ebook  History of Watertown, Wisconsin


Seibel Brothers

Dog and Pony Show


Seibel & Company


Dogs and ponies, animal barn, WHS_005_556


Emil Seibel owned a large imposing house on the northeast corner of Eighth and Main.


He also owned much of the property on the same block to the rear of his home

where he had buildings for the storage of much of his circus equipment and some

small animals.  Most of his horses and ponies were kept on a farm he owned east of the city.



Emil Seibel participated in Lewis Monument dedication 






Advertisement, Emil Seibel, 310 E Main





06 19       PONY SALE

Seibel’s pony sale was well attended on Tuesday and good price s were paid for a number of the little horses.   WG



1898 310 E Main, laying of sewer line on Main

1898, 310 E Main, laying of water line on Main, WHS_004_NT_064


09 14       A. W. Gentry, of the Gentry Dog and Pony Show, was the guest of Emil Seibel yesterday and purchased three of the latter’s four-in-hand of spotted ponies, which are among the best from his stables.   WR



1899, Sept 13-15, ponies and carnival wagon, Harvest Jubilee & Carnival, WHS_005_484

1899, Sept 13-15, ponies and carnival wagon, Harvest Jubilee & Carnival, WHS_005_604



02 06       We have before us the January number of The Rock Horse Show Monthly, an illustrated journal devoted to horse interests, in which two excellent illustrations of Emil Seibel's famous Shetland ponies are shown.  The photos from which these illustrations are reproduced were taken at the time of the carnival last September.  One shows twelve ponies hitched tandem to the carnival queen's carriage and the other four black ponies hitched abreast to the carriage driven by Mrs. Seibel in the floral parade.  The Monthly says that "Mr. Seibel's ponies are of a quality that bespeaks careful selection and breeding from imported stock.   WR


02 06       [same date] Emil Seibel has disposed of several head of Shetland ponies recently, thirteen going to Gentry Pony and Dog Show, two to a party in Annapolis, Md., and one to a party in Bangor, Wis.   WR





310 East Main St; Emil Terwedow, John Guetzlaff, Henry ?aele?, ?last?? Marquardt, Edwin Behling




Tuesday afternoon a large number of our people attended the dog and pony show at Seibel's training academy, corner Eighth and Main streets.  The exhibition was first-class, especially when it is taken into consideration that the animals have only been under training for 10 weeks.  The work of the ponies is first-class, most of the things done being new and original.  The work of the clown pony Snow Cloud, the smallest clown pony on earth is particularly amusing, and Teddy, the diving dog, is a wonder.  He climbs a ladder 40 feet high and jumps into a netting suspended about 2 feet from the ground.  This act alone is a great drawing card in Seibel's pony show.  Mr. Seibel has inducements from various places to exhibit his show, but as yet has not decided on taking it out of the city.  It is a local amusement that would be encouraged, and we hope Mr. Seibel will be well repaid for his enterprise.  His show is a good one, and whenever the community is given a chance to see it, the people should turn out in large numbers.  On Tuesday and Thursday evenings of next week, at 7:30 o'clock, the program will be repeated, and all who possibly can should witness it.  Admission, adults 25 cts; children 10cts.  Music by Weber's orchestra.   WG





A monkey belonging to Seibel Bros, pony and dog show created quite a little amusement for pupils at the high school building and residents adjacent to the training quarters in North Eighth Street Thursday morning.  “Casey” with its mate escaped from a barn basement where they are kept but the latter was rescued before it reached the street.  “Casey” however made good his escape and took up quarters in one of the trees in the school house yard nearby.  He refused all tempting offers to come down and evidently enjoyed his protected position until a number of boys with the aid of a long ladder drove him from his perch.  He nimbly jumped from branch to branch and from tree to tree until he was finally cornered when he leaped to the ground, a distance of twenty feet and was driven to the training quarters where he was captured. In the meantime, a large crowd was present to watch the proceedings, which “Casey” evidently enjoyed.  The animal is 36 inches high when on his haunches and is yet comparatively in his wild condition.  It required 75 minutes time and assistance of half a dozen persons to secure him.








