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The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised


Circus Day


    The Jacksonville papers speak in well-deserved praise of Hinkley & Kimball's Oregon circus. The institution is on its winding way to New Mexico. It is worthy of note that the circus bills were printed at this office. Those having anything in the printing line to be done will do well to make a note of that.
Oregon Weekly Times, Portland, July 17, 1858, page 2


    Denby & Co.'s Circus performed at Lakeport Tuesday evening, and although the admission was a dollar, there was as many people in the tent as could be comfortably seated. Contrary to what previous exhibitions had led people to expect, the show was a good one throughout. The members of the company are the best behaved, best dressed and in many ways the most capable set of circus performers we have seen for many years, while for variety and excellence the performance itself was fairly and squarely up to the promises made for it.--Kelseyville [California] Journal, May 22. Denby's Circus in Eugene Tuesday, August 5th.
"Brief Mention," Eugene Guard, July 26, 1884, page 5


    Sensible men and women will steer clear of the alleged John Robinson circus, which is to exhibit at Ashland soon. It is a bilk on its face, and merely a catchpenny arrangement to clear the country of its spare cash.
    It is said that the sharpers which follow Robinson's circus to prey upon the community were not allowed to manipulate their games at Dayton and Walla Walla. They were given full sway at Pendleton and cleaned up several hundred dollars. The authorities at Grants Pass and Ashland should summarily squelch these thugs and thieves when they arrive.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 25, 1890, page 3


    Keep your hands in your pockets and bolts on your doors while the circus is in the valley. It is always accompanied by a gang of thieves of different stripes.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 1, 1890, page 3


The Coming Circus.
    The new united monster shows will be at Medford on Friday, April 17th. From all accounts this mammoth combination, with its wonderful galaxy of arenic talent and wonders from wonderland, will with its advent here mark an epoch in the history of this section. It is by far the greatest circus in the universe, and our citizens, both far and near, should feel specially favored by its coming. One feature alone of its many attractions, Queen Jumbo, is enough to arouse the curiosity and attention of everybody within fifty miles. The presence of the largest animal in the history of the world, and that a living, breathing, moving mountain of flesh, is sufficient to startle the sluggish blood of the most inert among us. See advertisement elsewhere in our columns. An excursion train will run between Jacksonville and Medford on that occasion.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 10, 1891, page 3


A Thieving Gang on the Rampage.
    McMahon's Circus performed at different points in the valley last week to fair-sized audiences. During its stay the hangers-on robbed all they could by gambling devices and then finished their stay by stealing everything in sight. Several parties had to go to the cars of the company to recover their effects, which were reluctantly given up even then, the proprietors of the circus acting as if they had an understanding with the thieves. Whisky and cigars were also sold without license and other lawlessness indulged in. Should this gang visit southern Oregon again, it will meet a warm reception. The majority of them should be serving the state in the penitentiary even now.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 24, 1891, page 3




Democratic Times, August 7, 1891, page 2

An Avalanche of Wonder and Fun.
    Sells' great show is blocked for Medford on Monday, August 24, and, regarded as a whole, it is doubtless without parallel. Wherein it differs from others is this: In its rare variety, its endless interest, its boundless capacity to please every taste. Good things with it are not doled out with a grudging hand; they are poured forth in a Niagara-like profusion, typical of the great country of greatest enterprises. Here we have a regal Roman hippodrome, a five-continent menagerie, three big circuses, a wild Moorish caravan, performing droves of wild and domestic beasts, a huge tropical aquarium, aviary, royal Japanese troupe, Arabian Nights entertainment, spectacular pilgrimage to Mecca, and splendid free street parade, rolled into one tremendous alliance, for but one price of admission; or more properly speaking, roaring, rushing, racing, marching, dancing, gliding, tumbling, soaring, diving and disporting under some ten acres of tents. Whew! The very thought of it fairly makes one catch his breath, and not only is it all a very great, but it is a very good, clean, admirably managed show, under the immediate eye of its proprietors, and free from any and every annoyance or objectionable association.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 7, 1891, page 3


    Sells Bros.' advertising wagon has been in the valley, and the dead walls in many of the towns are covered with flaming posters.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 7, 1891, page 3


Sells Bros.' 20th Annual Tour.
    Other shows may come and go, but Sells Brothers' Enormous United Exhibitions, like Tennyson's brook, seem destined to "go on forever." They have already been under one and the same ownership and management longer than any other similar enterprise now in existence, and their continual increase in size, attractiveness and popularity is a fair sign of health and longevity. Messrs. Sells are legitimate, enterprising showmen and honorable men, with whom it is both pleasurable and profitable to do business. As such, both they and their stupendous and elegant entertainment will be again and most heartily welcome at Medford on Monday next. For their present tour there are wild beasts, hippodromatic circus spectacular, and other resources of instruction and amusement have been largely increased, and they undoubtedly present altogether the biggest and best show of its kind in the world. They manage it in person, and it is so conducted as to deserve and obtain universal popularity and patronage.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1891, page 2


    Sells Bros.' second advertising car was here during the week renewing posters, etc.
    Look out for the sure-thing gamblers, thieves, etc., which always follow in the wake of a circus.
    The usual number of fools will be in Medford Monday who think they can beat the circus men at their own games. Some men will not even learn by experience.
    All of the exchanges along the line of march of the circus have been systematically warning the public to beware of the brace games and sure snaps of the fakirs who accompany such aggregations of wonders, and our own citizens would do well to heed the warning. There is not one among the fakirs but understands how to gull the average citizen, and if the a.c. could only be made to see this fact with the appalling distinctness that the fakir sees it, the occupation of the latter would be gone.
"Here and There,"
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1891, page 3


Trains on Circus Day.
    The R.R.V.R. Co. will run trains to Medford next Monday, the 24th, as often as necessary for the accommodation of the people, and a special train will be run after night for the convenience of those who may desire to remain for the evening performance.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 21, 1891, page 3


The Circus.
    Sells Bros.' circus exhibited at Medford on August 24th. Several thousand people attended the day performance, but the attendance at night was light. A number of new features were introduced, but it was "the same old thing" for the most part. Still, better satisfaction was given than is usually the case. Those in charge of the affair are courteous and honorable, which is too frequently the exception to the rule. Another noticeable feature was the absence of the sure-thing gamblers and sneak thieves, who have often been the adjunct of the modern circus. The only serious complaint we hear since Sells Bros. left is that they took away a few thousand dollars of the cash so badly needed in the valley.
Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 28, 1891, page 2


    The circus had a big crowd at Medford last Monday, and the people were roasted, boiled or broiled, according to their position in the big tent. The lemonade boys became millionaires, and the vendors of palm-leaf fans did a business that made them as autocratic as an unrivaled railroad corporation. The train went over the Siskiyous in three sections, and there were fourteen engines in the Ashland yard Monday evening, including those waiting for the circus. The show was at Yreka Tuesday.
"Brevities," Ashland Tidings, August 28, 1891, page 3


Fun for the Boys
    While the large tank which held the big pair of hippopotami for the Sells Bros.' circus was being taken to the show grounds last Sunday, it mired down in front of Dr. Jones' place and the animals had to be liberated before the vehicle could be extricated from the mire. They sported in the water ditch for several moments and showed themselves off to an excellent advantage. With this and a ten-horse runaway, besides seeing a pair of elephants lift the tank from the mire, we can truly say the boys enjoyed it.--[Medford Mail.
Ashland Tidings, September 4, 1891, page 2


    The circus was pronounced very good by those in attendance, but the crowd was not very large.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 22, 1892, page 3


    The manner in which our city marshal was fooled by the fraudulent drunk at the circus meets with the approval of Young America, regardless of piety, party or previous condition.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, April 29, 1892, page 2


    N. Ahlstrom reports that the circus that exhibited back of the new depot in Ashland three years ago introduced the Canada thistle in that neighborhood, and that notwithstanding that he has cut it down several times it keeps on increasing every year and will soon threaten to overrun the whole county if some effort is not made to wipe it out. The authorities should see that this dangerous nest is nipped in its incipiency.
"Brevity Basket," Valley Record, Ashland, August 11, 1892, page 3


Washburn's Great Shows.
    Leon W. Washburn's Combined Circus, Menagerie, Hippodrome, Wild West and Congress of Living Wonders will exhibit at Medford Wednesday, July 26. Reports from all quarters pronounce the above shows the leaders in tented amusements and cannot fail to interest the masses. That it possesses many rare animals never before seen in this country, the only real aquatic show of sea animals, a great hippodrome, a double circus and many phenomenal living wonders is without question. Its career has been a triumphal success. It is enthusiastically received and immensely patronized everywhere it spreads its tents, and it is said to give more and better show than any other organization in America. The newspapers are unanimous in its praise. A grand outpouring of the populace here on show day may be looked for.
Medford Mail, July 14, 1893, page 3


The Washburn Circus.
From Daily Oregonian.
   
The L. W. Washburn circus made a fine parade through the principal streets yesterday morning and showed to two packed houses afternoon and evening at Twenty-Fourth and Raleigh streets. Ninety-five percent of the matinee audience was composed of ladies and children, and at night people were turned away by hundreds. The baby elephant, Cupid, seemed to be the chief attraction. He is the first elephant in miniature ever seen on the Pacific Coast and is a whole show in himself. The performance is very creditable, the fine horses and handsome wardrobes being especially noticeable. The acrobatic, gymnastics, "Wild West" and hippodrome features succeed each other in rapid succession.

Medford Mail, July 21, 1893, page 2


    The bill poster for the big show at Medford was here ornamenting the side of Mr. Pool's barn with the highly colored wonders of the show.

"Eagle Point Eaglets," Medford Mail, July 21, 1893, page 4


    The great (?) circus has been and gone, and he who paid a big silver dollar for admission is eighty cents [the] loser. Like most shows the best, and as a matter of fact the greater, part of the program appeared in glowing colors on the billboards and high fences about town--deception, thy name is a railroad circus. Some of the tumbling was good, the trapeze work was all right and in some respects above the average, the bare horseback riding was very tame as was also the big elephant, which to all intent and purpose has been in this condition for upwards of three centuries. There were three lions, but the lady didn't walk into their mouths. It was, however, given out as an inducement to the matinee audience to put up their quarters and remain at the concert, that the lions would be fed some meat and that the concert audience might look on while the feat was being performed. The inducement didn't induce, and the lions were compelled to eat of their fresh meat all by their little lonely. It was to be regretted that the great big elephant and the great little elephant were kept in so limited a space. It was cruelty--"from the cradle to the grave." A menagerie tent, with three big flags on top, and covering upwards of an acre of ground, is hardly sufficient to give free, easy movement to two elephants and a pink lemonade stand. There was quite a crowd of people in Medford in the morning intent upon circus amusement, but after the parade their horses' heads, many of them, were turned homeward and they wisely reserved their dollars for more deserving purposes.
    To Ulysses M. Damon the people of Medford are indebted for a small chunk of excitement on circus day. The circus had arrived--and then a gloom like unto the continued peal of a death knell had settled over the city, but Mr. Damon livened things up a little. He drove his horse and buggy down where the big elephant was confined in the little tent. The horse, upon seeing this big elephant emerge from the little tent, took fright and ran away. Alex. Hanley was in the buggy at the time and was thrown to the ground. He was injured slightly--enough, however, to keep him from seeing the lions eat meat, and this last was considerable of a bruise on his circus ardor.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, July 28, 1893, page 3


    Washburn's circus brought a big crowd to town last Wednesday, but it seemed as if the majority only patronized the free part of the show, and wise they were, too. The parade was on a par with the ring performances, etc., and the public was therefore forewarned.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 28, 1893, page 2


    Quite a number of the residents of Jacksonville attended the circus at Medford on the 26th. Afterward most of them wouldn't acknowledge that they had been there, however.
"Here and There," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, July 28, 1893, page 3


    Washburn's greatest snide show [sic] traveling has quit business. The show disbanded at Sisson, Calif. this week. There is surely a grain of solace to its manager in knowing that if he must disband it won't take long to do it.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, August 11, 1893, page 3



    Sells & Rentfrow's circus is billed to show at Ashland one week from tomorrow. If it is as big a bilk as was Washburn's, it will be well worth your money--to stay at home. These are entirely too close times for people to spend money on luxuries.

"All the Local News," Medford Mail, August 18, 1893, page 3


    Keep away from the circus. Spend your money for some better purpose.

    Don't attend the circus. It is a colossal humbug and does not merit patronage. The representations made on the big posters are false and misleading.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 18, 1893, page 3


    The Oregonian said Washburn's circus was all right and a good one. It proved to be a bilk--and the Oregonian lied. It now says Sells & Rentfrow's is first-class and that the ticket agent had to quit selling tickets long before the performance began "because the tent was jammed" and "there were no more seats to be sold." Is the Oregonian lying again? If it is, it is no less a bilk than the circus--even worse. It conspires to steal from its own people while to the circus men we are all strangers.

Medford Mail, August 25, 1893, page 2



The Heavens Be Praised.
From the Eugene Register.
    The Kickapoo Medicine Company will close up shop and quit business today. They will pack their things and store them in this city, while the people will be discharged, some of them remaining here and some going east.
    This combination of money filchers were headed this way, and it is a kind providence which heads them off before they reach us. A gang of flour bin fakes, two circuses, and a defaulting county treasurer is quite as much of the fake infection as we can reasonably be expected to tolerate in one season.

Medford Mail, September 1, 1893, page 2


    Captain Hugh Thomason and his company of Rough Riders, which are the sensation of the day, who fought under three flags will appear at every performance on the Hippodrome track with the Walter L. Main shows at Medford, Saturday, September 9th, and give the most novel and exciting exhibition that has ever been given to the public. They will be dressed as they were in Cuba, where they took part in the battles of San Juan Hill, Daiquiri, Sibony and El Caney.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, August 28, 1899, page 3


    The many features to be exhibited in the immense menagerie tent with the Walter L. Main Shows at Medford, Saturday, September 9th, are too numerous to give special mention to each. Suffice to say that those who are fortunate enough to see the show will pronounce it the greatest exhibition of novelties of the age. The parade will leave the show grounds at 10 a.m., and its great length will be commented upon. It will be one moving mass of gold and glitter, exhibiting more features than has ever yet been attempted. Immediately after the parade a free exhibition will take place at the show grounds. The doors will be open at 1 and 7 o'clock, giving everyone a chance to see the host of novelties to be introduced previous to the regular performance.

