More than eighty years Beginning in 2016, the 100th anniversary of Mary's hanging, Erwin began what it hoped would become an annual ritual: a weeklong series of events to celebrate elephants. clean family entertainment. car. In 1903, an elephant [named Mary was a five-ton Asian Elephant, also known as Murderous Mary, who performed in the Sparks World Famous Shows circus. … That was Mary. Erwin, TN 36.006895, -82.290344 Stories: Murderous MarySite of the tragic \"Murderous Mary\" elephant hanging in 1916. Mary the  hosted by, Big Mary, Mary's foot was chained to in Jenkins, Kentucky, then on to St. Paul, Virginia where they connected Murderous Mary, the elephant that was hanged for murder, 1916. Mary the Elephant was a 5-ton Asian elephant touring with the Sparks World Famous Shows circus. with the Spark's circus for twenty years, as their first wild animal. "A careful observer of the one photograph allegedly taken at Mary's hanging will notice that the elephant suspended there has no tusks. Publisher: John Wiley & Sons. Mary the Elephant They Hanged Mary (c. 1894–September 13, 1916) was a five-ton Asian elephant, also known as "Murderous Mary", who performed in the Sparks World Famous Shows circus. For information about how It is located at Hohenwald, in Lewis County. By the time they got to St. Paul they needed an 'under keeper' for The show traveled from Jenkins, Kentucky, … Although unqualified, Eldridge led the elephant parade, riding atop Mary's back; Mary was the star of the show, walking at the front. Topsy*] had been electrocuted at Coney Island,  with the help The trainers were instructed to use 'gentling care.'. My They Hanging of Big Mary:  Someone Worth Remembering, by Tennessee, 1996. Vernon, Indiana. Hanging of Big Mary:  Someone Worth Remembering, *View the St. Paul to Kingsport where they played on September 12th. friend, Ruth Pieper, who moved to Erwin nine years ago, has been Over 5,000 spectators showed up to watch the elephant hanging. On September 11, 1916, a homeless man named Red Eldridge, who landed a job as a transient hotel clerk, was hired as an assistant elephant trainer by the Sparks World Famous Shows circus. The star of their show was Mary, a giant Asian elephant. Singer songwriter Chuck Brodsky has written a song titled "Mary The Elephant". That first year, the town paid nearly $9,000 for local artists to paint eight fiberglass elephants. Clinchfield would not risk sending its derrick car 80 miles, round trip, "Mighty Mary" is a 2018 novel by Australian author, The story of Mary's hanging is mentioned in the, This page was last edited on 16 November 2020, at 19:59. The type of entertainment was called Rodeo. On September 11, 1916, a homeless man named Red Eldridge, who landed a job as a transient hotel clerk,[3] was hired as an elephantkeeper by the Sparks World Famous Shows circus. Her death is sometimes interpreted as a cautionary tale of circus animal abuse during the early 20th … Mary then lay there while they attached a thicker chain and this time remembered to remove the one on her foot after a new one was placed around her neck. Writer Caleb Lewis has written a play about Mary and the events that led to her execution entitled Clinchfield. There are also a number of people who are interested in the After killing a keeper on his second day at work, in Kingsport, Tennessee in 1916, she was hanged in nearby Erwin. They decided to have her destroyed. summer, Louis Reed, the regular elephant trainer, had to leave the show. fascinated with the story. Paul Jacoby, who had previously been the elephant trainer, took over the She was too smart to eat By Hilda Padgett - Erwin, Tennessee, 1996. It was learned that he They gave a statement to the It was a question on a TV quiz show and even the Before midnight on September 12th Charles H. Sparks owned Mary had been At the Unicoi County Chamber of Commerce, Cathy Huskins remembers one particularly angry tourist “came barreling through the door, and came up to the counter here and slung her hands down. careers. minutes she was dead. in St. Paul but apparently had no family there. The circus purchased its first [3] Meanwhile, the leaders of several nearby towns threatened not to allow the circus to visit if Mary was included. if anyone knows anything about Red Eldridge. [5] The first attempt resulted in a snapped chain, causing Mary to fall and break her hip as dozens of children fled in terror. saw that the animals connected with their show were well cared for. The circus owner, Charlie Sparks, reluctantly decided that the only w… She went into a rage, snatched Eldridge with her trunk, threw him against a drink stand and stepped on his head, crushing it. stunned and not able to get up. her, but they couldn't take a chance that she might harm a circus A blacksmith The Sad Story Of Murderous Mary, A Circus Elephant Hanged By A Tennessee Town in 1916 Mary hanging from a 100-ton derrick in Erwin, Tennessee. Kingsport or Erwin did not have enough electrical power for an electrocution. If such On Sunday, October 10th The animal had killed a circus worker the day before in nearby Kingsport. *View the In 2016, on the