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born 2023-09-04 at
died 2023-09-08 at
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relocated 2023-09-13 to
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Forepaugh-Sells Show in United States
Adam Forepaugh & Sells Bros. Shows United
Peter Sells Jr.
James A. Bailey
W. W. Cole
, was founded in 1896. Forepaugh-Sells Show closed down in 1911.
Comments / pictures
, owner of the Barnum & Bailey Show, and also owner of the
Adam Forepaugh show
, entered into partnership with the Sells Brothers, (Ephraim, Lewis and
) who owned the
Sells Brothers show
. They formed the
& Sells Brothers Great Consolidated Shows.
and Sells Bros. Circus. In 1898
, the eldest of the three brothers, died and W.W. Cole (a part owner of the Barnum and Bailey Circus) became the new fourth partner in the show. This partnership lasted until 1904 when
W. W. Cole
sold their interest to
1900: the big male "Sid" killed Elephant Supt.
in Madison Sq. Garden.
1902: Forepaugh-Sells show carried two African elephants, a male and a female. (Mike and Topsy).
Records about Forepaugh-Sells
Show from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at
1904: This is a better look at "
" and "
" in a corral menagerie. You can see the martingale on his
and the network of hobbles and cross hobbles.The leather straps are unique. He was probably
at this time and no doubt a real hand full.
John Patterson was in charge of the elephants by then and when this show was taken off the road after the 1907 season the Ringlings appointed him Menagerie Supt. with Barnum & Bailey and he held that post with RBBB thru 1925.
His last job with these two elephants was to deliver them to the B&B quarters in Bridgeport where the Ringlings planned to feature him in 1908 but unfortunately shortly after arrival a flash fire in the bull car took his life however the other elephants escaped injury.
It is reported that just prior to this Tammen and Bonfils (Sells-Floto Circus) had offered $10,000 for him.
William "Buckles" Woodcock
Early parade photo of the 4 Paw-Sells Bros Circus marching down the streets of Cheboygan Michigan on the morning of July 29th 1905
1905: 13 elephants. Bailey, by then the sole proprietor of the circus, set up an auction of the show’s equipment but ended up purchasing everything back and sold half of the interest to the Ringling Brothers.
Ringling’s acquired complete ownership of the show from Bailey’s widow.
1907: Here is a photo of the 4 Paw Sells Show on Sparks St in Ottawa Canada on June 29th 1907 with the elephant crew in their white pith helmets and high top boots.
pulled off the road for the 1908-1909 season.
1910: the title was revived by the brothers but for a year only. The circus toured for the last time in 1911.
1911: 14 elephants. From
Buckles Woodcocks blog
1912: 7 elephants to Ringling brothers: 1. Ringling Nellie, 2. Columbia (Victoria), 3. Veneda (Venita, Vanita, Jenny), 4. Sells Duchess (Dutch), 5. Sells Queen, 6. Romeo, and 7 ?.
References for records about Forepaugh-Sells Show
Koehl, Dan (2023). Forepaugh-Sells Show, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at
Sources used for this article is among others:
Litterature about Forepaugh-Sells Show
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