"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 4, 1899, page 3

Medford Mail, September 8, 1899
Medford Mail, September 8, 1899

    The parade this season with the Walter L. Main Shows which exhibits at Medford, Saturday, September 9th, is especially noteworthy in that it contains more novelties than ever before, notably the Zouave Drum Crops, a troop of performing elephants, and an ancient historical Quebec Calash properly costumed. The parade is said to be of unusual length and brilliancy, and worth going miles to witness. The parade will leave show grounds at 10 o'clock a.m. A free exhibition will be given at the show grounds after the return of the parade. In order to give all a chance to see the grand exhibition of the "Congress of Nations" in the menagerie tent the doors will be open at 4 and 7 o'clock p.m.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 8, 1899, page 7


    Walter L. Main's great 3-ring circus and fashion-plate show of the world gave two performances to large audiences at Medford last Saturday. It is estimated that 4000 people were in attendance during the day. Everything advertised was given, and in a clean, first-class style. Among the performers, both male and female, are some of the most celebrated in the world, whose daring feats electrified the audience. The menagerie includes a number of animals not often seen. Altogether it proved an entertainment that could not but give satisfaction; and all went away satisfied that they had obtained their money's worth.
"Local Notes," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, September 11, 1899, page 3


    Circus day has come and gone. Last Saturday there was in Medford one of the largest crowds which ever congregated inside our city limits. It was a gala day from start to finish--a picnic alike for old people, young people, fat people, lean people, tall people, short people and all kinds of people--and small boys with gray-headed guardians. The show train was late in getting here, not arriving until about 11 o'clock, but this did not prevent it carrying out its full program. An advantage was offered by its being late in that the unloading process could be--and was--witnessed by pretty nearly everybody. The parade instead of being made at ten o'clock was not on until after two o'clock, but this fact in no way detracted from its grandeur. It was a fine presentation of many things beautiful. There were four bands and a calliope. The Vermont farmer driving his trained pigs and he riding in the little cart was one of the funny features of the parade, while the automobile, or horseless carriage, was one of the most interesting. As a whole, the parade was unique, novel and grand throughout. The entertainment following immediately after the parade was in many ways far superior to anything ever presented in Southern Oregon. The trapeze performance by the Werntz family--six in number, three ladies and three gentlemen--was the most marvelous aerial feat the writer has ever witnessed; the pony riding upon the backs of two horses was another wonderful feat; the acrobatic act by the Livingstones in full dress was itself a feature worth the price of admission; the Vermont farmer with his trained pigs was the wonder of all--it has been said that a pig is incapable of being educated, but an exception has been found to the general rule. All in all, the Walter L. Main circus is a grand feature throughout, and none the least of the many attractions was the sixty-three trained horses. The show entire was moral in every particular. There was no harsh or obscene language used by any of the employees. The managers, Messrs. J. D. and Hugh Harrison, are splendid gentlemen, and their efforts to treat everybody courteously was a feature not often displayed by managers of big shows. For the afternoon performance there were nearly 8000 tickets sold, but in the evening the attendance was not so large. There was no disturbance of any kind--everything was quiet and orderly all the day through, and this, too, was remarkable when it is considered that the crowd was the largest ever congregated in Jackson County. The merchants did a splendid business all day--and The Mail was none the least of these--many of our good friends remembering that we have babies to feed and clothe and that we have premiums to give away.
    The short change man was in evidence at the circus Saturday. Several citizens were asked to exchange gold for silver, but only a very few were victimized. G. L. Schermerhorn, with a spirit of accommodation peculiarly his, responded to one of these fellows' requests for gold in exchange for silver, but when he found himself short ten dollars, he immediately made a demand for his shortage from the fellow making the change, and he got it, and later he discovered still another shortage of a five-dollar gold piece. In company with Marshal Murray he made a demand upon the management--and got his shiner back. The management explained that those things were matters they could not well prevent, but that they were always willing to make good any shortage claims made by reputable citizens--they did not pay their help to bilk the people and would not permit it when the fact was made known.
    The crowd at the sideshow last Saturday was so great that several children fainted from the intense heat and from being jammed about so unmercifully. Mrs. Hemstreet also fainted and was carried out of the tent, where after a few minutes she was restored to consciousness.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 15, 1899, page 7


    Fakirs, pickpockets and thieves were very conspicuous at the circus in Medford last Saturday they used every means possible to extract coin from visitors, giving short change, picking pockets and even running all sorts of games. Their work was very coarse, but there were plenty of suckers present who were ready and willing to be bit, and they were.
"Personal and Local," Gold Hill News, September 16, 1899, page 5



The Great Circus.
    As an appropriate climax to a series of experiments in the matter of educating a three-year-old monkey, Prof. C. I. Norris, the famous animal trainer of Norris & Rowe's Big Shows, will endeavor to make the monkey talk. To begin with his accomplishments he sits at a table with complacency; wears shoes and stockings; is a wonderful bareback rider and can dress and undress himself. He rejoices in the name of Jim Robinson. But the most interesting experiment is the attempt Prof. Norris is making to develop Jim's vocal organs. He says it consists of parts of the methods used to teach blind children, birds and the deaf and dumb. The progress made is very near to that made by a child of a similar age of Jim, for he uses at present the words "papa" and "come back." He is a wonderful jockey, rides a pony man fashion, and turns back somersaults while the pony is going at a terrific rate. Jim will be seen with Norris & Rowe's New Big Trained Animal Shows, which will exhibit in Medford Friday afternoon and night under their enormous waterproof tents, as also will be "Hamlet," a stagestruck canine, who was taken in hand by Prof. Norris and taught to do tricks that are almost phenomenal. A new grand free spectacular street carnival and children's fairyland parade will be given at 11 o'clock on the morning of the exhibition. Excursion trains will be run from all adjoining towns to this big, moral show.
Democratic Times,
Jacksonville, May 3, 1900, page 3



    Don't overlook the street parade of Norris & Rowe's big trained animal show. It will be unique as well as handsome and interesting.
"Medford Squibs," Democratic Times, Jacksonville, May 3, 1900, page 3


    Leondor Bros.' circus gave two exhibitions in Medford Wednesday. The afternoon entertainment was fairly well patronized, but in the evening there was only a small crowd in attendance. The performance, while not as great in extent of flash and trumpet blast as some shows on the road, was first-class in what there was of it. Every feature was good--better than is generally seen in the larger shows. There is no flimflamming about it--it's strictly up-to-date and good in every detail. The show travels by wagons and has just come in from a hard trip across deserts and over mountains in eastern Oregon, and the men and horses are pretty well jaded. The show was in Jacksonville yesterday and is billed for Gold Hill today and Grants Pass Saturday.

"Additional Local Items," Medford Mail, July 20, 1900, page 2


    Never in the history of Medford has there been an entertainment of its kind given our people equal to the circus performance given here Monday by the Ringling Bros. There has been good circuses here in days agone, but none have been as grand, as awe-inspiring, as mammoth, as magnificent as was the one that visited us Monday. The performance was conducted upon the same grand scale as was all the outside show, parade and pomp. The street parade was the grandest ever seen in Southern Oregon. Its length was fully fifteen blocks and was superb in every feature. The trapeze work, the bareback riding, the slack wire work, the work of the contortionists, the society tumblers, the trained horses, and in fact every feature was pleasing throughout, and at the same time much was new and all marvelous. The performing elephants was almost beyond a thought of realization. That the big, clumsy brutes could be educated as were these seems almost incomprehensible. The show trains, four in number, with 65 cars, began arriving Sunday evening about 6 o'clock, and by eleven o'clock all had arrived and were unloaded. During the entire work of unloading those large wagons and cages not a word was heard spoken among the men in tones above ordinary conversation, and not an oath was heard uttered during all their stay here. They were the most orderly, best mannered crowd of circus workers the writer has ever come in contact with, and considering that there are upwards of a thousand people with the show their good order was remarkable. Their horses, over 400 in number, were the best we have ever seen with a show. There were fully 9500 people in Medford to witness the events of the day. The management informed a Mail reporter that there were fully 7500 people under canvas. The gentleman further stated that he was more than pleased with the patronage bestowed upon the show, and said it was a very much larger one-stand performance than they were in the habit of meeting with. Where all the people came from is a matter of much guessing by our townspeople, but that they were here is undisputed. They came from Klamath, Lake, Josephine and Douglas counties, and from Siskiyou County, in California. It was a red-letter day for Medford merchants, hotels, restaurants, confectioneries and feed barns. Everybody was well satisfied with the entertainment, and if Ringling Bros. ever come this way again they will be royally met by a country full of anxious people.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, September 14, 1900, page 7


    Baird & Clinton's dog and pony show gave two exhibitions in Medford Tuesday. They had a fair attendance at the afternoon performance, but were greeted by a very slim audience in the evening. The best part of the show is their advance lithograph sheets--like all other circuses.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, June 28, 1901, page 7


    M. F. Parker:--"Say, is Medford going to have a circus this season? Oh, I don't care much about it myself, but on the quiet, I never let one escape me if I am in reaching distance. But what I am asking for is this: When I came past the reservation in Klamath County last week, I was asked that question by twenty different Indians, and I have agreed to let them know. They are all coming to Medford this fall to do their shopping, and they want to date their coming even with circus day.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, August 23, 1901, page 7


    From appearances on the Medford streets Tuesday morning, the truant list at the public schools must have been an unusually long one. To the casual onlooker most of the children in town seemed to be on hand when the train bearing Norris & Rowe's big shows pulled in--and then some more. The parade appeared about 11 o'clock and was witnessed by a large and interested crowd. The afternoon performance was well attended, and was well worthy of patronage. It is remarkable to what a high point of education some of the animals have been brought, displaying an intelligence and comprehension of what was desired of them not often found among dumb animals. Norris & Rowe put out a good, clean snow, well worth the price of admission, and the managers themselves are clever, genial gentlemen, whom it is a pleasure to meet. In the evening the crowd was not so large, but still there was a good-sized one, and there was but one opinion of the merits of the show, and many expressions of wonder were heard at the marvelous feats performed by the trained animals. A dog that can stand on its hind legs and turn a back somersault is something out of the ordinary--there were two of them that did that. Rosebury, the talking horse, is a whole show by himself. The performing seals were something new, and the intelligence exhibited by them was a revelation.

"City Happenings," Medford Mail, April 25, 1902, page 7


Medford Mail, May 1, 1903
Medford Mail, May 1, 1903


Excuse That Loves the Ground.
Medford Southern Oregonian.
    Medford blacksmith shops will all be closed on circus day. Do not expect to get blacksmithing done on that day--the smithies have a contract to carry the elephants to water and to amuse the monkeys. Our employees all threaten a strike if we ask them to work when there is a circus in town.
MITCHELL & BOECK,
G. F. MERRIMAN,
J. R. WILSON.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, August 26, 1903, page 6


THE CIRCUS AT MEDFORD
A Tremendous Crowd Attended Ringling Bros. Shows.
    Ringling's circus drew together at Medford Saturday one of the biggest crowds that ever collected in Southern Oregon. The streets of Medford seemed almost a solid mass of people. They were jammed in the main entrance like sardines, not an inch of leeway on any side. All trains were loaded to the utmost capacity, and every road that enters Medford bore a solid procession of vehicles. Passengers on the outgoing northbound evening train saw a solid string of vehicles, homeward bound, reaching from Medford to Central Point and even beyond. It seemed as though every rancher in the Rogue River Valley went to the show.
    The circus performance was first class. The trained animals performed with ready promptness and pleasing accuracy. The elephants gave a really marvelous exhibition, and the trained horses and seals were excellent in their specialties. The menagerie was large and interesting.

Rogue River Courier, Grants Pass, September 3, 1903, page 1


CIRCUS DAY IN MEDFORD
    Friday and Saturday last may be classed as red-letter days in the history of the business houses of Medford. There have been other days when some of our business men have done a larger volume of business than upon the days mentioned, but they have been few and far between and beneficial in a large way to but a few houses. Friday and Saturday made a large increase in the receipts on every business house in town--with the exception of the printers and blacksmiths, which artisans struck work and went to see "Baby Boo."
Medford Mail, August 21, 1903
Medford Mail, August 21, 1903
    The aggregate cash receipts of the business houses of the city, so closely as could be secured from the data acquired by a Mail reporter, who made a from store to store canvass, figures up $14,000, and it seemed that the pro rata of increased business was nearly even distributed among the different branches of business. It was a big day. There were at least 14,000 people in the city outside of those who reside here, and they all had some money, so it is safe to say that including the money paid for tickets to the circus something in the neighborhood of $24,000 in good coin of the United States was placed in circulation in two days in this city.
    The writer has never before seen such an orderly crowd of like dimensions in a town of the size of Medford. There was a noticeable absence of brawling, and arrests for disorderly conduct were very few. Everybody was in a good humor, bent upon securing all the enjoyment possible from the occasion, and willing that everybody else should have the same privilege.
    At Haskins' drug store 8000 tickets were sold for the afternoon performance, and about 6000 more were sold on the grounds. In the eight thousand tickets sold at Haskins were numerous reserve seat tickets, also a number of children's tickets, but when the ticket seller came to count up his 4,000 and odd dollars he found that he was just fifty cents out, and supposed his shortage came from giving out two tickets instead of one during the sale. These tickets were all sold within three hours' time.
    There seems to be but one opinion concerning the merits of the show, and that it is "all right." [In 1903 "all right" meant "very good."] The performance was all that it was advertised to be; the parade was the most beautiful and spectacular ever seen in this part of the state. The animals advertised were all there, and there was an utter absence of the sure-thing gambling and other catchpenny devices usually with traveling tent shows. Ringling Bros. have a first-class show, and their welcome is assured in Southern Oregon should they return again.
SIDE NOTES OF THE DAY
    The largest assemblage of people ever seen in Southern Oregon were here.
    Ringling Bros. lost one of their valuable draft horses on Saturday. The animal got down in the car while in transit and was so badly injured that it died soon after reaching Medford.
    One resident of this vicinity, who has quite a large family, told a neighbor that he was coming to town merely to see the parade, and wouldn't go into the circus under any consideration, yet the first man the neighbor saw when he entered the main tent was the man who wasn't going to the circus in a front seat surrounded by his entire family--and it is said that he took in everything, from peanuts and lemonade to the side shows.
    Hotels and restaurants did a thriving business. Hundreds of people sat up all night Friday night because they couldn't get beds, and many on Saturday lunched on cheese and crackers in the streets, for the reason that they couldn't get close enough to eating places to have any assurance of being fed.
    There were no catchpenny or gambling devices connected with the circus. It was an honest show, honestly conducted.
Medford Mail, September 4, 1903, page 1


Now a Big Circus and Menagerie.
    Just at present the interest of the entire world is centered on the struggle for supremacy between Russia and Japan, and those of both races that are in this country are regarded with more than passing interest. The American public, however, look with a more friendly eye upon the Japanese than the Russians, and for that reason Norris & Rowe have secured for their new, big circus, that will exhibit at Medford, Friday, May 13th, a troupe of genuine Royal Japanese acrobats. By royal is meant that the Oka Troupe have performed before the Mikado, and it was only by the special consent of the imperial authorities that the Oka Troupe were allowed to leave Japan and come to America under contract to Norris & Rowe. Those who have witnessed their performances have declared it to be simply marvelous. They perform intricate feats with a brilliancy, dash and daring that is pleasing to the eye. Their picturesque flowing robes, wrought with the handiwork which only the deft fingers of the Japanese seem to fashion, are soon discarded for the red tights and white trunks, which give greater freedom. Then begins a bewildering array of feats of posturing, balancing, tumbling, lofty perch, breakaway ladder tricks, etc., until the eye fairly aches from watching the agile athletes perform. This is but one of the many dazzling acts that Norris & Rowe have provided for their new circus carnival.
Medford Mail, May 13, 1904, page 4


