An old hand at auctions is Chicago Lumberman Louis L. Meitus. Few weeks ago, when Mr. Meitus heard that the Seils & Sterling Circus was being disbanded at Sheboygan, Wis., he went shopping there for trucks and trailers. His business done, he started to go home. Just then five Shetland ponies were put on the block. Knowing that his two children pined for a pony, Mr. Meitus decided to buy all five. Once fairly in his stride, he kept on bidding, finally bought the whole circus shebang for $12,000.
Through Chicago streets into sheds in his South Side lumberyard Mr. Meitus proudly led a nervous procession of 9 monkeys, 6 horses, 5 trainers (whom he had put on his payroll), 5 ponies, 4 great Danes, 3 lions, 2 elephants, 2 deer, a leopard, a tiger, a hyena and a baboon. He put his 75 employees to work setting up the big top in a vacant lot next door, invited 10,000 poor children to come as his guests for "hot dogs, pink lemonade, popcorn and everything else that goes with a circus." Three extra platforms had to be set up outside the tent to hold the entertainers who offered free assistance. This week, among a jampacked, wildly cheering crowd of children, Mr. Meitus wandered happily, chortled: "Boy, am I havin' fun!"
Monday, Oct. 10, 1938: South Side Circus