Ben Wallace

From the list of elephant persons Family: Wallace

Ben Wallace
Profession circus director
Personal details
Born 1847-10-04 Johnstown, Pennsylvania in United States
Dead 1921 in United States
Country United States

Work locations
Title owner 1906-1913
Location at Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus in United States

Title owner 1895-1907
Location at Great Wallace Brothers in United States

Title owner 1892-1895
Location at Cook and Whitby Shows (Ben Wallace) in United States

Title owner 1884-1892
Location at Wallace and Co Circus in United States

Biography details

Benjamin Wallace , circus director in United States

Born 1847-10-04 in United States dead 1921 in United States .

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".

1884: Ben Wallace went into partnership with James Anderson and bought property belonging to W.C. Coup Circus.

1890: Wallace bought out his partner in 1890 and formed the "B. E. Wallace Circus".

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

Records about Ben Wallace from Bob Cline

1906: In the fall of 1906 after the Hagenbecks Wild Animal Circus folded in Mexico, Ben Wallace, the owner of the Great Wallace circus, bought the 15 elephants from Carl Hagenbeck. They were Moms, Topsy, Trilby, Jughead Nellie, Betty, Pinto, Nancy, Zeffa, Bedelia, Baby. These were all Female Asians. Monte, Satan and Josky were all Male Asians. Jumb and Kongo were Female Africans. Mr. Wallace resold, Monte, Topsy, and Moms to Van Amburgh Circus (Mugivan & Bowers) shortly thereafter with the other twelve joining the four (Robbins Queen, Tess, Mama, and Ding, all Asian females) he still had and becoming the Herd of the new Hagenbeck-Wallace title.

Bob Cline, Cheraw, South Carolina, United States. Autor of the book Americas elephants

1921: Ben Wallace died in March and in October, the American Circus Corporation purchased the winter quarters.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). director Benjamin Wallace in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 5 December 2023 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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Categories director | circus | Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus | Wallace family | Born 1847 | Dead 1921 | People from United States

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