James Cole

From the list of elephant persons Family: Cole

James Cole
James  Cole

Personal details
Country United States

Work locations
Title elephant trainer -
Location at Circus World Museum in United States

Title animal trainer
Location at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in United States

Biography details

James Cole , circus elephant trainer in United States

Born ? in United States .

Records about James Cole from William "Buckles" Woodcocks Blog at http://www.bucklesw.blogspot.com/
Wilbur Deppe of Baraboo bought Bertha and had Jenda continue working her at CWM. To put on a full show he got his father hired [horses Whip act, etc.] Deppe sold Bertha to Nugget and bought two punks from St. Louis Zoo kiddie area,(Pearl and Florence). I changed them to Topsy and Eva and then bought a third punk from some roadside zoo named Suzie. Jenda went with Bertha and Sr. Smaha was to train the new arrivals. No actual training was done and Sr. Smaha advised Deppe that he was contracted to go with Hamid and between those dates would train elephants. This was unacceptable to business man Deppe as he wanted a full time trainer with kooks to the future.

He and Chappie Fox put an ad in AB for an elephant-pony trainer during the season. I was on Mills Bros. and immediately answered the ad via phone. When we played around North Chicago Deppe and Chappie came to see me and at seasons end had me and MR come to Baraboo for an interview. Smaha was no longer employed after the CWM season ended and had moved his horses, trailer, etc. to an area farm because he liked the area and would remain there the rest of his life along with his bookings. Deppe had just completed a marvelous building with training ring, stabling, etc. It was a young animal trainers dream. Tony had trained a six pony drill and a third party investor with Deppe owned the ponies and had high hopes to have a twelve pony liberty act for the museum. The three people were wonderful to be associated with and being a Minnesota boy and MR an Ohio farm girl we integrated in the wonderful community, school, church, etc. and for me Dombroskis Old Baraboo Inn, the Green Bay Packers all right down our alley. Now I started work and living there on Jan. 7 and did train from scratch the three elephants,12 liberty ponies, a high School horse [American Anthem]

During the summer Suzie became ill and died all in one day. An autopsy was done and it was found that she had had Pneumonia from her time at this road side zoo and her Lungs were permanently damaged.

Deppe and I went to see Gene Holters show at the Portage Fair and he had a nice young untrained elephant with him that the ran in the animal races [typical Holter] and Deppe bought her and her name was Toby. I spent seven years at CWM with those elephants and would probably be there today had not Irvin Feld came to Baraboo, hired us and bought the Elephants and ponies.

Frankie Brown, the best Helper any trainer could ever have. He had also worked for Jenda and Tony and is the oldest continual employee at the CWM.
James Cole

James  ColeA young James Cole

Reference list


Koehl, Dan, (2023). elephant trainer James Cole in United States. Elephant Encyclopedia, available online retrieved 9 December 2023 at https://www.elephant.se/person.php?id=1924. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources used for this article is among others:

Selected publications

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Categories elephant trainer | circus | Circus World Museum | Cole family | Born ? | People from United States

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