Pearl Souder

From the list of elephant persons Family: Souder

Pearl Souder
Eduard  Souder

Personal details
Country United States

Title elephant superintendent 1894-1908
Location at Ringling Bros. Circus in United States

Biography details

Eduard Souder , circus elephant trainer in United States

in United States .

Pearl Souder, sometimes referred to as Perl Souder was in charge of the Ringling elephants for 15 seasons 1894-1908 and is listed in the programs as working the Lockhart elephants starting in 1901.

Pearl Souder
The 1898 Ringling Bros. elephant department, seated in front are Pearl Souder, Sam Lockhart, and Jean Marchand.

Records about Pearl Souder from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at
Like a number of other well known elephant trainers, Souder began his career with Sells Bros. Circus (1880-81).

The Ringlings got their first elephants in 1888 "Babe" and "Fannie" (an African) and they walked overland but by the time Edouard "Perl" Souder took over the Herd in 1894 the show moved on 39 railroad cars with 3 more ahead and carried 8 elephants.
Two years later the Herd ballooned up to 23 and included the five Lockhart elephants from England which the Ringlings later bought and Souder worked for many years.

Pearl Souder
One of the most memorable events during Souder's career was the delivery of "Vanita" from the Hagenbeck Zoo in 1903 along with her nursing calf. The Ringlings couldn't resist the temptation of announcing she was born in winter quarters, hence the name "Baby Baraboo".
She eventually developed an evil disposition and was sold to Wm. P. Hall in 1911 who leased her to a variety of shows until she was sold by the Hall Estate to the new Cole Bros. Circus in 1935.

Souder's last year with the show was 1908 and the next few years after his departure they suffered a series of elephant stampedes. So bad in 1909 a number of elephants were left on the train for long periods of time and in 1910 eight elephants were returned to Baraboo early in the season.
I came across a letter my father had written in response to information that Mr. Souder had eventually died in an Insane Asylum. His response was "That's odd, most elephant men start out that way."

George Kealy was his First Asst. and worked one of the end ring elephant acts as far back as 1903 and upon Souder's retirement was in charge of the Herd for two seasons 1909- 1910.

William "Buckles" Woodcock

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2024). elephant trainer Eduard Souder in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 25 July 2024 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

Links about Pearl Souder

Search more with Google for Pearl Souder The link will automatically include Pearl Souder and open a new browser window.

Search more on the Internet Web for Pearl Souder The link will automatically include Pearl Souder and open a new browser window

Categories elephant trainer | circus | Ringling Bros. Circus | Souder family | People from United States

About this documentThis document was updated: 2022-04-11 11:19:05. with valid HTML5 Valid CSS

Elephant Encyclopedia and database

Established 1995
Established 2006
Your ip:
Kulen Elephant Forest