Wallace and Co Circus in United States

Wallace and Co Circus

Owner 1884-1892: Ben Wallace
Closed down1892
Place Peru, Indiana
Country United States


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History of updates2021-11-21

Latest document update2021-11-21 16:29:28
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Wallace and Co Circus, in Peru, Indiana, United States , was founded in 1884. Wallace and Co Circus closed down in 1892.

Comments / picturesOwner Ben Wallace.

Benjamin Wallace, son of Ephraim and Rebecca Wallace, was born October 4, 1847, near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, but the family moved to Peru, Indiana. His sister Alice, later married Pim Sweeney, director of the Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.

During his time as a livery stable owner in Peru, Indiana, Ben Wallace and his business partner, James Anderson, bought a circus in 1884 and created "The Great Wallace Show". Wallace bought out his partner in 1890 and formed the "B. E. Wallace Circus".

1884: Ben Wallace went into partnership with James Anderson and bought property belonging to W.C. Coup Circus.
1884: The first elephant Diamond was bought.
1889: Prince arrived.
1890: More wagons and stock, including 3 more elephants added to show. Pilot, Gypsy and Jeannette from the defunct Miller, Stowe and Freeman show, were added.
1891: Anderson sold out to Wallace during season.
1892: Name of the show changed to "Cook and Whitbys European Circus, Museum and Menagerie".
Wallace also bought new land and moved his winterquarters here, including 8 elephants, 4 was leased to other small circuses such as Sieber and Cole, and Sieber and Berry. Of the remaining, 3 were male and 1 female. One was African and 3 Asiatic.

In October 1892, there was an exciting elephant fight at the Wallace winter quarters. It occurred on Sunday evening. The show had been in from the road only a few days. There were five elephants in the Herd, four of them big bulls. After an early supper, the keepers left their charges, each chained to the floor by the left foreleg, and went to town. In some unaccountable way, four of the elephants got loose. Pilate and Diamond had always had an antipathy for each other and at once began Fighting. Their trumpeting made the night hideous. The lions and tigers in a near-by building added their roaring and screaming to the awful chorus and the neighbors for miles around thought bedlam had been turned loose. The two vicious brutes fought savagely until Pilate had one of his Tusks broken, whereupon Diamond put his head against his antagonists side and pushed him clear through the outer wall of the building, a solid brick wall fourteen inches thick. They had gored each other until the building looked as if a river of blood had flowed through it. But, strange to relate, neither of them was seriously hurt and in a few days, barring Pilates broken tusk, they appeared to be in as good condition as ever.
The Elephant in Captivity by W. Henry Sheak

References for records about Wallace and Co Circus

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Wallace and Co Circus, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at https://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=1645. (archived at the Wayback machine)

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