schadle wired instructions to a Spokane undertaker to embalm the body and express it to Baraboo, the winter quarters of the circus. Mr. Schadle left at once for Baraboo to attend the funeral and to break the sad news to his six years old daughter. Mrs. Schadle was a finished bareback rider and an adept trapeze balancer.
Nebraska City, Neb., Tuesday, September 16. Big business here on a lot that created no end of merriment among both performers and laborers. The dressing tent was erected over a railroad track and the menagerie top over a switch house.
Atchison, Kan., Wednesday, September 17. And it rained in Atchison on circus day, but the people paid admissions nevertheless. The lot was three miles from the city, and for the accommodation of the visitors and city folks the Missouri Pacific railroad operated special trains to and from their Atchison depot. This city is the home of Howe, the talented editor of the Atchison Globe.
Lexington, Mo., Thursday, September 18. Business was big again and it really seems that no other show in the world is making as much money as is this one. A slight wreck caused by two of the flat cars leaving the track, delayed the first section just as it was under way at night. The wagons on the flats, including two loaded with cook tent, utensils and the big blacksmith van, were tumbled into the ditch and damaged considerably. Two massive chariots were ground into kindling wood.
Marshall, Mo., Friday, September 19. Breakfast was late on account of the Lexington wreck, but the workingmen did not protest and everyone assisted Steward Webb in placing his department in working order. The show arrived after the noon hour and in consequence only a band wagon parade was given.
Jefferson City, Mo., Saturday, September 20. A rock-strewn, hilly lot, long haul from the runs and the late arrival of the circus trains prevented the front doors being opened until shortly before five o'clock. A continuous performance was given, as the night show was started a few minutes after the matinee concert.
Kansas City, Mo., Monday, September 22. The show arrived at four o'clock yesterday afternoon, and the haul from the runs at the foot of Grand avenue to the lot at Fifteenth and Kansas avenue, was almost three miles. The lot was soft and mushy from recent rains and the big stake and chain wagons quickly dropped to the hubs in the mire. On several of the wagons twenty-four horses were used and by nightfall the baggage stock was completely tired out. Monday's parade was given in the rain and the lot at noon was a veritable sea of mud. Hundreds of bales of straw were scattered about in order to make the interior of the menagerie and big tops presentable. Big business, rains and oceans of mud were features of the day. Frank Gentry, of the Gentry shows, and W. H. Rice, carnival promoter for the Bostock-Ferrari shows, were evening visitors.
Topeka, Kan., Tuesday, September 23. Owing to the mud in Kansas City the show was not loaded until after five o'clock in the morning, and the first train did not arrive here until almost noon. The parade was sent out at 2:30 and the matinee was started at 4. Topeka is the home of Plamondon and Amondo, and their parents, brothers and friends gave them a right royal welcome. Mrs. Plamondon, the good mother of the boys, "fried several dozen chickens, and these, with other "fixins", were served to all the performers who called at the house. Louis Plamondon and "Judy" Amondo met many old friends here.
Iola, Kan., Wednesday, September 24. Small town, bad lot, mud everywhere, band wagon parade and enormous business. Stetson's U. T. C. played opposition.
Coffeyville, Kan., Thursday, September 25. A late arrival and a soft lot prevented a parade. The big band was sent for a whirl about the town and the crowds came just the same. Coffeyville is famous from the fact that the Dalton gang was shot to death while endeavoring to rob the two banks ten years ago. One of the men who is said to have killed two of the gang in the running fight that occurred on the eventful day, furnished the show with hay and oats. It was reported that Mrs. Dalton, the mother of the desperadoes, was a visitor at the matinee performance.
Pittsburg, Kan., Friday, September 26. Big business at the afternoon performance. Angry looking clouds gathered in the west just as the concert was concluded and the audience was advised to hurry from the tents. A few minutes later a wind and rain storm swept over the city and drenched everyone who failed to find shelter. The rain ceased a few minutes before the doors were opened for the night show. Cass and Al Cleveland were visited by their parents.
Joplin, Mo., Saturday, September 27. An early arrival, swell lot in a ball park near the center of the city and the runs, and a bright, warm day put everyone in rare good humor. Two big houses and an early departure at night added to this humor.
Springfield, Mo., Monday, September 29. The show arrived before noon, and the menagerie, big top and cook house were erected on a good enclosed lot on a double track car line. Hundreds of Springfield residents visited Sunday afternoon. The matinee house was big with fair business at night. A heavy rain commenced falling at six o'clock and continued until long after midnight. A feature of the Springfield visit was the favors extended the proprietors by Colonel Emmett Newton, a prominent Missouri politician and a member of Governor Dockery's staff. Colonel Newton did everything in his power to erase the wrinkles that oftimes mar circus life and was so successful that his kindness will never be forgotten. He will always be welcome to the "World's Greatest Shows."
Fayetteville, Ark., Tuesday, September 30. Small town but big business. The show arrived late and the numerous "snack" stands near the lot were speedily cleaned out by hungry troopers who could not spare the time for luncheon in the cook tents.
Ft. Smith, Ark., Wednesday, October 1. Show arrived here on time. Lot within sight of the U. S. territory prison, where so many legal dramas of pioneer days have been enacted. Fine weather and enormous crowds. Mr. Al. Ringling returns to show after a month's fishing trip in Wisconsin.
Russellville, Ark., Thursday, October 2. Small town, but crowds in from 100 miles away. One show only here on account of anticipated slow run, the railroad tracks between here and Little Rock being soft and uneven from recent heavy rains.
