While I thought I might have tracked down the line for Mabel Stark, the first female big cat trainer, it appears that she might not have been born with the name Mary Haynie.Looking for any information on Mabel/Mary, born in Kentucky (near or in Princeton) between about 1888 to 1894. Her parents both died when she was about 11, they were tobacco farmers.
When she started working for AL G. Barnes Circus around 1911 she had the name Mabel Stark (she lived with an aunt and uncle, may be how she got the name change?).She then relocated to live in Thousand Oaks, CA (predominately) after late 1930s, and she died in 1968.She was married at some point to an Edward Trees (he died in or about 1953).
For those who don't know this lady, she was the first big cat trainer, worked for Al G Barnes Circus starting in 1911, then Barnum & Bailey when it merged, then retired to Jungleland in California.My family is in some way related to her and my father often visited with her when he was a small boy.I'm also interested in obtaining a copy of her obit, published in the Thousand Oaks News-Chronicle.