A 2007 Calendar photo, taken from the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center archives of Wisconsin, sparked some humorous comments and serious questions, first in the community – and then across the internet.
Sheboygan Press newspaper reporter Janet Ortegon first wrote an article to see if the mystery could be solved. Why was a man in a top hat and tails sitting on a dead horse at the intersection of Indiana and South Eighth sometime in the late 19th century?
There are some theories about what is actually taking place in this photo.
This first theory converged on an August 1900 cyclone that hit Sheboygan midday – when the famous Gentry Brothers “Dog and Pony Show“ was in town. Combining news reports from all over the country, as well as the “20 years ago today“ type recollections, we found that the animals were scattered during the storm. In addition, ringmasters of such shows did do the “play dead” stunts with their horses, so it seemed possible that either a horse did get killed (even though multiple reports said no people were killed, though there was extensive property damage, as many buildings were destroyed) – or it was seen as an opportunity for a publicity stunt.
A very interesting article via Ancestral Manor.