Cole Brothers Circus in United States

Cole Brothers Circus


Place Peru, Indiana
Country United States


Key People -: Milt Herriot (manager)
-: Viola Herriot (animal trainer)
1935-1938: Clyde Beatty (animal trainer)
1950-1950: John Herriot (animal trainer)


Elephant department

Head keepers
of elephants
1915-1917: Cheerful Gardner
(elephant trainer)

Elephant keepers
Record history
History of updates2022-04-07

Latest document update2022-04-07 10:31:50
Relevant literature
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Cole Brothers Circus, in Peru, Indiana, United States , was founded in 1906.

Comments / picturesThe Cole Bros. Circus (originally of Rochester, Indiana) was founded by Martin J. Downs in 1906. Downs named the circus for W.W. "Chilly Billy" Cole, the first man to make $1 million in the circus business.

Cole Brothers Circus in United States United+StatesCheerful with "Myrtle", "Bonnie" and "Babe" on J. Augustus Jones' Cole Bros. Circus 1915.
Sold to Charlie Sparks at auction when the show folded in 1917.

Cole Brothers Circus in United States United+States

Elephants from Cole Brothers Circus parade through downtown Los Angeles, 1953

1954: "This ("Little Babe", "Big Jennie" and "Tessie" 1954) was the end ring act my dad worked on the Cole Show. The other end was "Nellie", "Little Jenny" and "Wilma". Arky worked the Ranch Herd in the center "Big Babe", "Louie", "Carrie" and "Jean". And for some reason "Blanche", "Trilby" and "Katie" didnt perform, only worked in harness." //Buckles Web Log, Cole Bros. Circus Elephants 1954
1957, the ACME Circus Corporation acquired the Cole Bros. name and the show became Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus.
1981: John Pugh became became President and owner of Cole Bros. Circus, Inc. in 1981.

References for records about Cole Brothers Circus

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan (2024). Cole Brothers Circus, Elephant Encyclopedia. Available online at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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