Hiram Orton , circus director in United States
Born 1805 dead 1884-08-02 in United States
In the year 1853, Hiram Orton was a sailor on the Great Lakes and made his home in Portage, WI which at the time was Portage City. In the Fall he made his last trip with a load of freight from Milwaukee down to Chicago and as the lakes froze over during the winter months, there was no shipping until the next Spring.
While in Chicago Orton went to see a show which was making it's closing stand and performance for the season and afterward made up his mind that his own children could do everything he saw there".
Circuses in those days traveled overland meaning that horses pulled the wagons from town to town. For several years in the 1850's the show became Orton & Older but the partnership was unsuccessful and Hiram regained full ownership. After a few more years he decided he liked the looks of the country around Adel, Iowa and purchased a farm three miles East of town, with the addition of circus people, animals and equipment, it became a community in it's own right and was named Ortonville, 25 miles west of Des Moines, Iowa, called Ortonville. It was where the circus people spent the winters.
Retired from managing, 1862. Died of Heart
trouble, Norris, MI, age 72.