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Grizzly Adams. Illustration from T. H. Hittell, The Adventures of James Capen Adams, Mountaineer and Grizzly Bear Hunter of California, 1860. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92873).

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Adams, Grizzly (22 October 1812–25 October 1860), mountain man and wild animal tamer, was born John Adams in Medway, Massachusetts, the son of Eleazar Adams and Sybil Capen. Adams apparently served an apprenticeship as a cobbler, but when he was twenty-one he began hunting and trapping animals, for showmen, in the woods of Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. He delighted in his work, which was cut short when he tried to control an unruly Bengal tiger. In doing this favor for an exhibitor, Adams was badly mangled. When he recovered his health, he went back to making boots and shoes....

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Beatty, Clyde Raymond (10 June 1903–19 July 1965), animal trainer and circus owner, was born in Bainbridge, Ohio, the son of James Edward Beatty and Margaret Everhart, farmers. After first trying at age thirteen to run away to join the circus, he succeeded at fifteen, following his freshman year at Bainbridge High School....

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Rarey, John Solomon (06 December 1827–04 October 1866), "Great American Horse Tamer", “Great American Horse Tamer,” was born in Groveport, Ohio, the son of Adam Rarey, a farmer and tavern keeper, and Mary Catherine Pontius. A Methodist, Rarey attended Ohio Wesleyan University.

Introduced to horse taming as a farm boy, Rarey was seriously injured in early attempts to train horses forcibly. After softening his approach, he attracted clients as early as age twelve. To test and refine his developing theories of gentler training, Rarey consulted other tamers but found their methods unsatisfactory....