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Elephant Trainer Roger Boyd

Roger Boyd

Jan 16, 1917 - Dec. 10 1991

Circus Ringmaster
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Roger Boyd
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Roger Boyd with Nemo
World Bros. Circus 1934
 
 
Roger Boyd's Playland Arcade
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Roger Boyd's Playland Arcade semi 1975
 

 

Roger Boyd, although best known as a circus ringmaster and show painter, began his career as an elephant handler.

Roger was born on his family farm in Front Royal, VA. After difficulties in school and not wanting to face his family, young Roger ran away from home at the age of thirteen. Walking along a highway a truck stopped to give him a ride. That truck belonged to the Downie Bros Circus, thus began Roger's circus career.

He was hired as an animal groom, and instantly was fascinated be the elephants. By 17 he was working the elephants in the ring. He continued performing with elephants on many show including Downie Bros, World Bros, Tom Mix Circus and Jack Hoxie Circus.

In 1939 Roger met his wife Garnette on Floyd King's show "The Hit Parade" which was a musical and variety show under canvas. Garnette was performing on the show with her father's dance troupe "The Davis Dancing Dollies". The couple were married Feb. 10, 1940.

After serving in the U. S. Army during world, Boyd produced "store shows" in various cities and then took out an arcade on carnivals for several years.

In 1951 Boyd's son Roger Jr. was born, who later became sideshow manager with many circuses.

In 1960 Roger's good friend Bob Snowden persuaded him to manage the sideshow on the Duke of Paducah Circus. Roger remained with Snowden as ringmaster on the King Bros Circus. When the King Bros. was purchased by Frank McCloskey, Roger stayed on and later took the role as ringmaster on the Clyde Beatty Cole Bros. in 1966.

After leaving the Beatty Cole Circus, in 1975 Roger framed a mobile arcade which he toured with the James H. Drew carnival and later with the Childress Shows.

During winter months Boyd continued painting show trucks and served as ringmaster on Bob Sbowden's shrine dates.

In 1986 Boyd sold his arcade and retired from the road.

Roger E. boyd Sr. died December 10, 1991 of a stroke at his home in Valdosta, GA.

 

In Memory of
Garnette Evelyn Davis Boyd
Garnette Evelyn Davis Boyd
March 15, 1918 - August 21, 2014
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Roger Boyd
 
 
Roger Boyd Red Skelton Frank McClosky
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Roger Boyd, Red Skelton,
Frank McClosky
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