CIRCUS NOVELTY
Ringling Brothers Present a Gorgeous Dramatic Spectacle, Introducing 1200 Characters.
Medford Mail, August 26, 1904    Jerusalem and the Crusades, Ringling Brothers' sublime, beautiful and instructive spectacular production, is adapted from the religious and historical story of which every man, woman and child in the civilized countries of the world is familiar.
    No other narrative of Christian history, with the exception of those treating directly with the birth and life of Jesus, is of such thrilling interest to people of all classes as is the Crusades, on which Ringling Brothers' magnificent spectacular production is builded. Kings, queens, princes, lords, nobles, chevaliers, knights, courtiers, functionaries, church officials, attendants, pilgrims, pages, soldiers, penitents, choristers, theologians, students, serfs, vassals, characteristic types of every class, dancing girls, singing women, exuberant children and a thousand and one other picturesque characters, give varied animation and color and enthralling interest to the panoramic changes of incident and scene. The grand cathedral at Clermont, France, from whence the historic Crusaders started upon their holy mission, is pictured with classic accuracy and charming coloring. The palace yard of the Emir, the Egyptian ruler at the time of the Crusades, is portrayed with voluptuous fidelity, and presents in its passing incidents the most bewitching exemplification of ballet and dramatic art. The grand ballet divertissement in this scene is an original conception and more entrancingly beautiful than any dancing conceit ever invented and interpreted. The legions of girls employed in evolving the elegant and graceful figures of the novel ballet are artists, graduated from the best masters of the terpsichorean art, lithely and lissomely young and sensitively practiced in accomplishing the highest and most delightful effects in dancing study. The barbaric splendors of the Egyptian court are revealed in this reveling scene upon a scale of magnificence and expenditure never before attempted. This prodigal display of medieval luxury and Oriental extravagance is only in keeping with the progressive policy of the Ringling Brothers, who have enlarged and improved every department of their enormous shows, by far the greatest in existence, until now they appear to have reached the climax of human possibility. The great shows will exhibit in Medford, Saturday, September 3d, and give two performances daily, in the afternoon at 2 o'clock and in the evening at 8 o'clock.
Medford Mail, August 19, 1904, page 4


Norris & Rowe Coming.
    The Norris & Rowe Greater Circus will play their annual engagement in this city early in the spring. A few of the facts and novelties already under contract are the following:
Medford Mail, April 28, 1905
Medford Mail, April 28, 1905
    The Belford family of aerialists, which consists of two young women, two young men and two older acrobats; John and Hugh LaNole and Miss Amy Melnotte in a sensational high silver wire act; the Leffel trio of pantomimists and aerial bar performers; Miss Rose Dockrill, a graceful lady bareback rider; George Holland, gymnast and bareback rider; Austin King, the famous jockey and hurdle rider; Dolly and Frank Miller in a wonderful bareback riding act; the Sugimoto troupe of Japanese lady swordswomen and expert athletes; the McDonald trio of bicycle experts; the Gardner family in a thrilling casting act; John LaNole, the breakaway ladder expert. The comedy element will be handled by the famous Jim West, a clown celebrated in the realm of the white tents. West will be assisted in his fun by Billy LaRue and a corps of merrie-makers.
    Some of the novelties in the animal line will be a large number of pure white Arabian cake-walking horses; a troupe of performing Russian bears; performing seals; an act containing one hundred educated Shetland ponies and one hundred educated dogs and a beautiful arrangement for the grand entree called the "Garland of Flowers," in which ladies and gentlemen expert riders participate in a picturesque act of high-class menage.
    The show will be given in three rings and will be the largest that Norris & Rowe ever sent out.
Medford Mail, February 3, 1905, page 8


Famous Equestrian Acts, Celebrated Riders
with the Norris & Rowe Greater Circus.
    Messrs. Norris & Rowe determined to make their circus this season the most memorable one in their history, and towards that end have engaged performers in all departments of the arena that have gained the greatest fame in this country and Europe. Last year witnessed the inception of their greater circus, and this year will witness the culmination of their triumphs as Big Show Showmen. Towards that end they have engaged such famous riders as Miss Rose Dockrill, the daring lady equestrian; Geo. Holland, the principal rider; Austin King, the clever young hurdle and jockey rider. Dolly and Frank Miller, a notable duo of equestrians, brought to this country from the Paris Hippodrome, where they were at the height of their fame. William Sutton, Jos. Haines, Mlle. Julien and Estelle Settler are a quartet of dashing bareback riders. These stars will be augmented by other riders in innumerable sensational equestrian exercises. As a contrast to the expert riding there will be many laughable climaxes in the burlesquing of these acts by famous clowns, who with their fooling will create amusement for the little ones by their absurd attempts to duplicate the feats performed by the expert equestrians in the arena. Norris & Rowe contend that no circus visiting this section will be able to show as many nor as clever a list of celebrities in expert horsemanship as will be exhibited in their arenas.
    Exhibitions will be given in Medford, Wednesday, May 3; 2 and 8 p.m.

Medford Mail, April 21, 1905, page 1


Where Will You Eat Circus Day.
    Circus day comes on Wednesday, May 3d, and the ladies of the Baptist church are preparing to serve dinner and supper on that day in the Wilson store building, one door south of The Medford Mail printing office. They will also be prepared to serve sandwiches and coffee and, during the afternoon, ice cream, cake and lemonade.
    Yes, that would be just the thing. Go there and get your meal, instead of doing the extra work of getting meals at home that day. Tell your neighbors and friends about it. Tell them that the meals will be "A No. 1," and will be served at a cost of only 25 cents each.
    Don't forget the place--one door south of Medford Mail office.
Medford Mail, April 21, 1905, page 1

Norris & Rowe Circus circa 1905
Norris & Rowe Circus, circa 1905-1910

Expert Horsemanship, Bareback Riding and Feats of Daring
and Skill with the Norris & Rowe Greater Circus.
    Exhilarating and sensational characterizes the large number of bareback riding [omission] as presented by Norris & Rowe's greater circus this year. Circling the arena at racing speed, George Holland, the agile equestrian, supports Miss Rose Dockrill on one horse while driving two others. Then comes a succession of difficult single and double somersaults, both forward and backward. Dolly and Frank Miller show expert horsemanship in mounting and dismounting; simultaneously riding one horse, then alternate in vaulting from one horse to another while dashing around the arena. Austin King is the acknowledged bounding jockey champion, and his achievements this season is winning new laurels for him. He successfully guides his high jumping horses while they vault over hurdles and barriers of great height. Wm. Sutton, Jos. Haines, Mlle. Julien and Estelle Settler engage in an act that shows all the various paces taught the high school thoroughbred menage horse. In the "Spanish trot," "lay down," "sit up," "knee high," and pedestal exhibition they are unequalled. The eight-horse entree, with the lady and gentlemen equestrians garlanded with flowers and going at top speed through the pretty and difficult "threading the needle" feat, is one of the most difficult and attractive numbers. As a contrast to these sensational performances, "Jim" West, the famous clown, attempts to burlesque these acts upon a trick mule. He really does accomplish many intricate feats, but in so grotesque a manner to evoke shrieks of laughter from the multitude. The Norris & Rowe greater circus will exhibit at Medford Wednesday, May 3d, 2 and 8 p.m.
Medford Mail, April 28, 1905, page 1


Norris & Rowe's Circus.
    Norris & Rowe's circus did not draw as large a crowd as usual this year, partially on account of the rainy weather and partially owing to the fact that everybody in this neck of the woods is pretty busy at this time of the year. However, the big tents were well filled at the afternoon performance, and there was a fair-sized audience in the evening. The show has increased in size from year to year, until now it might be classed as a full-fledged circus. New features have been added, and there is no better show of its class on the road than Norris & Rowe's.
Medford Mail, May 5, 1905, page 1

Medford Mail, May 12, 1905
Cozad's Wonderful Aggregation of Dogs, Ponies, Monkeys and Goats to Exhibit Here Soon.
    Several years have now passed since a complete dog and pony circus has exhibited in this state. Since the Norris & Rowe shows have been turned into a large circus organization, we have had no entertainment of this kind. However, the present season will mark a change, for the field has been entered by Cozad's California Dog, Pony, Monkey and Goat Circus. The show will be given on a large scale, as the aggregation travels in its own special train, and carries immense waterproof circus tents, reserved seats, etc., and every care will be taken of the large numbers of ladies and children who are always interested in an entertainment of this nature.
    A special feature is the arrangement by the management to allow the little folks to ride the ponies free of charge after the exhibition is over. An entertainment devoted exclusively to canines, equines and simians has always proven extremely popular and a source of unlimited pleasure to all classes of amusement lovers, and no better illustration of what kindness, gentleness, patience and love can accomplish with miniature brutes could be shown than in the way the dogs, ponies, monkeys and goats of the Cozad show express their delight and appreciation of the fun they are enjoying when going through their stunts. There will be pony drills, a Maypole dance by children on pretty, prancing Shetlands; high jumping, hurdle riding; hippodrome contests and feats of skill and speed by the little equines; innumerable tricks by well-trained dogs and absurdly laughable antics by grotesque monkeys.
    Popular prices will prevail during the engagement of Cozad's show here.

Medford Mail, May 12, 1905, page 4

Medford Mail, May 19, 1905
Scenes in the Deep Sea Divers Exhibition
at the Carnival.
    Following is a description of the numerous shows that are to be seen at Medford's Free Spring Street Fair and Carnival:
    There are twelve pay shows in all, each one entirely different from the other and all of which are new to the public.
    The big stadium is the feature show, and [it] is really [a] high-class arenic show equal to the best circuses. Eliminating the menagerie and equestrian acts, as it does, it embraces the best acrobats, gymnasts, etc., that money can procure and the terrific leap of the death chasm by Diavolo, which is the great feature of this show.
    The other pay shows include Peggy from Paris, an exquisitely beautiful melange of marvelous dances. Coon Town, 100 present, real old plantation darkies, in characteristic cake walks, singing, dancing and comicalities.
    Capt. Sarco, deep sea divers, is an intensely interesting and instructive exhibition of the actual work in deep sea diving.
    The California Train Robbery embraces an excellent exhibition of moving pictures by an expert operator, the leading film being the train robbery, a masterpiece of motion pictures.
    "Creation" is a phenomenal show that seems to set all scientific laws at defiance and may be classed as a psychological phenomenon.
    The "Fire and Flame," as its name implies, depends largely upon its company of spooks, angels and imps, and assisted by a realistic "Beelzebub," and clever stage craft will awe the superstitious, amaze the credulous and arouse the normal persons who attend.
    The "Mystic Maze" is where you "get lost" and are kept busy trying to find yourself, your neighbor and your own way out. It is highly amusing.
    The "Crazy House" creates no end of amusement for those who enter, for the cleverly constructed glasses contorts and distorts one's shape into all sorts of fantastic shapes and inconceivable widths, lengths and breadths of form. The results of a visit are extremely ludicrous, and one's risibilities are worked overtime in this show.
    The Crystal Palace, where new and novel features are displayed in blowing glass in every conceivable manner, and the Golden City, is also another very interesting exhibition.
    Besides the five big free acts, the Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and the riding camels.
    Lorita, the armless wonder.
    Yes, there will be something doing all the time, as the doors open every evening at 7 and every afternoon, after Monday, at 2 o'clock.
    Date, 22d May. Place, Medford.

Medford Mail, May 19, 1905, page 8

Lorita, the Armless Wonder
Lorita, the Armless Wonder

    The Southern Carnival Co. has been showing in Medford this week and will close its engagement here Saturday night. The attractions are all first class and are attended by good-sized audiences. The people connected with this company are all quiet and unassuming, and one wouldn't know they were in town only when the "spielers" for the various shows commence calling the attention of the crowd to the attractions inside the tent. Madame Lilijen's high dive from the top of a pole sixty-five feet high into a tank containing but four feet of water, the performer being at the time enveloped in flame, is one of the open-air attractions that never fails to draw a crowd.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 28, 1905, page 5


Medford Mail, August 25, 1905AMERICAN AMUSEMENT INSTITUTION.
BARNUM & BAILEY'S SHOW.
    All the papers of Europe, without exception, have praised the wonderful character of the Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth. What they have all remarked in praise would fill a book of 10,000 pages of small print. To transport the vast material, animals and property of the big concern requires five trains of cars, each car nearly sixty feet long and each train nearly 2000 feet long, so that all the trains if made into one would be over a mile in length. All the cars will be seen here when the show arrives on Saturday, August 26th.
    Another novel feature are the tents. Very few persons can form an idea of their magnitude and capacity. When it is stated that the largest building in New York, Madison Square Garden, does not seat one-half as many people as the tent where the performances are given, one begins to realize its enormous size. Nearly fifteen thousand persons can be comfortably seated in the main canvas, which has a footrest for every seat, while the menagerie tent is 350 feet long.
    Arranged in the main tent are three equestrian rings, three stages, a race track, and an aerial enclave, and it is in and upon these the wonderful performances take place. In the menagerie pavilion are other stages, where the collection of curiosities are exhibited without extra charge,and where also are the handsome cages of wild beasts, the elephants, baby elephant herd of giraffes and other objects of interest. Then there are other tents, with canvas stalls, canvas mangers, etc., for the 500 horses, and still more tents for dressing rooms, dining rooms, barbers, blacksmiths and others, the whole covering an area of twelve acres. To see all these tents erected in the short space of two hours is indeed a wonderful sight, and but another instance of the remarkable methods and stupendous resources of this truly magnificent show. The vast amount of material carried, the great number of employees of all kinds, the army of performers, the commissary department--in fact, all the various parts of the big affair when combined make such a colossal gigantic show that few can possibly comprehend it. And it is never divided.
    There will be only one performance here, owing to the long run to Redding, Calif., but it will be complete in every way and includes the great sensation "The Dip of Death." The show begins at 1 o'clock, doors open at 12.
Medford Mail, August 25, 1905, page 1


Barnum & Bailey's Circus.
    The general expression of the people who attended Barnum & Bailey's circus Saturday was one of disappointment. The circus did not come up to their expectations. Fact is, when one sees one of the big traveling aggregations nowadays he sees them all, practically, and when he looks for new sensations in the next show that comes along he is bound to be disappointed. However, there were several good acts in the show which alone were worth the price of admission, but the balance of it was what we had all seen before. In the opinion of many the bicycle leap of "Volo the Volitant" was a better feature than the widely advertised automobile jump, the latter being principally a matter of machinery, the rider having nothing to do with its success or failure. The crowd was less than ones which have attended former occasions.
Medford Mail, September 1, 1905, page 1


