Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 49

"We have a notebook full
kept clippings and letters from
of letters from other circuses
so long ago. Nearly everyone's
who did business with W. P.,"
gone who might recall details
Sandra says. "It's evident there
about him."
was good money in buying and
Horse and mule buyers
selling to circuses."
sought W.P. out for his ability
In May 1932, as the Great
to quickly judge an animal's
Depression ramped up, W.P.
soundness. Sometimes a seller
felt it was time to turn some
would try to trick him by slickof his circus holdings into
ing up a poor-quality horse and
cash. His ad read, "For sale:
passing it off at another sale.
Elephants, cat animals, bears,
"W.P. would tell the seller,
camels, railroad cars, wagons,
'I did not like this horse when
cages, canvas, seats, etc. Will
you brought it last week and
sell cheaply for cash."
I still don't like it today,' "
A month later, the renowned
Sandra relates from local
businessman died on June 30
accounts.
Left: Lancaster businessman W. P. Hall not only briefly owned his
own circus but became a key resource for circuses around the world. at the age of 68. By 1938, his
During the 1904 St. Louis
Above: One of W. P.'s ornate carriages used in circuses and parades. family had sold what was left of
World's Fair, the Lancaster
the W.P. Hall Circus.
Below: The circus elephants training on the Hall farm in Lancaster.
business man purchased
The 15-room Victorian house
several South African elephants
in Lancaster has been known as The William P. Hall House
from fair participants, the first of many he would own.
Museum and Schuyler County Historical Society since
When traveling in Europe, W.P. had seen some of the
1974 when the Schuyler County Business and Professional
finest circuses. He dreamed about starting his own. So
Women's Club purchased it to help preserve local history.
in 1904, he purchased a couple of failing circuses in the
The home, now listed on the National Register of HisUnited States, combining them into the W. P. Hall Circus
toric Places, contains a wealth of information because so
and Menagerie. In May 1905, his circus opened in Lanmany local artifacts have been left to the museum.
caster and then began traveling across the states, only to
disband and shut down. While he'd proven himself as a
"We've spent a lot of time sorting through things," Sanmaster horse and mule trader, running a circus and life on
dra says. "We have great genealogy resources for anyone
the road was not something W.P. enjoyed.
researching family. Local art, clothing from the early 1900s,
That said, the businessman played a big role in the
and a room full of Civil War, World War I and World War II
circus world. After retiring his own circus, William added
items. If you want to know something about the area, we've
"circus broker" to his list of offerings. From his Lancaster
probably got a little history about it."
farm, the supplier and animal lover bought small circuses
An original summer kitchen just off the porch, the oneand Wild West shows from across the United States. Soon
room Green Valley School from Queen City as well as a
he was selling equipment and exotic animals to circuses
restored 1870s cabin make this hidden gem of a museum a
small and large. Even the Ringling Brothers bought from
wonderful trip for any age group.
"Diamond Billy," a moniker that came from William's acceptance of diamonds as payment from the South Africans
The William P. Hall House Museum and Schuyler County
who bought mules for use in their mines.
Historical Society is located on Highway 136 in Lancaster.
At a moment's notice, buyers could find circus wagons,
The museum is open Wednesday through Friday from 1 p.m
cages and rail cars for hauling animals on his farm. If
to 5 p.m. or by appointment. For more information follow
they happened to need exotic animals, they could also buy
Schuyler County Historical Society on Facebook or email
lions, tigers, elephants, water buffalo, camels and more.
schuylercountyhistory@gmail.com.

photos courtesy of the Schuyler County Historical Society

NOVEMBER 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

49


http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 8
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 9
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 10
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 11
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 12
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 13
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 14
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 15
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 16
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 17
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 18
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 19
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 20
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 21
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 22
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 23
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 24
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 25
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 26
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 27
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 28
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 29
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 30
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 31
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 32
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 33
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 34
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 35
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 36
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 37
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 38
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 39
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 40
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 41
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 42
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 43
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 44
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 45
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 46
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 47
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 48
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 49
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 50
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 51
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 52
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 53
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - 54
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - November 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/videotest
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ruralmissouri/201010
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com