Emil Seibel lost a valuable little pony mare yesterday forenoon at the Northwestern depot.   The American Expressman Frank Bertram had taken the pony to the depot in a crate to have it sent away on the southbound train.  While waiting for the passenger train to arrive, the crate was standing on the platform.  During this time a freight train passed to reach a side track and the pony was that frightened that it jumped out of the crate in between two cars and was mortally wounded.  The expressman and another man were watching and holding the horse when the freight train went by, but in spite of their strenuous efforts to hold the pony, they were unable to do so.   WL



1909c, 310 E Main, Seibel & Co, Emil, notions


04 30       Cooper and Robenson arranged with Seibel Bros. to lease their show for the season.    WG



1910c, dry goods, 310 E Main, post remodel, WHS_005_599


1910c, dry goods, 310 E Main, pre remodel, WHS_005_600



Emil Seibel, general manager of Seibel Bros. Dog and Pony Circus, returned yesterday from a tour of the south, with his circus aggregation, and Sunday the ponies, comprising the circus, will go into winter quarters at Watertown.  The pony and dog circus has been engaged to take part in the society circus at the Auditorium Annex Christmas week for the benefit of the Maternity hospital.  It is expected that the novel entertainment will net the hospital $10,000.


"Among the attractions I am going to bring to Milwaukee during Christmas week," said Mr. Seibel, “will be Snow Cloud, the smallest Shetland pony stallion in the world.  I carry him in a suit case and he weighs thirty pounds.  We are also going to bring our famous drilling ponies, Comet, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Cupid, Vixen, Dunder and Blitzen.  We will introduce sixteen other ponies in the ring and will reproduce our entire circus program." — [Milwaukee Journal]   WG



05 04       OPENING OF 1911 SEASON

On Thursday of next week Seibel Bros. Dog and Pony Show will exhibit on the circus grounds in the 5th ward of this city, afternoon and evening.  Watch for the grand street parade at 11 a.m.  This show is one of the best of its kind on the road and being a home institution our people should all turn out to attend it.  Admission children 15 cents, adults 25 cents.   WG

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Maude, The Bucking Mule.  Before touring, the Seibel Dog and Pony Show held its first performance of 1911 season at the circus grounds (now Lincoln park)


05 18       Last Thursday afternoon and evening large crowds of people witnessed Seibel Bros. dog and pony show, and all were pleased with the performances.  There were many new acts in the program and Seibel Bros. may well feel proud of the performances the intelligent dogs and ponies give.  Many of their tricks seem almost human.   WG


10 12       AUCTION

The undersigned will sell at public auction, at the corner of Main and Eighth streets, in the second ward in the city, on Friday, Oct. 20, 1911, at 1 o’clock sharp, the following personal property, to wit:  20 draft horses, 1 fine high-bred chestnut stallion, 2 large spotted riding and driving ponies, 1 black driving mare in foal, 5 lumber wagons, 1 wagon box, 1 4-seated carryall, 1 open phaeton harness, 1 single buggy harness, 2 sets double carriage harnesses, 8 sets heavy work harnesses and many other articles too numerous to mention.  Terms of sale – All sums up to $10 cash; over that amount 6 months time will be given on bankable notes at 6 per cent interest. -- Emil Seibel   WG



04 25       SEIBEL BROS. CIRCUS OPENS Season of 1912 in Watertown

Watertown, the home of Seibel Bros., proprietors of Seibel Brothers mammoth dog and pony circus, will be greatly favored on Thursday, May 2nd, by this excellent circus opening the season here by giving afternoon and evening performances.  The show had a very successful season last year, and starts out this year larger and better than ever and with every prospect of an even more successful season than that of 1911.  Watertown people should turn out in large numbers at both performances.  The farmers of the surrounding country and people of nearby towns will be here in the hundreds to see it.  The trained animal division is said to be the best of any circus on the road today, while human talent to make the show complete in other details is not lacking.  Besides having added greatly to the size of the show they have a number of features which are exceptionally fine.  Cairo, the trained monkey, does a loop-the-loop act which is thrilling and amazing.  He sits in his little auto with apparent unconcern and takes his dare devil ride with great enjoyment.  Young Sandow, the strong man, is very good as is also Del Fontain, the slack wire artist, who has some original acts that are very fine.  Nero Brothers, the contortionists, are both amusing and interesting.  Prof. Roy Rush of Bloomington, Ind., and formerly of the Gentry shows, has been with Seibel Bros. all winter and has the dogs, monkeys and ponies well trained.  There will be a street parade on the day of the show.  WG