EVERYTHING NEW THIS SEASON.
Norris & Rowe Circus To Furnish a Veritable Feast of Circus Novelties.
    With the present circus season the greater Norris & Rowe Show will celebrate its eighteenth birthday. It is but natural to suppose that in all this time a vast quantity of equipment should be collected, so it was with considerable relief that Norris & Rowe accepted the offer of a small circus touring the Middle West to purchase all their old wardrobe, costumes, small cages, dens and chariots. When the clearance was effected H. S. Rowe hurried to New York and there had made to his order all new big dens, tableaux wagons, chariots, cages, floats, etc., superb new wardrobe, attractive trappings for the horses and many novel, up-to-date circus fixtures, so when the show appears here the young western circus men are confident that the public will agree with them that the title "The New and Greater Norris & Rowe Circus, Museum, Menagerie and Hippodrome" is the most appropriate name that could have been given the show. Not an act of any kind has been retained from last season. Many of the European bareback riders are making their first trip to this country, and quite a number of the athletes, midair performers and acrobats have never been in this section, and this is just exactly what Norris & Rowe wanted. It was promised last season that when the show came this way again every act, feature, novelty and all the equipment would be new and interesting, and Norris & Rowe are satisfied in the knowledge that they have, as always, lived up to their every promise. The New and Greater Norris & Rowe Circus will give two exhibitions here Thursday, May 3d.
Medford Mail, April 20, 1906, page 2


Medford Mail, April 20, 1906
Medford Mail, April 20, 1906


CLOWNS PROVE INVENTIVE GENIUSES.
    That the circus clown is not always the foolish fellow he seems is shown by the ingenious devices Tote Ducrow and Billy Scott of the Norris & Rowe circus have invented for evoking laughter from the little folks. This season they have invented a breakaway trolley car. A burlesque circus parade headed by the clowns starts around the hippodrome track. They meet the trolley car coming towards them. They refuse to get out of the way. The trolley car starts ahead at full speed with the inevitable result that the burlesque parade is broken up, [and] the car runs over the clowns. They retaliate by jumping upon the car, when finally an explosion sends car and clowns high in the air, accompanied by the shrieks of delight from the children. Another of their laugh-provoking inventions is a large red automobile called the "Red Devil," and devil it is, for when it starts around the track at full speed it runs over everybody in sight. Squealing pigs, scurrying chickens, an old maid with her market basket, a fat man, a dude and a tramp are run over with equal impartiality, and the automobile finally goes up in smoke after all the confusion it has caused. The children will remember these comical fellows long after they have forgotten everything else they saw with the circus. Tote Ducrow and "Happy" Bill Scott have as assistants in fun-making Nick Mannigan, "Foolish" Willie Hyatt, Bob Curtin and "Grotesque" Charlie Medora. The New and Greater Norris & Rowe Circus will exhibit at Medford, Thursday, May 3d.
Medford Mail, April 27, 1906, page 4


Getting Better Every Year.
    From a little one-ring affair, with a few dogs and ponies, Norris & Rowe have increased the size of their show year by year, until now they have one of the largest and best circuses in the West. At their performance on Thursday last they attracted the largest crowd they have ever showed to in this city, and the unanimous verdict was that the performance was equal [to], if not better, than that given by larger aggregations with more pretentious reputations that have shown here before. The best of the old features have been retained and a great number of new ones added.
Medford Mail, May 11, 1906, page 5


THE CIRCUS IS HERE.
Clowns, Elephants, Monkeys and All
BIG CROWD HERE
Immense Aggregation of Trick Animals and Highly Trained Acrobats--A Huge Crowd
    All Medford was alive this morning early in anticipation of the arrival of the great Forepaugh and Sells Brothers great combined shows. When the first train arrived in this city from Eugene it was met by a vast delegation. The wagons were followed to the show lots on the west side, where the thousands who had waited long for the show to come drank in with wonder the systematic movements of the small army of people.
    The three great herds of elephants won particular attention. The massive pachyderms, larger in size and in number than anything that ever came this way, played to an appreciative audience. Young Medford, who was to see his first elephant, made a thorough examination of the big fellows, and [but] only for the trainers he might have crawled up the long trunks of the monsters to see the whole show from a point of vantage.
    The Forepaugh Sells shows come to Medford after receiving the plaudits of the press in every city where they have stopped. They give two shows in this city and then jump south to California.
    At noon the giant parade of over a mile of cars moved through the main streets of Medford. Thence back to the grounds and the big show was ready for its great tent display. The menagerie is in itself a show well worth the price of admission, while the big circus performance is a kaleidoscope of daring acts, each worthy of the figure the circus charges to pass within its doors. The show has been advertised as the greatest show that ever played in Medford. Despite its miles of paper [billboards] the show lives up to every detail of its ads, and in this way marks itself a great show both in size and in integrity.
    Hundreds who attended the show in the afternoon saw their first fire engine. The show carries three complete fire companies, which are both ornamental as well as useful. The first scene, which depicts a burning hotel, is a most stirring spectacular production. In the center of the big tent is erected a street scene. In the middle of it is a hotel. This catches fire. The fire department responds and rescues imperiled people from the third-story windows. Others, who are cut off by imaginary flames, jump into life nets. In the line of equestrian work the Forepaugh Sells shows are revelations. Some of the feats of daring that are presented by the big show make one's heart stop beating for a second.
    In this respect as well as in many others, the Forepaugh Sells shows stand at the head of their line. The performance this afternoon was given before thousands. Another show takes place this evening at eight o'clock. The doors open an hour earlier.
Medford Daily Tribune, August 25, 1906, page 1

Medford Mail, August 17, 1906
Medford Mail, August 17, 1906

CIRCUS DAY IN MEDFORD.
    Circus day has come and gone. For one whole day the city was in the hands of the circus man, the small boy and the sightseer. It was a Fourth of July with the fireworks left out.
    The trains bearing the big show were late in arriving, and as a consequence the parade was delayed until nearly one o'clock, and the doors to the main show were not opened until nearly three. During this time there were several hundred people waiting in the hot sun for admission, and there was some adverse comment concerning this.
    Once inside, however, troubles were forgotten by all and the crowd seemed bent on getting all the fun there was in the occasion. Everybody reveled in the genuine circus air. It was hot, it was dusty, the wild animals gave forth their natural effluvia even more pungently than usual, the clowns cracked the jokes which have been cracked and put together and cracked again for ages. The young lady in diaphanous apparel, who pirouetted on the wide back of a big horse, looked just like the one we fell in love with in the days of Montgomery Queens' old, one-ring show, the tumblers tumbled, the trapeze performers made apparently impossible leaps in midair, the--what's the use trying to tell about it. One man couldn't see it all at one time. There was something doing every minute, and it was all good, and the crowd appreciated it.
    The attendance from out of town was not as large as it would otherwise have been had it not been for the reports disseminated concerning the prevalence of diphtheria in Medford. One report was to the effect that there were three hundred cases of the disease in Medford and that twenty deaths had resulted, when as a matter of fact there hasn't been a single case in a malignant form and no deaths which can be traced to the disease.
    On the whole the show gave good satisfaction.
Medford Mail, August 31, 1906, page 1


The Great Norris & Rowe Circus Will Positively Appear Here.
    The popular young western showmen, Norris & Rowe, advise us from their Santa Cruz winter quarters that they will positively appear in this city next  Monday. The show has been enlarged to forty-five cars, traveling in sections of fifteen cars each. Jas. O. Stuart, general contracting agent, has been in the city to purchase large quantities of supplies, contract for lot location, billboard space, excursions, etc.
Medford Mail, April 19, 1907
Medford Mail, April 19, 1907
    The program is a lengthy one and includes every act known to the circus arena and in addition to many odd and unusual features, trained animals etc. the bareback riders including such celebrities as Geo. Holland, somersault rider; Rose Dockrill, principal rider; Dolly Miller and her high school horse; Edna Maretta, somersault bareback rider; Frank Miller and his dog "Vic" in a hurricane hurdle jockey act; Frank O'Brien in a comedy mule hurdle act; Rose Stetson, in a pretty menage act; Herbert Rumley, the rough rider; Geo. Settler and his 20 Shetland ponies. The aerial acts include the Four Flying Banvard Sisters troupe; the Leffel Troupe on the aerial bars; the Sisters Rappo, trapeze performers; the Melno troupe of aerial silver wire experts; Irene Maretta on the swinging ladder; the Lanole Bros. on the unsupported dancing ladder. Novelty acts include the Seven Avalon troupe of cyclists; the Montrose-Keno troupe of grotesque gymnasts; the Adams troupe of acrobats; Ben Lucier and his giant golden ladder in backward somersaults; the Toozoonin Arabs, gun spinners; the Whirling Dervishes; the Zerhewsky troupe of Cossack dancers; the Turkish Patrol of soldiers in a wall-scaling feat, etc. The trained animals features, including lions, tigers, bears, wolves, elephants, camels, llamas, sea lions, dromedaries, bloodhounds, hyenas, kangaroos, etc. There will be the usual parade. Souvenirs will be given this season to commemorate the twentieth year of the partnership of Norris & Rowe, and the tour is known as the "Jubilee Souvenir Season." In Medford Monday, April 22.
Medford Mail, April 19, 1907, page 3


Interesting Exhibition Under Canvas.
    The Great Norris & Rowe circus, museum, menagerie and hippodrome made its annual appearance in this city Monday, gave two well-attended exhibitions and pleased many. The show has a number of novel acts, and keeps moving in an interesting way from beginning to end. There are no wasted minutes. Everything was kept quickly moving, and good management was shown in every detail. The small boy was very much in evidence, and found all the things he delighted in. The time-honored parade showed a gay cavalcade of brightly plumaged knights and ladies, equestrians and equestriennes; open dens of wild beasts, thoroughbred horses, clowns; bands of music, tableaux wagons and all the appurtenances of the modern successful circus. The menagerie was a very fair one indeed. In this tent one could see excellent specimens of lions, tigers, hyena, bears, pumas, kangaroos, leopards, baby lion, deer, elk, monkeys, elephants, llamas, camels, dromedaries, sea lions, wolves, panthers. Here also was kept the curiously spotted Arabian horses, racing thoroughbred stock and performing Shetland ponies, while out in the horse tent was a fine collection of heavy draft stock that made many a farmer's eyes glisten. In the big tent proper was given a creditable exhibition of bareback, trick, fancy, high school and menage equestrianism, trapeze performances, high wire acts, flying acts, casting acts, feats of juggling, contortion, aerial horizontal bars, long and high leaping contests and the always exciting hippodrome races. Those who attended expressed themselves well satisfied, and it would be a person hard indeed to please who didn't get their money's worth.
Medford Mail, April 26, 1907, page 8


The Circus in Medford.
    One of the biggest crowds that ever assembled in Southern Oregon was in Medford Saturday to witness the Ringling Bros. circus. From early morning until noon the people were coming in from all directions, and in every kind of conveyance, from puffing autos to a lumber wagon drawn by those faithful beasts who, in the words of a famous Oregonian, are "without pride of ancestry or hope of posterity."
Medford Mail, August 16, 1907
Medford Mail, August 16, 1907
    The small boy, who can barely arise in the morning in time to escape parental wrath, was at the depot before the whistle of the first train came, and from that time until the last car had been loaded and departed into the night, this was a day of unalloyed joy and excitement.
    By the time the parade was formed, the streets were a mass of crowding, jostling, good-natured humanity, bent on getting all the enjoyment possible out of the pageant. And it was well worthy of the effort, for a finer parade was never witnessed here. Everything looked bright and well cared-for. The horses were well groomed and in good spirits, the animals in the cages were different from the usual half-starved-looking, spiritless specimens one usually sees, but looked as if, were they given their liberty, they could render a good account of themselves.
    The performance was of the very best. Many new features had been added, and the performers were of the best talent possible to get together.
    Taken altogether Ringling Bros.' show was better this time than ever before, and this means that it was far and away the best show of the kind that ever pitched its tents in Medford.
Medford Mail, September 6, 1907, page 1


Does a Little Roasting.
    The Gold Hill News takes occasion to point a moral by relating some of the occurrences of circus day in Medford, and one is perforce compelled to agree with him in the main. The system of handling passenger traffic on days when large crowds travel over short or longer distances on the railroads comes in for a good share of Bro. Purdin's criticism. He tells of the crowd waiting at the depot for the 5:09 train until 2:30 in the morning, and at the same time shows how the law compelling railroad companies to post up time of trains every half hour is made a farce. That bulletin board showed "guesses" at the time of the delayed train every 30 minutes or so, but nobody knew when it would come, and the expectant passengers were no better off than they were in the days when the only information to be had was a grunt.
    Bro. Purdin pays his respect to the Medford city government as follows: "And along the line of poorly managed affairs, the Medford city council is also deserving of some special mention from the way they policed the city on that day. In the evening while the crowds were awaiting the arrival of the trains, hoodlums would pass through the crowd shoving ladies and children into the rain and mud and doing other acts of a like nature, without the least interference from the police at all. One lady from Gold Hill was struck across the shoulders with a riding whip while her back was turned in a crowd, by some vagrant, who ought to have been tarred and feathered. It would have been a warm occasion for that miserable speck of humanity had he been caught by the Gold Hill boys shortly after it happened."
    We might say in this connection that if the above miscreant can be identified as a resident of this city, there will be no objection by anyone to his being duly disciplined.
Medford Mail, September 13, 1907, page 1


BIG CIRCUS COMING.
    The juveniles of Medford, together with the thousands of elders who only go "to take the children," are thoroughly prepared for the coming of "the dog and pony show," formally announced as Gentry Brothers' Famous Shows, United, which are to exhibit in Medford tomorrow afternoon and evening. Ever since the first announcement of the show's coming, the parent who happens to hold the purse strings in each family in and about Medford has been beset by overtures more or less direct looking to such a loosening as would get the small fry under the Gentry canvases at least once while the shows are here.
A Big Little Feature.
    Added to the superior attractive power of perfectly trained dogs, ponies and monkeys, has been the widely spread knowledge that the only and original Mrs. General Tom Thumb, happily known to three generations of amusement lovers as the cleverest and most entertaining little woman alive, is also with the Gentry shows. It has been announced that the famous little woman is accompanied by her present husband, Count Primo Magri, and his brother, Baron Magri, making a group of "diminished thirds," which promises to excite the admiration as well as the curiosity of all ages of circus devotees.
    Since no trained animal exhibition is without an elephant, providing such exhibition is properly constituted, the Gentrys have added five performing pachyderms to their collection since last the shows were seen here. And then there will be "Oklahoma," an American-born and -bred baby camel, a half dozen baby ponies, some of them barely able to walk, and groups of trained pigs, sheep and geese. Several acrobatic features have also been added to the Gentry shows playing to big audiences which continually voice their approval; a verdict which is rendered in full measure by the press.
Medford Daily Tribune, October 12, 1907, page 3


EVERY DAY WASH DAY WITH FAMOUS CIRCUS
The Gentry Shows' Dogs and Ponies Get Many Practical Lessons in Cleanliness.
    Every day is "wash day" with the Gentry Brothers' famous shows, for the management prides itself on having the neatest and prettiest of tented shows on tour, and next to a performance whose quality and character have given the shows an enviable individuality rejoices in that cleanliness which is next to the highest virtue. So it happens that one of the big bills in connection with conducting the trained animal exhibition is for soap and water.
Medford Daily Tribune, October 17, 1907
    Early morning visitors to the Gentry Brothers' show grounds at Medford, October 18, will therefore have the unusual opportunity of seeing a dog and pony wash day which sets a splendid example to the housekeeper and is calculated to inspire the onlooker with increased respect for the 20th century circus as exemplified by the Gentry Brothers' shows.
    The hundreds of trained dogs with the shows are led to the grounds as soon as the tents are in place and then turned loose, but it is a liberty with a string attached to it. For no sooner are the dogs on hand than they are brought fact to face with the huge iron tubs and even the unobserving layman can tell by the expression on their canine countenances that they know what is coming. Some are sad and some are glad; some "yip" in pleased anticipation and others growl in sullen resentment; while the healthiest ones bark their joy and the weaker ones whine in fear.
Medford Daily Tribune, October 15, 1907, page 3


