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Term: Ringling [Rungeling], Albert 1852 - 1916

Definition:

circusman, b. Chicago. He moved to Wisconsin in the early 1870's, settling in Baraboo. Ringling was the eldest of seven brothers, six of whom eventually became identified with the development of the circus in America. On Nov. 27, 1882, Albert Ringling, with four of his brothers, Alf, Otto, Charles, and John, performed before the public in a "Classic and Comic Concert" at Mazomanie, Wis. On May 19, 1884, at Baraboo, in collaboration with veteran showman "Old Yankee [Fayette L.] Robinson," the brothers gave their first circus performance under the title, "Old Yankee Robinson and Ringling Brothers Great Double Show." From these crude beginnings, the Ringling brothers expanded in 35 years until their circus became the best known in the world. They acquired an elephant in 1888, began to use the railroads for transportation in 1890, and in 1904 acquired a half interest in the Forepaugh-Sells Circus, gaining complete control two years later. Maintaining their business arrangement as a co-partnership, in 1907 the Ringling brothers bought out the Barnum and Bailey Circus and claimed the title of "the Greatest Show on Earth." Albert Ringling, the leader of the "circus brothers" in the early wagon-show days, contributed generously to various civic enterprises in Baraboo and built the theater there that bears his name. He was for many years recognized as one of the foremost citizens of Baraboo, and in 1915 was honored by the Wisconsin legislature. OTTO RINGLING, b. Baraboo, served in the early days of the circus as advance man, ticket taker, and cashier. An excellent businessman and extremely efficient circus manager, Otto was known among circus people as "The King," and was responsible for many of the mergers effected by the brothers in the early 1900's. After Otto's death in 1911, another brother, HENRY RINGLING, b. McGregor, Iowa, purchased his interest and became a partner in the circus enterprise. Of the remaining brothers concerned with the circus undertaking at Baraboo, ALFRED T. RINGLING, b. McGregor, Iowa, handled the circus publicity until his death. CHARLES RINGLING, b. McGregor, styled by many as "the master showman," managed the circus for many years, spending more days in the active management of a large circus than any other showman. He kept the circus clean, and went far toward eliminating graft both from his own and other circuses. JOHN RINGLING, b. McGregor, Iowa, the last survivor of the famous brothers, was the transportation and routing expert. He was known to his performers as "Mr. John," and through his personal investments in railroads, oil fields, real estate, and art, became the wealthiest of the Ringlings. Much of his rich art collection is housed in the famous Ringling Art Museum, Sarasota, Fla. Dict. Amer. Biog.; Life Story of the Ringling Brothers (Chicago, 1900); E. C. May, Circus ... (New York, 1932); H. E. Cole, ed., Standard Hist. of Sauk Co. (2 vols., Chicago, 1918); Baraboo Weekly News, Apr. 6, 1911, Jan. 6, 1916, Dec. 3, 1936; N.Y. Times, Dec. 2, 1936.

View pictures relating to the circus at Wisconsin Historical Images.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]

98 records found

Race, John A. 1914
Radcliffe, John Q. 1920
Radcliffe, Margaret Porter
Radisson, Pierre Esprit 1636 - 1710
Radosevich, Michele G. 1947
Radtke, Randall J. 1951
Rafn, Carl Christian, 1795-1864
Ragueneau, Fr. Paul, 1608-1680
Randall, Clifford Ellsworth 1876 - 1934
Randall, Gov. Alexander W. (1819-1872)
Rankin, Joseph 1833 - 1886
Rankin, Walter Laurie 1841 - 1910
Raskin, Ellen 1928 - 1984
Rasmusen, Holger B. 1894
Read, Sister Joel (Janice) 1926 -
Reaume, Charles 1752 - 1821
Reber, Louis Ehrhart 1858 - 1948
Red Bird, Ho-Chunk chief, 1788 - 1828
Reed, Curtis 1815 - 1895
Reed, George 1807 - 1883
Reed, Harrison 1813 - 1899
Reed, William W. 1825 - 1916
Reese, Oliver William, 1924 - 2005
Reformed Churches in Wisconsin
Reger, Fred C. 1916
Rehnquist, William H., 1924-2005
Reich, Frank Albert 1884 - 1946
Reid, Alexander James 1846 - 1910
Reilly, Michael Kieran 1869 - 1944
Reinsch, Paul Samuel 1869 - 1923
Reuss, Henry S. 1912-2002
Rexford, Eben Eugene 1848 - 1916
Reymert, James De Noon 1821 - 1896
Reynolds, Edwin 1831 - 1909
Reynolds, John W. 1921
Reynolds, Martin L. 1950
Reynolds, Tom 1956
Rhoades, Kitty 1951
Rhode, Paul Peter 1871 - 1945
Rice, Ora R. 1885
Rich, Martin 1835 - 1915
Richards, Harry Sanger 1868 - 1929
Richards, Jon 1963
Richardson, Robert Kimball 1876 - 1952
Riddles, Libby (born 1956)
Riehle, Ben A. 1897
Rigaud de Vaudreuil de Cavagnial, Pierre de, Marqu
Rigaud de Vaudreuil, Philippe de, Marquis de Vaudr
Riley, Antonio R. 1963
Rincker, Leroy Carl 1896 - 1953
Rindisbacher, Peter 1806 - 1834
Ringling [Rungeling], Albert 1852 - 1916
Risser, Fred 1927
Roberts, Virgil 1922
Robertson, Alan S. 1941
Robinson, Charles D. 1822 - 1886
Robinson, John H. 1955
Robinson, Robert P. 1884 - 1953
Robson, Judith Biros
Roessler, Carol A. 1948
Roethe, Henry Edgar 1866 - 1939
Rogers, William J. 1930
Roggensack, Patience Drake 1940
Rohan, Sue 1952
Rohl, Edwin C. 1908
Rohner, Henry 1919
Rolette, [Jean] Joseph 1781 - 1842
Rolle, Dale J. 1923
Rolle, Everett E. 1919
Romell, Louis C. 1899
Rooney, James F. 1935
Root, Eleazer 1802 - 1887
Rose, David Stuart 1856 - 1932
Roseleip, Gordon W. 1912
Rosenzweig, Peggy A. 1936
Roshell, Marvin J. 1932
Ross, Edward Allsworth 1866 - 1951
Ross, John Donald 1841 - 1917
Ross, William 1888 - 1951
Roth, Toby 1938
Rothwell, Angus B. 1905
Rountree, John Hawkins 1805 - 1890
Rubin, Ben 1887 - 1942
Rublee, Horace 1829 - 1896
Rude, Brian D. 1955
Rueping [Ruping], William ["Heinrich","Wilhelm"] 1
Ruger, Gen. Thomas H. (1833-1907)
Rusk, Gov. Jeremiah M. (1830-1893)
Russell, Harry Luman 1866 - 1954
Russians in Wisconsin
Rusy, Benjamin Franklin 1894 - 1953
Rutkowski, James A. 1942
Ryan, Edward George 1810 - 1880
Ryan, Mark W. 1924
Ryan, Paul 1970
Ryan, Samuel [Jr.] 1824 - 1907
Ryba, John Joseph 1929
Ryczek, Ervin John 1909

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