Monday, October 28, 2013
Benjamin Krause -- The Greatest Show on Earth
Widely known in the South as the owner-operator of Krause Greater Shows, the 57-year-old veteran showman's business had all but been wiped out by a freak storm that struck the fair in the winter of 1936. On January 6, 1937, a depressed and suicidal Krause, accompanied by a concerned brother, was en route by train to a sanitarium in Philadelphia when he eluded his traveling companion at the Union Station in Savannah, Georgia. Earlier on the trip, Krause had twice tried to take his life, first by jumping off the train into a river and then later my breaking his glasses and attempting to slash his wrists. Ten hours after his brother reported him missing, Krause's body was found by blacks searching for driftwood on the north bank of the Savannah River. Burns on the showman's lips suggested that he had ingested a corrosive dose before jumping off the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad train into the river.