FUN UNDER CANVAS.
Nat Reiss Company Opens a Medford Engagement Thursday--
"Meet Me at the Carnival"--That Is the Watchword Among the People.
    "Meet me at the carnival" is the watchword of everyone who is interested in the big festival that will be given at Medford October 17-18-19 by the Nat Reiss Carnival Company. The committee believe the opening performances Thursday will be attended by many thousands of people.
Medford Daily Tribune, October 16, 1907    It is to be a real carnival week. It is to be a week free from society restraints, but full of sociability, real, good, honest, innocent fun. There will be confetti to fill the hair of men and the gay gowns of the girls. There will be blowing of horns, whistling of balloons, waving of beribboned canes, congress of bashful maids, parading of the gay beaux, visiting, flirting, courting, joking, teasing, all on the promenade of the big white city, where Nat Reiss has 12 big shows, two bands and 200 performers, a one-ring circus, "Dixieland," which is a theater inside a Mississippi river steamboat, with plantation songs and scenes, high-class vaudeville in the Red Dome, the Ferris wheel, steam gondolas, the electric theater, with moving pictures from Rome, Vienna, Berlin, Paris and London; "Aga," a never-ceasing wonder and a beautiful picture; Maximo, the highest-diving dog in the world, Madam Wanda's 17 trained coach dogs, all of one mother and several litters, with the mother as directress general of her progeny's performances.
    There will be more real sociability of neighbors and friends meeting and visiting with one another in the promenade between the white tents next week at the carnival than there has been since New Year's Day.
    A carnival is distinctly a people's entertainment, and its leading feature is sociability. The amusements and entertainments, which are exceptionally good, are but an incident to bring the people of the whole community in pleasant, easy social abandon, where stiff society rules are abrogated, and true respect and genuine good fellowship prevail.
    Gates open at 2 and 7 p.m., and good order and good fellowship are on top from the opening to the closing of the gates. One cannot spend a more enjoyable, entertaining and even instructive afternoon or evening than by visiting the carnival.
Medford Daily Tribune, October 16, 1907, page 2


CIRCUS PARADE PROVES UP TO ADVERTISEMENT

    The biggest of the smaller shows, better known as Gentry Brothers' Famous Shows, United, made good its promises of the past several days and presented to several thousands on the principal streets this morning one of the prettiest street parades ever given by a traveling circus.
    The crowds that lined the right of way were not only delighted with the diminutive chariots, coaches, cages and tableaux and charmed with the excellence of the wardrobe and decorative materials used in the parade, but they were a unit in expressing surprise at the fine condition of the hundreds of ponies and horses. In these particulars, especially, comparison with any other circus parade seen here this season is altogether favorable to the Gentry Brothers.
Nearly a Mile Long
    In addition to the quality and individuality of the various features, not excepting the inevitable elephants, camels and calliope, the crowds had occasion to express surprise at the length of the "dog and pony" show parade, since the display was nearly a mile in length.
    Notable among the features were Count and Baron Magri in the tiny coach originally given Mrs. Tom Thumb by Barnum; the wagons bearing the scores of beribboned and well-groomed dogs; the little pony colts trotting alongside their mothers, and the monkeys, some of whom rode "outside" on top of the cages, while others were seen in durance vile behind the bars.
Tents Are Crowded
    Early this afternoon the doors of the Gentry tents were thrown open to the thousands of patrons, mostly children and their escorts, who came to see the pony drill, the monkey fire department, the diving dogs, the pyramid pony act and the various other features incident to the characteristic Gentry program. Countess Magri--Mrs. General Tom Thumb--also held court just inside the main entrance, renewing many friendships dating back 40 years, and the pony and animal tent also came in for a large share of attention.
    Following the afternoon performance all the children in the audience were given invitations to ride the ponies, elephants and camels, and few of them declined the offer.
    The Gentry shows will exhibit on the same grounds this evening.
Medford Daily Tribune, October 18, 1907, page 4


CIRCUS DAY IN MEDFORD
    The small boys of the city and the surrounding county sat on hard benches last Tuesday, munched hard nuts, drank pink lemonade and proclaimed to all who were there to hear that "the circus has come." The youngsters were happy, and many a man's thoughts turned backward to the time when he was small and could enjoy a circus as it should be enjoyed.
    It was a large crowd that greeted Norris & Rowe's circus, and for the most part everyone came away satisfied. The posters had proclaimed for some time that it was bigger and larger than ever, and so it was found. People from the surrounding county flocked to the city, and at the afternoon and evening performances the large circus tent was crowded. It was a good crowd too, from the circus manager's standpoint, for they saw all there was to see and consumed vast quantities of the standard circus edibles. Circus day was more like a holiday than anything else.
    Long before the big parade started in the morning the streets of the city were crowded, and latecomers experienced some difficulty in finding a location from which they could gain an unobstructed view of the parade. The vacant lots along the line [of] parade were crowded with automobiles, carriages and divers sorts of vehicles. The circus was good. Two large rings and an elevated stage were in evidence, and the management kept the large crowd amused for nearly three hours with one attraction after another. The menagerie was good and larger than that of last year. The side shows gave for the most part a new list of attractions. As a whole the show was good, and not many were disappointed.
Medford Mail, May 1, 1908, page 1


    The Norris & Rowe circus was accompanied by a number of fresh young men, who made themselves rather obnoxious by annoying young girls and women--without provocation. If one or two irate citizens had succeeded in locating certain members of this bunch, the circus would likely have been shy an employee or two the next morning.
"City Happenings," Medford Mail, May 1, 1908, page 5


    A few years ago a herd of elephants, property of a circus, came near smashing the bridge through, and since that date the city government has barred elephants from the structure.
"Electric Railroad Barred from Bear Creek Bridge in Medford," Medford Sun, February 3, 1911, page 6
A search of Medford ordinance books indicates no such formal ordinance was ever passed. A thorough search of newspaper reports after known circus performance dates for 1903-1911 found no newspaper reports about damage to the bridge.

Southern Oregonian, September 26, 1908
Southern Oregonian, September 26, 1908


BIG CROWD AT MEDFORD
Wild West Show Reports 10,763 Paid Admissions.
    MEDFORD, Or., Sept. 28.--(Special.)--"Buffalo Bill's" Wild West Show here today brought together one of the largest crowds ever assembled in Jackson County. Colonel Cody said tonight:
    "Medford is the liveliest town for its size in which my show has appeared. I expected 3000 attendance, but had 10,763 paid admissions."
    It was pay day for the employees of the show, and many of them distributed a goodly amount of their earnings among the business houses here.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, September 29, 1908, page 7


CIRCUS DAY IN MEDFORD
It is Estimated that Nearly 12,000 People Witnessed Show
    Yesterday was circus day in every sense of the term. It was circus weather, there was the circus crowd, circus dust, circus lemonade, and then, to cap the climax, there was the show itself, and the general impression among the thousands who saw it was that the show was a good one.
    Sunday night the people started to arrive in the city for the purpose of attending the performance, and from that until the hour for the opening the people arrived in droves. They came in rigs, in automobiles, on trains and many walked. All were intent on seeing what will in all probability be the last appearance of the world-renowned "Buffalo Bill."
    The show opened with a grand review of the different rough riders of the world, the genuine Sioux and Cheyenne Indians, cowboys, Cossacks, Mexicans, scouts and guides, veteran members of the United States cavalry, a group of western girl rough riders, and a detachment of color guards, soldiers of the armies of America, England, Germany, Japan, Russia, Arabia and Mexico.

Medford Mail, September 25, 1908
Medford Mail, September 25, 1908
    Then there was a group of Mexicans from Old Mexico who showed the use of the lasso, the old Deadwood stage coach, and then Buffalo Bill gave some exhibitions of expert shooting from horseback while on the gallop.
    The next on the program was what was termed the "race of races," and it was between a cowboy, Cossack, Mexican, Arab and Indian, on Mexican, bronco, Indian and Arabian horses. Attention was directed to the different seats in saddle by the various riders. This was won by the Arab.
    Then followed the United States artillery drill, showing the old muzzle-loading methods. The guns used were relics of the Civil War. A former Pony Express rider showed how telegrams of the republic were distributed and carried across the continent previous to the building of telegraphs and railways.
    The Arabs and Japanese performed various feats of agility.
    The emigrant train illustrated a prairie emigrant train crossing the plains guided by Buffalo Bill. Incidental to the scene there was a buffalo hunt, the Virginia Reel on horseback, songs by the emigrant's quartette, and high school performances by Ray Thompson's trained western range horses, including "Joe Belley," the most wonderfully trained equine in the world. After the emigrant camp had settled down for a night of rest and sleep, the peaceful scene was distributed by marauding Indians, and they were repulsed by the scouts and cowboys.
    The battle of Summit Springs, fought on July 11, 1869, was shown. During this engagement Buffalo Bill shot and killed the Indian chief Tall Bull.
    There was football on horseback, the newest form of equestrian sport, played under special rules and seen for the first time in any arena; a drill by the Sixth Cavalry, showing the evolutions of the regular army; Johnny Baker, the celebrated American marksman.
    "The Great Train Holdup and Bandit Hunters of the Union Pacific" was a scene representing a train holdup on the western wilds. The bandits stopped the train, uncoupled the engine from the coaches, robbed the express car and blew open the safe. Meanwhile the passengers were lined up and despoiled of their valuables. The scene ended with the arrival of the bandit hunters of the Union Pacific.
    Racing by Indian boys on bareback ponies, cowboys picking objects from the ground, lassoing and riding wild horses; Devlin's Zouaves, in manual of arms, lightning drills, finishing with an exhibition of wall scaling, showing the adaptability of citizen-soldiery in warfare; Cossacks from the Caucasus of Russia, in feats of horsemanship, and then the finale salute.
    In spite of the immense crowd in the city, all were on their good behavior, and the police had about as quiet a day in their line as if there had been nothing unusual doing. There was no accident, and as far as is known all the visitors were well taken care of by the hotels and restaurants and had a real good time, taking it all in all.
Medford Mail Tribune, October 2, 1908, page 1


    Queen Anne addition, in East Medford, will be the Wild West show ground. Time was when a circus tent could be pitched "close in" to the depot, but nothing doing for circuses on the old grounds--they are now all covered with residences and school buildings.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, October 2, 1908, page 6


CIRCUS IS COMING.
    Norris & Rowe, the circus managers who recently met with financial reverses, are to arrive in this city on the 24th with a thoroughly up-to-the-hour circus attraction. The advance agent is now in Chico and will arrive in this city in a few days.
    The Norris & Rowe attraction came to public attention a few months ago as a result of a financial tangle in which it became involved. After touring the southern portion of California the circus went to Santa Cruz, where the money question became so vital that the animals and other paraphernalia were sold at auction to pay off the creditors.
    The circus is now, however, back in the old hands again, having been bought back following the realization of money by the former managers through investments made in Alaska.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, April 9, 1909, page 2


Medford Daily Tribune, April 12, 1909
Medford Daily Tribune, April 12, 1909

MANY VICTIMS OF CIRCUS SHARPERS
Short-Change Artists Fleece People Who Purchase Reserved Seats.
Police Say it Was the Toughest "Bunch" they Ever Encountered.
    The Sacramento Union says: The police state that the men employed by the Norris & Rowe circus are the hardest lot that they have had to deal with for many moons, and at the circus grounds last evening officers Siddon and McManus were kept busy quelling fights between circus employees and outsiders and straightening out squabbles between the ticket sellers and citizens who had been shortchanged. The most flagrant case of shortchanging occurred at the reserved seats section, when a citizen was swindled out of $50 by one of the employees, and to avoid any trouble the management of the show refunded the money to the victim of the sharper.
    A citizen asked for a reserved seat from a man named Nelson, who was selling the seats, and was told that if he had a $5 or $10 piece he would be given two reserved seats for a quarter, the ticket seller explaining that he had a pocket full of silver that he wished to get rid of. The purchaser tendered the $5 piece, and the ticket seller said: "Oh, never mind, I will keep the silver," and pushed back to the purchaser a nickel. This occurrence was immediately reported to the police, and officers McManus and Siddons threatened to arrest the ticket seller unless the matter was straightened out. The management of the show agreed to do this, and the incident was closed.
    Over 25 people reported to the police that they had been shortchanged, but rather than make a fuss allowed the matter to drop.
    Yesterday afternoon an attachment was served upon the circus by Constable Haggerty at the instance of Justice Clarken, in whose court an action was filed by A. J. Madsen on behalf of 30 employees of the show. The men claim that the Norris & Rowe people owe them for back salary to the amount of $200. A bond was filed by the Norris & Rowe company, and they state that they will fight the men in court, as the claim is not a just one.
    Late last night three employees of the circus applied to the police, stating that they had been discharged and had received no wages. The circus was on the cars and under way when the complaint was made, and the discharged men left for Oroville, where the circus next shows, vowing that they would file an attachment in the Butte County town.
    Early in the evening Detective Kripp and Sergeant Koenig closed down one of the sideshows, which was advertising as a Salome dance, but was nothing more than the "hootchy kootchy." Chief Sullivan investigated the dance, and seeing that it was not fit for women and children to witness, ordered it closed.
    Gambling games, which were conducted in some of the sideshows, were also closed down, as those running them violated their word with Chief Sullivan, who allowed them to run some games, but as soon as the games were started "brace games" were introduced, which the officers promptly closed down.
Medford Daily Tribune, April 20, 1909, page 3


