As an adult, Bill “Badlands” McCarty owned one of the highest-profile ranches in the nation. He produced rodeos, organized “Wild West” shows and had Tom Mix, the most popular movie cowboy of the 1920s and early ’30s, as one of his best friends. McCarty was the best man at Mix’s wedding in 1909.
Even though acts involving big cats are one of the biggest attractions at the circus, most bigtop enthusiasts can only name a few animal trainers.
North Dakota’s own Wade Burck is one of very few trainers who were American-born.
A number of interesting individuals who lived in North Dakota found employment in various circuses, “Wild West” shows, and carnivals. In 1922, Hans Langseth, a farmer in Richland County, N.D., was judged to have the world’s longest beard, which measured 17 feet 4 inches. For a short time, he was showcased in the Ringling Brothers Circus, but quit to return to his farm and real estate business.
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