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2017-01-13T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong Charlie Sparks?

Mr. Charlie Sparks

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Background Information

Employment History

Circus Historical Society Inc

Owner

sparks aquatic care

Owner | Designer

RetroSpecs & Co

Education

master mechanic of motor equipment

Web References (16 Total References)


Charlie Sparks, the owner of ...

www.kittymorra.critters.com [cached]

Charlie Sparks, the owner of Sparks World Famous Shows, was a frustrated man.

...
A circus's net worth was measured in rolling stock and elephants: Sparks' dog-and-pony show traveled in a mere 10 railroad cars, compared to Robinson's 42; Sparks could boast of only five elephants compared to Robinson's dozen.
...
Never mind Barnum and Bailey -- 84 railroad cars was beyond Charlie Sparks' reach.
So Charlie did the best he could, traveling around the South, putting up advance posters and enticing folks with a noon circus parade prior to the day's two performances.
...
And besides, Charlie Sparks was no fool: no town in Tennessee would invite his circus to perform with a certifiably rogue elephant. Johnson City, where performances were scheduled for September 26, had already passed a privilege-tax ordinance restricting carnivals' oper- ations within city limits, in order to protect its citizens from wholesale fleecing; it was common knowledge that Johnson City officials were looking for an excuse to ban all traveling shows. As valuable as Mary was, she had to go.
...
"Kingsport, the railroad, and Mr. Sparks are to blame for what happened to Mary -- not Erwin.


Murderous Mary : Weird True Stories

themoonlitroad.com [cached]

Throughout his life, Charlie Sparks, owner of Sparks World Famous Shows, knew how to please an audience. He was the son of English music hall performers and, by age eight, was performing as part of the highly regarded Jack Harvey Minstrels as a drummer and World Champion Clogger. When his father died, he sang and danced on street corners to support his widowed mother.

...
Shortly thereafter, Weisman not only adopted Charlie, but took the unusual step of changing his own last name to Sparks - perhaps because it was a more "circus sounding" name.
...
In 1901, when Charlie was 25, his father grew weary of touring and bought a hotel near Winston-Salem, North Carolina, adding a fishing lake and a small zoo.
...
This tragedy left Charlie in full control of the circus. He knew that, for his show to thrive, it had to latch onto the vast network of railroads that were spreading across the country at that time. Sometime after 1903, he moved the show on the rails, starting with just one rail car, performing horses and ponies, and draft stock.
...
Charlie became a trusted and well-respected figure in the circus world, and was a common sight strolling down the street in his Stetson hat and cane, a smoldering cigar in his mouth.
...
But Mary was more than just a performer to Charlie Sparks.
...
After Charlie married Addie Mitchell, the circus's head cook and animal doctor, Mary, in essence, became the child that this childless couple never had.
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Charlie firmly instructed his employees to be kind, gentle and respectful to all his animals, especially his beloved Mary.
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To avoid tipping off rival shows, Charlie kept his routes under his hat, and rarely advertised in circus trade papers. Mere days before his show arrived in town, his scouts would plaster the area with colorful posters.
On the morning of September 11, 1916, before the circus arrived in the small mining community of St. Paul, Virginia, a local hotel worker named Walter "Red" Eldridge spotted one of these posters. He was about to change the life of the Sparks circus forever.
...
For the next few days, Eldridge was instructed according to Sparks' "gentling care" philosophy when it came to the animals.
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Hearing the screams, Charlie Sparks rushed over and put his arm around Mary's trunk, calming her down. He then saw the mangled body of Red Eldridge, the magnitude of Mary's actions suddenly apparent. But what was even more frightening was the chant coming from the crowd. Anger had burned away the fear in many of the onlookers.
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Meanwhile, Charlie Sparks and his staff had a gut-wrenching decision to make concerning Mary's fate.
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Charlie was a smart businessman, and he knew that, if he didn't satisfy the public's desire for swift justice, his show could be financially ruined. But his final decision ultimately came down to his concern for public safety. "A human's life is something I don't want charged against me," he later claimed in a 1924 interview. "If people in the business get hurt, that's our lookout. But with an outsider - that's different."
With great reluctance, Charlie decided that Mary had to be put to death publicly.
...
But then more problems arose for Sparks. The summer of 1916 had brought torrential rains that caused floods and wash outs all over the mountains. Clinchfield refused to send a derrick car all the way to Kingsport when an emergency might require it south over the Blue Ridge Mountains. If Charlie wanted to use a derrick car, he would have to take his circus south to Clinchfield's headquarters and repair facilities in Erwin, Tennessee.
...
Some Erwin citizens and Sparks performers couldn't bear to watch the execution, and quickly fled the scene.
In an attempt to calm Mary, Charlie decided to have her walk to the derrick with the other elephants, trunk to tail, like they did most every day.
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One of the more persistent and bizarre stories surrounding this event is that, in an attempt to reclaim some of his financial losses, Charlie Sparks ordered his roustabouts to dig Mary up and cut off her tusks for a touring exhibit.
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Another story claims that the Associated Press asked Charlie Sparks to dig up Mary and hang her again for a photograph.
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these people where soooooooo SICK and I thought Charlie loved Mary :(~
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Despite the pain, she would probably have been happy to see Charlie again for comfort and protection.