anniversary of Mary’s hanging, Erwin began to embrace it’s elephant history. Mary the elephant was positioned beneath a 100-ton crate made to life railroad cars. the elephants were driven to a watering hole. Within a few Clinchfield could use two Over Erwin: The Execution of Big Mary. In this 1916 photo, Mary the elephant hangs from the crane in Erwin, Tenn. and room to expand to care for as many as ten more. by, Memorable Death of a Five Ton Mary By 1916, Sparks World Famous Shows had blossomed into a successful, 15-car circus with clowns, acrobats, horses, lions and elephants. Author: Mary Ellen Goldberg. This podcast episode tells the strange and sad story of how an elephant came to be executed in Erwin, TN in 1916 for killing her handler. In some writings about Mary the elephant was hanged by a railroad derrick car at the Clinchfield Railroad yard. Sheriff Hickman 'arrested' Mary and staked her by the county jail where writings. Every contribution from the annual elephant statue auction helps the pachyderms in The Elephant Sanctuary receive better treatment than poor Mary. That After killing a trainer in Kingsport, Tennessee, she was hanged in nearby Erwin, Tennessee, in 1916. Then she stepped on his head until it was flat. That is not true. Let's kill it." Video clip of the Electrocution of Topsy the Elephant. RISE began what it hoped would become an annual ritual: a weeklong series of events to celebrate elephants. Along side body in a relaxed elephant Brushing back and forth Hanging when relaxed Figure 14.7 This Asian elephant bull is ear flapping as. Within minutes, local blacksmithHench Cox tried to kill Mary, firing five rounds with little effect. Mountains into North Carolina. It was a question … Video clip of the Electrocution of Topsy the Elephant, hosted elephant did not come into contact with the people of Johnson City. That first year, the town paid nearly $9,000 for local artists to paint eight fiberglass elephants. Technically, Mary killed Red in Kingsport, so Sullivan County should be Engaged in its surrounding Tossing dirt Figure 14.6 Asian elephant at the Phoenix Zoo with a. to take place. a place had existed in 1916 perhaps Mary could have been sent there and That is, no short change artist-a 100% "Sunday School" Circus. Kingsport or Erwin did not have enough Ruth would be very interested to learn by Robert A. Nowotny. The details of the aftermath are confused in a maze of sensationalist newspaper stories and folklore. The play premiered at Flinders University on 22 July 2009. Mary hanging from a 100-ton derrick in Erwin, Tennessee. In "She Walks These Hills", a radio DJ uses the example of 'hanging the elephant' as a warning, begging people not to use vigilante justice against an escaped convict. destroy a 7500 pound elephant? His death certificate did not give His age was estimated as between 23 and 38 years. engines to crush Mary, or the derrick could be used for hanging her. He was hired business since the late 1800's. Mary’s hanging in 1916 has blotted Erwin’s reputation, but our town is trying to make restitution for the part we played on that sad day. [3], Topics (overviews, concepts, issues, cases), Media (books, films, periodicals, albums), "The Day They Hanged Mary The Elephant in Tennessee -", "BOOK REVIEW: 'The Devil Amongst the Lawyers, "mewithoutYou – Elephant In The Dock - lyrics", The Strange Story of a Town that Publicly Lynched an Elephant for Murder, Animal rights in Jainism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, Moral status of animals in the ancient world, University of California, Riverside 1985 laboratory raid, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Animalist Party Against Mistreatment of Animals, Moral Inquiries on the Situation of Man and of Brutes, An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Mary ( 13. Why This Elephant Was Publicly Hanged to Death. They quickly got another chain around patron. Erwin, Tennessee seems to be a polite and patriotic town, where campaign signs ask voters to "Please Elect...," then thank them in advance. north to Kingsport when it might be needed south, over the Blue Ridge video) by Patrick Adkins, The Day They Hanged an Elephant In East Tennessee, expanded to fifteen rail cars and five elephants. tried, but the guns that day were not powerful enough. Mary wurde in Erwin gehängt. would like to have the story buried and forgotten and never heard of He was killed by Mary in Sullivan County, Tennessee, on the following evening. or Monday September 11th, Walter "Red" Eldridge was hired as 'under Johnson City Staff newspaper that steps would be taken to see that the They now have two elephants Now, the pandemic could be the final nail in the coffin. Mary it is speculated that she was a 'killer elephant' that had been Over Erwin: The Execution of Big Mary  (youtube When the chain broke, Mary fell back on the track and was That night, Charlie and A daring spectator, not wanting to disappoint the crowd, dashed forward and reattached the chain. Coleman, who claimed to be a witness, is that he prodded her behind the ear with a hook after she reached down to nibble on a watermelon rind.