Medford Mail, April 23, 1909
Medford Mail, April 23, 1909


CROWDS FLOCK INTO CITY;
IT'S CIRCUS DAY, YOU KNOW

Medford Daily Tribune, April 24, 1909
"Shrieking his rollicking roundelay, a monster marched through the town;
He woke the echoes, disturbed the peace, and shouted defiance to the police,
He frightened the horses, annoyed the dogs, and even the autos trembled,
But the youngsters rejoiced at the din he made and followed his way with glee
As youngsters have done since in Hamelin town, another piper of high renown
Created havoc across the sea, so latter-day children are wont to be
Entranced by the singing cal-i-o-pe."
    Again the painted wagons rolled through the streets, and everybody, young and old, feasted their eyes on the spectacle of the circus parade that Norris & Rowe brought to the city this morning.
    When the long circus trains unloaded at the depot this morning Norris & Rowe received their annual demonstration of welcome. The small boy was much in evidence as was also the big boys, and they worked with unflagging interest in assisting men and horses to the circus lot. The big tent is filled this afternoon, and for the convenience of those unable to attend the matinee, the whole thing will be repeated tonight, when a number of attractive special features will be added.
    The Norris & Rowe enterprise is properly conducted, and it offers all the ecstatic thrills and aesthetic delights demanded of a circus. It begins in the good old way. Three bands are united and march around the ring to a most inspiring air. Elephants come lumbering after, holding each others' tails. After that is the camels, dromedaries and then, delight of delights, shade of chivalry, the knights and princesses ride in graceful ranges, garbed in such glory as to outshine the pomp of power. Then come the clowns, humble Yoricks of the sawdust, and then the pageant melts away and in the two rings upon the elevated stage and high aloft toward the billowing tent top there is a riot of daring deeds. It is hard to follow all the things they do and say in a circus, but the excitement of trying makes life worth living.
    "The circus has comed!"
    So shouted the small boy to the world this morning, and then he got busy with watching all of the never-failing delights of unloading and moving and setting up, and the parading and all of the countless thousand and one things that go to make a circus day complete. This afternoon he is contentedly sitting on the same old hard bleachers munching peanuts and letting his illumined being [be] o'errun with the deluge of delightful sensations that he receives. Circus day is an event in his life, and the older people go, hoping against hope that they will again turn old time backward in his flight and experience some of the delights that belong to the youngster.
    The city was filled early in the day with people who drove in from miles around to witness the performance. They lunched wherever they could, many picnicked, while a number filled up on the circus day lemonade (?), peanuts and popcorn. The hawkers were busy early with their fancy whips and countless other circus day souvenirs. The show played to a large attendance, but nothing to be compared with the 11,500 that turned out to see Buffalo Bill in October last.
    The merchants of the city did a splendid business. Saturday is always a good day with them, and especially so when the crowds come in as they did today. Withal circus day is a busy day in Medford.
    Norris & Rowe will give a second performance this evening, and there is no doubt but that a larger crowd will be out than was this afternoon.
    The circus was delayed to some extent by the wreck yesterday in the neighborhood of Dunsmuir. They arrived early enough, however, to get in shape by show time.
Medford Daily Tribune, April 24, 1909, page 1


AN HONEST MAN
Diogenes Would Not Have Searched in Vain in Medford
    In the olden times, before the Standard Oil Company had entered into a neck-to-neck race with the Creator for the possession of the universe, an old, eccentric gentleman by the name of Diogenes contrived him a crude lantern and went on a still hunt after an honest man. Success, it seems, did not attend the efforts of Diogenes to discover an individual with whom honesty had even a speaking acquaintance. At least the chronicles of the times fail to give any information that might lead us to suspect such a discovery on the part of the explorer.
    Had Diogenes lived in the present century, however, and found his way to Medford during his wanderings, a far different story would have been inscribed on the pages of history. The name of I. H. Merriman of Central Point would have been engraved in letters of gold as the man upon whom the rays of Diogenes' tallow dip had fallen and drawn forth the cry of "Eureka!" from the astonished Diogenes.
    Mr. Merriman was in town today, and in the course of conversation with a number of friends unconsciously testified to the fact that he could tell the truth when the majority of men would have manufactured a double-lined, copper-plated falsehood without once considering that another square was punched from their mileage ticket to heaven by so doing.
    "Brought the children in to see the circus?" remarked one of the party to Merriman.
    "No, siree," replied Merriman. "I brought the children, all right, but only as a matter of justice. I like to see the big elephants, the openwork tigers and the bearded lady, just as well as the youngsters do. I like a circus and make no bones about the fact."
Medford Mail, April 30, 1909, page 2



CROWDS FLOCK INTO MEDFORD TO SEE CIRCUS
Sells-Floto Show Brings Joy to the Hearts of Medford's Young and Old--
Creditable Array of Finery.
QUEEN ANN ADDITION IS POPULAR PART OF TOWN
Splendid Parade Witnessed on the Crowded Streets in the Business Section.
    The Queen Ann domain in the east part of town was the most precious bit of acreage in Medford today--at least to those of the young set and "upward"--for with the rising of the sun came a whole train load of the dandiest circus things--red wagons, canvas by the hundred yards, side shows, peanuts, pink lemons and tartaric acid (brought for the purpose of giving the lemonade) and everything that goes to make the hearts of young people and old ones, too, rejoice.
Medford Mail, May 14, 1909
Medford Mail, May 14, 1909
    The weather was fine, and the country folk besieged the town early. Townspeople joined merrily in the crowd that thronged the streets, and the balloon man vended his wares to the intense delight of many a "precious little darling," while everybody waited to see the elephants.
Parade Source of Delight.
    The parade started promptly at 10 o'clock from the circus grounds and, traversing several of the residence streets, wound its way, shedding happiness and awe in its pathway, back to the main street, continuing thence eastward to the grounds. It was a creditable turnout, lacking none of the features that go to make a circus parade interesting, and many of its features were exceptionally fine. The Armour sextet of dapple gray draft horses is [by] far the most handsome turnout of horseflesh ever exhibited here.
Big Crowd Attends.
    The big circus tent was crowded early this afternoon in spite of the fact that this circus closely follows one last month. Sells-Floto have many things to delight the young and old alike, and many were there to enjoy themselves.
    A big time is promised people this evening, and doubtless the circus management will do well here.
Medford Daily Tribune, May 17, 1909, page 1


    One hundred and twenty-five wagons passed our house up to 10 o'clock with from two to four passengers bound from the north of the county, bound for the circus.
J. G. Martin, "North Medford Notes," Medford Mail, May 21, 1909, page 8


Southern Oregonian, August 11, 1909
HUGE CROWDS FILL CITY
TO SEE CIRCUS
Trains from Nearby Cities Jammed with Humanity
On Their Way To See the Big Circus
SMALL BOY IS IN HIS ELEMENT TODAY
Papa and Mamma and All the Kids
Flock to the Queen Anne Addition Today
    Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! The circus has come again. The seal of the great Ringling Brothers' show has been stamped upon Medford, and once more with joyous accord we revel in the sights and sounds and scents of a never-to-be-forgotten love--the big show.
    Like huge white birds the mammoth tents stretch surrounded by the gaily colored wagons, resplendent in much gilt, the great flapping poster, recitals of the side show attractions, and any number of peanuts, lemonade, candy and popcorn booths, without which a circus would be as "Hamlet" with Hamlet left out.
    The usual scattering of small boys with ventilator trousers and wide, questioning eyes, waited outside to hear the elephants--28, count 'em--and perchance be taken inside the tent by some philanthropist with memories of another circus day agone. Bold, blase paterfamilias, with gleaming eyes and the circus fever itching every spot of his anatomy, had been coerced into bringing the children. Old ladies, holding their reticules firmly against the pit of their stomachs, hosts and hosts of happy boys and girls. Youth and old age alike snuffed the sawdust and turned handsprings to the places. Crowds from all nearby cities came as delegations, hundreds strong. Trains from every direction, east, west, south and north, brought in a merry, merry crowd of merry makers.
    The animals would have been pickin's for one T.R. Dromedaries and camels, with their backs up, were objects of interest chiefly because they can go 90 days without a drink. Kings of the forest roared beautifully and at regular intervals, and tossed their manes in true jungle book style. Lady lions inclined languidly by and looked bored at their high lords' noisings. Freckled leopards, clumsy bears, timid deer, mountain lions, tigers and a herd of mammoth pachyderms, or in Americanus vulgaris, "effalunts," were among the list of eye-holders.
    And such a crowd. Everyone was there to see the bizarre, bantering, button-breaking comical convocation of clownish celebrities, the gyroscopic and gymnastic jeopardies of graceful girls, the dainty, dexterous and daring displays of equitation, the agile exploits of equilibrium and the crowning culminating climax of transcendent terrible thrilldom, the desperately dangerous quintessence of aerialism.

Southern Oregonian, August 28, 1909, page 1


OVER 13,000 PEOPLE SAW BIG CIRCUS
Record Crowd Turned Out To Greet Ringling Brothers on Their Appearance Last Saturday.
JUDGE KELLY STOPPED HIGH-PRICED MOTORISTS
Refused Admission to Those Drivers Who Charged 50 Cents a Trip to the Grounds.
    A total of 13,000 people saw Ringling Brothers' circus Saturday, 8000 in the afternoon and 5000 in the evening. The attendance was a record-smasher for Medford, though 11,800 attended the one performance that Buffalo Bill's Wild West show gave a year ago, which stands as the record crowd at one performance.
    On account of the oppressive heat in the afternoon, much discomfort attended the performance, though the heat was not as intense as it was Friday at Roseburg, where the evening performance was abandoned because of the exhaustion of performers. Five thousand is the record crowd for evening performances in Medford.
    Because part of the automobilists charged 50 cents a head for taking people to the circus instead of 25 cents, which has heretofore been the charge, Judge E. E. Kelly, owner of Queen Anne addition, on which the circus tents were pitched, refused entrance upon his property to the 50-cent motorists and thereby occasioned quite a little excitement on the grounds.
    Sheriff Wilbur A. Jones and Deputy Sheriff William Ulrich spent the day guarding the county bridge over Bear Creek, forbidding fast driving or motoring over the bridge. Several who attempted to disregard warnings were threatened with arrest.
Medford Daily Tribune, August 30, 1909, page 1


    Was there anybody in the city yesterday attending the circus from the southern part of the county? The Morning Mail candidly believes there was. A party of three reliable gentlemen, two of whom were non-residents of this state and were here looking over the valley, drove down from Phoenix after the show was over in the afternoon, and these gentlemen all agree that the number of wagons, hacks, buggies and autos that they met in coming that five miles was at the very least 250, and all were fully loaded with people.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, September 3, 1909, page 2


Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1910
Medford Mail Tribune, May 15, 1910


CROWDS FLOCK INTO MEDFORD
TO SEE BIG SELLS-FLOTO SHOW

Medford Mail Tribune, May 16, 1910
Medford Mail Tribune, May 16, 1910
    The domain in the north part of town was the most precious bit of acreage in Medford today--at least to those of the young set and "upward"--for with the rising of the sun came a whole trainload of the dandiest circus things--red wagons, canvas by the hundred yards, side shows, peanuts, pink lemons and tartaric acid (brought for the purpose of making the lemonade) and everything that goes to make the hearts of young people and old ones, too, rejoice.
    The weather was fine, and the country folk besieged the town early. Townspeople joined merrily in the crowd that thronged the streets, and the balloon man vended his wares to the intense delight of many a "precious little darling," while everybody waited to see the elephants.
    The parade started promptly at 10 o'clock from the circus grounds, and, traversing several of the residence streets, wound its way, shedding happiness and awe in its pathway, back to the main street, continuing thence eastward to the grounds. It was a creditable turnout, lacking none of the features that go to make a circus parade interesting, and many of its features were exceptionally fine. The Armour Sextet of dapple gray draft horses is [by] far the most handsome turnout of horseflesh ever exhibited here.
    The big circus tent was crowded early this afternoon. Sells-Floto have many things to delight the young and old alike, and many were there to enjoy themselves.
    A big time is promised people this evening, and doubtless the circus management will do well here.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 16, 1910, page 8


CIRCUS CITY OF ITS SELF
Population of 1280 People, 700 Horses, 1200 Wild Animals with Barnum and Bailey--
How Huge Caravan Is Managed.
    The show ground of the Barnum and Bailey circus is a city in itself, lacking only a town council and a state charter. It has its own lawyers, painters, detectives, blacksmiths, wagon makers, laundrymen, barbers, shoemakers, tailors, sail makers, harness makers, storekeepers and photographers. It supports an electric lighting plant, a hospital and a hotel, where 4,000 meals are cooked and eaten every day in the week.
    This circus city has a population of 1,280 people, 700 horses, forty elephants and 1,200 other wild and semi-domestic animals. At night the home of this army is a train over one mile in length. In a single season this train travels about 40,000 miles, making stops in about 200 cities and giving over 400 performances. In its fifty-fifth year of life the show has exhibited in every city of any size in the world. Royalty has applauded it. The peasantry has hailed its appearance with delight. Its prestige is established in every country. It is, of course, an American institution, though it is quite as well known in Europe and Asia as in the United States.
    The home offices of the show are located in New York City and Chicago. The winter quarters are at Bridgeport, Conn. The foreign workshops are in Stoke-on-Trent, England, and foreign agencies are maintained in London, Liverpool, Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Vienna, Hamburg, Calcutta, Hong Kong, Capetown, Melbourne, Constantinople and Buenos Aires.
    The wonderful policy of P. T. Barnum and the remarkable system put into operation by James A. Bailey are still the active principles of the management. Not a year has passed without improvement and growth. On Monday, August 29, at 10 a.m. the show will come to Medford for 1 performance only, with an entire new equipment from the great imported vehicles of the forenoon parade to the last stitch in the fourteen acres of canvas. The program offered is the best ever presented by this show. Almost without exception it is made up of foreign talent. There are 400 artists on the list. The program opens with a new and elaborate spectacle. For sensation and thrills there are Desperado, who leaps from the dome of the arena to the ground, alighting on his bare chest; Jupiter, a magnificent Arabian horse, which takes a balloon ride and shoots off fireworks high in the air; and Charlie the First, a chimpanzee marvel, who is the greatest bicycle rider and acrobat on earth.
    There are fifty clowns, among them the Garcenittis, who until recently were comedians in the court of the Sultan of Turkey. The Konyot family of equestrians, the seven Patty-Franks, the Dollar acrobats, Paula Peter's dog and monkey comedy company, a brass band of elephants, Winston's equestrian and juggling seals, the La Faille quartette of the world's strongest men, the Berzac comedy horse circus and Victoria Codona, the greatest high-wire dancer on earth, are a few more of the headliners of this great show.
    In the menagerie is to be found the first and only giraffe baby ever born or exhibited in the United States. It is only three feet in height. Its mother is twenty-two feet tall.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 19, 1910, page 6


SMALL BOY WAITS MONDAY ANXIOUSLY
    The Barnum and Bailey greatest show on earth will give one exhibition here next Monday morning at 10 o'clock. The event is of more than passing interest to this community. It is the day the small boy has been waiting for; the circus posters have had him hypnotized ever since they were pasted on the billboards. Now the day draws near, and, of course, Papa and Mama must go just to take care of the children and incidentally recall moments of their own childhood.
    It wasn't so very long ago that a circus with one ring was thought by old heads--then young heads, by the way--to be a pretty big affair. The one-ring show was changed to two rings with a larger circumference of canvas. Later the series of circus circles was increased to three, and then a big platform was added.
    But with the speed of the American nation this was not enough, and the hippodrome races, which gave a brutal spice to old Roman days, was added. The evolution of the circus in this way has reached its highest development and greatest success under the direction of the Barnum and Bailey management.
    They now have a show of colossal size as against what history records, or the average man is familiar with. When they strike their tents in a given place instantly a village arises, with a thousand or more souls, each of whom has a definite duty, and lends to the systematic effect of the glorious whole. And their sheltering roof of canvas by the exact rules of measurement represents thousands of yards and affords not only a temporary home for these many people, but for 500 or more horses, each of which has a distinct office in the fulfillment of a show-making scheme that has lifted the name of the Barnum and Bailey shows to a high place of honor.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 26, 1910, page 3


YOU GOT UP EARLY, NOW DIDN'T YOU?
Huge Crowds Flock into City To See Big Circus Parade at 8 o'Clock--
Greatest Show on Earth Gives One Performance Only,
But That One Was Greatly Enjoyed.
----
The song of the circus is heard in the land,
The banners are silken from far Samarkand,
They wave o'er the wombat, the quagga and gnu,
The camel, the yak, the blithe kangaroo.

