- Nato il 16 febbraio 1809 - Franklin Co., OH
- Deceduto il 13 settembre 1884 - Franklin Co., OH , all'età di 75 anni
- Sepolto - Sect. M, Green Lawn Cem., Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
- Benjamin Sells , nato il 26 marzo 1777 - of Huntingdon Co., PA , deceduto il 25 febbraio 1837 - Franklin Co., OH all'età di 59 anni , sepolto - Sect. M, Green Lawn Cem., Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
Sposato tra 1800 e 1802 , Kentucky or Ohio, con
- Rebecca M. Ervin , nata il 26 marzo 1777 - Pennsylvania , deceduta il 8 marzo 1842 - Franklin Co., OH all'età di 64 anni , sepolta - Sect. M, Green Lawn Cem., Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
Matrimoni, figli, i nipoti e i pronipoti
- Sposato il 28 novembre 1833 , Franklin Co., OH, con Hannah Ramey , nata il 20 agosto 1813 - Winchester, Frederick Co., VA , deceduta il 14 gennaio 1901 - Franklin Co., OH all'età di 87 anni , sepolta - Sect. M, Green Lawn Cem., Columbus, Franklin Co., OH (Genitori : Abraham Ramey 1782-1850 & Rebecca Romine 1787-1848 ) (vedi nota) da cui
- Ephraim Sells 1834-1898 sposato nel 1858, of Cleveland, OH, con Hester A. Thorp 1839..1840- da cui
- Allen William Sells 1836-1894 sposato nel 1866 con Sarah Anna White 1839-1901 da cui
- Alevinia Sells 1837..1838- sposata con X Holt
- Martha J. Sells ca 1840- sposata con X Cobb
- Lewis Sells 1841-1905 sposato il 6 febbraio 1884, Topeka, Shawnee Co., KS, con Rhoda J. Cross 1863- da cui
- Benjamin Herman Sells 1842..1843-ca 1864 sposato con ? ?
- Peter Sells 1845-1904 sposato il 21 gennaio 1878, Canton, Lewis Co., MO, con Mary Ann Luker 1858-1939 da cui
- Rebecca Francis Sells ca 1846- sposata nel 1865 con Sheldon H. Barrett da cui
- Rachael Sells 1848-1935 sposata il 16 aprile 1871, Cuyahoga Co., OH, con Amos Eugene Colby 1847-1888 da cui
- Mary Sells 1851..1852- sposata con X Green
- Hannah Sells 1854- sposata con X West
Fratellastri e sorellastre
|Dalla parte di Rebecca M. Ervin , nata il 26 marzo 1777 - Pennsylvania , deceduta il 8 marzo 1842 - Franklin Co., OH all'età di 64 anni , sepolta - Sect. M, Green Lawn Cem., Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
Nonni paterni, zii e zie
rootsweb: Click Here
linked to: Timothy Michael Dowling, 1st cousin 5x removed
census:  Page 207, Ward 5, Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
census:  Page 43/339, Ward 7, Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
census:  Page 205D, Columbus, Franklin Co., OH
occupation: Farmer, Truck gardener, Lay Preacher
During the late 1700s, Ludwig Sells, a German immigrant, sent his two sons to Ohio from their homestead in Huntingdon County, Pa. to look for land to settle. Those sons poled a flatboat up the Scioto River to what is now Dublin and, liking the lay of the land there, brought their father and the rest of their family to settle in 1801. One of Ludwig's grandsons, Peter, moved from Dublin to Columbus in 1834 and found employment as a truck gardener and Methodist lay preacher. He raised 11 children and was quite prosperous. Peter had five sons, and all of them served in the American Civil War. One died in Andersonville Prison, but the other four survived and were residents of Columbus in the late 1860s. Three of them, Ephraim, Allen and Lewis, were in the auction business and followed circus troupes around the country in order to take advantage of the audiences they attracted. After one failed attempt at running their own circus show, they enlisted the help of their brother Peter, the youngest member of the family, then employed as a reporter for the Ohio State Journal.
The brothers became fascinated by a man named "Cannonball George Richards," a performer who billed himself as a "percussive aerialist." In other words, he shot himself out of a cannon on a daily basis. In 1871, after adding Peter to the Sells team, the brothers purchased George Richards' act, some cast-off circus equipment, nine cages of animals, and two camels for $6,500. The first show was presented in downtown Columbus at State and High Streets in the spring of 1871. It consisted of the small menagerie, Cannonball George Richards, a few side- show acts and some horseback riding acts.
