Bill Power

From the list of elephant persons Family: Power

Bill Power
Profession circus animal trainer
Personal details
Dead 1920 in United States

Spouse(s) Jennie Power

Country United States

Work locations
Title elephant trainer -
Location at Power's Dancing Elephant fame in United States

Title elephant trainer-1904
Location at Walter L. Main Circus in United States

Biography details

William W. Power , circus animal trainer in United States

dead 1920 in United States .

Records about Bill Power from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at's parents were Jeanette Lush O'Brien and John O'Brien. John O'Brien was a famous horse trainer for the circuses of the time. Jennie O'Brien was a high school equestrienne with the circus, and her husband trained her mounts.

After John's death in Baraboo in 1902, Jeanette (Jennie) O'Brien later married W.W. (Bill) Power, the elephant trainer, and young George learned the elephants from his stepfather.

George Power became famous for training the elephants to do amazing skits such as a mock baseball game, a war battle scene, a barbershop scene, bowling, and the waltz, two-step, Charleston, foxtrot, and hula dances. Power's Elephants were at the New York Hippodrome from 1905-1922; in vaudeville from 1923-1926; in Europe with Bertram Mills Circus from 1926-1937; returned to the States in 1937; and worked fairs and circuses until George Power grew ill and the surviving elephants were sold in 1942.

Melani Carty

William "Buckles" Woodcock

When Luna Park's founders, Thompson and Dundy, opened the massive New York Hippodrome in 1905, elephants were at once indicated as a must feature of their colossal extravaganza. They engaged one William Walter Power, proud peer of Pachydermists, as their elephant impresario.

William, hereafter called "Bill," one of my show-days convivial pals, left the Walter L. Main circus, bought its four biggest and best elephants and took them with him to the Hippodrome, hereafter called "The Hip." His was the first American elephant act to appear on an indoor stage. Power's Elephants; vast ensembles of circus thrillers; Marceline, the clown; Annette Kellerman; a block-long under-stage lake of water into into which a gorgeous ballet danced down an incline, disappearing as if into eternity; were many-year magnets which repeatedly attracted 20 million thrill seekers. Power's Elephants became The Hip's forefront symbol of bigness.

At The Hip, Bill met a dashing young widow, Jeanne Lush O'Brien, a Brooklyn girl who was of the show. She had a young son, George. Bill married her and to them came another son, Tom. Bill, Jeanne, George and Tom and four knowing elephants, Lena, Jennie, Ada and Lou, were destined to approach worldwide fame. Julia and Roxie later replaced Ada and Lou — and George replaced good old Bill.

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). animal trainer William W. Power in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 6 December 2023 at (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

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Categories animal trainer | circus | Walter L. Main Circus | Power family | Dead 1920 | People from United States

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