Circus City USA – third in a series

I found some new and interesting information after posting my second blog in the Circus City series. After reviewing my pictures once again, I found a tombstone that stated the deceased was a founder of the Carson & Barnes Circus. Now in my first post of the series the information that I had found and gathered indicated that D.R Miller was the founder. With the additional research I found that Mr. Miller was actually a co-founder/co-owner along with Mr. Jack B. Moore until the 1960s. The name has two different stories behind it. One source stated that Miller named it Carson & Barnes because it sounded good. The other source stated that the larger of the circuses owned by the Miller family was named Tex Carson Circus and that Mr. Moore was co-owner of another circus, the Barnes & Bailey Circus. In 1957 the title changed to Carson &  Barnes.  So there is a bit of trivia for those interested in finding the truth behind the stories….

Jack B. Moore co-founder of Carson & Barnes


Jack B. Moore tombstone










Another of the large sites is actually a crypt for the Jessens. Mr. Jess Jessen was a promoter and agent  for Carson & Barnes while the still-living Mrs. Lorraine Jessen is still co-owner of the circus with her start in promotion then general management. The crypt is quite large and depicts the main entrance to the circus with listings of the circuses they were involved with. The end has a large elephant depicted. What interested me most was the other side of the crypt which listed as Captain, US Marine Corp. Retired with the Marine insignia. It seemed such an odd profession for a military Captain to go into. It makes me wonder about the life that Mr. Jessen lived – perhaps it is the old story of the always moving military family…

Jessen crypt - side view of tent

Jessen crypt - elephant

a fall day at Showmen's Rest

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