Little Rock, Ark. Friday, October 3. Mr. Maddy writes a glowing description of the parade for the evening paper. Paper goes to press early. In the meantime a heavy rainstorm comes upon the scene and enforces the abandonment of the parade. The evening paper's morning contemporary makes a big joke of the affair. Big business.
Pine Bluff, Ark., Saturday, October 4. More rain. Still they come. Big tent just big enough to hold them all.
Shreveport, La., Monday, October 6. Long Sunday run and finally landed on the opposite side of the Red River. It took several hours to transfer the trains to the Shreveport side. The bridge which spans the river here has a toll house for pedestrians and the toll collector was kept busy explaining to the show folks his duties. They couldn't understand why it was five cents for a walk and nothing for a ride. Enormous business here both afternoon and night.
Texarkana, Ark., Tuesday, October 7. Fine day but lot soft from recent rains. Town filled with both Texans and Arkansans, and they crowd the big top so that you can't tell wh ch from tother.
Tyler, Texas, Wednesday, October 8. This is the first stand of the season in good old Texas, and from to-day's indications it will be the same big business as in the past.
Corsicana, Texas, Thursday, October 9. Fine Texas weather, fine lot, fine business, and all Corsicanans say a fine show.
Waco, Texas, Friday, October 10. Delavan had to put on an extra team on the ticket wagon at night on account of the weight of the silver that went into it here.
Dublin, Texas, Saturday, October 11. This is not Ireland any more than Paris, Mo., is France. But it is a warm Texas sou'wester. Every wagon shed of this little city is filled and overflowing with teams and saddle horses. They have been arriving since the middle of the week and it looks as if they had all come. At night there is a slight misunderstanding between the ticket takers and some visitors who insist on going in without the customary ticket or equivalent. Ryan tries to explain and one of his audience attempts to make a sharp answer with a long and vicious looking knife. But Ryan's cane is longer and quicker and speaks very promptly with conviction closing its punctuation marks.
Ft. Worth, Texas, Monday, October 13. It tried to rain here on Sunday, but the Ringlings had already arrived in town and the elements were thwarted in their design, again proving that "it never rains on the Ringlings," providing they wear rubber clothing and carry large umbrellas. Monday was a beautiful day and former Ft. Worth records of the Ringling Brothers were smashed to smithereens. The whole country was in town and the town and country both at the circus.
Ardmore, Ind. Ter., Tuesday, October 14. Andress tries some snap shots on the Indians. One big buck demands to know "why you aim that boom dum at me." Mr. Andress in facile words explains that he was just taking the buck's picture. "Uh! you take picture? Let me see picture." There was blood in the big "injun's" eye, and Charlie had quite a time in maintaining his hold on his camera, for the redskin was determined to see the picture he had taken. Finally a shining piece of silver eased the indignation of the territorial giant.
Gainesville, Texas, Wednesday, October 15. Big cotton gins and compress works here. Here also is distilled the pure oil of the olive from the cotton seed. Big business, fine lot.
Cleburne, Texas, Thursday, October 16. Texas weather seems to agree with the show folks. Dr. Gollmar's entire hospital list to-day consisted of a gumboil and two headaches. Business big.
Weatherford, Texas, Friday, October 17. Same old story, packed and jammed from the tops of the 22-tier seats to the straw that had to be carried in for the late comers. One little road 25 miles long brought in 1,144 people on two trains.
Denton, Texas, Saturday, October 18. Fine lot, nice day, typical Texas crowds. An aged negro stood in the crowd watching and wondering at the sights of the parade. "Dey's nuffin lef in de mountains," said he; "dey's got em all." Just then John Carroll, spick and span, looking straight ahead with his fine tandem blacks, rounded the corner. "And fo' Lawd." continued the old man, "dah's de preacher."
Dallas, Texas, Monday, October 20. This was Dallas' big day. Admiral Schley and the circus were both here. Each was pleased with the other, and the population of Dallas and its surroundings were eager for both. Patriotism ran high and the circus overflowed. Thousands were turned away at each performance.
Terrell, Texas, Tuesday, October 21. And still the good works keeps on. To-day's crowds were immense. The day was fine. A nice lot.
Greenville, Texas, Wednesday, October 22. This was an opposition stand, so called, but the only opposition encountered to-day was in trying to make seats for 16,000 people hold 18,000!
Paris, Texas, Thursday, October 23. Fine lot, surrounded by big forest. Nice day. Big business.
Clarksville, Texas, Friday, Octobre 24. Same old story.
Bonham, Texas, Saturday, October 25. This is a fine town. The "Puff Club" held an informal meeting here to devise means for coming together during the winter months.
Sherman, Texas, Monday, October 27.
McKinney, Texas, Tuesday, October 28.
Waxahachie, Texas, Wednesday, October 29.
Hillsboro, Texas, Thursday, October 30.
Temple, Texas, Friday, October 31.
Taylor, Texas, Saturday, November 1.
San Antonio, Texas, Monday, November 3.
Austin, Texas, Tuesday, November 4.
Brenham, Texas, Wednesday, November 5.
Houston, Texas, Thursday, November 6.
Beaumont, Texas, Friday, November 7.
Lake Charles, La., Saturday, November 8.
Crowley, La., Monday, November 10.
New Iberia, La., Tuesday, November 11.
Opelousas, La., Wednesday, November 12.
Alexandria, La., Thursday, November 13.
Monroe, La., Friday, November 14.
Monticello, Ark., close Saturday, November 15.
CHS webmaster J. Griffin, last modified April 2008.