Mary was an Asian elephant born in 1894 although it is unclear where. She was bought 1896 by Charlie Sparks, owner of ‘Spark’s World Famous Show’ where she became a performer and described as “Mary, the largest living land animal on Earth; 3 inches taller than Jumbo and weighing over 5 tons. A positive feature at each exhibition.”
Moving from a horse and wagon circus to one that travelled by railroad by the year 1916, the circus had five elephants and used fifteen rail cars to move from town to town. In early September of 1916, a hobo by the name of Walter “Red” Eldridge was hired as an assistant elephant trainer for the elephants while the show was in St. Paul, Minnesota. After the circus left St. Paul, it travelled to Kingsport, Tennessee, where it opened on September the 12th.
Between performances, the five elephants were driven…
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