The hand-painted zebra's a symphony grand,
The song of the circus is heard in the land.
The poster is blooming green, yellow and red,
And stands the blithe urchin with joy on his head.

The barrel of fancy we spin on our shoon
And jump from the nag through the paper balloon.
The song of the circus is heard in the land--
The trick mule embroiders his tricks on the sand.

The peanut discourses its solo serene,
With envy the red lemonade's turning green;
The clown on the sawdust cavorts to the band--
The song of the circus is heard in the land.
----
    Pa was routed of bed in the cold grey dawn this morning in order that the cows might be milked, the pigs fed, and Nancy and Dobbin hitched to the spring wagon in time to get Ma and the kids into town in time to see the big parade of the Barnum & Bailey circus, scheduled at 8 o'clock. And not alone did Pa arise. Mr. City Man was in his office an hour earlier than usual that he might get his work out of the way so he could snatch an hour to see the mile of gilt and glittering wagons. It was a horrible hour for a circus, anyway, wasn't it, Arabella?
Medford Mail Tribune, August 9, 1910
Medford Mail Tribune, August 9, 1910
    There was no more popular spot in Jackson County today than the 15 acres of ground occupied by Barnum & Bailey just at the end of the Main Street pavement. A tremendous crowd gathered there early today, and this afternoon are wending their way homeward with nothing but praise for the "greatest show on earth."
    Barnum & Bailey arrived in the city Sunday afternoon. They gave one performance here at 10 a.m. and are now leaving for the south.
    When the Barnum and Bailey Greatest Show on Earth is packed away for the night and speeding over the rails to its next point of exhibition, it lives in a rolling home over a mile in length. This wonderful train is divided in five sections. It is a congress of nations on wheels, a Noah's Ark of animals and a world's fair of a thousand charms.
    When the show lies spread out for a day's business it covers 14 acres of ground. Over it waves a sea of canvas, spotted with ten thousand flags and banners. The spirit of P. T. Barnum, the greatest showman who ever lived, still animates its faultless policy. The wonderful system of James A. Bailey, that has made the handling of the gigantic proposition possible, is still in evidence, urging it on from year to year to better and grander achievements.
Medford Mail Tribune, August 29, 1910, page 1


INDIAN FIGHT REPRODUCED
Buffalo Bill Gives Vivid Pictures of Pioneer Warfare Between Settlers and Aborigines--
Colonel Cody's Farewell Visit to the Coast.
    That principal feature with the Wild West and Far East this season is a reproduction of the Battle of Summit Springs, one of the deciding conflicts in the government's task of subduing the redskin. Colonel William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) participated in the original battle on July 11, 1869, at Summit Springs, near the western border of Nebraska. In this battle Chief Tall Bull, who was in command of the renegade Indians, or "Dog Soldiers," as they were called, was shot and killed by Buffalo Bill. This important incident will, of course, be reproduced as a part of the realistic mimic battle. General E. A. Carr, who was in command of the government forces, General E. M. Hayes, General William P. Hall and other officers who participated in the original conflict, are still alive and will be impersonated in the scene. Incidental to the battle will be shown many interesting features of Indian life; the erection of an Indian village will be depicted, and incidents of Indian camp life will be faithfully depicted.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1910
Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1910
    The attack by the troops under General Carr will constitute a stirring scene, and the rigors of war will be dramatically illustrated. The battle of Summit Springs, while the chief feature of the exhibition, will by no means constitute the only scene of western life. There will also be the overland emigrant train and settlers' trailside camp, in which scene there will be blended the pleasures and pastimes of the plainsmen with the horrors of an Indian attack upon the whites. The three big scenic features will be of exceptional interest because of their historic correctness, and because of their value as replicas of scenes taken from an eventful period in our nation's past. The exhibitions of horsemanship by the rough rider contingent will form a novel and interesting section of the program, and at every performance the only and original Buffalo Bill will be in the saddle directing the entertainment and participating therein. Contrasting with these pictures of far western life will be seen an oriental display of great beauty; a pageantry of color and customs in strong contrast to the strenuous scenes and incidents of the Wild West. Incidental to the Far East scene, and as a special feature thereof, Rossi's Musical Elephants will be seen in a brilliant and truly wonderful exhibition of animal training.
    This visit is rendered interesting as the final appearance here by Buffalo Bill.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 15, 1910, page 3


BIG CROWDS SEE OLD SCOUT
    The usual large circus crowd thronged the Medford streets from surrounding towns between the performances of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. Colonel Cody, who has been the big feature in his big show since its first exhibition in 1883, swears that this is his last tour of the West. One more year in the circus ring, shooting at flying glass bulbs before the cheering, surging multitude, and the old scout will repair to his farms in Wyoming. When asked in his office this morning at the show grounds if he was tired of the show businesss, he said:
    "No. I never get tired of excitement, but I want to have a chance to enjoy my farms at Cody, Wyoming, in the Great Horn Valley. I have some beautiful farms in Wyoming which I have never seen during the green season, as I have always been away with my show."
    The Wild West show formed by the old veteran scout, Colonel Cody, will not cease with the retirement of General Cody into private life, but no longer will the colonel be billed as the main feature of the program.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 25, 1910, page 5

Al G. Barnes Circus, Madras, Oregon 1911
The Al G. Barnes Circus parade makes a U-turn in Madras, Oregon 1911

Ashland Tidings, May 16, 1912
Ashland Tidings, May 16, 1912


Barnum and Bailey at Medford.
    The Barnum & Bailey "Greatest Show on Earth" will exhibit at Medford Saturday August 29th for two performances, and street parade will be given. In recent seasons the big circus has had spectacular features, but this season the management has gone to untold expense in investing the big circus with a wonderfully brilliant pageant of Oriental splendor entitled "The Wizard Prince of Arabia." This colossal innovation is offered at the opening of the show, thereby doing away with the old, stereotyped "grand entree" idea which has been worked to death by all the tented aggregations throughout the land.
    In this realistic reproduction of the glamorous, eventful days of the land of the "Thousand and One Nights," Barnum & Bailey engage the services of more than 2,000 persons which embraces the dancing activities of hundreds of gaily bedecked coryphées and a grand ballet effect at the finale which leaves a lasting impression.
    The spectacle opens with an elaborately decorated setting of Arabic land where there is much confusion over the departure of the prince and his five wizards, who perform modern-day miracles in helping their noble master conquer strange domains. The subsequent adventures of the prince and his wizardly retinue which sets forth from their native heath with horses gaily caparisoned and amid a great and gorgeous spectacle. In quick succession follows the invasion of King Babar's realm in India, where by magic aid of the five wizards the prince is enabled to win the heart and hand of the king's daughter. There's a magnificent wedding feast which is produced in kaleidoscopic splendor, teeming with life, action and color. The ballet finale was pronounced by the press of New York City to be the last word in circus pageantry.
Central Point Herald, August 13, 1914, page 1


    Stanko Bros. pitched their show tent at the ball park Friday and gave an exhibition in the evening. The attendance, like the performance, was slim.

"Local News," Jacksonville Post, June 5, 1915, page 3


Medford Mail Tribune, September 1, 1915
Medford Mail Tribune, September 1, 1915

    Al G. Barnes circus will show in this city tomorrow, and a large crowd is assured. It will be the only circus to appear in this city this year.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 1, 1915, page 2

BARNES CIRCUS SHOWS IN MEDFORD TOMORROW, SEPT. 2

    After weeks of anticipation, with daily inspection of the billboards and pictures in the store windows, the small boy comes into his own tomorrow. The Big Barnes Wild Animal Circus will be here to entertain young America and his parents and other relatives.
    A big circus, bristling with as much new entertainment as the Barnes show provides, always sends a thrill along the spinal column of every red-blooded youngster and grownup. And why shouldn't it--it's the big fun day of the year, the day when folks for miles around come to town to meet and visit their friends and join in having a good time.
    The day's festivities commence with the parade, which leaves the show grounds to traverse the principal downtown streets promptly at 10:30. This pageant is instructive as well as alluring and represents the greatest monetary value ever assembled in a circus parade, due to the great value of many trained animals. Many cages of wild animals are shown--the finest specimens of their kind in captivity.
    The great troupe of Barnes world's prize-winning horses and ponies are shown in the parade, which are claimed to be the most beautiful, best bred and best trained horses known to exist.
    Many thrilling wild animal acts are introduced by men and women trainers during the show's performance. Sixty lions, tigers and leopards and thirty bears are shown in these acts, twenty-four full-grown man-eating lions being handled in one group by one trainer.
    Thirty huge bears are performed in another act. Then there's educated zebras and laughing hyenas. A tiny pony rides on the back of an elephant. African lions ride galloping horses; one jumps through hoops of fire. Another lion rides in a balloon and shoots fireworks. A troupe of over 600 educated animals are shown.
    Fifty clowns, rib-tickling animals, provide fun for the kids.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 1, 1915, page 3


    The Al G. Barnes wild animal show exhibited in this city Thursday without an untoward incident. A large crowd attended both performances. The animal acts were unusually good. A feature of the show is the band, which is probably the best circus band in the land. They gave a concert on Main Street Thursday evening.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, September 3, 1915, page 2



Medford Sun, May 21, 1916
Medford Sun, May 21, 1916

Medford Sun, September 3, 1916
Medford Sun, September 3, 1916

Medford Mail Tribune, September 23, 1916
Medford Mail Tribune, September 23, 1916


SELLS-FLOTO CIRCUS COMES TO MEDFORD WITH BIG SHOW
    There's only one direction in Medford today, and that is toward South Holly Street. The very air spells circus, for during the early hours of morning several trainloads of happiness reached the city via the Southern Pacific, and like the Arabs of old, a veritable city of tents were soon wafted to the breezes. Hardly had the cars been "spotted" in the yards until a multitude of souls poured forth; souls from many climes, and all with a certain work to perform. Of course, the unloading process came first, and to the delight of the small boy, the wagons and canvas-covered cages--all labeled "Dangerous"--began rolling off the cars and were hurried away to the circus grounds one after another. To the younger generation keen disappointment was felt when it was learned that Jess Willard was still sleeping peacefully in his private car and could not be viewed by the multitudes.
    The parade was fully two miles in length. Tableaux wagons, floats, elephants drawing guns and other novelties abounded..
    There was a Wild West section; real bonneted Indians, South American gauchos, Mexican vaqueros and the typical American cowboy were the features of this section.
    A troupe of gaily clad Zouaves--drummers and buglers on foot--were in the line of march. Bands of music were plentifully scattered throughout the parade, dispensing music such as only a circus band can, and calliopes--well, there were two in line, as well as a large set of the Chimes of Normandy, presided over by an attractive young lady. It was a wonderful parade and well worth seeing.
    Two performances will be given today at 2 p.m. and 8 o'clock. Doors open one hour earlier in order to give everybody an opportunity to visit the large menagerie, ostrich farm and Toyland.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 28, 1916, page 5


CIRCUS, BARRED FROM CITY, UNABLE TO GIVE PARADE
DISTANCE NO BAR TO CIRCUS CROWDS AT FAIRGROUNDS
Little Ones Miss Free Show Given in Street Parade as Permit To Parade
Is Refused by Mayor--Show Bigger and Better Than Ever.
CIRCUS DAY TIPS
    The attraction today is Sells-Floto Circus, located on the fairgrounds, where two performances are scheduled, 2 and 8 o'clock, doors opening an hour earlier. At 1:30 and 7:30 o'clock, [omission] band begins a lengthy program of popular, standard and patriotic music and the mysterious widow appears. Annexes open until 10 tonight.
    Circus day and no circus parade. Can you imagine it?
    Yes, perhaps some of the older folk can, but the kiddies--
    Disappointed--yes they were--hundreds of them, 'cause they always expect, always look forward to the great sights given in these grand free street pageants. And this, for numbers of little tots, is their only glimpse of the big attractions on circus day, for many of them do not get to attend the performance.
Circus As Scheduled
    But circus day, nevertheless, is here, and it is the Sells-Floto Circus, the big red, white and blue cars carrying the tons of paraphernalia, the hundreds of horses and ponies, the dens of wild animals and 600 people having arrived in the wee sma' hours of the morning from Montague, where a large business was done yesterday.
    The great wagons, after being brought down the runs, were hastened to the fairgrounds, where Sells-Flotoville is the place of amusement for today and tonight only.
    The parade, which was scheduled for this morning, was declared off, as the city would not permit, it so only the performances will take place as scheduled, one for this afternoon and the other for tonight, the latter beginning at 8 o'clock, doors opening one hour early.
Under Big Tops This Afternoon
    "La-a-a-de-e-ez and gen-tell-mun, Sells-Floto challenges the wurruld to produce its equal in a-muse-ment, ed-gew (with a soft "G") kay-shun and di-vertise-ment com-bin-ing ev-eree ex-ee-bishun with champeens giv-ing odd, nov-el and speck-tack-yew-lur per-forman-ces."
    And with that announcement from a leather-lunged announcer, whose voice could be heard a mile on a clear day, the Sells-Floto Circus, which the genial press agent admits is the "most astounding aggregation of talent, a world of glitter, gold, gladness, music and melody, ever brought together under a mammoth canvas," made its bow in Medford today on the fairgrounds.
Alphabetically Outlined
    Painting the Sells-Floto Circus alphabetically, it really is an aggregation of acrobats, bears, camels, dogs, elephants, gorillas, horses, an ibex, jaguars, kangaroos, llamas, mountain lions, Nubian lions, orang outangs, panthers, quadrumanous animals, ring-tailed monkeys, sables, tigers, urials, vampires, walrus, yellowhammers, zerus and zebras, not to mention Alice, from Dallas, "the fattest girl in the world," and Traveno, the man with two heads. It's all circus!
    To the small boy seeing his first circus, it is a midsummer night's dream of revelry, beauty and action--a fairyland of frills and silver gauze, of sylph fairies in silken tights. Judging from the youngster's eyes, it is some enchanted dreamland where naught but beauty dwells and where all the inhabitants perform impossible feats. To this boy queens of the air flew from heights to heights and made a joke of the law of gravitation. Ponderous elephants stood upon their heads and walked erect upon their hind feet, turned somersaults and other remarkable stunts gymnastic. To this youngster every clown was a "Silvers" personified, and he howled with glee when the clowns cut up in age-old form.
Patriotic Spirit
    Along with a fast-moving show, the Sells-Floto people infuse a spirit of patriotism that makes the heart beat faster. Old Glory is constantly in evidence. Instead of the usual wind-up--the hippodrome races--the circus band arises and plays "The Star-Spangled Banner." Even the perspiring circus hands drop their ropes to uncover and stand at attention until the last note dies away.
Take the Kiddies
    So, if you have no little kiddies of your own, just grab one or two of your neighbor's, take them as your guests for an evening, as they will enjoy making the acquaintance of the ponies, monkeys, the elephants, and they will also like to get a glimpse of Colossus, the giant gorilla, the only living animal of the kind in captivity.
    And by taking them you will gladden their little hearts and also will be happy yourselves.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 8, 1918, page 4


    The Brown Carnival Company, which shows here the rest of this week, arrived in the city this forenoon from Springfield, Ore., and at once began the work of unloading the carnival cars and putting up the various tents and amusement devices on the grounds on North Fir Street, just north of the Big Pines Lumber Company plant.
"Local Briefs," Medford Mail Tribune, October 20, 1919, page 2


    Notwithstanding the very large crowd of people in Medford yesterday for the circus there was not an accident or trouble of any kind, or untoward incident, according to the police reports. There were no burglaries or cases of pocketpicking. In fact, the day was rather a remarkable one in the history of circus visits in Medford.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, May 5, 1921, page 2



    It was a queer circus day here today to the local people and visitors in that there was no parade, but the crowds began gathering early this forenoon to see the big Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey show, and get what excitement they could on the streets. There was general disappointment when it was announced that but one performance would be given and that at 6 p.m.
    The time-honored toy balloons and such circusy and holiday stuff were on sale on the streets early this morning before even a sign of the coming circus was seen.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, August 25, 1923, page 2


Fire Chief Fails to Obtain Rest Even at Circus
    Fire Chief Roy Elliott went to the Tom Mix circus yesterday afternoon for relaxation. He was comfortably relaxed in a sideshow when his professional nose smelled smoke.
    The chief quickly traced the smoke to a circus truck containing sleeping quarters which had caught fire from an electric heater. Hurriedly Mr. Elliott grabbed two of three fire extinguishers from parked automobiles and put the blaze out. Much of the bedding was destroyed by the fire.