Following a successful year, the brothers decided to invest all of their savings (as well as several thousand in borrowed funds) back into the circus: about $35,000 total. They felt they needed an elephant to make the show complete, and in 1873 purchased their first of many pachyderms to come.
Elephants became somewhat of a passion for the Sells Brothers, who, less than a decade later, boasted eight elephants. The show grew steadily, and by 1878 was transported all over the United States by railway cars, rather than by wagonn train over road, a much slower method of transportation. By 1890 the Sells Brothers Circus was the second largest circus in America. In 1887 the title of the show exemplified the advertising skills of its proprietors:
"Sells Brothers World Conquering And All Overshadowing Three Ring Circus, Real Roman Hippodrome (indoor circus area), Indian Village and Pawnee Bill's Famous Original Wild West Show."
The circus continued to operate successfully over the following 35 years; the brothers building larger, more exotic shows, many times combining their acts with other circus outfits. The brothers divided the duties as follows: Allen Sells was the manager; Lewis was assistant manager and superintendent, with Ephraim as treasurer and superintendent of tickets. Peter was the "front man" for the show, meaning that he traveled ahead of the performers to establish contracts and routing, post advertisements and secure railroad reservations. Peter had no liking for hanging around with the actual performers or their gear, but was an expert at routing, advertising and publicity. And in the quiet, provincial atmosphere of late 19th century Midwest, news that the circus was coming to town was good reason for celebration.
During the mid-1880s a typical season would run from mid-April, opening in Columbus, to early December, usually closing in a southern city. In 1884 the circus traveled 11,537 miles. The Sells show was strongest in the Midwestern United States and westward to include Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. The circus occasionally visited Maryland and some areas of the Mid-Atlantic states, but rarely ventured into New England, which was then the territory of the Barnum and Forepaugh shows. Their circus eventually traveled westward, profitably competing with other shows and even visiting Australia in 1891. That year the company logged over 40,000 miles on the road. At its height, the show was transported from town to town in three sections with a total of 47 special railroad cars carrying it. The outfit included a 328-foot big top, six other large tents, 322 workers, 64 performers, 50 cages of wild animals, 13 elephants, and 7 camels.
Winter quarters for the circus were located in Sellsville, an unincorporated area west of the Olentangy River and north of Fifth Avenue. The community was contained within about 1000 acres of that riverfront land, and included living quarters and a dining hall for 50 workers, a large building to house the animals, a train shed for railroad cars and a wagon shed. On Sundays, local residents and sightseekers were allowed to visit the Ring Barn, where animal trainers rehearsed. Winter quarters were a lively place, full of animals, colorful residents and curious visitors. In addition to the circus grounds, there were truck gardens, orchards, slaughterhouses, saloons, black-smith shops, and mills. The woods between King and West Fifth Avenues were occupied by a group of gypsies in the summertime, and there was a hobo town along the Hocking Valley Railroad (now the CSX tracks).
Sellsville was an integrated community. The school, located on Virginia Avenue near Chambers Road, was called the "Polkadot School" because the enrollment was of an equal number of black children and white children. Some of the older black residents had been slaves who came by way of the Underground Railroad. The community had a black 21-piece band called the Clippers, and a black baseball team called the Sellsville Sluggers.
The people of Sellsville occasionally bore witness to some humorous and frightening "unrehearsed" animal acts. During the height of the show's popularity, the menagerie included 18 elephants, pumas, black panthers, hyenas, antelope, lions, tigers, leopards, zebras, bears, rhinoceroses, sea lions, monkeys, hippopotamuses and around 250 horses.
Carl H. Weisheimer, author of SelIsvilIe Circa 1900, describes several events where escaped animals frightened the local residents. One longtime Sellsville resident reportedly ran into five escaped polar bears on his way home from work. Needless to say, the man took less time to get home that day. Another family cowered in terror inside their home while an escaped elephant tore off their front porch. Stray elephants and bands of itinerant monkeys were amusing and not uncommon occurrences in Sellsville, but the training of circus animals sometimes proved injurious and even deadly.
One day in 1900, Patsy Forepaugh, who trained elephants for the circus, was at his job at winter quarters. Sid, a giant bull elephant, grabbed him with his trunk, raised him up and threw him against a wall, breaking the wall and killing Patsy. A year later, Sid killed another man at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N. Y. Sid's offenses were not deemed punishable by death, and he continued to perform.
