These two items are from the famous wild animal tamer Terrell Jacobs’ winter quarters South of Peru, Indiana.  Jacobs, who worked for the American Circus Corporation early in his career, continued with the corporation shows when they were sold to Ringling.  He then left to perform with other shows and returned to Ringling as a feature act in 1938 and 1939.




By 1940, he owned his own act and started booking independently playing indoor circuses including Hamid’s Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey and then presented a circus on the Conklin Shows (carnival) midway in Canada.  In 1943, he started the season with the new Gilbert Bros.  Circus which only lasted a short while and he then moved his outfit over to the World of Mirth Shows for the remainder of the season.


In 1944, Terrell Jacobs opened his own circus in Peru, Indiana, but it lasted a very short time, and he returned to independent bookings.  In 1946, he was with two railroad circuses, Austin Bros. Arthur Bros., for short periods of time, before playing independent dates.


In 1949, Royal American Shows presented “Terrell Jacobs-World’s Greatest Wild Animal Trainer” on its midway.




Wagons for the midway presentation took more than 3 flat cars.  The wagons belonging to Jacobs were 3 cross cages; arena wagon; closed wagon with poles on the sides; Llamas and Guanaco horse-type fan; 3 working dens; chair wagon; freezer-meat wagon; small monkey cage and the calliope.  Two from panel wagons with wings that folded out to make the show front were furnished by Royal American Shows.  The inside of one was used as Jacob’s dressing room and the other for acts and clown.  Jacobs kept this equipment in excellent shape, and his cages and wagons were very ornate and fit in well with Royals' well decorated wagons.


In 1951 and 1952 Terrell Jacobs Circus was featured on the James E. Strates Shows carnival, with independent dates following in 1953.  He toured with the Al G. Kelly and Miller Bros. Circus in 1954 and then returned to the carnival midway in 1955 with World’s Finest Shows in Canada.  Dates with Cuban Gaby-Milliki circus and the Paul Miller Free Merchant’s circus followed and then he operated a small school show.


Terrell Jacobs died the day before Christmas in 1957.




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