Medford Mail Tribune,
May 6, 1936, page 4



MINER SUES MIX FOR DAMAGES IN CIRCUS ACCIDENT
    Harvey Deck, a miner, alleging "careless and negligent use of a lariat" by  Tom Mix, movie cowboy, during a circus performance here last Tuesday afternoon, today filed suit for $10,000 damages against the film star, as owner of the "Tom Mix Circus."
    Deck alleges in the complaint that Mix, while in the main arena giving a roping exhibition, attempted to lasso a horse and in so doing negligently and carelessly threw out said rope as to catch plaintiff, "over the head and under the chin," causing Deck to be hurled into the main runway of the circus, where he was struck and knocked down "by the horse the said Mix was attempting to lasso."
    The complaint further states that Deck, at the time of the accident, was a paid spectator, and standing in a space reserved for spectators. The plaintiff claims he was rendered unconscious by the fall, and suffered injuries to his shoulder, neck, head, arm and chest.
    Deck further asserts that by reason of the accident he is unable to pursue his work as a miner, and earn $25 per month.
    Newbury and Newbury appear as counsel for Deck in the action.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 11, 1936, page 5


TOO LATE TO CLASSIFY
NOTICE--Anyone who saw Tom Mix rope the old man, please phone 85.
Medford Mail Tribune,
May 15, 1936, page 8



Mix Seeks Trial in Federal Court
    Tom Mix, film and circus star, today filed bonds in circuit court for the transfer of the $10,000 suit of Harvey Deck, Gold Hill district miner, to the federal court.
    Deck alleges that while attending the Tom Mix circus in this city, May 5, Mix, while attempting to lasso a horse in the arena, committed an error and the lariat fell around his neck and shoulders, inflicting injuries.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 29, 1936, page 1


    SUIT AGAINST MIX IS SENT TO U.S. COURT
    By an order signed by Circuit Judge H. D. Norton, the damage suit of Harvey Deck, Gold Hill miner, against Tom Mix, movie equestrian and circus owner, is transferred to the federal court for the Oregon district. The case will probably be heard at the annual federal court term for the southern Oregon district next October here.
    Deck claims that while a paid spectator at the appearance of the Tom Mix circus here May 5, the film cowboy, in attempting to show his skill with a lariat, missed a horse in the arena and lassoed him instead. He alleges he was thrown to the ground and injured.
Medford Mail Tribune, June 9, 1936, page 2


ACCORD REACHED IN TOM MIX SUIT
    Settlement was announced today of the $10,000 suit of Harvey Deck of Gold Hill against Tom Mix, western star of the circus and cinema. The suit was scheduled to come up in the session of federal court which opened here today.
    Although withholding concrete figures, Don Newbury, of Newbury & Newbury, counsel for Mr. Deck, stated the settlement was for a "substantial amount."
    It was alleged that Mr. Deck, who is 77 years old, was injured when he was accidentally lassoed by Tom Mix when his circus played here last May 5. Mr. Deck brought suit for $10,000.
    Randall Jones, member of the Portland law firm of McDougal & Jones, representing Mr. Mix, conferred here last week with the Newburys, and terms of settlement were accepted yesterday by the Portland attorneys, Don Newbury said.

Medford Mail Tribune, December 1, 1936, page 3

Russell Bros. Circus ad, June 23, 1942 Medford Mail Tribune
June 23, 1942 Medford Mail Tribune

ARTHUR BROS. CIRCUS BETTER THAN EVER, PLAY TWO DAYS
    Considerably improved over a year ago, the Arthur Brothers circus showed to huge crowds here Wednesday and Thursday, and left circus lovers with a renewal of the feeling that "there's nothing to compare with a circus."
    Outstanding, as last year, were Capt. Jorgen Christiansen's famous Criollo Stallions. Capt. Christiansen, who has spent his life training horses, both in Europe and in the United States, has developed his horses into an act which approaches the unbelievable. To those who love horses, that act alone is worth the price of the show.
    The Escalante Troupe of trapeze performers, always thrilling, were better than ever, and the clown alley was busy all evening. But writing about a circus is an almost impossible task. You simply have to see it.
    Joe and Moe, the twin baby elephants, and the only ones in this country, took the eyes of kids and adults alike. They are getting a good start in circus life, and by the time they are grown up will almost be running the show.
Medford News, May 5, 1944, page 1


The Circus Is Coming!
    Forty wild, ferocious Nubian lions and Bengal tigers, male and female, comprise the vast group of snarling, treacherous, man-eating beasts which Clyde Beatty, king of the steel arena, will face when the newly combined Clyde Beatty and Russell Bros. Circus comes to Medford Tuesday and Wednesday, June 20 and 21.
    Although still a young man, Beatty is unchallenged as the greatest wild animal trainer the world has ever known. He has been bitten, clawed and mauled, but this nerveless man of slight build still defies his ferocious charges twice daily.
    Once Nero, a huge Nubian black-maned lion, beat off an enraged tiger which was mauling Beatty during a performance. Strange to say, just one year later Nero himself leaped from his perch, attacked Beatty, and sent the famous trainer to the hospital with a body ripped and shredded by claws and fangs.
    Continually augmenting his startling arenic exhibition with new features and thrills, Beatty has this season added to his display King and Kitty, huge lion and tiger, which sit up on their haunches at his command and wave their big front paws to the circus crowds. He also presents the world-famous "Nigger," a Bengal tiger which rolls over and over like a kitten, then flies into a tornadic spin.
    The Clyde Beatty and Russell Bros. combined performance embraces many additional trained animal features, including Mrs. Harriet Beatty's renowned elephant-riding tiger, famous high school horse and highly trained troupes of performing dogs, ponies, sea lions, chimpanzees and elephants.
    Performances are presented twice daily at 2:30 and 8 p.m., with doors to the menagerie opening at 1 and 7 o'clock.
    The circus grounds are near the intersection of Riverside and South Central.
Medford New, June 16, 1944, page 4

Arthur Circus poster, 1945 Medford
1945

    In days gone by, as days do, the Ringling Brothers circus was not too proud to play a one-day stand in a field near the Jackson School. One year, an aging Tom Mix (a great star of westerns when such pictures had the understandably simple plot of a cowboy in love with his horse) appeared with the circus and was involved in a most embarrassing incident. It was on a warm day in July that Tom Mix sent his lariat spinning out to capture a fleeing calf in the arena when the loop dropped neatly over the shoulders of a Medford spectator, jerking him from his seat and into the ring. Old Tom was still apologizing as he entered the court room, destined to emerge as the loser in a civil suit.

J.W.S., "Circus Days," Medford Mail Tribune, April 14, 1963, page 4



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ROGUE VALLEY CIRCUS BIBLIOGRAPHY
Arnold's Consolidated Shows: MS5/21/1912p2
Arthur Bros. Circus: MN5/5/1944p1, MN5/11/1945p3
Arthur's Mighty American Circus: CPA5/21/1942p1
Bailey Bros.: MT4/26/1948
Baird & Clinton's Dog and Pony Show: MM6/28/1901p7, MM8/16/1901p7
Al G. Barnes Circus: MT4/26/1911p6, MS4/21/1912, CPH8/26/1915p1, MT9/1/1915p3, CPS5/10/1929p4, MT5/15/1930pB1, CPA5/10/1935p1, CPA4/30/1936pp2,3
Al G. Barnes and Sells-Floto Combined Circus: CPA5/5/1938p3
Barnum and Bailey:MM8/11/1905p1, MM8/25/1905p1, MM9/1/1905p1, MT8/9/1910, MT8/11/1910p8, MT8/19/1910p6, MT8/26/1910p3, MT8/29/1910p1, MT9/1/1910p1, CPH8/13/1914p1, CPH8/24/1916p1, MS9/10/1916p12, MS9/16/1916p4
Dr. Bassett's United States Circus: OS7/6/1861p3
Clyde Beatty Circus: MT5/21/1948p3
Clyde Beatty and Russell Bros. Circus: MN6/16/1944p4
Brown Carnival Co.: MT10/20/1919p2
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show: SO9/26/1908, MM10/2/1908pp1,6, MMT9/11/1910, MMT9/15/1910p3, MMT9/18/1910p10, MMT9/22/1910, MMT9/25/1910p5, MMT9/29/1910p2
Circus Vargas: MMT7/7/1978p8, MMT7/9/1978pC1
W. W. Cole's Circus: OS8/21/1886pp1,3, OS8/28/1886p2, DT2/4/1887p4
Consolidated European, New York and San Francisco Circus: OS11/2/1872p2
Cooper Bros. Circus: CPH7/20/1916p2
Cozad's California Dog, Pony, Monkey and Goat Circus: MM5/12/1905p4
Daly's One-Ring Circus: MMT6/23/1927p3
E. B. Denby & Co.'s Circus: OS7/19/1884p2, OS8/2/1884p2
DeWayne Bros. Circus: MMT9/28/1970
Dodge Circus: CPA10/4/1945p1
Foley & Burk's Combined Shows: MT5/27/1918p2
Forepaugh and Sells Bros.: MM8/17/1906, MDT8/25/1906p1, MM8/31/1906p1
Gentry Shows: MDT10/12/1907p3, MDT10/15/1907p3, MDT10/18/1907p4
Grand National Circus: OS8/5/1863p2, OS8/8/1863p2, OS8/12/1863p2
Great Wallace Circus: AT7/29/1895p2, AT8/1/1895p1, AT8/12/1895p2, AA8/14/1895p1, MM8/16/1895p5
Hinkley & Kimball's Circus: OWT7/17/1858p2
Mlle. Jeal & Co.'s Circus: OS6/24/1871p2, DT7/1/1871p3, DT10/28/1871p3
Joyland Shows (carnival): CPA9/17/1936p1
Abner K. Kline Shows: CPA5/13/1926p3, CPA9/16/1926p4
Leondor Bros.' Circus: MM7/20/1900p2
Walter L. Main Shows: MM9/8/1897p7, MM9/8/1899p7
McMahon's Circus: DT4/10/1891p3, DT4/24/1891p3, DT4/29/1892p3
Tom Mix Circus: MN12/4/1936p4
New York Circus: OS8/10/1867p3, OS6/24/1871p3, SOM4/22/1892p3
Norris & Rowe Circus: DT4/30/1900p3, MM4/11/1902pp3,6, MM4/25/1902p7, MM5/1/1903, MM5/13/1904p4, MM5/20/1904p1, MM2/3/1905p8, MM4/21/1905p1, MM4/28/1905pp1,2, MM5/5/1905p1, MM4/20/1906p2,4, MM4/27/1906p4, MM5/11/1906p5, MM4/19/1907p3, MM4/26/1907p8, MM5/1/1908pp1,5, MM4/9/1909p2, MDT4/12/1909, MDT4/20/1909p3, MM4/23/1909, MDT4/24/1909p1, MM4/30/1909p2
Nat Reiss Carnival: MDT10/16/1907p2
Ringling Bros. Circus: MM9/14/1900p7, MM8/21/1903, MM8/19/1904p4, MM8/26/1904, MM9/4/1903p1, MM8/16/1907, MM8/19/1904p4, MM9/6/1907p1, SO8/11/1909, CPH8/12/1909p4, MDT8/28/1909p1, MDT8/30/1909p1
Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey: MT8/25/1923p2, ADT8/31/1925p1
John Robinson Circus: DT7/25/1890p3, MS5/26/1916p2
Ruggles & Taylor's circus: DT9/19/1890p3
Russell Bros. Circus: CPA7/22/1937p2, MT6/23/1942p10, CPA6/25/1942p3, MN6/16/1944p4, MT6/6/1945p6
Sells Bros. Circus: DT8/30/1888pp2,3, DT5/23/1889p3, DT8/7/1891pp2,3, DT8/21/1891pp2,3, DT8/28/1891p2, AT8/28/1891p3, AT9/4/1891p2
Sells Bros. & Barrett: DT6/6/1889p3
Sells-Floto Circus: MM5/14/1909, MDT5/17/1909p1, MMT5/15/1910, MMT5/16/1910p8, MMT5/19/1910p2, MMT5/9/1912p3, AT5/16/1912, CPH9/14/1916p3, MT5/27/1918p6, MMT6/8/1918p4, CPA8/19/1926p2
Sells-Floto Circus & Buffalo Bill Wild West: MMT9/23/1916, AT9/25/1916p6, MMT9/28/1916p5
Sells & Rentfrow's Circus: MM8/18/1893p3, MM8/25/1893p2, DT9/1/1893p3
Sherman's Circus: OS7/1/1882p2, OS7/15/1882
Singer's Midgets ("vaudeville circus"): MMT8/9/1920p2
Southern Carnival Co.: MM5/19/1905p8, MM5/28/1905p5
Syndicate Circus: MM8/10/1894p2, AT7/11/1895p1
Washburn's Combined Circus: MM7/14/1893p3, MM7/21/1893pp2,4, MM7/28/1893p3, MM8/11/1893p3, MM8/25/1893p2
West Coast Shows: MMT6/11/1948
Westman's Great Eastern Circus: OS6/24/1882p2
Wilson's Great World Circus: OS8/28/1869p1
World Circus: OS8/21/1869
     
Name undetermined:
OS10/19/1867p2(Jacksonville), AT8/28/1891p3(Medford), AT4/22/1892p3(Ashland), SOM8/19/1892p3(Ashland), MM7/28/1893p3(Medford), MM8/17/1894p3(Medford), CPH5/2/1907p3, CPH8/1/1907p1, CPH8/15/1907p1, MM9/13/1907p1, MM4/30/1909p2, MS7/5/1911p1, MMTw4/17/1913p7, MMT6/5/1918p3, CPA6/5/1947p7



Last revised November 12, 2017