Monday, February 27, 2006

Al G. Kelly & Miller Bros. Circus 1949

This is the 1949 elephant herd "Margaret", "Tena", "Elsie", "Jess", "Daisy", "Vic", "Dixie", "Myrtle", "Jenny", "Kay" and "Barbara". Capt. Jack Lorenzo at left also Robert (Peanut-nose) Schoen and John Carroll. These are the first punks the Millers ever bought and were named after Kelly and D.R.'s mother (Jenny) and daughters (Karen Kay and Barbara Jane) at this point they were still untrained.

Late in the season my father was brought in to train these new elephants with the intention of framing a cat act for for Capt. Jack which he couldn't manage to pull off. Maybe the rank had something to do with it so Col.William Woodcock took over and trained a total of eight baby elephants the following winter "Jenny", "Kay", "Barbara", "Hattie" (named for their first elephant), "Anna May", "Norma", "Hazel", and "Sally". By 1951 the show carried 17 elephants the largest number to travel with a mud show up until that time.


Anonymous said...

Seems like John Carrol was around forever. I will never forget the first time I saw him. I don't think I ever heard a word out of his mouth. On winter dates you would never have reconized him. He really was quite handsome all cleaned up and new clothers. When I worked with him on my first winter date with the elephants he came dressed all in black. Very nice.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention John Carrol talked to the elephants before it became elephant whisperer as was the fashion a couple of years ago. He and "TENA" had some lively conversations.

Anonymous said...


Feb.2.1882 Barnum&London's "Queen"gives birth to Baby Bridgeport

Norris &Rowe circus largest elephant "Fargo", is strangled by two horses in Evansville Indiana due to the fact it became unmanagable from intense pain as a result from suffering years from rhuematism

Gyp(92 years old)dies at Barrett Bros. winter quarters in York South Carolina.

Rochester Indiana.
Cole Bros. circus elephant'Major" shot at winter quarters.

Buffalo's zoo's Big Frank euthanized.Once at been a drawing card at 1901 Buffalo New York
Pan -American Expo.

Cole Bros. elephant "George",dies at winter quarters in Kentucky.

"Ding" and "Katie" die in fire
at Cole Bros.winter quarters Rochester Indiana.(valued at 2,000 dollars each)

P.S Some of these dates are from newspaper accounts,so they my have occured a day or two earlier.

Anonymous said...

February was a bad month for a few elephants. Six in 30 years is not a bad record.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if Dixie in the 49 herd is the same Dixie that Herb Walters owned in the 60's.
Bobby Fairchild

Buckles said...

No, that elephant came from a guy named Sport Matthews who owned a Shopping Center Unit.
Herb got her during the winter of 1963-64, my dad had just died, the K-M Quarters was closed since McMahon had taken the show down to Ocean Springs.
Bob Cowls let me camp with our elephants at his place and one day Herb came out saying Charlie Rex was away and Dixie was tearing his place up. I went out and warmed her up a bit, she was only half grown.
She died in 1973 after the Silverlakes owned the show.

Anonymous said...

Ok thanks,I do remember Dixie being small in stature, but tough.
The Silverlake's bought Clark&Walters from Herb in 1967 for ten thousand dollars, and got three elephants along with it!!! Jess, Dixie, and Norma Jean, Norma did the drunk act.

Did you or your dad know Russell Hall? my dad had his arcade with the Skerbeck's Carnival in the late 40's and Russell was there with his one man trained animal show, I remember lots of crazy stories my dad told about him, must have been a real character!
Bobby Fairchild