Carl Conley came from an experienced circus family, famous for both their nine-person horse riding act with the Schmitt family and their juggling act as well. They performed with the Hamid-Morton and Hunt Brothers Circuses in the 1950s and the Silverlakes in the 1960s. Carl founded Circus Williams in 1972, its namesake an effort to utilize the publicity of the recently purchased Circus Williams from Germany by the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus several years prior. A baby elephant was purchased that year. She was named Ann Marie and was wintered in the Rio Grande Valley during the winter on the Silverlakes' property. In 1974, Conley's Circus Williams was closed and he took his elephant to the King Brothers Circus, opening in Florida. She died within the first several weeks of the joining the show.