Black Diamond at Al G. Barnes Circus
Black Diamond and Homer D. "Curley" Pritchett, San Antonio 1928.
Photo: Tom Scapalanda. Buckles Woodcock colllection
|† Black Diamond||ID Number:|
|Sex and age:||Male 32 years|
|Dead date:||† 1929-10-16|
|Death reason:||euthanised: shot|
|Location:||Al G. Barnes Circus|
|Arrived||Al G. Barnes Circus 1928-00-00|
from Wilson's Greater Shows
Wilson's Greater Shows 1927-00-00
from Monroe Brothers Circus
Monroe Brothers Circus 1925-00-00
from Atterbury Brothers Circus
Atterbury Brothers Circus 1919-00-00
from William P Hall Animal Farm
William P Hall Animal Farm 1919-00-00
from R.T. Richards Circus
R.T. Richards Circus 1917-00-00
from Wheeler Brothers Circus
Wheeler Brothers Circus 1916-00-00
from Hugo Brothers Circus
Hugo Brothers Circus 1915-00-00
from Barton and Bailey Circus
Barton and Bailey Circus 1915-00-00
from William P Hall Animal Farm
William P Hall Animal Farm 1914-00-00
from Gentry Brothers Circus
Gentry Brothers Circus 1900-00-00
from Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark (Neue Pferdemarkt)
Carl Hagenbecks Tierpark (Neue Pferdemarkt) 0000-00-00
from Firma Carl Hagenbeck
In January 1926 Black Diamond killed the elephant trainer Been Reed in Texas, and had always a system of chains, in order to restrict his movement and possibilities to hit or grab people with his trunk.
Homer D. "Curley" Pritchett is reported to have known Black Diamond for 28 years, and trained him seven years. In 1928 while the Circus toured Corsicana, Navarro County, Texas, Pritchett was approached by Mrs Eva Speed Donohoo, who offered him job at her ranch "Shoestring" Plantation near Kerens, Texas. The conversation happemed to be in front of Black Diamond, eating his hay. Pritchett accepted and left the Al Barnes Circus and the elephant.
One and a half year later, when Al Barnes Circus came to Corsicana again, Pritchett went to visit the elephants, and even helped take him out of the boxcar.
Next day, during the town parade, Black Diamond spotted Pritchett and his employer Eva Donohoo, and went berserk, rammed a car, tossed Mr. Pritchett over a car breaking his arm, and threw Eva Donohoo to the ground and killed her. Donohoos tombstone in Oakwood Cemetery reads: "Eva Speed Donohoo, Nov. 18, 1877 - Oct. 12, 1929, Killed By Al G. Barnes Circus Elephant."
Four days later in Kenedy, Texas, owner John Ringling issued his verdict: "Kill Diamond in some humane way."
Different suggestions were discussed and tried, including cyanide in his food, but with no success.
Finally a volunteer firing squad unloaded their weapons into Diamond while he was chained between some trees.
Parts of Black Diamond was stored in a basement at Houston's Harris County Museum of Natural History, and later bought by Mr Carmack Watkins, who put them on display in his Trophy Room.
Records about Black Diamond was updated
Sources, among others
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