John Wilson (1829-August 4, 1885) Native of Scotland.
1859: bought the Sands, Nathan & Quick elephants, Victoria and Albert, for $22,000; which were shipped west in the charge of Dr. Charles Bassett, as agent for the owners; the elephants were the first to be exhibited on the West Coast and, as such, created quite a sensation. With the help of William Hendrickson, bought show equipment for $20,000 and put out a circus featuring the elephants; and the Grand Circus and Elephant Exhibition, Wilson & Co., owners, opened at Jackson and Kearney Streets, June 1, 1859. Converted Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, into a hippodrome.
1860: company was advertised as John Wilson’s “Dan Rice’s” Great Show.
1885: He died in Hamburg, Germany, from dropsy and cancer of the liver, during the time his circus was traveling in that country.