Thursday, October 21, 2010

1960 Paul A. Miller Circus Ad

I see that Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is in Cleveland right now (click here for the story), and that made me think of this ad for another circus that I had on file.

It's an ad for Paul A. Miller's Wild Animal Free Circus, appearing at the Ridgeview Shopping Center that ran in the Lorain Journal on June 1, 1960.

There's not much information online about this circus, but one website,, contained a post that shed a little light on it. A gentleman named Ben Brigham left a message on January of 2009 that contained the following information:

Every boy dreams of running away and joining the circus and I did just that In 1960. I was 25 and ringmaster of a small circus (Paul A Miller circus) that promoted shopping centers. I had the honor and privelege of presenting the Great Arturo along with his son and niece. I can't remember their names but maybe someone can tell me. The son and I ran around together and maybe he would remember me. We were about the same age. I left the circus later that year and have not seen them again. I did run into The Hannefords again at Pomona fair in 1961. Would love to hear from anyone that remembers me. 
– Ben Brigman

Another website,, contained another reference to the Paul Miller Circus, referring to it as the Paul Miller Free Merchant's Circus. And a blog, Pat Cashin's, contained another post by Mr. Brigham about his time working with Bumpsy the Clown.

Anyway, I really like the ad – its fun layout and use of illustration really grabbed my eye. Plus, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to do a blog entry on North Ridgeville, one of the many Lorain County cities neglected in this blog!

UPDATE (February 27, 2015)
Here is the link to my post describing the Paul A. Miller Circus visit to Billy Nahm's Lorain home in September 1963.


-Alan D Hopewell said...

That website also mentioned the GOODING AMUSEMENT COMPANY, whose carnival toured Lorain every summer.

There was also the SELLS AND GRAY CIRCUS coming through town in the 60's.

Kjeldskov said...

My family toured for a while in the 60's with the Paul Miller combined circus and carnival. We were called the "Riding Kristensens".
And, I know a couple of the Arturo (Trostle) family - Pepi, Heddi, Nicki, and Cookie.

Kim Kristensen]

Anonymous said...

Dan, The Paul Miller circus was in Lorain in Sept of 1963. They also were in my front yard. I won a contest that brought some of their acts to my home. 2 clowns, Japanese tumblers, and 3 ELEPHANTS. next time your going through old newspapers, check out page 3 of the Sept 23 Lorain Journal

Anonymous said...

Paul A. Miller was my Grandfather. He passed away in 2008 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. He has 2 sons, Paul "Buddy" Miller and Lyle Miller. I'll pass this post on to him.

Ben Brigman said...

I'm Thi is for anonymous....would you ask buddy and Lyle if they have any pictures while I was Ring Master in early 60s...The ones I had were lost. Ben

Unknown said...

My grandparents and mother, was the Japanese tumbling act

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. Paul A. Miller's great grand-daufhter here. I believe the Japanese tumblers you mentioned were/are my other great grandparents, great aunts and uncles.

Anonymous said...

Paul a Miller was my uncle, I am looking for more information regarding the family, could you put me in touch with someone?
thank you

Dena Miller Mullenix Petty