In April of 1896, The Columbus Dispatch reported that 21-year-old Charles Taylor, a lion tamer, was attacked, bitten and gored by Nero, a lion who was purchased by the Sells brothers "at an enormous price on account of his beauty, being a magnificent animal, and of a vicious nature." It was difficult to find a tamer to even enter the cage with Nero, much less train him to do any tricks. However Taylor, whose previous occupation with Sells Brothers was that of peanut vendor, volunteered to give Nero a whirl. Part of Nero's training session consisted of a series of jumps over Taylor's uplifted leg. After clearing the leg several times in succession, the lion ran towards Taylor's leg and, instead of jumping over it, sank his huge teeth into the meatiest section, causing serious injury to Taylor, who lived but joined the ranks of other lion trainers who had been "subdued" by Nero.
Since the early 1880s, the Sells brothers had been noticing a popular trend in circus attractions: the "wild west show and exhibition." A Major Gordon W. Lillie was commissioned to furnish Indians, cowboys and equipment for their 1887 season. After doing a considerable amount of advertising for the new act, the brothers were informed that the Major was having difficulties rounding up the Indians for the show, due to a recent government order preventing the taking of Indians from their reservations for the purpose of making them entertainers. Major Lillie was arrested and detained, and the deal was eventually called off. This didn't deter the Sells brothers from creating their own "Midwest" Wild West Show, using their own performers. Using cowboy and Indian costumes, their own horses and lots of makeup, they went on with the show.
Occasionally this would-be Wild West Show got a little bit too wild. One day in Clinton, Iowa, a pistol used by the performers was mistakenly loaded with real bullets (as a matter of protocol, blanks were normally used). The discharge killed three people, including the wife of the County Attorney. The show was hurriedly torn down and hustled across state lines. For several years afterward, the Sells brothers didn't include Iowa in their itinerary. The brothers eventually owed up to $50,000 in damages.
In 1891, the show traveled to San Francisco and then boarded a steamship to Australia. The previous years had been so good for the brothers that they were encouraged to travel in wider circles than ever before. However, the tour of Australia in 1891 turned disastrous when an outbreak of glanders, a contagious disease, virtually decimated their animal menagerie. Most of the stock was quarantined for almost two months and the brothers had to purchase many new animals in order to operate. Theirs was the third largest circus operation to visit Australia, but the Sells brothers' attempt at inter-continental commerce did not pay off well. Following their return to the United States in 1892, the show traveled all around the far western states before returning east.
Increased competition from new shows did not help the brothers' luck after returning to the United States. But they continued to run the business, often forming partnerships with other acts in exchange for funding and promotional assistance. In 1895, James A. Bailey acquired one-third interest in the circus, giving the show some financial help and adding attractions. In fact, transporting all the trappings of the 1896 circus by rail required it to move in three different sections, each made up of multiple railroad cars. The menagerie was large and included African elephants Mike and Topsy, Asian elephants Sid, Queen, Dutch, Babe, Rubber, Betts, Romeo, Vic, Dick and John. Other menagerie stock included two hippos, several bears (both brown and polar) one zebra, one llama, seven camels and four ostriches.
Sideshow features included a man and wife team of giants, who were paid $35 a week in 1896. Other performers and their weekly stipends were: Wesley Baum and his wife, tattooed people, $20; William Parkinson, magician ($45) Willie Ray and wife, midgets ($30), Nettie Leona, snake charmer ($15); W.H. McFarland and wife, knife throwing ($40); and the Hindoo giants and wives ($20). Also, one man was paid $5 a week to have rocks broken on his head and another received the same pay to act like a wild man.
There was also a minstrel band, orators and ticket sellers. Total cost for the sideshow was $282 a week. One day's gross for that same sideshow (for an engagement in Winnipeg, Canada) was recorded at $514.25. The Sells were running a profitable business, at least in the sideshow departnent.
However, the strong family bonds that kept the circus going were weakened by the death of Ephraim, the eldest brother, in 1898. After Ephraim's death, James Bailey of Barnum and Bailey and W.W. Cole (of Cole Brothers Circus) each acquired a quarter interest in the business. When Peter (aged 59) and Allen both passed away in 1904, and with no family members interested in carrying on the family business, Lewis Sells sold the remaining shares of the show to Bailey for $150,000 cash in 1905. Bailey then sold half share of the Sells circus to the Ringling Brothers, whom the Sells brothers had contemptuously dubbed "the Ding Dong brothers." In 1906, Bailey died and the Ringlings bought the entire circus. They sent the Sells outfit on tour in 1907, 1910 and 1911, the last years that the circus toured under the name Sells Brothers. The Columbus head-quarters was closed by 1910. The act eventually became part of the conglomerate Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey's Greatest Show on Earth.
Note di famiglia
- Nascita, morte: Dowling Family Tree - Tim Dowling - rootsweb, 2001-2013 - - electronic - I6104