Walter McClain

From the list of elephant persons Family: McClain

Walter McClain
Walter  McClain
Walter McClain, 1938
Personal details
Country United States

Work locations
Title elephant superintendent 1939-1942
Location at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in United States

Title elephant superintendent 1937-1938
Location at Al G Barnes-Sells Floto Circus in United States

Title elephant superintendent 1934-1937
Location at Al G. Barnes Circus in United States

Title elephant superintendent 1924-1931
Location at Sparks Circus in United States

Title assistant superintendent 1923-1924
Location at Sparks Circus in United States

Title other 1917-1923
Location at Sparks Circus in United States

Biography details

Walter McClain , circus elephant trainer in United States

Born ca 1898 dead 1942-11-26 in United States .

Walter McClain started 1917 as candy butcher at Sparks Circus, became assistant to Louis Reed in 1923, and Elephant superintendent 1924-1931.

Walter  McClainWalter McClain with unidentified elephant, on Unknown show. The locomotive was #706 of the Central Vermont Railroad and it was built in 1928.

Records about Walter McClain from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at http://www.bucklesw.blogspot.com/
1934: Walter McClain was in charge of the 16 elephants on the show that season and he may well have them all moving the "Hippo Den" thru the sand in Seattle 5/27/34.
- Al G. Barnes Circus 1934/ Working in the sand

William "Buckles" Woodcock


Walter  McClain
Trainer Walter McClain and his elephants at the Ringling Circus: Sarasota, Florida, ca 1940. Photo: Steinmetz, Joseph Janney (1905-1985).

1942: Walter McClain, Elephant Expert, Dies Under Wagon in Florida.

Records about Walter McClain from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at http://www.bucklesw.blogspot.com/
Slivers was drafted into the Army in 1942 and he told me he was in Basic Training when he learned that Walter had been killed.
Oscar Cristiani added that he had been an eye witness to the incident. He said that John Ringling North was engaged to one of his sisters at the time and the three of them were standing at the crossing watching the train being unloaded when the hook rope broke while one of the wagons was coming down the runs and continued to roll across the intersection.
McClain was standing nearby with the elephants and attempted to climb aboard the runaway vehicle to set the hand brake but instead slipped and fell beneath to his death.

William "Buckles" Woodcock


Records about Walter McClain from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at http://www.bucklesw.blogspot.com/
As far as a department head with the old style railroad shows is concerned, Walter McClain was the best ever with Ringling.
None were the equal of Cheerful Gardner tho a close runner up was Walter McClain.
- A portion of a letter from Bill Woodcock (1/8/61) to Chappie Fox.

William "Buckles" Woodcock


Records about Walter McClain from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at http://www.bucklesw.blogspot.com/
Walter  McClainThe 1940 program also ran an article on boss elephant man Walter McClain titled “Beautician to Fifty Elephants,” and which described some of the care and maintenance that McClain and his associates were required to perform on the show’s elephant Herd.

William "Buckles" Woodcock


Reference list

References

Koehl, Dan, (2021). elephant trainer Walter McClain in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 7 July 2022 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=1308. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:


Selected publications

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Categories elephant trainer | circus | Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus | McClain family | Born ca 1 | Dead 1942 | People from United States

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