Charlie Sparks, the owner of ...

emperorofavernus.bravejournal.com [cached]

Charlie Sparks, the owner of Sparks World Famous Shows, was a frustrated man.

...
A circus's net worth was measured in rolling stock and elephants: Sparks' dog-and-pony show traveled in a mere 10 railroad cars, compared to Robinson's 42; Sparks could boast of only five elephants compared to Robinson's dozen.
...
Never mind Barnum and Bailey -- 84 railroad cars was beyond Charlie Sparks' reach.
So Charlie did the best he could, traveling around the South, putting up advance posters and enticing folks with a noon circus parade prior to the day's two performances.
...
And besides, Charlie Sparks was no fool: no town in Tennessee would invite his circus to perform with a certifiably rogue elephant.Johnson City, where performances were scheduled for September 26, had already passed a privilege-tax ordinance restricting carnivals' oper- ations within city limits, in order to protect its citizens from wholesale fleecing; it was common knowledge that Johnson City officials were looking for an excuse to ban all traveling shows.As valuable as Mary was, she had to go.


Current Issue: Table of Contents

www.blueridgecountry.com [cached]

Charlie Sparks , the owner of Sparks World Famous Shows , was a frustrated man.His circus was two-bit , compared to his southern rival , John Robinson's Four Ring Circus and Menagerie.A circus's net worth was measured in rolling stock and elephants : Sparks' dog-and-pony show traveled in a mere 10 railroad cars , compared to Robinson's 42 ; Sparks could boast of only five elephants compared to Robinson's dozen.A circus's net worth was measured in rolling stock and elephants : Sparks' dog-and-pony show traveled in a mere 10 railroad cars , compared to Robinson's 42 ; Sparks could boast of only five elephants compared to Robinson's dozen.

...
So Charlie did the best he could , traveling around the South , putting up advance posters and enticing folks with a noon circus parade prior to the day's two performances.Sparks posters claimed a certain degree of moral superiority :.
Twenty-five years of honest dealing with the public!
Moral , entertaining , and instructive!
...
And besides , Charlie Sparks was no fool : no town in Tennessee would invite his circus to perform with a certifiably rogue elephant.Johnson City , where performances were scheduled for September 26 , had already passed a privilege-tax ordinance restricting carnivals' oper- ations within city limits , in order to protect its citizens from wholesale fleecing ; it was common knowledge that Johnson City officials were looking for an excuse to ban all traveling shows.As valuable as Mary was , she had to go.
The problem was , how.
Guns , of course , were the first course of action.Just after Eldridge's death , blacksmith Hench Cox fired his 32-20 five times at Mary ; the story goes that the bullets hardly phased her.Kill the elephant.Let's kill him , the crowd began chanting.


Blue Ridge Country: Elephant Hanging in Tennessee

www.blueridgecountry.com [cached]

Charlie Sparks , the owner of Sparks World Famous Shows , was a frustrated man.His circus was two-bit , compared to his southern rival , John Robinson's Four Ring Circus and Menagerie.A circus's net worth was measured in rolling stock and elephants : Sparks' dog-and-pony show traveled in a mere 10 railroad cars , compared to Robinson's 42 ; Sparks could boast of only five elephants compared to Robinson's dozen.Never mind Barnum and Bailey -- 84 railroad cars was beyond Charlie Sparks' reach.

So Charlie did the best he could , traveling around the South , putting up advance posters and enticing folks with a noon circus parade prior_to the day's two performances.Sparks posters claimed a certain degree of moral superiority :.
...
And besides , Charlie Sparks was no fool : no town in Tennessee would invite his circus to perform with a certifiably rogue elephant.Johnson_City , where performances were scheduled for September 26 , had already passed a privilege-tax ordinance restricting carnivals' oper- ations within city limits , in_order_to protect its citizens from wholesale fleecing ; it was common knowledge that Johnson_City officials were looking for an excuse to ban all traveling shows.As valuable as Mary was , she had to go.
The problem was , how.
Guns , of_course , were the first course of action.Just after Eldridge's death , blacksmith Hench Cox fired his 32-20 five times at Mary ; the story goes that the bullets hardly phased her.Kill the elephant.Let's kill him , the crowd began chanting.

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