05 02       A GREAT SHOW

Seibel Bros. dog and pony show, which exhibited at the Sharon hall park last Saturday afternoon, proved to be a wonderful exhibition of equine and canine skill.  The ponies performed, in an almost unbelievable manner, many tricks which must have required months of patient training to perfect.  The work of the dogs, also, was truly wonderful.  One feature about the show was the noticeable absence of the tough element which many times too often follow the traveling tent show.  The people from the proprietor down to the humblest canvass hustler conducted themselves as gentlemen.  The show itself was perfectly clean and we would be glad to welcome them here for a return date. — Sharon Reporter    At Watertown, Thursday, May 2nd, 1912, afternoon and evening.  WG



                    Weltburger ad




On Tuesday Vic Hugo, one of America's most famous showmen, and Tim Keeler were in the city looking over Seibel Bros. Dog and Pony show, with a view of touring the world with  it.  If a contract can be closed the show will open in Australia, November 11, 1914.   WG



Seibel Bros. Greater Shows will exhibit on the show grounds in this city on May 2d. 


This show is larger and greater than ever — many new features having been added for this season and the prospects for a successful season are very good, especially so if a first class show in all its departments will draw the people.


Their trained ponies and trained dogs are all in excellent condition and they have been taught many new and wonderful tricks during the winter months at the headquarters of the show in this city.


This is a Watertown enterprise that everybody in the city should encourage by attending the show on Saturday.  It is worth a great deal to our city in a business way as well as advertising our city wherever the show exhibits.  Do your duty and attend the show.    WG


05 07       1914 SEASON OPENS

Seibel Bros. Shows opened in this city last Saturday under very favorable circumstances.  The weather was ideal and everything connected with the circus seemed to vie with the weather to make people happy.  The parade at noon was a splendid one and the best ever given by Seibel Bros.  Many new wagons have been added to the outfit of Seibel Bros., and all the old ones have been newly painted and embellished.  The ponies are all in splendid condition and as they were driven through our streets were admired by hundreds of people.  The circus performance by the dogs and ponies is the best ever exhibited here, and many new features have been added — such as a splendid juggler, an expert sleight of hand performer, one of the best contortionists ever witnessed in Watertown, and a ventriloquist in Punch & Judy work that is really marvelous.  The ponies, dogs and monkeys do tricks that are almost human, among them being dogs and ponies that dance the cake walk, the tango and the hesitation waltz with as much ease and grace and better time than some human beings we have seen attempting the dances.  Seibel Bros Show should draw large crowds every where this season — it gives clean, wholesome and pleasing entertainments and no one who attends it will regret having paid the price of admission.    WG



Seibel Bros. shows have returned to the city and now are at the headquarters of the show on Main Street.  Seibel Bros. report a very successful season.  The show deserves success, as it is one of the very best dog and pony shows in America.    WG






Winter headquarters for show leaves Hartford, returns to Watertown   1916 is assumed date




One of the city's old and well constructed mansions, the former home of Edward and Emil Seibel, owners of the old Seibel Bros. Circus, is coming down to make way for a service station to be erected by the Clyman Oil Co.  The home is at 802 [actually 804] Main Street.  In more recent years it was owned and occupied by the late Dr. A .B. [A. H.] Hartwig, one of the city's mayors, and later by his son, Attorney Harold W. Hartwig.



Cross References:

Chapter on Circuses

Tale about the Seibel pony that was purchased by local butcher Walter Nack for his children

Emil Seibel, dau of, Mrs. Fred Snyder, 1920, Mention of


Gentry Bros’ Trained Show

05 27 1903


Gentry Bros’ Famous Trained Animal Show will exhibit at Watertown, Monday, June 8th.


Gentry Bros, have four shows and Watertown will have the opportunity of seeing No. 1 show.  In other words the big eastern show that made all the larger cities the past several seasons.  No doubt the children will be happy to hear this great show will make this city this season.  Never before have Gentry Bros, ever carried such an expensive show.  This is their last and best effort to give the public a revelation in animal training.


The famous Gentry Shows, composed of the largest herds of handsome dogs, intelligent ponies, comical monkeys and sagacious baby elephants ever seen, will soon visit this city.  The exhibition this season is nearly twice as large as on its former visits here and it is now classed as the largest as well as the best show of its kind in the world.  In fact the Gentry Brothers have a monopoly on this sort of entertainment.  This is the fifteenth year of the attraction’s continued prosperity, and in its reconstructed form it is vastly superior in its many departments.  The show will exhibit in Watertown, Monday, June 8th.


”Let Me Tell You A Story”, online article



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History of Watertown, Wisconsin