Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Kay the Elephant

The sweetest thing ever.  A place that I grew up with but a story I did not know, at least not until I went home last January for my Gramma's funeral. 

Kay the Elephant. 

She came to town with the circus and after a long service with them she past away there.  On the side of the road, at the property of an veterinarians home she was laid to rest with a beautiful marker.   I say that she must be no ordinary elephant.  See for yourself.

With Angela O'

Check out Roadside America if you would like more info:

Quoted from Roadside America

Died 1994
Pet Cemetery.
Kay was the matriarch of the Carson & Barnes Circus elephant herd. Her nickname, "Fatso," hints at the gluttony that defined her life and eventually ended it.
For decades Kay basked in the limelight, visiting the small towns of America and delighting children of all ages. It was heady stuff for a pachyderm from the Punjab, especially the cornucopia of treats that were always within reach of her ever-grasping trunk. Kay was not the first celebrity to equate food with love. But her kidneys -- weary from a lifetime of free peanut brittle and cotton candy -- were about to give out. In October of 1994, while waiting backstage for another waddle around the Big Top, they did. Kay was 58.
Carson & Barnes, which was in the middle of a tour, faced a dilemma -- what to do with a dead elephant? Happily, local veterinarian Dr. Jerry Breuel, who had attended Kay in her last hours, volunteered his farm as her grave. (Said Carson & Barnes' owner: "You know, you can't dig a hole just anywhere to bury an elephant.") Kay's four-ton carcass was loaded onto a flatbed truck and hauled about a mile south of town. There, to discourage ghoulish pilfering, she was buried in a pit twenty feet deep.
The grave site today is quiet, and stands off the southbound side of the Nokomis blacktop, marked by a granite headstone with an elephant and circus tent engraved on it. Future improvements have been proposed, including a chain-link fence and flowers.
We suggest that you scatter some goobers when you visit.


  1. Very nice. I remember when you were young and rode an elephant at a circus with several other children. It doesn't seem all that long ago. Not everyone can say they have ridden an elephant.
    Aunt Shirley

    1. Some people have told me that it is not even possible! I need to dig up my old photos and post them.

  2. I just learned about and saw this for myself last! So cool
    ~ Cheri Conlee


  3. Oh, I am so amazed. I had no idea that was there. Don't ever remember hearing anything about it and that's my home turf too. What a great story and headstone!
    ~Clare Choate


  4. Found out about this over 12 years ago, but have only slowed down to see the tombstone, never pulled in. It is really neat!!!
    ~Kendra McSperritt