Photo: Jill Freedman, 1971
The Clyde Beatty Circus was founded by Clyde Beatty (1903-1965), an animal trainer. He formed his own circus in 1945 after touring with several circuses including Hagenbeck-Wallace Cicus in his early career. Beatty toured his circus in conjunction with Russell Brothers Pan-Pacific Circus in 1946, then decided to open a show under his name only. In 1956, the circus was sold to the Acme Circus Corporation, and Beatty was hired as a star attraction. In 1957, the Acme Circus Corporation acquired the Cole Bros. Circus name and the show became Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus. Beatty remained the star of the show until his death in 1965.
Later Eddie Allen was appointed boss elephant man thereby gaining much publicity and even more a few years later on the Ringling Show when he put together the best remembered elephant number ever done with that show, "The Changing of the Guard".
Winter quarters in DeLand.
1958-2004 Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. circus
John Pugh became became President and owner of Cole Bros. Circus, Inc. in 1981
1973: A keeper was killed by one of the elephants:
On the 1983 season of Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus, Captain Fred Logan was in command of nine elephants and a three ring act - Pete, Sue, Helen, Maude, Konti, Ola, Bessie, Jewel and Frieda.
"Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. 1983 #1 (From Joe Giordano)", Buckles Web Log, 2009-04-03
The Beatty-Cole 1997 season carried a six elephant act, lead by new elephant superintendent Brad Jewell, after a seventh elephant Ola did not survive an operation in winter quarters to trim her feet under anesthesia.
"Beatty Cole," Circus Report No 12 Vol 25, 1997-04-14
2004 Cole Bros. Circus
"Worlds Largest Circus Under the Big Top"
Cole Bros. Circus innovative Crimson and Gold Big Top measures 136 feet wide by 231 feet long.