Monday, May 05, 2008


Rochester, in its new role as that of a circus city, yesterday afternoon, became the new winter home of the feature attraction of the Century of Progress, the Allen King Wild Animal Show. Several truck loads transferred elephants, lions and tigers to the Indiana Circus Corporation winter quarters here yesterday afternoon.
Allen King, one of the foremost wild animal trainers in the world accompanied the big cats to their new home, where they are still housed in their small shifting dens, awaiting the completion of their permanent cages. Mr. King, who returned to Chicago late yesterday to close up some business matters, will return with Mrs. King to this city on Wednesday where he will take up his winter residency in Rochester.
The animals now housed in the quarters here comprise 28 lions and tigers and three large elephants. These cats and elephants are under the supervision of W. K. Bernardi, King's assistant trainer.
Water Animals On Way
According to a statement made by one of the circus supervisors there will be a large number of seals, a hippopotamus, 60 head of ring horses and 11 more elephants shipped here within the next few days.
The bath tank for the seals is now nearing completion and a large tank for the hippopotamus will be erected this week.
The large foundry building located at the east end of the circus headquarters grounds will house the cats, elephants, seals, hippopotamus and other wild animals. A large training arena is to be built onto the north end of the building and the work of the elephant, seal and cat trainers will not be open to the public this season. However, eventualy, early spring reviews of the animal acts will be featured for the benefit of the public, it was stated.
In the large building directly west of the main animal building, blacksmith shop, wagon repair equipment, painting shops, are being equipped for taking care of the wheeled stock of the circus. These are being erected in the south end of the building.
Side tracks from both the Chicago & Erie and Nickel Plate railroads which bound the east and south section of the headquarter grounds, will be run directly into this building from the north end.
In the west section of the structure, quarters for the ring horses are being built and three large training rings will be situated in the northwest corner of the spacious building.
Many Men at Work
About 35 carpenters, plumbers, electricians and laborers are now employed by the corporation in getting the quarters into order before the winter season sets in.
The large office building is being overhauled for living quarters for the circus people, most of whom will reside there until the spring road season opens.
When all of the animals and equipment arrive it will necessitate approximately 100 people in the management and care of the headquarters during the winter and early spring months.
Scores and scores of Rochester people visited the grounds today and welcomed the circus people to their new home.
Jess Murden, A. C. Bradley and F. C. Seymour are supervising the arrangement of the new headquarters.
[The News-Sentinel, Monday, November 5, 1934]