Kelly Morris Circus in United States

Kelly Morris Circus
Typecircus
Founded1914
First elephant0
Closed down1957
CountryUnited States

The history of the Kelly Bros. goes back to Patrick and his brother Dan Kelly who once had the circus ringbarn at Petersburg, Illinois about 1910 which was originally managed by the Shipp Family. The show was out as Kelly Brothers World's Greater Shows in 1914, and played in Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. In 1922 it was Kelly Bros.and they did a number of fair shows. In 1927 & 1928 they went out under canvas again and called the show Singer Brothers. Dan was the clown and Pat was an acrobat. In 1946 & 1947 they played a number of indoor dates under Kelly & Morris, and had a winter quarters at Havanna, Illinois. For the 1948 season the show went out under canvas as the Kelly & Morris Circus. A few years later the show moved their winter quarters to Oak Hill, Florida and in 1956 & 1957 the title was changed to Benson Brothers. It closed that year. Pat Kelly then took their star attraction an elephant named Blanche and did elephant rides at the Circus World Museum for a season or two. Pat Kelly had a son named Paul Kelly who married Dorothy and they purchased the old Cole Bros. Winterquarters at Peru, Indiana, and had the pink elehants which were on the cover or Life or Look magazine. Pat had a daughter named Bernice who married William Morris. They had a son named William Morris who with his wife Cindy is currently booking his elephant act - The Elephant Encounter, and their son William Jr.and his wife are also working an elephant act on various circuses.
John Polacsek, Detroit, Michigan

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