The Circus Comes to Terrell

Terrell, Texas, was a popular circus location, and the railroads made visiting easy for travelers. In fact, the population of Terrell doubled on circus days! During the Panic of 1893, the economy collapsed due to a decrease in European continental trade, which forced the Sells Brothers Circus to cut their admission fees drastically. At the time of the parade before the circus, an estimated 10,000 people were on Moore Avenue between Frances and Virginia Street. In addition, William Frederick Cody, known as Buffalo Bill, came to Terrell, Texas, during the circus to perform his Wild West Show, which encouraged a particular view of events in that part of the country, one that was both romantic and militaristic.

At the far end of the mural, there is a depiction of this scene described in the local newspaper, which reads:

“W.E. Lumpkin, proprietor of the Splendid Grocery, being well aware of the weakness of country people for cheese and crackers, provided 300 pounds of the former and several boxes of the latter. Before noon, the whole supply was gone! When it is remembered that nearly every grocery establishment in the city was likewise provided, it may be conjectured what an immense amount of cheese and crackers was devoured by the crowd on that day.”

Mural painted by Sunny Delipsey. Photo provided by Prouty Photography in Terrell, Texas.